Here at StageMilk we understand it can be tricky to know what to give the actor in your life. That’s why we’ve created this list of Christmas gift ideas for actors. Please note: all team members of StageMilk.com would love to receive any of the gifts below (especially the author of this article ;-)).
Updated May 10 2021
I want to kick things off with a free gift! That’s right. It’s the gift every actor wants and it won’t cost you a thing. Ready? Don’t ask what they are working on. The perfect gift for every actor is to be supportive during the holidays. Ask them if they are enjoying following their dreams, or if they have recently seen any films or theatre they have enjoyed. There is nothing worse than feeling like a failure in the eyes of your family and friends. So for goodness sake; don’t ask what the actor in your life is working on. They’ll tell you if they want to.
Here are three incredible gift options for the actor in your life. Get them one – or all three!
Actions: The Actors’ Thesaurus – A fantastic tool for every actor. Actions: The Actors’ Thesaurus is a book filled with different transitive verbs that will help any actor make bolder and more specific choices on stage and screen.
An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski – When learning any art form it’s important to understand how the craft has developed throughout history. Constantin Stanislavski’s An Actor Prepares is the bible of contemporary acting technique. The StageMilk team actually did a book review of An Actor Prepares a little while ago.
Uta Hagen: Respect for Acting – A modern classic in acting technique. Respect for acting encourages the actor to be an eternal student; to constantly search for a deeper, more personal connection to their character and play. Hagen’s instructions and examples also guide the aspiring actor through practical problems such as “How do I talk to the audience?” and “How do I stay fresh in a long run?”. There is so much to learn about the Uta Hagen technique, and this book gives are really great starting point.
For more book gift ideas click here.
WATCH AND LEARN
Seeing great films, going to world class art exhibitions, and watching powerful theatrical performances, is essential for the aspiring actor. In fact it’s essential for all humans!
Netflix – I know it sounds crazy but… some people don’t have Netflix! See if the actor in your life is one of those people; and if they are, sign them up and cover the costs for the first year! Bingeing new, old, and obscure films and tv shows is a great way to keep the acting muscles engaged in between work. Who knows, you may be responsible for setting your actor friend up for their own Netflix Audition!
Film Tickets – Someone once gave me a ten pack of movie tickets and apologised! They said they hadn’t had enough time to get me a real gift. What?! Ten tickets to the movies is AN AWESOME GIFT FOR AN ACTOR! Thaaaaaank you!
Theatre Tickets – Buying theatre tickets when you can barely feed yourself can be really hard. And that is a sad reality for a lot of actors. So – be a good friend and get your actor some tickets. If you really want to impress them; find your local mainstage company and buy a subscription package. I genuinely couldn’t think of a better Christmas gift for actors.
ENGAGE AND GROW
Classes: Every actor wants to improve their craft. Talk to family and friends of the actor in your life and see if they have had their eye on a particular class. They might be interested in studying improvisation, or acting for film and television. With pilot season coming up – they could be looking to improve their standard American accent. There are lots of classes out there; but make sure you do a little bit of research because some are a massive rip off!
StageMilk Drama Club: Members of the online scene club StageMilk Drama Club have the opportunity to submit a self-tape (a scene or monologue) every month, and receive personalised feedback on their work from an industry professional! It’s the best way we know to stay “actor fit” and continue to learn and grow every month. Members also get access to weekly voice classes, monthly project classes, and monthly masterclasses with different leading industry expects! On top of that there are resources, courses, tutorials and databases galore that come free with the membership.
Merry Christmas and happy non denominational holiday period!