Some skills that actors need include scene study, improvisation and cold reading. Above all, actors need to be able to interpret a script perceptively and adapt to changes within it.
Scene study is one of the most crucial skills for an actor to develop. Good scene study is the ability to read a scene and comprehend all of its components, including the setting, the people and objects in and around the scene, the time of day, the character's feelings and objectives, and the best way to accomplish those objectives. Many drama schools offer scene study courses to help actors improve their skills. An acting coach can also help develop scene study technique.
Improvisation is another of the most useful skills for actors. Improvisation includes the ability to perform lines in different styles, to add unscripted lines into a performance, and to respond to other actors' unscripted lines. Actors can improve their improvisation skills through taking improv classes. Practicing outside of class with friends and family can also help improve improvisation skills.
Cold reading is the ability to perform a new, unrehearsed script on the spot. This is a vital skill for actors because it is often required during callback auditions. Developing cold reading skills can also help actors build confidence when attending auditions.