People come to acting courses for a diverse range of reasons. Maybe just dipping their toe in the water, looking to gain confidence, reignite an old childhood passion, or perhaps to experience the type of training that professional actors get, to see if it’s something they could do.
The best acting classes should include a little of everything for the beginner, before becoming much more specific as they advance. Part-time classes will often focus on scene work. Full time acting courses can deliver the wide range of professional training that help one become a professional actor. These classes might include scene study, monologue work, voice, movement, stage combat, and a host of other professional skills that an actor might require in their career. Whatever will allow us to sustain an acting career.
Acting courses or classes will help you to explore your imagination. But to be a good actor, you must also understand the logical cause and effect flow of human psychology. They will teach you to get to know scripts and scene, but they will also allow you to discover the terrifying joy of improvisation.
In acting classes, you’ll get to explore words and how they change their meaning depending upon what is happening in the scene. You’ll look at films, theatre and television differently, if you study how story works, because you’ll see the ebbing waves of the story structure in each and every scene.
But the best acting courses - they don’t just teach about acting. They teach us something else too. Something about confidence and bravery - something about fear and self-criticism, something about being alive in the moment.
The best acting classes us to step beyond ourselves. They teach us to go beyond what we think or thought we could do. They offer hope of something more. Something different. Something we thought was dead in us, or something we always hoped we could be.
I always say that although you arrive in acting class to ‘become someone else’- you leave as someone else.
To You, The Best
Mark Westbrook is the Course Leader of the Awesome Diploma in Stage and Screen Acting at Acting Coach Scotland