So you’ve decided to take an acting class. I don’t blame you, acting is exciting, it looks like fun on the big screen and you’ve probably always wanted to try it. A weekly acting class is the simplest way to dip your toe in the water and find out if you’re any good at it (I know that secretly you hope you are!) - or even if you like it.
The options are often great if you live in a city, you can take private acting classes, you can find drama classes at theatres, and perhaps even professional level acting classes at film or theatre schools.
It usually means going after work, or taking up some of your weekend, but like any hobby, you get what you put it in. Plus, I guess, it’s something that can turn into more. In other words, if you do happen to be good at it, you can end up going on to act for a living.
Actor Michael Balogun was in prison when he was introduced to drama lessons. After he was released, he found himself working in the bar at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. Later, he auditioned for RADA and got in! So it does happen. You can turn acting into a living. And acting classes can certainly help that. It’s hard to get experience without spending some money on a class.
But what about if you’re already an actor? Well, I guess you don’t need the same basic acting lessons. If you’ve trained and/or worked professionally, you need a different kind of acting class, you need the type of class that assumes you have some experience and pushes you at a higher level. Sometimes these are called CPD or Continued Professional Development.
Of course, a lot of these classes can be taught by experienced professionals, and sometimes they are run by directors or casting directors. One tip with these, don’t just take the class to be with the director, if acting classes are not a casting opportunity and if you treat it like one, you’ll probably lose out, because your focus is in the right place. That would be a waste of money. And new headshots, a voice reel, or equipment for self taping might be more beneficial.
In America, acting classes are regularly attended by professionals. Even Charlize Theron is known to go to classes, despite her experience and fame. Classes aren’t intended to keep you beholden to a teach or acting coach, but to help you develop the ability to deal with whatever comes your way. In the UK, weekly acting classes are still seen as something rather remedial, for people that aren’t very good. The attitude is slightly different in London, probably because the Actors Centre is a place that encourages CPD for actors.
At ACS, we have all kinds of acting classes from weekend intensives to a full time one year acting course with spotlight graduate membership. If you’re in Scotland, and you want acting classes or courses, take a look at what we’re offering.