How to Choose a Great Acting Teacher/and avoid a Bad one

How to Choose a Great Acting Teacher/and avoid a Bad one

You may love your drama teacher or you may hate them. Your personal feelings towards them do not necessarily mean they are a good or bad teacher - but these 10 tips will help you spot if they are any good, or if you should sack them off and find a better one.

  1. Look for professionalism. It’s all very well to be running acting classes in an informal setting, but if your teacher is helping you learn acting techniques while you’re surrounded by piles of their unwashed laundry in a cramped basement, you may wish to look elsewhere.

  2. Check their history. Your teacher doesn’t have to have a string of teaching degrees, but they do need to have trained at a credible theatre institution. This doesn’t have to be a university, but an acting conservatory or a drama school qualification is a must.

  3. Ask for references. Unless your teacher is just starting out and you are literally their first student, they should be able to provide you with testimonials from previous students and people who are actively working in the business. Look for the most glowing accolades you can find (and check they weren’t all written by your teacher’s mates down the pub).

  4. Google. Search engines are your friends when it comes to looking for a good acting teacher. You can find out if they have taught before, if they are qualified - or if they are just an English graduate with delusions of grandeur.

  5. Be wary of lofty promises. It’s great if your teacher is convinced you can achieve your dreams, but look out for those who promise you the world based on very little. No acting teacher can guarantee your success in the acting world - that’s down to you (and a bit of luck).

  6. Keep an eye on the subject matter. If your teacher is more than happy to spend your lessons talking about their cat, or where you think is the best holiday destination, it’s time to get out of there. Acting classes should be a practical thing, not hours of sitting around talking.

  7. Don’t give up your life savings. Obviously you will have to pay your acting teacher, but if the sum they ask for is eye wateringly huge then be aware that it may be sensible to find someone else.

  8. Watch out for excessive email campaigns. Nothing in life is free, as we all know, and acting is no exception. If you sign up to a course and find yourself bombarded with emails trying to get you on to a more expensive course, you may wish to back away slowly (or indeed, very quickly).

  9. Maybe don’t accept online classes. The connection between student and teacher needs to be better than the fastest internet connection. There really is no substitute for face to face teaching, and most online acting classes aren’t worth the web pages they are written on.

  10. Look out for impracticality. Some acting classes may stretch you by asking you to do things you might find a bit weird, but if you are being asked to do something truly ridiculous, don’t hesitate to call your teacher out. If they cannot offer you a practical reason for why you are being asked to do it, then don’t do it.

free pdf

The 12 Obstacles

written by mark westbrook

One of the biggest obstacles to a successful acting career is the inner critic, the voice in your head, but there are many more.

In this free advice guide, Acting Coach and Performance Psychology expert Mark Westbrook outlines the most common inner obstacles to success and offers you insightful and practical tools for overcoming them.

Download Your Free Copy

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