Acting Classes: Do You Need Them?
Some people are simple born actors and the world is their stage, but despite what you may think, these individuals are few and far between. The reality is that the vast majority of people working in the industry have to put a lot of time and effort into perfecting their craft. And yes, we include Oscar winners in that category.
Those very same actors will tell you that, aside from finding the right acting management team, picking an acting coach or structured lessons is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make in your career. Here’s why.
You’ll unlearn bad habits
Even seasoned professional actors can have bad habits that they’ve picked up over the years, so there’s a good chance that an aspiring actor may have picked up one or two at the start of their careers.
These bad habits may be a simple result of trying too hard or perhaps following the advice of someone who may not be experienced enough to dish out tips on acting. They may even be a result of preconceived notions that you have about acting such as speaking in a loud voice or trying to use accents when you clearly can’t manage it.
Whatever the reasons or habits, an acting class will set you straight and help you unlearn those bad habits so you don’t carry them into your auditions.
And pick up some good ones
Of course, once you’ve unlearned those bad habits you’ll pick up some good ones. Quite often these are simple things that you may not have thought of without coaching. Things like creating a warm-up routine for auditions or a trick to remembering your lines or actions.
Acting classes, and the very fact that you pay for them, will also instil a sense of professionalism in your behaviour both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Many actors find that once they start lessons, they begin to take their acting careers a lot more seriously. And this slight change in attitude could be the difference between landing a role or falling at the first hurdle. Trust us, this is something that will have acting agents in Australia lining up to represent you! Everyone in this industry loves an actor with the right attitude.
Your coach will spot your strengths and weaknesses
There’s nothing quite like an objective point of view when you need someone to offer feedback on your skills. After all, your friends and family will find it impossible to be unbiased in their opinions. Thankfully, an acting coach has no qualms about hurting your feelings or even singing your praises.
It’s crucial that you get this type of professional feedback as soon as you possibly can because you certainly won’t get it from casting directors following an audition.
Once your coach spends a little time with you, they can identify your strengths and weaknesses and help you focus on the areas that you need to improve. You may even find that some of your strengths mean that you are particularly suited to a certain type of acting such as voiceover acting, something you would probably never realise without that feedback.
You’ll learn how to act with emotion
Acting with emotion is one of the single most difficult skills to master as an actor. Some people have a knack for it, like those born actors we spoke of earlier. But for the most part, actors need to work really hard at mastering this skill.
In fact, it’s one of the reasons why many of the world’s most successful actors
use method acting as a preparation technique for certain roles. They realise that it’s not enough to just act sad, troubled, lonely, or depressed. Instead they need to experience what a person in that situation is experiencing so as to nail down their character’s true feelings.
Sounds tough, right? Well, that’s because it is, and even actors who can act with emotion still struggle at times to get it right. So at the very least, you’re going to need a little help with getting the basics down so you can play more than one role. Otherwise you’re destined to be typecast for the rest of your career.
You’ll gain confidence
While acting habits and skills are the most obvious benefits to joining an acting class, there’s one other pretty significant advantage that could have the most impact on your career. We are, of course, talking about the boost your self confidence will get through acting classes.
We’ve seen a huge number of actors starting out their careers brimful of confidence only to have it shattered by a difficult audition. Tough auditions happen all the time and failing to land a role is part and parcel of acting. However, your confidence doesn’t need to take such a hit and we’d hate to see you give up just because of one bad audition.
This is where acting classes can help a great deal. As we mentioned earlier, your acting coach will spot your strengths and weaknesses. And believe it or not, talking about your weaknesses and trying to improve them in a classroom environment can be a huge confidence booster particularly if you can see the improvement in your skills for yourself.
So to answer the question, do you need acting classes? We’d say that no, you don’t necessarily need them, but the benefits of spending at least a few months working on your skills are just too hard to ignore. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but just know that the vast majority of casting directors will expect the actors they choose for a production to have at least some professional training.
If you’re an actor looking for representation in the industry or you need a little advice on acting lessons in Australia, then get in touch with us today and we’ll be more than happy to help you out. You can even go right ahead and apply to join the agency right now if you think you’ve got what it takes. Just remember what we said about acting classes—they really are that important.