Author: Jessica Mendez
Many people believe that to land a career in acting, you either have to be exceptionally beautiful, otherworldly talented, or at least born into a family of artists. And while these privileges certainly do help, there is much more to mastering the craft than that.
In reality, becoming an actor is all about pushing your boundaries and sharpening your skills..
Luckily, nowadays, you can use an abundance of sources to learn, expand, and improve your abilities. Acting workshops are the top choice for most, considering how there’s a class for almost anything you need to address. But how do you differentiate the ones that will benefit you, from those that are only going to waste your money and time? If you don’t know the answer to this question, you might want to keep reading as this article will help you find out how to pick the right acting workshop to attend.
Types of acting techniques:
The good news is, you’ll undoubtedly be able to find a class for whatever it is you want to add to your skillset. But, before we delve deeper into finding a suitable acting workshop, first, let’s look at some of the various acting techniques there are:
There are various options. Here are just a few:
Stanislavsky Method: uses an actor’s feelings and experiences to connect with the character they are portraying. The actor puts himself or herself in the mindset of the characters finding things in common to give a more accurate portrayal of the character.
The Chekhov Technique: The Checkov Technique is a psycho-social approach to acting. The Chekhov Technique focuses on transformation, working with impulse, imagination, and inner and outer movements.
Method Acting or The Stasburg Method: The Strasbourg Method techniques force actors to imagine themselves with the thoughts and emotions of their characters by drawing on personal emotions and memories.
Meisner Technique: The Meisner Technique requires the actor to focus not on themselves but entirely on the other actor as though he or she is real and only exists at the moment
Practical Aesthetics: Practical Aesthetics Acting Technique is used to highlight the experience of acting and is based not on the character but the actor. (The opposite of most of the above techniques.) What does the actor want to accomplish in this scene? What would the actor do in this situation?
Screen acting and Audition classes
One thing all actors have in common are auditions. Most of these are held by Casting Directors and we believe if you are wanting to learn the art of the audition (and you MUST) then it is best learned from a CD rather than an actor, as after all it is the CD that can be objective rather than the performer.
In audition technique classes, you will acquire skills that should help you distinguish yourself from the competition. You will find more information here in our Audition Masterclass Series.
Although the essence of acting hasn’t drastically changed over the years, the way actors audition and perform has.
Remember, acting on a stage and in front of a camera are two radically different concepts. Moreover, nowadays, self-taping is what it’s all about when it comes to auditioning. To prevent it from turning into self-sabotage, make sure to attend a self-taping class.
This is one of the most valuable skills you can have up your sleeve as an actor, as you won’t always have time to practice and improve your performance.
Singing might not be the career you’re going for but having control over your voice is essential. And voice over work is a great sway of supplementing your income.
Body and Movement classes
These classes can have many different shapes and forms, but they all come down to teaching you how to control your body and become aware of the space you take up on stage (or in front of a camera).
How do you pick the right acting workshop?
Whichever type of acting class you opt for, you likely won’t make a mistake. However, cluttering up your schedule with every workshop you stumble upon will only give you a headache.
So, let’s see how to pick the right one to avoid wasting time, $$$ and energy.
1. Identify your goals
Identifying your needs, goals, and wishes is the first thing you should do when picking a suitable acting workshop. After all, it wouldn’t make much sense to devote your time to classes that won’t benefit your career in the future.
However uncomfortable it may be, now is the time to objectively and impartially look at your work. Which aspects of it need to be improved? What is it that you are not entirely satisfied with?
2. Do Extensive Research:
You’ve concluded that you need to boost your self-taping skills. Or maybe you want to become better at US accents. Whatever the case – congratulations! Accepting your imperfections and wanting to work on them is no easy feat. Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to do a lot of research.
Luckily, this shouldn’t be too hard as you can turn to numerous sources for help. For starters, open your laptop and heat up the keyboard. Search for workshops in your proximity, read reviews, and compare the value-for-money ratios. Additionally, talk to other fellow actors. Ask them about classes they found helpful but keep in mind that this is a very personal opinion. Don’t be afraid to talk to casting directors, agents, and other industry professionals, as well. They might know a thing or two you don’t, and they’ll surely admire your wish to better yourself.
3. Find the right teacher/ mentor
Many workshops revolve around the same things. But what makes one class worth your time and the other not is the teacher. If you don’t like their energy or approach, you likely won’t benefit much from their class. The relationships between people working in this industry are the essence of the acting world. Therefore, if a teacher or mentor doesn’t inspire you, if there is no chemistry that will motivate you to push yourself – this might mean you need to keep looking.
4. Build connections and relationships
The right acting workshop shouldn’t only bring you knowledge and skills. It should also bring you many valuable connections. Whether it’s your teacher, other actors, or anyone else you meet along the way, you want to be able to build your network in the right direction.
Achieving this might be tricky given we are in the middle of a pandemic; but this is the digital age so there is no excuse in not connecting digitally. The most important thing to remember is that this industry is about relationships, so seek out online workshops that have the ability to connect digitally via Facebook or other Social media channels.
Check out The Audition Techniques online workshops where you have the ability to share in each others trials and tribulations.
Finally, never be afraid to say “this is not for me!” If a teacher is not heading in the right direction for you, don’t keep going back for something which is not working and serving you.
Remember this industry is all about connections and relationships.
Author: Jessica Mendez