Acting Education: What Major Types of Acting Classes Are There?
All professional and successful actors today were once beginners. In an industry where competition is always tight, they also had to take the necessary steps to give themselves an edge over other aspiring actors vying for the same role. While seeking help from talent agencies only opens you to a wide range of opportunities, enrolling in acting classes allows you to master acting as an art form and offers you valuable industry knowledge you would otherwise not know about.
As an aspiring actor, you don’t just go to an acting school and say you want to take an acting class. There are different types of acting classes to choose from. Before you even consider enrolling, you have to familiarize each one of them to make sure you’re honing the right skill you need improvement in.
Here are the major types of acting classes you can choose from.
Here Are the Major Types of Acting Classes to Know About
Acting is not just looking pretty on-screen or onstage and pretending to be someone else. Acting is a performance art, and just like any art (e.g., painting, writing, singing), techniques are involved to perfect its execution. As an actor, it is important to be educated in the craft as many directors prefer actors equipped with skill and genuineness, without the need to be spoon-fed. Being a good actor means putting on a performance that is believable and convincing. Many aspiring actors think it’s easy to achieve such a performance, but enrolling in this class will teach you the several intricacies and layers of acting. You’ll be humbled to find out that you’re guilty of the many signs of superficial acting and of underestimating the job.
There are lots of different acting techniques out there that professional actors have been using to win the audience’s heart, including the Meisner technique, Strasberg’s method, the Stanislavsky method, the Chekhov technique, Adler’s method, Chubbuck’s technique, and several others.
As the name suggests, auditioning classes highlight the audition process. Thus, it makes a perfect choice for those individuals who aren’t knowledgeable about what happens in the audition room. At first, you’d think this class is unnecessary. After all, if you’re a good actor with good technique, surely you don’t need any additional help when it comes to auditions? Unfortunately, the reality is that auditions are in many ways like any other job interview. While you may be good at the actual job you’re applying for, you might not be as gifted when it comes to convincing your potential employer that you’re the best fit for the job. Audition techniques classes are really helpful for actors who wish to improve their success rate in auditions.
This type of class focuses on teaching actors script analysis, on the dos and don’ts in an audition, and on nailing a performance.
Scene study class
A scene study class is essentially a step further from the acting technique class. It brings together all the knowledge and techniques you learned to perform a scene in front of an instructor, who would then provide you with feedback as to how you can improve. As such, a scene study class lets you practice techniques that they are already aware of.
Students explore all sorts of scenes used on television, film, and theater. The teacher provides the material while the students read, rehearse, and act it out. This allows you to experience working with different types of scripts and characters, from period pieces to contemporary plays; teaches you to get used to acting alongside a partner or a group; and further enhances your skill of taking direction.
Cold reading class
Also called sight reading in the United Kingdom, a cold reading class focuses on this certain part of the audition process. Cold reading is the act of reading a script with minimal to no prior preparation. This is usually done during auditions, where actors rely on reading skills and acting ability to bring an otherwise unseen script excerpt to life as they read through it in front of a casting panel. How do you give cold readings your best shot when you absolutely have no idea what the story is about? How are you supposed to know what emotions the director or writer intends for the most important lines? Actors who enroll in this class will be taught how to read an excerpt right, how to ask the right questions, and how to be in character.
This class is very useful for actors who frequently go out on commercials because the script in those types of commercials are only given 15 minutes of preparation time.
Viola Spolin invented theatrical improvisation. To improvise is to perform spontaneously or to create with what surrounds you in the moment. Essentially, it’s the art of being unprepared. Improvisation is a very highly valuable skill that will make any actor significantly better, whether you do drama or comedy, whether you do just commercials or film and theater. Improv is not only about comedy timing and being funny; it’s also about getting out of your head and being able to think on your feet, fast.
Commercial auditions will often ask you to improvise. In fact, in every commercial auditioning you’re going into, you can safely assume that some improvisation will be required, which is why most acting schools with commercial acting training classes either already have improv in them or have a separate class that’s recommended for actors to take.
By enrolling in any of these acting classes, you not only improve your chances of landing your dream role, you’ll also give yourself the chance to explore your acting abilities. Keep in mind that completing one class won’t immediately guarantee you a spot in every project. Hard work, professionalism, grit, and humility will slowly get you there. Still, education is a crucial.Acting Education: What Major Types of Acting Classes Are There? by Holly Bissonnette