How to learn acting?
One of the most humbling experiences you can have is stepping out onto the stage in front of an audience; you come to realise how much power words can have. Some people will be too frightened to say anything, and this is totally acceptable because of how much weight is currently sat just behind your tongue.
But, the ones that can and will change themselves to put on a show, say the hard truths, use the words which will invigorate an audience into applause, those are the people that can learn the craft. The adrenaline you feel from being scared backstage and before the first line should drive you into making the right choices on stage as your senses are heightened. That’s the killer instinct you should feel, that’s the thing that should tell you, “Yes, I want to learn how to do this properly”. "Now what kind of training do I need to become an actor?".
But, how do you go about learning the form properly? What are the steps an originally talented actor can take in order to progress past the first stage? (pun intended)
Well, here are some of the elements you should consider when stepping out into this brave new world:
This is an important step for new and senior actors, it refreshes and teaches new methods that needed to be topped up by professional once or twice a week. Working on the different techniques, the instructor will guide you through this process without the need for you turmoiling over the intricacies of each book.
Acting at home/in a once-a-week class can take you a long way from that first experience on stage, but to become genuinely professional and artistic, you should consider drama school.
The audition process is rigorous and will select only the brightest potential from that years round (which shouldn’t be a problem for someone like yourself). The small class sizes mean that the schools garner much reputation within the industry and with you being there, open-up doors into the industry which would have otherwise been firmly shut. The drama schools offer full-time vocational training across multiple performance-based disciplines and work towards moulding you into an actor that can take the stage by storm, no matter what character you’re given.
As a safe-place for experimentation and trailing different methods, the school is a place where artists are made. Alongside like-minded individuals, you undoubtedly create connections to other people which might be vital for your career as a performer.
For 3 to 4 years you are in this space, going over the harder details week in and week out without respite. The experience can be gruelling, but instil in you a sense of hardiness that a professional actor needs to have in order to survive this drama-world. Hoping that you go on and represent the school in a positive manner, the schools will hold nothing back from their training, be brutal at times and smash creative hearts together in an unruly mess, that will immortalise itself in your work after you leave.
The amdram community has been, and will always be, the first port of call for any potential actor. Experience is the best teacher out there – In life, all you’ve ever learnt is from yourself experiencing something, or stealing someone else’s good idea. If you’re asking people “How to best learn acting skills?” then you should begin here.
The community is often kind and forgiving of those little mistakes that will eventually be eradicated from your performance, and the overall experience of being on stage should give you the confidence to breaking down those walls you keep up. This will allow the audience to see your best side and progress you from being told what the acting tips for beginners might be by the company’s nicer members.
To build upon that, acting is a meticulous craft. People have been droning on about it for well over 200 years and the fact remains, the masters had some interesting ideas as to how you can approach it. Understanding each-and-every fragment without professional training will be difficult, but the fact remains that you should be prepared to research into the artform in order for you to express yourself creatively. Great works by Michael Chekhov, Konstantin Stanislavski and Meisner will give you some insight into what it means to act.
Reading in general is vital to understanding the legacy, as well as the text. Knowledge of an incredible array of plays will allow you to read in between the lines of what the playwrights were trying to express, or you might become so at one with the form that you can see something in a way that nobody else has and utilising it in rehearsal can make you into something special.
Acting is an incredibly tricky thing to learn as it requires a special type of person to properly understand it. Someone that can control their adrenaline at will and focus their energies into the imaginative space that formulates on stage.
All this is done with just a few words. Will you be the one to speak?