To be a working actor and get called back for that dream part you need to know certain fundamental acting skills down cold. You need to acquire the skills and confidence expected by today’s top casting directors. But what skills do you need to know and what approach do you need to take? This can be one of the most complicated and frustrating processes an actor can try to figure out on his own. There are as many acting philosophies and techniques as there are actors but not all of them get the result you want – that call back and those 4 magic words “You got the part!”, That’s why many actors choose an acting coach and an acting school that know how to help you achieve success.
Choosing An Acting Coach? Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Part 2
How can you choose the best acting coach and acting school to help you with this important process? Follow these tips to avoid the frustration and losses you could experience if you don’t choose the right acting coach or school for you. Below are the next 5 questions you should ask when looking for an acting coach.
- Is the atmosphere of the class serious and stiff or is it upbeat and creative?You need to look for a competitive yet creative atmosphere that fosters a “spirit of play” and encouragement, which allows an actor to grow and try new things. What you should look for is a coach and an environment where the students leave the session invigorated and wanting more. That is a sure sign of a winning coach.
- Does the school/coach employ a great deal of improvisation exercises in its scene study program or does it teach method acting?Method acting is an old school method which reactivates your past painful experiences and takes you out of the present. This is a complicated and confusing process, which results in the student feeling upset and not knowing how to get himself out of it.Improvisation focuses on acting in the present through interactive supervised and guided practical exercises. This work hugely boosts confidence and greatly improves your skills. This results in an enormous feeling of accomplishment and increased natural acting ability while keeping you out of your head, working rather than thinking.
Why is Improvisation so important?
- It sharpens your skills and expands you into new areas of work.
- It brings out abilities that you never knew you had.
- It brings new understanding as to how to bring yourself to the work.
- It teaches you to create characters without any uncertainty and gives you the ability to do so instantly – without hesitation.
- It gives you emotional agility, the ability to switch directions immediately, take direction without any hesitation or introversion at auditions or on the set
- It gives you the ability to stay extroverted and eliminates any nerves or stage fright.
Look for schools/coaches that employ this type of improv abundantly and employ it well. It is the formula for success.
- Do top industry producers, actors, and casting directors sit in on the classes and offer guidance to actors?If they do, ask them for a list of names. Feedback from top industry people, working actors and casting directors is priceless. Not only will they give you insight into what it takes to land a part, you may even get hot leads on what parts they are casting right now. Take advantage of this opportunity with any school that can provide this added benefit.
- Do they have success stories or testimonials from past students that have become working actors?Ask them for a list of success stories so you can read them and find out about their students’ road to success. Any school that is willing to share their alumni stories with you is worth checking out as long as all of these other 10 points are in place.
- What percentage of their graduates gets work or are working actors?If they can’t tell you this or if their percentage is not high, they are not focused enough on the final outcome of any acting class – which is to help you book work.
A coach needs to give you enough personalized attention to prepare you for auditions and give you the ins and outs of getting work in this business. If their percentage of working actors is not high, they do not give enough personal attention and do not focus on the most important things you need to learn to succeed.
You want an acting coach/school that cares about your success. Many schools just don’t give enough personal attention and do not focus on the right things so you get work as an actor. Make sure the coach you select takes the time to get to know you, your goals, your strengths, and any areas you may wish to address. Follow these 10 tips to ensure you get what you pay for! If not, you could be headed for a lot of wasted time, frustration and disappointment.
I wish you all the joy there is in creating a long and lasting career.
Any Questions, Call (310) 274-1085
By Lynette McNeill
© 2016 Lynette McNeill Studios