Acting seems like it should be easy. You show up to rehearsal, memorize your lines, and say them when prompted, right? This can be fine for a community theatre project or your friend’s YouTube video, but if you want to make a career out of your craft, you should definitely take some acting classes! But with so many classes to choose from, how can you tell what’s the best fit for you? Read on to learn more about how to jumpstart your career and learn something along the way!
Generally, there are three main places to get an education in acting.
- Community Acting Classes
The first place you should look if you are uncertain about acting classes is your local theatre. Many theatres offer classes that last from 4-8 weeks on basic acting techniques and strategies. This can be a perfect place to learn some strategies to help memorization, work with a scene partner, or learn some of the jargon and lingo you might hear on set or backstage. Generally, applying is as easy as signing up online, and you’ll rarely need to audition. Even if you decide acting is not for you, you’ll be sure to make friends for a lifetime!
- Acting Conservatories
Acting conservatories are specialized schools that focus entirely on teaching acting. Schools like the Stella Adler School of Acting or the Boston Conservatory run 1 to 2 year programs designed to be a crash course in acting techniques such as the Miesner or Grotowski method. You’ll work on your voice and movement in addition to character and script work and receive hands-on instruction from trained actors. Acting conservatories are usually focused on stage acting, so if you want to be on camera, make sure to check if that is part of the curriculum. While cheaper than a university, these programs can be costly. They’re also time consuming and require your dedicated attention. But there’s no better way to dive right into your acting career!
- University programs
If you are really sure that acting is for you, consider looking into a Bachelors or Masters degree in Drama or Acting! Most universities offer longer 2 to 4 year long programs that will expose you to the broadest spectrum of acting training possible. Interested in Japanese Noh Theatre? What about the acting methods found in Africa? Universities will have courses in these more obscure art forms! There will also be a strong alumni network and career services to help you once you’re done with school. This comes with a cost however. Colleges and universities are notoriously expensive, and you may have to take out loans to help pay for school. But if you are serious about acting, the training you receive will be indispensable.
Not every famous actor has had professional training. Harrison Ford was a carpenter before making his break in Star Wars! But having a foundation in traditional acting training can give you a leg up in your next audition. Check out ClaimFame’s huge database of casting calls and auditions to get started on your acting journey today!