When you’re pursuing any career, you train and study hard so you know how to do virtually anything in your specialty. You hear so many daring stories of famous actors packing their belongings into one bag and jumping on a bus to a city far away. But the likes of Jim Carrey and Tom Cruise never had acting classes.
We’ll get straight into this debating topic by saying that there is no right or wrong answer. Everyone has different circumstances, and while one person wants to go to classes but can’t afford it, someone else attends and doesn’t get much from it.
Why You Don’t Need Classes
I love reading about people who aspired to be something, and did – overcoming struggles and hurdles throughout their entire journey.
There are so many resources readily available these days, with the likes of acting books, YouTube tutorials and social media so you can connect with professionals all around the world, that you’d be crazy not to utilise these. The main reason people don’t take acting classes is because of their price. Yes, they’re very pricey and especially if you’re putting all of your eggs into one basket, there’s no way of funding yourself.
Being an actor is hard, both in self-motivation and talent. You’re up against millions of people in the world, but don’t let that be a negative, because it shows that acting is still in demand.
Let’s say you go to acting school. You spend 50 hours a week (or more!) training and studying your craft, constantly being scrutinised for what you’re doing wrong. You leave with excellent grades, memories and a never-ending list of acting techniques. But once you’re out there in the big world, nobody knows who you are. You’re left to fend for yourself and find jobs in a new world you know nothing about.
Don’t go to an unknown acting school, because they won’t have as many connections with agents and directors as a more prestigious one. Always have a clear plan of your future in your head and thoroughly research how acting classes will help you become an actor. Just going to school to boost your profile won’t do much, and if you don’t make use of your teachers’ advice, you’re wasting a big opportunity.
You don’t need acting classes if you use them just as a token to get famous, because they simply don’t work like that. If you study an English degree, nobody knows who you are just because you have a certificate. People want to see what you’re capable of, not what exams you can pass.
Why You Do Need Classes
You’re serious about your acting dream and are prepared to do whatever it takes to make it as an actor. If this is you, then classes would be hugely beneficial.
You learn to respond to other people and communicate with other actors better, and as acting isn’t just about you, it’s significant that you can work with others with no trouble.
If you avoid eye contact with people and close yourself off when there’s a room full of people talking with each other, classes will definitely help you to become more confident with yourself. An actor has to be willing to take on characters that are out of their comfort zone. You’ll be doing that all the time if you choose to learn more about your craft.
If you can afford a prestigious school, you won’t regret it, because they have connections with casting directors, so when you leave, you aren’t left stranded with no networking system. Schools work as a stepping stone for directors to find new clients.
It’s mentally tough to have someone you don’t know tell you what to do and criticise when you do something wrong, but the whole point of having a teacher, is so that you can improve and you will improve if you have classes.
It may seem like a slightly confusing blog, where we’re saying on one hand, take classes but then on the other, don’t take them. But there are pros and cons on both sides, and you have to succumb to the advice that you’re giving. You don’t want to be like the people who take classes, but then never do anything with it, because that’s a waste of time and money.
It doesn’t mean you’re more serious about acting if you take classes than those who aren’t, because you can learn how to become a better actor outside of classes also. Weigh up your pros and cons to find the right answer for you.