From the time I left home at 18 years old, I’ve pursued an acting career. I did the university thing, I did the performing arts school thing, I even did the Second City thing. As time goes by, I’ve realized that one’s training is really never over. In most other careers, as my voice teacher pointed out, it is part of your job – part of your paid job – to put in research and development. For a performer, this would include both ongoing training, as well as seeing shows, going to concerts, watching films. Unfortunately, this generally comes out of our own under-paid pockets, so we are not always able or willing to put in as much time as might be necessary to stay on top of our game.
This past year I have made a consistant effort to stay on top of taking classes. As an actor trained primarily in theatre, I’ve found it invaluable to put myself in front of a camera as much as I possibly can. Auditioning helps, but it’s nice to have a place where you can actually be an actor in front of a camera, not just a “late twenties/ early thirties woman/young mom/ girl-next-door-type/ attractive but real/not-a-model” delivering two lines or ad-libbing with your fake children over a box of fake crackers/cereal/potato chips.
I am lucky to have found a teacher I love at a studio I can afford where I can continue to play week after week. The class invites all levels, and as an actor with extensive training, I appreciate my instructors ability to see each student as individual, and to give appropriate and specific feed back. There are many classes you can take in this city, and many are great, but as the years progress I find I don’t want to be force-fed technical dogma and I don’t really want to spend all my time being told what my “hit” is or what it’s not, or that I need to define myself in some specific way that involves not being myself. I am also not interested in a group therapy session. Marketing and self awareness is important in this business, but when it comes down to it, I feel that an acting class should be primarily about acting. That’s why I decided to be an actor in the first place – to act (what a concept). The great thing is, while enjoying every minute of my weekly class – I truly feel myself improving. I can’t control how much I work in this industry, but at least I can know that the work I am doing is good work.
If you want more info on this studio – check out http://www.bryantandtuckstudios.com/
I take classes with Peter.