7 Reasons Why Everyone Should Take an Acting Class
The actor is trained to embody any person experiencing any emotion at the drop of a hat. There are many different techniques available for actors to study to accomplish mastery of the performing arts, but there are some basic principles that are essential for all actors to know. These principles, including listening, mindfulness, and vulnerability, among others, are not only helpful to the performing artist, but to any human being.
Everyone can benefit from the training an actor receives. If you have ever considered taking an acting class before, here are ten reasons why you should go for it.
Listening is the cornerstone of all good communication. Truly listening is so much more than waiting for cues to respond. It’s an active mode of being that requires the immersion of the whole person and the setting aside of self to really hear what the person speaking is actually saying. Practicing genuine listening will open up pathways of communication in your life that may have been completely non-existent before. This will improve all of your conversations and relationships, both on and off the stage.
Becoming Comfortable With Discomfort
One of the certainties of being human—next to death and taxes—is the assurance that you will find yourself in uncomfortable situations very probably on a daily basis. If we don’t learn to become comfortable with the uncomfortable, we will exist in a constant state of conflict and anxiety. Studying acting will most assuredly make you uncomfortable at times. Even the most secure person will quake at being asked to express something they may be insecure about in front of a room full of strangers. The funny thing is, the more you do it, the easier it will become, until you hardly notice the discomfort at all. You will have grown beyond your comfort zone immeasurably and it will feel wonderful.
Finding yourself capable of things you never thought you could do will unavoidably make your self-confidence grow. You will be bolder and more self-assured as you navigate life, better able to express yourself truly and ask for the things you need.
Though body language is a very important aspect of communication, words are the primary vehicle by which we express our thoughts and feelings to one another. Therefore, the majority of the time, in order to tell a story, actors must speak. They must speak large amounts of dialogue over a length of time in order to convey a story. This means rote memorization on the part of the actor. Lots and lots of memorization. Your acting coach will have techniques and training to help make memorization easier for you, and being able to commit many things to memory quickly will only serve you well in other parts of your life.
There is no such thing as a wrong emotion. Emotions don’t have truth values. Every emotion is real, every emotion is valid. In a world where we are trained from infancy to hide, be ashamed of, or fabricate our feelings, being freed to explore every possible combination of human emotion is incredible. It will open things in you that may have been blocked since childhood and can lead the way to some healthy healing and acceptance of the self.
Staying Calm Under Pressure
All eyes are on you. You are literally standing under a spotlight. Not only that, but you must say, as if for the first time, many, many words you have managed to stuff inside your brain. What if you choke? Surely you will panic and freeze at the most pivotal moment? Actually, you won’t. Receiving training as an actor will give you a safe place to become comfortable with being the center of attention. You will even learn to forget you have an audience at all. You will be perfectly calm and relaxed while accomplishing the task at hand, even under extreme pressure. In important matters of business or in conflict resolution in your personal life, this skill in invaluable.
At its core, acting is fundamentally about telling the truth. It’s about diligently seeking out and mercilessly exposing what tries to remain hidden. Through this process of learning to tell the truth from moment to moment, you will begin forming a habit of honesty that will shine through you even when you’re not performing.