1. Acting Schools in UK and US
Acting schools could either be a great investment or a bad one. It all comes down to those teachers who train you into a better thespian. As the history shows, there are talented teachers who every actor would give up anything to train with, but then there are also hacks who only do it for the money.
You need to be careful when choosing a place to train, if this is the path you’ve decided to take.
Now, when it comes to acting schools and their classes, UK and US offer very different options. Let’s start with the Brits.
As we have established in the earlier articles, British market places actors with degrees from reputable drama schools a lot higher than the Americans. Students are often encouraged to get a degree before they attempt to get work as actors.
Because of this, there seems to be a lack of great acting teachers in private schools. While there are some very smart and talented tutors in drama schools, not everybody wants to sign on for 3-4 years of training just because of one teacher.
Acting industry in the US, being the born entrepreneurs that they are, have started exploring the field of private acting schools very early on. The Actor’s Studio was one of the first famous schools where legends like Brando and Newman have trained.
To this day, New York City and Los Angeles hold titles for the highest number of acting teachers that train actors privately, in their own schools. However, if you’re looking for a place to be taught in UK, London still has more than enough acting classes to offer (so does Manchester and Birmingham).
So let’s take a look at what acting schools’ training actually provides actors with.
2. What You Get
Private acting schools do not have the right to give out any form of certification or higher education degree. The aim of all these classes is to train actors to be good at what they do, period.
There’s a huge variety of different acting classes that a person can take, depending on their current needs. Here’s a short list of them:
- On-going acting technique classes
- Classes on how to audition
- Acting for the camera
- Voice and speech classes
- Body and movement classes
- Commercial acting classes
- Improvisation classes
- Comedy classes
The list goes on and on. Whatever you think that you need to attend to in your performance, you will find a class for that. For a more in-depth list of different types of acting classes, see this article.
3. How Does This Work
The way this system works is easy, really. Pay attention.
Normally, an actor who hasn’t attended a drama school training will start with a regular on-going acting class. These types of classes have the biggest variety because of the individual methods every teacher applies to their training. It starts with different techniques focused on Method, Meisner, Adler, Hagen, etc. and ends… it never does.
Your goal with an on-going class is to do your research and find the method and the teacher who you think fits your needs. Then, audit the class if possible and/or audition for it. Once you’re accepted and your check didn’t bounce — you’re on your journey to becoming a better actor.
Depending on your financial situation and time constraints, you might take another class at the same time (they all run on different days and times). For example, it could be either improv class or commercial class. A lot of budding actors start out in commercials before anything else. But you can choose which fits you best.
Continue working hard in your classes, never miss any of them. Going to a well-known teacher benefits you in two ways: you get great training and you can also raise your chances of getting an audition because a casting director has recognized a name of an amazing teacher on your acting CV. This type of thing carries a lot of weight in the acting industry.