Surprised by that headline? It’s not as novel an idea as you might think.
Acting and improv classes have a lot to offer everyone, no matter what facet of the industry you’re in. I’ve taken both acting and stand-up comedy classes, and I’ve learned tremendously. I’d even go as far as to say that acting classes could benefit people who aren’t even in the entertainment industry! How?
First let’s talk about other industry professionals who would benefit from taking acting classes. This means directors, producers, writers...even agents and managers! Just as certain actors will get day jobs working in casting offices to help round out their understanding of the industry and gain experience, the behind-the-scenes folks could also grow from getting the opportunity to step into an actor’s shoes.
These classes offer a more in-depth respect for the craft and allows for empathizing with the plight of an artist. For writers and directors, classes let you understand what you expect someone to do you for, and that can make your work better overall. You’ll understand emotions, the bravery and the work that goes into acting as well as the fear and dry mouth an actor experiences standing in front of a CD.
Once you’ve experienced it yourself, you’ll know what kind of help you’d like in various acting situations. How would you want to be directed? Would you prefer “try it a different way,” or by being given specific direction? If you’re a writer, do the lines you read in class sound natural, or are they clunky and easily choked on? All of this experience can be illuminating and make you a better, more understanding professional.
And it’s not just the behind-the-scenes industry professionals that should be taking acting classes.
Do you know how many people with stunning voices have sung for me, but performed like it was a lullaby instead of a powerhouse anthem? Singers and dancers can use an acting class to learn how to bring more passion, confidence, and presence to their craft.
Just as it’s important for an actor to take music and movement classes to better understand rhythm, timing, and cadence, singers and dancers can benefit from the introspection, emotional focus, and understanding of motivation that an acting class can provide.
Having a well-rounded assortment of artistic pursuits is important to make any artist better, and acting is another craft in which your entire body is an instrument to be trained.
Finally, and possibly the least obvious, is why acting and improv classes would benefit those not in the industry whatsoever! Taking an acting class is a surefire way to get more in touch and familiar with yourself. You become more self-aware. You gain a better understanding of motivations and desires. You become a better public speaker. If you love stories and movies and television, it’s something you would benefit from.
If you want to work on your public confidence and your ability to interact with just about anyone, you would benefit from both acting and improv classes. Thinking on your feet, responding to physical and verbal cues from others in conversation, and being able to have a better understanding of where others are coming from will make you a more empathetic person. At the very least, you’ll kill at your next cocktail party.
If it’s something you’ve always dreamed of trying, make this the year of new things!
Like this post? Check out “7 Movement Techniques All Actors Should Study”
The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.