3 Ways for Young Actors to Train

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As an acting coach and teacher, my passion lies in inspiring young actors to be the best performers they can be as they reach their full potential. Hard work, combined with talent and drive, enable actors to master their craft and find success in their acting endeavors. However, talent and passion will wear thin without proper training. As a teacher and coach I introduce my students to a myriad of exercises, games and simple techniques while empowering, encouraging, and challenging them to reach beyond their current grasp. Proper instruction and guidance from a professional is an important piece for growth. Here are several ways to train all with different benefits.

Weekly group classes. It is the consistency and repetition of ongoing work that will allow an actor to grow. Weekly classes help build a foundation that is essential for young actors as they work with others. Besides providing a fun space to make friends, group classes reinforce acting basics like listening and reacting, as well as tackling difficult material. Any time parents ask me for advice, I always advise them to start with an ongoing, age appropriate class. I like to keep my classes small to ensure personalized attention. Ask to audit a class to make sure it is the right fit for your child. Continuous classes are an investment in your child’s artistic future that will have rewarding effects in all aspects of their life.

READ: 5 Tips for Educating a Child Performer

Workshops. Whether your child attends audition workshops, musical theater bootcamps, or one-day on-camera classes, workshops provide performers with an intensive experience devoted to improving a certain area of performance. What I find most valuable about workshops is the environment pushes a performer to bring their A-game to a group of strangers. Workshops hone a specific skill usually taught by an expert in a certain field. It is a great refresher for certain areas, and an opportunity to learn about a new one. Workshops are not a substitute for ongoing training. Like spicing up your exercise routine, workshops are a good way for your child to flex certain performance muscles, but ongoing training is what will develop skill and nurture passion.

Private coaching. I spend many hours of my week coaching young actors privately. The main benefit is they have my undivided attention. One-on-one coaching offers a personalized environment in which a young performer can feel safe and free to express themselves while being propelled to reach personal heights. A private coach will be familiar with your performer and will understand their strengths and know how to improve their weaknesses. Regular individual coaching is a form of ongoing training essential to developing specific skills that might be lost in weekly group classes. I highly recommend private coaching for professional children and children who frequent auditions. It is a crucial piece for a child’s professional growth.

Training is a way to turn you child’s acting interest into a thriving passion. While each form of training has specific benefits, I find that a combination of all three is best for a young performer. The mix of different acting environments will ensure your child is a well-rounded performer with diverse skills. Talent and passion are essential elements in an actor’s life. Training is the glue that holds it all together.

Master your craft, empower yourself, and enjoy the journey.

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Denise Simon
Denise Simon is a New York-based acting coach and career consultant who has been involved in the entertainment industry for more than 30 years as an actor, teacher, director, casting director and personal talent manager.
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