ACTING SCHOOLS: Side Effects of Acting

Becoming the next Meryl Streep with Academy Awards and industry accolades, a star on your dressing room and financial success are huge potential benefits of acting school. Maybe acting schools should come with a warning: BEWARE OF SIDE EFFECTS.

Beyond performing, students in acting classes will learn to stay focused, to concentrate and being in the present moment is critical. You have to BE on stage and respond to the other actors not just recite your lines. Instructors plan daily workloads that challenge a student’s concentration.

Learning improvisation will also help an actor not only on stage but being able to think on your feet in general life. Improvisation is the art of being in the moment and reacting to unrehearsed and unscripted scenarios. There are whole schools based solely on improvisational acting. Many famous comedic actors got their start in improv acting troupes. Regardless of whether or not your focus is on improv it is a good skill to have in your arsenal to use when needed.

Actors usually need to move in the application of their art form. Acting is a physical art and in acting school students become comfortable with their bodies. Applying their imagination, actors learn to use their bodies to become any character in physical form. As a side benefit, all humanity benefits when we are comfortable in our own skin.

Speaking in front of a crowd is another side benefit. Learning how to enunciate and use proper diction and the ability to project is normal fare for acting schools.

Monologues are typical activities for an actor to prepare. A monologue is a longer speech performed by one actor. Usually monologues are on a “deep” subject, delivered at an important plot point in a story. Working on monologues, actors learn memorization and how to explore and create a character with depth both emotionally and physically.

Side effects of attending acting school do exist but these side effects don’t need a warning label.

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