Undertaking your first an acting class could be your first step towards an exciting career on the stage, but it can also be incredibly daunting. It’s here you’ll learn where to stand, how to improvise, and when to express genuine emotion during a performance, which will be integral for your life as an actor.
If you want to follow in the footsteps of some of theatrical greats like Bernadette Peters or Hugh Jackman, stage fight is something you’ll need to overcome… But don’t worry, even the greatest actors have had to deal with it at some point, so you aren’t on your own. To help ease your nerves, here are five ways to prepare for your first acting class.
- Familiarise Yourself with Relaxation Exercises
It’s common for actors to feel nervous or anxious ahead of a performance. For this reason, most drama classes will teach students various warm-up exercises that involve different breathing techniques, which can help you to control their anxiety.
It’s therefore wise to familiarise yourself with the different exercises at home, which will make you feel less awkward when performing them during your first acting class. Some of these exercises may be physical in nature and involve stretching or moving within a space and are similar to a dance warm ups. Needless to say, that you should wear comfortable clothing that you can move easily in.
- Get Comfortable with an Audience
Many people assume actors are filled with confidence from the day they were born, but that’s not always the case. Many great actors are notoriously shy and needed to undertake significant training to overcome this issue.
One technique worth adopting is to perform a monologue aloud in front of a relative or friend before a class, which could make you feel comfortable when performing in front of your fellow budding thespians. They will be the friendliest audience you can imagine and a great way for you to ease into public performance.
- Be Prepared to Express Your Emotions
The best actors understand they need to draw on their personal experiences or feelings during a performance, and you might be asked to do the same during an acting class. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate genuine anger or sadness when performing an intense role, as it will prove you can embody a character and can put yourself in someone else’s shoes. At first, you may feel vulnerable, but ultimately your performances will be much more authentic if you can tap into your own raw emotion. Keep in mind, your classmates are there to support you, so you are usually in a safe place to explore these emotions and nobody will judge you.
- Distract Your Mind
You’re bound to feel a little nervous on the day of your first acting class. Rather than running the worst-case scenario over in your mind, try to distract yourself. For example, you could read a play, watch a video on YouTube, enjoy a spot of Unibet casino betting, or play a game on your smartphone. It will ensure you arrive at an acting class feeling both calm and relaxed.
- Learn More About Improvisation
Improvisation is a well-used technique in drama, which you will likely need to master during an acting course. To ensure you’re not a deer in the headlights when the time comes for you to prove your improvisation skills, you should familiarise yourself with the acting method.
For example, there are four rules of improv:
- Always say “yes” (agree with other characters and the world created)
- Say “Yes and…” (agree and say something of your own)
- Make statements (don’t ask questions that can put pressure on your fellow actors)
- There are no mistakes (Go with the flow and avoid explanation)
Good luck for your first class and we wish you all the best with your exploration of theatre!