I have decided to take acting classes and have gathered which classes seem interesting and what I'd like to take. My only question is What would be the most beneficial to take first? Commercials, Scene Study, or something else?
I would say I am a beginner actor and due to a past experience unrelated to performing I lost my confidence. I love acting and singing and I am looking to get back out there. I am 20 so would taking a youth class be good at all?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Improv would give me a confidence boost wouldn't it. I plan on taking MB improv. Which is free. Should I complete a few weeks of that before going on to the next class?
You should do at least one or two classes from one of the Big 4-UCB, Second City, IO, Groundlings.
Monkey Butler is what you do AFTER and hopefully for the rest of your career as it's great on going improv training.
Commercial Casting directors go as far as saying must have improv training from the Big 4.
Even both commercial and theatrical agents say they like to see the Big 4 improv schools in your training.
Agree; I would take improv first. Every commercial agent I have ever met has always stressed the importance of improv from the big 4.
Oh okay. I will do research on the big 4. Thank you.
Right. I even have a degree from a top 25 drama school where improv was a huge part of the training and my commercial agent says he can get me in more rooms with Big 4 on my resume even though it feels like a waste of time and money.
I'm thinking I'll go with Second City or IO. They both are in my budget. What are there differences? And does anyone know if I can audit a class?
Also what should come after improv?
Or realistically, the first agent you'll get is a commercial agent. In addition to great headshots and improv classes, the commercial agents will want you to have a commercial class on your resume.
Do all the big 4 have a good standing in LA? I hear groundlings and UCB are the best for LA and casting directors? And are the other two better for chicago market?
There wouldn't be a Big 4 if they ALL weren't great.
Regardless of whom you'll choose you'll learn the rules of improv and how to get out of your head and not giving a crap about yourself.
If in doubt, go see the student shows from ALL of the schools.
Like I said earlier, if you want to also do commercials, improv and a commercial class. That's all you need at minimum for a commercial agent. The majority of commercial auditions you do will be more about your personality than technique. Whereas film/tv ideally is about BOTH technique and personality.
Meisner teaches you the most important ingredients of acting with another actor, LISTENING and reacting.
After you finish your Meisner intensive, you can apply what you learned to any kind of scene study class. If you want Meisner applied to scenes and film there's RJ Adams, Jeremiah Comey, Steve Eastin, David Kagen to name a few.
Meisner, however, isn't the best for auditioning for script analysis isn't normally a big deal to that technique.
So eventually you'll want to get into a great auditioning class so you can learn how to break down a script for when you DON'T have another actor to work with.
If I had it to do over again I would have taken Improv first.....why?
- Because the normal progression of things is you get a commercial agent before a theatrical agent (theatricals agents are harder to come by)
- Improv training is something all want to see
- Then I found out that the "big 4" thing was in fact real...and by the time I had figured that out I had worked my way up to a Masters class in improve that was NOT in the Big 4...had to start all over again and went to Second City.
- Your resume has to have certain things on it to get you through the door. I have training from names in improve, commercial, cold reading/audition technique, and scene study....it takes time. Start with improv
"Its the struggle that makes it great"
I am a Meisnerite and I know where you're coming from with that. It takes a lot of patience to get through the first stages of the first year but you probably would benefit from it more than you realize now if you stuck with it. To me it's like Barre exercises in ballet. It doesn't feel like you're learning a lot about dance, but it's SLOWLY laying the groundwork for what comes later. It takes awhile to make the kind of reactive acting it emphasizes second nature. And Truth is wrong about text analysis not being important in Meisner. It's very important. You just don't get to it until the second year.
I guess it's easier for me to say that than somebody just doing it in a studio because I was also studying voice, speech, dialects, movement/physical theatre, combat, Spolin/improv and pretty much all the rest of Stanislavski and later Chekhov along with it so that cut down on what could have been pretty monotonous. The funny thing is that the more that I act, the less I need to use all that other stuff.
However, if you really can't take it, just audit a bunch of other technique and scene study classes to see if any turn you on. It's not like there is a shortage of other perfectly legitimate acting techniques being taught in LA. Just watch out for the Charlatans. There is no shortage of those either. Some of them CLAIM to teach Meisner, but didn't even get invited into the second year of the training themselves. Much less were they authorized to teach it by somebody that knew what the hell he was doing.
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