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Sean Penn
posted
Hi All,
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.
 
Posts: 127 | Location: LA | Registered: July 10, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Newbie
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Posts: 1868 | Location: LA,CA | Registered: May 06, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sean Penn
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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?
 
Posts: 127 | Location: LA | Registered: July 10, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Newbie
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No!

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.
 
Posts: 1868 | Location: LA,CA | Registered: May 06, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nicholas Cage
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Agree; I would take improv first. Every commercial agent I have ever met has always stressed the importance of improv from the big 4.
 
Posts: 99 | Location: LA | Registered: June 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sean Penn
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Oh okay. I will do research on the big 4. Thank you.
 
Posts: 127 | Location: LA | Registered: July 10, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Morgan Freeman
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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.
 
Posts: 231 | Location: Hollywood Hills | Registered: September 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sean Penn
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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?
 
Posts: 127 | Location: LA | Registered: July 10, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sean Penn
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Also what should come after improv?
 
Posts: 127 | Location: LA | Registered: July 10, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sean Penn
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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?
 
Posts: 127 | Location: LA | Registered: July 10, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Newbie
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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.
 
Posts: 1868 | Location: LA,CA | Registered: May 06, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jack Nicholson
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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"
 
Posts: 49 | Location: Los Angeles, CA | Registered: August 04, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Morgan Freeman
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quote:
Originally posted by lilstar:
Truthteller59 AND OTHERS:

I'm a beginner also, so when should I take technique/scene study classes (classes that will actually teach me how to act). I've read so many discussions on here trying to figure out how to approach this. Of note is the Beginner Acting Class discussion where Stumbliene suggests a traditional 2-year Meisner program if you're a beginner to actually learn HOW to act. Truth has been pretty adamant that 1 or 2 years of repetition is not always necessary.

Well, I decided that I wasn't going to throw myself into a scene study class and that I would start with a great foundation, so I enrolled in a Meisner intensive class. I'll just say this is NOT for me. I love the Meisner technique (being truthful and not doing anything unless your partner makes you do it). I think I was able to grasp the concept by the third class. But I haven't really learned anything else about acting, and I can't keep sitting in class for hours watching people do repetition over and over, it's literally driving me crazy.

Now I'm confused and don't know what my next step should be. I really want to do commercials, but I also want to do tv/film so I need to learn technique at some point so that I'm prepared when an opportunity presents itself. Just don't know if it should be sooner or later. Is doing improv first the way to go (then commercial and audition classes) or do i need to first learn technique/how to act (I guess a scene study class since the traditional Meisner program will likely not work for me)? Also know that I am NOT looking for an alternative to the traditional Meisner program because I'm trying to speed up the process, I simply am not learning/growing from the repetition exercises. Thanks for all advice!
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.
 
Posts: 231 | Location: Hollywood Hills | Registered: September 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Newbie
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You'll get the basics of improv from any beginner level at the Big 4. It's just a matter of being able to stay sharp if you choose not to climb the levels.

If your dream is to be on SNL or in an improv group, then you'd want to climb the levels.

quote:
Originally posted by lilstar:
quote:
Originally posted by TRUTHTELLER59:
No!

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.


Thanks guys!

So it's sufficient to take just a couple of classes at one of the Big 4 (and con't with MB and commercial classes)? Is it not necessary to work my way up to the advanced level at one of those 4, the level completed at one of the Big 4 is irrelevant? Thanks again!
 
Posts: 1868 | Location: LA,CA | Registered: May 06, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sean Penn
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Is Meisner a learning style you should definitely learn?
 
Posts: 127 | Location: LA | Registered: July 10, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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