INVESTIGATE: Tips for Getting Started With Acting

When new actors initially come to interview with me for workshop placement, the first thing I ask them is, “Why are you here?”  What is the reason you want to study acting?  Is it?

  1. An investigation (of the possibilities of a career, hobby or a self-growth experience)?
  2. A hobby?
  3. A career in which you are ready to dedicate yourself?
  4. To improve your craft and grow as an actor?

These are important questions for you to ponder.  Most people say I am going to be an actor without taking the time to understand all that it entails:  time, money, dedication, energy, life-style changes, challenges, etc.   Do you want to be an actor so that you can appear in commercials, television or in the movies, or do you just love the craft of acting?  Do you even understand what the craft is?  Why do you want to be an actor?  It is vital to know your intentions as you are about to embark on this journey.  Look at what you really want and the approach that works best for you.   Once you get clear on your goals, then there is less of a possibility of being disappointed, overwhelmed or frustrated in your pursuit.

I believe it all must start with an Investigation.  For me, an investigation is a limited amount of time (between three months and a year) spent doing professional training and educating yourself in the ways of the craft and entertainment business in order to make a decision on what YOU want. Your goal for the investigation is to make this decision.   It is a very important time.  Now, depending on time and money, you can jump into the investigation with both feet or casually travel through this phase.  You can take two classes a week, gets lots of information, read, audit classes, study plays and movies, etc., or just take one class.   It is important to take at least one professional class to even call this an investigation.  (In Chapter Four, I will give my suggestions about what workshops I suggest and how to choose them).  I usually tell people that the more you can do to educate yourself during this phase, the surer you can be at the end of it on how you want to proceed (read more).

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