So, you’ve got your head around the idea of hiring an acting coach (hooray!) because you want to improve your acting and learn some new techniques to help you succeed. You’ll be wanting to know what I, as an acting coach, can teach you. I won’t give you a run down of all the different classes I will teach you, because you can read advertising on anyone’s website. Let me tell you about one very fundamental thing that I will make sure all my students know:
This doesn’t sound like an awful lot (of course, there is more to my lessons than this one thing) but when it all boils down to it, pragmatism is one of the most important things you as an actor can learn.
I’ve trained as an actor; I’ve attended countless acting classes; I’ve read millions of books, and finally become a director and an acting coach. The biggest problem that I have spotted in all my journeys through the world of acting is a lack of pragmatism. Advice to actors is often given in a really airy fairy way, so that you cannot actually connect the training to the practise - then you are left feeling like a moron because you don’t “get it”. What you really want from acting training is advice on how to get better, not how to get lost in the ethers of feelings, creativity, emotions, and all that blah.
This pragmatic approach comes from Practical Aesthetics (which you will have realised I have a bit of a thing about, if you have read my previous blog posts) - the reason I have a thing for it is that it actually works. It is something that works all the time too, not just when the mythical muse finally deigns to strike, or when the moon is perfectly aligned to Uranus, or something equally absurd. Mark Coleman describes Practical Aesthetics as “repackaged Meisner or repackaged Stanislavski”, but whatever you want to call it, it is a set of techniques that will actually help you to achieve your goals. What more could you want than that?
So to answer the questions you may have about what I will teach you, I say I’m teaching you tools. They can be picked up and put to use immediately, and although you will have to spend a while using them before you gain complete mastery over your trade, I can promise that you WILL gain that mastery. Learning these lessons may instantly click in your head, or you may take a little longer - but the underlying basis is that acting should be simple, fun and rewarding. I will teach you to make the most of your talents and put them to the best use that you possibly can.
I teach common sense. What could be more simple than that?