Acting school is usually an added advantage requirement for the job of an aspiring actor. Yes, acting is a job.
While the life of an actor may seem all glamourous from the outside by looking at their social media pages or even watching some of their interviews, the truth is they have worked extra hard and are continuously committed to their training. You might find it hard to believe that some actors would rather go home to rest after a long day of filming or training instead of partying. However, most of them are paid to attend specific events.
How Can I Get Into Acting?
You have a better chance of getting into the acting industry when you know someone in the business or spotted by an agency or you win a talent hunt like Big Dreams Nigeria. Having said that, if you are chosen for a role in a movie or commercial, you will want to learn more about your profession and try to better your skills to open up more opportunities in the future.
“Your regrets aren't what you did, but what you didn't do. So I take every opportunity” ~Cameron Diaz
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Your training is key to ensure your growth regardless of where you see yourself in the future. Additionally, remember that when you become famous, your experiences, achievements and even your personal life (that you would rather keep private) will be made public for the whole world to see. This is a very good reason to keep working on your acting qualifications and skills.
Types Of Acting Classes
There are various types of acting classes and workshops available, just like there are different roles an actor can act.
I love filmmaking, but I decided to go to drama school because I thought that when I'm 60 and looking back on my life, if acting hadn't been a part of it, I would hate myself. Lupita Nyong
Drama school is a great choice for starting your career in television and the media as it offers a 4-year training at the university level or 2 -3 years of training at an acting academy. It is a full-time training where the fundamentals of the industry are being taught. Acting lessons, however, a good option for those who can't commit to learning full time at a school probably because they can't afford it or are working or they have a family to care for.
Too Old For Acting Classes?
No one is ever too late to take up an acting class. There are no age restrictions in the entertainment industry. As you know, there are different roles to be played on the screen, so all age groups are necessary when it comes to making a realistic movie. Recall also that there are other careers in the film industry like a scriptwriter, voice-over, etc.
Acting classes are open to all regardless of your age, gender, qualification or profession. If you are an older trainee who wants to launch their career now then put all the efforts into finding a good acting class to see if you are caught out for the profession.
In terms of payment, it is more flexible, in the sense that you pay for just the class you are interested in and not like being committed to payments for a whole 4 years at the university level.
If you are serious about making it in the industry, you should also consider hiring a private coach to teach you on a one on one basis. An acting coach is a person who will train, give advice and mentor you to help improve your acting and dramatic performances and to also prepare you for auditions or roles. They will also suggest ways that you can improve and take your acting passion further.
Which Location Will Aid My Acting Career?
You usually find acting classes in big cities like Lagos, Enugu, Jos, Asaba, and Calabar. This is because these states have bigger acting opportunities. Many aspiring actors are found in these cites especially in Lagos which is like the capital of the entertainment industry. In Lagos, there are always talent hunt shows and auditions taking place on a regular.
If you cant attend classes in Lagos or any of these big cities listed for reasons best known to you, there is no harm in taking lessons in your area or wherever is closest to you.
Check out Superprof.ng for acting tutors near you.
What Do I Need To Know About Acting Classes?
As earlier stated, there are various acting classes other than attending at the university level or an academy to learn how to act.
Before you take upon any acting class, it is advised you familiarize yourself and do some sort of research before deciding which best suits your personal goals.
Heres a look at the different acting classes I have listed so that you don't end up wasting your time and resources on a class that isn't suitable for you.
This technique is one of the most common among aspiring and successful actors in the Nigerian entertainment industry. If attending an acting academy or studying acting at the university level is not part of your plans, then this type of class is a very good way to learn all about the industry and the methodology on learning how to act. Classes will differ in style depending on the type of acting technique (Classical Acting, The Chekhov Acting Technique, Method Acting, Meisner Acting Technique, Practical Aesthetics Acting Technique) the tutor decides to use. Do your research and enrol for the class that best suits you.
This is equally an important class to attend. The lessons focus more on auditions and how to do exceptionally well during the process. Auditioning can make one tense and this is because you are surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Once you have secured the role, you are confident that you're doing something right. You will learn how to take instruction in an audition and generally how to impress the judging panel.
This is a form of theatre, often comedy, in which most of what is performed is unplanned or unscripted. Improvisation will teach you on how to act on the spot and be spontaneous. Those you see presenting on live Tv or stage in front of a large crowd or a group of people may have to improvise from time to time.
If appearing on television or an online commercial video, then you should place a high priority on this. Improvisation classes will be an added advantage as this will be required for most commercial auditions. Enrolling for commercial classes will teach you how to audition for a commercial, how to interpret the script, how to act on set. Gabriel Afolayan talks with pulse.ng on commercial acting.
This type of training is designed for aspiring actors who want to appear in classical performances like The Gods are not to blame, Queen Moremi, Romeo and Juliet. You will be taught how to act like those ancient characters, how to read and analyse literature. Voice and movement techniques will make up part of this course.
Voice over is a piece of narration in a film or broadcast not accompanied by an image of the actor. It is slightly different from vocal lessons because it focuses on acting by voice only. These classes are only necessary for those wishing to pursue this as a career.
This is acting using your body and movement to communicate with their audience. In this class, you will be taught how to use movement to portray the character, their personality, attitude, health, and age and so on.
How To Select An Acting Coach?
Selecting an acting coach is a very important decision for an aspiring actor who wants to make it in the film industry.
I had an acting coach while I was doing the show and every week I could see my work improving. I really like working on the show because I was learning new things everyday - Dannii Minogue
As such, choosing the right individual to coach you is very important to avoid switching between coaches at all times. If your instincts do not go with the individual or probably there is no chemistry then the person is most likely not the right coach for you.
How To Recognise The Right Coach?
It is not easy to explain, but you will certainly know when you have found the perfect coach as you will instantly feel the chemistry and you both can connect.
Choose a coach that you feel comfortable with their style of acting and the techniques they make use of. Do not be sentimental because they probably mentored one of your role models in the acting industry. That said, the relationship you have with your coach should remain professional so that both of you can stay focused on the outlined goals with no distractions or sentiments getting in the way.
Please note that there are many other factors to consider when looking for an acting coach; there is the question of price, your budget, their qualifications, experiences, how respected they are in the industry and recommendations from other people. But all these should come second when finding the most suitable coach for you.
In the course of searching for the right acting coach, you might come across a person who seems perfect but out of your planned budget. It is advised not to rule them out immediately. Try to explore options like asking if there is an available instalment payment plan or see if a relative can sponsor your training. The acting coach could be your key to becoming successful in Nollywood or the entertainment industry and when that happens, none of those secondary factors will matter.
Advantages Of Researching Acting Coaches.
The importance of doing your research on some acting coaches cannot be overemphasized. The internet makes research easier for people nowadays. One way to be sure you are on the way to making the right choice is to do your homework on two or more coaches. Truthfully, big cities like Lagos, Enugu, Jos, Asaba, and Calabar are usually where more of the successful coaches and agents in the industry are situated. That does not mean you will not find good coaches in the areas near you. Check out Superprof.ng for acting coaches near you.
Remember, that going for an audition for a place in their care will give you a chance to see how they work and decide if you would make a good team or not. Be prepared to maximise time with your potential coach by asking questions, if you are not asked to read a script.
Lastly, I will suggest you attend more than one face to face meeting or audition with several coaches before choosing the coach most suited for you. Superprof platform provides you with the opportunity to do this, as most tutors offer their first lesson free. Always consider you might have to put aside the issue of the cost of hiring one before making a decision. Sometimes in life, the cheapest isn't always the best.
How Do I Find An Acting Coach?
The easiest way to find an acting coach nowadays is to go online to search for the right person. There will, of course, be a base to your search which could be your location, experience, financial budget, recommendations and so on.
Many websites like Superprof.ng have done some research for you and given you a list of the best tutors near you according to your budget. You can also run your searches and create your lists too but using the information provided by these websites will aid your search.
I had acting teachers, and one of the things that was encouraged was to keep it fresh, to be spontaneous. That's the magic of film often - Matt Dillon
Getting feedbacks and reading other people's comments is a very good way of getting information on a coach and his or her teaching methodology. This will give you an idea of what to expect from the coach.
Contradicting what has been said earlier, some aspiring actors wait for coaches to come to them. In the meantime, this will allow the actor to do a comprehensive search so that when the coach comes, the actor would know if he or she is suitable for the job. Being confident is very important if you are taking this approach. However, an older aspiring actor who wants to launch their career now might not have the time to sit around and wait for opportunities.
It is important to note that you are the beginner and aspiring actor while they are the qualified ones and they deserve every respect for their experiences and achievements. So be careful about taking your time and waiting for the right coach to find you. No coach will want a tutee who does not take to corrections and feel they know it all.
What is the Cost of Acting Classes?
A Superstar Lifestyle
Paying for an acting class may seem like a big expense but not only are they important for aspiring actors, they are small compared to what others might do in becoming famous.
Some people will relocate alone or with their entire family to places like Lagos state in Nigeria to increase their chances of finding roles and becoming successful in Nollywood or the entertainment industry. Now, imagine how much people like these spend on their careers. There are a lot of costs involved in just relocating alone. Still, many have reaped the rewards and that is why some people keep taking this bold step.
The good thing is that by the time you start making your millions of naira and are travelling the world, you will look back and not have any regrets of all you had to go through to get to where you are today.
Training And Education
Going back to universities that offer a 4-year course in theatre arts, you should expect to pay more than ₦ 85,000 per semester (and there are two semesters in an academic year). However, some drama academy offers a year of tuition for ₦ 150,000 more or less depending on the course you are enrolling in.
One very well known acting school in Nigeria is Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA). Notable figures like Abiodun Kassim, Omoye ‘Brownie’ Uzamere, Ayobami Ajike, and Orji Ibe attended the school.
Acting classes, on the other hand, are quite difficult to put a price on. Prices for private coaches vary depending on their experience, reviews and feedbacks, the city where they are situated and so on. Some coaches in Lagos State might be at liberty to charge far more than those working in smaller towns or cities. Prices are rarely disclosed when you are searching for a private acting coach online, This is to protect you as much as themselves, as they don’t want to give a price that scares people off when in fact they can be flexible. However, if you search Superprof NG's platform, you will see a wide selection of acting coaches in Nigeria with a price range that can suit your desired budget.
Therefore, the base of your search on finding the best coach for you should be in terms of the chemistry, rather than focusing on the cost.
Other Expenses Involved In Starting Your Acting Career.
Minus coaching fees, there are other things that you are expected to add to your list of expenses when training to become an actor. Headshots (8×10 publicity photos) are a requirement for the entertainment industry and are somewhat costly. The headshot also needs to be done by a professional.
You might also want to sign yourself online with some casting websites and audition agencies, especially if you do not personally have anyone representing you. Proper research must be done before signing up with a casting site because you may need to pay an agency fee.
Attending workshops from time to time, though not compulsory, will help polish your skills.
Finally, the cost of living (food, rent, etc) cannot be overemphasized, no matter the profession you find yourself. The difference here is that some of these aspiring actors aren't working professionals and might have to be involved in a part-time job to sustain themselves while applying for auditions or roles.
Lastly, am sure you know that appearance is key in the industry. Makeup, hairdressing, personal trainers, gym membership, clothes and accessories, and other costs will no doubt come into play.
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