Who Is An Acting Coach?
An acting coach is a person who trains, gives advice and mentor an aspiring actor to help them improve their acting and dramatic performances and to also prepare them for auditions or roles.
The coach guides the actor through the process of learning how to act and help them to develop confidence in these new skills. They will use their experience to inspire, practice and rehearse with the actor to polish their skills and guide them towards success in Nollywood and the entertainment industry.
An acting coach who also acts as a mentor to one or more actors should be able to know their trainees' unique selling points, skills, and talents and help bring these features to the surface. They can connect with the aspiring actors on an emotional level and bring out the best side of their skills.
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Acting or vocal coaches may be hired by a film company and casting directors to work on training some actors to work on specific acting challenges. Even an experienced actor may find themselves in need of an acting coach to help reach the depth of a complex character. They are also booked privately by those who want a tutor with things like acting for film, acting techniques, monologues, voice-overs, script analysis, stage, and musical theatre, accents, and speech.
Do you have your human whisperer (someone who has the ability of understanding, connecting with, and influencing others)? If your answer is No, all hope is not lost. Here are some details on how to go out finding an acting coach who will offer you that special guidance in achieving your dreams.
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How Can My Chances Of Success Be Increased Through The Help Of An Acting Coach?
Three basic things will increase your chances of success in Nollywood and the entertainment industry; consistency - getting better at what you do, making work for yourself, and the right networking. While some actors try to do some or all of these three themselves, an acting coach is an individual who can help you take away the burden of trying to work on everything yourself.
1. A Drama Teacher Will Help You Learn How To Act Well
Primarily, an acting coach is trained to help you improve your acting skills and technique in becoming a better actor. Acting classes, drama classes, workshops or hiring an acting coach are great ways of investing your time and resources in achieving your Nollywood and media dream.
Competence is achieved with repeated practice and consistency with the things that work instead of just being adventurous for the sake of it. An acting coach will recognize the things you re good at (unique selling points) and help you to build on them.
2. An Acting Teacher Will Show You The Route To Opportunities
Secondarily, The truth is that you might have to do some free acting jobs to showcase your talents which might bring you into the limelight. Whether or not it is true that, it was said that Nollywood actress Mercy Johnson was paid little or no money for her first movie which launched her into Stardom. The point being is that if you have been sitting around for some time with no jobs coming your way, then surely any opportunity is worth a try, right? An acting coach can guide you into making such a decision if t is worth the investment in time.
You have to come in and be that character when you walk into the room. That's what one of my first acting teachers taught me. You know, don't go in there being Jennifer and then expect to flip and change, because they are not going to have that imagination - Jennifer Lopez.
3. An Acting Coach Will Help Make Notable Connection In The Industry
Lastly, making important actor/industry connections is very significant to any aspiring drama professional. This does not now mean you should start going around the industry stalking people up and down to get their attention. Some Acting coaches are already respected individuals in the industry who have been hired by a film house or privately and thus their recommendation is usually taken seriously with the contacts they have made.
An Acting Teacher Will Help You To Make Important Connection In Nollywood Or The Entertainment Industry (Source: Unsplash)
How To Start Finding An Acting Coach?
Where To Start Looking For Acting Coaches?
I am sure the first thing that comes to mind as to where is by searching the web. Fortunately for you, the search online has been made easier through the increase in the number of networking sites for professionals. You can decide to look through networking platforms like LinkedIn, Superprof NG, Facebook or a compilation list done by people in the industry.
There are a variety of acting coaches at Superprof. If you start your search at superprof.ng you will find over 2000 qualified and experienced acting tutors available in almost all the states in Nigeria.
You may, through research find out that the best acting instructors and acting schools in Nigeria are in Cities like Lagos, Enugu, Jos, Asaba, and Calabar. According to Pulse.ng, some of the best acting schools in Nigeria are in these cities.
You must review and update all your business and social accounts before reaching out to the acting coaches. This is probably one of the first things they will look into during the discussion period. All information must be up to date and consistent with all of your other active profiles. If you have set up some accounts you are no longer using or maintaining, be sure to close it down or remove any links it has to your active networking accounts.
Of course, you will certainly base your search most likely on price, location, experience, teaching technique (classical acting, the Chekhov acting technique, method acting, Meisner acting technique, practical aesthetics acting technique, the Stanislavski philosophy, etc), but bear in mind that other peoples testimonials is a great place to begin.
There is absolutely no point in spending your resources on an individual you cannot get along with. So make sure you pay close attention to things like chemistry, attraction and teaching techniques when choosing your acting coach.
Why All These Efforts If Someone Else Has Already Done It For You?
Wondering why bother searching the internet looking for the most suitable acting coach when someone has probably already done the work for you? Well, you should make the extra effort to do your research so you don't miss out on any potentially great matches.
The truth is that some of these lists/compilations seen on the internet might be completely outdated or not up to date. So make sure to always check the date the article was posted because some of the coaches on the list might have retired, deceased, not taking new clients or there may be very talented coaches who were not on board as at the time it was published.
Some of the lists only have a means of contacting the acting coach while others might include the price of the acting classes.
There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not understand it.” - Charles F. Kettering
Utilize All The Attainable Resources
If you are lucky to have family or friends in the film industry, then you might already know some coaches or get recommendations to pursue.
Getting feedback from prior clients is a very good way of getting information on an acting coach. Reading other people's comments will give you an idea of what to expect and what it is like to be their student.
Also, do not be scared to get in touch with some of your old or new drama teachers maybe like from secondary school to find out if they know of any good coach or agency. A word of mouth recommendation might just happen from a friend of a friend who knows a friend. Just keep asking people around you.
Or Simply Let Nature Run Its Course
It is possible to find a coach without stressing or doing much. While some people might call it faith, bravery or even lazy - whatever you choose to call it, this is usually applicable to people who are not in a rush.
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.
For this approach to work, the aspiring actor must be working on their skills, keeping their website, blog or social/business network accounts up to date, posting adverts for acting coaches or auditions, taking an acting course, discussing with people about their dreams/career, etc... Your career/dream will come to a standstill if you do not do any of these, with the hope that miraculously a coach will appear at your doorstep.
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.
In a nutshell, If you are an older trainee who wants to launch their career now or the type that can not sit around waiting for opportunities, then it is advised you put all efforts into finding a good acting class or coach, and you may just be on your way to a successful acting career in Nollywood or the entertainment industry.
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