Most local youth theater companies offer a variety of programs, from week-long summer camp workshops to flashy main-stage musicals, and many young actors and parents gravitate right to those huge productions with the recognizable name: Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Legally Blonde. But have you ever even read the description for the Beginner Improv Class or the Character Development Workshop? Those small classes may seem like a waste of time, but they are often the best thing an actor can do to succeed in theater. Here’s why…
Knowing Your Director
Taking a more personalized class can not only help you get to know your director, but also help your director get to know you. I know what you may be thinking: “Why does it matter if they know me? They will see that I’m talented in the audition and that’s all that matters, right?” Wrong. Most directors would rather cast actors that they know on a more personal level. They like to work with people that they can trust and have already bonded with. It makes the whole process of putting on a show easier for everyone involved. And why should you get to know them? Different directors have different preferences. They focus on different acting techniques, and they teach in different ways. The quicker you can figure out what is most important to your director, the quicker you can show them that you are capable of what they are looking for.
Honing Your Skills
Yeah, I know. You can be a better actor by performing in the big shows. But, trust me, those big productions with 60+ actors and most of them in the ensemble are nothing like being a class of less than 10 people and getting direct feedback from the director every single class. It’s easy to get lost on a huge stage. The director might never speak to you at all, depending on what part you have. In a class, the director has a period of time devoted to tutoring you in one specific aspect of theater. And the skills you gain WILL show in your audition. Directors can always pick out the actors that have been trained in a small class setting.
Maybe you’re already super confident and don’t need any help with this. But many actors aren’t. In fact, even actors that seem like they are completely sure of their decisions often doubt themselves more than they would like to admit, and that’s completely natural. Of course, there IS a way to overcome that doubt in the back of your mind. Specialized classes are a great way for young actors to discover their strengths and learn how to move past their weaknesses in a stress-free environment. In large productions, if actors get noticed at all, they are usually being given a whole pile of notes with a very small amount of time to work through their mistakes. Big musicals are fast-paced and stressful and it can be hard for actors to learn how to get to their full potential this way. Classes are a great way to discover what works and what doesn’t in a more relaxed and nurturing setting.
Showing Your Commitment
The more classes you take, the more a director will see how committed you are to theater. Classes are what separates trained, professional actors from kids with a hobby. If theater is just a hobby for you, no worries! You will still benefit from classes and productions too! But if you believe that theater is a large part of your life and you want a director to see how much performing means to you, the best thing you can do is be able to tell that director that you took the next step to becoming a serious actor, and I promise that director will notice you more at the end of the audition.
If you have never considered taking a theater class and have no idea where to begin, don’t worry! Kidz Konnection offers a variety of classes for a variety of ages! We have everything from Friday Night Live Kidz! to Advanced Character Development. Don’t hesitate to visit the classes page of our website and sign up for something that fits your needs!