SIX LESSONS LEARNED IN ACTING CLASSES THAT CAN BENEFIT YOUR ENTIRE LIFE
It should go without saying that there are many important skills that aspiring actors can learn through acting school or classes. They can help students improve their stage presence, teach industry business tips, and give students the opportunity to work with industry experts and professionals to fine-tune their acting skills – all experiences that can help them in their acting careers. However, acting classes also teach a variety of skills and traits that benefit students – from children to adults – in countless other parts of their lives.
Whether you’re center stage in front of a captive audience, or on a set with all cameras focused on you, the high pressure situations that come along with performing in front of an audience can be excellent in helping even naturally shy people overcome self-consciousness. Even auditioning in front of casting directors or practicing performance with classmates can help to build a strong sense of confidence that will carry over into your everyday life.
2. Public Speaking
Regardless of the setting, acting requires an ability to speak clearly and eloquently and to project a strong and steady voice – all while delivering convincing, persuasive and believable dialog. These skills, which are a large focal point of many acting classes, are the very same ones that are utilized in public speaking engagements, and can come in handy any time in your personal or professional life that you need to give a compelling and persuasive oral presentation.
Through performances, rehearsals and class exercises, acting requires the ability to collaborate with others and to work as a team. From learning the basics of the trade to perfecting your skills and performances, learning to act requires sharing thoughts and ideas, giving and receiving a lot of constructive feedback, and supporting your fellow actors and classmates as you work to make each other better in a safe and supportive environment. Having experience in working as a helpful member of a team can translate into success in countless other aspects of your life in addition to acting.
Actors’ bodies and faces are an extension of their acting, and must align with the story they are trying to tell and the feelings they need to convey. Because of this, they must learn to be extremely aware of every position and every movement made. This awareness of body, posture and physical presence that is taught in acting classes and increased through experience is not abandoned on the stage or left in the classroom; instead, it can become an ingrained and automatic part of how a person carries themselves, exuding grace, confidence and poise in their everyday lives.
Experience and training in acting can make you a better communicator, and a better conversationalist. For one, an actor’s training in building suspense, perfecting verbal timing, and displaying emotion through voice and facial expression can often make them great storytellers, the kind that captivate and entertain in any social setting. On the other side of the coin, an actor’s ability to read and play off the physical, verbal and emotional cues of other actors can turn them into better listeners in any conversational setting.
6. Understanding Viewpoints
In acting, a person must take on the persona and characteristics of the role they are playing. Often, the role being played is represented by feelings, viewpoints and personality traits that are quite different from the actor’s own. This means that to truly capture the essence of the character and portray the role in a believable way, the actor must place themselves in the shoes – and often inside the mind – of someone whose viewpoints may be foreign to them so that they can understand them. This is a skill that is incredibly beneficial in all aspects of life, from interpersonal relationships to business negotiations to conflict resolution of any sort.