March 5, 2016 Amber Kenny

Why Act?

Benefits of Acting and the Art of Doing

One of the amazing things that you I have discovered in my journey as a performer and teacher is that I know for certain that the craft of acting gives you real life skills that you will use everyday personally and professionally for the rest of your life.

Learning the craft of improvisation, you are inevitability learning to trust your own intuition and challenge your imagination. Acting is about doing – and by doing so you are giving your imagination and emotional mind a platform to be expressed, which is vital for all of our future career paths and personal development.

Theatre training changes the threshold for nervousness in everyday life by expanding vocabulary and personal experience

  1. Public Speaking is a skill that starts when you start school. From show and tell to story telling and to the debate team. Public speaking promotes confidence, sense of self and increases a positive perception about body language. Public speaking skills are strengthened and developed over time, Improvisation plays an important part in this area as these skills are nurtured and carried into the learning years.
  1. Communication is an art form in the acting world. Your ability to be open and present, and most importantly to be able to listen wholeheartedly takes a lot of concentration. Being able to engage with fellow students and take risks is key to good communication. Students need to be able to listen and take direction whether it is in the classroom or on the stage from a director or in later years, your boss. It is also key to learning lines, to following stage directions and especially to following your actor buddy standing in front of you.
  1. Adaptability is paramount and learning to be okay when not knowing what’s going to happen next. Or the uncertainty when things don’t go the way we think they should. We have all been there, right?! Being adaptable allows us to “think outside the box” and we do that by encouraging each student to not get fixated or stuck on an idea if things aren’t going the way we would like. We practice this with improvisation and different scenarios. With this technique in mind it leads to us exploring and having a present conversation, which combines all the creative plots and characters to play in a dynamic way without feeling hindered.
  1. Confidence is a big part of what we focus on, as this can sometimes be a delicate balance. I think confidence stems from a few places, which is inner strength and knowledge. Knowing who you are is a life long discovery, as things are often trial and error and our confidence grows as we go. Building a presence about yourself comes from many places; our parents, peers, teachers, the history of the world and whether it be books, music, art, religion or real life personal experiences. 
  1. Teamwork – No matter how small or large the group, teamwork is definitely a challenge. Acting is a team sport where collaboration, team building and trust is developed. 
  1. Friendships – Within the class acting can help create meaningful and lasting friendships. Putting a group of unknown people in situations that make them feel vulnerable can be a great test for any person. Having to work together as a team and figure it out often leads to strong bonds. These friendships are not only created in the acting room but also carried into the outside world with family and friends.
  1. Stage Craft – Learning lines can be daunting. Everyone finds their own way of how best to learn lines, whether its by rote or by feeling each line emotionally, there is no right or wrong. We learn to find the beats (meaning the turning points and dynamics of the scene and or the character) or we gather clues from the stage directions to help find meaning in the lines. Once the lines are learnt the fun really begins!!!
  1. Stage presence – Cadence and energy in the room or on the stage. Everyone has it. It’s just a matter of finding it. Stage presence is what makes you unique and once you discover it the skies the limit.
  1. Character Building – Figuring out the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY AND HOW. What is your character’s motivation? It’s like being a detective solving a crime. What were you doing the second before you walked out on stage…?
  1. Stage Directions – Being able to find the map within the script and then working out the clues are often hidden in the stage directions. Every one moves for a reason whether it be up or down stage or a speedy entrance. It’s where your character reveals its’ inner world.
  1. Putting it All Together – Is where all your hard work will present itself. There is nothing quite like being on stage feeling confident in your characters feelings and enjoying the space and letting the story unfold