There are a lot of perks to being a successful actor, such as:
- The recognition you get from both audience members and your fellow actors;
- The ability to travel to perform a role; or
- The chance to portray a variety of different characters, each with their unique complexities and quirks.
However, as with any skill, becoming a good actor takes time, skill, patience, and perseverance. Luckily, one very simple way to get better at acting is to take acting lessons.
This article outlines where you can study acting in Edinburgh, and what to think about before you book on your next course.
Why Study Acting?
While you might think of Hollywood stars when you first think about acting, you don’t need to have dreams of becoming the next Meryl Streep or Chris Hemsworth to study acting.
Acting classes can be incredibly useful if you’re looking to work within the industry more generally. So, if you’d like to be a stage manager, playwright, voice actor, or even a talent agent, it can help to have some acting skills under your belt, as this means you’ll improve your acting abilities or better understand how to guide or direct the actors you’re working with.
However, you don’t have to aspire to work in film, TV, or the stage to benefit from studying acting. It may surprise you, but having some acting skills under your belt can help in lots of different areas of life, with some examples being:
- Giving a speech to a large group of people with confidence;
- Being a better comedian by developing your improv skills;
- Being more assertive in the workplace or everyday situations; and
- Building your confidence more generally.
There are lots of drama courses out there that acknowledge the benefits of developing acting skills within a corporate setting.
For example, Edinburgh Acting School offers private and corporate lessons, which can be tailored depending on your specific goals. So, whether you think acting lessons would improve team dynamics at work, or you need help with your public speaking, there are courses out there that can help.
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Why Take Acting Classes In Edinburgh?
Although you can find acting courses in pretty much any major city within the UK, there is another reason to take acting classes London specifically (aside from the range of courses on offer).
That reason is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Every year for three weeks in August, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival plays hosts to a huge array of performances, including:
- Plays and physical theatre;
- Comedy and cabaret;
- Spoken word and musicals; and
- Dance and circus, to name a few.
Thousands of different performances take place over the three weeks. Some performances are by famous acts. For example, the Fringe is well known for its comedy, with most major comedians performing at the Fringe, from Stephen Fry to Phil Wang. However, there are plenty of performances from actors, comics, or other performers looking for their break.
As an acting student, the Fringe gives you thousands of opportunities to experience different performances, learn from those events, and also potentially take part in shows as well. This makes it a wonderfully useful resource to make use of if you are interested in pursuing acting or performance more generally, either as a career or as a hobby.
How Do I Know If An Acting Class Is Right For Me?
When looking for an acting class in Edinburgh, there are a few things that are worth thinking about as you go about your search:
- How much courses cost;
- Whether the acting course focusses on a specific subject matter;
- What your existing acting ability level is; and
- How much time you have to commit to acting classes.
Let’s look at some of these factors in more detail.
The Type Of Acting Course
One of the first things you should think about when looking for a drama course is the type you want to take. This is because there are a lot of different areas to study when it comes to acting, so ideally you should pick a course that focusses on the topics you’d like to learn more about.
For example, you can find dedicated improvisation classes, classes that concentrate solely on the audition process, as well as general acting classes that focus on topics such as acting techniques (method, Meisner etc).
Although in a perfect world money would be no object, the truth is that you shouldn’t book onto a drama course if you can’t afford the fees.
Thankfully, Edinburgh has lots of different drama schools and acting programmes available, so you should be able to find a course that suits your budget, whether that means finding a private tutor, going to drop-in acting classes, or taking a long-term acting course.
Take Advantage Of Formal Qualifications
If you are committed to learning more about acting, whether that means developing your understanding of character acting and conveying emotion, learning about the ins and outs of the industry, or what you can do to improve your chances of landing a role, there are formal drama and acting qualifications out there that you can take.
For example, one way you can study towards a formal qualification in acting in Edinburgh is to take a BA in acting. Edinburgh Napier University, for example, offers the following BA (Hons) courses:
- Acting and English
- Acting for Stage and Screen
Both courses are full-time and they should equip you with skills and opportunities such as:
- Landing on your feet post-degree by having a “career action plan, a showreel and significant acting experience”;
- Having the chance to present a show yourself at the Fringe Festival; and
- Working on both the stage as well as the screen.
Of course, you might not be able to commit to full-time study when it comes to developing your talents as an actor.
If that’s the case, fear not, as there are other courses and qualifications available in drama schools in Edinburgh that do not take as long to study for as a university degree.
For example, Acting Out Drama School offers an acting diploma course as well as a directing and devising diploma course. The acting diploma course is a part-time offering, primarily completed through distance study, which aims to prepare its participants for working in the “professional world”. The course can last for up to one year. A similar offering is also available for those that undertake the directing diploma.
Or Take An Acting Course At Your Own Pace
If you want to become a better actor, don’t feel as though you need to have a formal qualification under your belt.
Although formal acting qualifications, such as those listed above, can really help provide you with the foundations of acting, from both a practical and theoretical perspective, if you don’t have the time to commit to a full acting qualification, you can still improve by going to acting classes and learning as much about the craft as possible.
Whether that means:
- Checking out the Fringe Festival each year to see different types of improv, plays, or physical theatre;
- Going to different acting classes to develop specific skills (such as cold reading, audition technique, or on-camera work); or
- Finding out more about different acting methods, such as method acting, the Meisner technique, or the Stanislavsky method,
You’ll be giving yourself the best opportunity to improve as an actor.
Equally, if there’s a specific area of acting that you’d like help with, or just want to have intensive classes that focus on the areas you’re most interested in, then you could consider hiring a private acting tutor.
A private acting tutor, such as one available on Superprof, offers a way to learn more about acting in a way that fits your schedule. If you find that you can’t commit to full-time study, want more practice outside of your drama classes, or just want to take acting classes occasionally, a private acting tutor can help you whenever you need it.
Superprof has many tutors in Edinburgh that can help with either in-person or online-only lessons. What’s more, private tuition doesn’t necessarily mean one-on-one lessons only. If you have a group of people that you’d like to work with, for example by reading through a group scene together, then acting tutors can also work with groups as well.
So if you need some extra help preparing for a particular scene, want to improve your script analysis, or just want to spend some extra time perfecting your abilities, personalised tutoring could be the way to go.
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