A new guard of films shot in Scotland has arisen. Out with the old (Chariots of Fire, Rob Roy, Braveheart and Trainspotting), in with the new: Fantastic Beasts, Outlander, Fast and Furious 8, Skyfall and lest we forget Happy Potter (all of them). In the space of the last decade, a multitude of blockbuster productions have featured beautiful, gloomy and gobsmacking footage captured all over the region.
Local authorities have been increasingly welcoming to film industry professionals. The simplified process for registering to film around the city and its vicinity has made Hollywood producers and national filmmaking companies take notice. It seems Glasgow has gained more ground than Edinburgh in the race for entertainment industry credit. The Fringe put Scotland on the map for theatre, now feature films are doing the same with the Western Scottish capital.
Also an increasingly popular location for film and television, Birmingham offers acting classes for those based in England.
What Sets Glasgow Apart for Aspiring Actors?
First of all the local acting talent is beyond brilliant! Members of the Glaswegian thespian crowd include James McAvoy, Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire), David O’Hara, Dayton Callie from Sons of Anarchy. Many other British talents have Glaswegian roots like Kiera Knightly. Always up for a good laugh, the Scots have birthed illustrious comedians like Robbie Coltrane and Billy Connolly.
Drama Schools for a Graduate Degree
The educational options are diverse and simply outstanding in their own way. The variety of drama schools in the city offers a wide range of acting training and ranks amongst in the United Kingdom’s list of drama institutions, up there with drama classes in London.
For young aspiring actors looking for serious training in film or screen acting look no further than Glasgow's illustrious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Drama. The beginner’s course will only set you back £304, thank you Scottish higher education pricing. Dating back to 1847, RCS offers the leading drama curriculum for Scotland. Current patron Prince Charles has brought a new breath through his contribution and support to the school’s infrastructure and courses. Alumni include Robert Carlyle, Billy Boyd and Angela Lonsdale.
Glasgow Academy Musical Theatre Arts (GAMTA) provides top-notch musical theatre training. It is famously known for producing triple-threat performers who master singing, dancing and of course acting. The BA experience involves at least 35 hours of weekly training so you’ll have plenty on your plate to hone all necessary performing skills. They are the chiefs the art of telling a story with high entertainment value, just book a ticket for their stellar annual showcase and you will see!
Glasgow Acting Academy for Young Performers caters to all ages and offers weekly three-hour classes through an auditioning process for registration. As different acting techniques are taught here, you are sure to find one to follow and hone your acting skills. You will also learn to connect personal skills to both stage and screen acting. Performance and musical theatre modules offer opportunities to gain performance experience. If you are looking to occupy your summer holidays, why not sign up for their intensive course in the form of a five-day rotation from 10 am to 4 pm.
If you are on a tight budget and paying for a theatre arts school is next to impossible, why not try for free audition-based acting classes? The Scottish Youth Theatre has a program to make acting accessible through a year-long course for young aspiring thespians ages 16 to 25 years old. Auditions are held all over Scotland for those wanting to pursue acting and the creative industries as a career.
Check out some of UK's best acting classes here.
Learn Acting as a Hobby in Glasgow
Perhaps you are looking to take up acting classes simply for pleasure and a weekly creativity outlet. You will find there are numerous part-time learning options out there to keep you busy in the evening classes and weekend short courses in and around Glasgow.
Acting Coach Scotland (ACS) provides programs from beginner to confirmed star quality acting. You will begin by learning basic acting techniques, learn how to analyse a scene, get brainy with line memorisation and learn the secrets to an enthralling performance. Their weekly classes welcome all levels while intensive weekend training workshops add extra help to those wishing to embark on a new career path.
Nearby Strathclyde University also has a specific evening course once a week dedicated to adult actors. The syllabus includes the basics like an overview of Sanford Meisner and screen performance guidance.
The Tron Theatre provides adult classes introducing basic drama skills all the way to script analysis and writing workshops. The courses run biannually and cost £90 per term.
What about night school? Citizens Theatre offers introductory workshops all the way to advanced levels of acting. The classes give a comprehensive overview of past and currents works from the company’s productions. Each course completion is celebrated with a performance. Courses range from £85 to £110.
The UK Theatre School offers five to eight hours per week of drama courses. Acceptance is exclusively based on an audition process. Even though the school notes that there are no prerequisites, you will be expected to work hard and demonstrate commitment. £90-152 monthly fee.
Get Sharp with an Acting Coach
For more specific help and guidance, look to specialised acting coaches for improv techniques, auditioning or voice management for example.
Writer, director and acting coach Mark Westbrook is based and works in Glasgow. With experience all over the UK and in America, his rich and exhaustive approach to acting and have made him a sought-after tutor. Follow through on your dream and benefit from his lifetime stock of acting wisdom.
An acting coach can work on finely tuning your rendition of an audition monologue. Booking a private lesson with one prior to the big day can only improve your confidence to get up in front of the casting agents and directors.
Antonia Doggett, for example, provides guidance to prospective students ahead of drama school examinations. Because a drama tutor will know the auditioning process inside out, she or he will be the best person to turn to if you are having doubts on how to handle this critical exercise for actors and actresses.
And of course, with Superprof it's not hard to find acting classes near you.
Going Beyond your Acting Class
One of the biggest challenges for an actor is staying relevant amidst rapidly evolving industry dynamics. Harnessing drama skills is not much help unless you carry a rich drama culture. We are glad to say you’re in luck with Glasgow’s large choice of multifaceted theatre venues!
Head to Citizens Theatre in Gorbals area for quality productions staged by up and coming or confirmed directors. Central to the drama scene in West Scotland, it has seen the likes of Rupert Everett, Pierce Brosnan, Alan Rickman and Gary Oldman.
Looking for something for a wider generalist audience? Glasgow City Council-owned King’s Theatre hosts mainly family oriented or popular plays and musicals from the West End and Broadway-like Dirty Dancing and The Full Monty.
If you fancy a bit of high culture in a historical setting, the Theatre Royal is your destination. Dating back to 1867 is known for Scottish Opera and Ballet productions, like Madame Butterfly and Sleeping Beauty.
If you are looking to suss out the competition, the Tron Theatre in Merchant City is known for its diverse theatre is a great place to watch up and coming actors and actresses show their acting chops. Since its renovation from the ground up at the end of the nineties, it has become the host of many festival and events revolving around dramatics.
If you are more of a cinephile, Glasgow’s prime location is perfect to go on a film locations tour all over Scotland. Join a walking tour or a road trip around the Isle of Skye and Glencoe for instant projection into a film set and get a taste of acting in the outdoors. After this, you might find out that you prefer the cosy interiors of a theatre.
Has all this acting class talk got your feeling the call of the stage? Some actors choose to skip education altogether and head straight to a casting call. Even though we do not recommend this route, a first glance at the audition process might be useful for those on the fence about learning how to act. Audition for a drama company or find a drama club near you in Glasgow for a shot at et your first performance.
As previously mentioned, with all the film production happening and boiling theatre scene you might get a shot at kickstarting your career look to companies like Insideout, Creative Spark Theatre Arts and Centre for Contemporary Arts. You can even try out for the Royal Conservatory’s musical theatre company for a challenge.
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