I have recently been looking at a lot of books/other media regarding the study of “great” acting. Being primarily a kids/teens coach for the last 9 years, many folks have asked me, “Why study? Can’t I learn what I need to when I book my first job?”
These are good questions, particularly in a recession. Hopefully whomever these questioning souls commit to as a coach/teacher will NOT teach them to act, but rather to accept. We spend our lives learning what is right and what is wrong. We learn to not “show” others how upset/hurt/angry we might feel so as not to give ourselves away. Film/TV require the opposite of this. We must be willing to show ourselves, no matter how scary that might be. A great coach will teach you to accept yourself in and out of the story. A great teacher teaches you to tell your story in the way that only you can tell it.
So why study? Study so that you believe in your abilities as a storyteller. Study so that when you book that job, and all the others to follow it, you don’t spend ANY TIME on set wondering how in the world you got the job and how soon they will figure out that you can’t find your sea legs…. or set legs if you will. Study so that you believe in yourself. Study so that you don’t act at all..you simply exist in the story. Study to be a great storyteller and NOT a great actor…