Acting is like any other skill - practice makes perfect. One way to make acting a regular part of your life is to join an acting studio. But before you commit to an acting course or school, it's important to consider the following questions:
What exactly is an acting studio?
It's a place where you go to hone your skills. Think of it as an acting gym where actors come together to build and fine-tune their technique. Acting studios are a key part of the acting world. It's not uncommon for agents to visit acting studios in London in order to look for new talent. Being a part of an acting studio could be your door into the industry.
Acting studios like The Reel Scene which is based in London usually offer a variety of classes suited to different levels of skill and experience. And the good ones don't just cover acting, they run courses in a variety of areas in the entertainment industry.
Acting isn't just about performance - you need to know how to audition effectively, you need professional headshots and a great showreel, and you need to be working with professionals who can help you network and fast-track your career. A good studio will offer a range of courses taught by industry professionals.
Who is teaching the classes? Who is involved with the acting studio?
The people you are learning from are an important consideration when choosing an acting studio. What experience do they have? Are they currently working professionals in the industry? Do they have important network connections?
Remember that it is your mentors who bring you closer to the industry.
Also, keep in mind that you're not the only student enrolled. Acting studios are great places to find a supportive community. Joining an acting studio means that you have the opportunity to network with a new group of actors who have all the same goals.
Where is the acting studio located?
Where your acting studio is located can play an important role in the development of your career. For example, some studios are located in the heart of Hollywood, next to famous studios, and others have direct access to professional sound stages or a green screen.
Finding an acting studio located in an area where the industry is working (major centres like Hollywood, London or New York) is a good idea - they're often more closely linked to the industry and can offer you access and resources that more isolated schools cannot.
Why should you choose one acting studio over another?
Acting studios all offer different benefits and you need to consider what exactly you need. For example, does the studio offer workshops with professional actors? Or does it focus on more specific skills that you would like to learn, such as stunt work? When you join an acting studio, it should be offer opportunities to gain new experience and knowledge that are relevant to you.
It's also a good idea to get to know the people running the studio. Ask around, and find out how they're perceived by the industry. Are they just interested in your subscription fees (in which case, they can sometimes hold back your development in order to sign you up to as many classes as they can), or are they passionate about acting, and genuinely want you to succeed? It won't take long to learn about a school's reputation if you ask around - you don't want to waste your money on a school with a negative perception in the industry.
When is the best time to join an acting studio?
The most sought-after acting studios typically run their sessions on an annual basis, and oftentimes their seats fill up quickly. It's essential to apply for the next session before it's too late in order to secure your spot. Find the studio website and look at their course schedule, and touch base with the studio to see how full their classes are.
Alex Fidelski and the team at London-based The Reel Scene offer a variety of classes and workshops - from casual afternoon drop-in sessions to intensive, year-long professional acting courses. They bring on working industry professionals to teach you acting - for example Shobu Kapoor (Bend it Like Beckham, Citizen Khan), Manpreet Bachu (Doctor Who, Humans), Manpreet Bambra (Tezz, Wizards vs. Aliens) and David Schaal (The Inbetweeners). You can take your training even further with masterclasses from industry heavyweights like director Charles Belleville and actor Asa Butterfield (Hugo, Ender's Game, Journey's End).
The Reel Scene don't just teach acting - they teach you about every aspect of the industry. How to make self-tapes, how to audition, how to perform in front of a camera vs on stage. The Reel Scene can provide headshots and help you shoot and prepare professional showreels. And they have structured payments plans to make paying for your courses painless.