Why It’s Important to Keep Learning As An Actor
What is the “secret” to reaching your full potential as an actor? Always be ready to learn! Joining acting courses, attending workshops, and taking on new challenges will help you expand your skill set, stay competitive and strengthen industry connections.
We dive into all the reasons why it is important to keep learning as an actor.
Explore different types of material and learn new techniques
Even experienced actors should always look for ways to evolve their talent and create new opportunities for themselves.
Training across a range of genres and techniques will help fill any gaps in your skillset and showcase your depth as an actor.
Joining an acting class is your chance to explore different types of roles and scripts. Are your characters usually involved in gritty, dramatic roles? A class could give you the opportunity to try comedy material, for example.
Acting classes are a great way to learn different acting techniques, such as The Meisner Technique. You get the chance to work on performances that incorporate and develop each technique exclusively.
You’ll also be exposed to a range of perspectives and techniques from fellow actors that have succeeded in landing them work.
Maintain your competitive edge
Acting is a competitive industry; you’re up against many others for a single role. Actors who continue to work on their craft are the ones that will stand out in auditions.
An ongoing commitment to learning will enrich your future performances, demonstrate your commitment to improvement and help maintain your competitive edge.
Make industry connections
Taking an acting class and attending workshops are great ways to forge and nurture relationships in the industry while building more versatile skills.
Regularly connecting with directors who teach in learning environments will keep you on their radar for casting decisions.
You’ll also meet other actors and enjoy the shared experience that comes from training together. You’ll hear about auditions and industry news, too. Classes are a brilliant way to get involved in the acting community.
Building your network will benefit your career in the long run; you never know what opportunity could be a game changer for your career trajectory!
Prepare yourself to work with different directing styles
Every role is different and each director has a signature style. By working with a range of teachers you’ll prepare yourself to be flexible and adapt to the various methods you’ll find in the industry.
You’ll avoid getting stuck in a rut which can happen when working with a limited range of directing styles.
Directors and acting coaches can also give you insight into the material that is the right fit for you. You may even be cast for an upcoming project because you’re there and right for the role!
Break out of your comfort zone
True artists are constantly pushing beyond their comfort zones and this is why it’s important to keep learning as an actor. Setting yourself (uncomfortable!) challenges will expand your range and help you discover new material that is right for you.
Workshops and classes create a safe space to push the boundaries of your current performance skills and shake things up. You’ve got to get on stage and perform the exercises – whether you know how to approach them or not. In a learning environment, you receive the type of coaching feedback you won’t receive at an audition.
Getting out of your comfort zone will help avoid getting pigeon-holded into a certain type of role. Reinventing yourself or adapting to a different genre, style and appearance can expand your range of role opportunities.
This can lead to being offered more diverse and challenging roles which can result in a more fulfilling and rewarding career.
Build your resume
Including new classes and workshops your resume is especially important if you’re just getting started and don’t have many credits. Attending actor training demonstrates your commitment to spending time improving your skills and learning from industry professionals.
Even if you’re a seasoned actor, keeping your resume up-to-date by adding new classes and workshops in the training section will demonstrate your desire to stay relevant in your craft.
Keep up with industry changes
The film and performance industry is continuously evolving. Significant changes in technology have emerged in recent decades, particularly around digital and physical worlds becoming integrated on screen. Virtual environments can now be projected on-set, allowing actors to react to digital characters they’d previously have to imagine were there.
Social media also offers a huge opportunity for actors to take charge of their own career promotion.
Keeping up with the latest trends by learning about what is happening in the industry will prepare you to adapt and remain relevant. Sign up to industry news and expos that offer insight into working with new technology and how to leverage social media to build your personal brand.
Improve your performance range
Developing skills outside acting that still relate to performing can open up more role opportunities.
Singing and dancing, for example, can be integral parts of many stage and screen productions, and actors who are comfortable and skilled in these areas may have an advantage when it comes to landing certain roles.
Body and movement classes can also help hone your acting skills. Taking lessons in fields related to acting can help you build confidence in these areas and feel more comfortable performing in front of an audience.
Break out of a slump
Experiencing a dry spell in your acting career? You’re not alone. Many actors go through periods where they have no work booked or in the pipeline. One of the reasons why it’s important to keep learning as an actor is to re-energise yourself during a hiatus.
Doing readings or taking classes are great ways to keep busy, focused and connected to the acting community while you’re waiting for the next gig.
Creating your own work and making reels of your material is also a proactive approach to keep your skills up to date during a dry spell.
Your acting education should never really end. Successful actors are always evolving, using their life experiences, acting courses, workshops, books and other industry tools to continually expand their potential.
At The Actors Pulse, we can offer you premium online or in-person interactive classes, to help you reach your full potential.
Billy Milionis is one of the few Australians to have ever studied under the legendary master teacher, the late Sanford Meisner. Billy has also studied story structure and scene analysis techniques with John Truby and later at UCLA. He has also spent several years doing improvisation in Hollywood with the L.A. Connection. In addition, he trained in the technique of Stella Adler, Practical Aesthetics and Lee Strasberg’s method.