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Acting Coaches

Drama teachers in high school, legendary actors, camp directors or parents could very well fit in the position of acting coaches at some point. We now find acting classes advertised on every corner, yet, reality is not as bright as they picture it.

 

Teaching is more than a skill, it’s a gift, and with acting classes, the coach has a double challenge: he/she needs to convey theoretical knowledge and build practical skills. The trainee wants to learn how to portray real emotion by entering the character and trying to feel, think or do like him/her.

 

Foreign acting coaches teaching abroad

 

The approach to teaching acting classes differs a lot depending on the cultural perspective. For instance, a European teacher in charge of a course at an American acting school would sometimes be reproached that “In America, we do things differently… “What should the coach do?

 

  • Take the criticism seriously and see whether there is a cultural gap to be bridged.
  • Ask a fellow acting coach for advice.
  • Open a discussion on possible solutions or just try to explain the approach taken.

 

Understanding where the criticism is coming from

 

Students in acting classes have different scopes, and the more you know about their individual goal, the better you can structure your lessons and help them benefit from your knowledge.

 

  • Some students pay for an acting class to get launched in the show biz.
  • A hobby-like motivation could convince other people into taking up acting classes.
  • After auditioning for various roles some would-be actors get discouraged and seek help in technicalities to solve their problem. In such students’ opinion, the acting coaches can show them the trick for the next audition etc.

 

The list could go on much further since every individual has a motivation for paying money on acting classes. Criticism usually appears when these more or less realistic goals are not met. Then, the easiest thing for some people is to lay the blame on the acting coach.

 

Coach’s fault?

 

Students have the right to get quality for their money: the acting coach should not just explain but also demonstrate to the student’s satisfaction. If trainees have a hard time understanding, they should ask for more explanations and put the tips into practice. Failure to apply theory and build practical skills raises questions.

 

The student may get a second opinion or talk to colleagues to what they are making of the situation. Anybody can now be an acting coach: there is no need for certification, studies or credentials. As for fees, there is nothing regulating the price.

 

Valuable criticism to improve the teaching act

 

Leaving aside a hurt ego, acting coaches could benefit from students’ feedback in order to better organize their class and improve their teaching strategies. Mistakes that can be corrected include:

 

  • Giving too little explanations;
  • Bringing personal problems into class and thus impairing the overall atmosphere;
  • Overusing praise or correction;
  • Having favorites among students, etc.

 

Helene Goldnadel is an actor, screenplay and song writer, recording artist and a musician. She served as a representative to countless models and actors registered through the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), finding numerous television and film roles for her clients. Now focused on educational training for child actors and models throughout the greater Los Angeles area, Helene Goldnadel runs her performing art institute with a unique commitment to ensure bright, productive careers for her young students.

 

To learn more, please visit here: http://helenegoldnadel.tv/

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