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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Teacher

By: Carolyne Barry

There are numerous acting techniques and methods. The more popular ones in the United Stares are Meisner, Strasberg, Adler and Hagen techniques. Most teachers have their own version of the established approaches. Some combine styles and others create their own technique. Investigate to see which one feels like a fit for you – the way you process and create. Then audit the teachers who specialize in that approach until you find the one with whom you connect.

AUDIT: As it relates to acting classes: to be a non-participating observer. Auditors watch and are not allowed to work, ask question or give comments.

When you audit, do you know what to look for and the factors to evaluate?

I suggest you ask about and contemplate the following:

  • * it the teacher your auditing (YOUR Teacher)
  • * compatibility
  • * number of students in the class
  • * how often you will work in each class
  • * class policies
  • * cost / payment policies
  • * class level(s)

VERY important is the teacher’s approach and atyle. To determine that: Ask yourself these questions in order to determine if the teacher(s) you are considering is a fit for you:

  • * Does their style or approach make sense and appeal to you?
  • * Is there a technique that the students understand and can apply or is he/she just teaching tricks or giving direction that produces flashy, instant performances?
  • * After he/she works with actors, do you see an improvement in their work?
  • * Does the teacher utilize the class time well: starting punctually, allotting time and giving attention equally to all the students, dealing directly with what is needed and not going off on ego trips or telling too many stories of their accomplishments or bad
    experiences?
  • * Is the teacher constructive and supportive as he/she critiques and directs students?

Audit several teachers and then compare the answers and then you can make an informed decision on who will be the best acting teacher for you and who you will want to stay with for a year or two or more.

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