Acting coach vs group lessons

Acting coach vs group lessons: what's the difference?

Many aspiring actors can be faced with a choice: do you sign up for the services of an acting coach, or go in for group lessons?

That’s one question. There’s a second: which one is right for you? And, at the end of the day, does it really matter? If it comes down to the financial side of things, a private acting coach may be the right pick, but an expensive one. A group acting lesson – that’s going to be less expensive.

It’s really about what you can afford – and what’s right for you.

Acting coaches

When you work with a personal acting coach, their attention is focused solely on you, your needs, and your goals. Their coaching methodology will be tailored to your needs and to your skill level. Working privately with a coach fosters a more intimate teacher-student relationship. Your experience can be more flexible — you have greater opportunities to ask your coach questions about their own experiences and things that are of interest to you. You can also ask to focus on a particular script. A private coach is something many aspiring (and professional) actors seek out to use for a specific audition. Training by yourself can be difficult – you don’t know what you’re doing wrong or right; you’re not able to form an objective opinion; there’s nobody to guide you in the right direction or stop you from not doing something that you didn’t realise was working. An acting coach can refine your performance and your overall skills, concentrate on bolstering your strengths and eliminating your weaknesses to help you become a better actor.

Group lessons

Through group classes, you get to meet other actors and watch them perform. You can ape their good qualities and use them with your own performances. The benefits of group lessons arise from how they can provide you with the acting basics. From learning how to portray certain emotions, to learning how to improvise and develop a scene, group lessons will offer you the basis for your development as an actor.

It really depends on what you want the class to do for you. Taking group lessons is a great way to gain a better understanding of yourself; your body; your emotions. They afford you the opportunity to become more self-aware, as well as improve your understanding of a character’s motivations and desires – allowing you to gain a greater understanding of people in general. Group acting courses can help you become a better public speaker, and improve your confidence in public, as well as your ability to interact with other – if not all – people.

Classes help build an essential foundation for actors around working with others. It’s not only a fun space to make friends, but these group lessons underpin the acting basics of listening and reacting, as well as how to tackle difficult material.

It is, however, important to seek out the input and experiences of other actors who have taken one of those classes, so that you might gain an insight as to their experience and perspective.

Overall, it is important to figure who would be the best match for you and what you want to gain from an acting course, be it one-on-one, or in a group setting. Everyone is different, as is every acting class. Through understanding where your strengths and weaknesses lie, you can increase your acting skills, along with your chances of landing a role that may help you experience the full gamut of emotions that come from working in the theatre.