There has been some discussion in recent times on individual learning styles and how we can engage more flexible teaching methods in education. Many training practices aim to include a range of learning resources and approaches to help build a student’s capacity to learn and develop, but for the most part we are still quite enthralled to more traditional linear education practices. Our school systems are set up to support academic rather than practical outcomes, and in many ways this system ignores the great benefit in experiential and kinaesthetic learning.

Consider this premise: “if we are uncomfortable, we are learning”. This need not mean uncomfortable to the point of paralysis, but a small level of anxiousness or hesitation provides a solid base from which to step gently into discomfort – and begin the learning process. This fundamental principle forms the basis of the approach to education used to train actors, but ironically, this training is actually of significant, if not greater benefit to those of us living and working in today’s modern western society.

Just about every job requires us to communicate with others. This may be a single desk mate, to hundreds of customers or large teams in a corporation. Communication requires confidence in our ability to express an opinion, feel grounded in our own skin and step into ourselves with ease and conviction. Confidence is not about being gregarious or extroverted, but instead building security in who we are as an individual and being a part of a community of others.

We can talk about confidence until the cows come home, but this is a lesson to be learned in the body – not the head. An acting class run in a supportive environment with like-minded people provides the perfect environment for these lessons to be learned and more importantly, retained.

Stepping gently out of our comfort zone brings us closer to who we are and how we can more authentically be ourselves at home and at work.

Darlo Drama has been running their signature Beginners Acting classes in Sydney since 1992.