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  • Acting classes

    Ok, here is the deal. I have always been just a writer. I continue to be just a writer, but I would like to expand my skills. I have never acted a day in my life, and I have heard from many that acting classes help writing a lot, because you can view it from the actor's perspective, and I wouldn't mind acting as well.

    What are your experiences, if any, with acting classes?

  • #2
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    • #3
      As a film student at NYU a gazillion years ago, I took acting classes there. I'd acted in a few plays in grade school [voluntarily] and my first year in college, but I by no means considered myself an actor. I think I did it 'cause I was interested in a film career behind the camera and it was related.

      My NYU acting teacher told me after one solo excercise in front of the class that I was a "natural actor." I didn't really know what she meant at the time, but when I see an actor today who seems to be somewhere else, I think I know what she meant.

      That you have to commit to the scene. The audience isn't there--the camera isn't there, but your character is.

      I still don't pretend to be an actor, but acting classes helped me to direct actors, that's for sure.

      As a writer--I'm not sure I see the advantage--it can't hurt, of course, either. I just don't see how acting and writing connect, I guess---in the production process anyway. Acting comes in after the written words, so it seems kinda backwards to me, this idea of writers acting.

      I suppose you may compose dialogue differently if you understood that some dialogue is hard to deliver from an actor's standpoint, maybe. George Lucas was roundly kidded by the cast of Star Wars for hard-to-deliver dialogue. But they did it without a rewrite [but several takes], so who can say?

      Obviously as a writer you have to understand how different people speak [slang, jargon, education, etc,], but I don't see that acting would inform those skills. Real life, not acting per se, would be your teacher in that area.

      I do believe in reading your dialogue out loud, so it's not just words on a page. I do this, so maybe I'm "acting" out the part to see if it works as spoken words. This definitely helps me in the editing/rewrite stage. So maybe that's along the same lines.

      This an interesting topic and I'm curious to see how others weigh in.

      They may present really good ideas why to do some acting.




      Kurt Hathaway
      -------------------
      VikingDream7 Productions
      Video Production & Editing

      khathawayart[at]gmail.com

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      • #4
        Originally posted by khathawayart View Post
        As a film student at NYU a gazillion years ago, I took acting classes there. I'd acted in a few plays in grade school [voluntarily] and my first year in college, but I by no means considered myself an actor. I think I did it 'cause I was interested in a film career behind the camera and it was related.

        My NYU acting teacher told me after one solo excercise in front of the class that I was a "natural actor." I didn't really know what she meant at the time, but when I see an actor today who seems to be somewhere else, I think I know what she meant.

        That you have to commit to the scene. The audience isn't there--the camera isn't there, but your character is.

        I still don't pretend to be an actor, but acting classes helped me to direct actors, that's for sure.

        As a writer--I'm not sure I see the advantage--it can't hurt, of course, either. I just don't see how acting and writing connect, I guess---in the production process anyway. Acting comes in after the written words, so it seems kinda backwards to me, this idea of writers acting.

        I suppose you may compose dialogue differently if you understood that some dialogue is hard to deliver from an actor's standpoint, maybe. George Lucas was roundly kidded by the cast of Star Wars for hard-to-deliver dialogue. But they did it without a rewrite [but several takes], so who can say?

        Obviously as a writer you have to understand how different people speak [slang, jargon, education, etc,], but I don't see that acting would inform those skills. Real life, not acting per se, would be your teacher in that area.

        I do believe in reading your dialogue out loud, so it's not just words on a page. I do this, so maybe I'm "acting" out the part to see if it works as spoken words. This definitely helps me in the editing/rewrite stage. So maybe that's along the same lines.

        This an interesting topic and I'm curious to see how others weigh in.

        They may present really good ideas why to do some acting.




        Kurt Hathaway
        -------------------
        VikingDream7 Productions
        Video Production & Editing

        khathawayart[at]gmail.com


        Thanks for the input. I am more interested in acting classes to become an actor in addition to being a writer. If it does indeed help my writing than awesome, but I am more interested in the classes to be an actor.

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        • #5
          [at] NHummel:

          First off, don't say "I'm just a writer." I have never read anything you've written, but if you can write and write well, that puts you somewhere in the top 2% in terms of writing abilities.

          Secondly, I have to agree with Kurt. I'm not sure being an actor will necessarily make you a better writer. That would be like an actor saying if they studied writing they would be a better actor.

          If you want to act simply because you want to be in front of the camera, by all means, go for it.

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          • #6
            I was saying just a writer as in it is the only field I have ever really been in. It may have sounded differently than I meant for it to. As far as studying acting to help with writing,I have heard this from some other writers that I know. It may just be something that helps some people but not necessarily others. Also, like I said, I am interested in acting classes for acting, and if it does help my writing, awesome, but if not it is all good.

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            • #7
              Acting Classes are great to workout your craft. It is a place to gain tools and techniques. Checked the background of the instructor and their qualification. ACTORS are athlete. They need to know how to prepared for the game. They workout their skills out. Preparation is important as actors so that we may give the best effort to the vision of the writer,director,etc. It is a process. WE all have an important part to play in production. Taking an acting classes will give you some understanding what an actors/actresses goes through. As an actor and acting coach,etc these tools are a weapon. Acting is living the truth in the moment. The best acting is not to show acting,but living the moment. The writer,director,actor,etc are a team. So, what you get out of acting classes is what you make of it.

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              • #8
                Plain and simple just GO for it!

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