I’ve had this conversation with many actors and the opinion is always different: Some people feel like once you know how to act, you just know and you don’t need to be in class. Some people feel like you should always be in class to stay sharp. I fall somewhere in the middle: I will be in class as often as I can afford it.
For me, class has always been a way to stay hot in between gigs. I can’t just be immobile. Life and this craft is a continuum. We never stay still. We are either progressing or falling behind. Progression will always be at the top of my list. If you want to get creative about ways to stay sharp when you’re not in class, here are a few things I do:
1. Take an Intensive. We’re actors and we have bills. Committing to an on-going scene study class can seem daunting once you’ve been gone so long. Ease back into the game with an intensive. These generally last 3-6 days. Get your feet wet. Get inspired. Jump all in when you can spare the time.
2. Read books on acting. Someone wise said that if you read three books on the same subject, it makes you an expert. Well become an expert in your technique of choice. How many books can we find on Meisner? Reading is cheap and mobile.
3. Watch Virtual Channel Network on ActorsAccess.com. Industry professionals give priceless advice. For free. Get educated.
4. Create a project. Booking can be tough but writing a scene and putting it up on its feet can be done in a day. Grab some actors and make the most of the time. You never know what it could lead to. Ever heard of King Bach or Issa Rae?
5. Memorize monologues and record yourself on your phone. Play them back and critique your own work. You probably know by now what works and doesn’t work, but you may not know what you’re giving when you audition. Do a little self-study. It’s harmless.
I should take my own advice with some of these. My default is creating my own material. I guess that’s just the writer in me. I hope this helps you along the way! Stay inspired.
What’s the quickest way to learn? Reading. Free yourself up to read more books. 2013 is quickly coming to a close and one thing that really served me this year was reading and listening to podcasts. For the moment I have concluded my formal education but I still have an insatiable need to read and continue learning. The best way to do this is not by watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta. I love TV as much as anyone else, and believe me, I live to be on it regularly. However, as it pertains to how I gather new information to help me on my journey, I really lean on books. I come from a family of readers, so I got it honestly. If you’re not a reader, it will only take one good book to change your life and get you hooked. When you read three books on the same topic, you become an expert! Most of all, reading is free. Go online and look up the closest library to you, and read books for free!
I figure I would pass my reading list on to my followers. Everything I read this year is a must read! Here are the list of books I read this year and the podcasts I really love. My goal is to read a book a month.
Also, thanks so much for watching my new show, Tiffany Last Name Hustle, and check out an interview I did for Examiner here!!
2013 Reading List
The Circle Maker
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The Total Money Makeover
Save the Cat
How to Win Friends and Influence People
48 Days to the Work you Love
Straight Talk No Chaser
48 Days to the Work You Love with Dan Miller
The Total Money Makeover with Dave Ramsey
Joel Osteen’s podcast
Enjoying Everyday Life with Joyce Meyer
2014 Reading List
The Power of the Actor
No More Mondays
$100 Start Up
Respect for Acting
Michael Cane Acting
The Magic of Thinking Big
Think and Grow Rich
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