Can You Learn to Act Online?


1. Introduction: Learning to Act Online
2. Can You Learn Acting Online?
3. What Online Acting Classes Look Like
4. Are Online Classes or Coaching for You?
5. Final Thoughts

Introduction: Learning to Act Online

When actors reach out about working with me, if they don’t already have experience working with an acting coach or taking acting classes in an online setting, they typically have a few questions about the process. First: Can you actually learn how to act online? Second: What does working with a coach or taking a class online actually look like? and finally: How do I know if online classes or coaching are the right choice for me?

In this article, I’ll attempt to answer those questions and hopefully give you a better idea for whether or not online acting classes or private coaching might be a good fit for you.

Can You Learn Acting Online?

Is it actually possible to learn acting online? The short answer is yes!

A little about how I started teaching online: when the pandemic first hit here in the U.S. I was teaching 3 or 4 large group classes in person every week, and in the blink of an eye – I, just like other acting studios all around the country, had to move from teaching these groups in person in my acting studio, to working with all of my actors remotely on Zoom. I was skeptical at first, but it didn’t take long to realize that, with the right approach, online classes and coaching could be incredibly effective for learning and for improving your acting – even if you and your coach or teacher are thousands of miles away from each other.

In the past few years, I’ve had the joy of working with and connecting actors from all over the world – something that’s only been possible because we can work together online – and all connecting together virtually, over the internet. So can you learn to act or improve your acting working with a coach or taking acting classes online? Absolutely yes.

What Online Acting Classes Look Like

What does it look like taking an online acting class or working with an online acting coach? Well, obviously, your classes or coaching sessions will be online instead of in-person, which means you’ll likely be on a Zoom call, having a video chat either one-on-one or with the whole group. Other than that, things proceed pretty much like they would in-person. Students work on scenes with each other, warm up, do self-tapes, exercises… whatever they might need, they just do it from home with me or their fellow actors on screen with them. These days, a lot of first-round auditions and even callbacks are self-tape and online, so working like this can be a really good way to learn how to navigate online relationships in your own auditions and callbacks.

So online study is very similar to any other class you might take, or any other coaching or mentoring relationship you might have, but you’ll be doing it online from wherever you choose, which for some busy actors can make all the difference. The ability to just log on from home each week without having to travel to a studio is one of the main things that enables some of the actors I work with to stay on track and continue working on their craft on a regular basis.

Of course, you’re not in the same physical space as your scene partners or teacher, which can make it more challenging to work on things like blocking and physicality, but a good coach or teacher who has experience teaching online should know how to navigate around that and make sure you’re still getting the effective training you need.

Are Online Classes or Coaching for you?

Now that you have a better understanding of what online coaching or online acting classes look like, are they a good option for you? The answer, just like with an in person class is: it depends.

Both online and in-person classes have their pros and cons, and it really just comes down to what you’re looking to get out of your actor training, and where you are in your own development. Ideally, you should be looking at some of the same things you’d look at when considering any acting coach or group class: The obvious things like cost – with online options tending to be a bit more affordable than in-person ones, whether or not it fits into your schedule, things like the size of the class, whether or not you have a rapport with the teacher, how much time you get for personalized instruction… the list goes on.

Ultimately, it comes down to finding your best opportunity to develop yourself as an actor. If you can find the instruction and guidance you need in-person wherever you live, and it works for your schedule and your budget, then you’re in luck! If, on the other hand, you find that the kind of teaching or mentorship you’re searching for and feel you need to be your best is only available to you online, I’d encourage you to give it a try. As I mentioned before, not only are online acting classes and coaching opportunities part of the new normal, but with callbacks and producer sessions for film and television increasingly going online, it can be a good way to get yourself used to our new virtual world.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this article gives you  a better idea of what an online acting education might look like. If you want to learn more about working with me as a private coach, for audition prep, lessons, mentoring, or anything else you might need, use the form below to get in touch and explore how I might be able to help you become the kind of actor you know can be.

Until next time, be kind to each other. And be real.

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