6 Tips to Prepare for Your Online Acting Class

  • Study with in-demand coaches, regardless of location
  • Build a network of fellow actors online
  • Strengthen listening muscles
  • Develop more subtler characterization skills
  • Connect with fellow actors, while social distancing

1. Know What’s Expected for Success

Enrolling in your first acting class might make you a little nervous, especially if you’re trying a virtual course for the first time. That’s why it’s so important to know exactly what expectations are. Some questions to make sure you get answered before your first class include:
  • Do I need to prepare anything prior to the first session?
  • Who should I reach out to with questions or concerns?
  • How can I access course materials?
  • When are live sessions and what time should I arrive?

2. Create Your Workspace

One advantage of online performing arts courses: You can study from the comfort of home. Transform your home into a performance-ready space. Set up a dedicated workspace – like a corner of your bedroom or small office – where you can do the work. You’ll need a space that offers room to jump and move and shout. A few tips:
  • Find a quiet area (try to limit outside noise)
  • Give yourself enough room to move around
  • Consider a neutral grey or blue background
  • Make sure you’re well lit and can be heard
  • Limit any distractions like a phone or roommate barging in

3. Test Your Tech

Before your first session, take some time to test and experiment with your technology. If you’ll be using a video conferencing platform like Zoom, be sure to familiarize yourself with starting a call, features like muting your yourself and stopping video.
Since you may be standing further back from the camera, test to see that picture and sound are clear. A webcam, small ring light or microphone are all investments that you might consider, as well.

4. Audit the Course

All of EMERGE Media’s online acting courses are open to both participants and auditors. Auditors can observe class sessions and access course materials, but they don’t participate in class sessions.
This provides auditors with a low-stakes way to explore a class. You’ll get insights into what to expect and how a teacher operates, and know for sure if you’d like to participate in the next session or series.

5. Experiment Acting for a Virtual Audience

Zoom requires actors to be more nuanced in their deliveries. The audience is closer and they can pick up on subtle characterizations – like a small twitch of the eyes or an understated expression.
Experiment with acting on Zoom. Try self-taping using your webcam. Enter your space, recite a monologue or read sides in front of the camera. And explore the differences and similarities in your approach.

6. Be Ready to Improvise

Although improvisation is an important skill for actors to learn, it’s especially important on Zoom. You might have to respond to a tech malfunction or deal with a distraction like ambient noise; being prepared to improvise can help you stay focused and avoid an unexpected moment from derailing your scene.

The Fun Challenge of Virtual Acting Classes

Online classes are an amazing way to expand your skills and grow as an actor. And the truth is, although the medium can be challenging, it’s a fun challenge. A few tips: Experiment and discover the nuances of acting on Zoom. Be OK with failure. And make sure you prepare before your first session.
If you can do those things, you’ll be on your way to having a successful online acting class experience.