Yes, It’s Possible to Learn Acting from Home—Here’s How

The path to becoming an actor is a difficult one full of twists and turns. A study in the Guardian in 2019 found that only 2% of actors were able to earn a living solely acting. This is despite the BLS reporting that there were 50,600 acting jobs in 2021, and the job outlook from 2021-2030 is at 8%. For many, acting is simply a labor of love. Yet in order to either learn or get better at acting, the traditional view is that you need to go to acting school. This isn’t true, and some of the most successful actors, including Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz, didn’t attend acting school. While booking a trip to LA on a wing and prayer is not viable for most, it is possible to learn the craft through non-traditional routes. Many resources and methods are available if you want to sharpen your acting skills at home and at your own pace. Here are 4 of them.

Take acting classes online

Online acting classes can grant you the established routine and consistency you need to succeed with your goals. You’ll gain the mentorship of an acting professional to guide you through acting techniques, watch you perform, and give you helpful feedback—all through video calls within a flexible schedule. You might also find learning online more effective. E-learning statistics from Studocu found that online learning can increase your retention rate by up to 82%. These findings are attributed to the enhanced interactivity and various multimedia engagement possibilities available through this medium. Learning online also means you can tailor your curriculum to your specific career goals, which only adds to why you should consider honing your acting skills using the internet.

Watch stellar performances

To give stellar performances, you must watch stellar performances. One method to do this is to follow a particular actor and make a watch list of their projects, which will help you observe what character type they excel in. As you watch, pay attention to their voice and diction when they deliver lines and the emotions they express through their body language. This will give you ideas on how to perform yourself. You can do this by watching movies and clips on Netflix and YouTube. InterestedVideos recommends starting with acting channels, like those run by Makayla Lysiak and Chéna Verony, on YouTube, as these prominently feature their acting talents and are an effective way for you to learn different styles.

Find plays and monologues to read

Actor Andrew Henry said one of the most fundamental pieces of advice he’s ever gotten was to read eight plays a week. Doing so lets you remember that, at heart, your job is storytelling and reading scripts helps you understand the story structure, themes, and concepts you’re portraying. Additionally, reading plays introduces you to both new and classical characters, which is crucial whether you’re asked to give a new interpretation of Ibsen’s Nora Helmer or call upon an archetype when acting out an original script. You can find many plays and monologues online, at your local library, or available to purchase in bookstores. Leverage them and expand your literary and acting range.

Tape yourself acting

In our article Three Practical Things Ever Actor Needs, we recommended that you procure a tripod for the express purpose of recording yourself. You’ll need it for auditions to send self-tapes to talent scouts and directors, but it’s also great to use when sharpening your skills. You can film yourself via camera or phone and perform a monologue or script excerpt. Afterwards, you can evaluate your performance and find ways to improve on your next take.

While circumstances can be tricky, you can still take every opportunity to become a better actor, even if it’s at home. Leverage the various resources you have access to improve your acting craft.

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