Acting classes are often one of the first things that parents who are new to the industry ask us about when they join Bubblegum Casting. Are they worth it? Do you really need them? Will they really improve my teen’s chances?
We’ll answer those questions later, but before we go any further, let’s first talk about another question that’s on the lips of many a parent of a teen actor wannabe — is my teenager cut out for acting?
Acting is often thought of as a career choice for extroverts, and for anyone who loves being the centre of attention. However, this isn’t always the case. There are more than a few successful actors and performers who have openly admit ted that they are, infact, introverts. The likes of Emma Watson, Tom Hanks , and Harrison Ford are hugely successful but actually feel most comfortable when they are away from the limelight.
What Watson, Hanks, and Ford have in common with every single actor in the world is a desire to succeed and a willingness to work hard to achieve their goals.
But just in case you’re not sure, let’s take a look at two types of teens and how acting could suit both.
Some teens enjoy being the centre of attention and being in the spotlight. In some cases this might even get them into a little trouble at school for speaking up too much or for trying to make others laugh.
Acting classes would help this type of teen to harness their natural ability to draw people’s attention and hone those performing skills. They’ll learn how to control and direct their energy into structured performances helping them feel fulfilled and appreciated.
If your teen is naturally nervous or shy, then acting classes could work wonders at bringing out their confifidence. In many cases, quieter teens have great potential to be incredible actors as they take direction very well and take in all that they are exposed to.
So, whether your teen has an outgoing personality or is shy actually has nothing to do with their suitability for an acting career. What’s more important is that they have a genuine interest in acting, a good work ethic and that desire to succeed.
There’s no denying the fact that natural talent does help when starting out. And truth be told, you could say that about pretty much anything from swimming to playing a musical instrument.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you must have it.
You see, the good news is that acting is a learnable skill. Once your teen is genuinely interested in becoming an actor and is prepared to work hard, they can learn how to be a good actor. But to become a great actor will require true dedication to their craft. That means practising as much as possible and taking every opportunity to use their skills either on stage or on screen.
And this, as you may have guessed, is where acting classes come into play. Not only will acting classes help your teen pick up those required skills, but they also come with a whole mess of other benefits that we’ll get to in the next section.
So if you’re having doubts about your teen’s suitability to the world of acting, it’s time to put them to one side. All you need to know is that acting is an inclusive activity that anyone, and we really do mean anyone, can get involved in.
Now let’s take a closer look at acting classes.
These are your traditional acting classes where your teen attends once or twice a week and takes part in group classes and activities.
These classes are usually attached to a drama school and are a good
opportunity to not only pick up those all-important skills but to
take part in stage productions that the school may put on.
This is when all classes take place online, usually through Zoom calls. These classes tend to be more cost-effective than traditional classes and are a more convenient option for teenagers who may have busy schedules.
Which type of acting class your teen chooses to attend is really a matter of personal preference. However, we’re starting to see a growing shift towards online classes as these allow a budding young actor to study in the comfort of their own home.
The words ‘acting classes’ usually conjure up images of expensive drama schools that are quite difficult to get into. In other words, it might leave you wondering if they are truly worth the investment, particularly if your teen isn’t all that interested in acting as a long-term career.
Thankfully, with the rise of remote learning, acting classes have become a lot more affordable than they once were. But even so, are acting classes really worth it?
In a word — yes. And not just for the reasons you think.
Acting classes help your teen develop some seriously impressive and
transferable skills. These are skills that will help them in their school work, their interaction with other teens, and their future career even if it’s outside of the entertainment industry. Like we said, pretty impressive, right?
So let’s take a closer look at what benefits your teen will see from taking some acting classes.
Fair warning, this is a long list!
First beneﬁt and it’s a really powerful one — acting classes can help boost your teen’s self conﬁdence.
Lessons can help your teen to grow conﬁdent in their abilities as an actor. This is because a class provides them with a safe environment to test themselves and not feel that they are being judged, as they might feel in an audition.
Needless to say, this can have a hugely positive impact on their self belief which can improve their chances in an audition setting. And we don’t need to tell you how beneﬁcial this boost in self conﬁdence could be in their daily lives, right?
Part of learning to act will focus not only on reading scripts but also analysing them and discussing the various aspects of a character’s actions. As you can imagine, joining a class and doing this as part of a group will help a teen improve their understanding of the written word while also introducing them to new vocabulary.
Safe to say that within a few short weeks, your teen will become a walking thesaurus!
We might think that being an actor is all about speaking and performing, but there’s a great deal of listening involved too. And no, we don’t just mean listening to the other actors although that is certainly important.
When working on set, a teen actor needs to listen to and fully understand the director’s instructions. They will quickly learn that listening carefully is the best way to achieve the right results. They will also learn to listen to the various tones in an actor’s voice and the inflections used to portray an emotion or communicate an idea.
As you can imagine, being a good listener can help in so many ways both on a personal and professional level as your teen grows older so this is an incredibly beneficial skill to have.
You can train your brain to remember things, but to activate this skill requires practice. And nothing helps you practice this skill quite like acting.
Memorising lines, actions, and some more lines — this is what acting is all about! In real life, excellent memory and a talent for retaining information, and having the skills to recall this knowledge is great for everything from school exams to doing your driving test.
Teens that take up acting classes will improve their concentration levels. This is because acting can be challenging and even a little frustrating at times. But learning how to combat difficulties, and the skills needed to overcome distractions will help develop your teen’s ability to stay focused.
When it comes to school work and study, we know how hard it can be for teens to avoid distractions, so developing an actor-grade level of focus will provide huge benefits.
Acting encourages your teen to use their voice in a more articulate way. For example, they may make better use of tone and pace, to add excitement to their speech as well as using enunciation twinned with body language to really get a point across.
In fact, speaking clearly is one of the fundamental skills required for success in the world of acting. And while it may not be so important for other aspects of your teen’s life, speaking clearly can certainly do no harm.
‘Speaking’ of which….
Speaking in front of a large audience fills most people with dread. Most people, even adults, would prefer to avoid it especially if they are shy or uncertain of themselves. If your teen can confidently speak in front of a group, they will feel much more at ease about certain situations.
As you may have guessed, acting focuses heavily on presentation and public speaking skills. By learning to act, your teen will learn how to easily and confidently present different ideas which will no doubt be beneficial both in school and their later working life.
Acting classes allow your teen to do all of this in a comfortable, safe, and secure setting.
Acting classes are different to regular school lessons in many ways, but the one way that they are similar is that the teacher will expect all students to put in the hard work and effort required to succeed. This instils a great work ethic in your teen particularly as it is a profession that they themselves have chosen to take up.
They’ll need to be responsible, reliable, and considerate of their classmates and the teacher — traits which we’re sure you’ll agree will help them out a great deal in their daily lives.
When a teen lands an acting role, most of the time they simply must follow the director’s instructions to the letter. However, acting classes are different. In a class environment, students are encouraged to be creative and think outside the box.
This is a great skill for coming up with unconventional and imaginative ways to combat challenging problems and a great life skill to have in their back pocket.
Acting is never cut and dry. How a director approaches a scene might change in the blink of an eye so teen actors must learn to be flexible and adapt to new situations and instructions.
Acting lessons will encourage a teen to do this while also teaching those creative thinking skills we mentioned earlier. Any actor who can master this particular skill will certainly be a favourite of directors as they are the easiest actors to work with.
It can be tough for teens to find a balance between their commitments and their social lives as they are often pulled in all directions at once. However, acting classes teach a teen to have high levels of self discipline.
This is because success can only be achieved by putting in some hard work and effort. Acting classes reinforce this idea as the teacher is not going to ‘correct your homework’ but will instead ask the student to act. Because of this, teens quickly grasp that there is no such thing as ‘winging it’ in acting classes. An understanding that will help them in many aspects of their school life.
It can be tough to take feedback on the chin especially when it’s pointing out your flaws. However, this is a key aspect of learning how to act. It may be difficult at first, but your teen will learn that constructive criticism can be an extremely beneficial thing that will help them improve.
Understanding how to react to criticism also helps teenagers become comfortable with taking risks in their performance. This, of course, translates to them being more comfortable taking risks in their everyday lives, such as asking someone out on a date or even trying something new.
Rejection is a huge part of the entertainment industry as it can sometimes take scores of auditions before a teen will land their first acting role. Acting classes teach a teen how to cope with this rejection by viewing each audition as a learning experience. Failure to land the role is simply a way to improve their skills and try harder the next time around.
Imagine what a great life skill this would be to have in your everyday life.
When students are asked to take on the role of another character, they will learn to understand people who are different from them. They will learn to be empathetic to how others may feel.
Students are encouraged to analyse and think about why they react a certain way to things. By learning about emotions through acting, and portraying different feelings, they will have a better understanding of their own emotions.
Understanding their own emotions teaches a teen how to deal with them, and as we all know, this can be one of the greatest challenges a teenager can face!
Acting classes are a safe environment where students can express how they feel. And one of the most notable things that teen acting classes provide is an understanding that regardless of background, everyone’s views are all valid.
This encourages acceptance and helps teens to be more compassionate towards others. They also learn how to interact with a diverse range of students of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. In other words, some of the most important social skills that anyone can possess.
Children who are interested in the arts, alternative things, or even dress differently often get labelled by their peers simply because they don’t conform to the norm.
Acting classes are a place where all teens are welcome and their love of the arts is encouraged and nurtured as it should be. This can instil a sense of belonging as your teen may have at last found their ‘tribe’.
Acting classes are collaborative even though a teen actors’ skills are individual. Sure, they may perform monologues and so on, but generally speaking, all acting lessons encourage students to work together to deliver the best performance possible.
This also teaches a teen to appreciate the work of others and that every single person on the set plays a vital role much like every member of a sporting team.
Learning to act will also teach a teen the concept of professionalism. This includes things like showing up on time, not bailing out of something last minute, arriving prepared for the job, and maintaining a positive working attitude. These are all key skills in becoming successful in any career your teen chooses.
Acting can take you out of your comfort zone especially if you feel the pressure to perform in front of a large audience or any group of people. Acting classes will teach a teen how to cope with that pressure and stress and turn it to their advantage. As a matter of fact, we’re constantly impressed with how teen actors at Bubblegum Casting handle pre-audition nerves — they cope better than we do!
When learning about acting, students are exposed to the different aspects of culture ranging from music, art, and dance. These can be local or international cultures which is great for expanding their minds.
This exposure to different arts from a variety of cultures will teach a teen to appreciate all forms of culture and art regardless of whether they actually like it or not. We’re sure you can agree that this skill is one that will help them in the future either in their working lives or if they travel.
Acting classes often involve lots of physical activities. For the majority of the lesson, students will be moving about, using their bodies to communicate ideas even if the lesson is held online.
Students may also learn about body awareness, dance, stage combat, or even stunts as part of their acting lessons. Without releasing it, students are getting a decent all-over body workout helping to keep them in shape.
During acting classes, students often learn through games and fun exercises. They are in a safe environment where they are free to be whatever they want to be. Their only limit is their imagination. It’s a great way to escape the stress of regular schoolwork and spend some time really focusing on themselves and having fun.
Last but by no means least, your teen will learn how to act. The chances are that if your teen wants to join acting classes, then they have serious dreams of becoming an actor. Well, if that’s the case, then there’s no better place to get started.
Remember though, that joining an acting class doesn’t automatically mean that your teen will suddenly start landing auditions and roles left, right and centre. It’s the hard work and effort that they put in while at those classes that will really give them the best chance of long-term success.
The teenage years can be some of the most difficult pre-adult years thanks to peer pressure and the feeling of having to fit in. That’s before we even mention hormones going haywire, and challenges and stresses of school.
As we mentioned earlier, acting classes and acting in general can be a huge help in taking a teen’s mind off these worries and stresses, but how to get started?
Here are a few tips.
Okay, okay. It might seem a little obvious, but the first port of call would be to join an acting class. The reason we think this is a good first step is because it will give your teen a taste of what acting is like so they can decide for themselves if it’s an industry that they want to get involved in.
There’s no need to enrol in an expensive drama school especially when there are much more convenient and cost-effective options available such as online classes. These are a great and convenient way to pick up acting skills and learn from experienced actors about what it takes to succeed. If you’re interested in online classes, take a minute to check out our online school Bubblegum Academy. We’ve got a great program of classes to suit all levels and taught by super teachers!
This is another option to help your teen test the waters. Joining a local drama club gives you a chance to actually perform on stage and pick up some skills from your peers. It’s also a good opportunity to network with like minded people.
But not just any agency, you need to find the agency (Hello… Bubblegum Casting!) Seriously though, finding the right agency who will actively work for your teen is essential. This is because a good agency will have solid industry contacts ensuring that your teen is exposed to suitable opportunities. While we would love your teen to join us here at Bubblegum, we always recommend that you do your homework and make sure that any agency you are considering is the right fit.
A monologue is a pre-prepared piece that a casting director may ask you to perform in an audition or for a self-tape. This can be a piece from any stage production, movie, or TV show. It should be about a minute long and your teen should know it inside out and back to front. Having one of these monologues prepared is a great way to show a casting director what your teen can do when given some time to prepare.
While it may seem silly at first, practising on camera is a great way for your teen to improve their skills. It’s also a good chance to get comfortable with speaking on camera before any auditions. Camera recordings also highlight the areas that your teen may need to improve on and trust us, you won’t need to point these out as they will notice themselves.
If your agency puts your teen forward for roles and you’re lucky enough to get an audition, make sure you attend. Even if it’s something that your teen feels they have no chance of getting, they should still go to the audition for the experience. After all, you never know!
And that’s as much as your teen can do for now besides practising and paying attention in their acting classes. Just remember, that in this industry, patience is a must as it could take quite some time before they land their first role.
So we mentioned our acting classes earlier and we guess we should give you a little rundown on what these involve.
First things first, why did we launch our acting classes?
After more than four decades in the industry, we knew that it was time for a change. Traditional acting classes were often overcrowded and unnecessarily expensive. The pandemic taught us how to live remotely, and so we thought: isn’t it time our kids got the opportunity to learn remotely too?
And so Bubblegum Academy was born. It’s an online school providing classes covering every aspect of working in the entertainment industry and then some. From young kids right up to teenagers, our online classes welcome everyone that wants to hone their acting skills and improve their chances of success.
Here are some answers to the questions parents just like you have asked us about Bubblegum Academy.