When we are children or when we have them our evenings and weekends are often dominated by extracurricular classes. As a child, I tried…. horse riding, ballet, Irish dancing, singing, guitar, and of course speech and drama. Notice the total absence of any sports activities, it was clear early on I was more artistic than athletic. I was very fortunate to be able to attend drama after school as it completely shaped my future. Especially as there was no drama or music at my school, I still feel hard done by when I hear about TY musicals!
Usually, our list of extracurriculars gets smaller and smaller as we age. Until as a teenager we only attend the one we feel really passionate about or none at all. This is frequently a side effect of our secondary school’s atrocious amount of homework and the stern emphasis on the leaving cert’s importance. But once we’ve finished school, finished college (if we choose to go) we have that time back (to a degree) but we rarely consider using it for an adult “extracurricular.” I feel that is a missed opportunity and so I’m proposing the top 10 reasons adults should take an acting class.
Completing acting exercises and gaining performance skills builds confidence in students of all ages. Being pushed past our comfort zone and being asked to be a little bit silly helps us become less self-conscious. This new found confidence will improve every aspect of our life’s outside of the arts.
2. Meet New People
It can be so difficult to make new friends as an adult and an acting class is a brilliant place to meet open minded people. Nothing builds friendships better than bonding over a funny improv session or a stressful show week!
3. Improve Public Speaking
Have an important presentation at work? Having trouble with your th’s ? Have to give a best man speech? Acting classes can help improve your public speaking and posture, leaving you prepared for all of these instances and more.
4. Improve your Imaginative Thinking
Acting classes build our creative skills by asking us to view the world from another perspective and think outside of the box. This skill can be implemented into all areas of your life, allowing you to problem solve more creatively.
5. A Safe Space to Play
It may sound cliché but through arts we really can connect with our inner child. It is a safe place to experiment creatively through play. It’s an escapist space where the only goal is to create and learn, which can be refreshing especially if you work in a very practical field.
6. Me Time
As an adult we can have so many commitments to work, relationships, family and friends that we don’t take time for ourselves. Taking an hour or two each week to attend a class for yourself can help solidify our identity in a new setting. It is so important to have something that is just for you.
As actors we have to analyze text and learn to empathize and connect with the characters we are playing. Often these characters are very different to us, they may be from a different background, culture or even decade. This encourages us to empathize with others and view the world from several perspectives.
8. New Plays and Films
Through acting classes you will be introduced to many plays and films that may be completely new to you. Through studying acting and text analysis you’ll also appreciate these works and others even more.
9. Shine on Stage
The adrenaline rush you feel just after your five minute call is like no other. The nerves, the excitement and the build up is all so wonderful. Whether it’s performing on an actual stage or in the rehearsal room it’s an experience everyone should have at least once.
10. You could be a Star in the Making!
You may have always wanted to give an acting career a go but other things got in the way. Now is your chance, it’s never to late.