Acting coach

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An acting coach or drama coach is a teacher who trains performers – typically film, television, theatre, and musical theatre actors – and gives them advice and mentoring to enable them to improve their acting and dramatic performances, prepare for auditions and prepare better for roles.

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Qualifications and roles

Acting coaches need to have a "talent...for reading people, all their utterances and body language." [1] Acting coaches have been called "people whisperers", a reference to "horse whisperers" who help to train animals. [1] Acting coach Ivana Chubbuck states that one of her roles is to ensure that "every actor...must know what the character's objective is in a scene—to win someone's love, respect, sympathy, whatever—and then must have a ruthlessness about achieving the objective." [1] Chubbuck works with actors to help them to connect with the emotion inside the character. [1] Acting coaches also "...help [drama] students audition for college". [2] Acting coach and actor Woodell-Mascall is "...skilled at zeroing in on what young actors need to do to improve their performance." Woodell-Mascall tells one student actor to "...really think about who [the character] is and what she's feeling. It's got to be real. [2] She provides constructive criticism to students. Woodell-Mascall has helped students to get into drama programs at schools "...including NYU, Juilliard, Rutgers and UCLA". [2] Some acting coaches use an "...approach and technique of acting training [that] are considered established, proven methods of creating the [dramatic] work", such as using the "...methodology of Constantin Stanislavski, Stella Adler, Uta Hagen, Lee Strasberg, and Sanford Meisner." [3]

Some acting coaches provide students with a DVD or SD card recording of their acting, for the student to review their progress.

Notable individuals

Major acting coaches include: Larry Moss, Ivana Chubbuck, Michelle Danner, Maggie Flanigan, Terry Schreiber, David Mamet, Lee Strasberg, Michael Woolson, Stella Adler, Chambers Stevens, Sanford Meisner, Justin Trudeau

Working conditions

Acting coaches may be freelancers who are hired for an hourly or daily rate, or they may be hired on a longer-term basis by a film studio, production company or theatre company. Some acting coaches have developed their own unique methods and founded their own acting schools. Acting coaches' income varies a great deal from one coach to another. For example, an acting coach providing training to a community theatre troupe or a high school musical earns much less than an acting coach training top Hollywood celebrities. Acting classes are often provided in person; however, with the widespread availability of high-speed Internet, some coaches offer mentoring online over Skype or other video linkups. Acting coaches may offer private coaching, group sessions or a combination of both.

Other roles

In some cases, acting coaches are hired to train singers in acting skills. Popular music singers may need to learn acting skills for their live concert shows, which sometimes include staged sequences, and for performing in music videos. For example, Goth-rocker Amy Lee was provided with an acting coach by her record label. In Classical music, singers performing staged operas may get help from an acting coach to prepare them for their roles. Sometimes CEOs and other leaders hire acting coaches to help them improve their performance of speeches and other general communications activities. While most acting coaches mentor actors, some also coach directors on how to improve their direction of actors. Some acting coaches offer introductions to the acting industry, to help new actors learn about auditions, the casting process, the role of agents, key acting terminology (e.g., "callback" auditions), and about important industry organizations.

Intimacy coordinator

In the television and film industry, in 2018, some production companies are hiring an "intimacy coordinator" to ensure that actors and actresses' sexual consent is obtained before shooting romantic scenes and simulated sex scenes. [4] To address concerns about the "vulnerability...and the massive power balance that can happen when a powerful showrunner or director asks an actress or actor...to get naked and simulate sex for the camera", HBO hires an intimacy coordinator for these scenes. The intimacy coordinator is a mix of an acting coach (who makes sure that scenes look realistic) and an advocate for actors and actresses who ensures that the onscreen performers' boundaries are respected and that their physical and emotional comfort is protected. [4]

Related Research Articles

Acting

Acting is an activity in which a story is told by means of its enactment by an actor or actress who adopts a character—in theatre, television, film, radio, or any other medium that makes use of the mimetic mode.

Method acting Training and rehearsal techniques

Method acting, known informally as the Method, is a range of training and rehearsal techniques, as formulated by a number of different theatre practitioners, that seeks to encourage sincere and expressive performances through identifying with, understanding, and experiencing a character's inner motivation and emotions. These techniques are built on Stanislavski's system, developed by the Russian actor and director Konstantin Stanislavski and captured in his books An Actor Prepares, Building a Character, and Creating a Role.

Stanislavskis system System to train actors

Stanislavski's system is a systematic approach to training actors that the Russian theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski developed in the first half of the twentieth century. His system cultivates what he calls the "art of experiencing". It mobilises the actor's conscious thought and will in order to activate other, less-controllable psychological processes—such as emotional experience and subconscious behaviour—sympathetically and indirectly. In rehearsal, the actor searches for inner motives to justify action and the definition of what the character seeks to achieve at any given moment.

Lee Strasberg American actor, drama teacher, acting coach, theorist

Lee Strasberg was a Polish-born American actor, director, and theatre practitioner. He co-founded, with directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre in 1931, which was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective". In 1951 he became director of the nonprofit Actors Studio in New York City, considered "the nation's most prestigious acting school," and in 1966 he was involved in the creation of Actors Studio West in Los Angeles.

Sanford Meisner

Sanford "Sandy" Meisner was an American actor and acting teacher who developed an approach to acting instruction that is now known as the Meisner technique. While Meisner was exposed to method acting at the Group Theatre, his approach differed markedly in that he completely abandoned the use of affective memory, a distinct characteristic of method acting. Meisner maintained an emphasis on "the reality of doing", which was the foundation of his approach.

Stella Adler American actress

Stella Adler was an American actress and acting teacher. She founded the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City in 1949. Later in life she taught part time in Los Angeles, with the assistance of her protégée, actress Joanne Linville, who continued to teach Adler's technique. Her grandson Tom Oppenheim now runs the school in New York City, which has produced alumni such as Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Elaine Stritch, Kate Mulgrew, Kipp Hamilton, Jenny Lumet, and Jeff Celentano.

The Meisner technique is an approach to acting which was developed by American theatre practitioner Sanford Meisner.

Robert Lewis (director)

Robert Lewis was an American actor, director, teacher, author and founder of the influential Actors Studio in New York in 1947.

New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts

The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts (NYCDA) is a private acting college in New York City. Originally conceived for the purpose of training actors for film and television acting, in 2009 the conservatory gained accreditation to offer Associate degrees in Occupational Studies, a two-year curriculum offered in either Acting for Film & Television or Musical Theater Performance. The New York Conservatory is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

A dialect coach is an acting coach who helps an actor design the voice and speech of a character in the context of an on-camera, stage, radio or animation voiceover production. The dialect coach often does original research on dialects and speech patterns, prepares training materials, provides instruction and works on lines with the actor. A dialect coach will give the actor feedback focusing on issues of credibility, consistency, and clarity. A dialect coach may also be employed to help comedians hone impressions of celebrities, to train non-actor public speakers in vocal character and delivery, or to help singers improve in diction and attain a balance between tone and articulation, especially when singing in a second language.

Actor Person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of a role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. This can also be considered an "actor's role," which was called this due to scrolls being used in the theaters. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.

The Actors Movement Studio, also known as the Actor Movement Conservatory, is a teaching facility for actors in the Hells Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City.

The Michael Howard Studios is an acting studio for the performing arts located in at 152 West 25th Street in Chelsea, Manhattan, New York City; the studio was founded in 1953 by actor/director Michael Howard.

Ion Cojar

Ion Cojar was a Romanian acting teacher, researcher and theatre director. He is the founder of a unique method that revolutionised the Romanian school of acting.

Institute for Advanced Theater Training

The American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theatre (ART/МХАТ) Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University was founded in 1987 as a training ground for the new American Theater by the Robert Brustein and the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.

Classical acting is a type of acting that is based on the theories and systems of select classical actors including Konstantin Stanislavski and Michel Saint-Denis, including the expression of the body, voice, imagination, personalizing, improvisation, external stimuli, and script analysis.

Elizabeth Kemp

Elizabeth Kemp was an American actress and acting coach.

Marzia Tedeschi is an Italian actress, who mainly stars in Italian and German films, TV shows and plays. She lives in Berlin.

Ivana Chubbuck is an American acting coach, who heads a drama school in Los Angeles and also hosts acting workshops worldwide.

Alicia Rodis is a New York-based intimacy coordinator, director, and actor.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Eric Liu. "The People Whisperers:What a Hollywood acting coach taught me about teaching" in Slate. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/teachings/2005/01/the_people_whisperers.html
  2. 1 2 3 Regan McMahon. "THEATER Acting coach preps drama students for college auditions" in The Chronicle Saturday, January 22, 2011 http://www.sfgate.com/performance/article/Acting-coaches-help-students-audition-for-college-2478509.php
  3. "Kim Tobin Acting Studio - Houston, TX | FAQ's". kimtobinactingstudio.com.
  4. 1 2 Hughes, William (October 27, 2018). "HBO now requiring all of its shows to have an 'intimacy coordinator' on set during sex scenes". news.avclub.com. A.V. Club. Retrieved March 3, 2019.

See also