How do I “get good” at acting?
No matter what we want to do with our lives, we want to be good at it, don’t we? Emerson says, “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”
That’s all well and good for Emerson, sitting in his cabin on Walden Pond; but what does that truly mean for us in New York and in the 21st century? We are surrounded by dreams and ambitions, but the path is crowded with obstacles: time, money, competition, and our own self-doubt.
“Getting good” at something implies action: committing, investing, and starting.
And now the question is, “Where do I start?”
Remember that “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” (Brené Brown)
Oh, and one more just for good measure, “It’s not inspiration that leads to action, it’s action that leads to inspiration and motivation.” (Benjamin Hardy)
Where do I start?
Well, you start here. You are reading this page. You may have googled “New York City Acting Classes” and are doing your research. Congratulations. You’ve already done the hard work of admitting to yourself you have a dream and you may want help. And now you want to take that step to figure out how to make those dreams a reality. The next step, as Brown says, is to show up. And let others see you — in class.
But I don’t know anything about acting. What is there for a beginner like me?
The idea of a “Studio” may seem intimidating. Surrounded by those we imagine are “professionals“. “THEY know what they’re doing, those others in my class. I’m an imposter. I don’t know anything.”
When considering an acting teacher, a studio, or a class, take into consideration the many ways you want become the best actor you can be, and what that may entail. For everyone, it starts with foundational training.
The work we do here at the Terry Knickerbocker Studio is all about foundational training rooted in this thing called the Meisner Technique. What do you learn? Well, readiness, laser-sharp listening, emotional availability, constant curiosity, and spontaneity are just a few of the hallmarks of the technique.
Can’t I just take a scene study class?
In the beginning, no matter what class or technique you chose, it is important to start with exercises, and not with scene study. Said another way, using an “as if”: you wouldn’t expect to play Moonlight Sonata without knowing how to play a C scale, right? Would you play in the NFL without knowing how to read a tackle? Well that’s what it’s like doing scene without foundational training: you’re putting the cart before the horse.
Ok. Well can’t I just take a short workshop?
Remember that desire to “get good”? Well that, unfortunately, no matter how much natural talent anyone has, takes more time and investment than just a “workshop.” It takes a bit more time than one weekend to build the artist we believe you want to be.
Keep reading, you have found a place to start. We have listed good places to start, including our Conservatory Essentials program because, truly, there is no such thing as an “advanced Meisner class”. Everyone starts at the same place: the beginning
Students are encouraged to enroll in Conservatory Essentials for comprehensive actor training. Please see the full class list below