There is a diverse range of acting lessons available in the Sydney metropolitan area. Everything from basic drama classes in local community centres and church halls, to theatre classes and on-camera acting classes.
Community centres and church halls are ideal spaces for drama classes, but if a school is dedicated to training for the stage then they obviously must have a theatre and a stage, otherwise the students have no idea of the parameters required on stage or of the techniques required in pitching a performance to a live audience.
The same applies to on-camera acting schools. To properly train actors for the screen, a screen acting school must run classes in a camera studio environment with sets, props, film lighting, cameras, microphones, green screen and editing facilities. A school which runs on-camera classes in anything but a dedicated television studio-style space cannot be considered a legitimate screen acting school: And any so-called screen acting school that doesn’t make the considerable investment in equipment and facilities for their students and teaching staff is nothing more than a basic drama school at best.
In the Sydney area there are many talented and dedicated acting tutors, and any school worth their salt only hires the best available tutors.
When it comes to teaching acting students, there is a big difference between professional acting tutors and professional actors. Professional acting tutors are just that – professional tutors. Professional actors in most cases however make for unreliable teachers due to the fact that their acting career takes precedence over teaching classes. The other problem with most actors who are teaching to make a few extra dollars between jobs, is that they are extremely reluctant to pass on important skills and techniques. They don’t see the people in their class as students but as a potential threat to their career. From their perspective, they are training the competition and this means they are far less likely to pass on valuable information to their students.
A professional acting tutor sees their students as just that: students. And like any good teacher they are passionate about their area of expertise and are only too willing to help others learn.
However, not all actors are reluctant to pass on their knowledge. Peter Phelps, who runs a Screen Acting Intensive master class at the Screen Actors Workshop, is not only a Logie and AFI-award winning actor, but also a brilliant acting tutor who delights in passing on valuable information to his students.
Similarly not all professional acting tutors are open and informative with their students either, as there are some who are more concerned with bringing their own agenda and ego into the classroom, to the detriment of their students learning curve.
When looking for good acting lessons always research the school via their web site, and pick up word-of-mouth on the institution from former and current students if possible.
If you are looking for good theatre classes, The Ensemble Theatre in Kirribilli is one of Sydney’s longest established theatre schools and the school has an impeccable reputation.
For top shelf on-camera classes, the Screen Actors Workshop in Brookvale is Sydney’s longest established screen acting school with a solid reputation and proven results.