I am writing this in March of 2020 in the midst of the Corona Virus Pandemic that has, essentially, forced the world to come to almost a complete stop I hope everyone reading this, and your families, are staying safe and healthy.
Like most of you, the studio has also had to find ways to adjust and adapt to this new paradigm of social distancing. In doing so, we just completed our first week of virtual acting classes online. I must admit that I was a bit daunted to try such a thing. I’ve been a coach for almost twenty years and I am aware of how important it is to be face to face with my students so that I can read them and their body language and they can do the same with their scene partners as well as me. I was a bit unsure how we might structure these classes, how well the actors would adjust, and most importantly, if there would be any value in doing what we do online. Would it translate? I am happy to report that all of the classes went really well. They are different from the studio classes in that everyone was in a different room, the setup doesn’t allow for a lot of movement and I think the most difficult aspect for the actors was getting used to performing to a computer or a phone. There were a few technical challenges, but all in all, it was a very positive experience and I actually saw some benefits to working this way. What follows is a list of some of the observations I made regarding this week’s online classes.
1. There is no traffic to deal with and thus, everyone was on time
2. There were no parking concerns
3. Collectively, many hours were saved by people not having to be in their cars, with the added benefit to the environment and the wear and tear on their vehicles!
4. While in class, I noticed many actors in their pajamas. I am fairly certain that many took the opportunity to not shower at this time
5. Many actors also enjoyed just sitting back and having a glass of wine or their dinner
6. I saw a number of actors playing with their pets
7. Actors were also encouraged to stop their video and audio if they needed to step out for a bit
8. Actors have the ability to record their work and many took the time to chat throughout the class
9. I have no doubt that all of the actors are building strong auditioning skills. The online classes look and feel more like a video audition and many of the actors are enjoying the opportunity to build these acting muscles
10. The online classes are less expensive than the studio classes
I am happy to report, that while the online classes are different from the studio classes, there are definitely benefits to having them.
Until the world gets back to normal, and it will, all of our classes will be online. In addition to our regular scene study classes, we are also offering a class on “Everything you Need to Know about Auditioning,” as well as an “Improv for Actors” class.
Until we can be at the studio in person again, I look forward to seeing you online.