With the pandemic still a concern, I have decided to keep two of the studio’s classes online via Zoom through the end of the year and, short of a miracle, they will remain online as long as they are needed. I find all of the actors in the online classes adjusting beautifully to this new paradigm.
Initially, all of the classes were online but with so many actors wanting to return to the studio, we have slowly reopened four of the weekly classes with safety precautions firmly in place. The good news is, it is working and everyone is staying well.
The biggest difference between the online classes and the studio classes is the comradery between the actors. There is truly nothing like the human element and the ability to connect with other creatives in the flesh. I’m certain they would all agree.
That being said, there are other adjustments the online actors have had to make. Being limited in terms of movement and space requires actors to be very creative when it comes to making a performance look believable. I have been pleasantly surprised to see how many of my students are still able to use their space, props, and costumes effectively. Another difference, which I find to be positive, is the use of different backgrounds. It is incredible how creative many of the students have been with their use of backgrounds and how these backgrounds truly enhance the scene work. Another difference between the online classes and the studio classes is the lack of instant gratification absent by not being surrounded by a live audience.
While the online actors are required to stay online for the entire class, actors who are not performing are asked to mute their mics and stop their videos. This makes it easier for the performing actor to focus only on their scene partner but it does take away from any instant feedback they might receive in the moment. Actors will often share their congratulations on a job well done via chat but it’s not the same as hearing their laughter, seeing that they are moved, or enjoying their applause after a great performance.
What to Expect
Actors who choose to take classes online via Zoom can expect the same high quality of classmates, the undivided attention of their coach, along with the most honest and valuable critique possible. While there are certainly differences between studying at the studio and studying online, both formats have their costs and benefits and while being online is not the same as being at the studio, it is certainly better than the alternative, which is to do nothing. So, if you are an actor or want to be, but the idea of being in a crowd is still concerning to you, we would love to see you in a Zoom class. To observe a class, please schedule a day and time on the Get Started tab of the studio website. Zoom classes are held Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 6:30.