This is the place to ask your acting study questions. This includes questions concerning acting schools, acting classes and acting coaches, as well as any questions you have on different acting education approaches, acting techniques and acting methods.
What are the best questions to ask an instructor/school to best determine the right fit for yourself in your acting studies?
That’s a great question!
Here’s a checklist of things I can think of. Feel free to print it and take it with you to the interview.
Here are good questions to ask an acting school or acting coach:
- How do you get into the acting school or class? If it’s an acting coach, find out if he or she likes to audition actors before working with them. Ask what they look for in an actor. If it’s a school, ask if they require an application and fee, a picture and resume or an audition. If an audition is involved, find out what you will be asked for (A monologue? A cold reading? A song? A dance call?) You could also ask what kind of monologues they like to see. They may not have a preference, but if they do, it will help you pick the right audition piece.
- How many students are in the class? (If you’re just looking for a private acting coach, of course, this doesn’t apply).
- What is the background of your acting teachers or coach? Get a bio, find out their credentials as actors and if they’re still working actors at this time. Make sure your acting coach has experience in both theater and film acting so they can offer guidance for all kinds of auditions.
- What acting study techniques does the school or coach believe in? How are the classes structured? Ask if you can audit a class to see for yourself.
- Can you get information on alumni of the school or actors who have worked with this coach? How many are now working in the business as actors? If you can get the number of some former students as references, that’s even better.
- How much is the school or class? If it’s a school, ask about any additional fees for books, applications or performances, and ask about financial aid options, if any. If you’re talking with a private acting study coach, his fee will probably be hourly (make sure you know his cancellation policy).
Here are more questions that really only apply to acting schools:
- What is the acceptance rate? (i.e. How many people do they accept into the school compared with the number of actors who apply).
- What kind of classes are available? What kind of movement and voice classes does the school offer in addition to acting study classes? Will you learn how to act in front of the camera?
- Ask about the different programs available. A lot of schools will offer short-term classes in addition to their full-time acting study conservatory programs.
- Can you visit the school and see their in-house theaters or performance spaces? Better still, see if you can attend the next student play staged at the school (this will give you a great idea of the school and the potential of the actors who attend).
- Will you get to perform on stage in front of an invited audience? How often? Is the school affiliated with a professional acting company? Will you get to work with guest directors or playwrights?
- Does the school organize industry showcases where agents and casting directors can see you act?
- Does the acting school offer workshops with casting directors, agents or other professionals from the industry?
- Is there an internship program to help you gain experience?
- Does the school have a filmmaking program? Will you get assistance putting an actor reel together?
- Will you get discounts to shows or screenings in town?
- Will you get a degree or college credits?
- If you’re an international student, find out if you will get a training visa after you finish acting school and for how long (this visa will allow you gain experience in the US as an actor).
- If you’re inquiring about a full-time acting program, ask if you’ll be able to audition professionally while you’re in school. Also find out if your place is guaranteed in the school once you’re accepted or if you’ll have to audition to stay in the acting study program.
Questions for acting coaches only:
- What is the acting coach style of teaching?
- How long are the classes or sessions? How flexible is the acting coach? (Find out if you’ll be able to schedule a last minute coaching session if you have a callback the next day, for example.)
- Will your coach give you advice on the business of acting? Some coaches are very informed about what’s going on in town, who is casting what, etc. Some coaches even organize industry showcases with their best students.
Hope this list of questions helps!
My advice would be to take your time after the interview. Go home and think about the answers you got…
…but in the end, especially when choosing an acting coach, trusting your instinct is the most important thing. You really have to be comfortable with your acting study coach and trust them to get the most out of that relationship and grow as an actor, so go with your guts!
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