Acting Classes For Kids
Many young people graduate high school with a passionate relief that they will never again have to participate in a pageant, exhibit, or production. But a few kids discover that standing in front of an adoring crowd belting out a solo or delivering a monologue is sheer heaven. They can’t get enough, and these are just the kids who could benefit from acting classes.
But if you’re not experienced in the theatre, it might not be easy to find acting lessons that fit your child, are good quality, and won’t cost an arm and a leg. The following suggestions might give you a few ideas about where to begin in your search for acting classes for kids.
Local Community Theatre
Most communities have some kind of theatre organization that performs plays for local audiences. If there’s not one in your town, chances are that there’s one in a town within driving distance; try calling the Chamber of Commerce or the local arts council. You can also begin a search for community theatres by contacting The American Association of Community Theatres.
Many community theatres offer classes, workshops, and seminars for adults and youth. It’s to their benefit to do so—it builds good community feeling, it helps train the next generation of performers and crew, and it makes them eligible for grant money. And if they know there is interest in classes, they will go the extra mile to provide them.
Everyone thinks of the YMCA as a place that provides family-friendly fitness and athletics, but they also frequently provide classes in the arts, including visual arts, dance, singing and acting. In fact, if you live in the Manhattan area, the YMCA is one of the most important providers of performing arts education. Not every YMCA has the size or the resources of the ones in New York City, of course, but in many places qualified members of the community offer acting lessons to young people interested in performing. And the YMCA is found almost everywhere, so if one facility doesn’t have the acting lessons your child is looking for, another one might. You can check here to find a YMCA that offers acting classes.
Even in this era of slashed budgets, every school has something in the way of a drama presence. It could be a multi-staffed department with state of the art facilities, or it could be a single overworked English teacher putting on Our Town for the tenth time in the school gym, but plays and introductory acting classes are being taught. It’s very likely that your high schools drama or English teacher can give your child acting lessons. But even if he or she can’t do it themselves, teachers network with each other, and your drama teacher definitely knows another teacher who can give lessons to your child.
Another option is to contact a local college theatre department and hire a college or graduate student to give your child acting lessons. If your child is new at acting, this might be a very good option; acting lessons won’t be expensive, and your child’s acting teacher will be passing on techniques she’s learning from professors with MFAs.
Whatever path you take to finding an acting coach or acting instructor for your child, the most important thing you can do for them is to encourage them to audition for a variety of roles. Instruction in acting technique is important, but nothing can replace the learning that goes on backstage and onstage, between performers of every level of experience. Every actor brings with him or her every director and cast-mate they have ever worked with—and if your child’s in a show, your child benefits from all that experience. And let’s face it, when someone is learning the performing arts, they really should be performing!
It’s not easy being a stage-mom or stage-dad to a budding actor. Rehearsals are four, sometimes five, nights a week, including some late nights the closer to performance you get. But if your son or daughter has been bitten by the acting bug, getting them up on stage as often as possible might be the only cure!
Check out these schools and camps that offer acting lessons for kids!