A Safe Place for Actors

Published by Drew on

We are big proponents of safety in class. Whether it means setting up guidelines for privacy in class, or how to treat the furniture, we believe in creating a safe place for actors. This especially means establishing an environment that is supportive and conducive to honesty and vulnerability.

At Seydways Acting Studios, actors will never get yelled at. No one will get into heated disagreements about technique. Insults are not tolerated. Speaking about fellow actors outside of class is unacceptable. We work hard to cultivate what we call a “safe environment for actors” and we believe that wherever you are studying, this is something you should look for in a studio, and something you shouldn’t make a compromise on.

At the heart of acting is the ability to be fully vulnerable with whatever it is that your character is going through. Sometimes, what the character is going through might be a stretch for an actor—a zone he or she isn’t quite comfortable with or isn’t sure how to approach. To do so (to learn) requires working on this obstacle in a place that is free of judgment.

By enacting these principles in our studio, we have seen students soar in their acting. We provide a gentle environment for students to experiment, to try out new things, to “go there” with their acting.

Say you’re an actor who’s not comfortable with crying in front of people. You don’t do it in your regular life and you definitely don’t do it in your acting. But you know that at some point you might have to do it in front of the camera. So how do you figure out this conundrum? You work in an atmosphere that allows you to try it out, perhaps struggle with it, and keep trying again and again until it clicks. This might mean anything from making embarrassing faces to pretend crying to one day outright naturally sobbing. Diving in requires vulnerability and a lack of self-consciousness, which we cultivate at Seydways Acting Studios.

When you’re looking for a place to study acting, be sure to audit a class and ask around about a studio’s reputation. Do the teachers yell at students? Are students working on things that are challenging for them and are they getting support from the teacher and the class? Do students overcome obstacles? Do they feel the teacher is in their corner? These are good questions to ask before enrolling in a class. Look for an environment where you can be absolutely vulnerable and real.