Acting classes for non-actors

I’m a recent university grad who studied business and technology in a four-year program. Instead of looking for a job, I am spending the next few months seeing and doing new things, particularly in the area of arts (since I’ve kind of been deprived of enjoying such things as a business/tech student).

My university offers acting classes. I have no acting experience and I don’t have any plans to go into acting, but I’m really interested in enrolling and the introductory level. I’m sure it’d be fun and I expect it could help a business student like me learn to keep her cool in stressful situations, but that’s just what I expect to come out of it.

Have any of you had experiences taking acting classes as a non-actor, and if so, how has it affected you in your every day life?

I once took a playwriting class, in which all the other members were actors. So I took a short introductory acting class, because I thought it would be good for me.

It wasn’t, much. I kept thinking that what I really needed was a class to teach me how to act like a normal person, so I could fool everybody. What I got was, “Okay, you’re a carrot. Now exude malevolence.”

Turns out I’m ineligible for the course. Seems my eyes ignored an important detail in the course description.

I’ve changed my mind. :stuck_out_tongue: What about Second City improv classes? It looks like loads of fun and it looks like people enroll in it not just to get into acting but also to improve creativity and presentation skills.

[If a mod sees this, could they add something about “Second City improv” in the title?]

Improv is great; really helps with creativity and thinking fast. I enjoyed it when I did it.

Too funny.

ETA: Paging Improv Geek – or you could PM him.

Actor here. Please please PLEASE make sure to take an introductory-level class. It’s very frustrating when I sign up and pay for a class to further refine my craft, and it turns out that my scene partner is a non-actor. I can’t learn as much preparing and refining a scene with a non-actor, and I can’t learn nearly as much watching a non-actor work. [/rant]

Improv class is always a good bet. It exercises virtually all of the skills that an actor needs, and it’s usually a lot of fun.

There’s an important lesson in that exercise. If you can say “Alright, I’m a carrot.” and run with it, playing a cop or a street kid or a superhero is that much easier. It trains you to not be tentative, in anything you do.