Getting back to basics – introductory acting classes

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Now that many of us have almost had our fill of the summer blockbuster season in which thunderous explosions and eye-scorchingly elaborate CGI effects do an amazingly effective job of hiding the fact that there is little by way of story, character or acting to admire or enjoy, many are looking for something a bit different.

New movies, same ideas

No doubt the latest round of high-gloss remakes, reboots and sequels will inspire a new generation of special effects artists, set designers and and sound engineers, but they are unlikely to stir the passions of the next crop of talented screenwriters, directors or actors.

For that there must be a bit more substance, a bit more of a willingness to credit the audience with having an attention span, or the ability to empathise and intelligently engage with what they’re viewing on screen.

Inspiring those with talent is one thing, though; nurturing that talent is quite another. This is where education and experience play so pivotal a role. Those with aspirations of appearing on the stage or screen will need to do more than continue to purchase cinema tickets and make faces at themselves in the mirror.

Fresh challenges

Learning to form a leaving, breathing character out of a smattering of words on a page takes imagination, insight and conviction. Acting courses can challenge students and help them enlarge their upon creative potential. The Introduction to Acting course at the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art, for instance, covers the key elements of actor training – things such as voice work, physical movement, scene improvisation, and how to perform both classical and contemporary pieces. Students will also receive training in performing monologues, in how to interpret and inhabit the characters they read, in how to captivate an audience through nuance, subtlety and suggestion as well as through more direct means.

During the blockbuster season, performers and audiences alike need something a little different to refresh them and shake things up a bit, to challenge them and keep them guessing. After all, variety, as they say, is the spice of life.

*Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono

Frank Bolger

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