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  • Rachael Messer

Always seek out Education!

There are hundreds upon hundreds of books out there written about acting, from beginner level to specialization of a specific field or theory. As someone who got a degree in Theatre Performance, I read my share of those books and then some. I studied acting even on my own. Finding books in store and articles online about everything I could. I studied different acting methods, some worked for me while others didn’t. Some struck me and I felt inspired, while others I read thinking “I’m 99.9% sure this person is legitimately crazy right now…”

However, while there are certain methods and approaches that I don’t like and others I preferred, I did expose myself to all that I could. There was a theory in particular, the name of which, I won’t mention, but I was forced to take three semesters of in college. I detested this theory. I spent my first year as a biology major, and many physical things this method claimed as “Ideal” or “Preferred” or even “Perfect” posture and basic body mechanics, from an anatomy and biology stand point, were just. Dead. Wrong, there were things I took away from the class, even if it was just learning what not to do. And that, apparently anyone can write an acting book.

What I suggest to those who want to know more about acting is to expose yourself to a wide variety of theories and methods and see what works best for you. Also remember that not everything is black and white. If you find a method you like but there are a few things you don’t, you do not have to accept the parts you don’t like. Many people ask me what theory or method I use, and I always find it a little difficult to answer because many of the other actors who have a specific method that I tend to run across, live, breath, and sleep that method. And Im not like that. What I’m doing is playing make believe with some approaches from methods I came across and thought “I like that part! I’ll try it out”

An important thing to keep in mind about my acting approach is that, while I kept some things as they were presented to me, a majority of it I took and twisted. So while reading this, you may find yourself thinking “That sounds a lot like this other thing, but different” and it’s probably because I took “That other thing” and mutated it to better fit me. I also studied different forms of psychology from body language to speech patterns.

I won’t tell you how to act in this chapter. I won’t break down all the methods. What I will do is share with you my approach in hopes that you find something that makes you think “I like that! I’ll try it” and maybe you will mix something in here with other theories as well and create your own personal masterpiece. We all have different brains so why try to adapt one method for all of them?

While some people find a method that really resonates with them or they find perfect, not everyone finds 1 single method that helps them reach the full potential of their acting. And it’s always a wonderful idea to continue to seek out education, to always be growing. I still love reading different acting technique books, voice control and techniques, and a deeper understanding of psychology because these are things that work for me.

If in your budget, branch out and take classes about acting styles and techniques. Sometimes something may surprise you. You may take a class about Shakespearean acting and learn something that really strikes you and helps your acting reach another level. It is important to note that you should RESEARCH your teacher as there are plenty of scam teachers out there, so ask around, ask previous students, check everything out before you put down the money. Also make sure your teacher has done the work they claim to. Ive seen new “Teachers” who claim to have worked for major clients, but you cant research or find any of it.

There are also tons of acting books out there as well for a cheaper aspect. You can also find tons of info online!

If you want any acting teacher, books, online recommendations, please feel free to reach out to me and I’d be happy to help you out!

Happy Holidays and keep growing!

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