Most people’s minds go to the lush hills and sunshine of California when they think of the most famous actors in the world. We conjure up an image in our heads of the luxurious, warm weather of the Hollywood Hills and the actors who’ve set up home there. We have a lot of preconceived ideas of the lives these people live, and the lives they have lived.
This is especially true when we think of comedic actors. Some of the most famous comedic actors in the industry at the moment are Will Arnett, Kevin Corrigan and, John Leguizamo. Many people anticipate that these individuals are naturally gifted, that they were discovered and have become the huge names that they are now by chance. However, while there is a lot to be said for natural talent, hard work, and dedication, each of the actors just mentioned also went to Manhattan acting classes by Lee Strasberg.
Comedic actors, in particular, are actors who very few realize have been trained professionally. While acting school is often associated with stage acting, and New York City is known primarily for Broadway and musicals, many famous screen actors also started their careers by enrolling in acting classes.
Actors like Jon Voight, Barbra Streisand, and Robert Morse have all taken classes in acting in New York City. While they all needed to be dedicated to their craft, work hard, go to casting call after casting call, and maintain a constant presence in the scene, attending classes also played a role in their rise to stardom. All acting classes, even those that focus on stage acting, focus on the core tenets of the craft.
Projecting your voice, learning lines, portraying different emotions convincingly, and holding your body and angling it in such a way as to ensure it fits the character are all skills that actors need to learn. When you think about how comedic actors hold their bodies and often use them to add to the comedic effect, it is completely understandable that they received training.
In every other industry, people begin their careers by studying the field in which they hope to make a career. They begin by attending some sort of class that’s related to their ultimate goal. While there are many professional actors who are working today who have not taken classes, there are just as many who have. Yet, for many, the idea that Hollywood movie stars took classes is something that cannot be grasped.
It’s also something that isn’t always mentioned in actor biographies. Things like their personal life, their parents’ lives and other interesting facts are included, but their college, even if it is acting school, is often left out.
Taking classes in something that you want to turn into your career is completely normal, and there is a lot to be said in investing in your skillset. In any industry, upskilling is endorsed and encouraged by many. Professional training and qualifications are worthwhile investments in the future. An actor taking acting classes is the same type of investment.
Some of the biggest names in the industry are alumni of acting schools. Those who hope to gain entry into the acting profession should be reminded of this and encouraged to follow in their footsteps. By accepting that the biggest actors in the industry took acting classes, many others who are hoping to make it big will understand that there is training available.
Acting classes can be taken to lead to a profession or even just as a hobby, but it’s not purely by chance that actors become famous. They have spent time and energy acting in productions that give them little to no pay and grinding away. This hard work, while not profitable, has led them to the place they are now.
Each and every person working is encouraged to upskill. We’re told to learn more, work harder, get a professional or academic qualification and then use that in order to progress. We’re constantly encouraged to pursue activities that will enable us to develop more skills, and apply them to different aspects of our lives.
So why is it that many of us refuse to acknowledge that actors received professional training, too? This could discourage people from following this path if they think that their idols have just randomly become famous actors who never received a basic training class. We need to acknowledge, accept and encourage people to attend classes if they want to.