Who Do I Study With? – Close up with David H. Stevens

Written by | The Craft of Acting

Committing yourself to study acting is the first step. Then the next step is finding a good and legitimate teacher. David tells you what to watch out for and what you can do to find the right teacher.

Everyone tells me I need to study. How do I know who is a good teacher and who is not? – Katie M., Richmond VA

“I have absolutely zero education as a teacher and even less as an actor, but I’m better than you. In fact, I am the best acting coach in the world and there is only one way to act… MY WAY. Look no further.” If an acting coach DISCOURAGES YOU FROM pondering, SEEKING, and EXPERIENCING other methods and teachers, they usually have something to hide. Most of the time it is incompetence.

“Sign up now for the bargain price of every last dollar in your wallet.” Excessive prices are almost always a sign of a scam. Unless the teacher is a proven commodity with an expansive reputation, they should be charging a fair market value and not trying to make the quick buck.

If you hear, read, or discover any variation of these sentiments or others like them, you need to leave that class immediately. Better yet, don’t even sign up. Yes, you must study. To study is simply to learn and grow, and you must find a high quality teacher.

Does your coach enjoy what they do? Do they teach from a place of love? One of my favorite types of teachers is the one who teaches as a way to improve their own craft, much like the masters of the martial arts will attest: “To reach the highest level of mastery one must teach that which they know.”

Audit the class. If no audit is available, be wary. Even as a novice you will be able to determine growth by attending and trusting your learning instincts. You will be exposed to other students who will be able to attest, in both words and action, as to the value of the course as it pertains to their individual creative needs. If you are learning and growing in any creative arena and it is cost-effective, you are in the right place.

Editorial Note: ReelGuru.com provides online individual coaching. Visit https://reelguru.com/coaching/ for more information and see if it’s right for you!

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Last modified: November 1, 2017

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