Fun is contagious. If you want your students to have an awesome time in your class, enjoy yourself! There is absolutely nothing worse than being taught by someone who isn’t present. Even if you are having a bad day you can still have fun. Tell your class your troubles. Heck, use your troubles as a springboard for an improv game. Maybe you can learn a thing or two from how things play out on stage! Come on, have a laugh!
Change the tempo
Acting classes often fall into a rhythm. If you want to be a better acting teacher change the tempo! If your warm-up/play time often gets out of control, try doing a long form improvised scene in slow motion. If your students are feeling low energy, speed things up. The results you can get from asking students to change their internal rhythm will shock you. “Faster and off!” is a common way to direct Shakespeare.
Go off script
Sometimes we can get stuck to the script. We become obedient. If you are trying to become a better acting teacher, ask your students to go off script. Improvising around a theme/word/emotion can unlock gold. After jazzing on a theme students will often return to a scene with a completely different mindset.
Forget the clock
You heard me! Forget the clock! Time isn’t always important in acting class. Just be present and listen to the needs of your students. If something catches the group’s interest, allow yourself to explore it without worrying about the time. Yes, you want to give all of your students equal opportunity, but we can learn loads about ourselves by watching others.
You are an actor, teaching actors. Why are you afraid to join in? Stay calm and in control, but give it a go. Students love to be out acted by their teacher. Trust yourself and dive in.
For some great acting games…
For more on running an acting class…