Acting can be a fickle profession, so time will tell if you will have a positive experience with it or need extra help. 

What this means in practice is that you sometimes need to learn to act by using specific techniques that you need coaching to understand - this can come from formal acting classes at a school like NIDA in Sydney NSW or VCA in Melbourne VIC, but actors or acting students may need that extra help not only get acting techniques but audition techniques and how to ace casting calls.

Jobs in the industry don't just rely on your performance on the day - days, weeks, and even years of the time of a director go into crafting their artistic vision.

Therefore, you need lessons to know how to associate your drama skills with professional work and performance, which can get you the right manager and experience (maybe even doing online acting at first) and get you in front of the director that will land you jobs.

Learn about the types of techniques needed to be a brilliant actor.

Improv is key for actors to stay intuitive
Improv can be a key thing to work on with acting coaches. | Source: Wikipedia

This can be achieved all thanks to an acting coach or coaches whose private or group classes can be some of the best ways to get a foot in the door of the industry.

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Understanding Acting

The craft itself can be something a given actor has a natural talent for, but it is also something that you need to spend a lot of time at school for and get extensive performance experience in the industry beyond your professional training.

This can also be especially the case if the kind of performance technique or techniques apply more to theatre or film, and you want to switch to the other medium.

Theatre, for instance, involves projection and having to be bigger so the audience can see, whereas the skills for film can be more subtle and best way to show these techniques in an audition is to just be natural.

So, bearing this all in mind, drama operations need to lend themselves to different kinds of acting and also different mediums.

A director for instance might associate a different kind of person whose days are spent nurturing their projection skills with a completely different, small character on screen, which the actor will have to relearn.

Moreover, beyond just the skills and techniques needed to distinguish between film/on-screen and theatre acting, characterisation for an actor can be quite different too.

Whilst drama is a catchall for training and performance an actor gives, it does need to vary.

This is why training with a private tutor or acting coach or coaches will be one of the best ways of helping you learn how to be adaptable and ace auditions.

Find out what acting jobs are available to you in Australia.

NIDA makes performing arts an incredible art form.
NIDA in Sydney can take an actor to the next level in their performance. | Source: NIDA.edu.au

Acting Schools Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth

We mention Sydney NSW, Melbourne VIC, and Perth WA in particular not because they're all slightly further south and colder climates have any impact on the arts (despite London, New York, Berlin and Paris being chilly cities).

We mention them because they are the places you want to go for your acting class in the acting school that suits you.

Sydney: NIDA - This is the premier film and television school in Australia, which has such big names amongst its alumni such as Cate Blanchett, Mel Gibson, and Baz Lurhman. If you can drop this name at any audition (chances are the operations, management and production people, including the director, already know you went there from your CV and headshots), you will likely broker greater instant trust in your ability as an actor.

The training here is incredibly rigorous, and you can spend days refining a single skill or receiving coaching on how to learn a new technique from your highly reputable teacher. Getting a job in the industry may only come after one single performance with the school as well, since auditions and calls from film, screen, or theatre professional industry managers and associate types will start to come automatically.

Melbourne: VCA - This is the number one acting and drama school in the country if you're interested in theatre. It specialises in musical and straight theatre but also has performing arts components that can combine with dance. This is the school you will want to try if you want to be broken down as an actor and learn how to build yourself back up. 

Beyond learning general stagecraft and the best coaching techniques from your teacher, there will be plenty of opportunities to explore the different kinds of performance you can enjoy as an actor beyond just a text-based piece.

Famous faces to come out of these hallowed halls include Julia Zemiro, Elizabeth Debicki, and Nicole Kidman, so you know you're amongst esteemed company who've made the transition from stage to screen as well if you so desire yourself.

Perth: WAAPA - This performing arts school is what launched Hugh Jackman's career into the stratosphere, and is particularly well known for its musical theatre programme.

You will get the help here working with voice and singing and dancing as well as being a flawless actor, which will permit you entry into the eclectic and world-renowned musical theatre scene of Australia (which you will probably have to move to Melbourne or Sydney for). This institution, much like its counterparts in other cities, is really a career-booster overall in any case.

See the various kinds of work you can do as an actor.

How Does an Acting Coach Fit with All of This?

So based on some of the skills we've outlined, getting the assistance of an acting coach can really be what makes you stand out.

Much like with any kind of tutor, they will be able to hone in on what exactly it is you need to refine, especially if you have a private session or two with them every week.

Landing that role requires a lot of practice, patience and skills but some luck never hurts!
The Melbourne Recital Centre is where many performers can end up if they're lucky. | Source: VisitMelbourne

The benefits of this are that, especially if you're at acting school, you can craft your own world more easily than you can in a room full of people.

Here, we will look into the different benefits depending on whether you're a seasoned performer or a student and can use the guidance of a coach's extra attention to work out your approach to your own craft.

  • Acting coaches for students

Based on the kinds of dramaturgy you will explore, as shown in the proposed syllabuses of the major schools above, there will be plenty that a good coach can do for you.

Given that acting within a role or character involves really living like them, the coach will help you find the methods to achieve this effectively. Your teacher at your acting school will no doubt get you to the line, but the dedicated attention of private lessons will get you over it.

Firstly, they can assist you in dramatic methods. What this means in practice is that they can harness your understanding of character creation and inhabitation, and push it further by probing with what sort of reactions the character would have in a given situation for instance.

They may also craft scenarios the character could find themselves in and make you improvise at the character to discover the world they inhabit.

Beyond this, they're there to actually train particular features of the acting repertoire, which include voice projecting, how to portray emotion when you're not really feeling it, and crafting chemistry with other actors. 

This can be through repetition and rehearsal, or in a dedicated workshopping space.

Finally, these are the individuals who can help you navigate the industry better, including dealing with casting agents, finding a manager, and being the best you can be at auditions. They will be as a much a personal coach for marketing yourself as they will a professional one who enhances your abilities.

Whilst these competencies will be explored in your group acting classes at university or school, the private teacher will know which you need to work on more and can go that much deeper with you.

Soap operas are great starts for many TV actors
Soap operas like Home and Away jettison many Australian actors to stardom. | Source: closeronline.co.uk
  • Acting coaches for seasoned actors

There is a benefit to having dedicated attention at any stage of your career, whether it be because you're taking on a role you've never done anything similar to before, wanting to refresh your skillset, or needing to fall back in love with the craft.

The likelihood is that you will probably have someone you work with regularly, especially if you have a contract with a studio or theatre company. 

They will know you well, or workshop scenes and scenarios with you and other actors to get everyone on the same page and contextualise the piece well alongside the director actually blocking the show.

These people will be experts in the trade and be able to predict just what an actor will find difficult in a role, while also understanding that you're a professional and having certain expectations of what you're going to bring.

Using an acting coach if you're coming from years of experience can really vary depending on what your own needs are, but if you're not currently working on a production, they're great to keep in contact with just to make sure that you keep your hand in too.

Discover Superprof's guide to shining in acting auditions to land that dream role.

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