The Acting Center Helps Actors Trust Their Instincts

August 21, 2016

One of the top-rated acting schools in Los Angeles is The Acting Center. It’s touted as “a new acting and improv school based on a rediscovered technique buried for the last 80 years.” Founded in 2006, the center’s television, film, and theater professors specialize in producing “uniformly confident, completely certain actors who can create any character–in any emotion, in any situation–instantly.” Regardless of an actor’s level of skill or experience, an emphasis is placed on students fully trusting their creative instincts, and honing their authentic expression.

According to the center’s website, the curriculum includes hands-on technique that is “based on learning by doing (versus watching, analyzing, overthinking) and for that reason every actor works in every class and for most of every class.” In the above video, experienced actress Erika Christensen explains how the various methods taught at the school avoid teaching an actor that his or her choices are right or wrong. Instead, she found that she was able to expand beyond what she considered to be her range which she found to be “a completely inspiring experience.”

Another student, Jason Steed, explains how he regained his confidence at The Acting Center. In previous acting classes, instructors had essentially taught the aspiring thespians to question their creative choices. This left Steed, and so many others, feeling insecure. In fact, Steed admits he came to doubt his acting abilities altogether. He contrasts those potentially damaging kinds of instruction with TAC’s approach, saying it’s “a space to create, and that’s what I love…and now I’ve got my acting chops back.” He can confidently enter the audition room doors with the conviction that he’s got something unique to offer. “There’s only one of me, and that’s what the technique is making me realize, that my ideas are unique to everybody else’s.”

Actress Rita Fiora likewise attended TAC, and describes how she used to worry she was wrong in her approach while at auditions. “And then you get in front of the casting director, and you think you’re wrong. And they pick up that you think that you’re wrong, and so obviously you’re wrong. You’re never right for the part.” Since her classwork at TAC, she no longer feels afraid of being critiqued. Instead, the now self-assured actress says, “You know that you’re doing exactly what you know you as the character would do…You’re right for what you would do.”

Most importantly, Christensen, Steed, and Fiora describe their subsequent auditions and role work going to a whole new level after taking the courses. “You think different, you move different, and you might talk different…and you’ve allowed yourself to become someone else without any stops, and it feels like magic. You feel free,” Fiora insists. And after scene study and improv classes at TAC, Christensen asserts that while working on a movie, “I noticed that I didn’t have to contrive any of the emotion or manipulate it, which is fascinating to experience.”

The Acting Center offers courses in scene study, improv for adults, teens and kids, acting for young adults, as well as private coaching.