Taking your first steps towards professional actor training

Brooke Boland

Here’s a rigorous 12-month program to get your acting career started.
Taking your first steps towards professional actor training

Image: supplied.

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For many, the path that leads towards acting as a career begins in high school, where you have your first taste of performance in drama class. Getting experience outside of school is the next step, often followed by education and training – of which there are plenty of options to choose from.  

For Laura McInnes, her aspirations to work as a professional actor led her to NIDA Actors Studio, a 12-month program that allowed her to explore her potential as an artist while she considered her options for further education. 

‘In high school I decided I wanted to be an actor and I thought this is a great step forward in terms of training and starting to become a professional,’ she said.

‘The best part has been the teachers we get to work with. Every term has been so different and we are working with people who are professionals, they’ve been doing this for years and it is so wonderful to learn from them first hand.’

NIDA Actors Studio is designed for prospective students who are looking to take their training to the next level, and while the time commitment is small – every Saturday for one year — it is no less rigorous. McInnes, who will complete Actors Studio in two weeks’ time, feels the course has provided her with a strong foundation. But it has also provided perspective on her chosen career.

‘The best thing I’ve learned is to have a good time and have fun. Sometimes it can become a bit taxing, and when you’re busy with so much going on you can get overwhelmed,’ she said.

‘I’ve learned to really make the most of every moment while you’re performing; to stay in that moment, and remember what a privilege it is to be doing what you’re doing.’ 

Shane Anthony, who tutors across NIDA Actors Studio, said the students he teaches vary quite radically, ranging from those who recently finished high school to older students who are looking for a career change. 

‘With the Actors Studio it is audition-based entry, whether that means students have completed short courses at with NIDA Open prior to the Actors Studio, or if they have completed training elsewhere. Students have an understanding of the basics and they come to the Actors Studio for some more intense training over a year long period,’ he said.

The structure provides clear outcomes for students accepted into the program, even exploring a full scale production in term three. 

‘It is a fantastic program to train students for work in the industry, but also for students who want to go on to more intensive training like the three year Bachelor of Fine Arts acting program at NIDA,’ said Anthony.

Upcoming audition dates for the 2018 Actors Studio program, which is available in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, are – Sydney: 9 Dec 2017, 2pm and 13 Jan 2018, 10am or 2pm; Melbourne: Sat 16 Dec, 2pm and Sat 13 Jan, 10am; Brisbane: Sat 16 Dec, 2pm and Sat 13 Jan, 10am.

Find out more at open.nida.edu.au/studios

About the author

Brooke Boland is a Melbourne-based freelance writer.

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