I attended an acting class yesterday at the Cambridge Center for adult education. It was taught by Stan, who's probably 80 years old, and has been teaching the class for 42 years! I met some interesting people through the class, including:
1. One Welsh guy who is here with his wife. His wife is on a program with Harvard, and he is taking tons of classes at the CCAE to keep himself sane
2. A voice-over specialist who told me how profitable doing voiceovers is
3. A very shy young guy, who did open up in the class, but found it too much, and left halfway through.
4. A model trying to get into some acting
5. Several other people who just wanted to learn to be more expressive
I learned about the four key emotions of acting; happiness, sadness, anger and fear. What was surprising is how one can fake physical actions that mimic the emotions, and start feeling these emotions. Try it - maintain a happy face and you will get happy pretty soon! For an actor, the challenge is not getting into an emotion; the challenge is to quickly get out of it and then switch to an entirely different emotion. We did an exercise which involved acting in pairs, playing off each others emotions and quickly switching between them. There was no script and no defined guidelines.
Loved the class! Also realized that I am probably not going to become a professional actor (duh!) but would certainly love to learn this art more to improve how I express myself.