Acting may come across as an interesting and glamorous job. It allows you to play different roles and meet diverse types of people. If you're among those who aspire to become an actor, passion and love for the craft alone won’t suffice. Your chances will rise dramatically when you enroll in acting classes and train professionally.
One of the most important things an acting class can help you improve is your confidence. Acting classes and workshops make you feel comfortable in front of large crowd and in the spotlight. Through acting exercises, you will slowly realize that being seen and heard is natural. Improving your communication and presentation skills is another positive aspect of acting courses. When you want to be an actor, it's vital that you emphasize the way you deliver your lines — tone, volume, and intonation are just a few considerations. Another area an acting workshop helps you improve is how you interact with different kinds of people.
Acting skills are useful for most of us, whether you work as a banker, sales rep, teacher, or actor. Learning how to present your ideas and communicate with partners is vital for any successful career. So what are the best performance arts courses in Vancouver?
Six months intensive
604 633 1525
900 Helmcken Street, Vancouver
Enrolment Fees: $12,500.00
VADA's comprehensive six-month full-time course is designed for aspiring actors rather than casual acting enthusiasts. Students will master everything from script analysis, character research, audition skills, and scene work to improvisation, voice, movement, and on-camera techniques. On average, 71 per cent of students find their agents by the time they graduate, and 64 per cent manage to book their first roles.
The VADA acting class covers all the essentials needed to master the acting technique. Students start with script analysis and exploration, character development, sense memory, and listening drills. Later, they proceed to the more technical side of acting for the camera. They learn about camera angles and shot sizes, on-set equipment, and acting terminology.
During this program, students get a real sense of acting. They bring in a script of their choice and work with it for the next eight weeks. There are a minimum of two rehearsals per week. Students learn how to memorize pages of script effectively, apply text analyses to their scene work, and explore character work. All rehearsals are filmed and available to students so they can watch their monologues and scenes to improve their self-awareness and increase their confidence.
Auditions are the alpha and omega of an actor’s life. They're the few moments when the quality of your performance determines whether you get the job. VADA drills audience techniques until students develop confidence. This part of the course focuses on delivering believable performances in a drama environment. All work in this class is filmed and reviewed.
Agent and Casting Director Seminars
There are two seminars included in the tuition for the Dramatic Arts Program:
- Seminar With a Top Vancouver Agent
- Vancouver Casting Director Seminar
This a a great chance for all students to meet people from the industry in a relaxed setting, ask them questions, and get feedback on their performance. VADA is the only institution in Vancouver offering these seminars at no extra cost.
Demo Reel Project
As a final project, VADA produces a short demo-reel for each of its students that graduates can send to agents and casting directors.
I would definitely recommend VADA to anyone who is interested in acting classes. The school taught me a lot about the industry as well as many skills I didn’t think I needed to know. I find that now I have completed the course, I can analyze scripts, break down characters, and memorize my lines ten times easier. I find that the skills I learned at VADA are shaping me to fulfill my ultimate goal of being on a television series. If you asked me if I had any regrets I would have to say that during the first few months I don’t think I put my all into the course, feeling a bit overwhelmed. I would have put more time and energy into the beginning months as I don’t think I tried as hard as I could have. All in all my experience at VADA was eye opening, motivating, challenging, and has made me become the actress I am today.
says Deanna P., VADA graduate.
604 569 1337
210 – 112E 3rd Avenue, Vancouver
Vancouver Acting School offers a wide range of programs for everyone from the age of eight to 80. Students can enroll in six-month, full-time courses suitable for everyone who would like to get acting experience or prepare for auditions to BA or MA studies. The course will require 20 hours per week minimum.
VAS also offers short workshops and courses for adults that target a specific skill. There are two courses currently offered, but VAS is opening a wider range of courses in 2013.
Nicky Dawn, a former student of VAS, explains,
The teachers are absolutely remarkable, supportive, and passionate about the craft… and you! They really want you to succeed, and go above and beyond to help you. The fundamentals that are taught in this school are imperative for success. Not only are the coaches wickedly talented, but they are busy working actors in the industry. The experiences that they have shared have been imperative to me, and have brought me to an entirely different level of learning.
Three hours a week
Enrolment fees start at $224 per month
Mastering audition techniques is vital for landing an acting job. You can be the greatest actor around, but if you can't deliver within the very short time you're allowed during auditions, you won’t get any roles.
There are seven things you should know before performing any scene. They're definitely not everything you should know about acting, but rather the bare minimum. This auditioning course will help you tidy up your acting knowledge and skills and will give you structure that you can build your work on.
Three hours a week
Enrolment fees start at $224 per month
Acting isn't something we're born with. It's something we cultivate for years. There's a certain amount of talent needed, but hard work and drilling are what make a good actor. This essentials course teaches you the fundamentals of acting terminology, camera angles, shot sizes, and on-set equipment. The course helps students develop self-awareness and eliminate self-consciousness and learn the difference between acting real and behaving truthfully.
The Essentials short course is ideal for those who aren't sure whether acting is something they want to pursue professionally and for those who would like to go through an induction phase before they enroll in a full-time performing arts course.
Studying at VAS gives you a competitive edge. Students can enjoy great benefits of free one-on-one coaching and career strategy meetings (business advice and mentoring), train in a state-of-the-art casting facility, and benefit from small class sizes, digital copies of your work, audition tapings at a low flat rate, and free delivery on discounted professional books.
604 568 5449
210 – 112 3rd Avenue E., Vancouver
The Vancouver Young Actors School is part of The Vancouver Acting School specializing in acting courses for young professionals. The VYAS system of measurable results gives parents, teens, and kids the skills and the confidence to achieve their goals. The coaches teaching at VYAS have strong industry links, and their professional experience can help students jump-start their careers. All students who train with VYAS receive free one-on-one coaching for film and television auditions.
VYAS recommends parent involvement and inclusion as much as possible. Parents should be a core part of their kid’s team, and having the business and creative information allows parents to consistently make the best decisions about every aspect of their kid’s career.
Kids — First Sparks: Fundamentals
Two hours a week
Enrolment fees start at $203 per month
During this course, kids will develop self-confidence, enjoy time spent with other kids with similar interests, and cultivate their creative ideas through dancing, singing, auditioning, and improvisation. Over the past years, "triple threats" (actors who can sing, dance, and act) have been highly desired, and this trend will only grow stronger.
Tweens — Bright Lights: Voice Overs
Three hours a week
Enrolment fees start at $249 per month
The rising popularity of animated movies and series, commercials, and video games has made the voice over industry flourish like never before. It's one of the most lucrative areas of the performing arts industry with a high demand for skilled youth talent.
Teens — Rising Stars: The Complete Actor
Six hours a week
Enrolment fees start at $342 per month
The Complete Actor course is the most advanced film, television, and voice-over program available in Western Canada for teens. Students will benefit from serious, valuable, and professional knowledge and guidance from industry professionals. The curriculum consists of Audition Skills, Improv, Scene Study, Voice Overs, and learning the business of Show Business. All actors must audition for this program.
604 682 ARTS(2787)
570 Dunsmuir Street, Suite 600, Vancouver
I loved my experience at VanArts. I met so many people and made lifelong friends of both my classmates and my teachers. It did have some flaws, but as a student it is our responsibility to get out of a school what we can. I am a firm believer that it is entirely up to the students what they get out of a school. You can go to the worst school and come out with an amazing demo reel and likewise you can go to the best school and come out with a mediocre demo reel.
Kristy O. says.
VanArts offers a wide range of courses from full-time intense acting courses to part-time and evening courses and summer school. If you're passionate about acting and want to get a foot in performing arts, the VanArts course offer can surely satisfy your needs.
Two Weeks Actor's Intensive
Two weeks (55 hours)
Enrolment Fees: $850
The summer two-week Actors’ Intensive is the most popular course at VanArt, designed to give students a taste of full-time performance arts training. The typical student of this course is someone who has never acted before and either wishes to improve his communication and presentation skills and gain confidence or wants to start an acting career, hungry for fundamental acting knowledge. Experienced and dedicated instructors teach all classes. The course focuses mainly on voice and speech, acting for camera, scene study, live performance, and the business of acting.
Intro to Acting — Prerequisite for All Other Part-Time Acting Courses
Enrolment Fees: $500
This course is specially designed for students with no previous acting experience and serves as a foundation for further studies. During the course of 10 weeks, students learn how to analyze scripts and bring characters to life. Imagination, script interpretation, improvisation, voice, movement, and acting exercises are all important aspects of the course. Teachers assign monologues and scenes from modern plays and scripts.
Acting for Film & TV — Three Levels
Acting for Film and TV is a three-level course that focuses on each and every aspect of acting. It is the longest-running course for film and television acting in Vancouver taught by Chilton Crane.
Enrollment Fees: $300
The Level One course focuses on the basics of acting for the camera. Teachers will assign students scripts from modern film and television, and students will develop the necessary skills for understanding the scene and story and for using the camera frame, props, and costumes while learning professional on-set work habits.
Enrolment Fees: $200
Level Two of the Acting for Film & TV course expects student to already have some knowledge of acting. Knowledge and skills obtained in Level One will be used working with more demanding and complicated scrips. On-set focus, work etiquette, and work habits are expected from all students. All work is recorded and critiqued.
Enrolment Fees: $200
Level Three is an advanced course intended for students woking as actors or with serious acting experience who want to take their acting to a whole new level. Tutor Chilton Crane has helped hundreds of actors develop their work to professional standards. The most challenging film and television scripts are used and critiqued on-set.
VanArts is a great school, and I would recommend the Summer intensive if you want to get your feet wet. It’s actually a great way to find out if it’s something you would really want to do as a career,
says Jeremy K., summer acting school graduate.
Anthony Meindl is an award-winning writer, director, producer, and artistic director of Anthony Meindl's Actor Workshop (AMAW) with acting studios in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Vancouver. His studio was honored by Backstage three years in a row and named the Best Acting Studio in Los Angeles (Best Scene Study and Best Cold Read). Meindl has been a guest teacher at David Lynch's Masters in Film Program and is the author of the best-selling creativity book, At Left Brain Turn Right. His new book, Alphabet Soup For Grown-Ups, is out now.
His first feature film as writer/director, Birds Of A Feather, is coming out on VOD and iTunes later this year. He has coached such stars as Golden Globe Nominee Shailene Woodley (Divergent), Ashley Greene (Twilight), Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl), Charlie Bewley (Twilight), Ian Harding (Pretty Little Liars), the late Cory Monteith (Glee) and many others.