Acting Classes: The Disney Channel Part 3
Helping your child achieve their life goals of becoming a professional actor on television can often be confusing to navigate. Especially if they are hoping to one day audition for television show for the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon.
Knowing what clear steps to start working on right now regardless of where you live or what training you have access to can be empowering.
As headteacher and Assistant Director of the Los Angeles on- camera acting school The Playground, I see parents who support their child’s dreams and passions of a future in the film industry. However, upon beginning training here, parents realize their children are at a disadvantage in certain skill sets.
In this six-part series, I have talked about actively starting your budding actor right now on a journey to developing such needed and important skills as articulation, diction, as well as mastering emotional words needed when working on characters within scripts.
Now let’s go one step further. This time, the whole family can be involved. Before young actors pursue their film or tv careers full time, they must get comfortable with moving their bodies!
Step Three: Get Physical!
Figure out what physical types of sports, movement or adventure your young actor enjoys doing and then go out and do them! Before you move your entire family out here to Los Angeles and enroll your child in a foundational acting class like Gary Spatz’s Acting School, time should be spent on enjoying how your child likes to express themselves physically.
I am not saying that getting your child involved in these physical activities should make them Olympic athletes. I’m suggesting you have fun and discover ways to get your young actors moving and expressing themselves physically. When First Lady Michelle Obama announced unprecedented collaboration to bring physical activity back into schools, she provided steps for families, students and school staff to work together to reach this goal. By signing up at www.LetsMoveSchools.org, we can help get students active. Let’s look at the other facts it supports:
“According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, children and adolescents need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day to stay healthy. Regular physical activity enhances important skills, like concentration and problem solving, which have been shown to improve academic performance. However, kids today are the most sedentary generation in America’s history. Only 1 in 3 children is active on a daily basis and only 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools and 2% of high schools offer daily P.E.. Meanwhile, only 9 states require recess in elementary schools.”
Finding something that improves both health and the combination of concentration and problem solving skills is huge! Finding something that the whole family can do together while you are improving your child’s mind so that when they are working on scripts, they have the focus, concentration, and problem solving skills it takes to figure out what the character is doing and why, is even bigger!!!
In addition, an actor who is comfortable with his body is more relaxed on camera, has an increased specialty skill set (a resume that boasts a special skill like surfing, basketball or archery is a stand-out), and will have a greater range of characters at their fingertips.
Now let’s talk about what to do! It doesn’t matter what you do, it matters that you do it! Finding something to do is sometimes more important than what you are doing.
However, here are my top favorites.
WALKING – Yep. Good old fashioned walking. I know it sounds wacky, but walking allows you to get the physical activity you need to boost both concentration and problem solving skills. However, it also offers other tremendous benefits to the budding actor; for example: People-watching is a great way to think about creating a character or using your imagination when the script calls for certain character types. It also allows the actor to imagine how different characters would use their bodies.
Taking a walk with your child is a great opportunity to bond with him while supporting his goals. You can run lines, talk about acting goals or dream up projects they might want to do. Heck, go for a hike and enjoy some fantastic scenery.
MARTIAL ARTS – Disciplines like this are great for learning to center yourself and provide endless amount of personal goals to set. Self confidence and self responsibility are all excellent side effects! Some great ones for kids are Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu and Karate. Here at “The Playground” we have many students who study these disciplines and several that are title winners. These students always have an excellent sense of self confidence and respect in the classroom.
SPORTS – Soccer, basketball, lacrosse, baseball, softball, volleyball, football, and hockey– to name a few. This doesn’t mean that your child has to be on the varsity team once they get to high school! Of course, learning sports requires focus to understand and play the game. They provide strength and conditioning benefits, and offer teamwork and friendship skills, and are great resume- boosters.
Also, there are lesser known sports that are amazingly fun to play! I personally loved playing Ultimate! (that’s frisbee like golf). However I have students that excel in lesser known but equally exciting sports such as swimming (Olympics have never been so fun as watching Michael Phelps), fencing, golf, tennis, badminton, table tennis, kayaking, water polo, archery (a huge rise since The Hunger Games), race walking, horseback riding, diving and trampolining.
Here is an article about the growing popularity of these lesser known sports. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/08/trampolining-racewalking-and- other-lesser-known-olympic-sports/ So go out there, have fun and try some of these sports!
GAMES – That’s right! Kid friendly games. How about: Duck-Duck Goose, Hide & Seek, Red Light/Green Light and of course Tag!
Look, the list is endless. The truth is that any type of activity that gets your young student physically active can increase awareness, focus, concentration and problem solving skills. So the more activities you try, the more opportunity for growth in these important skill areas.
So helping your child achieve their life goals of becoming a professional actor on television can start with getting moving! Empower your student and even yourself, and start working on this important step right now regardless of where you live or what training you have access to. So your kid wants to act on TV. Great! Tell them to get moving!