Acting is an extremely competitive field to get into. Much like all of the show business, actors have to work extremely hard on their craft and deal with a lot of rejection before they become successful.
There are many actors who have to spend years and years struggling to launch their careers before the right role comes by.
Anyone who wishes to become a filmmaker or an actor must have very strong willpower and be determined to pursue their dreams in the direst circumstances.
When competing with hundreds of other potential candidates, an actor must always be as prepared as they can be, in order to get the role.
That is why online acting masterclasses can be a great boon for actors.
MasterClass features instructors who have already become veterans in their respective fields.
These acting masterclasses are helpful because young actors can learn from those who have succeeded on the path they are now taking.
These online acting classes are also a worthwhile investment as students get to learn from the best and re-visit a lesson as many times as they want.
Also Read: 15 Best Filmmaking Books to Read & Start your Career
Here are some of the best acting masterclasses that aspiring actors can use to improve their skills.
1. Helen Mirren Teaches Acting
Helen Mirren easily qualifies as one of the most respected actresses in Hollywood today.
This is confirmed by the plethora of awards she has won. At the time of writing this article, Helen Mirren is the only actor to secure the British and American Triple Crowns.
This means that she has won an Academy Award, an Emmy, and a Tony award for her various acting roles.
With such immense talent and years of acting experience, Helen Mirren’s masterclass is a goldmine of knowledge for all aspiring actors.
Here are the contents of this acting masterclass:
- Learning is the most difficult thing an actor can do.
- How Helen Mirren was inspired to become an actor.
- Helen Mirren’s lessons from acting in a theatre.
- How to analyze a role.
- Reading the script as an actor.
- Conducting research on your characters.
- Using costumes to assist one’s performance.
- Breaking creative blocks.
- Acting on a movie set.
- Collaborating with writers and directors.
- Essential advice for young actors.
- Over six hours of detailed lessons.
- Advice from one of the most accomplished actors in Hollywood.
- A Very well-planned course.
- No demonstrations included.
- Not for absolute beginners.
2. Samuel L. Jackson Teaches Acting
Samuel L. Jackson has over one hundred and ninety credits under his name. He is clearly one of the most hardworking actors in Hollywood.
The actor is known for his work on ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Django Unchained’ among many other hit titles.
Samuel L. Jackson has not only won many awards for his work but is also one of the highest-grossing actors of all time. His movies have made a combined revenue of more than twenty-seven billion US dollars.
His most recent project was ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’. The actor will also star in the highly anticipated Disney+ series: ‘Secret Invasion’.
This course on acting will provide valuable insights on any young actor who wishes to emulate Samuel L. Jackson’s success.
Some of the lessons taught are:
- Creating and characterizing a role.
- Using body language to add depth to one’s performance.
- Approaching a script as an actor.
- Voicing a character.
- Maintain a strong relationship with the director of a movie.
- Improve dialogue delivery.
- What is expected in an audition?
- Lessons from Samuel L. Jackson’s Hollywood experiences.
- Actual students are taught in class. ( in order to demonstrate the concepts)
- Plenty of case studies from the actor’s career.
- Additional information on how to network with other creatives.
- Not aimed at beginners. Some acting experience is required.
- Less focus on the prerequisite principles of acting.
3. Natalie Portman Teaches Acting
Natalie Portman is not only an actor but also a director and producer.
Just like Samuel L. Jackson, she has worked in two very popular franchises. Those being Star Wars and the Marvel movies. She is also known for her 2005 movie, ‘V for Vendetta’.
Natalie Portman has won an Oscar as well as two Golden Globes for her work in film. She is a very talented actress and was considered to be one of the main reasons for the success of 2010’s ‘Black Swan’.
One of her most famous quotes is ‘I don’t love studying. I hate studying. I like learning. Learning is beautiful.’
With that in mind, here is what students can learn from Natalie Portman’s online acting class:
- How to understand a character.
- Using different kinds of research to improve one’s acting.
- Physical exercises to better embody the role.
- Learning various accents and dialects.
- How to work for long hours.
- Portraying historical figures.
- Acting in the presence of a green screen.
- Assess a character’s arc in order to better play them.
- The art of improvisation.
- To not be very self-conscious during a performance.
- Plenty of case studies and demonstrations.
- Learning from the perspective of an actor but also a director.
- Very information-dense course.
- No advice on getting into the field of acting.
- The course workbook is a little confusing to use.
4. Steve Martin Teaches Comedy
Steve Martin is a very talented actor. He is a true comedian but has also worked as a writer and producer. To add to this, Steve Martin is also a very respected musician.
Steve Martin has won many awards for his work on movies, TV, and in the music industry.
Some of the actor’s most famous titles include ‘Pink Panther’ and ‘Father of the Bride’. His most recent and upcoming project is a streaming show for Hulu called ‘Only Murders in the Building’.
As someone who was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (one of the most respected awards a comedian can get), it would be a dream come true for every comedian to learn comedy from this masterclass.
Here’s what students can expect from Steve Martin’s masterclass:
- How anyone can start a comedy career.
- Learning comedy even without being considered naturally funny.
- Gaining material through one’s surroundings.
- Discovering a comedic persona.
- Different types of jokes.
- Delivering a joke.
- Creating the act.
- Improving one’s comedic skill.
- Questions on morality.
- Coping with the bombing.
- Work through writer’s block.
- Lots of practical tips and tricks.
- Contains helpful workshops.
- The course is delivered in a very structured manner.
- More aimed towards learning Steve Martin’s style of comedy.
- Some advice may feel outdated.
5. Nancy Cartwright Teaches Voice Acting
Animated content is becoming very popular with audiences as well as production companies.
This is because animated shows can be produced a lot faster and cheaper than live-action ones. Which means a faster rate of content creation for producers.
As for audiences, animated content with great stories and characters makes it almost as good as a live-action show.
Considering the growing importance of animated entertainment, it is understandable why many actors would want to take up voice-acting roles.
This is the masterclass for them. Nancy Cartwright is the actress who has voiced one of the most well-known animated characters for over thirty years, Bart Simpson.
The lessons to be learned in Nancy Cartwright’s masterclass include:
- Changing one’s voice for a role.
- Developing the voice for a new role.
- Discovering vocal strengths and weaknesses.
- How to start a career in voice acting.
- Voicing multiple characters at the same time.
- Preparing for a recording session.
- Keeping a character’s voice consistent.
- Working with animation directors.
- Lots of advice about breaking into the industry.
- Examples of how Nancy Cartwright developed her own characters.
- Very helpful demonstrations.
- Difficult to self-assess your progress.
These acting masterclasses will hopefully help all amateur actors find their own acting style and process.
All these classes also come with workbooks, online assistance, and other supplementary material so that actors can always practice their skills.
With all of these courses and lessons being digested, any actor would now have an expanded view of the art form and be more prepared for their next audition.