Acting Classes Are Scams


Ninety-eight percent of acting classes are pyramid schemes, and the other two percent are cults. I have an eye for terrible acting classes because, unfortunately, I've taken a lot. Every acting class makes me feel like I'm getting punked on a hidden camera show. One time a teacher made me play the game fight, flight or fuck with another girl. This stranger and I squared off against each other and I then I full on beat the shit out of her. Another time, I took a Saturday morning improv class, and my teacher showed up hungover every time. He could never remember what we were working on so the day always devolved into a clap focus game with him on the sidelines eating McDonald's breakfast sandwiches. I can spot scam artist teachers when I see one and my new acting teacher is exhibit A.

I recently enrolled in another acting studio because there is no place to practice acting outside of paid gigs. My teacher is a forty-eight-year-old man who gloats about living in LA for twenty years like it’s an IMDB credit. He laps up attention from the female students in the class, who are half his age, and at the beginning of every session spends twenty minutes talking about his motorcycle like he's the walking definition of a mid-life crisis. He is the smarmiest acting teacher I’ve ever had, but the worst part is that I'm the only one in the class that sees him for what he is, a complete douchebag.

#acting #actingteachers #scam #pyramidscheme
In my first scene for class, DB paired me up with a girl to do a lesbian love scene. I thought it was weird for him to give me a same-sex nude scene as my first presentation, but I discovered that he makes all the woman in class do lesbian love scenes. Of course, none of the men in class EVER do gay scenes. The guys always do cool comedy scenes or love scenes with the hottest girls in the class. When I presented this Sappho scene to class, I thought it went well, but DB tore my acting apart. He accused me of being incapable of vulnerability, and then this aging pretty boy interrogated me with questions only a pervy therapist would ask. How old were you when your sexuality began to blossom? What woman have you always wanted to kiss? Have you ever hated someone but loved making love to them? The grossest part was that while he’s asking me these questions, all the idiot girls in the class stared at me earnestly expecting me to answer. So I lied and pulled random antidotes out of my ass, satisfying everyone and making me thankful for my shitty improv training.

Over the proceeding weeks, I make zero friends in class. I judge the other girls for flirting with DB, and then I find out that they all go out for drinks together after class. I'm never invited. I can see that. DB sitting with dozens of hot twenty-year-old girls, giving them acting notes and building up his spank bank. What a joke.

It’s my turn to present a new scene to class, and I am not looking forward to it. All my previous scenes were panned by DB and my classmates. I’ve already decided to quit class but I hear DB yell action, and I begin. The scene is popping along, and I see DB in the corner of my eye simultaneously writing notes and playing footsie with his favorite student. I know once I finish he will give me a creepy, condescending lecture and all the girls in class will smirk at yet another failure of mine.

The scene wraps and I turn my attention to DB. He takes a melodramatic minute to gather his thoughts and then begins: “Hannah,” he says, “That was exquisite.” I couldn’t believe it. I impressed him. Harvey Weinstein Jr tells me I'm a wonderful actress and even admits that he was wrong, saying that I have a “...well of vulnerability”. He opens the floor to the rest of the class, and they shower me with compliments. It’s about time. I smile from cheek to cheek, feign being humble and they invite me out for beers after class which I gladly accept.

I've been in this acting class for a year and a half now. I love it. I suspect DB is sleeping with a student who just turned eighteen but I am an actress, so I look the other way. I've come to appreciate the value of community. I still haven’t booked any roles, but I’ve clocked in three lesbian love scenes, two hetero love scenes and next week I’m presenting my rendition of Basic Instinct.

It's a virtue to change your mind. I thought that all acting classes and teachers are garbage, and I was right. But I realized that my biggest issue wasn't that they were awful, it's that they were terrible AND they rejected me. Once they accepted me, I found a sense of belonging that is priceless. 

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