Finding an Acting Class – Part One

This month’s acting blog from Fran Montano of Actors Workout Studio discusses “Finding an Acting Class – Part One.”
Photo by Ruca Souza:

[NoHo Arts District, CA] – This month’s acting blog from Fran Montano of Actors Workout Studio discusses “Finding an Acting Class – Part One.”

Looking for an acting class? I get asked a lot, “How do I find the best class for me?”  Actors go to Yelp, Google, referrals, advertising, and social media. There are many places to find information.  I think the best way to start is to get a referral from someone who has taken classes whom you respect.  If you’re new and don’t know a lot of actors, of course you’ll go to Google, Yelp, advertising, or other sources.

Here are a few things to consider and questions to ask about finding an acting class.

  1. How much is the class? 

You want to make sure it fits your budget as you will want to make a commitment for yourself. An amount that you can pay on a regular basis as you will want to study for a while if you’re serious.

  1. Location 

Yes, we are lazy and if class is across town it can be easy to not go. If you’re in the right class, you should be getting challenged and pushed so you will easily find reasons not to go on a given day. Funny how people get sick a few hours before class.

  1. How long is the class?

That includes time per class and how long the session is. Be careful about committing to a long-term session. What if it doesn’t turn out to be what you expected? Some places require a two-year commitment, some month to month, some  anywhere from four to 12 weeks. I tell people they should consider at least a three-month commitment to themself to really understand and get the work. 

  1. How many students per class and how often do you get to work?

Some classes make sure that everyone works each class. Many have you watch and go up every few weeks. I don’t like that at all and suggest you question that for yourself. (You don’t learn how to dance or drive a car just by watching. You need to get up on your feet )

  1. What is the curriculum? 

What will you be doing in the class? Exercises, scenes, improv, audition technique. Know what you’re looking for and ask.

  1. Experience of the Teacher 

There is no official certification to call yourself an acting teacher, so ask their history, experience, philosophy and why you should study with them.  Just because someone might be a working actor, they may not have the skill or talent to coach an actor to get them where they need to be.  (I know self taught musicians who can’t teach music because it came too easy for them)

  1. Check their website for any videos

Many times you can see an acting teacher in action, on their website, or on You Tube. This is great as you can get a feeling of their personality and style. That’s a good thing to do so when you go in you have an idea and it will take away some of the nervousness you may have. When I ask people why did they come to me they usually say they either heard about me or were referred, but when they went to my website and watched my video, that confirmed it for them.

I tell any prospective student, “I’m not for everyone, yet I’ve been teaching for over 30 years, so if it’s right for you, you’ll know it, and if it’s not, it’s taking you to the next step to find what is right for you.”  I also don’t charge actors for auditing a class, and usually invite them to work so I can see their work, work with them to get a feel for them as well.  I tell them, “I’m auditing you as well to see if I can work with you.”  (Auditing by the way is when someone comes to see a class and sit in.) 

Be cautious if a teacher charges you for an audit. If they do, they should work with you. Just to pay to watch is a red flag to me.  I know some of my colleagues will disagree with that, sorry, but I would never do that when I was a student and won’t do that with a potential student unless they want to fully participate.

Final note. You have to feel good about the class, people involved, and mainly your teacher. You need to feel safe, challenged, and the language needs to feed you. 

All the best in finding an acting class.

Next time I’ll talk about reviews on acting classes.

Fran Montano
Actors Workout Studio

Fran Montano
Fran Montano - is the owner and Artistic Director of The Actors Workout Studio, located in the NoHo Arts District for nearly 30 years. It is one of the longest running small, intimate theaters and Acting Schools in the Los Angeles area. AWS was created to being a “home” for aspiring and working actors were the work not only includes classes and training, but personal coaching, career planning, networking, showcasing, and regular performing. His students range from beginning actors, accomplished actors who work regularly in film, television, and stage, as well as numerous working directors and writers. His style is on an individual basis and in his small, intimate classes, it’s like working with a private coach. His reputation is in finding and breaking actors blocks Fran’s background as an actor, in producing, directing and theater makes him an excellent resource for actors in Los Angeles, in finding their way both in their talent, and promoting their career. Visit for more information and a schedule of classes and productions