I just started back to in-person classes at my studio. We’ve been on Zoom for a year and a half. I am now teaching both Zoom and in person and thought it a good opportunity to review my experiences of both.
Reflections on Zoom and In-Person Classes
The in-person classes have been very exciting. It’s great to see everyone getting back to physical contact. But mostly what is happening is the total use of the body. We can see the full body, and actors are expressing themselves more emotionally in and with their bodies. There is a great freedom in that, a lot of almost dancing in the movements and language. It definitely brings the body more into the work. There is freedom and joy and no restrictions. Just like the old familiar times. Also, it seems like it’s more appreciated in the work now and choices are not just taken for granted. Physical actions are more specific, deliberate, and telling. I notice that actors are more aware and taking advantage of how to use movement in their characters, where in the past they were maybe not as specific and taken for granted.
In reviewing the experience actors are having on Zoom, there is great excitement there as well. There is an intensity in the subtle moments, the eyes and the expressions. Working on Zoom is like working on camera.
I will say that the actors I’ve been working with on Zoom have been booking more work. The constant working on camera and basically a close up or mid shot is helping actors to be more comfortable in front of the camera, trusting themselves, and less self conscious. Also, their self tapes are more relaxed, fresh, and spontaneous. However, I must stay, I didn’t expect this. The actors are more free, softer, and trust their simplicity to a greater extent. I am pleasantly surprised to see the increase in bookings.
Another great aspect of Zoom is I can tape them, then play it back and stop at specific moments to give a note, other than having to reflect back for the actor to remember. Whether it is a scene, an audition piece, improvisation, or other exercise I use to open and stretch an actor, it’s great to be able to stop the action and show them the exact moment.
In summary, I see both in-person and Zoom classes have their advantages. I am committing to using both as I go forward regardless of what happens with Covid as I can see great benefits that compliment each other.
For those of you who haven’t experienced a Zoom class that is exciting and stimulating, I suggest you try others. I think there is great opportunity for growth and I have on-hand experience in seeing actors book more, especially in their zoom and self tape auditions. I think this new way is here for good.
Times are changing. The benefits of Zoom classes is here for good as they offer opportunities for great growth. I think actors should do both when possible.