Some time ago I was taking acting lessons. The people surrounding me reacted in totally different ways. Some told me that this is something they always wanted to do (so do it, take your steps, follow the way that makes you happy). Others made fun of it, you know how people are. I am happy that I do the things I do and this is how I benefit from it.
Acting is defined as “The art or occupation of performing fictional roles in plays, films, or television” (Source: Oxford Dictionaries, last seen: 07.09.16). But seriously, how could acting-lessons enrich your life?
I think, there are many ways:
1) Articulation and concentration
Let us start with the letter A like Articulation: Acting lessons often start with warm up measures. This is not like warming up to do Yoga or other sports (only a little bit), but to warm up the voice. You are being asked to make strange noises and say tongue-twisters that are really hard to spell. You are going to do things, you had never imagined. Shouting and screaming at others or even no one, without any reason will be part of your tasks and you will learn to hold one pose for maybe 10 minutes or longer. Articulation is not the only benefit of these practices, but also to concentrate and express yourself in ways you would probably usually not do.
As you see, already these practices can help you in every days’ situations. You learn to articulate more clearly, express yourself in new ways and to concentrate and focus on things.
2) Leave your comfort zone
Another benefit (already a result of the above mentioned practices) is to do things you usually do not do. Imagine you take your first lesson and the teacher asks you to shout out loud at the other acting trainees, to get mad at them without any reason, or at least to play mad. This was actually my first time and trust me, I felt a big blockade, like a wall surrounding me. I am a peaceful person, optimist and usually not mad at anyone. Why should I shout at anyone? On the other hand, do I want to look like a coward, failing already in the beginning? I had to cross this wall. So I stood up, stood in front of the others. They were still sitting on their seats, I work internally on bringing me into the right mood, so did the trainer who imagined my challenge.
Good trainers have their tools. Luckily my trainer in those lessons is really good. She sees me, my strengths and weaknesses. She sees me hesitating and gets me motivated to get the tasks done. After the first time she pushed me for more and more and going even more crazy. Trust me, when you do it, when you leave your comfort zone and step by step even more, you feel amazing. This is only one example of how acting lessons train you in leaving your comfort zone and develop a stronger you. Every time that you leave your comfort zone you get more and more used to it. You learn to do things differently and have a bigger spectrum of potential.
An important part of the lessons are also role plays, either as monologue or with others. This obviously brings you already to imagining and thinking about situations you not yet mastered, but this even goes much deeper:
Imagine this situation: You are at home and there is someone knocking at your door. It turns out to be a one night stand from some nights earlier. She holds a pregnancy test in her hand and tells you: You are the father.
Within the lessons I had to interpret the text I had in different ways. Sometimes both actors got instructions that drift apart from each other. Other times I was asked to spontaneously interpret the role differently or to improvise. Within 15 minutes my role went from a super totally happy person that is in love with that person, over a person that is doubting and needs some time to think about everything, up to a person that is getting totally angry, trying to convince the partner that he is infertile and tries to leave the country. This is definitively the most fun in acting for me: Imagining things differently and seeing the stone from different perspectives.
How this supports every days’ life? You learn to understand your environment differently. Nothing is as it seems on the first view. Your perception is developing. This opens new doors and incredible chances. For more inspiration about imagination read also Why Training your Imagination can Boost your Creativity.
4) All in one
All this together and in connection with other people forms the trainees to a group of people that knows each other differently than most of your friends know you.
As you now can imagine, acting lessons are full of emotions and imagination. You have chances to do things you never did before. Leaving your comfort zone allows you to be a different person then that you are at work or at home. This is a chance to be someone completely different and feel free. You develop yourself further and learn to better live the moment. And last but not least: YOU ACTUALLY HAVE A LOT OF FUN!
For the degree of success this rule counts, as it does for sports: Practicing makes you better, resting holds you back. Who stops being better stops being good, because your environment is working on getting better anyways, trust me on this. So ask yourself, do you want to stop being good?
If you are interested in Team-Building, I can also recommend you How to build a Team with Knowledge, 7 simple Methods to make your Team even more successful or 6 Basics of Teaming and Leading that you should be aware of