FIVE WAYS AN ACTING CLASS COULD DO WONDERS FOR YOUR MENTAL WELLBEING

If you’re looking to set yourself a new challenge to improve your mental health and wellbeing, as an alternative option to the traditional diets, new job or gym membership could be an acting class!

With regular classes running in nearly every town and city, you could learn more than just lines at these weekly power hour sessions.

Charlotte Armitage, Managing Director of the Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television shares her top 5 reasons everyone should make attending an acting class one of your 2019 resolutions.

1) Develop your confidence

Performing in front of a group of strangers takes confidence. Although this can appear daunting for some, the positive environment created in each class enables even the shyest of people to come out of their shell. From young people to established career professionals, the classes have helped people become more confident in every way including conversing with strangers, public speaking or in new social situations.

“I feel a lot more comfortable and confident when starting a new job or in a new social environment.” Morven, 25

2) A cathartic emotional outlet

Each class is different, with different characters and scenarios being worked on each week. Channelling feelings of anger, frustration, jealousy, love or hate, lets you tap into emotions you might be suppressing in everyday life, in a safe and controlled environment. This can be really cathartic for some and allows a range of emotions to be expressed in a positive and healthy way.

“It helps me to express emotion in a healthy way by allowing me to release negative energy through performing.” Elliott, 27

3) Improve your articulation

When you’re given a character and scene to perform in an acting class, the audience need to be able to hear what you are saying clearly. It doesn’t matter what accent you have but it is important that people can understand what you are saying, this encourages them to stay engaged with what you are communicating. Speaking clearly is a useful skill that can be transferred to the work place and even when communicating with others socially.

“I am able to notice if I am tensing up when I’m nervous and can try to relax with techniques I’ve learnt from my course using my voice and breath control.” Charlotte, 26

4) Show the value of team work

Although you attend classes as an individual, you will quickly get to know the people within your class. Working in different groups or couples each week as you navigate a script or scene really fosters a sense of companionship and highlights the importance of others. You quickly become champions of your class mates and seeing them grow as individuals alongside yourself. You develop the ability to function in a team environment and to understand the importance of listening to others.

“Meeting other people whilst attending classes has also been a highlight.” Chelsea, 12

5) Enhance your emotional intelligence

When you attend a class you will be acting out new scenarios with different people each week. Working on the emotions for your characters involves understanding your own emotions in depth as well as recognising the emotions of others. Considering what makes a character tick, how they respond and portray themselves enables you to develop emotional intelligence that many employers look for in those in managerial roles and is a skill that can help in many aspects of life.

“It has helped me empathise with others and understanding how other people perceive things.” Savannah, 13

Find out where is your nearest YAFTA acting class, and sign up for a half price taster session.

Elliot Laurence trained at ALRA North after graduating from Sheffield Hallam University. Continuing to work as an actor he has worked with companies such as Bolton Octagon, HOMEmcr, Collingwood Learning and Sheffield Theatres.
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Adam received his training at The Academy Of Live And Recorded Arts (ALRA), where he studied stage, screen and audio performance. Since graduating Adam has been cast in various productions in a versatile range of mediums including voice over, theatre, music video, and film. Adam has experience working as a teacher with children, adults and vulnerable groups too.
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Anna Dawson is an Actress, TV Presenter and Musician alongside being a Writer and PR/Marketing Exec. Additionally Anna works in production and has worked as production manager on various feature films such as the recent Scott & Sid which filmed in Yorkshire. With a degree in Politics from Durham University and a long list of acting credits in film, TV and theatre, Anna was chosen to become the Public Relations Officer for the Equity Yorkshire Ridings General Branch Committee.
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Lee Maxwell Simpson gained a first class degree in Drama from Manchester University before training as an actor at London's Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. After graduating, he appeared in a number of commercials, notably for Thomson Holidays and Moonpig.com, and various short films and stage productions, including a National Youth Theatre tour to the Middle East and a spoken word European tour with the novelist Jonathan Coe.
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Ian Puleston-Davies is a professional actor who has recently filmed Marcella, Beowulf and Lewis. Ian played Owen Armstrong in Coronation Street for 5 years prior to his recent acting achievements. Ian has an impressive acting CV having been in most major soaps and dramas in the UK over the past 20 years. Some of his credits include Eastenders, Waterloo Road, Silent Witness, Life on Mars, I'm Alan Partridge, Dalziel & Pascoe to name a few. He is currently writing his own screenplay and working as an actor but will also be finding the time to teach YAFTA masterclasses. Ian supports the development of actors at YAFTA.
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Charlotte is the Managing Director of YAFTA. She is a TV Presenter, Actress, and Agent. Charlotte also owns YAFTA Talent Agency and YAFTA Consultancy. Charlotte is currently working as a TV Presenter for various companies including Made in Leeds TV. In 2015 Charlotte had her own TV show called ‘Challenge Charlotte’ which aired across the Made Network in Leeds, Tyne & Wear, Bristol and Cardiff, the show is set for a second series in 2016. She also played the role of Hannah O’Rourke in BBC1’s Happy Valley and played various roles in TV Comedy Sketch Show ‘Cool Beans’. In January 2016, Charlotte filmed the part of Jane in Coronation Street. She will also be one of the judges for Made in Leeds’ TV Programme ‘Star Made’.
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Charlotte is the Managing Director of YAFTA. She is a TV Presenter, Actress, and Agent. Charlotte also owns YAFTA Talent Agency and YAFTA Consultancy. Charlotte is currently working as a TV Presenter for various companies including Made in Leeds TV. In 2015 Charlotte had her own TV show called ‘Challenge Charlotte’ which aired across the Made Network in Leeds, Tyne & Wear, Bristol and Cardiff, the show is set for a second series in 2016. She also played the role of Hannah O’Rourke in BBC1’s Happy Valley and played various roles in TV Comedy Sketch Show ‘Cool Beans’. In January 2016, Charlotte filmed the part of Jane in Coronation Street. She will also be one of the judges for Made in Leeds’ TV Programme ‘Star Made’.
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