Valerie Fahren

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Backstage: For Professionally-Minded Artists, Online Classes Aren’t Enough

Valerie Fahren, Backstage Expert
Valerie Fahren, Backstage Expert

While meeting with several potential clients recently, it came to my attention that they’re changing their modus operandi somewhat for their professional training to online courses. While what follows isn’t intended to offend anyone who provides online courses, it is intended to grab this subject by the reins and explain some very important training basics when it comes to the performing arts.

1. Nothing replaces good, professional, one-on-one training.
Across the board, online exercises are good for some in terms of gaining some basic knowledge. However, if you want your training to really weed out your personal imperfections, and develop a professional depth of understanding and know-how of application, I have to tell you that online courses alone won’t cut it. If you want to be a professional and have a better chance of making it in this business, you really do need to dig into your training, not just dabble.  

2. Every artist has a different weakness that needs to be addressed through individual attention.
In my 23 years of coaching singers and actors, what I’ve come to understand is that almost every single artist has some kind of Achilles’ heel that needs to be addressed. Since these issues are so unique to the individual performer, it’s near impossible to address them properly in online training. When you’re in an in-person professional acting class, you get tips and coaching that’s tailored to you rather than a general audience.

3. Acting schools and workshops are where professional actors are made.
A common answer I get these days when I ask singers what previous training they have had is, “Oh, I just do online exercises for free.” For a professional teacher, this is a really saddening thing to hear. Before online classes were a thing, actors and singers knew that going to class on a regular basis—sometimes daily—was the surest way to get professional training in the business. For professionally-minded artists, the great acting schools in town were and still are the go-to places for developing their craft. If I were starting in the biz today, I’d search out the best coaches in town and do private classes with them (money permitting). This is the best way to get the most out of your training and develop your professional know-how... READ MORE

Rick Krusky