Actors were once considered undesirables in ancient Japan. The Yakuza has its origins in an organization that was ostracized for many different reasons.
It was made up of thieves, people accused of other crimes, actors, and, more surprisingly, butchers.
Yes, that means the people that sold meat. Weird, but everyone wants to be a star, right?
Back to the present day, somebody somewhere is wishing upon a star, dreaming of becoming the next ‘big thing’. And who would blame them?
Movies make acting look like the best job out there. If you are looking to explore your hidden talent, strap in as we look at why you need to consider acting as a hobby and maybe more.
What Is Acting?
At its core, acting is taking on a role and telling a story in the most authentic way possible.
It is delving into another person’s mind and using the best emotions to bring out the character.
There are many success stories of actors who started as a hobbyist. Now, they command huge paychecks and live a lavish lifestyle on account of their talent.
However, it doesn’t mean you have to start acting as a hobby with the pressure of wanting to make it on the big screen.
You can simply do it as a part-time thing that improves other areas in your life.
The Benefits of Acting as a Hobby
Acting can make you money
We might not be talking Hollywood money, but you can make a few bucks off stage performances.
Take your hobby online, and you may be in line to make bank. Tiktok, YouTube, and personal websites are great avenues to monetize your hobby.
Content creation has taken interesting turns. People are getting online to advertise brands in the most engaging way they can.
And they’re not professional actors. They script out scenarios and play them out.
This gives you a great advantage if you get skilled enough.
Acting builds your confidence
You might start on your own, performing monologues and putting them out.
As more people interact with your passion projects, you gain the confidence to perform to bigger crowds.
Whether you are acting on stage or doing it on camera, the validation and appreciation that can come from people loving your work boosts your ego.
Science verifies this. Excelling in a new skill is one of the best confidence boosters.
It leads to a positive outlook on life, better mental health, and overall wellbeing.
While there is also a dark side to it, acting as a hobby means you can do it privately until you are comfortable enough to do it in front of an audience.
Acting does wonders for your public speaking
Acting allows you to delve into a character and give a convincing performance.
As you take up more complex scripts, you memorize lines that you have to bring out clearly.
This plays a big role in helping you to articulate yourself publicly.
Acting classes have public speaking as one of the essentials.
They teach you how to be confident with your fellow actors.
As you improve your skill and take on solo performances, you can speak clearly and confidently.
It exposes you to a community of people
Acting attracts plenty of hopefuls. Some of the best actors of our time once shared classes.
Most actors who refer to themselves as method actors started in acting groups.
Actors such as Marlon Brando and Daniel Day-Lewis have passed through an ordinary school.
This community is instrumental in keeping you updated on other classes where you can enjoy your hobby.
It also becomes a pool of ideas. You might band together to produce content.
Acting communities are known to be tight knit. They open you up to significant opportunities too.
Perhaps one of the most underrated benefits of a close community of actors is the kind of support they give each other.
You are stuck in practice sometimes for long hours. It is almost by default that you will be each other’s support system.
It improves your poise and presence
Have you ever seen how predominantly stage actors can command a presence just by being in a room?
Poise and presence are some of the essential pillars of great acting. Acting as a hobby teaches you to look and stand straight.
The modern lifestyle is mostly sedentary. Hunched backs are common. You learn how to position your body so you can be confident and audible.
You attract respect by standing and walking straight. You exude more authority.
Your conversation skills get better
Acting is learning how to read emotions off a script and put your actions in words. As a result of excellent character work, your conversation skills get better.
You take all the skills you learn and use them to improve your daily conversations with people.
You talk more clearly, have interesting stories, and know how to command attention without being forceful.
Great conversation is a win for you if you decide to venture into careers that need you to speak.
Public Relations, customer service, sales and marketing, and management are some of the careers where your conversation skills will come in handy.
Who Should Take Acting as a Hobby?
You’ve seen breakout stars coming out of nowhere and making it big in large productions.
Some of those stars didn’t have prior experience. What does that mean for you? It opens up a world of possibilities to anyone who wants to expand their hobbies.
Introverts are typically private individuals. They interact with people once they feel comfortable.
Introverts can begin acting as a hobby to grow a circle of friends. They can go to acting classes that have small groups.
There’s already a shared interest among them so that could be a great starting point for wholesome friendships.
What would be better for extroverts other than an opportunity to bring out their inner performer?
Extroverts thrive in crowds. If you are an extrovert looking to channel that energy to wow a group, acting as a hobby will do you well.
An extrovert does not mind showing off their abilities to people. They might even pick up the hobby and skills faster than an introvert.
Acting has some of the most important skills that a student might need later in life. A student with some free time can get into an acting class.
They can learn about interpersonal skills that will come in handy later on.
It teaches them how to work in groups, how to communicate, how to articulate themselves, and how to express themselves.
If you sing and you’d like to improve your vocal range or your performance, acting is one of the best hobbies to take up.
Not only does acting boost your stage presence, but it could also help you refine your vocal projection and voice range.
A lot of successful stage actors carry what has come to be known as the Disney Triple Threat. They can sing, act, and dance. All these are skills learned in acting classes.
Retirees have time. And they get lonely. They can benefit from taking up acting as a hobby. It doesn’t need to be strenuous.
They can take up basic acting classes that focus on simple acting skills.
It helps them combat the loneliness that comes with not having family around. Acting as a group gives them a sense of community.
It is not only good for their social wellbeing, but it also has a positive influence on their cognitive functions as well.
Older adults sometimes suffer from memory problems. They can start with simple exercises and take up complex scripts.
When Is the Best Time to Practice Acting as a Hobby?
You can pick your own time to indulge in acting as a hobby. Most acting classes are open in the morning.
They have instructors at different times of the day. If you are an afternoon person, you can make the most of your day by taking up day classes.
However, people who work also get to practice their hobby. There are evening and night classes.
It is the perfect time and activity to unwind after a day of work. You can indulge your inner performer before you stop for the day.
If you’re not taking a class, you can shoot personal content to upload to your preferred medium.
You don’t necessarily need a crew. You can self-record at any time.
You might need a few extra pieces of equipment, but most of the time, all a hobbyist needs are a good smartphone camera and great lighting.
What Do I Need to Start Acting as a Hobby?
Acting requires you to have some equipment. While it is not an immediate need, having the right gear puts you in a great position to level up if you decide to get serious about it.
Invest in costumes
It might seem like you are overdoing it, but part of being an actor is taking a role and immersing yourself.
Dressing up as a character makes it easier to embody that character. You can get costumes in costume shops.
Alternatively, you can put a twist on a character’s costumes and develop your style.
Get a good camera
You can choose to be a stage actor or dive into screen acting. Screen acting will need you to get an excellent camera to record your scenes.
Current smartphones come with exceptional cameras. Use your smartphone to make videos of yourself. You can go a step further and get ring lights.
Pay for an acting class
You can start with attending improve classes before you go into acting as a hobby. Improv teaches you how to build scenes off the cuff.
Most beginner actors find it easier to start with improving classes as they build their way up.
Acting classes expose you to hobbyists and professional actors as well.
Get into community theatre
Community theatre is a good starting point as a hobbyist. It helps you sharpen your skills.
It could be the key to your transition from a hobbyist to an actor. Community theatre is mostly free work.
There are little or no financial returns. And that is what you need as a hobby.
Essential Skills You Need as an Actor
You need a few skills to take acting as a hobby and transition to serious acting.
Some of these skills will apply in other areas in your career path and your life in general.
If you are taking acting as a hobby, you will have to balance work and personal time.
Plan your acting classes, so they never interfere with your work hours.
You also need to know how to manage your time to make sure your hobby doesn’t eat into your other social obligations.
Teach yourself how to handle a camera as you record yourself. There are plenty of resources that will teach you what to do with one.
The instructions are simple enough to follow. Most smartphones now come with third party camera applications.
They also have editing applications. If you get serious about acting, you can always shoot on the phone and edit your content.
Acting can be a cut-throat industry if you don’t know what you are doing.
For an industry that could catapult you to stardom in an instant, acting needs you to have some business skills in case a chance to perform professionally avails itself.
You should also have some negotiation skills to protect yourself from exploitation.
Learn how to network
Acting as a hobby doesn’t mean you don’t need to meet people. A hobby can become an avenue to meeting successful, like-minded people.
Since it’s already teaching you how to speak confidently, use it as an avenue to meet the movers of the acting scene around your area.
It opens up more opportunities for you to learn and grow in your craft.
The benefits of having a strong network aren’t only monetary. Some long-life friendships come out of close-knit acting groups.
Think about Toby Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio. Acting requires you to learn how to listen. You will need this as it is a real-world skill.
Video production is a whole pipeline of activities that covers multiple areas. As you start, you might have to learn the fundamentals of these areas.
We’re talking about sound, camera, lighting, and editing.
If you get serious and you’d like to monetize acting, you might have to do them yourself.
Otherwise, this is where your network and negotiation skills come into play. You may need to hire someone to do the work for you.
These skills don’t go to waste in acting class. You can also monetize them if acting doesn’t work out.
An actor must know how to read lines off a script and memorize them.
When you start acting, a lot of your work might be monologues and short scripts.
Monologues are typically long and will need you to be in top form in memorizing your lines. It’s not all lost.
This will help you in your daily application. Your cognitive abilities will be sharper, and you’ll notice a boost in both short and long-term memory.
No organization lets you work in a vacuum. Even if you work better alone, you will always be in a collaborative effort with different people.
Acting needs you to learn about working with a team. There will be fellow actors, crew, and welfare groups involved in classes and projects.
Learn how to communicate with everyone regardless of their ranks.
Professional actors sometimes soil their name when they fail to work well with others.
Having teamwork as a skill puts you in front of the right people, not just in acting circles but also in social and professional circles.
Working under pressure
Standing on stage and giving an outstanding performance to a large group of people teaches you how to manage pressure and react quickly.
Working under pressure without losing your cool is a crucial skill of acting. Having this skill as a beginner will put you in some beneficial situations.
Everyone wants to work with someone with enough confidence to manage pressure internally.
Keeping strict deadlines and undoing damage without panicking is a desirable skill in acting and other professional fields.
Where Can I Develop My Acting Hobby?
Once you have decided to explore acting as a hobby, your first stop is an acting class.
Acting classes take lots of walk-in learners who are starting from scratch. You can make quick acquaintances who will form part of your close circle.
Alternatively, you might want to jump the classes and go straight to community theatre.
The upside of community theatre is picking up skills as you learn.
You get the first-hand experience. On the other hand, the critique comes in instantly, and it is direct. You need to learn how to take in constructive criticism.
You can also sharpen your acting skills by watching movies. If you’re interested in acting, it may be because you have watched good movies.
Watching movies is a great way of picking up acting tips. Watch behind the scenes videos.
Watch classic movies. Look up directors and your favorite actors. Most big-name actors say they learned the craft by watching other great actors.
Watching great actors gives you sufficient knowledge of movements and facial expressions before you join a class.
Take online challenges. Pick a scene from your favorite movies. There are challenges to do lip syncs of great scenes.
Think of the “You can’t handle the truth” line or the “What do you mean I’m funny?” scene from Goodfellas.
These challenges teach you something about voice control, accents, and emotion. You can command attention in an acting class if you walk in with a skill such as this.
Take online courses. Acting coaches have gone digital too. They host online classes either on personal websites or as part of a collective.
You can also get free acting tips on YouTube. SkillsShare and Udemy are also valuable resources where you can learn from trained professionals.
Tips That Will Help You Get Better in Your Hobby
Maintain your day job
The truth is, unless you venture into full-time acting, you might have a problem with bills. There is a reason most people associate art careers with struggle.
The beauty of taking up a hobby is that it doesn’t have to be something that makes you money.
You can act as a hobby for your mental wellbeing and for fun.
If you decide to upgrade from a hobby to a moneymaking venture, consider getting an agent.
Many trainers and acting coaches might know agents.
Agents help you in negotiating contracts and getting in front of the right people.
Establish a social media presence
While the big screen might be the be-all-and-end-all for aspiring actors, you cannot downplay the importance of social media.
With billions of people logging in and looking for entertaining content, gaining social media traction can bring you success from your hobby.
Protect your body
Even as a hobby, your body is your greatest asset as an actor. You essentially put your body and your voice in the limelight every time you entertain a group.
Protect your voice by staying off harsh sugar-laden foods. Work out for your body wellness and to improve endurance. You’d be surprised at how tiring acting is.
Keep an eye on advertisement boards
You can always find deals on personal photography, showreel development, and acting classes if you want to upgrade from your current class.
Auditions are a great avenue to gauge your progress. Go to an audition and layout your best.
However, you are not auditioning to secure a role. You are doing it to see if your hobby and the classes are paying off.
You might get a callback. And it’s all from a hobby you started. Good luck.