Students can be found in the performing arts center (PAC) practicing different scripts and improv skills. Acting class, a class open to all grade levels, offers students a wide variety of benefits along with opportunities to learn the skills of acting.
William Palmer, teacher, believes acting can teach many different lifelong skills. “I think acting has a lot of skills: empathy, and learning how to create characters, like learning how to fit in to be someone else. You understand that everyone has a different life point of view and it starts to help you empathize with others,” Palmer said. “It gives you good collaboration skills because theater is collaborative. You can’t make theater without working with others. Creativity is also taught, which is what research shows that businesses are looking for in their employees.”
Palmer mentioned that he thinks a wide variety of students are attracted to the class for multiple reasons.“Some are in here because they have experience or they’ve always wanted to try it. I have others that are maybe the friend of the person who has those aspirations, but they come along for the ride because theater is a close-knit community and it tends to end up pulling in other people.”
Palmer recommended that students who are on the shier side should consider joining the class. “It does give you practice for communicating with people. Voicework is one of the things we work on so you’re going to learn how to speak loudly, speak clearly, but also how to manipulate the way you speak in how fast or with your pitch so that you become more emotive.”
Natalie McNeeley, junior, mentioned that her experience in acting has become an important part of her high school experience. “I feel like acting has always been a part of my life and I just really want to improve on it. It’s really awesome to just see a lot of people go from themselves to another character completely,” she said.
She said that the skills acting has taught her has had a lasting impact on her life. “It’s really helped me realize that there are so many things that acting can do for you. For example, a job interview is a lot like an audition. In the class, you’re taught on how to present yourself and speak clearly. I now work at Andy’s and I feel like I wouldn’t have gotten the job if I hadn’t taken this class or hadn’t been involved in the acting community,” McNeeley said.
Another student, Ada Chapman, joined the class when he was a freshman. He wasn’t originally planning to take the class, but he ended up taking it because there was a mistake in his schedule.
Chapman recommends students to take the class even if they aren’t sure about it. “It’s a huge confidence boost and a lot of people struggle with self esteem and I feel like it’s a great way to build that. For anyone who is interested in theater, Mr. Palmer is an amazing teacher and you can really gain a lot in that sense too.”
You can learn more about the acting class by emailing Palmer at [email protected].