You're taking the classes, you're booking some gigs, and you're seeing some really great progress. But you keep hearing about "Private Coaching" and you'd like to know what all the hype is about. There are a million questions swirling in your head. What exactly is private coaching? How do I find the right coach? Is it really worth the money when I'm already taking classes and booking gigs on my own?
These are all great questions and I'm going to address all of them and more.
First, let's dive into what private coaching is and what it can do for you. In short, Private coaching is 1-on-1 training with an acting, dance or performance coach. Private Coaching sessions are generally specialized to fit the needs of the student, and can be used to prepare for a specific audition or role or can be used to dive deeper into general skills such as character development, monologue work, choreography, stage presence, and so much more. The possibilities really are endless. And because of this, working with a private acting coach or private dance coach can take you to a much deeper level in your craft.
There are definitely a multitude of coaches out there, each with rates as different as the coach themselves. So how to you find the one that's right for you? A good place to start would be to decide if you want someone local or if virtual coaching would be fine. This really comes down to personal preference and with technology as it is, virtual coaching is super easy and still just as effective as in-person sessions. The next thing to think about is what your goals are and what a realistic next step would be for you. For example, if you live in Florida and are involved more in live theater and stage performances, you probably don't need to hire a coach from LA who specializes in on-camera work and film scripts at this point in time. Now if you're seriously considering a move to LA in the next year or so, that may be a good option for you in order to lay the foundation before you get there. The last - and most important thing to consider, is connection with the coach. The last thing you want to do is hire a coach who is miserable to work with! I am a firm believer that the more you vibe with your coach, the better your work will be and the more you will learn and grow. So how will you know if you vibe with them? The simplest and most direct way would be to see if you can schedule a consultation. Most coaches would be happy to do a short consult, especially over the phone. (I say "short" because it really should just be a casual meet and greet type of call. You can absolutely lay out your goals and expectations, but make sure you don't try to turn it into a "free coaching session" by trying to dig up specific answers and get advice. That's why they get paid to coach!)
So is a Private Acting Coach or a Private Dance Coach worth the money? Even while attending classes and booking gigs? Most professional performers will answer a resounding "YES"! Think about it, professional athletes hire personal trainers even outside of practices and games. Why? Because that trainer knows their skill set, knows their strengths and weaknesses, and knows how to get the best possible performance out of them. The group practices help to build the team and cover general techniques, but the personal trainer hones in on the individual athlete and makes sure they are ready to bring their personal best. It's the same with a Private Acting Coach or a Private Dance Coach.
Still not sure? Ask yourself the following questions:
What areas of my craft am I weakest in? Where do I need improvement?
With what skills, techniques, or characters am I uncomfortable?
What notes or directions do my instructors repeatedly give to me?
In what areas would I like to specialize?
What are my goals as a performer? What steps can help me achieve those goals?
A Private Coach can help you with any and all of those areas. In conclusion, only you can decide if Private Coaching would be worth it for you, but I can almost guarantee you won't walk away without learning something valuable that you can use toward your craft.