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Acting School: Comedy or Drama

It's often said that comedy is one of the hardest genres in terms of acting and writing. When I was in acting school, there was no rule against making the venture into comedy or drama; it was important to study both.

Most people are generally funny, yet it's sometimes hard for them to transfer that personality in acting school. Some actors have the knack to do comedy, while others are geared more toward drama.

Classically trained actors such as Kevin Kline and Kevin Spacey have both successfully ventured in both comedy and drama. Then there's Steve Martin and Bill Murray, both of whom were stand-up comedians who have both tackled comedic and dramatic roles. So, in many cases actors can tackle both. However, some have the natural ability for acting in both comedy and drama, but for first time students in acting schools; it's a skill that may have to be enhanced upon to get the desired ability you want.

I've often found myself to be funny and though that comic monologues would be a natural, yet once I got to acting class, it wasn't the case as I had to learn things about timing and pacing. If you listen to comedy albums, you'll get the hint. Just because you think you're funny and can make someone laugh doesn't make you a natural for comedy; yet it's something that can be learned in acting schools.

I actually think that drama's harder, because you have to be convincing. If the stage directions call for you to be upset, you have to be upset and maybe even cry on cue which isn't the easiest thing in the world. Sometimes you have to take these things into account when you start in acting school. The great Shakespeare monologue is something everyone wants to tackle, like the soliloquy in Hamlet or the funeral speech in Julius Caesar . But that's also easier said than done as well. Shakespeare is tough, especially in acting school, where it's more about understanding the words than just reading them. You have to understand the motivation of these famous monologues.

Regardless of whether you tackle comedy or drama, the other important thing is remembering lines, especially if you're working with a lengthy monologue. The text may be incredibly dense and run for several pages, yet you should give yourself cues that help you remember the lines. You can think of things that relate to the text that trigger some sort of connection that enables you to remember your lines. You won't have cue cards at your disposal, so you'll have to use your brain power to help you, regardless of whether you're doing drama or comedy.

Yet comedy has it rewards especially if you can make an audience crack up. That's one of the hardest things to do and some actors have the ability to do it. But you have to remember that if you don't master it at first, keep trying. That's one of the major lessons that you learn in acting schools .

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