Acting CAN be taught.
The Process - For an idea of what to expect from classes at Robert Wald Actors Studio, these are exercises Robert teaches to all students.
In all classes, students begin with physical and vocal warm-ups that help to relax and prepare the body and free the voice within. Students are given the opportunity before every class to physically, vocally, and emotionally prepare. Group warm-up exercises are incorporated into many classes to build good habits and encourage professional preparation.
Frozen Table Reading: This exercise is designed to teach the students the art of listening, which is critical to the actors success. Students learn to stay true to their emotions by listening to their partner and reacting honestly to what they hear. By doing this fundamental exercise almost every class throughout the training, students refine their technique. Students often feel they learn as much by observing other students perform this exercise as they do when they participate themselves.
Sight Reading: Sight reading is a technique that teaches the student to quickly capture a few words or lines from a printed page and to deliver them without looking back at the paper. This skill is important for actors for multiple reasons. First, it frees the actor from the text on the printed page allowing them to use the words as a vehicle for their honest emotional responses. Second, it is a strong skill to have when auditioning with unfamiliar lines.
Fundamentals of Script Memorization: This important technique keeps students from memorizing the WAY the words are said instead of memorizing just the words with no emotion, no weight, no shape, and no meaning, so the actor is free to let the words flow easily out of any number of different emotional states he or she finds himself or herself in at the moment. Incorporating the memorized script with the Frozen Table Reading exercise trains the actor to maintain the spontaneity even with memorized text.
Preparation: When given a script to pre-read such as in an audition, or any work situation, the actor must learn the correct formula of understanding facts from non facts as it applies to their character. This is all a good actor needs in preparation for any role. (This enables them to separate their character's facts in a scene from the assumptions and false emotional baggage which can stand in the actor's way.)
Improvisation: The art of improvisation is taught through carefully crafted exercises to teach spontaneity, focus, and, again, the all important listening. This teaches the actor to have more trust in the moment and to relax which is essential.