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By: Kevin Hall
Acting doesnít have to be just for professionals. It can be a great hobby for anyone to enjoy in his or her spare time. And there are many places in the west coast, specifically in San Francisco and Seattle, where one can find classes that help students learn the basics or hone existing skills.

So why would one spend time and money to learn how to act? And why is acting a better hobby than say writing, knitting, drawing or painting? Here are five interesting benefits of acting classes youíll find interesting:

1. Learning to control your emotions. Real acting isnít just about letting go of your emotions or flailing your arms over your head while screaming like a lunatic; acting is about knowing when and how to use emotions to communicate a thought. Itís a lot more of a discipline than of an art or craft. If by learning how to control and manage your emotions while acting, you can probably learn how to do so in real life.

2. Acting will help you gain focus. Actors need to be focused in order to commit to a specific scene or to express a set of emotions. Knowing how to stay in character throughout a scene is paramount in acting. The same techniques actors use to stay focused can be applied to many aspects of your life, including school, a job, art, or just about anything that needs your undivided attention.

3. Acting can be a stress reliever. Many of the exercises you will learn in acting class can be quite enjoyable and even make you laugh. Acting classes in San Francisco as well as acting classes Seattle pay special emphasis on exercises that will help you understand why you react to the world around you. Understanding more about why you react in certain ways allows you to control yourself better.

4. Great way to socialize. Any club or gathering can be a great way to meet like-minded people who share your interests, but acting classes are unique in that youíre also being taught to break the ice and strike up conversations with perfect strangers. Acting helps you free yourself of social fears and will boost your confidence through many aspects of life.

Some of our favorite workshops and acting classes San Francisco are put on by the American Conservatory Theater and the San Francisco Acting Academy. Both are great schools for the serious actor but also offer a great starting off point for beginner actors and hobbyists. The best acting classes in Seattle can be found at the Gilmore Acting Studio as well as the Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio. A full range of classes take you through techniques, methods, and performance. Regardless of where you or what you do professionally, acting is a great way to loosen up and have lots of fun. So if youíre feeling motivated to release your inner Shakespeare, or if you are simply looking to meet new people and learn a new skill, acting is a great way of doing so.

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