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Social Anxiety? Acting Class Can Help


Actor training can lower anxiety.

Social anxiety negatively affects every area of children lives. It can hurt them professionally, limits them rat school, and damage their friendships. While group therapy is an effective treatment for reducing social anxiety, there is another invention that can deliver astonishing transformations: acting class.

How acting classes benefit someone with social anxiety?

Being too self-involved often triggers social anxiety. Not that people who feel anxious in social situations are narcissists — but they tend to have their attention turned inward rather than outward. When your attention is on yourself, you get anxious. However, when your attention is focused on another person or an activity, your anxiety usually dissipates.

As humans, we are hardwired to connect. The problem is, when we’re worried about connecting, we’re inherently making ourselves unavailable to do so. People with social anxiety are worried about the future rather than the now — “What should I say next? What if I say something that makes me look dumb/silly?” “What if they don’t like me?”

Learning to be present and a better listener is a big part of our actor training. Being in the moment and building an experience organically — be it a conversation or scene — is the quickest and simplest way to catapult yourselves out of an anxious headspace and into contact with another human being.

The Actor Academy approach to acting draws on the idea of play. Acting is a form of playing with someone else. It’s hard to be anxious under those circumstances. (Think small children fully engaged in play not a lot of anxiety for the most part.)

What tools would they gain from an acting class that they can apply in life?

Students at the studio learn to be extremely good listeners. They become more self-aware and in touch with their feelings, thoughts, and attitudes. They learn how to improvise from moment to moment and to be present, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.