As an actor your job is to work your craft every single day. Do you think a football player would expect to be drafted in the NFL if he never practiced? Do you think he would be ready to play pro ball just because his mom thought he would be good at it? No way! He knows if he wants it he has to practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. The same goes for any other profession that requires a skill set. Do you think a brain surgeon would bypass medical school and barge into an operating room with a butter knife? That's a scary thought and it's completely absurd right? Well the same goes for actors, you have to learn your trade inside and out before you're really ready to perform skillfully.
It's your job to own the room every time you step on stage but your work begins long before you ever receive that phone call. Sanford Meisner said it takes twenty years to become a good actor. Now before you get all up in arms, he didn't say it takes twenty years to book a job, he said it takes twenty years to be really good. So, do you want to be a short lived flame or do you love the art form with an eternal fire? If you really have the drive to act and it lives in you then that's twenty years of blood, sweat and tears my friend. Twenty years of persistence, of training, of picking yourself up by the shoe strings again and again and again, studying with teachers who resonate with you and really working your craft every single day. It's a beautiful journey and you will grow leaps and bounds if you are open to it. It's not twenty years of your relatives telling you how cute you are and that you should be on TV. Acting just like any creative platform is never completed and put aside it's an ongoing process forever unfolding. It's a wonderful gift to be able to connect with others fully.
The trouble with acting is that many people think they can do it but very few really do. People are attracted to the fame, the money and the wardrobe as the mainstream media portrays it. On the contrary, acting is a spiritual calling. To be willing to really do the work of being open and vulnerable even without the fancy clothes is the plight of an artist. Only a real actor is able to do the deep soul searching into their own humanity that is necessary. It takes craft and diligent study to be able to muster confidence in the face of rejection time and time again. That's the work that you don't see on the red carpet but that's the truth about what it takes to get there. Believe it or not grace and ease are master skills and you can acquire them if you want to.
So you still ask, why does an actor need acting classes? Here's the shorter answer; acting classes are the actors gym. It's a place to work out and fail in a safe environment. It's a place to be brave and try new things. It's a place to create freely so when you do book a job you're relaxed and ready to play! While there are benefits to working monologues and things of that nature in the comforts of your own home at some point you need an audience and a director. To revisit the football reference, a football player can practice throwing the football alone but he can't practice, receiving, passing and scoring a touchdown, that requires a team. It's no different for an actor. While the road of an actor can feel solitary at times it requires a team to be successful. Acting class provides community and support for you along your path. See you in class!