Training to become an actor the traditional way can be a tricky and time-consuming process. This may involve giving up a job. This may involve moving towns and putting both livelihoods and lifestyle on the line for a dream that may not come true. But, at Leeds-based YAFTA International, none of that is true.
“A lot of people have the raw talent to become actors in the film and television industry, but they can’t commit to a full-time training program,” says Charlotte Armitage, CEO of YAFTA.
“Maybe they can’t afford to quit their jobs. Maybe they can’t move to London. Maybe they can’t be separated from their family. At YAFTA, they don’t care about any of that,” she continues.
“At YAFTA, we provide comprehensive, accessible training for actors that fit into other commitments. You don’t have to give up your job or leave home, or anything like that. At YAFTA, the Training to become a professional film actor is a viable option for anyone and everyone.
YAFTA was founded by Armitage in 2013 to provide affordable, reputable acting education in the North of England for those who were unwilling or unable to tackle a full-time three-year degree, but who were unhappy with an irregular evening. classes as the only alternative. It has gone from strength to strength over the past eight years and now offers a range of training programs at various locations.
At the heart of it all, however, is YAFTA’s Acting for Screen degree – an 18-month Spotlight-eligible program designed to equip aspiring actors with all the skills they need to succeed as a professional performer in the film industry. film and television industry. Students begin as film rookies and a year and a half later are ready for their first paid roles.
“The proof is in the pudding,” says Armitage. “Our screen acting degree has been around for seven years. He had great success producing professional actors who went on to do great things. Students are automatically added to Spotlight’s directory when they graduate, which means they can apply for agency representation and be submitted for work.
YAFTA’s Acting for Screen degree is based on a blended learning approach. Students are required to attend three full contact days per month at YAFTA’s studio in Leeds, with the rest of the program taught via online modules, self-directed study and a range of workshops, masterclasses, mentoring, assessments and experiential learning by working as actors on student projects during their training.
Screen acting, text analysis, characterization, improvisation, voice, instinct, audition technique, interpreting work, psychological techniques to manage nerves, these are just some of the subjects in the diploma program. These are just a few of the skills aspiring actors will learn during their 18 months at YAFTA. However, the emphasis is on properly preparing students with the skills to work as on-screen performers and teaching them what working in film and television is really about.
“We try to get our students working whenever possible, whether it’s on professional productions, low-budget films, or student films,” says Armitage. “At YAFTA, we don’t believe everything should be based in the classroom. We believe in putting learning into practice as much as possible. We believe in making sure students know what to expect in the industry.
“YAFTA students learn really useful information about how film and TV work, and everything else,” she continues. “They learn how to put on a showreel. They learn to make self-cassettes. They learn what the feedback process looks like. They learn that the industry can be very difficult at times, and they develop the psychological resilience to deal with it while training with us.
YAFTA’s program has been designed and is delivered by professional actors and acting coaches who have trained and worked at some of the world’s leading drama schools – and who also have plenty of experience in film and television industries, whether in soap operas, studio films or a big budget drama series.
“YAFTA students are treated like the adults they are,” says Armitage. “Some drama schools are known for their overly punitive and overly destructive teaching techniques, but we definitely don’t believe in that approach here. We pride ourselves on providing a very supportive and nurturing environment for all of our students, whoever they are and wherever they come from.
“A student told me recently that he loved YAFTA so much because we were so human and had souls, and I was so happy because that’s exactly what we’re trying to do,” she adds. . “This is an organization with integrity, and you can see that the moment you walk through the door. There is a pleasant, warm, positive, vibrant and inspiring atmosphere at YAFTA.