How to Find the Right Acting Coach

Hercules needed Philoctetes, Plato relied on Socrates’ expertise, and Rosalind arguably would not have landed Orlando without Celia’s willing assistance. History shows time and time again that mentors and collaborators help all kinds of processes, and the same is true for the MFA in Acting application and audition. Celia was friends with Rosalind for life, Plato learned under Socrates, and Hercules kind of stumbled into Philoctetes’ assistance… The question is… how do you find a coach, especially the right one for you? Ask yourself the following and consider our tips, too!

QUESTION ONE: Who’s out there?

The first step, like the first step in the MFA in Acting application timeline, is to get an awareness of the coaches out there for you. While there are lots of acting coaches around, you’ll want to search for coaches who specialize in preparing for the MFA in Acting. This way, your sessions will be fine-tuned to your end goal of acceptance into an MFA program. Additionally, finding a coach especially inclined toward MFA in Acting audition training will offer crucial expertise on the process since they often coach students for it. They may even be able to offer personal connections to past students who made it where you’re hoping to be. Look for coaches whose reputation precedes them and whose experience directly speaks to the MFA in Acting process for a better match. You can find these coaches through word of mouth, by asking friends and mentors, or through search engine queries (which is likely how you found us here today!).

QUESTION TWO: What do you need?

The right acting coach for you is one whose expertise either lines up with your interests or best challenges your weaknesses. Just as you choose to study theater at the higher level because it is of interest to you, you may wish to choose a coach whose interests align with yours. Let’s take a look at this with some of Theater.Academy’s own coaches. For instance, if you have a keen interest in Greek classical plays and their adaptations, working with someone who carries that expertise, like Yagil Eliraz, may offer some shared love that makes the coaching exciting! Or, if your true love is comedic acting, Eugene Ma’s expertise in comedy may allow for some especially refined feedback to elevate your comedic monologues. On the other hand, working with a coach whose expertise is opposite of your own may help you strengthen your weaknesses. For instance, if you’ve spent all your life onstage and do not quite know how to approach acting for the camera, a coach like Ellen Parks (and even the upcoming course on “Self-Taping and On-Camera Acting”) can help you feel more comfortable with a style before unexplored. Or, say you know you need help with your classical monologue most of all; a teacher like Ellen Kaplan with past work in Shakespeare may help you feel more equipped to tackle it! Either way, a coach’s expertise is helpful to consider when choosing the right coach for you.


More than just your coach’s expertise matters when choosing the right one for you; consider also if their methods and teaching philosophy resonate with you. Whether it’s a Meisner approach, coaching from the director’s lens, or a text-based analysis, you want to ensure that a coach’s teaching resonates with your learning style. Granted, it may still challenge you. That is okay! Growth comes from these kinds of collaborations. You may also want to consider how your time will be spent. Do you want detailed feedback on every line of your monologue, or are you more interested in a big picture approach, checking with your coach to make sure your pieces communicate who you are at your core? All are helpful, but knowing which focus you need most will help you narrow down the best coach for you.


Finally, you want to make sure your coach’s schedule works well with yours! Ensure time zones, rates, and availability match your own. This is simply logistics and may be the most straight-forward question to ask!

PRO TIP: Schedule a consultation first! Here at Theater.Academy, you can schedule a 45 minute consultation to discuss your BFA/MFA in Acting application journey for free. That way, you can get a glimpse of the benefits before making the full leap and find the coach that’s best for you.

Find your coach today at Theater.Academy!

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