Acting class helps you to ‘know yourself’

Ashley Jagpal
A&E Reporter

Breathe in, breathe out and let your head fall down.

It’s one of the first things Shawn Campbell, a comedy and acting professor at Humber College, teaches in his Basic Acting Technique course at the Lakeshore campus. Campbell said he has been teaching for more than 28 years, and has taught this particular 10-week class for 20.

During his three-hour class on Oct. 5, students were first told to warm up, then put into group exercises exploring how each character is defined by a chosen relationship.

Campbell believes acting is important for many reasons.

“It allows you to have a venue where you can explore and fail, but not under a microscope or public scrutiny,” he said.

Campbell also said acting class helps each participant personally.

“They learn something about themselves that helps them become better people. It’s always helpful to know a part of yourself so you can be the best person you can be.”

This session was the first time for the students in this group to take an acting class.

Ravi Waghmare, a poet and songwriter who recently started to share his works in public, decided to improve his public speaking skills.

He said he enjoyed the class because it gave “an amazing hands-on training experience.”

Jessica Hardwick said while taking a month-long course at a stunt school in the United States, she realized her “acting sucked.”

Hardwick said Campbell has a “great wealth of knowledge.”

“He’s easy-going and he shapes the class in what we need,” Hardwick said, adding she enjoys the small class’ one-on-one attention.

Campbell grew up in Stratford surrounded by theatre and went on to become an actor — but it never crossed his mind to teach it.

“I had a friend who taught a class at George Brown College,” said Campbell. “One day, she asked me to help her out. I was terrified, but then I loved it. I helped her for two years, but when the course got too big they split it into two. I taught one class and she taught the other. From there, my love for it just grew.”

Campbell’s course costs $290. Registration for the winter session begins in early December.