Acting : Trained Actor vs Organic Actor? by Giselle Marie

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Giselle Marie

Trained Actor vs Organic Actor?

What do you guys think about this article? I know I've come across people in the industry who think that an "untrained" actor is preferable over a trained actor thinking they are more "organic." Another thing to wonder about are the words being used This topic has a nice potential for discussion.

Tatom Pender

Hit the nail on the head! Great article & very well said. Tiny font aside I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!

Stage 32 Staff - Julie

It's an interesting topic and a debate. I've seen some of the most true, authentic emotion done by organic acting (no training) -- you really hit true emotion rather than trained. On the flipside, with trained and seasoned actors you are guaranteed that the performance will be spot on, however, at closer look it can come across as inauthentic.

Brandon White

Im an natural actor so I am biased I try the natural approach is way better of course

Mike Chinea

Depends on the person. All the successful actors I know have had some kind of training. If you are not working all the time then training is a way to keep your acting chops up. A lot of time the difference comes to light after the 14th take.

Royce Allen Dudley

There are all kinds of actors from all kinds of disciplines, with all kinds of things they bring to set... some good, some not so much. Training has value, and does not mean that what is learned is used, but is understood... actors act with other actors and must be able to communicate to do their work... no actor works alone. A raw talent is still a diamond in the rough.

Giselle Marie

The best acting training I received was from a discipline that "untrained" me. =) Sounds odd that you can be trained to be untrained, but it's true. The best acting classes are the ones who break down the outer shell that has been put there by nurture and society. Great comments guys! Loved them all!

Mike Chinea

Learn all the rules and then break them. By all means learn to break that outer shell and let the real awesome you shine.

Cameron Mark Lewis

I think it depends on the actor. Personally, I just started acting and never looked back. Acting is largely knowing "yourself".

Deryn Warren

I teach actors and I want them to reach the stage that Cameron talks about ie. knowing yourself. And I like Mike's comment about letting the real awesome you shine. Classes are to practice and to learn technique so you are free to soar. If you are worrying in your auditions about how to hold the script or how loud to be or anything else you won't feel the necessary freedom to be yourself. I wrote a book HOW TO MAKE THE AUDIENCE FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU. Please check it out at and come and study with me in LA.

Mary Dallas

In my experience, when I try to use a voice, that is not my voice, to do a scene, it falls flat. It sounds fake. When I use my own voice, it sounds natural & pure. I think what I'm trying to say is, bring your true self to every performance. To me, that's the difference between trained & organic. The same message, with a twist.

Renee Eward Carlson

Maybe I missed something, but I didn't see much discussion regarding talent. Talent is what we are all born with. My husband is a talented soldier and understands the complicated techniques used in almost every war. My daughter was born to be an animal person. I have seen animals collapse at her feet to be nursed back to health! They just sense she knows what to do. My son is so technosavy that I'm afraid to enter his "domain." I suck as a brain surgeon. No matter my education. It's not because I'm an idiot, I graduated high school 2nd in my class (and only because I was out sick 3 days more than the #1 guy). You can teach me how to perform brain surgery until you turn blue, I'll never be able to do it without the patient loosing some sort of function or clucking like a chicken because I touched something related to his language processing area. I was born with my own talents, I can sing, dance and act. I can make you laugh or cry with facial expressions. That is my NATURAL ability. Or, I like to say, my RAW and undeveloped talent. I've paid for classes, even have a Masters degree in Theatre, however, without having that raw talent which I was born with, it would have been wasted money. I will never change my opinion about this matter, nobody can entertain without having raw talent first, you can't learn instinct. I started out when I was 5, I'm 45 now and still adore what I do for a living. SO...all of us have some sort of raw talent, however, understanding how to channel it and how to use that talent is why we need to educate ourselves. Community Theatre taught me more than any workshop, by the way. Too many paid actors snub their noses at volunteer theatre shows, however, I believe that if someone is willing to put so much time and energy into creating an amazing show, they love what they are doing. NOBODY would do what we do for free if they hated it. I certainly wouldn't!

Suzanne Bronson

I have never heard of anyone seeking an untrained actor. That's ridiculous. You may talent, but you take classes to develop skills. Is there such a thing as an "organic" basketball star? Untrained actors are what are known as reality stars.

Deryn Warren

Suzanne, your post made me laugh. It is spot on. Deryn P.S. Now I really want you to check out and read a chapter and tell me what you think.

Giselle Marie

Yeah, my favorite classes were in the Eric Morris technique. It's more in line with breaking down the limits we and society have placed on us emotionally. It was very freeing. Great comments guys!

Renee Eward Carlson

Training is for dogs :-) . Actors learn and use what we know. I started out as a paid child actor when I was 5. My family had the means to provide me with a vocal instructor, tap dancing lessons and multiple private acting coaches. I also Mastered in Theatre at University. Community Theatre was where I learned how to run across an inverted stage, in heels. It is fantastic to look great and well educated on paper, however, it is your talent and experience that gets you the gig. Plus, it's fun!

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