Arielle Beth Klein: Learning From Young Artists

Doug GoldringCommunity, Training

Some of the most extraordinary experiences I have while teaching come when I’m leading youth classes.

Young artists are a constant reminder of the importance of play, imagination, and joy.

Three ideas come to mind most clearly when I think of what I’ve learned from kids about storytelling:

1. Storytelling is innate. Even before we get to talking about the components of script analysis, kids already know how to tell a story. And you do too! You already have your human experience at your disposal, which is what brings your storytelling to life.

2. At some point as adults, we often forget to play. I even notice it in some of my older tween and teen students. We play games that ask these students to use the silliest part of their imaginations, and sometimes it takes a little while to get them to truly imagine “a unicorn riding a bicycle while eating ice cream.” It’s a gift to yourself not to let your imagination take a back seat in your life.

3. Nothing is permanent. The number of times my students ask, “Wait, can I start over?” or say, “Wait, no, actually…” and just unapologetically start over in rehearsal is a great reminder that nothing is permanent, and stories are constantly evolving.

So how do I make sure to incorporate these guiding principles into my artistry?

When I’m working on a project, either as an actor or a writer, I try to remember to be gentle with myself, to not take myself too seriously, and to trust my instincts.

A few months ago I was recording a voiceover on a live directed session, (meaning the client is on a zoom or in person with me giving me notes in real time,) and I messed up a line in the middle of the recording. For a brief moment, I panicked, feeling guilty that I ruined the take. But then I thought: No I didn’t, it’s not permanent, I’m human, We make mistakes, and I know what to do. I said “I’ll take that back,” took a breath, left a pause for editing, and simply restarted the sentence.

The biggest wins for me that day are that I didn’t harp on the fact that I messed up, and that I still allowed myself to play for the rest of the session.

There’s so much to learn from all the artists in our lives, including the young ones. Keep your heart open to what the young artists in your life have to teach you!

– Arielle
IG: @ariellebethklein

Upcoming classes with Arielle include Beginner Acting Class I: The Basics starting 4/7, and more!

Check out TBG’s full schedule of classes, including Youth classes, camps, and intensives!

Arielle Beth Klein not only teaches Beginner Acting, Solo Show, and various Youth Classes at TBG, but also loves working with fellow storytellers to achieve their creative goals. You can listen to her podcast Just Start Storytelling or follow her on Instagram @ariellebethklein to stay in touch.