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Arts & Entertainment



Lesson time 10:10 min

All performers are actors. Usher shares techniques he mastered through years of trial and error so that you don't have to learn the hard way. At the end of this lesson you'll learn how to discover new parts of your personality with his creative assignment.

Teaches The Art of Performance
In his first ever online class, Usher teaches you his personal techniques to captivate audiences across 16 video lessons.


When I moved from music to wanting to be an actor, I remember saying to my agent, Holly Carter, I said, give me every opportunity that you can find because I want to know what it is to be an actor. I was not classically trained, or formally trained, so I'm kind of going to learn through trial and error. So I became a soap opera actor, a TV actor, I took on certain roles that were available for me for that age. And it worked. I tried it on, man. I looked at actors who I felt like began to bridge the gap between being an artist and being an actor. I think one of the greatest references of people who were, I guess, a successful artist, and then bridged the gap to becoming an incredible actor was Will Smith. And he did it through TV, believe it or not, because you begin to see him every day. You became familiar with his personality as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. There's a real story and a real depth to him as an actor. His father comes into his life and in some way there was a connection because my father wasn't there, that I felt what he offered. And that just-- I said, you know what? I'm going to act. I want to do that next. Part of the issue with being an artist and in transforming over to acting is, you carry with you the perception and persona of being an artist. You're trying to make this audience forget what they know about you. Marc Anthony is someone who I really do respect for that because he completely makes you forget about who he is as an artist, and he gives you all of these different layers. He gives you so many things that you probably didn't even think about. And you don't think about them in the aspect of who he is as Marc Anthony. He completely takes on the character and all of the characteristics of that character. [MUSIC PLAYING] You don't learn the character overnight. You have to think about all of the things surrounding the character. What is his back story? Where did he come from? What does he feel? What is his voice? Where does his voice come from? What happened to him? What influenced him? What things happened to him as a child, or her as a child, that really created the reaction that happen? Being able to completely disassociate all of your personal tendencies and completely take up a character, is your ability to let go. To let go of all that you learned and begin to adopt that person's tendencies. For instance, I played Sugar Ray Leonard. And in playing Sugar Ray Leonard, I got a chance to sit down with him, talk to him, watch his facial expressions, be able to kind of, really get into the part that you did know about him, and then show some of the things that you didn't know about him that were kind of hidden in plain sight. I would see little bitty things that were personal, that people didn't necessarily notice. Because some people only noticed the top layer of a person. They...

Meet Your New Mentor

Usher, winner of 8 Grammy Awards, reveals the technical skills, career lessons and breakthrough advice that he has used to captivate audiences for over 25 years. For the first time ever, learn how Usher approaches performance and wins over audiences from the studio to the stage. There has never been a class like this before.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

If anyone deserves appreciation for the brilliant performance at the tournament, it’s you, coach!

Usher masterclass provided performance tips and the motivation for me to follow my entertainment dreams.

I'm not a music performer or artist. But I am a writer and with that can't help but wonder how an artist such a Usher creates such strong performances.

My daughter is a performer and I want to walk in her shoes and understand the craft and the challenges


Patric M.

Highly doubtful that you (Usher) actually read any of these comments, but if so, the best book on acting that you will find out there is 'The Actor and the Target'.


One way to add to this assignment, is to basically match whoever you're listening to, their pronunciation, the way they enter into or exit words/phrases, basically, emulate them as close as possible. Yes, that includes trying to sing as high or as low as them. This allows you not only to understand and begin to get into their heads, but also get out of your own head.

Sue S.

I am an investigator and have worked in the aviation industry all my life. Its very refreshing to hear about another industry-acting. Thank you! Who knows what will come next in my life. So exciting!!!

Kalia D.

They say focus on one thing to have success. Singing, Dancing, stage concerts, 'then I wanted to do acting' and he did a good job at all of it, and there is probably much more. It's like he has a basic principle that he can apply to every field in life. And again this sense of audacity 'I can be like Will Smith!' (a child actor!) You have to be able to create the freedom to change your lifestyle to these extreme regimens, the freedom to work hard on your own goals.

Romano K.

I'm a little intimidated by this. But I'll give it a go. Beats what I'm doing now anyway.

Supriya J.

I am not an actor but tried to fit in the character for this song, which i have released 3 days back.. sharing the song here

Namika N.

Here is another one^^

Namika N.

Hello Here is my assignment! 
I am from Japan. I wrote a song in Japanese using Logic Pro X. Actually, I do not know much about music but I did my best. I hope you can feel my character and figure out what I am singing about in Japanese. Other songs I wrote. I am planning​ to upload a new song every week! Thank you Namika

Kevin L. hi guys! BEtween this and lesson 8, I think this is the right place to post this video... In trying to be a certain character, I simply imagined my cousin Geoff and introduced myself as Geoff. You don't know him, so i suppose you can't say if I did a good impression or not, but I think the performance came across well. It's a small open mike crowd, It was a Wednesday night, and I mostly keep them engaged, save for the second song - first 2 minutes. Thanks for any feedback love you

TaylorAnn M.

I love that Usher did it and did not go to acting school. I am always told I have to go take acting classes. I believe if you find the connection with the character, through situation or emotion, along with research and practice, you can accomplish it. Also as he mentioned, see it before it happens- that is such a great visionary tool to throw out into the universe and believe in it yourself. And of course being committed and practicing. All great tips once again.