Music & 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.
Topics include: Usher's road to acting • Researching your character • Becoming your character • Improvisation
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...
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.
Although I am an actor, I benefited greatly from learning about the art of "the show" from Usher.
I am not a performer per se, but I learned a lot from Usher I can use in "normal" life.
Really insightful and inspiring. Thank You Usher!!!
Looking back on this class a couple of years later, I realize how much it taught me. Working as a musician I apply these lessons regularly.