Four Levels of Learning


This programme is completely unique to safa.  As a rule acting is very difficult to measure but working with students from age 8 onwards who are all at different stages of development. we felt it necessary for Teachers at safa and parents of students to understand each actors learning level.


We assess the actors learning levels and adapt the teaching approach to each level.  Each level must be achieved before moving onto the next.  Some actors arrive at level 2, and therefore will be taught from level two onwards.  These levels are;


Level One - Intonation

Intonation is really how the words sound, the rise and fall of the actors voice when speaking,  If this is off then so is the whole performance.  We help the actor pass this level by pointing out certain areas of dialogue, use specific exercises that helps them focus on their normal speaking voice and make connections with the script. alongside this they also learn improvisational skills and take part in improvised exercises.


Two - Motivation

this level focuses on the script and allows the actors to examine their motivation for why they are saying what they are saying and how to make choices within the script.  This is much more complex and we give the actors various tools in class to help them gain an understanding of how they can dissect and connect with the script to strengthen their acting on screen. this allows the actors to deliver the script truthfully and honestly on screen.  They are now contributing to driving a story forward during improvised exercises.


Three - Character Development

Is one of the most important levels of learning and is therefore split into two sections lower level 3 and upper level 3.


  • Lower Level 3 - at this level the actor is now showing that they have a good understanding of how to analyse a script and make connections with the given circumstances to help them deliver a true performance. they know what exercises to do when given a script for the first time.  What they now have to do is make connections with the character, Understand who they are and develop the character within the given circumstances, all while being as natural in the scene as they are in real life.  The actor at this point will be removing the 'performance' element of their acting and learning to be as true as possible.  we teach the actor very specific techniques that allows them to deliver a consistent performance on screen,  So that every take is the same as the last.  They will be producing a character in an improvised scene, developing, adapting and driving the story forward.


  • Upper Level 3 - the actor can now relax into any situation. they look as natural on screen as they do in real life.  They are delivering a consistent performance on every take and They understand what to do when given a new script. the actor can now focus all their energy on ways to enhance their depth of character.  We talk them through specific areas where they have to consider their character, give them specific exercises that help them deliver a scene, that will show richness and depth of character within any particular circumstance.  the actor is now showing their depth of character when doing improvised exercises.


Four - Beyond Character

This level is when the actor can not only develop a character and deliver a true performance on screen but goes beyond the script and Makes character choices beyond what is written.  These actors will choose, behaviours and nuances allowing them to deliver the script in both a real and original way like no one else. They go beyond what the scriptwriter expected and show the director originality and depth which captures the imagination. They do this consistently with every script, leaving the viewer believing that they are no longer watching the actor deliver a script but the character is a new entity that is actually in the scene.  This is a professional level of acting that gains the actor status on Spotlight (a casting directory). Once the actor reaches this level they will continue to develop their craft and understanding of each individual character they approach.  They will continue to develop the acting techniques taught at safa and drive their learning forward showing that they are strong enough to be a character actor as well as a leading actor.

SAFA - Screen Acting and Film Academy.  Acting in Glasgow.

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this website and its content is copyright of jsa actors ltd trading as safa/screen acting and film academy.  this company was originally established in 2012 as the UK Screen Acting Academy Ltd an organisation designed by julie mcgowan to provide actors from beginners to professionals with the opportunity, training and tools to enable all students the ability to pursue a career in acting for film and television.  safa now has actors in major feature films and tv shows and continues to provide a service that gives all actors the opportunity to pursue a career in acting. 

safa - where students become stars!