What is the school?

The American School of Acting is a small, intimate training ensemble located in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, where young artists, aged 11-18, learn in-depth Acting skills to help them advance further into the industry. Taught by Bryan Bounds, professional actor, teacher and producer, soon to star with David Tennant in the film, ‘Mad To Be Normal’.

Learn more about our educational offerings here.

What's it like?

Fun, engaging, challenging and thought-provoking – but created specifically for young artists, lessons are as much about growing as an individual as about learning the craft. Lessons are anchored in the traditions of classical acting practitioners, but you’ll have fun while learning the same technical skills that are taught in professional acting schools. And you'll put it all together in an exciting showcase at a local theatre.

Why study with us?

American School of Acting artists come ready to learn, work and grow:

  • you focus entirely on practical Acting skills

  • you'll learn more in an intimate, supportive group

  • benefit from seasoned professionals with over 30-years experience

  • the skills you’ll learn are transferable across all media

  • get support when you need to prepare for auditions, or if you want to market yourself.

Welcome from the school founder

Welcome to the American School of Acting! This school is for young actors who want to dig deeper into the craft of acting. It's for young people who are sensitive, creative, curious about life and want to connect with other people who feel the same. You don't have to be outgoing - most actors are introverts!

I created the school because I saw a real gap in the market for solid, in-depth, actor training. Why train? The world doesn't realize that it actually takes a lot of training to act naturally. And to put it bluntly, it takes a lot of training to stop acting like a child actor. But you can learn it, and we can teach you. If you want to grow more as a person and find the art in yourself, our school is the place for you.

Bryan Bounds, MFA, DBS 
Actor, Voiceover artist, Teacher, Author, Director  & Producer



Our philosophy is stated best by the great American teacher, Sanford Meisner: "Acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances." Our training then is the type of skills development that’s not even offered in secondary performing arts schools in the UK. We've divided the learning between personal skills and relational skills.


Relational skills are a big part of the training, and these are derived from the work of American teachers Sanford Meisner and Bill Esper. Rather than hiding behind a character, Meisner exercises such as 'The Repetition Exercise' and 'The Knock on the Door' help you to develop honest and truthful relationships with your scene partners. They also help you to put all of your focus on your partner, which is the best cure for being self-conscious on stage.

Next, you’ll go through a carefully designed program of Personal skills designed by Uta Hagen (textbook provided) to learn the skills of living truthfully within a scene. The core of Method Acting is using yourself, which means using your mind. With these exercises you'll become familiar with the workings of your everyday mind, and these exercises will start simply and grow to encompass every aspect of your onstage life.

The course also includes training in movement training by Michael Chekhov, Linklater voice work, audition skills, play analysis, creating a character, and mindfulness training to help artists stay in touch with our humanity in a digital society.

How does this translate to the real world?

You’ll be able to:

  • create winning self-tape auditions

  • master the art of the monologue

  • ace a cold script reading by finding clues that bring it to life

  • know what a casting director wants and how to give it to them with confidence.

  • And each year ends with you performing a solid role in our stage productions at the Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds, attended by Yorkshire and London agents.

We’d love to meet you!

You're welcome to observe a class, so get in touch and we'll tell you how.

Westcliffe Hall | 2 Harlow Terrace | Harrogate | bryan.bounds@gmail.com

Tel: 07966 876 442 | 


Westcliffe Hall, 2 Harlow Terrace, Harrogate, HG2 0PN, North Yorkshire

Email: info@americanschoolofacting.co.uk