Code of Conduct Guidelines
This Code of Conduct has been created to protect the rights of students. Artists need encouragement and guidance, not abuse. They need strategies to help navigate not only the art acting, but also the business of acting, helping them to build heathy and sustainable lives as artists.
Any yelling, degradation, physical force, threats, guilt-tripping, or other kinds of abuse is prohibited. If there is a conflict between the teacher and the student, it should be dealt with respectfully, professionally, and in an adult fashion.
Any kind of sexual harassment between teachers and students is absolutely prohibited. Furthermore, encouraging students to workshop scenes of a sexual nature including (but not limited to) nudity, intimate contact with a scene partner, and touching themselves intimately is inappropriate. Any work dealing with any level of physical intimacy must be dealt with professionally and safely. Class must always be a safe space.
Keep personal relationships separate.
It is inappropriate for a teacher to be romantically involved with a student. If a teacher initiates a romantic relationship with a student (even if consensual) both the student and the teacher should be removed from class.
Students of all nationalities, colors, sexual orientations, experience level, gender/ gender expression, religion, education level, economic class, immigration status, size, and mental ability must be considered equally for class. An environment of inclusivity must be a foundation for all classes.
No financial discrimination.
The financial status of the majority of acting students is often challenging. Acting is not a lucrative business for most; therefore, exorbitantly priced classes can be (by definition) discriminatory. Some ways to avoid financial discrimination include offering scholarships/financial aid, work in exchange for discounted classes, and private coaching at a discount for students already taking an ongoing class.
Listen to your students.
If a student reports an uncomfortable incident with another student (harassment, abuse, etc.) that student and whoever is accused must be heard and taken seriously.
Students’ lives outside of class should remain private.
Teachers must not pry into the private lives of their students or instruct them on how to manage their lives. This includes commenting on their weight, dating lives, and career choices. The only exceptions are if you suspect illegal activity or a situation in which the student might inflict self-harm.
Honesty and transparency should be guiding principles: state your fees, financial policies of the class, and other class rules upfront. Additionally, teachers also should not claim credit for the professional successes of well-known actors they have never taught or barely taught without their express permission. This has the potential to be misleading at best and totally dishonest at worst.
Remember, class should always be about what is best for your students.
Class is about helping students improve. Class is not primarily about the teacher – it is primarily about the students. Be there fully for your students.
Any acting class who endorses and signs this document (and agrees to adhere to this code of conduct) will go on a public list of recommended classes. Any class who actively goes against this code of ethics will be on a public list of classes to avoid.