I do believe anyone can act - play with any 3 year old and you'll get a lesson in creating a moment of truth and adventure. But unfortunately, as we age, most of us learn fear. Fear of our own emotions, or making a mistake, of making a fool of ourselves. Acting class can help unlock the inner actor you were born with and have forgotten.
And then there is the question of technique. To be a really good actor, it helps to develop a way of working, a process for developing character and moving your character through the story in a way that excites the audience. You can do that by working - doing play after play after play or being on a long-running television series. Working lets you hone your craft in a real world setting - but how many people get that chance starting out? Precious few.
So, you study. You read books and scripts, you watch movies and plays - but nothing replaces DOING for building skill and confidence. Malcolm Gladwell wrote that you must perform something 10,000 times to achieve mastery - whether it's playing a guitar, throwing a pot or performing in front of an audience. 10,000 sounds like an impossible number - but his point is apt. You get better with practice. Period. And acting class is a place for trying out techniques, pushing yourself, finding what works for you. You learn from direct feedback on your work and you learn from watching others perform.
You can't learn to act by thinking about it. You have to get up in front of someone and do it. Again and again and again.
Only you know how many acting classes you need. Maybe one jump starts you and makes you feel ready to audition. Maybe you need to take several in a row to build your confidence. Some actors treat class like a tuneup - a chance to stretch themselves in a supportive environment.
The point is - there's no one way to become an actor - but the honest, informed feedback you find in a class is a good way to improve.
So try a class. Bring your whole self - questions, doubts , dreams and all. Acting class isn't a place you learn how to be "perfect" or even "right". It's a place where you learn how to use your "instrument" - body, voice, intellect, energy and emotion - to bring the humanity of a story to vibrant life.
And besides, it's more fun than a barrel of monkeys!