By now most of you know that there’s this slick online education hub called Masterclass. Where some of the top professionals of their field give you an intimate behind the scenes look at their process. The pedigree of the instructors alone is enough to make anyone at any stage in their career plunk down the $90, but thankfully, the producers do a good job at culling through the footage and insights to actually deliver valuable nuggets in addition to being able to geek out over the teachers. Full disclosure; I’ve taken enough of these courses that I’m now an affiliate. In no way does that mean my candid assessment takes a back seat and I’m sure you’ve probably seen other writing services give a review or post about the Masterclass offerings. So, why me, why now?
It’s simple really; they recently released a few new instructors, and have a new lifetime program that is truly a steal. And in the spirit of all of the giving and buying of the season, I have taken enough of these that they have given me a class to give away… one class to one person, no strings attached (this is NOT part of my affiliate agreement).
Since Masterclass started, I have taken instruction from Aaron Sorkin in screenwriting, James Patterson in novel writing, Shonda Rhimes in writing for television, David Mamet in dramatic writing and Judy Blume in writing for children.
Others available that I will get to before my all access membership ends include:
Helen Mirren and Dustin Hoffman on acting
There are also lots of cool music classes from:
And cooking with Gordan Ramsay,
Annie Leibovitz on photography
Serena Williams on tennis
And even Samuel L. Jackson has one coming up on acting.
That’s a shit ton of awesomeness streaming over your device at your leisure and I have no doubt more will be added on a continual basis.
Aside from the cache´ of the celebrity factor, what makes these classes worth it, (or not)? Here’s the deal, these are not in lieu of practical instruction for whatever your craft, (at least not the ones I’ve take so far) and every instructor tells you they have no magic process that got them where they are today. What they do offer is practical advice, formatted in digestible lessons that you absorb and participate in at your own pace. Frankly, the appeal to me is their candor in admitting that the best they have to offer is their personal approach.
If you are anywhere from advanced to a working professional in any of these capacities there is still something useful in hearing how your accomplished peer tackles the same issues you do. Trust me, there is a lot to be said for the reassurances of someone who faces the same challenges and who puts their pants on one leg at a time just like you.
If you are a novice or hobbyist these classes come with forums and student hubs where you can submit your own work for peer review and just general discussion as well as office hours for the instructors. There are also fairly active Facebook groups to help in this regard and to help build your network (which is extremely important).
In other words, no matter what level you are at, in whatever craft, there is a way for you to get something out of it.
I know in the Patterson class, there are regular opportunities to submit for co-writing opportunities with James Patterson!
Every class is produced with a cohesive set of material that you can download and jot notes on and each one has about 2 dozen videos that vary from 10-20 minutes each. So it’s very easy to binge your way through (especially in the addictive case of David Mamet) or take a lesson on your coffee break or before you turn in for the night.
While they are all structured the same, the instructor personality steers the focus and content. Some have a teacher gene and some just have a, let’s break bread, gene.
For me, as you may know, I make it my business to test the waters of offerings and for writers in particular – because there are so many scams. Which is how I got started with Masterclass. Aaron Sorkin was my first one, because frankly, nothing energizes me more than having a conversation that sounds like a bit of Aaron Sorkin dialogue. Probably because every conversation I have with my son is like a West Wing debate, but I digress. Sorkin’s masterclass has writers in the room with him for part of it, and that dynamic is fantastic. David Mamet, I could listen to for eternity – he shoots from the hip in a way that is so engaging, you learn life lessons from a Mensch on top of the craft.
But perhaps the most valuable aspect of the Masterclass offerings is this new all access pass they’ve come up with. I’m a marketer at heart, and frankly this is marketing at it’s finest – but it provides an irrefutable value – so for me, it is a no-brainer to recommend. Masterclass is offering an all access pass to every class for $180 a year. That’s the price of 2 Masterclasses for access to all of them for one year. If you buy the classes individually at the $90 price tag you can access those forever. (And yes, I do still go back to the Sorkin and Patterson ones from over a year ago).
Here’s where the real deal comes in. I have a single class to give away. One lucky person can use this $90 class to test it out or just add to their library. It’s yours with no strings attached. All you have to do is comment here OR share on your social media page of your choice (facebook, twitter, instagram, stage 32). If you do the social share, just include the link in the comment or via the contact page.
The winner will be chosen on December 16, 2017 by random drawing.
Click away and be the master of your domain…