Acting and Drama Schools - A Real Career Path?


Posted August 12, 2018 by MarcTRomero

Are you a college sophomore choosing theater as a major, or a high school senior targeting top rated drama schools, theater arts programs, or conservatories for your applications?

 
Are you a college sophomore choosing theater as a major, or a high school senior targeting top rated drama schools, theater arts programs, or conservatories for your applications? If so, you may be asking yourself, "Is this really a career path for me?"

If you are grappling with this difficult question at all you are on the right track.

Every year my freshman acting students would marvel at the ease with which their scientific friends would commit themselves to biology or engineering, untroubled by fears of the future. They, on the other hand, were filled with doubt and insecurity. Some talented young people dropped out of their studio work altogether, admitting they could not live with the employment instability they heard awaited them. Why is pursuing a fine arts degree such a difficult choice? Let's start by dispelling some general misconceptions about spending one's life in the arts. The worst of those would be "you cannot make a living as an artist." This is a dictum that everyone spouts without ever having actually worked in the arts. We carry the "starving artist" image from one decade to another, making no real adjustment for social changes that have occurred. Artists can earn a living.

Acquired artistry, top-notch training and consistent professionalism will always serve as guideposts to the performer's working life. But how can you make a living in this field? You start by training in the best theater and music programs you can find, and there are many of them. You set the acquisition of a Bachelor of Fine arts or Bachelor of Arts degree as a goal, understanding that the full-course degree program is a better choice than a two-year training program. You include as many humanities courses that will support your art form as you possibly can. When you are in a college program you audition and perform constantly, stretching your acting and vocal range and challenging your artistic assumptions.

Another common misconception is that performing artists in college don't need to take many academic courses. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any talented college theatre student should take as many academic courses as possible, especially in the humanities. A respected and busy actor needs comprehensive knowledge of English literature, history of western civilization, psychology, foreign languages, Shakespearean studies, dramatic literature, art history, as well as the more specific studies of opera, ballet, music composition and music history.

We at Child Actor LA Institute always advise the young actor/singer/dancer to audition for professional theaters every spring, starting in the first year, acquiring a full four years of work in high-quality, Equity (if possible) theaters. This prepares him/her with contacts (directors, writers, conductors, music directors, choreographers and producers) to approach after graduation. These are the summers to build a resume. You will need good credits when you are auditioning in New York, Chicago, Boston, or Los Angeles. Remember, from college on, you are building a career, a resume and a body of work. Every production you participate in counts, so choose wisely and do not get distracted.

There are many books that will outline "the business" in your city of choice. There are guides to theatrical and commercial agents as well. There are acting for the camera courses, voice-over courses, and "how-to" books for breaking into TV. There is no shortage of CD study guides, group seminars or private performance coaching of every skill. You will have all the information you need to learn how to make a living as an artist in America. The Actors' Equity Association is a union you will be working hard to join, but from the beginning you can turn to it as a valuable resource and networking tool.

To learn more, please visit here: https://childactorla.com/
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Last Updated August 12, 2018