Going on a proper course is a fantastic opportunity for you to develop your performance abilities. It will really push you as a student to get familiar with performance as an experience. You will find out what talents you ought to focus on, develop your artistic personality and sharpen your acting style thanks to expert mentoring.
Studying Performing Arts will also enable you to enhance your natural talents as well as to develop new ones. Teachers will often tell you that a successful career in acting requires equal parts talent and practice with a bit of luck thrown in.
“The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results.”-James Dean
From community colleges to performing arts schools to four-year universities, there are numerous educational paths for prospective actors.
The path to your acting career can actually begin in high school plays and musicals. Drama classes can serve as a good introduction as far as performing is concerned. Students can discover different methods and schools of thought in acting, writing their own material, and different approaches to characters, along with stage and costume design.
High school drama classes and productions allow students to develop their skills and to experience what it feels like to perform in front of an audience, whatever the size. They are also very useful in the sense that they can serve as preparation for the inevitable and countless auditions that await them once they are thrown into once they head off to a college or university drama program.
Although a college education is certainly not mandatory to succeed as a professional actor or actress, it does boost one’s chances to stand out in a very competitive world. Classes will not only improve skills but will help aspiring actors understand what happens behind the scenes, such as contracts and business dealings.
Moreover, classes might include theatre history, stage production, dance, music and the like. College productions sometimes give aspiring actors a chance to be seen by agents and producers who may be looking for promising new talents.
Dedicated acting schools are designed exclusively to teach aspiring actors. Students work closely with experienced actors, theatre directors, and producers whose role is to show the ropes and skills students need to find or have in order to stand out during casting calls.
Performing arts schools are perfect if you already know you want to work in the performing arts, yet haven’t quite decided how. You will be able to choose between classes designed for actors, dancers, choreographers, singers, comedians and more.
Some community colleges offer associate degrees in theatre, drama and other performing arts fields while trade schools tend to offer more specialized diploma or certificate programs in more specific areas such as like set or costume design.
Please note that the following list of top acting schools is not exhaustive. All schools mentioned have certain things in common:
Yet don’t get discouraged! If you can afford it, then you can train hard enough, and be persistent enough to get accepted and succeed.
It’s hard to get more prestigious than Julliard, and it is actually harder to get into the school than it is to get accepted into Harvard. Although many famous actors studied there, Robin Williams is possibly THE alumni to remember.
Yale is no doubt one of the most famous drama schools. Not only is it a privilege to get accepted, it’s just as difficult to stay and train there! If you choose it (good luck), and get in (well done!), then forget about auditioning for 4 years… You won’t have the time or the energy.
NIDA in Kensington is also an excellent choice yet very challenging too once you get in. Mel Gibson said: “I mean, I loved NIDA and hated it.” If you do get in, having NIDA on your resume will undoubtedly put you on the map.
Tisch School trained a significant amount of the most famous Broadway stars and is considered to be the top “supplier” of musical actors in the country, and maybe even the world.
ACT is on our list because like most of the top drama schools in America, it has trained actors whose names should be very familiar to you: Do Denzel Washington, Nicolas Cage or Annette Benning ring any bells?
Besides offering brilliant courses and producing some of the best talents ever, LAMDA is also known and famous for being one of the oldest drama schools in the world.
Cours Florent is considered the most prestigious school for Performing Arts in France. It offers artistic and multidisciplinary programs focusing not only on acting but also staging, music, and dance.
The Waterfront Theatre School in Cape Town offers a 4-year training programme in a combination of singing, dancing and acting. The school places a strong emphasis on developing the skills relevant to a successful career in either performing or teaching or both.
The following table lists 10 of the best acting schools around the world:
|Name of School||Location||Famous Alumni
|The Julliard School||New York||Kevin Spacey|
|Tisch School of the Arts||New York||Felicity Huffman,Alec Baldwin|
|Yale School of Drama||New Haven, Conn||Meryl Streep, Paul Newman|
|Act||San Francisco||Nicolas Cage|
|London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts||London||Donald Sutherland, John Lithgow, Jim Broadbent, Swoosie Kurtz and Brian Cox|
|Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts||London||Anthony Hopkins, Mike Leigh, Peter O’Toole|
|National Institute of Dramatic Arts||Kensington||Baz Luhrmann, Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Judy Davis|
|Cours Florent||Paris||Guillaume Canet, Daniel Auteuil, Isabelle Adjani
|Royal School for Performing Arts||Madrid||Monica Cruz|
|National School of Drama||India||Priyanka Chopra|
|Waterfront Theatre School||Cape Town||Roxanne Hayward
Acting is not about being famous, it’s about exploring the human soul – Annette Bening
Skills you will need to develop:
“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”
— Richard Feynman (Source: Unsplash)
I would recommend researching each school thoroughly and asking the past and present students when you visit or by contacting people on Facebook. Find out if the school you’re interested in relies on specialist training and how exactly do they go about it.
Most importantly, I strongly encourage you to trust your gut when it comes to choosing which school is right for you. Always go and visit the establishments, meet as many teachers and students as you can and do as much research as possible but ultimately if you have a choice trust your gut instinct.
Finally, if you are someone who wants a social student experience and enjoys nights out in a town, you really ought to take that into account when choosing. If you wish your student experience to be epic and if your aim is to meet many new people and party on a regular basis, target a proper city such as London or Paris!
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