You have a passion. Whether it’s film, television, or acting on stage, your passion has lead you to consider a career in acting. Just like any other industry, natural talent and ability can only get you so far. You need to further your education, build skills to enhance your natural talent, and make the connections you need to make in order to thrive in this highly competitive industry.
An acting program can give you the proper foundation, from which you can launch your career. What remains for you is choice. How do you choose the right acting program for you? There are a lot of choices out there – a lot of variables to consider, and navigating them can be tough. We hope that this short article can help you begin your decision-making process.
Choosing a type of school
For acting students, there are more things to consider when choosing a type of school. With other degree programs, you are often just choosing between a private school and a university. As a future actor, you have these choices as well, but there are a few more nuances.
- Public University – Many state schools have an acting program in addition to the several other degree programs they offer. In some cases, they have really good acting programs. In general, public universities tend to have larger class sizes, but typically have less expensive tuition costs than a private or specialty school. This is especially true if you are eligible to receive in-state tuition to go to the school.
- Private Colleges – Private colleges tend to be smaller and have smaller class sizes. While tuition costs may be higher, there may also be grants and scholarships available that could offset some of that higher tuition. There are private schools that, like the universities described above, provide an acting program along with their several other degree programs. As an actor, you also have some other more specific private school options.
- Acting Schools: These are small institutions dedicated to providing education to just this one vocation. It is a very specialized school, teaching only acting on stage, on television or in the movies.
- Performing Arts Schools: Like acting schools, these schools are very focused. However, they have degree programs available in dance, acting, and music. This can be a great choice if you are someone who has a variety of talents and can see yourself performing in a variety of ways. Musical theatre, for example, encompasses elements of all of these disciplines.
Choosing a specific school
We recommend that you initially consider both public and private institutions. When you are making a choice to narrow down your potential schools, it’s important to have all of the information. Therefore, get all of the information you can on your top three or five schools. This way you understand your cost of attendance, the different degree programs offered, and a general idea of what the school is like.
Beyond that, we recommend considering the following:
- Location – you may have a preference for where you want to attend school, or you may want to attend school close to where the action will be after you graduate, such as LA or New York.
- Visit the School – Before you decide to attend the school, it’s very important that you visit the location and tour the school. This gives you all sorts of information on what it will really be like to attend the school.
- Performance Opportunities – Make sure you know what kind of performances you’ll be able to do while you are in school. After all, performing is the key element for an acting school. You’ll want to make sure you can get in front of an audience or a camera as often as possible.