Friday, December 16, 2011

Picking an Acting School

I have been advising people about what acting school to attend. Remember the lists of the best schools on this blog are not my lists. I disagree strongly with some of the schools included and cannot understand some of the schools that have been omitted. But people like lists. I will add some notes to that post in the near future.
The problem with acting schools, conservatory or academic, is the enormous cost. The usual tuition is $30,000 a year. Minimum time is two years. Academic BFA Acting programs are at least four years. And housing, meals and living costs are additional. Roughly, one is looking at between $100,000 and a quarter of a million dollars for such acting training. And there is no guarantee of employment after all that time and expense.
Is it worth it? I say, "NO!" Acting is much to iffy as far as getting employment is concerned. There are schools that have shorter programs for less money that will suffice to train you as an actor. Wm. Esper Studio in NYC is one. If money is really tight, you can just take the summer program.
My approach to becoming an actor favors not going to a full program at an acting school, but instead to take selected classes and workshops as you pursue your goal.
In most cases, it is going to take years to break into the business, why waste two to four years in acting school when you can get a jump on it right away. Of course, I am assuming you are very talented, highly experienced with a strong resume and have the ability to support yourself while becoming an actor.
As far as choosing an acting school. That is something for the wealthy to do. Most people have to become an actor first and then go to school. It is not a bad way to proceed.