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Can I become a successful actor without drama school? Login/Join
 
Johnny Depp
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quote:
Go become an actor. Get that down before you worry about where you will be able to sell skills you don't even have yet.


This times a million.
 
Posts: 3 | Location: Los Angeles | Registered: June 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Russell Crowe
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I'd just like to point out that England has one of the best drama schools on the planet, and if it was me in your position, I'd definitely build a foundation on one of those schools before I even considered Hollywood. But that's just my few coins.
 
Posts: 33 | Location: New York | Registered: April 13, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Russell Crowe
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quote:
Originally posted by Enigma_UK:

Hi. thanks for the advice. The stage.co.uk doesn't have a forum, so I can't ask on there. .


Yes they do: http://www.thestage.co.uk/stagetalk/
 
Posts: 33 | Location: New York | Registered: April 13, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Kevin Bacon
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quote:
Originally posted by Degprinsessan:
I'd just like to point out that England has one of the best drama schools on the planet, and if it was me in your position, I'd definitely build a foundation on one of those schools before I even considered Hollywood. But that's just my few coins.


Thank You for the advice. Which drama school were you referring to? RADA? Central?

I was just wondering If I could "make it" without drama school, but it's starting to sound more and more unlikely.
 
Posts: 19 | Location: U.K | Registered: October 22, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Kevin Bacon
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quote:
Originally posted by Degprinsessan:
quote:
Originally posted by Enigma_UK:

Hi. thanks for the advice. The stage.co.uk doesn't have a forum, so I can't ask on there. .


Yes they do: http://www.thestage.co.uk/stagetalk/


OH! I was looking for it to say forums somewhere. My fault for not scouring around the site properly. Thanks very much for that. I will go ask around on there, see what people think.
 
Posts: 19 | Location: U.K | Registered: October 22, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Denzel Washington
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As I understand it, the top three UK drama schools are currently considered to be LAMDA, RADA and Guildhall although most of the accredited UK schools offer better training than anything you'll find in the US. As I understand it, some reasons for that are ...

1. Their governing accreditation body is British Equity and the accreditation standards are thus much more attuned to the realities of the marketplace and the skills needed for survival therein as opposed to ours which are most typically governed by the stodgy, ultra-conservative standards of the Ivy Tower of academia. For instance, they've come to recognize that there are profound differences between stage and on-camera/microphone technique and have adapted their training model accordingly while the American schools remain stubbornly and wrongly insistent that "acting is acting" and generally neglect that aspect until the final term. Some respected American schools don't even address that aspect at all while some British schools are now even offering a Masters in Screen Acting. LAMDA even begins training their students in proper camera and mic technique beginning the first term of the first year.

2. They haven't been confused by the competitive and counterproductive rhetoric of the now deceased American Group Theater Master Teachers who continue to haunt most American institutions. They have no need for "Madler" because they've been teaching those principles in their own way for many years. I actually asked a Brit I was working with about what acting techniques he was taught at drama school and he just chuckled and said, "They don't teach an acting technique. They teach ACTORS."

There are others, but that's all the essaying I have time for at the moment ...
 
Posts: 66 | Location: La La Land | Registered: March 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Russell Crowe
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Hi Enigma_UK. I recently went through a similar question. I am about to graduate high school and was asking about acting colleges. I too found it was about a 50/50 split on, go to college for acting or don't go.

You can still become a successful actor without it. However, as was pointed out to me, some CDs actually look at the school you went to and it may come down to something that simple. "Look, these tow guys gave both gave an awesome audition, I like them both, so who do we pick? Umm..Let's see who went to the best school." Bam you are out. But, as was also pointed out to me, unless it's a top school and you can afford to go there, it isn't going to matter as much. Make sense?

But, I also agree that you need to get some experience over there first before ever thinking you can come over to LA and make it. Good looks and that awesome accent will only get you so far. You need to have a decent resume, and good training or they won't even look at you, unless your 'look' is exactly what they want. (And you'd have better luck with the lottery.) It would be even better if you had recognizable credits on your reusme too before you hop on that plane.

And don't let your friends govern what's in your heart. You will surely never make it if you do. I agree, find those positive peers, that support you. It's sooo hard and to be in a constant battle over what you love, will only make it harder for you. If this is what you love, can't live without, cannot breath unless you are doing it, then only you can make it happen.

Fishgurl is awesome, take her advice, she knows what she speaks of. Get in a good theatre group over there, get to know other profesionals in that circle that share your same desires, get training, and agent over there, learn the Business side of what you need to do. That's bigger than the acting and you need it maybe more than being a good actor. As you said, you've seen horrible actors in spots. How did they get that gig? They either had awesome marketing or knew someone. Increase your chances of good luck and get to know the people around you, not to use them, but to know them, genuinely. Learn the buisness side and the acting side. You cannot make it without a good foundation in both.

Break legs!
 
Posts: 39 | Location: Southeast | Registered: September 06, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Al Pacino
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The answer will always be 50/50 (or some other ratio that isn't 100%) because this stuff isn't science.

You surely understand that different people have different experiences, and that no one can give you a solid predictor of which course of action will lead to which result.

So stop asking and follow the plan that makes sense to you. If anything, that 50/50 split should be your permission to do as you see fit. Fly, be free, and don't worry that your choice may be wrong. Whatever you do, approximately 50% of your mates will be all for it.


Michael Kostroff
Creator of the "Audition Psych. 101" workshop (www.auditionpsych101.com)
Author of "Letters from Backstage"
 
Posts: 410 | Location: New York City | Registered: June 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Al Pacino
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quote:
There is far less correlation between training and success in our business than in most businesses you could name.



Excellent point Michael.

Top training can be over $100,000 and when you get out it's still a crap shoot since it's such an unusual business.

A high school kid with no training could zoom ahead of you and be a big success (Michael Cera, Emma Stone types).

As Fishgurl correctly points out often traditional schooling (not just in drama) does not keep up with the marketplace, "as opposed to ours which are most typically governed by the stodgy, ultra-conservative standards of the Ivy Tower of academia."

You need to think seriously about what you are doing before you spend that kind of money. Unless you are independently wealthy--then go for it!
 
Posts: 37 | Location: los angeles | Registered: December 18, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sean Penn
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quote:
Originally posted by BenC:

"Hard work" in this business does not include staying up late to memorize lines, as you put it. The hard part is being persistent and focused when you get no bookings or even auditions for months, when you can't get an agent, manager, or CD to look your way, and times when you have to hustle at a restaurant to make a month's rent. Acting itself shouldn't be considered "hard" if you love it, it's everything that's gets in your way that makes it hard.



There are no words for how accurate this statement is...kudos to Ben C. for posting the truth of it.

LA is full of aspiring actors working on memorizing their lines and "staying in shape," those things aren't hard work, they're expected. You don't hear actors going, "Dude, there were way too many lines to memorize...so screw it!" as they're packing their shit to go home.

Drama school or no drama school, six-pack or no six-pack, memorization & workouts aren't what send aspiring actors home every year, finances and depression do. The stamina to pull yourself through those times Ben C. is referring to will come from your love of the art, not from your biceps. The highs are very high in this industry but the lows are back-breaking, character-testing lows.

Enigma, it looks like you've gotten some great and very valuable info regarding your question of whether drama school is a necessity from other posters on the board. Based on your initial post, I'd say something you need to put before your decision to attend or not attend drama school & to move or not move to LA needs to be some self-discovery of exactly where your heart lies in this industry. Scour the boards, ask lots of questions, and take advantage of opportunities in England. LA isn't going anywhere, but moving out unprepared (including mentally) is the surest way to send your sanity out the door.
 
Posts: 48 | Location: Los Angeles | Registered: June 13, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nicholas Cage
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I don't think you should worry about whether or not you can be successful if you have never acted before. It's almost impossible for somebody with no experience to get into a British drama school anyway. Do like Brandi says and try it out with some classes, theatre groups and whatnot to see if it is really for you or if it is just a passing fancy you like the idea of. Going into acting is not a rational career choice and it needs to be out of love if you are going to last. Not really even love. It needs to be an all encompassing obsession that you can't deny.

I'm in my final year at one of the top American drama schools and I don't know if I will be successful or not. Nobody does. What I do know is that I have spent the last six years of my life throwing every fibre of my being into setting myself up for success and I will continue to do so. That has to be enough.
 
Posts: 223 | Location: Hollywood Hills | Registered: September 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Kevin Bacon
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quote:
Originally posted by gyokoren:
I don't think you should worry about whether or not you can be successful if you have never acted before. It's almost impossible for somebody with no experience to get into a British drama school anyway. Do like Brandi says and try it out with some classes, theatre groups and whatnot to see if it is really for you or if it is just a passing fancy you like the idea of. Going into acting is not a rational career choice and it needs to be out of love if you are going to last. Not really even love. It needs to be an all encompassing obsession that you can't deny.

I'm in my final year at one of the top American drama schools and I don't know if I will be successful or not. Nobody does. What I do know is that I have spent the last six years of my life throwing every fibre of my being into setting myself up for success and I will continue to do so. That has to be enough.


No, no. I would try and get as much experience before I applied to a drama school....IF I decide to go to drama school. But it's definitelty not something that's a passing interest. I have a lot of interest in acting, but like I said, I've always been turned off from it by people. But it's only now that I've thought to myself "f**k them, I've been thinking about this for a long time and I want to give it a shot"

like someone else said on here, people get envious of other's pursuits of their dreams. just because my friends and some family members think it's a bad career choice, doesn't mean they're right. Ricky Gervais said "Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right" and it applies in similar way to career choice. Just because people go into careers that are "safe" and "good paying" doesn't mean that's the right or correct thing. Sure, it's okay for them because they may feel they need to go that route for financial stability, but what is the point in me pursuing a different career if it's just for the money and no enjoyment. I don't want to be sitting in an office thinking "I wish I would have pursued acting".

Do you know what I mean? Honestly, this isn't something I've considered lightly. Sure, It would be great if I could get into acting without drama school, but the more and more I speak to people, like you guys, it's making me think I do need drama school to do well.
 
Posts: 19 | Location: U.K | Registered: October 22, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Kevin Bacon
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Does anyone feel that British Actors are more sort after in Hollywood? A lot of our guys are moving abroad to LA to work on tv and film. I am just wondering if there's a reason behind this. I know someone mentioned about the prestige of drama schools in UK, but does this really mean there's better chances for british actors in America?
 
Posts: 19 | Location: U.K | Registered: October 22, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Russell Crowe
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Are you paying attention to the backgrounds of these actors? They didn't just pop up in California and try to make it. Most had careers and a track record in England or Australia before getting opportunities here.
It's not the prestige of the schools which has made their graduates successful here, rather it's the actual skill of the latter. The fact for instance that British training seems to focus more on externals than the "internal" work which is the core of most American training means that these actors can (as on several American TV shows) pass seamlessly as Americans because the accent work is second nature to them.
But most Americans don't know about the schools behind this. They only know they enjoy the actors. And any prestige their school has beyond their own countries comes from people learning about the actors they admire, not their learning that these actors went to any particular school.


Stanislav Meiner
author of "Acting In Hollywood: A Newcomer's Guide"
 
Posts: 47 | Location: Los Angeles | Registered: January 31, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Kevin Bacon
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quote:
Originally posted by Stanislav Meiner:
Are you paying attention to the backgrounds of these actors? They didn't just pop up in California and try to make it. Most had careers and a track record in England or Australia before getting opportunities here.
It's not the prestige of the schools which has made their graduates successful here, rather it's the actual skill of the latter. The fact for instance that British training seems to focus more on externals than the "internal" work which is the core of most American training means that these actors can (as on several American TV shows) pass seamlessly as Americans because the accent work is second nature to them.
But most Americans don't know about the schools behind this. They only know they enjoy the actors. And any prestige their school has beyond their own countries comes from people learning about the actors they admire, not their learning that these actors went to any particular school.


Yes, sir. I particularly feel that Tom Hardy is an amazing actor. I read up on him and he went to a Drama School called "The Drama Centre" which isn't prestigious as LAMDA, RADA, And Guildhall, but it's a good drama school nonetheless. I know that he appeared in several television series here on the BBC. I think the role that made a lot of people look at him more seriously, was when he played Charles Bronson in the film "Bronson". Since then, his career has gone from great to amazing. I don't think his accent work is amazing, but he is certainly a very adaptable actor. He's going to be playing Mad Max in the upcoming film, so this shows you just how successful he's become.

I can talk in an American Accent, it's not amazing, but I think it's pretty good. I've just tried to learn certain things that may be beneficial for me in the future.

I'm starting to think that drama school is the best route. I will try and get 1 on 1 tuition so I can be the best I can be in case I audition for Drama school. I am still deciding what to do about drama school, but so many of the actors I admire have gone to Drama school.

I understand that Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp never went to drama school, but they both lived in the USA and was able to travel to LA without a green card or any trouble that a foreigner like myself would have.

I really appreciate your advice, Stanislav.
 
Posts: 19 | Location: U.K | Registered: October 22, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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