Syphus, thanks for the fascinating adventure. I focused on US and French accents early on, then developed a focus on Chinese accents. I hardly bother with the rest.
Although Russia has some accent variation in location, it's mostly a Slavic language that differs in accent for each Slavic country. That said, in regards to plays like Chekhov, the emphasis is not on accent. So, for actors, you are right. The emphasis in Russian will be on the vocabulary and syntax. The accents will be the same. Amazing!
BUT it does say Moscow has a bit of it's own accent. Something to consider.
OP, do what you feel is right.
You revived an old thread just to post that...? Jikes.
^ I saw the long original post last night. It might have opened a can of worms, so I guess he decided to close it back up before the replies started.
Since it's back up, a discussion got started on another forum as to what the current top 15 American undergraduate drama schools really are. Here's my somewhat studied opinion based on what I know of them and what their recent ACTING (not musical theatre) graduates are doing. Where they're grouped horizontally, it means it's more or less a tie, so pick your flavor ...
2 - 3. Carnegie Mellon, North Carolina School of the Arts
4 - 7. DePaul, Minnesota/Guthrie Theater, Rutgers, SUNY Purchase
8 - 15. Boston U, CalArts, Ithaca, NYU/Tisch, Northwestern, Syracuse, UCLA, USC
Honorable Mentions: Cornish, Emerson, U Evansville, Fordham, Hartt, Muehlenberg, Otterbein, Northern Illinois, Pace, Southern Utah, SMU, UArts, UCSB and probably some others that elude me.
To watch: UT Austin and The New School have new BFA programs with a lot of potential.
If I included graduate programs, ACT, Brown, Delaware, NYU/Tisch, Old Globe, UCSD and Yale would have to figure in.
If I included international programs, Guildhall, LAMDA, NIDA, and RADA would be near the top and Bristol Old Vic, Central, RCS/RSAMD and WAAPA would also have to figure somewhere in the middle. This of course excludes the myriad non-English speaking programs about which I know very little although I guess the Moscow Art Theatre would have to figure in somewhere.
As far as Musical Theatre programs go, I'm not as versed in them, but my impression is that the tippy top schools are Boston Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon, Cincinnati Conservatory, U Michigan, and NYU/Tisch.
And remember that these places are designed to nurture theatre artists - not movie stars. It's not like a screen test is part of the admissions process. Moreover, as long as the training doesn't completely suck, a really talented person can go anywhere and do well with some additional coaching. Think of it like the NFL draft. Sure, there are always the perrenial powerhouse schools in the SEC, Big 10, etc. with the celebrated coaching staffs that have numerous players drafted high every single year, but there are always others that come from lesser known and even Division II programs. Plus, the majority of the players at the well known schools don't make the NFL, anyway. It's just that the players from them that do get drafted tend to be more "plug and play" on the professional level although they still need at least some additional coaching and a few "Welcome to the NFL" moments before they're ready while those from the smaller schools usually have to ride the bench for awhile longer. Another thing that doesn't parallel is that most of the big acting schools have well-attended showcases and big alumni networks to give their grads a boost.
Just bored this morning and thought I'd throw that out there ...
P.S. I keep looking back and wanting to edit, so this is obviously not a scientific study. Just my opinion based on what I've seen.
Hmmmm what's your opinion on the Esper Studio alumni? I know Mr. Esper also runs the Rutgers program so I'm curious how his own personal studio stacks up compared to Rutgers? I'm a first year there and just curious.
*used to run the Rutgers program
This is why I always put down stuff I took at Syracuse despite not being an acting major.
I am also really holding back on writing a gigantic novel on your NFL analogy.
If people are interested in perhaps a more "scientific" study, although I'm not sure how they did this one, The Hollywood Reporter put out a list of schools in the world, just minus the non-US schools and you have your list.
Both yours and theirs are very similar. The only one that doesn't appear to be on yours at all is Yale.
^ I very much included Yale under the graduate programs. The undergraduate degree is "Theatre Studies" and makes no claim to offer anything resembling professional training although it's a great springboard to graduate school or the professional studios. And yes ... it does have a lot of schools in common with the Hollywood Reporter list although it doesn't mix up undergraduate, graduate and international programs like theirs which differs a good bit from the one they published the previous year. http://www.hollywoodreporter.c...drama-schools-319963
My perspective on all this? I actually have an acting degree from one as well as having attended one of the better performing arts high schools in the country from which I had classmates, friends from the years around me, and some younger friends who've hit me up on our alumni group for advice and whom I've kept up with (like gyokoren) that went to most of them. We've talked ... Plus I know a lot of people in the professional world who've been to them as well whose brains I've occasionally picked. Of course I don't know everybody, but it's been a special interest of mine for some time sort of like Truth keeps up with the LA studios. I'm not just shooting from the hip. Hell, I might end up teaching at one some day when the career slows down and my blood has cooled to the point that I'd have the patience for it ...
Good actors can come from anywhere like I said, but it's the difference between a part time two-year studio and a full time undergraduate conservatory. Like 20 class hours per week versus around 40 and then spending all night in rehearsal. Plus, besides getting a lot more in the realm of physical theatre and more intensive voice, speech and body work, the Rutgers BFA students spend their third year studying classical techniques with the masters at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. They have a lot more performance experience built into the program as well. Like I think the average student will have been in around eight full-length plays by graduation. It's also very hard to get accepted into their BFA. I think they have around a 6% admit rate through auditions and callbacks as opposed to Esper's where all you need to show is a sincere interest and enough cash to afford it. Thus one's classmates will probably be a bit more talented on average although they're also going to be younger since it's a college program and most start straight out of high school.
Notice I did NOT include the MFA as necessarily being a top program. I'm not saying it sucks or anything, but it apparently became something of an afterthought in favor of the undergraduate BFA when the late Israel Hicks took over the department after Esper left. The woman that currently runs it is kind of a nut job by all accounts I've heard, too. The trend has also apparently continued since David Esbjornson took over as chair of the department after Hicks' passing a couple of years ago.
Here's an analysis from Bill himself ... http://esperstudio.com/?page_id=869
Which is interesting that that one before doesn't seem to actually give any numbers. While this year for both the acting and filmmaking schools they have numbers.
I don't think Yale has any serious undergrad fine art programs. For the other arts even if they do, no one takes it nearly as seriously.
As far as schools that have both a BFA and an MFA, in most cases, your junior / senior year will be very similar in style to two years of grad work. Unlike in a social or physical scienes (or whatever else), where in grad work you are doing original research, you start to do self-directed work in BFA programs.
I am only speaking to my non-acting BFA program here. As obviously "original" work in that sense is not a thing that can exist in acting. But, seeing the grad students that came each year, who had the same teachers as us (and some classes that had both seniors and grads), its hard for me to say you can't speak of them in one breath. While this may not be applicable to the top conservatories, many of the first year grad students were at a level similar to the seniors, and often the juniors. In both a level of technical knowledge, but also in how they discussed their work.
Not to mention, you generally have the same teachers.
So, my long rambling point here is, in the majority of cases, if a school has both programs, I would consider them on similar levels.
You would make an excellent teacher--although I'm sure you excel at whatever you put your mind to. I've learned a lot from your posts.
Good drama schools seem to prepare actors in a complete and well-rounded way that goes far beyond the piecemeal training actors might get in individual classes.
So, you would need to piece together all kinds of acting, voice, movement and speech training and more to equal the training your would get in a good conservatory.
That DOES NOT MEAN that you can't become a professional actor without going to conservatory, though you will see that many successful and top-level actors have comprehensive acting training. It does not guarantee acting work, but it definitely ups the odds if you really learn your craft.
Consistent, long-term development of your acting skills with a top-notch acting coach/mentor, along with long-term, consistent marketing of yourself are a must. The best and successful actors long-term do both. David Kagen's School of Film Acting
Hellz yes she would and it will be a valuable class if it ever happens. Don't hold your breath because I doubt her career is going to slow down any time soon.
I got her to serve as my reader on a video audition for a supporting film role last week. She didn't give me a note until I noticed that she had a noncommittal "Hmmmmm" look after we shot it. I asked what she thought and she pointed out a subtle literary device in the script that I with my prestigious acting degree would have never noticed in a million years. She saw it on first glance and it changed the whole meaning of the scene. We shot it again and guess what? Nobody else or their coaches had picked up on it either. It was on to the producer session where the writer complemented me on being the only person that got it without needing to be directed to death and B.O.O.K.E.D! I feel like I should pay her but she won't accept it.
She def knows her shit about all these schools, too. I would put Boston University and CalArts in the next group up from where she has them and DePaul in the next group down because a lot of the most talented kids stay away from them thanks to the ridonkulous 50% cut they have after freshman year. The Tisch BFA is another weird animal to try to rank because the kids there are farmed out to different studios that teach totally different techniques so one's training will be completely different from another's. They say the teachers that hold the auditions can tell enough to match students with the right technique for them in a 15 minute monologue audition but I don't buy it. Sometimes they get it right. Other times it's a disaster. Their MFA which I think should no doubt be ranked up there with Yale, Juilliard and the British schools is also completely separate from the BFA and has its own faculty. It's crazy that the Hollywood Reporter list lumps them together.
They actually did away with that unethical nonsense a couple of years ago. I put them where they are anticipating that their stock will rise because of it. They've always offered great training, but you're right that they weren't many kids' first choice because of that. Like four of my h/s classmates got accepted there and none went. Who the hell would want to do freshman year with the Sword of Damocles dangling over their heads when they have other options?
Oh, and glad to be of help, but don't sweat the payment. A pint of Guinness some time will do the trick. We've all had people help us out from time to time, but you're the one who did the acting and booked it. Congrats again!
Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar and boasted she never went to an acting school.
There are some good acting schools, but a lot that are just run by has-been or never-was types and they teach a lot of babble.
I believe acting is an innate ability, not necessarily taught, but many benefit from good instruction. Just research the schools you want to go to and most importantly, research the teachers.
^ She boasts about that but don't believe for a minute that she isn't just as trained as someone who did. She's undoubtedly gifted as hell, but she's also had high dollar private coaching out the yin yang ...
I will agree that there are some shitty schools around. To quote a notable theatre director with whom I took a master class, "There are too many schools turning out too many badly trained actors that weren't talented to begin with!" Hell, the MFA at my home state's flagship university hasn't turned out a working actor in decades and I've seen productions there that were so polite and sterile as to resemble the theatre equivalent of Muzak. Really bad ...
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