I am a 100% newbie, so if this is a common topic, I apologize. I would love to be a film actor(television, film, etc.) Would it be more wise for me to go to a college and major in theatre(I was thinking of one of the CUNY schools. Don't want to get myself into massive debt) or just take a ton of different acting classes. After college, I would still plan on taking classes, but I thought it would be a good idea to major in theatre to just help myself learn. However, I know acting on camera is a lot different. If I did go to college, should I just try to get myself into Independent films and student films to help learn more about the camera? Any/All help is appreciated! Thank you!
I noticed you're in WV so I thought I'd respond. I got my Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theater) at WVU. I loved the training, staff and had a wonderful experience.
I am very glad I went to college first. It does give you the basics and great ways to tap into your emotions for the beginner. Also the voice and movement training was invaluable. I'm no expert and there are many more people on these boards that will have better information than me but I believe that a lot Agents look for people w/ a strong theatrical background
So it isn't absolutely necessary but it is a definite plus.
Good luck and if you go to WVU, you're gonna love Jerry. He was great!!
Search this board for college. Lots of hot debates on this topic:
Thanks for that link! Personal opinion, do you think it is wise? Also, what would you think of going to community college or going to college part time for something else and taking regular acting classes on the side? I'm just kind of confused about what to do. I kind of want to do the college thing because you can live in dorms when you go to community college in NY. I don't think you can do the in LA. I'm just terrified of going into massive debt(even though I plan on working a lot to help myself stay out of debt.) Are there a lot of acting classes in NY that offer on camera training? I'm more interested in that than theatre.
I personally like the idea. My son did that an it has worked out very well. He will have a top degree and a ton of great outside training and business savvy.
There is a cheap dorm-like environment in LA for community college students call the UCHA co-op.
I agree do not go into massive debt especially if you are not planning on doing theatre.
First, read all those threads on acting and college. It is a personal decision but one that most people are happy they did. If at this point you do not have a resume or experience it is hard to say what you should major in. You do not need a degree in theatre to act. You will learn more on a set of a major FF than you will in a year of classes. You do need a degree in something. A good liberal arts education is a good start. Read, read read and read literature again, again and again.
I think a 4 year liberal arts program at any college with give you lifes experiences to interact with other like minded individuals and help you discover what you want to do and what you are good at in a safe environment.
You can experience student films as a student once you understand your school's policy on class attendence and class work. Do not under any circumstances try to audition and work while in school with mandatory attendence policies. My son found out the hard way....
Break legs kid.
I dont understand why someome would not want to do both (in an area where they can still get to auditions)
I passed my Chespe a a little over a month back and now I am legal 18....and now I can take classes at my local community college for free
I am going to take theatre and spanish.....my manager thought it was a great idea.
"Its the struggle that makes it great"
Does your CC have an attendence policy? What happens when you have to miss 2-8 weeks of class when you are on a shoot? Do you blow off auditions instead of going to class?
You cannot in the real world pursue acting and go to school at the same time, pure and simple. Too many conflicts. One or the other.
You may be able to pursue an online degree.
Well, I'm going to test that theory. I'm going back to college in february, to finish getting the degree I should have gotten 20 years ago. And, I'll be auditioning,plus, I'll be working some kind of job. I'll deal with conflicts as they occur. I suspect that if I booked a movie and needed to be away for several months,(god that would be nice), I could just come back the next semester. @OP:Unless it's yale drama or juilliard, I wouldn't expect that degree to open doors for you, but, I say get a 4-year degree anyway, acting-related or not. You still need to make a living, and bachelor degree-holders make more than non-holders..even in a bad economy.
Good luck workinactor. It will work out. Like you said deal with conflicts as they occur.
If you are low on the acting totem pole you can do it. If you are working as an actor as much as Dad's son is it would be pretty difficult. Online is a good idea.
I've recently had to tackle this question myself. It is a personal choice. I KNOW that acting is my way of life, no ifs ands or buts.
I am graduating HS early at 15. I thought about going to college right away or waiting until I was more mature. At this point I do not want to go to a 4 year. For a few reasons, money being the main. Like you, I do not want to start my adult life in debt up to my eyeballs, especially for a career, I don't really NEED a bachelors for.
I also looked into a few 2 year courses at community colleges for an Associates in Fine arts. This way if I decide later to pursue my bachelors I am already halfway there, and won't need to go for 4 more years.
There are certificate programs too, just for acting, there aren't any other general ed classes, just acting. But those can be just as expensive as some colleges, and you only get a certificate that you cannot transfer to a college if you decide on that later.
But again, I am mature enough to know that I am not mature enough for college life just yet. So, I think, if all goes right, I am going to go to a tech school(if they let me in at 16) for 5 months and get 'survival job' training and re-visit the 2-4 year colleges when I am 17 or so. In the mean time, I am going to get training outside of the college arena. We may be moving, and I will be closer to a bigger market and better classes, and training facilities.
So, basically for me, I will continue my training outside the realm of higher education, and be able to audition and film. (Which is another thing I do not like about colleges, I've worked so hard already, to go to college for acting and NOT be able to audition, would feel like a step back and wasting time to me. I understand why, but still.)
So, there are a lot of different things you can do. You just need to see which one fits your particular circumstances and go from there. But, you need training in any form be it acting classes or actual colleges.
I don't think I'm "low on the totem pole" lol, it can be done regardless of how your career is doing..
Sounds like you have several years of gened classes behind you. The first two years of college are designed to weed out those that cannot make it the full 4 years. For the average freshman or sophomore it will be impossible to run off to audition and work on a feature and still make class or expect to get a passing grade. Especially if the facility and staff say, 'sorry' we have our rules. Some schools may even encourage their students to work part time on the outside. We were not able to find those schools and the SUNY system discourages it. We thought that a non theater or non film production major would be more lenient. Sorry, no can do. I have reasearched this discusson to no end since I would be paying for it. There is no program that my son was interested in that would afford him the time to not attend class. Even Purchase that is considered low key liberal arts. Hence, online that a actor friend of his is doing. DS showed no interest. We are considering this a gap year and take a look at his options next year. Just my personal experience.
Workin -- Just to be clear I was talking bout the OP who would be able to pull it off because of being new to the business.
I'm sure it will be challenging for you, but you'll get it done if you are flexible. I'm sure you will appreciate it more and enjoy your studies.
Dad - You are correct. I don't see how your son could do both at this point, but he's doing great so that's his path. The schools expect the kids to be in a bubble of that environment (sometimes to their detriment--it's a shock when it ends). My son has two more quarters and good stuff is happening in his career so hopefully he can finish now, but the career comes first at this point. It's his future. Last quarter he had to leave for only a week for a festival during mid-terms (of course) and it was pretty stressful.
To me you sound a lot more mature and self-determined than many of your peers who are going the traditional route. Life experience is the best teacher there is, and there is no substitute for it.
"I think a 4 year liberal arts program at any college with give you lifes experiences to interact with other like minded individuals and help you discover what you want to do and what you are good at in a safe environment."
I couldn't disagree more. This kind of reasoning always bothers me. I spent five years pursuing and attaining a degree only to get out and finally figure out that I had no genuine interest in my field of study. I certainly wasn't willing to bust my hump to make a living at it. I was VERY immature, and five years of continuing to live as a child on my parents' dime did nothing to improve the situation.
College is a false environment that often gives young adults the impression that if you follow a certain path you get a certain result. Adult life doesn't work that way. Spending a ton of money to live in this bubble of un-reality for 4 years is totally mind blowing to me.
Taking classes in subjects that interest you can be a great way to broaden your horizons. There's also books, apprenticeships, travel, missionary work, volunteering. Course work geared towards your chosen field can do a lot to improve your skills and make you more prepared for the job market. College as a way to "better yourself"? Not so much.
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