The top acting colleges in the world share a single goal: To make you the best (and most marketable) actor you can be. That’s how you succeed, and that’s how they succeed too. But before you dive headlong into the world of actor academia, you should make sure it’s what you truly want. Consider the pros and cons…The Pros•The Teachers: These colleges select an array of industry professionals to be acting teachers. And they all bring their own style of acting, forged from experience. It’s a virtual smorgasbord of a curriculum.And the classes are designed like building blocks. For example, students don’t tackle Shakespeare until they’ve finished with basic scene study.•The Safety: The outside world is tough. Show business is tough. A degree program offers you a sanctuary where you can make risky acting choices and hone your craft.Plus, you’re given the opportunity to play roles you would never play in the real world because of age, gender, or type.•The Camaraderie: I met my absolute best friends through my degree program. They make up most of my social circle to this day. The best acting schools will help you to forge unbreakable bonds of friendship. (Great for networking too!)The Cons•The Commitment: Top acting colleges are four-year programs. You’ll spend a minimum of 50 hours a week in class, rehearsal, and performance.And it’s not just the time spent, but the energy. Acting classes are hard work. Physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, even spiritually.•The Pricetag: Average tuition for a private university is over $20K USD per semester. For four years that’s $160,000 USD!•The Unemployment: I used to joke that graduating with a BFA in acting qualified me for two jobs: Being an actor, and waiting tables. (Hold for laughs.)But seriously, employers outside the industry are not impressed by your fine arts degree. So if you ever want to be an accountant, don’t go to college for acting.The Bottom LineAttending an acting college is big, life-altering choice. And only you can know if it’s right for you. A final word of advice:Visit every school you’re considering. Take a tour, interview current students, and (most important) watch them work. If the work is good, you know you’ve found a winner.
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