July 19, 2022
Do you need to go to college for acting? In this video, we will explore that question. So, do you need to go to college for acting? Why do you want to go to college for acting? College, if you are undecided about being an actor can be very helpful. I'm a big believer in a liberal arts education if you're not clear on what it is you want to do yet. I mean, I love the idea in theory all the time but the world has changed and a degree an undergraduate degree in just about anything only means that you completed the requirements of that degree. It doesn't mean you're mastering or masterful at anything. So, if you're unclear as I was I went to two colleges and a conservatory and both of the colleges you know directed me to Juilliard. But I did plays.
I took some classes, College in California, College in Wisconsin and I love the experience But I was drifting towards psychology and I was drifting toward pre-law but in my gut, it was the acting. And you had teachers that also... Who really were very encouraging to me in high school but I didn't see from Buffalo New York I didn't see a path. You know it was always about following the impulse and following what's in your gut. But to go to a liberal arts college and think that a degree in that is going to somehow give you a leg up. A degree in theater? -Yeah. -It's you know there are a handful of conservatories because conservatory training is immersive. Because there's so many things you need to work on. You need to work on your voice and your speech and your body and improv and Shakespeare and clown and movement and all of that stuff and the Alexander technique there's a lot of stuff. So, a casting director doesn't call you in because you have a degree in theater? No. Well. No. And they don't call you in. I mean, I'd call you in if you went to you know a conservatory if you have representation and someone has seen your work. But you know the reason people go to college folks and I caution you here this is a real cautionary tale. I mean, I was fortunate all of my work was pretty much on scholarship. So, one student, well and it wasn't very large. Watch people go into a lot of debt thinking that that sheepskin that degree is going to be a guarantee of future employment but it just isn't. It just means you completed the requirements and a lot of the people on that faculty were not practitioners out in the world. They're academics and they might be very fine at what they do but they're not going to teach you how to get a job on a day-to-day basis because they're a 10-year professor and maybe they've had that job for 20 years. So, in terms of being in touch with what the world is like today they don't really have a clue about it. Exactly and in a minute we'll explain how the study of acting is really an apprenticeship and why that's so important. But just take a moment right now and click the subscribe button below. So, we talk about how acting the study of acting is really more like the study of painting or becoming a master carpenter or a musician or a dancer. Where it's this it's an apprenticeship and it's really really strongly influenced by who is your mentor, mentor your teacher and who is your community. In a way that is not so if I'm getting a degree in biology let's say or I'm becoming an engineer. But with acting, it's really deeply influenced by that and any sort of apprenticeship which is why we invite you to come and visit a class and we really strongly encourage you to see. Any sort of training you're thinking of pursuing as an actor it's really important to visit and experience it and experience it firsthand because you really want to make sure you have this strong connection to the approach to your mentor. Well, what I didn't realize and by the way the New York Times, The Washington Post. Wall Street Journal, they're writing a lot of articles on that four-year degree and is it worth that financial investment. Will you get a return and will you frankly, ever pay it off. So, that's a big one. Any school is only as good as who is going to be your principal teacher in your desired study? When you're there you know there's so many you know at one point yale for a very short period of time. Had Stella Adler teaching that yeah you're a teacher, that wasn't a good fit, that wasn't a good fit for her. She hated anything institutional so she started her own studio, right. But Stella didn't finish high school. -Right. -So, college degree, Strasbourg didn't go to college, Meisner didn't go to college. And this harkens back to another video we did about grades and their connection to acting or lack thereof but it's really because really strong actors have this really strong connection to the primal. Wouldn't you say which is not? Well, what they're feeling moment to moment and their ability to act on an impulse rather than send it upstairs on a hamster wheel and overthink it. Yeah, remember, Mr. Hamlet, says, and to be or not to be in the last line and lose the name of action.
Lose the ability to act. It's all about taking action folks. Now, if you're clear that this is what you want to do, I'm a big believer in learning everything about everything. But jump in the pool and immerse yourself in all the techniques of the actor. Because the later you start you know you're going to wish you had more time. But the beautiful thing about an acting career is you can start this in your 40s, your 50s, your 60s, your 70s, and I've seen people get a series that run for years and they started in their 60s. Yep, of course. Doris Roberts who I made a film with was acting into her 80s and she was in acting class every Saturday even when she was on everybody loves Ray. College valuable but I also a little disheartened when I meet people. I meet young people and I can tell they're fear-based. Remember folks, all of our choices are either based on love or based on fear. so, when I meet a 19-year-old or 20-year-old they go, "well, yes, I'm studying theater because I think maybe I want to teach acting", and go, "Well, you should become an actor first. Because how are you going to teach this thing that you haven't done. So, you're going to teach other people to do what you're doing? Well, you don't know how to do it yet. You can learn to do it but you can't skip that part", and please don't teach somebody what you can't demonstrate. You're gonna be able to demonstrate it, right, much like a carpenter or a plumber. If you follow a carpenter around, you follow a plumber around, in a few months, you're gonna know how to do what they do, right, but not by a weekend workshop or a pamphlet etc. What I want, what we want more than anything is to give you time most effectively spent on earth. Make sure you're barking up the tree that bears the fruit that you ultimately want and hopefully, there's not a bear up there. So, remember acting is a perishable skill set much like being an athlete you need to go to the gym in order for that those muscles to still be there and still be working for you. Which is why we have the Saturday workshop which is really set up like a gym for actors. It's a way to remain immersed in this work, stay in touch with it on a weekly basis, and so we're inviting you to come be our guest come observe a class and then let's get to work. Let's really devise a personalized strategy for you and for your craft and ultimately your career. So, come visit us click on the link below. We'll see you Saturday.