TODAY'S ACTOR QUESTION: SHOULD I GET A BFA in ACTING?
HERE IS MY ANSWER: The younger you get into the business the easier it is. Kids ages 4-18 have the easiest time breaking through. As you get older it gets more difficult. Your training and being an EXCEPTIONAL actor is the leverage you need to beat out the competition and get the jobs. You have to be the best in your age category and type. Most actors needs exceptional training to become great actors. Some are natural born talent with no training. What is the TRUTH about your skill level? You must get honest with yourself.
Whether you get a degree in Acting, or not doesn't determine your skill level. Hard work and training with excellent teachers in -or outside- of a Degree Program is very necessary for most actors. Some actors train in degree programs and are technically good actors but have no understanding about how the business work so they never make it. Others have strong Business and Networking skills and aren't the best of actors but they understand how the game is played and they are well liked. They often work.
An Alternative Degree idea is a Degree in Business as this is Show BUSINESS and understanding business is a MUST in this business for SURE. No one can tell you what path your life is going to take or where you are going to get your acting jobs from. You may produce and star in your own short films or webseries or feature and win awards of never get noticed.
You can get a degree in Theater and still not work much. You can have no degree and work a lot. Nothing is set in STONE. There are exceptions to every rule. I have seen actors win or fail with and without degrees. This business is based on LUCK, Preparation, timing, talent, training, charisma, and the ability to take directions and give people what they need. Team work, perseverance and an unwillingness to quit are your best assets.
There is a lot to learn at film school, things that will make you great at your craft and the technique of film making. I just suggest if you do go to film school keep auditioning for short films and try to meet casting directors and build relationships even while you are in school. Submit to projects through Backstage and Actors Access and Casting Networks. Don't wait until you graduate to start your acting career. This business is always easier to get into the younger you are, Also use the resources and students around you to collaborate on every single project you can and create your demo reel and a webseries with YOU in them. Get the degree if you want it, but don't wait until you have the degree to start building your resume and contacts. Do short films, go on auditions, network with filmmakers and casting directors. It's the journey.
I interviewed Actress Tierra Peters who sharec her experience, "Everybody is different and they need to figure out what is right for them. After high school, I got my degree in Acting, and for me, it was the right thing. I wouldn't change it for the world. In those 4 years, I learned independence, commitment, drive, how to deal with rejection, work ethic and a hustler's mentality. I accredit all of those skills to my college days. I personally wasn't ready to make the jump from high school to L.A. College was a nice transitioning period for me. However, I know some people who were ready to tackle Los Angeles right out of high school. So it really is a personal choice that everyone has to make for themselves. But regardless of if you are in LA, college, or a small town, you should also be creating, and building your resume. Just because you are in a small town town doesn't mean you have to think small.
I agree with Tierra, You have to determine what is right for you. Pray and ask your higher power what His Plan is for YOU. The answers will come from within if you know how to be quiet in mediation and listen.
Stay close to me!
Wendy Alane Wright