Of course you want to be an actor and of course everyone’s told you not to do it.
Unfortunately they're right. You are considering entering a profession where the average annual earnings are £10,000, you have to cope with rejection on a permanent basis and have little control over your life. Those are the good bits!
But if you feel like you can't breath when you don't have a rehearsal or a show to go to then you won’t listen. You'll want to do it whatever it takes.
Lets look at the positives:
You will discover many other occupations within the business that you might not have considered.
You will learn social and presentation skills that last a lifetime and ensure you can always find a job to keep you going while you are waiting for the phone to ring.
You will find a way to create your own projects so you can have more control over your life.
So if you do have the:
Sense of humour
Then give it everything you have, don't hold back and enjoy the ride!
Make sure you choose an accredited school. This ensures you will receive excellent tuition, that you can become a member of Equity, that you can join the Actors Centre and that you get a showcase, seen by major agents and casting agents. It looks good on your CV and ensures you never feel embarrassed when, at auditions, they ask you where you trained.
Can you get into the business without going to drama school? Well, the answer is, yes – but it’s much, much harder. You will not have had the day in, day out vocational training that is offered by a drama school.
Can you afford it? Training like this doesn't come cheap.
It comes expensive, very expensive.
However, with the HE funding reforms you are getting an extraordinarily good deal:
At ALRA you will have a timetable which is from 8.40am to 6pm meaning somewhere around 36 hours a week, every week. Now check contact hours at any University. Now check the cost of those courses. See?
Most drama schools have a degree attached and validated by a partner University.
So if it is your first degree then you will be able to take out a government loan although it won't cover all of the fee costs.
Drama school auditions are highly competitive and unless you live next door to one they are also expensive when you add the cost of travel, recall audition etc.
I suggest you budget around £100 per audition.
It makes sense then to only audition for schools you REALLY want to go to. ALRA doesn't want to be your fourth choice, nor will any other school. Choose the school because it matches your expectations and stick with that choice no matter how long it takes!
One-year foundation and postgraduate courses don’t usually come under UCAS, so you must check they are right for you as they will be expensive and you may have to find the fees yourself. A foundation course may be the right way to start out but there is no guarantee that the drama school will take you into the three-year programme at the end of it. If you are over 21, then a 1 year post graduate course (the ALRA course is 15 months long) may be right for you, but it is over very quickly!
There will be more and more info on this page so check back regularly and if you don't see any updates, anything new or you just want to leave a comment then join the ALRA Community!
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