What It Takes To Study Acting In College? | Mighty Actor

What is an actress / actor

If you’re thinking about going to college to study acting, you’ve come to the right place.

This blog is designed to provide you with everything you need to know about pursuing a career in acting.

WHAT DOES AN ACTOR/ACTRESS DO ?

Do what you love - black background

An actor’s work is incredibly complex and demanding.

Actors are expected to fully embody the character they are playing. In order to do this, actors need to understand the character’s motivations, history, and personality.

Actors also need to be able to, memorize lines, practice frequently, be able to work with all kinds of people, and speak the lines that have been written for them in a way that feels natural and believable.

When actors go to auditions for movies, TV shows, or commercials, they’re typically looking for work.

Many end up working as extras in the background of the action.

However, some actors land roles with lines that require them to take center stage and talk directly to the camera.

While most big-name stars and aspiring actors alike may live and work in New York or Los Angeles, many actors can find work outside these hubs.

AN ACTOR’S INSPIRATION

Actors are artistic individuals, which means they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive. 

“Study, find all the good teachers and study with them, get involved in acting to act, not to be famous or for the money. Do plays. It’s not worth it if you are just in it for the money. You have to love it.” Philip Seymour Hoffman

CRUCIAL SKILLSETS ACTORS MUST HAVE

Pursuing an acting career takes passion, dedication, and the willingness to share the spotlight.

Good stage, screen or vocal presence

Having a good stage presence is crucial to creating an engaging and lasting performance.

Memorizing lines

  • Read the script aloud to yourself: The best way to memorize a script is by reading it aloud. It helps you hear the tone of voice and hear the patterns in words that you might have missed in reading silently.
  • Use mnemonic devices: Mnemonic devices are memory tricks that help you remember information. They can be visual, such as using colors or shapes to remember something, or they can be sounds, such as repeating a word over and over again until it becomes easy to recall.

Confidence

Confidence is very important in acting, because it allows you to be more confident in your abilities, and helps you compete against other actors in auditions. 

Knowing these 5 Acting techniques

  1. Meisner Technique : is based around the concept of “truthful acting. 
  2. Stanislavski’s System : requires that an actor use his emotional memory when approaching the work. 
  3. Method Acting Technique : is credited to Lee Strasberg and the members of his Theater Group.
  4. Practical Aesthetics Acting Technique : is based on the practice of breaking down a scene using a four-step analysis. 
  5. The Chekhov Acting Technique : the actor focuses on the internal problem the character is facing and then expresses the issue in the form of movements.

Self-esteem

Is necessary to feel secure in who you are and to feel comfortable with your own choices.

Ask yourself

  • Do you have a strong self–esteem?
  • Do you know the difference between confidence and arrogance ?
  • Are you afraid of feedback ?
  • Do you fear failure? 
  • Are you a slave to perfection ?

The ability to network and market yourself

This can be done in the following ways :

  1. Develop your social media following : Social media has been able to generate an enormous amount of buzz in the entertainment industry. The casting director or agent can point to your social media following when submitting you for roles in productions.
  1. Business Cards : Business cards are a low-cost marketing and networking tool that can help you build your personal brand.
  1. Have your own website : Make your website a central hub for all your photos, CV, showreels, voicereels, news and reviews and keep them up to date! 

Flexibility

Performers need to adapt and apply their skills and talent to a variety of roles, genres, techniques, and styles. A good actor or actress should be very flexible and  confident about asking questions regarding the script

Teamwork

Teamwork is important because it delivers better results from the sum of the total team members than would be achieved from each member acting alone.

In order for teams to really work, each member has to be confident in their individual strengths and weaknesses. The team has to trust each other’s abilities before moving forward together

Time management

Refers to how you schedule and organize your time for different activities.

You can’t manage time, you can only manage yourself.

The very act of taking a moment to think about your time before you spend it will begin to improve your personal time management and increase productivity immediately.

DEGREES IN ACTING 

Students taking their degree in an NBA field

1. Drama Degree

A Drama degree combines theatre theory and practice. 

If you want a more general course where you can learn a bit of everything, this degree is right for you. 

Sylvia young theatre school | London is credited to be the hardest drama school to get into.

Common teaching methods on drama degrees : 

  • Lectures are usually given regularly (listening to a talk and taking notes). 
  • Seminars and
  • Practical workshops

Skills you will likely develop through drama degree : 

  • Public speaking 
  • Cultivating your communication skills 
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Time management 

Employment opportunities for drama graduates :

  • Educational institutions
  • Arts and media companies 
  • Hospitality and Leisure Industry 

Here you can check out the 25 Best Drama Schools for an Acting Degree.

2. Film Degree

Film degree - A camera in the middle of an asphalt

The study of film is a broad area.

From camera equipment to directing, from writing scripts and screenplays to lighting the stage, there are many different classes

available to international students who want to pursue a degree in film.

Film professionals learn as much on the job as in the classroom. As a result, it is important for film students to know how to adapt quickly after receiving criticism and feedback.

How much money do people make with a film degree?

Video editors and Camera operators can earn an average of over $58,000 a year while a producer or director can earn more than $71,500 a year. 

3. Screenwriting Degree

A screenwriting degree is the best way to prepare aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters for the industry.

These degrees prepare students for roles such as screenwriting assistants, story analysts, and project managers.

Some of the benefits of getting your screenwriting degree is : 

  • Making connections. 
  • You will have an instant community. 
  • Your portfolio will quickly fill up with unique scripts and screenplays. 
  • A screenwriting degree can also help you build experience in your focused area.

4. Musical Theater Degree

Musical theater degree

Musical theater is a form of theatre that combines song, dance, and acting.

The actors are usually professionals who earn a living by performing on stages in different types of productions.

Musical theater can be traced to ancient Greek drama and medieval mystery plays.

Your love of musical theatre can translate into many career opportunities creating unique experiences for both the audience and performers alike.

Pace University is known to be the most prominent musical theater university in the US.

If your interested in acquiring a musical theatre degree, check out this detailed guide.

CONCLUSION

There are no formal educational requirements for actors.

However, you do need to be physically and emotionally fit enough to take on the role of a character in a film or on TV.

Actors also need to have an understanding of the world they are portraying. After all, acting is a form of storytelling.

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