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College? Grades? Actor?

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What would be a good college to go to for acting? Anywhere in Wisconsin? If not there it doesnt matter where, and what kind of grades would a coming up actor get? like B's? just out of curiosity because i'm only in 10th grade going to be a junior soon. Also for my Junior year what class should I take for acting?
#college #acting #colleges #film-acting #acting-in-tv

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Daniel’s Answer

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Truthfully, acting doesn't require college or grades. There are many good reasons to go to college for acting: intellectual community and maturation, great professors who give you many opportunities with safety nets, general education in non-acting areas, and the sense that jobs in this country now require college degrees. But your acting won't get better because you go to college. It will get better because of the practice you'll get and the people you're around. Virtually all liberal arts colleges will have theater majors or minors or opportunities. There you'll get to "try out" acting and if you don't like it, you can switch to another field of study quickly.


But if you want to be a professional actor, you'll eventually have to live in the places where acting is a sustainable career. For Wisconsinites (like me!), that means Chicago. New York City and Los Angeles are the others; the three largest cities in the country provide hubs of theater where you can find many acting gigs in a small area. If you want to stay in Wisconsin, it'll be a tougher road, simply because there are fewer jobs.


That means that you should look for colleges where actors head to Chicago on a regular basis to work. Look for internships in Chicago.


In high school, act as much as you can! Musicals, plays, improv. Classes are less important than practice for this particular goal, but you should strive to do as well as possible in class because your GPA will play a role in which colleges are open to you. That is, don't blow off school; just choose your free time in a way that accelerates your goal of acting.

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Michelle’s Answer

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I found that the academic route for acting had many advantages for me after graduating. In my opinion, the best universities for acting are Julliard, Yale School of Drama, U.C.L.A. and U.S.C. and N.Y.U. You will find that which ever college you choose will have a good theatre department and they strive to train you completely.


People may think it's a frivolous major, but in my last two years, I actually felt like I was in the army or something. Some programs are more rigorous and demanding than others. With a Bachelors in Theatre, I worked in professional theatre for 12 years and when I changed careers, it helped that I had a Bachelors degree, so go all the way and get your B.A. I did not have any problem getting non-theatre jobs with my degree in theatre. Tom Hanks attended the same University I did. He was in the theater dept. two years prior to me. He didn't get a B.A. Now, that's one person who didn't need it !


You should always strive for the best grades you can get just for personal satisfaction and to get the most out of your college experience. It's not too important to get As and Bs but if you're going to get your B.A. you'll want a good GPA in the end, so do your best.


I am assuming you mean in your junior year at high school, you should see if they have an acting or singing class at your school. Actors need to hone acting, singing and dance or movement skills. You can even take some classes in your local community. Try to audition for as many community theatre plays as you can and keep an eye out for any local student films asking for actors. If a director likes you and chooses you, the director will become a mentor and you will learn a lot during your first performance. Doing is the best way to learn.


One last bit that may sound good or not to you. Eventually, at some point, you will have to live in either Los Angeles or New York. I've lived in both and Los Angeles is the place that has the most work for actors. New York is on a rebound with new studios and some TV being produced, but not nearly as much as what L.A. has to offer. Very few people make a consistent, substantial living as theatre professionals in small towns unless they are teaching.


So many best wishes to you and may you enjoy your journey on becoming an actor !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

  • Obtain your Bachelors Degree
  • Strive for the best grades you can get
  • Take acting classes and audition for local productions now
  • Consider eventually moving to New York or Los Angeles
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