2 answers

What schooling did you take that helped with your career?

Asked Safford, Arizona

I am hoping to be an actor, and I would like to know what you did in school (Of any level) that you had that helps you when acting. # #acting # #theatre #performing-arts

2 answers

Mr. Ernst’s Answer

Updated Newark, New Jersey

Dear Hunter S,

When I was younger I had a phase where I was seriously considering acting as a career choice. I lacked focus, I lacked endurance and I was greedy for gain. The course that helped me prepare for this was a course called Interdisciplinary I don't remember the precise number that followed that but it was a great class. Also I took a media film elective where I was to dissect films and their positioning of camera shots and what they symbolized that gave me a leg up. I never fully followed that phase through but I continued learning. The I.D. course taught me how to deal with different cultures, handmade art, creative exercises and indie films that explored foreign relations and their struggles in local settings these are all tools that will help you develop your characters from paper to film. I wish you the very best in your journey young man.

Michelle’s Answer


Hello, Hunter S. -

When I was in college majoring in theatre with an emphasis in Acting, I went into it cold and 100% inexperienced. The biggest factor that helped me along was meeting a lot of new people in the new city I was in (Northern California) . They were all actors, most with lots of experience.

We socialized all the time, worked on shows together and they were all a great source of my introduction to the field.

I also had superb acting professors who thoroughly covered all aspects of being the best actor you can be. There was a lot of support in this theatre niche which closely resembled a family.

In college, I took a series of courses in acting, directing, set construction, play writing , theatrical make up, mime, literature, costuming, voice (singing) , modern dance, history of the theatre and theatre promotion and management. It helped to learn all aspects of the field because one never knows ahead of time what job will be in their future. It also helps to be knowledgeable about things that your peers will talk about.

The strong socialization consisted of making very close friends which occurred naturally. After graduation, I was invited to stay with a friend in Hollywood until I obtained work and an apartment and that worked out well. I had a Bachelors Degree in Theatre and my first job in the career city was in professional theatre, in the promotions and public relations realm.

I was told that my degree was a determining factor in my hiring for that position as other resumes did not show the people had the degree. Although I recommend a Bachelors Degree in general, other jobs I obtained in acting or theatre did not require an actual degree.

Another thing that I did that helped me as an actor was that I took care of my health. Your body is your product, your brand as they say, so always do whatever you can to stay healthy.

Best wishes to you in your ventures into the entertainment industry !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

  • Maintain your health. Acting has a lot of demands . I was once in a musical while having a cold and I was surprisingly able to perform well. It's demanding on you physically and mentally. Take care. Get lots of sleep and eat healthfully. Also, do not neglect your spirituality.
  • Obtain a Bachelors degree in theatre or whatever you choose.
  • Move to either New York or Los Angeles if you want the larger employment base in the field.
  • Take courses in every aspect of theatre or film. It is a collaborative art and you must understand what goes into each facet of your craft.
  • Socialize with students and professors in the theatre department. Be friendly.