2 answers

What do aspiring Actors do in college?

Asked Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Do I specfically go in for a drama major as soon as I go into College, I want to take regular classes as well or should I dedicate all 4 years to Drama. #acting #actor

2 answers

Paul’s Answer

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It depends on the college, so when you're looking at schools, you should certainly ask them about their specific degree requirements. But in general, if you major in drama a significant portion of your classes will be in a classroom style format. History. Literature. Perhaps a seminar course. You'll still (hopefully) be spending a significant amount of time learning about acting, stage management, lighting, and some of the other technical skills. If you want to take course outside the department, that's also relatively common, but you should really speak with the department about what is expected and how much flexibility there will be. The hard truth is that majoring in drama requires a significant commitment. Here's an example of the degree requirements for a drama bachelor's degree at the University of Virginia: http://www.virginia.edu/drama/major.htm

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Thanks for your answer!

Amie’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California

Take as many different theater courses as you can. Your interests may evolve as you learn more. Your skills as an actor will only increase as you know more about the world and how you feel about it. Work with your counselor and make sure you have a well rounded schedule. In the theater department this includes taking set/costume/lighting design so you know what your future designers work with. Take theater tech courses where you work backstage on a production every semester so you learn what the back of house life is like. Take directing so you understand where your directors are coming from. The goal is to be as well rounded and competant as you can be as a performer.

I would also suggest taking some business classes. You are ultimately your own product which you need to sell. You need to know how to do your taxes, how to start a company, how to market yourself and how to run the corporation that is "you" as an actor.

College is an amazing opportunity to get a TON of "free" classes and mentorships and work experience. Use it all, take as many classes as you can (including fencing and water polo and the occasional cultural anthropology class), and allow the experience to introduce you to aspects of theater and life you may or may not have been aware of.

Good luck!