8 answers

I want to be an movie/tv actress and lawyer at the same time!

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I’ve been wanting to be an actress since I was 3. I can also dance, I’ve loved it since I was 3. I can sort of sing. Drama is my favorite class at school. But I need something else just in case, so I plan to graduate in law and be a lawyer. I am also passionate in law, but it is a recent addition. But keep auditioning for roles. I’ve wanted to be an author or artist since I was young too. I am pretty good at public speaking/speech/acting. I have won awards and many people have said so. I’ve wrote stories and books since I was in 2nd grade. I’m pretty good at art too, it’s one fo my favorite subjects! I won many prizes for both. I get good grades too. What should I do?? I think I should go with this plan, but please help me by giving me advice! #civilrightslawyer #lawyer #law #college #acting #dancing #passion #advice #author #stories #writing #art #drama

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8 answers

Robert A.’s Answer

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Hi Tanu. Firstly I can say we have interests in common as I have done some amateur acting in the past and am now a practicing lawyer. It's important to realise that the world of theatre, drama and the arts is a very interesting one but a very tough one in which to succeed. So your idea of having a backup is a very good one. Also I see that some of the answers above have suggested combining your two interests by looking for experience in media law. All of the qualities you have outlined, such as public speaking, creative writing, acting can be very important in every walk of life, not just for theatre and the law. I would advise you to keep your options open for as long as possible. Nurture your creative side and your analytical side. The very best of luck to you.
Thank you! Tanu N.
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Kathleen’s Answer

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In reading your question I believe you are struggling for a “decision” about which ONE of your many and diverse talents and interests to pursue. However, it may be too early to make this decision because your work values are not yet clear. For example, in your weighing of the economic reality of theater vs the law, you are wisely considering what lifestyle (ex., income, location, stability) you want. Use O’Net online to compare the growth projections. And, is it a disciplined involvement in our complex legal system or is it creative self-expression that you MOST crave? All of your talents and interests have a key component in common: they provide artistic and creative outlets for you. You do not say how old you are or what stage of education you are in, but I recommend you keep asking these excellent questions! Continue to research and experience (job shadows etc.) both theater and law. Does your school have “mock trial” or a debate team? Can you participate in school or community theater to build more understanding and experience? In short, avoid looking at these passions as separate, and enjoy their commonalities. A liberal arts college degree with performing opportunities - perhaps a double major in theater arts and pre-law or criminal justice - will likely be very satisfying to you! I wish you all the very best!
Thanks so much! Tanu N.
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Jorie’s Answer

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You can definitely do both! I have been a practicing lawyer for about 8 years and I regularly participate in musical theater productions at my local community theater. My exposure to theater has definitely helped me in my legal career. If you're comfortable on a stage, you can be comfortable in a court room! Theater has also been a wonderful outlet for what is oftentimes a stressful job. Also, as others mentioned above, it is possible to have the two overlap, especially if you consider a legal career in the entertainment industry.

That being said, I would only pursue a career in the legal field if it is something you are truly passionate about. From your post above, it sounds like you are truly passionate about theater and dance. If a legal career is also something you are interested in, then I say go for it! However, if you're merely looking for a backup career, I'm not sure that's the best reason to go to law school. Law school involves a lot of hard work and can be pretty expensive, unless you're able to get some scholarships. Careers in the legal field also involve a lot of hard work and can be stressful and overwhelming. I would only suggest pursuing a career in the law if it is something that truly interests you. If you're not sure, then I suggest taking some courses related to the legal field and seeing if you like them! Happy to answer any follow up questions and best of luck!
This helped me so much, that someone else is in the same position as me and it worked for them! Thanks! Also, I want to do movie acting, would that work out too? Tanu N.
Its possible! The only issue I see is that movie/tv filming would most likely take place during the day. It might be difficult to manage that with a normal work schedule. It also depends on whether you want the acting to be a career or a fun hobby in addition to law. Both require dedication and discipline so I’m not sure it will be possible to treat both as careers. For me, law is my career and it comes first. When I have the free time, I perform as a hobby. I’m not sure how old you are but if you’re still in high school take time to explore both disciplines. You have until probably your sophomore year of college to declare a major. Jorie Bagnato
Totally agree Jorie! Chinwe Enu
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Jade’s Answer

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You sound like a very talented and passionate person. However, remember, being an attorney in any field requires you to put your the clients you represent first. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy a career in acting and in the law, it does mean you will need to develop strict disciple around time management and work/life balance. At this time in your life, you would benefit from researching local Intellectual Property law firms around your area and asking if there is a willing attorney to shadow. Also, many bar state and city bar associations may have programs that will allow those interested in the law to sit or intern with an attorney. Lastly, a great resource is any local law school in your area, visit their admissions office (during their off season) and ask questions and may to speak to a first year law student.
Thanks so much! Tanu N.
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Chinwe’s Answer

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Hi there! You sound like a very talented person! I just want to share a bit of my story, you may find it helpful. I trained as and became an attorney for a bit. I did it as a back up, but I really wanted to be an opera singer. So after law school, I went back to get a degree in Music. Now I work as a Training Specialist (because the law ended up not being for me) and I pursue my creative projects on the side. That is the thing about the law, not only is law school difficult to get into and very expensive, it is best to become a lawyer only if one is truly passionate about it. I don't know if you have heard the phrase "the law is a jealous mistress?" I think it is true, because being a lawyer can be all consuming (but wonderful, if that is what you love!)

If I could do it again, I probably would have gone to music school first, while I was younger, instead of trying to get into the arts as an older person. Either way is do able, but since music was really my passion, I wish I had done that first. In my opinion, it is easier to became a lawyer later in life, when a person knows that is what they really want (and can possibly pay for law school by themselves)! In fact, while I was in law school, there were some people for whom the law was a second career, and they were serious about it and seemed to thrive.

Now, this does not mean don't do both, but I suggest you only go to law school if you are passionate about the law, clear on why you want to be a lawyer, and have an idea about what you want to do with the law degree. It is okay to change your idea of course, as long as you have a clear idea. If you are not sure, maybe wait on law school a bit and pursue acting and writing, which you are clearly passionate about. There is time!

If you are clear that you are passionate about the law however, then go for it! You will have to be disciplined with your time, but it is possible to continue acting while in law school. My law school had a wonderful theater group, and I was in several shows: plays, musicals and operettas. We even did our own version of the show "Chicago." And I have done other shows since then. And there are many professionals who write on the side, including lawyers!

If you feel comfortable, talk things over with your parents and/or support network. Hang in there, it will all work out! :-)

Chinwe recommends the following next steps:

  • If you feel comfortable, talk things over with your parents/support network
  • Continue acting/writing/making art
  • Do research on and/or talk to people who are pursuing careers in the law, acting, art and writing
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Kinda’s Answer

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Hello, Tanu!

It's great that you have so many passions! I'm currently at my last year in university. Going into college, just like you, I had many different interests. What has helped me narrow down my options is partaking in internships and/or student-led organizations that pertain to my interests. For example, I've always wanted to go into government; so, I interned for a governmental office. This internship has helped me understand what it's actually like to pursue a career in government. I think first-hand experience can be extremely valuable in helping you navigate your options a bit better. I wish you all the best!
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Darlene’s Answer

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You can practice law in the entertainment industry therefor incorporating your desire to act along with practicing law. I had a student who was successful in the arts but was going to study law in the arts and entertainment industry. She was an excellent student with very astute study practices and I could see her be a success.
Thank you! Tanu N.
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Thomas’s Answer

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Sounds like you're very talented and intelligent. Continue Education in law and actress when the opportunity arises. Internships might also be an option for you.
Thanks so much for your help! Tanu N.
No problem keep up your hard work Thomas Wiggins
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