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Do I have to stick to just one thing?

I know that I want to go into the entertainment industry but I’m not sure if I want to animate, direct, or act. Is it possible to do all three and still be successful? Also if I can’t but I’m also not sure which I want to stick with, what should I do when selecting my major?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Michelle’s Answer

You have a lot of interests in one industry and your creative skills can be used in all three facets, but not at the same time and not until you get a lot of experience and have networked with industry people and your work is known by people who can provide opportunities for you. You can also create your own opportunities, too.

I would advise taking an animation class, beginning acting and a directing class in your first semester. You will get a taste of what it's like and it may be helpful to you in deciding what to major in and what to minor in. You will pick up on directing once you do some acting projects - it will be intuitive to you but I would suggest taking a directing class. I took a directing class in my third year of college and found it easy to direct as I had a brief background in acting at that time. But it is good to learn the structure of directing and it will no doubt inspire you.

Yes, it is possible to be successful in all three, but not possible to predict when or if one's path will lead to that success. But it is possible, so follow your instincts, follow your dream. It involves many steps and much preparation.

If you're not able to follow through on the careers that you've mentioned and think you want a different major, go with a major in something else you may be interested in and minor in something like Communications Studies, Film or Theatre. I know that when I was a theatre student, some of the theatre classes fullfilled Humanities requirements. Also, go to summer school if possible to get some of the required, out of major courses completed so you can concentrate on your major.

You find out what you should do by doing. Get to know people who are acting, directing and doing animation work, people who have been or are currently professionals at their craft. See if you could shadow one of these people, sit in on a community theatre rehearsal to observe the directing, visit a visual arts school and see if you could audit a class or speak with a guidance counselor there. You will learn a lot by doing so. Even though your three interests are in the field of entertainment, you can do all three at different times and the skills for one will enhance the others. Your knowledge of acting will help your directing and animation and your skills of directing will make you a better actor and animator.

I wish you all the best in your college expereince and hope that your decisions will come to you easier in the near future.
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Megan’s Answer

Great questions Isaiah!

The great thing about the entertainment industry is that you do not have to stick to one thing. You will see many people in the entertainment industry grow and flow between different roles or sometimes do all of them at once. It definitely comes with experience and time. As far as college goes I would try to figure out what you want to major in the most and double minor in the other two. Or you can double major if you really can not choose. In your first two years of college, you will want to focus on your general education courses and explore before you jump into a major in your junior year. Make sure to join as many related clubs and organizations related to your major interests. Talk to professors and classmates about what is the best fit.

Hope this helps!
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JOHN’s Answer

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Marshall’s Answer

To add to Michelles answer, it will benefit you to pick something that you really love to focus on as your career.

You can do some of these at the same time: such as animate and direct or act and direct.

In general you will want to be the best you can be at your craft. It takes about 10000 hours to become an expert. That's about 3-4 years doing it full time.

School offers the opportunity to try things out. Another thing you could try to do is reach out to people who do those things and talk to them about challenges, wins and how their day to day looks. This might help you make a decision as well as you may come to find that things are a little different than you might have envisioned initially. You can ping some people on Linkedin or speak to upperclassmen in some of the areas you are interested in at school.

You can always pursue something as a career and keep other things as a hobby. Many times as you go through life, hobbies can transition into careers as well. So as an example, you may start acting and after some time you will have grown a collection of peers and connections in the industry that you can do a personal animation project with. Animation was the hobby in this case that then turned into something you start doing as a career. Thats is only an example.

Definitely keep the passion alive and enjoy the process of discovery!
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