Since the beginning of the movie industry, and we have watched actors and actresses play out the scenes that have captured our imagination. It seems like acting would be an easy trade to learn, but once you start to attempt to act on a stage, you soon realize that there are many things to learn. One of the best ways to learn how to develop your craft of acting, going to college with acting as a major may put you on the fast track towards stardom on stage or even on the silver screen.
Once you have made the decision to head to college for acting, now you have to make a decision as to where to go. All acting colleges are not created the same and if you want to make acting a career, you had better go where you will receive the best training in the field that you can find. Based on research conducted over a period of time we have decided to inform you about our top four choices when it comes to the best acting colleges.
Keep in mind that what is going to work for some is not going to work for others, some people need a lot of guidance and some need more of an ability to do what works for them. All four of the acting colleges in this article have very competitive admission policies and practices so if you are fortunate enough to get admitted into a school to pursue your passion for acting, then get the most out of it.
Boston University School of Theatre
This is one of the most impressive conservatory that is well known for it’s laid back atmosphere allowing students some freedom to develop as individuals and as artists. There is no doubt that the staff and students express and feel a significant amount of passion about pursuing the craft of acting. Each student is given a wide spectrum of acting techniques that they can choose to implement and work on as they develop as actors. This is called the toolbox approach, meaning simply that as you master individual skills of voice and movement you will then be able to add them to your “toolbox” of skills, to use whenever a project comes up for you that can use that specific skill.
When it come to the admissions process it is an even fifty-fifty split between the audition of a student and the academic standing of a student. That means that as you prepare for the admissions process you had better keep your grades up as well as your raw skill as an actor. It was reported in a recent year, that there were over seven hundred total applicants to Boston University’s School of Theatre. Of that number between ninety and a hundred students were accepted with forty five attending. Meaning only about six percent of the candidates who apply actually get into school. The tuition for a year at the school is approximately $53,000, so you had better save your pennies. This was the first recommendation because of how they stress learning at one’s own speed, in a safe, creative and community atmosphere.
California Institute Of the Arts
This is a conservatory that is often referred to as the Juilliard of the West, made my list because of the freedom that acting students are allowed to experience in their development. It is not a group that focuses on just one method or your doing it wrong. The school is often referenced as being experimental, which is the way a school promoting development in the arts should be. Nothing great would have ever been created in art, science or literature if there was no experimentation. That being said, if you are the type of learner or performer who needs solid structure to achieve success, this off-beat edgy program may not be for you.
Gaining a global perspective is a focus of almost forty percent of your classes. These critical studies classes are provided with an eye toward creating a productive citizen of the world not just a narrow minded actor or actress. Any program that promotes that kind of global mindset is great with me. There is a lot of focus on movement and voice as you develop in your skill throughout your four years at the school. Being in California you will have a lot of opportunities to make connections in the industry and to find work in television, film or even as a voiceover artist. They also offer an exclusive semester spent abroad in Scotland.
Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama
This Pittsburgh based school is our third choice because of the structured curriculum that this very highly regarded acting school provides for it’s students. This is a conservatory program but has grown out of a university. The Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama is the first to develop in this manner. Some would say it is the finest in the country. We will not go that far but we will put them in the top four.
The curriculum is designed to guide all actors though the craft of acting and in the end produce competent actors and actresses that will ideally have an impact on film and stage for many years to come. The learning process begins in your freshman year as you are coached in the basic skills every actor needs. You are taught how to start using your mind, body and voice appropriately as an actor. They call the sophomore year the transformation year, in which you are supposed to sharpen and hone your basic skills while moving on to more difficult material, like Shakespeare. In the junior year it is called the interpretation year. The techniques are expanded by introducing other styles of acting, and students are able to work with graduate playwrights and directors, gaining valuable experience in acting. Public performances are often and allow for critical evaluation. As a senior, you enter your bridge year, between learning your trade and applying it. There is even more performance, opportunities to go abroad. This is a chance to showcase you abilities to the entire industry in New York and California.
Like all of the schools we have mentioned admission is very competitive, so only the very best and most dedicated will be admitted. Of the 1200 applicants every year, only twenty eight are accepted. The cost of tuition is $53,660. In this case admission is mostly about your talent, eighty percent of your admission is based on your audition and twenty percent on your academic record. You should get practicing.
The Juilliard School, Drama Division
Last but not least on our list is the Juilliard School Drama Division, if all the world is a stage and we are merely players than the best may just come from this acting school. Known for the highest level of training actors and artists, this conservatory style program pushes it’s students to their maximum level of effort. If you are not a dedicated student who wants to be totally immersed in acting, you should shy away from here. They are known to keep their students working from 9AM to 10:30PM on nearly all days of the week.
Juilliard encourages the students in the acting program to develop a process that works best for them, rather than teaching one particular style or technique over another. There is also the advantage of going to school in the heart of New York City, which can be invaluable as you make connections in the industry that may be able to help you as you move your career along.
Getting admitted to Juilliard is going to be quite a challenge, they audition over one thousand hopeful applicants each year, however the freshman class will begin with only twenty lucky and talented students. As you might expect the application process mostly weighs your audition, academics are not as important as talent to them. Tuition for this school is about $46,000 to attend this fine acting school.