Choosing schools can be daunting and quite honestly a scary part of the process. You feel this pressure to pick the best option possible for the next 4 years of your life as an Artist. As the Director of Artistic Development I am here to ensure you have a solid grasp on the tools and vocabulary needed to navigate the world of Acting. 😟😒😭😨😵 A question that we get all the time is: What makes a great Drama School and how do I know that program is the right fit for me? I simply say, that depends on you and what you want. Below you can find the Top 4 factors to consider when applying to Drama School
1) Location/Do you want to go to school in or out of the state? Figuring out how far your school is from your home is a factor many parents take into consideration. Your safety and well-being are their top priority as well as you being introduced to a higher caliber of training. Location can also determine the amount of exposure you will have to the theater arts world outside of scheduled class time. If you find yourself more interested in pursuing Film/TV after school maybe a program located in LA will provide an artistic environment catered to that Genre. For example students at schools in NY have access to more theatrical and Broadway productions than a student located in Texas. 2) Focus: Acting/Musical Theater Acting and Musical Theater are the two top areas of focus when it comes to Drama School. Not all programs provide a degree in both Acting and/or Musical Theater, so its up to you to choose. Its important to understand the difference in training. Most MT programs focus on Singing with Dance and Acting classes sprinkled throughout the curriculum. An Acting program concentrates mostly on the craft of Acting with Voice/Speech, Singing and Movement taking a second level priority. So determine if you want your training to focus on the art of telling story through song or stories without a musical component. 3) Alumni What can I say here, this is very simple and straight to the point. Follow those who inspire you, whose work moves you. Take heed in the steps they took to achieve their dreams. The top programs in the country have fostered the careers of many talented artist whose work we all admire. Take some time to research who those Actors may be. Do you like there artistry? Do you they have a variety of skills you'd like to possess? Do they have a thriving career in the area of theater you want to pursue, be it Acting or Musical Theater?
4) Exposure and Network We all have the common thread of wanting to see our name in lights. Starring in our first movie or leading a play or musical on Broadway. The journey to these career goals starts on our first day of school. After graduating from a great Drama School we all hope to then lead a long career in the Arts. At the end of some programs the school will provide a showcase for the graduating class, where students will perform short scenes and cuts of songs to be seen by Agents and Managers in hopes of getting representation. On the other hand some programs dont provide a showcase but allow industry reps to come to shows throughout your duration at school. Do you have a preference? What you think? Did this help? I know for sure these Top 4 factors will come in handy this coming fall. Now your ahead of the game and equipped with some cool tools you can use to get one step closer to the Drama School of your Dreams.
By Brandon Gill Brandon is a graduate of The Juilliard School Drama Division and coach at How To Get Into Drama School. @bboyinc