If you are considering a career as an actor then the importance of good training cannot be underestimated. The showcases of all of the major colleges remain the primary source of new signings every year. Yes, we are all aware of the story of the young starlet being discovered by chance (Jonathan Rys Myers was in a snooker club when he was found by Hubbard Casting). But even if that should happen a good training will stand to you throughout your career. It offers you the facility to properly explore your craft and more importantly to make mistakes. Far better to takes risks in a dingy rehearsal room in first year drama school than on the set of a multi million pound movie. But which school should you choose and how long should you go for.
For the ultimate goal of a good drama school is not just becoming the best actor you can be but getting a good agent. Of course it goes without saying that ability is important but the world is full of very talented actors who are not working. You will never have the opportunity to be seen by so many casting directors and agents as you will in your final showcases of drama school. Therefore one of the key aspects in your decision of where to train has to be how well attended their showcases are.
Under Graduate Courses
Post Graduate Courses
The Conference of Drama Schools
The traditional acting course is the three year diploma or degree course. The first 2 years are devoted to training while the last year focuses on the final year public productions and showcases. Normally there are 3 productions per term during the 3 term final year with a showcase in the 2nd and 3rd terms.
While the 3 year course may seem like a big undertaking the length of time is deceptive. As mentioned the bulk of the coursework is only in the first 2 years. From the first day of the final year you are essentially saying to the industry that you are ready to work as a professional actor.
Over the last 20 years the number of courses available to actors has continued to grow and grow. One of the favoured options is the postgraduate course. The most common reason given is the shorter duration. Normally the courses range from a year to 18 months. In an industry that is obsessed with youth choosing to wait 3 years can seem unwise. There are also financial issues to be taken into consideration. You must bear in mind however that without the luxury of time the workload can be daunting. Like it or not the industry still favours the traditional course over the postgraduate course and this may be reflected in the willingness of agents to attend the showcases.
The Conference of Drama Schools
The Conference of Drama Schools is made up of the leading drama schools in the UK. The 22 schools offer courses in acting, musical theatre, directing and technical training.
If you are serious about becoming a professional actor you should be going to one of these schools.
The Academy of Live & Recorded Arts (ALRA)
Arts Educational Schools London (ARTS ED)
Birmingham School of Acting
Bristol Old Vic
Central School of Speech and Drama
Cygnet Training Theatre
Drama Centre London
Drama Studio London
Guildford School of Acting (GSA)
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts
The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA)
The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)
Manchester Metropolitan University School of Theatre
Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts
The Oxford School of Drama
Queen Margaret University
Rose Bruford College
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)
The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Back to top