How To Get Into Acting School

If you have a passion for the performing arts, you can likely find how to get into acting school. Acting schools are varied. Some offer 2-year or 4-year degrees, and others offer major training that will really benefit you in the real world of show business. As an actress who has explored this topic for years for others as I lived in New York and Los Angeles, I wrote the article from personal experience.

  1. The first part of getting into a good acting school is knowing the ones that will be a good fit for you. If you weren't in the top percentile of your class and heavily involved in your school and community, you're likely not going to an Ivy league drama school, but would you even want to? Acting is one of those professions where a college on a resume won't get you the job as easily as giving a great audition. When choosing an acting school, think of which one will best benefit your artistry and your own qualifications and needs.
  2. Pick a school that's on your level. If you are advanced in acting and have five years experience, you are not going to enjoy a beginner's acting class. Although you may ace it, it will do nothing for you. Likewise, if you're a beginner, don't try to delve into advanced classes. Starting from where you are realistically will increase your chances of getting into a great college.
  3. To increase your chances of getting into a great acting school, read a few essential books on the art of acting. "Truth" by Susan Batson is one of the greatest books on acting ever written, as are the acting classics by Stanislavski. "An Actor Prepares" is a great book to start. Knowing the basics from some important books will give you a greater edge at your audition, and it will help your initial classes go more smoothly, as you will understand the connections and emotions of bringing a character to life.
  4. Fill out the early application process if it's available for the school of your choice. Enthusiasm shouldn't be underestimated. Tell the truth on your resume and application. Show business is a really small world, and you are more likely to be called out on your lies than not. If you are new to acting, you won't be able to give acting references, but you can give references to other related things, such as a drama or music teacher in school.
  5. Most acting colleges and conservatories do require an audition. This should be treated as seriously as an audition for your ideal role. Prepare for it. Get lessons from a local acting coach if possible. Consider that most big cities have excellent acting coaches. In Los Angeles, Greg Braun at the New Collective in Los Angeles offers stellar coaching. In New York City, Susan Batson of Black Nexxus, Inc. offers the best coaching as well. There are acting coaches in most big cities.
  6. Keep in mind that, when preparing for a school audition, it will likely also be part of the interview process. After giving a heartfelt audition, you may then be asked to talk a while and let go of the character. With that in mind, don't go over-the-top with any sort of costumes for the audition. Imagination is great, but it won't win you any points with the admission board. What the school wants to see is performance, talent and potential.
  7. Always follow up any audition, interview or encounter with the school faculty with a thank you note for their time. Keeping in touch isn't always necessary, but it is noted and often appreciated. You don't want to be obnoxious and calling your advisor like he's your buddy. Yet, a little persistence can show your genuine interest and passion for getting into the acting school of your choice.
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