Professional Acting Resources


Education For Acting and Directing

Answers to various acting questions I get from aspiring actors and actresses.

Q:  I'm just about to finish High School. My overall goal is to become a Film Director, however, I would like to act on my way there, because I absolutely *love* acting. So I was wondering if you had any advice/tips on what I should do concerning higher education choices. Would it be more useful to go to a university or a drama school or both?

A:  As to whether it would be more useful to start in drama and then go to the university or vice versa, it's really a matter of what you want to focus on more. 

If you want to work in the film industry as a director, my advice is to work in the film industry. Start as a P.A. somewhere or, better yet, teach yourself script supervision, get really good at it and get a job doing that (it pays much better!) 

Filmmaking is an expensive, time consuming process if it's done correctly. The budget for even ONE modest Hollywood film is more that what the big film schools will generate in total tuition this year combined. While they CAN and DO give good information, they can't (for finanacial reasons) duplicate what the work environment really is. 

The only place to really learn this job is on the job and this is true for acting, script supervising, directing, set designing, gripping, name it. You CAN work your way up in this industry, and the experience you gain on the way up is the experience you'll need to become a successful director or actor...not to mention the contacts, the favors and the everything else you'll need to help you along the way. 

Experience is key in this industry...well, salesmanship doesn't hurt either I suppose. So, if you love acting, then study acting for the love of it! The university experience will be eye opening and wonderful and I highly recommend it, but either way (working) or going to university and then working, you're going to have to start working! 

That's where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. In this town, you don't necessarily need a degree to be an actor, you just have to be willing and able to learn and DO the acting or directing work. 

To answer your question succinctly...go the way your heart tells you, because the path you will choose almost always leads to something quite cool, and magical and unexpected...if you let it. I hope this helps and best of luck out there!


As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, or would just like to share some of your successes, please feel free to drop me a line.  I actually answer them.

Best of Luck out there and remember, you can't fail if you don't quit.

D.L. White