If you do not want to go to drama school, for whatever reason - maybe you haven’t been accepted, or you decide that it’s just not for you - but you still want to get into acting, all is not lost. You can still break in to your chosen career on stage or screen, and there are a number of routes you can take to get there. Let’s have a look at your alternatives to drama school:
- You can, of course, go down the ‘traditional’ route of finding a university course that suits you. If you like to study, and you can afford the fees, going to uni can be a great way to get into acting - but there are a few downsides to this. There may be lots more study than you are looking for, and potentially limited opportunities to get in front of a camera. You may find that you are swamped with assignments when you want to be getting on with practical things. The lifestyle can also take its toll - let’s face it, you can’t really call yourself a student unless you’re out getting paralytic for the whole of Fresher’s Week and beyond - and this is not particularly conducive to doing well in auditions.
- This has a great advantage in that it is free (if you are still living with your parents, and your local college offers the right course, that is). The downside is that a college acting course is likely to be very popular and so pretty overcrowded, and because if this you may struggle to get one to one support. There is also limited chances for public performances, unless your chosen college has a dedicated drama department which is very well known and well attended. When it comes to applying for acting jobs, it’s best if you have had more of an audience than just your parents! It's not drama school, but with it so difficult to get into a top drama school, it might feel like your only option for acting training.
Private Acting College
- This is one seems more expensive, for sure. But if you have spent a gap year working 40 hours a week and have saved up a good chunk, or your parents are willing to help fund you, or if you live in Scotland and you can get SAAS funding to do a HND Acting and Performance at a private acting school - you will get quality support and training with this acting college option, and your experience will be vastly improved with a huge amount of opportunity for performance experience (again, in front of more than just your parents).
As you can see, deciding not to go to acting college is not the end of your acting career. Have a think about the sort of acting course you want to do, decide what is affordable for your circumstances, figure out what sort of lifestyle you are willing to live, and you will see that there are a great many other options out there for you. It isn't drama school, but if you chose the right acting college, you could get a drama course that is equal to a drama school experience.