What if I don’t get into Drama School?

What if I don’t get into Drama School?

There are a limited number of places for the small number of drama schools in the UK.  The chances are statistically that you will not get in. If you are a graduate, then postgraduate courses are slightly easier to gain entry because they are expensive and (often but not always) have the pre-requisite of graduation from an undergraduate degree first.

If you don’t get into Drama School, here’s some tactics so you don’t have to let go of your dream of becoming an actor:

ONE: Be realistic. It took Dustin Hoffman nine attempts to get into the Actors Studio. If you’re just going to base your future on one attempt, then you don’t really want to be an actor that badly do you?

TWO: Train Train Train. You now have a year to get further and better training, monologue coaching, singing and even dancing tuition, so that you are more prepared. Is there an aspect that went particularly badly? Address that.

THREE: Reapply next year, and this time save so that you can apply to more of the schools. Of course you want to go to your first choice, but if you had a brilliant time at one of the others and became a professional actor, you wouldn’t care looking back.

FOUR: Talk with your parents or friends. Usually by this stage, there’s a huge pressure to apply to some crappy generic drama degree course. If you want to spend three years examining the structures of performance from perspectives of semiotics or perhaps post-structuralist approaches to early Naturalism, apply. Sound like boring crap? Yeah, it is. If you want to be an actor, these courses pull you in with promises of ‘practice’ but really they’re not. How do I know so much? I used to teach on those courses. Don’t get confused. Doing a degree in drama will rarely provide you with the route to acting, but perhaps you’ll swap your dream and become a drama teacher instead? Nothing wrong with it. It’s just not doing what you want to do, it will keep the nay-sayers quiet.

FIVE: Research your choices. Attend open days, find out more about the place. Doing your research in advance will give you a better chance of understanding what each school is looking for.

Moaning about the cost? About how unfair it is? I know it’s rough, but how bad do you want it? If it’s bad enough, you will not stop until you have achieved your goal. If anything gets in your way, you didn’t want it bad enough.

Want a better chance at getting into drama school? Get some audition coaching from a professional acting coach.


Mark Westbrook is a professional acting coach, director and writer based in Scotland.

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