Question:

How can I peruse my career in acting?

by Guest5897  |  earlier

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I'm 15 years old and I live in Singapore, where the education system is very tough. I've slaved away for so many years and have gotten into one of the best schools here. I'm in my schools drama group and I have been very active in it for 4 years. Is it actually advisable for me to get a degree in theatre or drama? I love acting and directing, and I would absolutely love to go into theatre, but I'm not sure how stable it is.

 Tags: acting, career, peruse

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  1. Tom Reeds

    One thing you have to know about an acting or directing career - it is decidedly NOT a stable career. In fact, it is one of the most difficult professions there is, with absolutely NO financial, social or emotional security ever! Here in the US, where acting is so popular, less than 2% of all professional actors actually make a living by acting alone. And directing is even more difficult. If you are looking for a stable career with financial security, theatre is NOT what you want to do.

    If you do decide that you want to go into acting or directing professionally, I do highly recommend professional training in a good university with an excellent theatre program. Most of the best actors these days do get their BA in theatre and then an MFA in acting. The more training you have, the better you will be able to use the talent that you have and the more likely you are to be cast.

    However, should you decide that you prefer to pursue a more conventional and financially stable career, that doesn't mean that you can't do theatre too. There are many small professional theatres, community theatres, dinner theatres and the like where you can have the fun of acting or directing regularly without sacrificing the financial stability that makes life easier. I worked in community theatre for years before I started directing professionally. My daughter graduated from an excellent university theatre program, double majoring in theatre and psychology. When she graduated, she worked a regular job for a while to save money, then worked with a professional theatre for a year to earn her Equity card as a stage manager and actor. She still works at her day job, does a little theatre when she can, and is now going for her MA in Child Development. When she graduates in December she plans on working in the foster care system... and still doing theatre when she has the time. She found that her love for children was stronger than her love for theatre, so she focused on that. But that doesn't mean that she gave up the creative end of her life. She found a spot for both. And, if you choose to, you can too.
     

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