April 12, 2013
Forum School Of Acting
I saw your website about acting and I liked it immensely because I wanted to see a ‘true account’ of what acting was really like.
I am interested in pursuing acting and I thought it was a really eye opener of knowing how tough acting is. I have just turned seventeen and I have been doing acting since I was 10 years old. I haven’t done so many plays, I do admit but I did some acting classes(without my father knowing…) and I did do a few plays in the past. However, when I was ten years old, I have doing speech and drama lessons and I am now doing a specialized diploma this year.
However, I do have some useful skills: I have been iceskating internationally and is well known in the country for a national tv program (reality but still), piano playing, chamber music and choir.
And I did go to classes about auditioning, cold reading and acting for camera (which is so difficult).
So I have a few questions :
1. Should I go to drama school first to try to get more experience? Or should I do a drama program with other useful stuff I would like to learn at university? Or should I go straight to Los Angeles and try my luck and work hard? What sort of training do you recommend me to take?
2. What do you think is the right age for an actress to start working professionally? I believe it is from 18-25 (well I hope).
3. What books do you recommend me to read to learn more about the business of acting?
4. Lastly, I am aware that acting is a low paying profession but I love it. Should I build my own business to help support myself when I am young and then move to Los Angeles?
5. What steps do I take once I am in Los Angeles ? Such as resumes and so on.
Thank you very much.
Thanks for the email.
Firstly, you have some really good things going for you. Being a competitive international ice skater will be an immense help to you, as you already understand how much work and dedication it takes to do something that is very difficult to do well.
The musical training is also very helpful, as is the fact that you are recognizable from television.
So, to help with your questions:
1- I don’t think that dramatic acting programs at university are very useful to the professional television or film actor. The type of training you will find in Los Angeles or New York will be similar as far as acting technique is concerned, but will tend to be more focused. The biggest trouble with training anywhere is that most people who say they want to be actors rarely exhibit the work ethic to make it a reality. In which case, it can be really difficult to find quality people even just to train with.
2 – As far as the “right” age, earlier is always better. It will take about ten years of professional work for most people to be able to perform at a level where they could “carry” a film. With that in mind, the actors that started when they were really young simply have an experience advantage. To give you an example, imagine a young woman who wanted to start ice skating at the age of 18. How hard would she have to work to be as good as you are already? The same is true for you going against the other actresses out there. But, you are young and like I said, you have a strong background to build on.
3 – My book of course! In all seriousness, Acting for Film and Television will show you everything you need to work on and to know about professional acting.
4 – You’ll have to figure out how to make money to live off of one way or the other. The biggest trouble with devoting a lot of time to making money, is sooner or later it becomes the thing you do. It is the thing that everyone struggles with until they start getting paid. How you tackle it and how much you can keep your focus on acting will have a large impact on you “making it.”
5 – Once you’re in LA, I would say focus on training right out of the gate. Find a good acting school that you like and just train as often as you can. You’ll meet people and start to find your way around from there. Resumes, headshots, agents and all that stuff will gradually start to make sense.
Hope this helps and best of luck out there!