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  • Mark Westbrook

The Stages of your Acting Career Part 1: Training

Unless you just want to do amateur dramatics, everyone interesting in acting wants to build themselves an acting career. To be paid to what what you love all day - and quit the soulless 9-5 - wow that's living the dream, isn't it?

But we all know that most people never get there. And those that do are not an overnight success, it takes years of bloody hard work and sacrifice to become a professional actor.

Lots of people give up on the way, and it's understandable - although others go into writing, producing, directing etc.

In this article, I'll try to set out the stages of an acting career so that you have a sense of the bigger picture. Then while you work your way through the stages, you'll know if you're on track.

The Actor in Training

Every acting career should start with actor training. So many people think they can just skip his step, because they've heard some bullshit story about someone making it big with no training. Training is a form of experience, and experience is what counts. Every day someone will message our studio asking for help getting an agent - but what they don't realise is how it would be to even get to an agent's office without any professional actor training.

Lots of people say oh, I live in the wilds of Scotland, I can't go to college, I can't get coaching, how do I become an actor? The answer is - you won't. Acting is sacrifice and it starts with getting into an acting school or an acting course at least that can help you become a professional. Just like if you don't do any training as a dancer, it's unlikely you would have a career in dance - so it is in acting.

Training as an actor is amazing. It's an incredible experience. It's really tough to get into BUT once you do, it's the time of your life. Drama school is the main goal, but as only 1.1% of applicants get in, you should look for the very best acting courses available within your budget. And as even private drama courses like our Foundation Acting Course and our 2-Year HND Acting and Performance are now funded through Government funding for Scottish students, it's made reaching out to that training a lot more accessible.

The journalist Malcolm Gladwell, looking at the studies of Anders Eriksen, found that professional expertise took 10,000 hours. Well, two years of training in acting school will probably give you 4000 hours. So you'll still need to keep working at your acting craft, even when you graduate from your acting course. It's tough to become an actor - as you can see. If it looks easy, that's because the actors you see on television and film are REALLY good.

The first part of your acting career is actor training on a reputable course - but that training lasts for your life.

COACH Mark Westbrook

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