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  • Mark Westbrook

Training for an Acting Career - Drama School or College?

If you want to get into acting, you need to be well trained. You don’t necessarily need to quit your job and begin the cycle of drama school auditions, but some professional quality training will help you get started. Some people go to the big drama schools, others local colleges, some people take acting classes and others find themselves a private professional colleges where they can receive the highest level of training possible and receive a HND Acting and Performance.

Some people say that you don’t need to be trained, that experience is just as good. Well, that’s true. Experience IS what you need. And the safest, most common form of experience is training. When you are training, you are free to explore without the fear of your mistakes costing you your acting career. If you made those same mistakes in the world of acting, you might receive terrible reviews, you may have your worst performances captured forever and played on repeat on YouTube, or you might even get fired from the job.

Training is the safest form of experience.  You can make plenty of mistakes and learn and grow from the experience. 


Of course, a professional quality acting course at an acting school or studio will massively increase your chances of success - that’s what they are for. A professional acting school will offer a full-time training in acting, improvisation, voice, stage combat, screen acting and of course production experience. Drama Schools such as the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)  in London and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) are considered some of the best acting schools in the UK - whereas the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is considered one of the best conservatoires in the world. 

These schools are the traditional way into the industry. The cost is around £27,000 for three years. In the past, there used to be a group schools called Drama UK which were the ‘accredited’ courses. When Drama UK collapsed, there was no longer any accrediting body and the drama schools have set up their own Federation. 

Acceptance into these schools is by audition. For this, there is an audition fee with some costing up to £80. Auditionees prepared two monologues, one classical (usually Shakespeare) and one contemporary (from a published play) and you are invited to audition at a date between November and April/May. If you are successful at this stage, you may be asked to recall and take another audition at a later date. 

Roughly 1.1% of applicants are successful in their application to one of these courses. With over 100,000 auditionees for less than 600 places, even the excellent may struggle to gain a place to one of these schools. It is common for applicants to audition several times before getting in to a professional acting school.

Since it's so hard to get into these courses, it makes sense to do some training in advance. Our 1 Year Foundation Acting course and our 2 Year HND Acting and Performance are the perfect way to gain valuable experience before going off to one of the major drama schools.

Interested in getting the experience you need to succeed? Get in touch with us today.

Mark Westbrook

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