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Acting Classes or Drama Schools for Quality Training

Updated on July 14, 2013

Drama Schools vs. Acting Classes

A lot of people when they start out are lost on whether they should get a theater arts degree from an acting university or drama school, or maybe go for a private school and train there for a couple of years, or just book sessions with private coach or group acting classes and attend those. Please take a quick look at my previous articles on How to Get Discovered as an Actor and How to Become an Actor Without Drama School Training for more great insight on the acting career.

Now the truth is that if you already considered any one of these options, you’re ahead of about 50% of other newbie actors wanting to break into the world of entertainment business. Why? Because half of those people looking to start a career in acting don’t even consider any kind of acting training whatsoever. They believe all they need is to get an acting agent and wait for fame and fortune to take them over. That is simply not true, and will not happen to 99.99% of all actors.

Let’s start from drama schools and acting universities formal training.

Visit this website for the list of Best Drama Schools in the World, and in the UK.

And here's the list of all Acting Classes in London, in case some of you decide to take advantage of the great acting teachers in this magical theater city.

Drama Schools and Acting Classes

When it comes to the debate of attending drama school or acting university, drama school should always come first. The training you’re going to receive there will not even compare to what you would get in a university based degree. You will be drilled properly from day to day, and it will become like a day job for you, from 8 to 5. It is hard work for 3-4 years straight, but the end result is the perfection in your acting craft. Drama schools are expensive though and take a long time to complete. You also don’t have time to audition or work during the training; therefore, you should plan everything for 3-4 years in advance.

As for acting classes, these are mostly popular in the US market (while in the UK, people choose drama schools more often). Acting classes vary in lengths, techniques, methods and things they teach. You can get into private tuition (which is very expensive) or group acting classes (which is the most popular choice). Most starting actors begin with acting classes, as there are a lot of them that run for just 3-5 weeks. During this time you can find whether acting is for you or not, either you love it or hate it.

Don't forget that acting classes are usually taught by the most famous acting teachers in the world. There is a great variety of amazing teachers and coaches in London -- the best theater city in the world -- as well as in Los Angeles and New York. It's a great way to make connections, make friends and learn from the best of the best.

Acting classes are perfect even if you have finished drama school training, as these classes will focus more on how you should approach the business side of this industry. That means you will learn how to apply your mastery of the acting craft to book every part you audition for, get an acting agent, be liked by a casting director, etc. Having at least a couple of acting classes on your resume is essential – this will show your acting agent or casting director that you are ready to audition professionally and there’s no amateur left in you.

If you cannot afford to attend both, classes and drama school, the choice is still up to you. It’s difficult to advise which one would suit you as it depends on how you want to approach acting business – do you feel you can stay in training for 3-4 years, or you want to go out and audition every day while in training? If the case is the latter, then acting classes is your only option.

Your Choice on Training

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There are plenty of currently very successful actors in the business, both from the United States and the United Kingdom, who never had any formal training whatsoever. A lot of them just picked out acting classes and went forward this way. The choice is yours, and this is definitely not a poor option to choose.

A very important thing to consider is your availability. If you need a job to survive, then drama schools might not be for you. Acting classes usually take place in the evenings and weekends, thus they suit most people's schedule, especially those with 8 to 5 jobs. While the training isn't as extensive as in drama schools, you can easily stay in the class for years (longer than in drama school), and you can also switch up those classes choosing whatever you prefer to study. The choice is extensive and that's a great advantage to have.

Below you can find some amazing books that cover this particular topic and provide extensive advice on what should suit you better in terms of acting training.

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