So you think you can act!

Don’t we all. After all, isn’ that what we have heard from our parents all along? “Stop acting like a child!” “You are acting out!” “Now you’re acting stupid” and my personal favourite, from my grandmother: ”Stop acting the fool!” So being accustomed to hearing this, we became convinced that we can ”act,” right? Well, uhm, yeah, until we got to the part where we went from audition to audition, and we heard the same old line…

“Sorry, Billy (or Susie),….ah, next, please!”

So we became deflated, terribly self-conscious, and rapidly lost sight of that glimmer of a hope of even cruising the Santa Monica freeway, least of all gracing the halls of fame. Then after much deliberation, we concluded that if we’re ever going to gaze into Brad Pitt’s dreamy blue eyes, and be his Mrs Jane Smith, then we need to fork out a princely pile of moolah, and spend some four years entangled in Shakespeare’s labyrinthine circumlocution, and Molière’s plutocratic satire, which actually isn’t the worse way to spend four years, but yes, I do understand that one would quite rather be more actively involved in laying tracks upon Beverly Hills than to be stuck in a classroom doing re-enactments of Annie Hall.

So the question is: Is it really necessary to go to acting school to become an actor? And for many of you who have struggled with this question, and pounded the pavement chasing audition after audition, wondering which one will be ”’the one,” the following article is especially for you.

How to pursue a career without drama school chronicles the lives of a few of the many who pondered this very question, and it illustrates the telling outcome of the choices they made and where it took them.

*Cover photo, courtesy of Billy: Thebe, at Beijing Fringe Theatre, in a scene from Are You Ready? (2015)

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