Generally Mischief (angel_vixen) wrote in little_details,
Generally Mischief

Starting a Career as a Professional Actor

Situation: Young man from Good Family goes to school to study International Business at the urgings of his family. After graduation and working at a good job for about three years, he decides to follow his passion and study to become a professional actor. He does have experience in acting and working backstage (general stage hand), from school and smaller productions (e.g. one-acts being produced by student friends) near home. He also has money saved for it, will be getting some sort of help from one or two extended family members, and will be working somehow while taking classes.

I haven't had anything to do with acting in long enough that my information is rusty at best, so...

-- What are the chances of someone being accepted as a student if they are not 17/18, read: a "normal" first-year/freshman? This guy would be about 24 at time of application; would this raise eyebrows, or be a mark against him? What level of difficulty/competition would he encounter, given the school's reputation?

-- Knowing that stage and television are different mediums, and call for different techniques, do I remember correctly that actors are trained in various disciplines to give them versatility, but are pretty much expected to gravitate towards one or another?

-- Says he manages to get in, and works hard and makes connections until he gets his M.F.A. Is it a stretch to think that in a four year period after graduation, he might go home to Washington D.C. and successfully land a handful of small parts in stage-plays and TV shows? By "small parts," we're talking supporting roles like "the brother who shows up in two scenes and has about 30 lines," and bit parts/larger walk-ons (this latter for TV -- maybe like "that guy who lives in the apartment next to the main character and says five lines"). Is this realistic?

-- My failing on this next question is that I don't have a firm grasp on how long it would potentially take to prepare a professional stage show, given the wide variety of factors that play into getting ready. If the call goes out for a one-act with five actors and minimal scenery/props, would it take maybe about three months to assemble a cast and rehearse? What about something on the scale of Guys and Dolls or Hamlet? If he auditions consistently, could he realistically do two or three productions in a calendar year? (Three if he's lucky, or they're small parts?)

Search terms used: rutgers drama school, rutgers m.f.a. drama, rutgers graduates, becoming professional actor, acting jobs washington dc, jobs for actors after graduation, and about a dozen others.

Thank you for any help/advice you can give, and apologies for any potentially awkward wording.
Tags: usa: education: higher education, usa: new jersey, usa: washington dc, ~theater

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