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10 Best Degrees for a Career in Acting What to Study if you want to become an actor

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When you go to college, you want to make sure that you are taking the appropriate classes, which will help you to pursue the career of your dreams. When you want to become an actor or an actress, there are certain degrees that make the most sense. Although not all actors or actresses receive formal college educations, there are certain programs that will enhance your career in this field. Many times, studying various aspects of the entertainment industry will open hidden doors of interest that will lead to future success. If you intend to become an actor or an actress, here are 10 of the smartest degree options to consider. Each has a unique tie to the acting world and may help you to enhance your living in this career field.

1. Communication Degree

A degree in communications is a smart choice for an individual who is looking to become an actor or an actress. This type of program focuses on teaching the most effective means to communicate with others in a variety of ways, including the written word, social media, and the spoken word. If you are a person who enjoys talking to others and wants to learn how to connect with a diverse group of people, this degree will be useful. Also, it will help you deliver messages that are important to you as you act.

When an actor or an actress takes the stage, he or she assumes a role and tells a story to the audience. With the knowledge that was learned from classes taken to complete a communications degree, a person will be able to effectively play a part in any show. Mastered methods will help an actor or an actress uncover the best ways to research a particular part and to play it in a believable manner.

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2. Drama Degree

Obviously, it makes a great deal of sense to pursue a drama degree when you want to become an actor or an actress. Although this type of program does not automatically guarantee that a person will earn a role in a major production, it will definitely prepare an individual to take the stage and to pursue an acting career. Most colleges that offer this type of program include classes that help students hone their acting techniques while playing a variety of roles. Offerings may include theater design and screenwriting. These offer information and a taste of all parts of production.

By studying drama and the taking classes that are commonly associated with a drama degree, you will gain many different skills. For instance, you will enjoy increased confidence and enhanced presentation skills. Also, it will help you to learn self-discipline. Since most advanced actors and actresses need to develop a thick skin, especially with critics, preparation and training in this type of degree program will help. Having a degree in drama will fill the gaps for people who are between roles so that it is possible to supplement income. For example, a drama degree provides a background in a variety of industries like film, video, and television.

3. Film Degree

If you want to be an actor or an actress, a degree in film will be a useful tool. Careers within this industry are quite competitive, so it essential to maintain dedication and resilience. Networking is a great way to obtain opportunities. Making contacts from the beginning will bring higher chances of success. Studying film offers a mixture of technical and theoretical knowledge. Pursuing a degree in his area will help you to develop a portfolio of work and to showcase your talent.

In particular, a film degree comes with a few learning objectives. A student is taught how to deliver a believable performance and to exhibit great emotional depth. Also, it offers a critical analysis of the international standard of literature that transforms film. Things like trends in writing and the history of film is explored. Many times, an actor will benefit from a background in production and lean on this as another career opportunity. When an individual exhibits competency in the technical side of video and film production, it will help to forge a successful career in acting.

Besides teaching a person various methods of acting and the theory behind film making, a degree in film may offer some important business information. It may prepare a individual to enter the industry and to enter a particular niche that meets personal strengths. Along with acting, a person will have the ability to work as a cinematographer or video editor.

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4. Musical Theater Degree

A musical theater degree is perfect for a person who loves to sing and dance and wants to pursue a career in the acting field. If this describes you, it is smart to consider this type of education. An acting major who concentrates on musical theater learns valuable lessons from well-known playwrights and directors. On this path, you will be taught the correct “voice” for various acting parts and will receive lessons in music, singing, and dance. A student prepares to work as an actor or an actress in musical theater productions. It is a valuable degree for anyone who dreams of taking a Broadway stage or a similar venue. Besides the famous New York theaters, an actor or actress with a musical theater degree may wish to gain employment in the movies, on cruise lines, or with amusement parks.

With a degree in musical theater, an actor or actress will have heightened confidence during auditions. It is important to select a school that has teachers who are experienced and who continue to be directly involved in the craft. A professor who heightens a student’s proficiency will help him or her gain success in the competitive world of acting.

Finally, a musical theater degree provides advice and guidance concerning the business aspect of the acting field. In this manner, you will learn the best way to create an individual “brand” and to build a resume that impresses future employees. When you understand how to market yourself to agents and to different casting directors, it becomes easier to gain roles that fit your personality. Also, it stops wasting time spent trying to get roles that do not fit your style of acting.

5. Costume Design Degree

Although it may seem inconsequential for an actor or actress to pursue a degree in costume design, it can bring many benefits and offer invaluable education. A costume designer is always surrounded by actors and actresses. This includes film sets and play sites. Costume design plays an essential role in any type of acting activity. If a person can’t find work in an actual acting role, a great way to get his or her foot in the door is through costume design. As a designer, an individual will learn how to make costume choices that fit certain characters and to enhance scenes in dramatic entertainment events. As a actor or actress, a person learns how to fully embody a role.

Throughout degree study, you will learn how to sketch and draw design ideas. It will be necessary to research specific time periods and to learn the fashion of those days. This degree is a smart option for someone who is very creative. It is essential to have skills that allow a person to translate a sketch and idea into reality. Classes will include instruction about various fabrics and how to sew and construct the costumes. Sometimes, intricate designs are necessary.

As discussed, acting is never a job with guaranteed hours. There may be times when an actor or actress may need supplemental income. With a degree in costume design, a person has a number of opportunities to work within the industry while waiting to land a new role.

6. Stage Management

Another degree for a potential actor or actress includes stage management. A professional stage manager plays a key role in all performances and works alongside directors. The ideal candidate for this degree has excellent communication skills and is extremely organized. Studying stage management prepares a person to understand the inner workings of a play or a show, especially behind the scenes. Training helps a student lean how to properly block scenes, organize rehearsals, and ensure that props are available and in the correct places. In most cases, a person will complete both academic courses and hands-on theater experience.

If you want to become an actor or an actress, a degree in stage management will heighten respect for the people who are responsible for the organization of any show. You will get a look at other sides of a production, including the backstage conditions and the side of the audience. Having this type of degree makes an actor more appreciative about the support and organization that is supplied by the stage manager. Also, it is will help an actor become more organized and not so dependent on another person to facilitate communication with the production staff. It helps an actor or actress make a seamless transition from behind the curtain to in front of it.

7. Screenwriting Degree

Many actors and actresses love to immerse themselves in juicy roles. Often, these same people enjoy writing stories, plays, shows, and movies. Pursuing a screenwriting degree can help to improve the skills that involve both of these mediums. In a scholastic setting, a student is nurtured and is helped to identify the most exciting way to write, which is necessary to create a top script. Students are encouraged to explore various subject matter as well.

Screenwriting is not as simple as putting pen to paper. From an acting perspective, it is essential to practice critical thinking and to analyze scripts from an ethical standpoint. A degree in screenwriting will make a person a stronger actor or actress. A student will be guided by experts in a variety of media landscapes and will gain wisdom and knowledge around all aspects of television and film writing.

There are a multitude of famous actors and actresses who started their careers as screenwriters. For instance, Sylvester Stallone was behind the well-known “Rocky” movies. Also, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote “Good Will Hunting.” All of these individuals starred in their particular movies and gained great success. Their writing abilities catapulted their careers in the acting world.

Recommended Online Degree Programs

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8. Directing/Theater Production

A director must have the ability to visualize a script and guide the technical crew and actors in the same direction. A director selects the cast and is in charge of the design and creative aspects of a film or production. Pursuing a degree in directing or theater production trains a person to harness his or her creative potential and to move into a role of supervision and control. If you enjoy acting and hope to follow this path for your career, having a directing degree may be useful.

Many actors often take the reigns as directors. For instance, Bradley Cooper and Kevin Costner are two notable men who began as actors and expanded their talents in a new direction. With a degree in directing, it will be easy for you to make the switch as well. In one study that examined the time period between 1988 and 2015, it was found that one-third of directors have the same number of acting credits as directing credits. It is not necessary to become a director after acting. However, it is helpful to have specific training in times when an actor or actress wants to spread his or her wings in this area.

9. Theater History Degree

Theater history is the basis of acting. It is important for a person who wants to dedicate his or her life to the acting profession to understand the roots of theater and how it has evolved. It is essential to examine the classical works of literature and playwrights to become a better artist. This is exactly why a theater history degree is a smart choice for any actor or actress.

When a student studies the history of theater, it provides a complete overview of the field of drama. It helps an actor or an actress choose better roles and opens the possibilities during the audition process. Taking the time to learn and to specialize in the history of this field offers the ability to become closer to the individuals who share common goals and interests within the acting profession.

While pursuing a degree in theater history, you may gain a better understanding of the various directing and performing methods that an actor or actress can implore. Comprehending the background of these methods will help you apply them to the context of specific projects. As you look to gain success as an actor or an actress, it is essential to sharpen your mind and to take advantage of the history of theater and how it affects today’s entertainment. This will be an invaluable way to make the most of your potential opportunities.

10. Media Studies Degree

Media is all around us. Even though it is commonly used for marketing purposes, it is the communication tool that delivers information to others, including in the setting of cinema or broadcasting. If you want to become an actor or an actress, a background in media may be a strong benefit. Studying this area will help to increase creativity and analytical skills that assist in today’s entertainment environment. Also, it will help to adapt to the way that things will develop in the future.

Within media studies, a person will take classes in communication and marketing. This helps a student master technologies needed to design, create, and implement ideas. It is a background in storytelling, which is what an actor and actress manifests on stage. A person will learn how to engage an audience through interactive narrative. This includes conventional storytelling and methods of production.

Although most people think of media as a job that entails work behind the camera, it is a craft that involves acting as well. If you intend to specialize in commercial acting, media studies will be a beneficial path to follow. Also, pursuing a major in media studies is a great way to step into film or television as a director or producer. Comprehending media and its influences on others will be a useful skill within the acting world. You will be able to fill multiple positions on and off of the stage.

Today, many people attend colleges and universities around the country in order to gain training and certification in specific fields of study. To become an actor or actress, it is not necessary to pursue further education after graduating high school. However, many different degree programs enhance knowledge and give students extra help finding employment. The above degrees are 10 of the most common programs that offer valuable classes for individuals who are looking to work in the entertainment industry. If you want to be an actor or an actress, you should consider one of these options. They will broaden your appreciation of your craft and make you a more versatile player in the world of showbiz.

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Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?