Originally published in The Stage, March 2015
There are many myths that have grown up about what going to drama school really entails, stories of ‘being’ trees or the colour yellow, of obligatory nudity. It can all sound more like a cult than a form of higher education. Now, there is no point in lying, training to be an actor does require a little bit of ‘crazy’, or as I like to put it: passion, integrity, imagination, and playfulness. Drama schools are joyful places full of some of the most hardworking students you are likely to come across.
The most common acting course is the three-year undergraduate course, and a misconception has grown up that this course is somehow lesser than a humanities degree from a university. This misconception arose because these courses used to award vocational diplomas, rather than degrees. That was around 20 years ago – these days you’ll come away with a degree that makes you every bit as employable as someone with an equivalent university degree.