Performing Arts Schools: What Training Can You Expect to Receive?
Performing arts encompasses a variety of professions, including people involved in theater, dance, music, acting, and drama. There's no better way to break into the field than starting classes at a performing arts school. Not only do you get some great training, but you're sure to make friends (read: contacts) in your courses who can help you get your foot in the door and on the stage. A wide range of degree, diploma, and even certificate programs exist in the performing arts field, so you can definitely find what you're looking for.
Acting and Drama Training: All the World's a Stage: If you want to become an actor, you do typically need formal training. Courses in a diploma, certificate, or degree program may include:
- Drama and dramatic literature
- Intensive acting workshops
- Radio and television broadcasting
- Stage speech
To prepare yourself, get involved in plays while still in high school and continue that in college, or try to get a role performing with a local or regional theater group.
Performing Musically: Finding Your Voice--or Instrument: Singers and musicians also make up a large portion of performing arts workers, and they too should attend performing arts schools to get the best training. Classes for musicians and singers may include:
- Music Theory and Interpretation
- Performance on an Instrument or in Voice
The earlier you start singing or playing an instrument, the better. Get involved in band, school musicals, or a choir.
Life After Performing Arts School
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in their 2008 salary report, he mean hourly wage for all actors is $29.05, but obviously this varies depending on the type of acting (theater or film) and the size of the production (feature film, Broadway play, or community theater). The same holds true for musicians and singers and their average hourly wage of $28.28.
If you succeed, then work in this field can be exciting and lucrative. But with 70,000 actors in the U.S. as of 2006, and 196,000 musicians and singers, you should expect tough competition. Talent plays an important part, however perseverance can prove even more valuable. Those who refuse to give up may just find themselves living the dream.