If you’re an actor who wants to improve your performance skills, a great way to further your education is to attend a theatre school! However acting schools are often competitive, and they take a lot of work to get into. So here are a few ways you can start improving your odds of getting accepted.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase through one of the following links, we may earn a small commission on the sale at no additional cost to you. See our disclosure for more info.
1. Practice Makes Perfect
As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Believe it or not, acting isn’t something you can learn overnight. Your acting skills need to be well developed by practicing on the regular so that you can improve your own application for theatre school. You can do this by volunteering for local plays, taking drama lessons, reading theatre books, and watching films. In doing so, you can develop better performance skills and show off to the theatre school admittance director.
2. Study Acting Beforehand
Surprisingly, a lot of young actors don’t actually study the craft before applying to theatre school. Although they may know some theatre terms, it’s not usually enough to demonstrate a whole lot of educational experience. In order to improve your odds of getting into the school of your choice, you should read books on acting, interview professional actors in your area, and read actors’ autobiographies. The more information you absorb and learn, the better off you’ll be!
3. Take Advantage of Your Summers
It’s crucial that you take advantage of your summers by making professional connections as an actor and improving your drama skills. Especially if you’re a current college student, the summer may be all the “extra time” you have to do so! So, instead of hanging out with friends or staying inside your home all summer, get creative and work on improving your acting skills. This can be through meeting up with other local actors, starring in community plays, or even attending small theatre workshops. Although you may just want to relax during the summer, it’s an ideal time to better your background and skills for getting accepted into the program of your choice.
4. Get Experienced
If you’re having a hard time getting into your favorite theatre school, it isn’t time to give up. Instead, consider building up experience➝ to show off the following year. You should focus on finding as many theatre, acting, and film opportunities as you can, and placing them on your resume, which will make you look like a better candidate. For example, consider auditioning for the National Youth Theatre, which will give you plenty of experience and confidence to help you get accepted into your dream theatre school.
5. Make a List of Top Acting Schools
Once you’re a junior in high school, you should begin researching and choosing which acting schools you want to enroll in. You should also consider making a list of requirements each program requires to prepare the best possible application. Most schools for acting in theatre, television, and film require either an in-person or taped audition before booking a live audition, so it’s essential that you be as prepared as possible. Remember, acting isn’t something you can try completing overnight, it takes a lot of hard work and effort to get into your ideal theatre school.
6. Apply to a Few Different Schools
You should apply to a few different schools, rather than just one or two that you’re in love with. After all, each school has their own set of teaching styles and principles that you want to take advantage of. Plus, if you only apply to two schools and don’t get into either, you’re going to wish you applied to at least five or six. You’re going to have much higher odds by applying to a few different schools, rather than just your favorite one.
7. Keep at It
There’s unfortunately not a super high chance that you’re going to make it into your dream school on your first try. In fact, it takes most actors two or three times before getting accepted. It’s crucial that you don’t give up the first time your application is turned down. Acting is all about rejection. If you can’t swallow your pride and keep on trying, you’re going to have a tough time making it as a professional actor. So, when your application is turned down, take a deep breath, and figure out what to change for next time.
8. Don’t Let Your Nerves Get to You
It’s okay to fail one or two times. It’s not the end of the world! Try not to make your application process all-or-nothing, which can only make your nerves worse. When preparing to deliver your live audition, focus on the now, take a deep breath, and take it one line at a time. It’s more important that you stay calm during the performance than remembering every word correctly.
9. Act More Mature
Although it can be hard to act more mature if you’re a younger acting student, it’s crucial that you do so. Theatre schools are looking for students who not only know how to act on the stage but also know how to act in public as well. Remember to stay calm during your audition, and if something doesn’t work out, act mature and stay calm to keep the directors impressed.
10. Don’t Get Cocky
One of the worst things you can do while auditioning for theatre school is get cocky. Although an admissions director will enjoy seeing a performer who has confidence in their abilities, no one likes a cocky actor. Drop the arrogance, and instead be happy about your acting skills. Be proud of the performance you deliver.
Want a weekly list of stagey surprises?!
Have you ever applied for theatre school?
We’d love to hear all about in the comments below! It can be a long, challenging process. However, when you follow the tips above, you’re going to have a much easier time getting into the program of your choice. So, what are you waiting for? Start preparing your application and bettering your skills as an actor to increase your odds of getting accepted into theatre school!
Author: Donna Maurer
As an inspiring theatre actress in NYC, Donna has been creatively writing her way through acting school. Since attending her first Broadway show (Cats), Donna’s passion for performance and theatre has only grown. Currently, Donna is an active contributor on various theatre & film blogs.