Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Thoughts on Actor Training

I think there was an article in American Theatre several years ago that basically said the following:

It is not that our MFA programs are doing a poor job training actors. Instead, it is the pressures of the actual business world of acting and entertainment that have created an almost right angle situation.

The overarching theme of the piece was that MFA programs were still, in many respects, training actors to go out into the repertory-style professional life that no longer exists.

In other words, if the truth is that a successful actor, in both theatre and film, will make his or her money and career doing what they almost naturally have as skills...well...then, Ms. Dolan is right, who needs an MFA for that?

Today is different. You may have gone to the best training in the country, and be one of the top actors from a highly rated conservatory, but casting has changed a bit.

For instance, let's say you are called to audition for a role as an entitled, rich young jerk. Next to you, in the audition waiting room is an actual WASP from Connecticut, one who may not have taken a few acting classes as an undergrad, (or maybe none at all.) I hate to break it to you, and some may argue, but there is a chance he could get the part. And let's say he does get that part, and does an admirable job. Well, depending on the visibility of the production or film, he will most likely start to get the role as the rich arrogant jerk in every production in the region.

Film has been this way for quite a while, theatre is increasingly like this.

No comments: