Young Adult Actors, Theater/Drama Degrees, and Pilot Season 2022

Hello again.

In 2018, 2019, and 2020, I posted information that I had gathered about the educational and training backgrounds of young adult actors aged roughly 23-33 who booked leading and series regular roles during Pilot Season grouped into the most common paths. Then I compiled those numbers into a three-year study to conclude the project with a note that I might do it again at some point in the future if I saw what appeared to be a significant change in casting trends. I noticed no such change, but I did notice some pushback against the study on other forums as being out of date and no longer relevant because the pandemic had changed literally everything. So, I took some time this year to test those assertions and found them to be wrong. The balances in the training paths remained within the limits of the previous years and once again, the numbers of those who majored in Theatre/Drama/Acting in college retained their dominance versus those of the other paths. I also kept track of diversity and nationality and will post that information on request.

Now, realizing that I’m talking to kids and parents who might not know what Pilot Season is, it’s the period that roughly takes place between January and May of each year during which the television networks cast and shoot sample episodes of programs from which they will choose for their fall lineups while the streaming networks also increase their casting for new straight-to-series shows. Many of the pilots will never see the light of day and booking one does not necessarily a sustained acting career make. However, being cast in one is considerd to be an auspicious sign and four years worth of data more than suggests that these bookings signify a trend being seen in young adult working actors.

HERE ARE THE NUMBERS

178 Actors of whom 108 are American.

Educational and Training Backgrounds

55 Undergraduate Acting - 38 American

4 Graduate Acting - 3 American

13 Non-Degree Granting Conservatories - 6 American

25 Majored in Something Besides Acting - 15 American

33 Began Careers with High School Education - 20 American

46 Former Child Stars/Began Careers as Minors - 25 American

2 Unknown Education, Training Background, or Starting Age - 1 American

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HERE ARE THE ACTORS

55 Undergraduate Theatre/Drama/Acting - 38 American

Jelani Alladin - Beauty and the Beast prequel - series regular - BFA NYU/Tisch.

Yasemin Kay Allen - The Turkish Detective - lead - Brit. Degree in Theatre from Müjdat Gezen Konservatuarı in Istanbul.

Shanel Bailey - Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies - series regular - BFA Musical Theatre, Syracuse University. Has also studied at Ivana Chubbuck Studios, GoodCap Arts, and Love Acting Studios.

Jabari Banks - Bel-Air - lead - BFA Musical Theatre, University of the Arts.

Bebe Bettencourt - History of a Pleasure Seeker - series regular - Aussie. BFA NIDA.

Nina Bloomgarden - The Resort - series regular - American. BA Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Josh Bonzie - Saint X - lead - BFA University of Oklahoma. Has also coached with Michelle DeLong and Ken Kaissar.

Anthony Boyle - Manhunt - lead - Northern Irish - BA Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Luciane Buchanan - The Night Agent - lead - New Zealander. BA in Drama and Psychology, University of Auckland. Earlier training with iona Edgar in TAPAC’s Acting for Screen course.

Cameron Chapman - Lockwood & Co. - series regular - Brit. BA Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama preceded by The National Youth Theatre.

Kendall Chappell - Titanic 666 - series regular - BFA University of Michigan.

Xavier Clyde - City on Fire - series regular - BA Theatre, San Diego State University. Has also studied at Indentity School of Acting, LA and AMAW Studios.

Branden Cook - Tell Me Lies - series regular - BA Theatre, Wake Forest University. Also earned a Foundational Degree from LAMDA.

Emma Corrin - Retreat - lead - Brit. Began studying Drama at University of Bristol, but added on Education and English when she transferred to graduate from St John’s College, Cambridge. Also took a year-long Shakespeare course at LAMDA.

Audrey Corsa - Dear Edward - series regular - BFA Juilliard.

Ahmed Elhaj - Bad Monkey - series regular - Brit. BA LAMDA.

Dominique Fishback - The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey - lead - BA Theatre, Pace University.

Midori Francis - Unseen - lead - BFA Rutgers/Mason Gross.

Tricia Fukuhara - Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies - series regular - BFA NYU/Tisch.

Jacob Romero Gibson - One Piece - series regular - BFA CalArts.

Ryan J. Haddad - Retreat - series regular - Double majored in Theatre and English at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Eve Hewson - Bad Sisters - lead - BFA NYU/Tisch. Irish. Family in the business.

Spencer House - Tell Me Lies - series regular - BFA Acting, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Stephanie Hsu - Poker Face - lead - BFA NYU/Tisch.

Jharrel Jerome - I’m a Virgo - lead - Ithaca College preceded by LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts.

Mallori Johnson - Kindred - lead - BFA Juilliard. Also studied at CalArts, The Old Globe, and La Jolla Playhouse.

Ethan Kai - The Turkish Detective - lead- Brit. BA ALRA.

Jules Latimer - Cal Fire - series regular - BFA Juilliard.

Jack Lowden - The Gold - lead - Scottish. BA Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Julio Macias - Promised Land - series regular - BA New York Film Academy. Has also studied at Circle in the Square Theatre School.

Stefanie Martini - The Gold - series regular - Brit. BA RADA preceded by the Foundation programme at Bristol Old Vic.

Briana Middleton - Beauty & the Beast prequel - series regular - BFA Carnegie Mellon University.

Albert Mwangi - Tom Swift - series regular - Kenyan. BFA NIDA after previously earning master’s degrees in Marketing and International Business.

Hari Neff - L.A. Law - series regular - BA Theatre Arts, Columbia University.

Johnathan Nieves - Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies - series regular - Studied Acting at Western Michigan University for 2-3 years. Has also studied at DePaul, Actors Studio Chicago, Second City, Steppenwolf, and coached with Xavier Custodio.

Y’lan Noel - Lady in the Lake - lead - BFA NYU/Tisch.

Ari Notartomaso - Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies - series regular - BFA Musical Theatre, Penn State University.

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Tiana Okoye - Panhandle - lead - BA Musical Theatre, UCLA. Has also studied at CAP21.

Olumide Olorunfemi - History of a Pleasure Seeker - series regular - Brit. BA LAMDA preceded by The BRIT School.

Mason Alexander Park - Quantum Leap reboot - series regular - BA Musical Theatre, Point Park University.

Victoria Pedretti - Saint X - lead - BFA Carnegie Mellon University.

Danny Ramirez - Tales of the Walking Dead - series regular - BFA NYU/Tisch.

Ashley Reyes - Walker - series regular - American. BA LAMDA.

Devere Rogers - Remember - series regular - BFA NYU/Tisch.

Emily Rudd - One Piece - series reguaar - Normandale Community College, AFA Theatre Performance and Nancy Banks Studio.

Aidan Scott - One Piece - series regular - South African. BA Theatre and Performance, University of Capetown.

Lyndon Smith - National Treasure - series regular - BFA University of Florida.

Luke Tennie - Shrinking - series regular - BFA AMDA.

Peter Thurnwald - XO, Kitty - series regular - Aussie. BA WAAPA.

Ellora Torchia - The Gold - series regular - Brit. BA RADA.

Anna Uzele - Dear Edward - series regular - BFA Musical Theatre, Texas State University. Has also studied with Ted Sluberski and Bob Krakower.

Olivia Washington - I’m a Virgo - series regular - BFA NYU/Tisch. Family in the business.

Jay Will - Tulsa King - series regular - BFA Juilliard.

Madeline Wise - Untitled CBS legal drama - series regular - BA Bard College. Also earned a Diploma in Classical Acting from LAMDA and has studied at UCB, The Freeman Studio, and The Actors Center. (white)

Assad Zaman - Interview with the Vampire - series regular - Brit. BA Manchester School of Theatre.

4 Graduate Acting - 3 American

Ali Ahn - The Diplomat - lead - MFA CalArts.

Juliana Canfield - The Missing - lead - MFA Yale Drama preceded by BA English, Yale University.

Ilia Isorelýs Paulino - One Piece - series regular - Dominican. MFA Yale Drama preceded by BA Musical Theatre, DeSales University.

Dario Ladani Sanchez - Dear Edward - series regular - MFA Yale Drama.

13 Non-Degree Granting Conservatories - 6 American

Fola Evans-Akingbola - The Night Agent - series regular - Brit. Identity School of Acting. Also a former member of the National Youth Theatre.

Caitlin Bassett - Quantum Leap reboot - series regular - Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Army veteran who also holds a degree in Legal Studies from the University of Maryland.

Jacob Batalon - Reginald the Vampire - lead - New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.

Ian Duff - L.A. Law - series regular - Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.

Lucas Englander - Transatlantic - series regular - Brit. Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

Itzan Escamilla - Midnight Familly - series regular - Spanish. Cristina Rota School of the Dramatic Arts.

Ariana Guerra - Promised Land - series regular - New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and Film. Also attended UT Austin with an undisclosed major and has studied with Katelin Chesna, Lisina Stoneburner, Mona Lee, David Cox, Sally Allen, Chip Powell, Ray Bengston, and Barbara Divisek.

Lorenza Izzo - Panhandle - series regular - Chilean. Less Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Has also studied with Anthony Meindl.

Chance Perdomo - The Boys spinoff - lead - Brit. Identity School of Acting preceded by the National Youth Theatre.

Mispacha Sholetet - Transatlantic - series regular - Israeli. Yoram Loewenstein Performing Arts Studio.

Anthony Ramos - Ironheart - series regular - AMDA for Musical Theatre.

Tymika Tafari - Slip - series regular - Canadian. George Brown Theatre School.

Kara Young - I’m a Virgo - series regular - New York Conservarory for Dramatic Arts.

25 Majored in Something Besides Acting - 15 American

Yalitza Aparicio - Midnight Family - lead - Mexican. Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Clark Backo - The Changeling - series regular - Canadian. Studied Natural Sciences at University. Studied acting at Straeon Acting Studios.

Johnny Berchtold = The Passenger - lead - YouTuber. Studied Filmmaking at University of the Arts and got an Associates in Directing from Columbia College, Hollywood.

Biniam Bizuneh - Bammas - lead - Attended an undisclosed college with an undiclosed major. Standup comic and YouTuber.

Aparna Brielle - Arnold Schwarzenegger spy adventure - series regular - Attended Arts & Communication Magnet Academy. Studied Marketing at Lindale College.

Bethany Brown - Untitled NBC drama - Canadian. Majored in Communication at Simon Fraser University. Has studied at Railtown Actors Studio and The Actor’s Foundry.

Aimee Carrero - The Consultant - series regular - BA International Relations, Florida International University.

Maxwell Whittington-Cooper - Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies - series regular - BA Economic Sociology, Harvard University.

Idris Debrand - Dear Edward - series regular - Brit. Earned a Business degree from an undisclosed university while studying acting part-time at the Young Actors Theatre in Islington and then Identity School Of Acting.

Bailey Gavulic - Rust Belt News - series regular - BA Mass Communications, University of South Florida.

Tre Hale - Platonic - seires regular - Minored in Theatre at UCLA. Major unclear. Collegiate football player.

Devery Jacobs - Echo - lead - Canadian. Majored in Youth and Adult Correctional Intervention at John Abbott College.

Óscar Jaenada - Midnight Family - series regular - Mexican. Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica.

HoYeon Jung - Disclaimer - series regular - South Korean. Majored in Modeling at Dongduk Women’s University College of Performing Arts.

Callum Kerr - History of a Pleasure Seeker - Scottish. Studied Finanace at an undisclosed university. Former member of the National Youth Theatre.

Aria Mia Loberti - All the Light We Cannot See - lead - Visually impaired. No previous acting experience. BA in Philosophy, Communication Studies, and Political Science, with minors in Ancient Greek and in Rhetoric, University of Rhode Island. MA in Ancient Rhetoric with distinction, Royal Holloway, University of London. Ph.D. candidate in Ancient Rhetoric at Penn State University.

Johnny Jay Lee - Rust Belt News - series regular - Studied voice at Cedar Valley Community College for 4 years. Trained in Meisner technique by Amy Mills Jacksonat Mountainview College. Has also studied with Joe Hall, Wendy Welch, Curt Mega, Jo-Ann Pantoja, and Ed Johnston.

Marina Mazepa - The Continental - series regular - Ukranian. Kyiv Academy of Circus And Variety Arts. Former contestant on America’s Got Talent.

Opeyemi “Opey” Olagbaju - Bammas - lead - Attended University of Maryland with an undisclosed major. Standup comic.

Iantha Richardson - Will Trent - lead - BFA Dance and African American Studies, Fordham University. Has studied at Lesly Kahn & Co.

Lilly Singh - The Muppets Mayhem- lead - Canadian. YouTube megastar. BA Psychology, NYU.

Lio Tipton - A Friend of the Family - lead - Studied Film at Marymount California University. Also did a summer acting program at NYFA when they were 15. Former figure skater and contestant on America’s Top Model.

Ana Villafañe - Bad Monkey - series regular - Started acting in Atlanta musical theatre as an after school activity at 9. Majored in Music at Loyola Marymount University and was coached in acting by the Theatre faculty when she was in musicals there.

Jessica Williams - Shrinking - lead - BA Film and Electronic Arts, Cal State Long Beach.

Chase Sui Wonders - City on Fire - lead - BA Film Studie and Production, Harvard University.

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33 Began Careers with High School Education or Foreign Equivalent - 20 American

Lera Abova - Pitch Perfect - series regular - Austrian model.

Djouliet Amara - The Big Door Prize - series regular - Canadian. Trained in dance since the age of 7.

Lisette Alexis - National Treasure - lead - LA native. Has studied at John Rosenfeld Studios and Warner Loughlin Studios. Also a dancer and singer.

Stephanie Arcila - Cal Fire - series regular - Family in the business.

Alycia Debnam-Carey - Saint X - lead - Aussie. Attended Newtown High School of the Performing Arts.

Pete Davidson - Lorne Michaels comedy - lead - Standup comic. Dropped out of St. Francis College after a semester.

Harris Dickinson - Retreat - series regular - Brit. Dropped out of school at 17. Studied at RAW Acting Academy.

West Duchovny - Saint X - lead - Family in the business. Studies at Warner Loughlin Studios.

Jonathan Fleites - The Winchesters - series regular - Trained in musical theatre at New World School of the Arts and was a YoungArts honorable mention. Has also studied acting at The Growing Studio and with Nancy Opel.

Amy Forsyth - Dear Edward - series regular - Canadian. Had been acting for ten years having started in musical theatre.

Mariana GĂłmez - Midnight Family - series regular - Colombian.

Kiowa Gordon - Dark Winds - lead -

Brett Gray - I’m a Virgo - series regular - Acted on-stage since he was 6 and graduated from The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts.

Eve Harlow - The Night Agent - series regular - Canadian.

Tom Holland - The Croweded Room - lead - Brit, Attended the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology.

Kevin Iannucci - NBC’s untitled drama - series regular - Has studied at Moonlight Stage Company and NRACT.

Nida Khurshid - The Winchesters - series regular - Former model. Has studied with Jonathan Stanley, Harvard EDX Shakespeare Online, Jeremiah Comey, Lesly Kahn & Co., Andrew Magarian, John Homa, and Daren Lanning. Ballet since the age of 5.

Emma Laird - The Crowded Room - series regular - Brit. Former model.

Sasha Lane - The Crowded Room - series regular - Studied Psychology and Social Work at Texas State University for one year.

Anna Lore - Gotham Knights - series regular - Grew up doing theatre in Rushville, NE since age 6.

Mike Merrill - Carl Weber’s The Black Hamptons - series regular - Fomer model.

Max Milner - City on Fire - series regular - Brit. Former contestant on The Voice UK.

Rita Ora - Beauty and the Beast prequel - series regular - British/Albanian. Attended the full-time program at Sylvia Young Theatre School. Also a pop singer/songwriter.

Tian Richards - Tom Swift - lead - Member of several Augusta, GA theatre companies throughout his youth before moving to Atlanta after high school.

Drake Rodger - The Winchesters - series regular - Has studied at or with Cast Studio, Performer’s Studio Workshop, Todd Sheeler, Andi Matheny, and Christinna Chauncey.

Kacey Rohl - LA Law - lead - Canadian. Family in the business. Began actor training at 14.

Abhi Sinha - Blank Slate - series regular - Attended USC for a year with an undisclosed major. Has studied at John Rosendfeld Studios and with Scott Sedita.

Taz Skylar - One Piece - series regular - Brit.

LaKeith Stanfield - The Changeling - lead -

Nico Tortorella - City of Fire - series regular - Former model.

Renata Vaca - Midnight Family - series regular - Mexican. Also a singer who was a contestant on The X Factor.

Cheyenne Isabel Wells - Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies - series regular - LA native. Trained at Starstruck Theatre for 8 years.

Giorgia Whigham - Ted - series regular - Native New Yorker.

46 Former Child Stars/Began Careers as Minors - 25 American

Rahart Adams - Gotham Knights - lead - Aussie. Began career at 16. Has studied at The Australian Film and Television Academy.

Tyler Alvarez - Blockbuster - series regular - Native New Yorker. Began career prior to 16. Attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

Ralph Amoussou - Transatlantic - series regular - French. Began career at 15. Studied at Susan Batson Studio.

Jacob Anderson - Interview with the Vampire - series regular - Brit. Began career at 17. Also a musician.

Madeleine Arthur - Blockbuster - series regular - Canadian. Began career at 14.

Allius Barnes - I’m a Virgo - series regular - Began career at 10.

Gabriel Basso - The Night Agent - lead - Began career at 12.

Max Burkholder - Ted - series regular - Began career at 5. Also earned a BA Philosophy from Harvard University.

Jordan Calloway - Cal Fire - series regular - LA native. Began career at 14. Famly in the Business. Also holds degrees in Cinematography and Film/Video Production and Playwriting and Screenwriting from Azusa Pacific University.

Adelaide Clemens - Justified: City Primeval - series regular - Aussie. Began career at 16.

Jodie Comer - Big Swiss - lead - Brit. Began career at 15.

Marisa Davila - Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies - lead - began career at 6.

Sarah Desjardins - The Night Agent - series regular - Canadian. Started acting at 6 and first credits at 16.

Tyler DiChiara - Gotham Knights - series regular - Native New Yorker. Began career while still in high school.

Jayden Elijah - Saint X - lead - Brit. Began career a 6 or 7.

Giovannie Espiritu - Titanic 666 - series regular - Filipina. Acting coach who began career at 14. Undergraduate education unclear. Initially moved to the US to study Advanced Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Has studied at or with Kate McGregor-Stewart, Warner Loughlin Studios, Amy Reece, UCB, Annie Grindlay, iO West, Bay Area Acting Studio, American Conservatory Theater, and Mark Monroe Studios.

Katie Findlay - Walker: Independence - series regular - Canadian. Began career at 17. Studied Art History at Simon Frazer University for an undisclosed time. Studied dance for 12 years prior to moving into acting.

Forrest Goodluck - Panhandle - lead - Began career at 13 or 14. Has studied at The Bosque School, Sol Acting Studios and with Judith Weston and Angela Gibbs.

Ely Henry - Players - series regular - Canadian. Began career at 13. Attended Centauri Arts Camp as a child.

Rachel Hilson - ABC untitled drama - lead - Began career at 16. Earned a BA in Writing and Performing Race from NYU/Gallatin preceded by Baltimore School for the Arts.

Louis Hofmann - All the Light We Cannot See - lead - German. Began career before he turned 14.

Sarah Hyland - Pitch Perfect - lead - Began career at 7. Attended the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan.

John Harlan Kim - LA Law - series regular - Aussie. Began career at 15.

Mikey Madison - Lady in the Lake - lead - Began career at 14.

Kim Matula - Will Trent - lead - Began career at 10.

Katherine McNamara - Walker Independence - lead - Began career at 14. Has coached with Jeff Passero. Holds a BS in Business from Drexel University and has been enrolled in an online master’s in Literature program at Johns Hopkins University.

Kodi Smit-McPhee - Disclaimer - series regular - Aussie. Began career at 10.

Gage Munroe - Tales of the Walking Dead - series regular - Canadian. Began career at 9.

Mandela Van Peebles - Reginald the Vampire - lead - Began career at 9. Family in the Business. Also a rapper. Earned a BA in Communications from Loyola Marymount University.

Deleila Piasko- Transatlantic - series regular - Swiss. Began career at 13. Studied at Academy for Acting “Ernst Busch” Berlin.

Bel Powley - A Small Light - lead - Brit. Began career at 15. Family in the business.

Ella Purnell - Fallout - lead - Brit. Began career at 10.

Zuri Reed - National Treasure - series regular - Began career at 14. Trained at Creative and Performing Arts High School of Philadelphia.

Nick Robinson - Damsel - series regular - Began career at 11.

Jordan Rodrigues - National Treasure - series regular - Aussie. Began career at 11. Trained at Brent Street.

Lovie Simone - Manhunt - lead - NYC native. Began career at 9.

Charlotte Spencer - The Gold - series regular - Brit. Began career at 12. Studied at Sylvia Young Theatre School.

Fallon Smythe - Gotham Knights - series regular - Began career at 11.

Mackenyu - One Piece - series regular - LA native. Began career at 8. Family in the business.

Max Thieriot - Cal Fire - lead - LA native. Began career at 15.

Jessie T. Usher - Tales of the Walking Dead - series regular - Began career at 11. Also studied Culinary Arts at community college.

Jake Austin Walker - National Treasure - series regular - Began career at 9.

Tyrel Jackson Williams - Party Down - series regular - Began career at 7.

Ariel Winter - Hungry - lead - Began career at 4.

Mae Whitman - Up Here - lead - Began career at 6.

Carla Woodcock - History of a Pleasure Seeker - lead - Brit. Began career at 17. Started training at Stagecoach Theatre Arts at 11 and at 13 began studying with LAMDA teacher Frances Simon with whom she progressed to LAMDA grade 7.

2 Unknown Education, Training Background, or Starting Age 1 American

Gabriela Cartol - The Resort - series regular - Mexican.

Olivia Luccardi - East New York - series regular - Native New Yorker.


2018 Results: Young Adult Actors, Theatre/Drama/Acting Degrees, and Pilot Season 2018

2019 Results: Young Adult Actors, Theater/Drama Degrees, and Pilot Season 2019 - #8 by CaMom13

2020 Results: Young Adult Actors, Theater/Drama Degrees, and Pilot Season 2020

3-Year Totals: 3-Year Totals: Young Adult Actors, Theater/Drama Degrees, and Pilot Season - #4 by Gyokoren

2017 Results Under a different age range: 20-Something Actors, Theatre/Drama/Acting Degrees, and Pilot Season - #11 by Gyokoren

So glad to see an update to this! Thanks @Gyokoren - very interesting to see the post-pandemic pilot season world looks a lot like the pre-pandemic world. Your research is, as always, impressive and helpful!

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