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 I noticed no such change, but I did notice some pushback against the study on other forums as being out of date and no longer relevant because the pandemic had changed literally everything.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