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drama major?

43212344321234 Registered User Posts: 926 Member
edited February 2008 in Theater/Drama Majors
hi, i'm wondering if majoring in drama puts you back from finding other jobs if you need it. like, if you major in drama/theatre, and can't get a part or make money from acting, does that mean you'll just wait tables the rest of your life? i'm not a drama major, but i really love acting. i get sad if i'm not acting. i don't have much experience, but i truly have a lot of passion and readiness for it (i also watched a lot of movies). i doubt i can ever break into this business, and i'm asian, and asians rarely get good acting roles in hollywood, or almost anywhere. but i'm actually willing to teach it, if it comes down to that. i'm thinking of going to grad school for acting. but i don't have an undergrad major in drama. how can i get there? and how do i know if it's really something i want to do?
Post edited by 4321234 on

Replies to: drama major?

  • MattsMomFLMattsMomFL Registered User Posts: 802 Member
    I would suggest, if your stats are good, to try to get into a name school that offers an acting program and dual major with something else that you could see yourself being happy doing. I'm not familiar with which schools have good programs - I'm sure the people on this board will be able to give you names, but I think it's important for you to follow your dreams and at the same time, have a back-up plan, so you don't wait tables the rest of your life, in case you're unable to obtain enough work. I think teaching is a good option too (good benefits, lots of jobs, able to stay in field, still able to go to some auditions, summers free, etc) - perhaps education would work very nicely as the dual major?
  • kittymomkittymom Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    If you don't know if it's what you really want to do, then you don't want to go down this road. You CAN have a career in the entertainment field, but acting is too competitive and exacting a major to undertake it if you do not absolutely have to do it. This goes for all the arts, really. It is too hard a life to undertake if you don't love it.
  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions Registered User Posts: 13,330 Senior Member
    Some people prefer to make a normal living and participate in community theater without trying to do it for pay. Others look into careers in theater production, where business skills are needed, so that they can be around the theater atmosphere somewhat.

    Many actors have one skill that earns them their living (a "day job") which can be a lot nicer than waiting tables. Table-waiting is the best-known classic "day job" because restaurants are used to people being hired and fired, so if you get a part, you quit a job and then go back later for rehire, there or elsewhere. They don't arrange your schedule for more than a week in advance at restaurants. It's the flexibility. Plus, some overlapping skills, such as charm, body strength, good memory, good speaking skills make actors also good at getting tips as waiters!

    But really, an actor's day job could be anything with a flexible schedule but good per-hour dollar rate. Sky's the limit: dental hygienist, commercial photgrapher, it doesn't matter, and it doesn't have to pertain to acting. The day jobs are chosen because they don't compete with rehearsal and performance times (weeknights, weekends). Teaching has the advantage of free summers, so you might get cast at a summer festival or regional community production once each year, and feel you have an acting lifestyle that way even if it's not for pay.

    Many people combine activities for a decade or more, meanwhile trying to act in unpaid or very low-pay productions, and there's nothing wrong with that, either until around age 30 when people begin to want other material and domestic comforts.

    If it's going to be more of a passionate lifelong hobby than a paid profession, you might even find more opportunities to act, but it will be at the level of local productions, not Broadway. Nothing wrong with that lifestyle! Is it going to be your avocation or vocation, that's the question.
  • briansteffybriansteffy Registered User Posts: 570 Member
    paying tuitions: I'm a country mouse, so I have not been in NYC for over 3 decades, but someone the other day told me there is a nice coffee desert cafe in the city that hires only aspiring actors/MT. On a regular basis, customers expect the waiters/waitresses to stand on a table and sing or deliver a two minute monologue. I could see doing that for a while. There are worse things that 20-somethings do for money. But I agree with the above; as someone said a while back - if you cannot imagine doing something else, then go for it. Otherwise, the passion is not there.
    But, as Sean Connery is noted of saying; 'I am not a very good actor, but I would be worse doing anything else'.
This discussion has been closed.