How to be a successful actor without having been to drama school
This is an extremely popular question asked by many young budding actors all across the country. After taking drama or performing arts at BTEC or A level, a variety of daunting questions such as this can torment hopeful performers; "which drama schools shall I apply for?", "will I get into drama school?", "if I get in how will I afford drama school?", and probably most of all, "if I don't go to drama school can I still become successful and do what I have dreamed all my life".
It is a shame that in today's industry a lot of casting directors will base a lot of their desicions, including whether or not to even see a performer for an audition, on their 'training', and what schools they went too, and if not this it tends to be based on what agency they are with, which on top of this, getting an agent In the first place is also difficult if you did not attend an accredited and well known drama school. This is obviously due to a lot of different factors such as the vast amount of "actors" there are today, causing casting directors and agents wanting actors from training facilities they trust and agencies they know only take from these certain schools, which to a certain extent is understandable. It's only when they refuse to see any other performers if they are not arts ed or mountview trained that annoys me, as obviously there is so much undiscovered natural talent out there.
Despite this terrible truth, it is extremely possible to become a successful actor without attending drama school. This is because there are so many opportunities nowadays that can allow an individual to draw a lot of attention to them self, and to show off without having to be on stage. A lot of the people I trained with at drama school did not sign with an agent from their showcase, and they have worked steadily and are becoming more successful with each passing month, all due to their hard work and integrity. Even if you did not attend drama school, that does not mean you cannot join brilliant websites such as this one, get yourself some headshots, and get applying for jobs. If you are a singer, record yourself the best you can and post it online via YouTube, twitter, soundcloud, and of course CCP. If you are an actor, write a short scene and get it filmed with a good quality camera and put together a small showreel. If you are truly talented you will get attention from this and will get work.
The beauty of today's technology is that anyone can be someone when all of their talent can be seen at the click of a mouse, training or not, so take advantage of this and anyone can be successful.
I will admit that yes it can be a lot harder if you have not attended drama school and/or you don't have an agent, but my goodness it is more than possible and achievable if you have the dedication and commitment you need to survive in this industry. There are countless actors that have not trained but are currently extremely popular within the industry, you will be surprised at who do not train when you google a few of the names on a credit list or a west end program. As well as this, a lot comes down to who you know within the industry. If you have the gift of the gab and know some good contacts, use them! Get yourself involved in projects, do as much as you can to be seen and heard and I can guarantee you will gain a reputation.
In my honest opinion all it takes is a need to perform and a whole lot of patience and commitment. Take acting classes, go to workshops, have singing lessons, do all that you can to perfect your craft and be the best you can be. This can only lead to success.