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Does Tour Schools' Reputation Matter?

Air Date: 12/9/2021

Does Your Training School’s Reputation Matter?

In response to a listener’s question, Jeffrey takes on the pros and cons of a training school’s reputation as a measure of the actor’s ability and talent. Is there really a preference to hire an actor from Juilliard over an actor who went to, let’s say, Wayne State University? How about specialty training studios verses college training? What are the realities of how where you went to school can influences your career path, or not? Find out what really matters on this episode of Casting Actors Cast, the podcast and video from a casting director.

Whether you are graduated from a BFA/MFA or training school for acting, the question of your school’s reputation is a consideration that many find frustrating. You could have made the personal decision to go to a local college or community college or even travel to New York or LA or other large city to jump right into professional training with no college. Sometimes that decision supersedes the dream of a well-regarded, big reputation school because of money, poor timing, or any number of personal matters. The question becomes, have you done the right thing? Does it matter where you got your training to industry professionals? The first thing to address is asking why this is a good question.

1. Certain institutions garner a reputation of past successes to promote their current training. The idea being that because the famous actor went there, you could be as successful. Clearly this may or may not be true.

2. Colleges and universities go to great length to provide a curriculum that reflects the perception of providing a genuine creative environment. This may or may not be true.

3. Publicly funded institutions, for the most part, support the arts and strive to enhance their reputation by their state-of-the-art facility, stellar faculty, and ambitious performance schedule. This does not always translate into a well-regarded reputation.

The second question actors ask is, they want to know if their decision/choice was a good one.

1. Are some training institutions proving to be better at their training? Well, yes and no.

Some reputations of excellent acting programs are the result of years of practical application and challenging curriculum from a sincere and dedicated faculty.

2. What is the bottom line? It is not the institution or school that needs to be considered but the faculty. Many high-status schools have and are currently suffering because of changes in the faculty. Schools have had to cut their programs because of economic issues due to the pandemic. While having a good reputation is helpful, connecting with and responding to a teacher that has the drive and desire to make you a better actor is by far the most important aspect of your decision. In the long run, where you trained is useful but working with another gifted artist in the form a teacher/instructor or professor matters most.

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