In the past, I have felt and been made to feel that graduating from a university and not a drama school was the wrong thing to do. Recently though, I have realized that this is not the case. I have been lucky enough to see a lot of touring productions this year, at the Bristol Hippodrome and I have noticed that more and more cast members in these productions trained at university. Surely this is a great sign and gives those of us who did not go to drama school hope that regardless of where you train, if you work hard and have the talent you CAN get into the industry.
Also, to back up my point further, I know of a couple of people who trained at some of the best drama schools in the country, got good agents immediately after graduating and yet years later still haven’t secured a professional job. The truth of the matter is drama school gives you the opportunity to perform in a showcase before graduating but it does not guarantee that you will definitely get an agent from that showcase. If you are lucky enough to get an agent, the respected name of the drama school on your CV will probably get you into more auditions but again it does not guarantee you will get a job from those auditions.
I have said before that there is no right or wrong path into this industry and I stand by that 100%. You just have to decide which is the right path for you. Drama school just wasn’t the right choice for me personally. I got into musical theatre very late and didn’t start training until I was 16. When it came to the end of my 2 year course, I knew I was not in any way ready to attempt auditioning for drama school, I still had so much to learn and a lot of confidence to gain. So the logical next step for me was to go onto the next course available to me (Higher National Diploma) and continue to develop my skills and grow as a performer and as a person. Once I reached the end of that course I only had to do one more year of training at a university to achieve a degree so I felt like that was the right and most sensible option for me. It was either that or spend large amounts of money auditioning for drama schools I may not of even gotten into, and if I had of gotten into one, I would not of been able to afford the ridiculously expensive yearly fees. On top of that, it would of meant another 3 years of training when I had already done 4 years and needed just one more to get a degree!!
In my opinion drama school does not guarantee success, neither does university, It is down to you. Regardless of where you train, it is up to you to continue to grow and keep up technique lessons and take opportunities where ever you can after you have graduated. If you are passionate enough and want it enough you will find a way.
Until next time
Natalie Louise 🙂