Let’s not mince words. Going to grad school is a huge investment and for many students already dealing with paying off their loans for their undergraduate program, it can be a little more than daunting. And while pre-law or pre-med students are pretty much predestined for further education, acting students looking to enroll in an program often question whether they really need to spend two more years studying the craft of acting.
And yet, every year thousands of aspiring actors apply to the many different MFA Acting programs offered around the country. Ultimately, they choose to do so because they are able to achieve myriad goals that they simply cannot in their undergraduate acting program.
Firstly, if a student is interested in a career in the movie and television industry, MFA Acting programs often tend to offer students the opportunity to develop their skills in front of the camera. After all, most acting undergraduate programs focus primarily on acting for the stage and theatre and thus for those students wishing to pursue a career in television and acting as well, learning the skills required to adeptly act in front of a camera is a necessity. Thus, many students enroll in an MFA Acting program to obtain these skills.
In addition, enrolling in a prestigious and comprehensive MFA Acting program often creates an instant degree of credibility for an actor, as those in the industry will take note that an actor has gotten into or completed an MFA program, helping actors to land gigs soon after graduating. Furthermore, as the majority of MFA Acting programs culminate in an industry showcase in New York and/or Los Angeles, students gain attention from key figures in the industry.
More so, for actors looking to make headway in the acting and television industry, programs that place a significant focus on acting for the camera also help students to prepare for the professional realities of the industry, from learning the best audition practices to how to obtain professional representation to compiling a demo reel of their performances, which gives them a considerable competitive edge over other actors.
Finally, MFA Acting programs pair students with other accomplished actors, helping them to form a creative and professional network that will help them long after graduating. In addition, as no two actors are quite the same, being exposed to different approaches and styles only helps to broaden a student’s acting chops. So if you find yourself continually thinking about returning to school to get your MFA in Acting, do your research, define your goals, and find the school that will best help you to achieve your professional goals.