Friday, May 01, 2009

Training vs. Real World

I just wrote the following words to an actor who is weighing continued work in the 'real world' against MFA training.   What I didn't add, because this actor already knows this, is that MFA or strong BFA training has become a de facto pre-requisite for doing regional theater.  Of course, there are actors without training who do well, but they are in the minority, and rarely don't have some kind of other training as singers or musicians, which gives 'added value' to their talent.  If you want to work in solely in a local market, skip training.  If you want to work out-of-town (no matter where your town is), train.

"Having been through an MFA, I'm here to say that the distinction between 'the real world' and training is a specious one. There's a real difference between ACADEMIC life and the real world, but training--good training--is the real world sped up and intensified. You'll never solidify skills in the real world as quickly as in training, especially since you're already bringing a real world perspective TO training. You're very much on the right track. And, auditioning two or three times for MFA programs is great. Professionals hugely value commitment and perseverance in other professionals."

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