Acting - Professional Actors

Professional Actors

Further information: Actor and Drama school

Not all people working as actors in film, television or theatre are professionally trained. Conservatories typically offer two- to four-year training on all aspects of acting. Universities will offer three- to four-year programs, where a student is often able to choose to focus on drama, while still learning about other aspects of theatre. Schools will vary in their approach, but in North America the most popular method taught derives from the "system" of Constantin Stanislavski, which was developed and popularised in America by Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, and others. The ambiguously termed method acting came about through iterations of Stanislavski's system by Strasberg. Part of this style of training includes actors memorizing lines to be able to work off-book, a term that means being able to work without a script. Other approaches may include a more physical approach, following the teachings of Jerzy Grotowski and others, or may be based on the training developed by other theatre practitioners including Sanford Meisner. Other classes may include mask work, improvisation, and acting for the camera. Regardless of a school's approach, students should expect intensive training in textual interpretation, voice and movement. Although there are some teachers who will encourage the improvisation as technique in order to free the actor of limitations in rehearsal. Harold Guskin's approach or "taking it off the page" as he calls it is steeped in this philosophy. Applications to drama programs and conservatories are through auditions in the United States. Anybody over the age of 18 can usually apply to drama school.

Training may also start at a very young age. Acting classes and professional schools targeted at the under-18 crowd are offered in many locations. These classes introduce young actors to different aspects of acting and theatre from scene study to the marines

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