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Fame And Fortune Doesn't Come For Free

When you imagine your life in years to come, do you see yourself with a fast car, a big house and fancy clothes? While that could be you, it is important to note that there is a price to pay before you reach that level of success as a performer!

When I say price, I not only mean the cost to you financially, I also mean the value of your time and efforts (like doing free acting for a time)... but that is something you will learn and experience on your own when it comes down to it. Right here and now, I am here to inform you of the estimated costs involved in starting as an auditioning actor.

Before we begin, and before you get scared off by the idea of investing hard into your future, you should know that some truly passionate trained actors will go to the end of the Earth in order to find fame... literally!

Some will turn their entire lives upside down and relocate to bustling international neighbourhoods, like Hollywood blvd, Beverly blvd and the heart of New York City, at times with their entire family in tow, so that they are in the right place at the right time for those top notch auditions and opportunities.

Just think of how much money these people spend on their careers in the entertainment industry even after all of their acting class expenses, before you start to worry about if paying for acting school or a class in acting is too much of a stretch. While it is not always necessary to pick up and move for an acting career, unfortunately, there is no getting around shelling out for some training or qualifications as this is a prerequisite for the job.

Whether you are feeling very cautious about your spending or money is no object to you, I will try to explain how much you are looking to pay for different types of drama curriculum and other aspects of the life of a training actor.

On the plus side, if you do end up making millions, you can enjoy a life of jet-setting around the world and choose where you make your home. Then, you will look back on these days of confusion and struggles and wonder why you were ever worried about funding the start of this fantastic, fulfilling and life-changing career!

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Hollywood is the place to be for celebrities - but are there too many stars there to get noticed?
Some really committed actors in training will relocate to places like Hollywood to increase their chances of finding fame. Photo on Visualhunt

The Cost Of Training To Be An Actor At Drama School

A certified drama school in Ireland will offer you a two-three year course on all things related to the dramatic arts, like vocal training, spontaneity and improv classes, becoming an actor and physical and emotional expression. They will also teach you about acting and the different types of acting techniques, including the Sanford Meisner Technique, the Alexander Technique, Lee Strasberg, Method Acting and more.

You will also learn about different qualities and aspects of acting like cold reading, script analysis and listening to instruction.

The cost of training really depends on the level at which you wish to start/qualify at:

  • QQI level 5 Theatre Performance at Liberties College Dublin will cost around €600. This course enables students to gain experience through three full productions each year, two internal productions and one full-scale musical theatre production in a professional theatre venue.
  • QQI level 6 Classical Acting & Trinity Guildhall London Performance Diploma will also cost €600 but will give you a more specialized qualification. The Diploma is an internationally recognised professional Performance award granted by Trinity College London.
  • Theatre & Performative Practices - this course specialises in acting performance. In 2021/22 the Student Contribution Fee will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €130 per year.
  • Bachelor Of Arts In Performing Arts - in this generalised arts course where you will qualify in areas such as music dance and acting, you will study the Arts for four years each of which entailed fees of approximately €16,000 per year.
You will get a taste for performing at most drama schools.
At the end of a week-long course, you can display your newly learnt skills in front of friends and family. Photo credit: EaglebrookSchool on Visual Hunt

Training To Become An Actor With Classes For Adults

You will find various postgraduate courses at universities and academies, with applicant and admission information being found on individual establishments' websites.

Acting classes, on the other hand, are extremely difficult to put a price on. There are so many factors that come into play, that it is almost impossible to give a rounded figure as guidance.

Some coaches in the inner city of Dublin might be at liberty to charge far more than those working in smaller towns or cities, whilst a private acting tutor who has a wealth of experience can understandably be expected to charge more per semester for their expertise. It doesn't matter how talented you are, you will have to pay the same as everyone else on the course unless you have been picked to receive a scholarship.

A great idea is to start by getting involved locally, the annual community plays and musicals are a brilliant way to test the waters before spending any money on lessons. If it turns out that you love the experience and can't wait to try more, there are plenty of options.

You could start by taking weekly lessons at your local community centre or arts Centre. Information on prices dates and times are usually quite easy to find you can either go in and check noticeboards or check their websites and social media's.

Of course, there are even more options if you wish to become an undergraduate international student. Across Europe and America, you'll find academies and universities dedicated to the theatre or filmmaking industries, including Juilliard School, Yale School of Drama, New York Film Academy,  William Esper Studio and California Institute of the Arts, where you can obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts or a relevant diploma.
Wherever you choose to study and however, intensive or casual training with an emphasis on acting techniques is invaluable for your career and could be what leads you to train and work alongside some of the best actors, casting directors and talent agents. It is at school that you develop your own profound uniqueness and gets clarity on just how much you want to get a breakthrough in the industry. Finding private acting lessons near you might be challenging, depending on where you live, but they are certainly worth it.

What Other Costs Are Involved In Starting Out In Acting?

Aside from the obvious coaching tuition, there are several other things that you can expect to add to your long list of expenditures when training to become a confident actor or actress.

Headshots, for one, are surprisingly costly but are a requirement for the industry. Your headshot needs to be done by a professional, but you only need to do it a couple of times a year, unless you change your appearance drastically (like chop your hair off, grow a beard or get a visible tattoo or piercing that changes the way you look).

You might also want to sign yourself up to casting websites, especially if you don’t have an agent representing you. You will need to pay the agency a fee, so research which casting sites are the best instead of paying various fees.

Some actors may attend workshops from time to time, to keep adding new skills to their resumes. These aren’t mandatory, but it’s another consideration when you are looking at numbers.

Finally, I can’t not mention the fundamental cost of living, which of course applies to all, no matter their profession. The difference for trainee actors, however, is that they often aren’t working professionals as such. Most aspiring actors will hold down part-time jobs whilst applying for various auditions, so they somehow need to find the money for rent, food, social outings, etc…

Keeping your body in shape is usually part and parcel for successful actors.
As an actor, you may need to gain or lose weight for roles so you may need to be prepared to pay for a personal trainer. Photo on Visual hunt

In addition, as an actor, you will most likely be very aware of your appearance and understand that you must look after your body. As such, gym memberships, personal trainers, hairdressers, stylists, beauticians and many other costs will no doubt come into play.

Find acting classes around Ireland with Superprof, try searching any of the below on the homepage:

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