I just found out that according to Business Insider, I am a graduate of the #2 Best Private School in America: Ransom-Everglades School. I was sort of floored by this article. It made me think of my father yelling, "There's a reason every American president has been a graduate of an Ivy League School. They gotta train 'em to be masters of the universe. So no matter what field you go into, go to the best."
Training is everything. Never let the cost of education stop you from going to the very best school. When I took the entrance exam to this very expensive private school, my family was on food stamps. My father said, study for the test, we'll figure it out. And my family and the school figured it out. And I went.
What I learned there was invaluable...I learned how to think, solve problems, work outside the box and never did it occur to me that I might fail. That's the power that knowledge holds: it teaches you how to win and create opportunity for yourself. I was also in the presence of people who knew how to win, who could provide their children with every opportunity to succeed and open doors. They opened the doors to an Ivy League education for me. An education I had no idea was even possible, nor any idea how to pay for it. But it happened because my family worked mega hard and the school took a leap of faith in me.
I can hear my dad now, "There's a reason every single American President went to an Ivy League school...You want to become a bad-assed actor...go where bad-ass actors are trained. It will open doors you didn't even know existed."
What are the "Ivy League" caliber schools in your profession?
Here's a hint. These schools have so many Oscar, Tony, Golden Globe, Emmy-winning alums that many of their MFA programs in Acting, Writing, Directing, Stage Management are becoming tuition-free. What that means is that their wealthy,successful graduates, as well as the major Arts philanthropists in the country who believe in keeping the arts alive in America are funding these institutions. They are funding scholarships and endowments so that we continue to train the next generation of American artists at institutions that have demonstrated they produce working, iconic artists in America.
That's your first hint about which schools are the top dogs. It's never just hype when there are $500,000 scholarships being dropped on the dime. Yep, that's how much grad school is running including tuition, room and board for four years. So the schools that can afford to do this have greater resources at their fingertips than you could ever imagine. If you can get in, go. Run, invest your hard-earned time and money in getting yourself prepared, trained to get into these schools. Because the flip side is that, one television show, for one season, could make you $500,000, just one. The stakes are high which is why the game is so hard, but it is not impossible, but you have to be playing at a high level of achievement if you want to play with the big boys.
Pretty amazing...you don't know what you're missing until you play in the major leagues. Now, how are we going to get you there?
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April Yvette Thompson