You Wouldn't Operate on Somebody w/out a Degree and Experience, So Why Would You Expect to Become a Working Artist w/out Training?
If I had a dollar for every email I get with someone asking me what should I do if I want to become a professional actor/producer/writer/director, I would have a house in the country. I mean, if you're writing me to ask such a question, you're already in trouble. If you wanted to be a doctor, what would you do? You wouldn't perform open heart surgery w/out a degree, internships and residencies under your belt, would you? Nobody would hire you...There's a reason, law students intern at the top firms every summer, so that they can pass the bar and enter their workforce with job offers on the table. The same is true of being an artist: GO. TO. SCHOOL. And not just any school. You want to work for the top ten law firms? You go to one of the top ten Ivy League Schools and specialize in the area of law that your target firm specializes in. You want to end up on one of the top 10 TV shows, then go to the school with the top ten on camera programs? And while you're at it, get a degree in Business and learn the business of your given area within an inch of your life. Little Richard's music didn't get stolen by Elvis, it got stolen by a corporation from an artist who didn't have access to an education and knowledge of the business. Now you do, so go get to it. Get a degree from one of the Ivy Leagues schools in your discipline. Intern (i.e. work for free) at the places (casting offices, shadow a director, do free theatre or free indie films) every moment you have and learn the business (pick up a course, hire a business mgr to teach it to you.). Learning the business is the most important and it's always the last (if ever) thing that artists do.
This is a no brainer to me. I don't understand why it's not obvious. My father never saw a college degree and this is the first thing he told me to do when I said I want to be an artist who does social change art. He said,
"Find somebody who did that and go where they went to learn that. It ain't rocket science, if you love it, then go learn how to do it right and not just in some bullshit ass way. That's your "craft" then treat it with respect."
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April Yvette Thompson