What Education Do You Need to Be an Actor?

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Some actors develop successful careers with little to no formal education beyond high school. However, most actors benefit from taking dramatic arts classes or earning a degree in a field like theater or communications.

The path an actor wants to take impacts her education. Those wanting to get into television or film-acting take classes in drama, dramatic acting and filmmaking. A degree isn't necessary, but honing their craft is a common objective for aspiring actors. Community colleges and trade schools often offer classes, training programs and acting opportunities. During the course of classes, actors want to develop script-reading skills, memorization abilities, speaking and articulation, and physical stamina. These skills allow TV and film actors to withstand long days on sets and deliver crisp performances through multiple takes.

It is more common for theater actors to complete bachelor's degree programs in theater or performing arts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Degrees and classes in theater arts are helpful in understanding staging, establishing a presence and getting comfortable on stage. Stage presence is vital for live theater acting. Dance and music classes are often taken during a bachelor's program or separately. Song and dance skills expand a stage actor's performance opportunities.