As theatre graduates walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, the message they hold close to their hearts is "Go forth and act." The next day, week, or month the question becomes very clear, "HOW?" This thesis focuses on a practical problem facing theatre graduates whose goals are pursuing the field of acting professionally. Theatre students are given the basic tools for honing their skills but are unequipped to create a viable, sustainable career in the field. The objectives in this paper are to outline problems actors encounter when attempting to build a career and offer practical advice for starting, building, and maintaining a career in the performing arts. The methodology I used was primarily qualitative. The examples and data were collected primarily through personal experience. In addition, I gathered advice and personal examples from professionals who have been faced with the daunting task of pursuing a career in theatre and the solutions they offer when navigating the field. This methodology was the best choice in light of the fact that those faced with the uncertainty of how to begin and maintain a career know best the problems young actors will face. Practical suggestions do not come in the form of numbers. This paper reveals the problems faced with this difficult task and gives actors the tools necessary to pursue a career as well as adjust to the ever-changing requirements of a theatre career. Actors may then use this advice as it applies to their individual careers. Using the tools given during academic training, the actor must build the foundation and structure of a career, and then begin marketing that career. The primary focus of the foundation in this thesis is creating a strong audition package. Through my research, the problems involved in creating this package were delineated and practical solutions were offered. The structure of the career focused primarily on the rehearsal and performance process. Emphasis was placed on not only performance excellence, but the communication skills and etiquette needed to build a reputation in the theatre community. Finally, marketing the career gives practical advice for demo reels, headshots, resumes, websites, and financial concerns. No path to an acting career is the same for every actor. Success can never be guaranteed, but a viable, sustainable career in theatre is possible. Actors need to understand the problems they will face, and this thesis gives practical approaches to be used to overcome the many obstacles they face.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Kimball, Joshua, "Past, Present, and How to Proceed: Creating My Actor Tool Kit" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1143.