So you fancy a life on the stage or the big screen, spending your evenings walking down the red carpet while photographers call your name and adoring fans queue for hours just for the chance of getting your autograph? If so, you probably shouldn't become an actor.
A career in the dramatic arts is not about being rich and famous but about embodying character, telling stories and being part of a team. It's usually not glamorous or exciting, but it can certainly be rewarding, creative and a lot of fun - as long as you are prepared to work hard...
Training for a degree in acting is likely to be one of the toughest, challenging and most competitive things you can do in your life. RADA alone gets over 3,000 applicants for 28 places and those selected have had to make it through four rounds of auditions before being offered a place to train at one of the most distinguished training academies in the world. However, once you have got onto a course you will spend your time, 9 to 5, being given bespoke, dedicated training in the tools you need to pursue a life in the dramatic arts, from some of the most experienced practitioners around. Your training should cover voice, movement and acting, equipping you with the right skills to embody any character on stage or screen.
Life as an actor is tough, not only do you have to be dedicated; you have to be prepared for lots of knock-backs. You may find that you are out of work from time to time and have to find other jobs to supplement your income. Although, most actors say that they can't imagine ever doing anything else and the buzz of being on stage is enough to keep them going.
Acting isn't the only career you can pursue if you have an interest in the film or theatre. Backstage opportunities are vast and equally creative. Students are trained vocationally usually ending up in employment after their course. Some of the things you can study are:
RADA offers courses in all of these areas including a foundation degree in technical theatre and stage management; this course offers a broad and comprehensive training in all aspects of technical theatre allowing students to specialise in their second year.
The training is very hands on from the start with students working on public productions in one of RADA's three in house theatres. Students also pursue placements in the industry while they are studying, providing first-hand experience of working in the profession as well as opportunities to make connections for employment after you graduate.
There are a lot of acting and technical courses to choose from so make sure that the school you apply to is accredited with the Conference of Drama Schools, as a proper training is a vital foundation for a life in the arts.
If you would like to find out more about the training that RADA offers, the courses available and how you can apply go to the website http://www.rada.ac.uk/ for more information.