Advice about participating in a postgraduate acting course

Lydia wants advice about participating in a postgraduate acting course, and wonders if at 23 years old she's left it too late.

​I have always loved performing - and I did lots whilst in secondary school and at college (whilst studying English Literature). My degree in Nursing is unrelated to drama or performing and unfortunately my university has no drama society to participate in.

I am passionate about theatre and I’d like to know what my options might be, once graduated, to pursue this as a career? I have been thinking about enrolling in performance/acting lessons for the time being and I have also contacted my local theatre in Hammersmith to see how I can get involved.

I am worried that having an unrelated degree may stand in my way of studying drama in the future and that, at 23, I might be leaving things too late?

 Any information would be greatly appreciated.

— Lydia

Expert answers

Daniel Ainsleigh's reply:

​Hi. Firstly, 23 is certainly not too late. Some of the best and most successful actors I know joined the profession far later than that!

You really have 2 options:

The first, and probably the one I’d advise, would be to complete one of the post-grad MA courses at a NCDT-accredited drama school. Visit the NCDT website for a list of these. Getting a place is by audition and it’s not easy - these courses are very over-subscribed and only the very best will get an offer. If it’s truly in your blood, though, you’ll relish the fight!

The second option, if drama school is not possible, is to take acting classes and maybe work 1-2-1 with a professional acting coach to build your skills up and teach you the basics you’ll need to know. For acting classes the best are at the Actors’ Centre. For acting coaches, maybe check for a good list to choose from.

Either way, you’ll need to have some sort of professional tuition.

Congratulations on making this brave and exciting decision, and good luck on your journey!

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