Drama schools are waste of money, says National Youth Theatre director
Paul Roseby said actors would do better to market their skills to the industry
The artistic director of the National Youth Theatre has claimed formal three-year drama school courses are a waste of time and money for the “majority of actors”.
Paul Roseby, who has been at the helm of the National Youth Theatre (NYT) since 2004, said most actors would benefit from focussing on how to sell themselves to the industry rather than concentrating on vocational training.
He told an industry conference: “Drama schools are incredibly expensive and the majority of actors don't need three years' training. They need various modular courses every so often to go to. But they don't need three years. You don't need to learn how to act, you need to learn how to sell yourself. You can either act or you can't.“
He also denied the small number of places available to aspiring actors at the NYT meant that the option was unrealistic. “The learning point is rejection. You have to learn the art of rejection as well as acceptance,” he said.
The NYT, which runs masterclasses for 14-25-year-olds, has taught a number of actors including Daniel Day-Lewis, Dame Helen Mirren and Daniel Craig.
Matt Smith, who is soon to appear in the Almeida’s production of American Psycho, was signed to an agent after appearing in a NYT production. The Hour’s Romola Garai and Die Another Day star Rosamund Pike were also picked up by agents following productions with the NYT.
Edward Kemp, director of the Royal Academy for Dramatic Art (Rada), insisted that formal training was essential.
He told The Guardian: “If Paul Roseby wishes to defend the arts from being seen as 'soft skills', it is strange that he chooses to attack precisely the institutions which have spent many decades bringing rigour and expertise to the training of actors and theatre technicians.”
He added: “Student loans are available for all undergraduate courses, and drama schools are no more expensive than any other form of higher education.”
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Church of Scientology allegedly sent threatening letters to film distributors and festivals showing damning documentary
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl performs with broken leg seated on massive throne made of guitars
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture