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.”
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food