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.”
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Adam Levine's biggest fan had a panic attack upon meeting him, so the singer laid down on the floor to get a photo with him
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Fifty Shades of Grey banned by Indian censors despite sex scenes being edited out
The Great Comic Relief Bake Off, TV review: Alexa Chung impresses, but Chris Moyles makes Paul Hollywood gag
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Seth Rogan's pot fumes delay hacked Sony boss’s office move
India's Daughter: BBC Four documentary provokes outrage on Twitter
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin