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While an M.F.A. in acting is hardly a requirement for success as a performer, it's crucial if you hope to teach acting at the university level some day. Unfortunately, landing a spot as an M.F.A. candidate at a reputable acting university is as difficult as landing the lead in a movie. The competition is fierce, and only a handful of applicants are accepted each year. Improve your chances of success by following these tips:
Research the programs. Each program has its own requirements. Some accept only working actors. Others specialize in a particular technique or style. Make sure you apply to programs that are right for you.
Cost. An M.F.A. is expensive. Money is to be had, however. The trick is finding it. Look into loans and scholarships. And keep looking. As they say, when there's a will there's a way.
Consider the program's location. If you have to uproot yourself anyway to go to school, maybe now's the time to make that move to L.A. or New York.
The application. You'll need a resume, headshots, and letters of recommendation and/or a personal mission statement. You'll also need enough money to cover application fees.
The audition. This is the most important part of your application. Choose a monologue that showcases your talents, and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Perform for a few actor friends to get their feedback ahead of time.
There is no higher degree in acting than an M.F.A., so if a university teaching post is what you're after, then an M.F.A. is a smart move.