For those who haven’t heard of the Dean’s Prize, it is a monetary award given to three students with the most feasible and useful proposals for bettering the education received at USC. The award was created in accordance with USC’s role and mission, to create an environment that will produce intelligent and fruitful thinkers, capable of contributing to society. Thus, the universities strategic plan lays out guidelines for achieving this goal. The guidelines, though roughly condensed are researching areas of importance in fields of study, learning the global concerns of these needs and teaching how these two aspects are necessary to success in the workforce.
Keeping these concepts in mind, there are many changes that could be made to the school of theatre that would greatly improve the program. The most important area of change is that of practical business knowledge. None of the courses cover aspects such as finding agents, mailing headshots to casting agents, what an appropriate audition piece is and perhaps most important the types of roles you as an individual should pursue. Considering that the majority of working actors, actors who have no other form of employment to supplement their income, earn between thirty-eight thousand and fifty-six thousand dollars a year according to Vault.com. After subtracting the necessary living expenses everyone must pay along with non-fixed monthly bills. Then deduct from that number basic acting expenses such as photographer fees, head shot and resume printing, envelopes and stamps for mailings, acting workshops and finally gas expenses for driving to and from auditions and one will note that most working actors are living close to the poverty line in America. People such as Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, who become superstars and are able to get millions of dollars per project, are the exception to the majority of working actors, Therefore, I think a course focused on the practicality of entering into the film, television and stage industry would be greatly beneficial for young aspiring artists, many of whom only learn of the difficulty of making ends meet after it’s too late to consider choosing a different major. Currently, no other undergraduate theatre program not part of a performing arts college, teaches such important, practical lessons which may account for the remarkably high number of hopefuls who quit the industry.
While the professors in school of performance are talented actors none of the performance based courses are taught by directors. While the lessons taught by a more seasoned performer are useful, nearly every professional acting job comes with a director shaping an actors performance. Some of the best theatre programs in