When I was a young actor, I had an eagerness to learn that was unlike any other. I strived to learn various acting techniques and develop my skill to become a competitive force within the acting community. While my desire to learn was beneficial, this desire led me to waste thousands of dollars in acting school scams.
Acting school scams are far too common throughout the entire United States. While spotting scams can be difficult, there are several tall-tell signs that the school is only after your money and time.
Any legitimate acting school will allow you the freedom to audit an acting class. If you come across a “school” or “academy” that does not provide you with the opportunity to audit a class before registering, quickly run in the opposite directly.
However, there are some acting schools that allow you to audit the class, but are still a scam. When you encounter this scenario look for the other signs listed in this article.
The best acting schools are those that feature reasonable fees. Remember, you are not attending a conservatory or a college. The fees shouldn’t resemble these expenditures. The most you should ever spend for a specific acting class is $200, and this is on the high-end. Typically, these classes last for six to eight weeks and are taught by a qualified acting coach, which brings me to my next point.
The Acting Coach
While the school may say wonderful things about their technique and ability to prepare you for auditions, the true success of any acting school lies in the actual teacher. When reviewing acting schools, read a biography for the acting coach. If he has very limited experience or little to no experience outside of classroom training, run. If the class is taught by a “former actor,” be wary.
Affiliated with Agency
No legitimate acting school is directly affiliated with a talent agency. While some legitimate and wonderful acting schools have connections with talent agencies (this is how I personally was signed with my first agent), they are not housed in an agency nor do they promise you will be “signed” by the agency. If any acting school promises this, the entire organization is a scam.
Check the Internet
One of the most wonderful things about living in the digital age is instant reviews of businesses. If you have questions about a particular acting school or acting coach, simply turn to the internet. Here you will find honest reviews about the school. If there are little-to-no reviews of the school, then you should move onto the next school.