Can you get to Hollywood from here? What California performing arts schools have to offer?

California Performing Arts Schools

Hollywood is in Los Angeles, and Broadway is in New York.  It is, therefore, not surprising that these two cities have a greater concentration of colleges offering courses in the performing arts than anywhere else.  What is a bit surprising is that there are many performing arts colleges scattered throughout California from San Diego to Sacramento and San Francisco.

By some counts, there are as many students attending California performing arts schools and colleges as there are total jobs in the field.  The movie industry seems vast, but in 2010, the motion picture and television industry was responsible for a mere 126,000 production-related jobs in California.  The competition is fierce.  Acquiring top-notch credentials and experience is essential.  A good school can help.

California performing arts schools do not just train aspiring movie actors and directors.  The field is much broader than that and includes education in live theatre, dance, and music.  Choosing the right course can make the difference between success and failure.  It is important to match the school’s offerings with your goals and aspirations.  Let’s consider a career in music.  If your goal is to play in a symphony orchestra, you will need at least a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree. Studies include literature and history, composition and, most importantly, performance. Music presentation majors take personal lessons and are usually expected to perform at a senior recitation.  In fact, the more performance opportunities the school offers, the more appropriate it is for this choice or career.

Music students with more varied aspirations might consider a Bachelor of Arts in Music in the California performing arts schools. This provides a basic liberal arts education with a center on music learning. Students can choose an area of importance, such as world cultures, electronic music, opera, and musical theatre, pop, folk, classical or jazz. Those students more interested in the technical side of music could choose a Certificate in Arts in Commercial Music, which focuses on music law, publishing, contracts, promotion and management. Other programs teach students theories of audio engineering and provide hands-on experience in the latest technology.

California performing arts schools and elsewhere offer a similar range of courses for students interested in the theatre or dance. Actors work mainly in stage, film and television productions, but there are also opportunities for actors in radio, theme parks and nightclubs, as well as voiceover and narration. Would-be actors may be major in-theater arts at a college or university specializing in the performing arts. Theater majors working towards a bachelor’s degree learn the fundamental skill of how to perform before an audience. When selecting a school, actors should look for numerous opportunities to perform in varied settings, as well as the chance to develop ancillary skills like dancing, directing, costuming, and script writing, which greatly enhance their eventual marketability. Degrees offered for actors include bachelor of Fine Arts or master of Fine Arts.

Dancers tend to be more specialized than actors, focusing on areas such as ballet, jazz, or modern. Dance careers include musical theatre productions, opera, movies, music videos, commercials and choreography. Most, if not all, serious dancers begin their training at an early age and may continue on to a university or conservatory for a BFA or MFA in dance.

California performing arts schools has a wealth of performers, which turn out many talented performers each year.  Many will stick with their day jobs. The lucky ones will be seen nationwide on stage and screen.

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