Saturday, November 7, 2015

Where did famous successful actors go to school? The best universities for acting opportunities

I always suggest going to college as a way to network and give you important connections to acting jobs for the future.  Building a network is crucial for making your way as an actor. Going to a college can be a safe place to develop these connections to the movie industry. 

So what are some good universities to go to?  Let's take a look at where famous successful people in Hollywood went to college.

#1 Yale 

The university the produced the most successful actors (I believe) is Yale. Alumni include Meryl Streep, Edward Norton, James Franco, Jodie Foster, David Duchovny and Clair Danes. 

#2 Harvard 

Alumni include Natalie Portman, Conan O'Brian, Ashley Judd, Matt Damon and Tommy Lee Jones 

Tied for #3 - Columbia, USC, NYU, Vassar and Cal State

Columbia's famous students include Julia stiles, Amanda Peet and James Franco again! (Be like Franco and go to several schools) 

USC's famous alumni include Will Farrell, Zachary Efron and George Lucas (okay, Lucas isn't an actor but he is well know in Hollywood).

NYU's famous students include - Meg Ryan, Adam Sandler and Selma Blair 

Vassar - Lisa Kudrow, Meryl Streep (again!) and Anne Hathaway 

Cal State notable alum include Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Kevin Costner 

I have to be honest here and admit not all these students finished their degrees (i.e. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks - what's up Cal State?).  But they did go to college long enough to be inspired and find connections to jobs through a network they developed at the universities.  If they hadn't gone to these schools, then they may not have found those key opportunities and meet those influential people that helped them get a start in Hollywood.  And then you have actors like Meryl Streep and James Franco who can't get enough of school. Judging by all Meryl Streep's Academy Awards, that hard work in school paid off.

You'll also note that these schools are in California or New York, both locations that are great for finding acting jobs which is important.

Other schools to consider (with famous alumni)

University of Texas in Austin (Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey) - Austin has a very active film industry so this is a good option as well if you aren't up for the LA or NYC.

UCLA (Ben Stiller) 

And the weirdest school on the list that has nothing to do with acting

The University of Phoenix - Shaquille O'Neal and Lil Wayne - This is an odd choice for entertainers and I will leave it up to you to judge their abilities.

Post your questions about this post below and I will do my best to answer them.

Yale School of Drama is #1 on our list

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