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It seems that a lot of successful actors have no formal training. How do they get agents? How do they get hired?

For example, here is a partial list of famous actors with no formal training.

Sir Sean Connery (Never attended college), Julie Andrews (Chose not to attend college), Michael Caine (Dropped out of high school), Michael J. Fox (Never attended college), Halle Berry (Briefly attended community college), Leonardo DiCaprio (Never attended college), Charlie Chaplin (Dropped out of elementary school), Tom Cruise (Never attended college), Marylin Monroe (Never attended college),

Johnny Depp (Never attended college), Clark Gable (Never attended college), Sally Field (Never attended college), James Dean (Never attended college), Whoopie Goldberg (Never attended college), John Travolta (Never attended college), Jim Carrey (Never attended college), Joe Pesci (Never attended college), Hilary Swank (Never attended college), Kevin Bacon (High school dropout), Drew Barrymore (Never graduated college), Al Pacino (Never graduated college), Keira Knightly (Never attended college),

Dennis Hopper (Never attended college), Christina Applegate (Never attended college), Robert Downey Jr. (Never attended college), Quetin Tarantino (Never attended college), Cameron Diaz (Never attended college), Humphrey Bogart (Flunked out of prep school), Diane Keaton (Never attended college), Ben Affleck (Dropped out of college), Clint Eastwood (Never graduated college),

2 Answers

  • 5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Keira Nightly comes from a theatrical family and started at 6. (I used to know her father).

    Sean Connery started working backstage. That is not a route nowadays which works. It was when he was young.

    Ben Affleck was encouraged to make home movies by his parents who had lots of friends in the arts and he and his brothers auditioned for local commercials when young and he appeared in a film at the age of 7.

    Jonny Depp met Nicholas Cage and presumably networked until he heard of an audition.

    Quentin Tarrantino did drop out of high school but then went to train at the James Best Theatre Company.

    I could go on.

    What you need to remember is that older actors had far more opportunities than your generation do. Most either knew people in the business or started very young. There is not one way to be an actor and it is not an easy job to pursue, but nowadays the best way and the way to make you the most marketable is to train. Almost every teen is a wannabe actor, but few have the dedication it takes. You are in an "I want it now and don't want to work for it" generation - making it in theatre/film is unlikely to happen unless you put in a lot of hard work and expect it to take years before you see results.

    • Sean Roberts
      Lv 7
      5 years agoReport

      Thank you so much for your clear, concise, and easy to understand answer. I appreciate your taking the time to help me.

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  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    Blackgrumpycat is right. Things have changed. And compiling a list of actors who have managed to do things one way achieves nothing. Those are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of actors out there over the past 70 years. Almost all of the others have had formal training and loads of experience before winning a single audition for a tiny role in a small production.

    A few people win huge money on the Lottery having bought one ticket. Most of us will never win more than tiny sums even though we buy ten tickets a week. Just because a few people get lucky, it doesn't mean that we all will.

    • Sean Roberts
      Lv 7
      5 years agoReport

      Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question, Cogito. Your answer is concise and easy to understand.

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