10 Best Acting Schools in New York City, US

At first glance, you might wonder if it’s possible to enumerate the best acting schools in New York City considering the vast number of existing schools.

For most people, acting has always been their thing but what they lack is the knowledge to kick-start that dream and fuel their passion. Some have passion backed up by knowledge. However, the only thing missing is time. What these set of people want is a flexible schedule where they can get quality tutelage without having to break the bank.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have options that solve the two situations above?

Well, the top guns in acting all started somewhere. We often notice how frequently New York is mentioned when the issue of acting in the world is brought up, either stage acting or on the big screens. That’s probably what led you to this article. You’re taking the first step already. Nice job.

Read on to find out why New York is the best city to chase your acting dreams and the best acting schools in New York available for you.

Is Acting A Lucrative Career Path?

The question, “Is acting a good career choice”? should be considered because many people are drawn to acting without knowing exactly what it involves.

Acting is exciting but involves a lot of hard work and focus. We know that it also brings a lot of joy to observers. It is not just about the money. Of course, actors get paid a lot but it depends on the skills and experience which takes a lot of time to acquire and develop. Some people even take courses to learn the craft or improve it.

What makes acting worthwhile? Actors get to experience new places and meet new people. As unpredictable as acting is, you get to go on many adventures. As storytellers, actors breathe life into stories and give them added meaning. Acting gigs also mean that you’re paid to entertain people and yourself!

As actors, you get to learn different styles of life like dressing, culture, and language. It is like stepping into someone’s shoes for a particular role. You can explore your own emotions while having a good time.

As actors you find opportunities in the following:

  • Film
  • Television
  • Theater
  • Teaching
  • Coaching
  • Producing

Don’t forget, with each of these jobs, you get to earn big with lots of fun.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Pursuing An Acting Career

Acting involves storytelling and people often find performing enjoyable. Others struggle with this. If you want to be an actor, it is necessary to look into the advantages and disadvantages of the career path to prepare yourself for the industry

Let us look into what an actor does before exploring some key pros and cons of being an actor.

What does an acting job entail?

  • You have to audition for new projects
  • It involves memorizing lines from a given script
  • Interaction with the audience during live programs is necessary
  • You are required to portray different characters either on stage or on the television
  • You bring the scripts to life using emotions
  • Movement and lines follow a script which has to be rehearsed regularly
  • You have to take instructions from directors
  • You are required to attend costume fittings

Advantages Of Pursuing An Acting Career

Here are some pros of working as an actor

  • You get to experience a variety of work environments and travel to different filming locations which is exciting and adventurous
  • Acting is never limiting. You are exposed to different projects and engage in various performance styles like voice acting, dramatic acting, and comedic acting
  • Another important pro to working as an actor is that you can earn high salaries especially when you get high profile projects. As your skills develop, you can secure better and higher-paying acting gigs.

Disadvantages Of Pursuing An Acting Career

Here are potential cons to expect as an actor.

  • You are required to go to different auditions. This is very subjective due to the high amount of competition for specific roles. So you have to attend as many auditions as possible.
  • There is inconsistent job security as an actor. You tend to finish a role and the possibility of getting another one remains unknown. Securing roles in itself is difficult. It then becomes harder to cater for your expenses.
  • It takes a lot of effort to build your skills as an actor. This means that at the start of your career as an actor, you get paid little money. This is because most directors like to work with experienced actors which leaves little job opportunities for new actors.

Choosing The Best Acting School

Picking an acting school that is rated as the best entails first picking a particular course you want to focus on based on quality. This narrows down the list.
Then look for schools that upon completing the course of study, you would have built strong connections in the entertainment industry that give a stepping stone.
An acting school must have strong connections as well as techniques that are beneficial to students.

Also, the perfect acting school should meet the needs of all students irrespective of their background.
What about the faculty that makes up the school? The schools should have people who are interested in the welfare of students more than the business aspect. They should include theory classes to enable them to practice. That is why a school where the teachers are actors often thrives.

Why Is New York A Good Choice To Start Your Acting Career?

New York is the home of Broadway!

Broadway is one of the largest theatre districts in the world. Most studios known far and wide are located in New York. Think of some of the greatest Cinema movies that have ever been produced and you have New York City. The best actors are produced in this great city known as the ‘Big Apple’.

Also, if you’re looking for the best degree-awarding universities and colleges that often offer some non-vocational courses, I’d advise that you consider New York. So we all agree that New York is the perfect place to start and in no time, you’ll land the breakout role you’re looking for.

Now that we know this, the next step is selecting the best among the abundant choices of acting institutes there are in New York. Hold that thought. Knowing how difficult it is for students to find the best acting schools in New York, we’ve selected the top 10 acting schools in New York where students are assisted in understanding what acting entails and how to earn a living as an actor through different techniques and acquired connections. Let’s face it, strong connections open the door to numerous opportunities once schooling is over.

10 Best Acting Schools In New York And How To Apply

Luck isn’t the most important factor that contributes to a person’s success in the line of acting, making it to one of the best acting schools in New York is.

Have a look at the 10 best acting schools in New York City.

New York Acting School for Film and Television

One of the best qualities of a great acting school is having a director and teachers who are actors as well. This helps to instill further passion into the students. this is exactly why this school has its first spot on our list of the best acting schools in New York City.

It is headed by Mark Stolzenberg, a seasoned actor who is also an Associate Professor at The School of Drama at The New School University in NYC. He has starred in so many hit TV shows. He teaches most classes in this institution which means that students are exposed to a full overview of professional acting skills.

The school offers unique and specialized acting classes that train actors from the beginner stage to become professionals. The classes cater to the needs of the students on an individual level.

You’ll learn everything you need to know about the business in its acting lessons, including how to perform monologues, close-up work, reaction shots, scene studies, scene analysis, audition technique, cold readings, and more. The Business of Acting, an Agent Showcase, Commercial Acting, and a Star in a Movie workshop, which allows the student the chance to play the lead in a short film, are additional optional acting programs offered here.

Several graduates eventually find employment in the sector. The school provides a range of packages with time slots made to meet your hectic schedule.

Available Education Program

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Language of instructions: English

Years of study: 3 years

Study mode: Full-time

Location: 2440 Broadway, New York City, United States


The Julliard School

When we are talking about the best acting schools in New York City, Julliard has to be among the top content. This institute, established in 1905, is leading the way in the education of performing arts. It is an internationally famous performing arts college that now serves as the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts professional division. It is regarded as one of the elite performing arts schools in the world.
The school was founded by Frank Damrosch. Its current president is Damian Woetzel.

Julliard has collectively won numerous awards nationally and internationally including the Grammy, Oscars, Emmy, and Tony awards.

It offers postgraduate degrees in music as well as bachelor’s degrees in dance, and drama(acting and playwriting) amongst many others. It also admits both students who seek degree programs and pre-college division. To advance their skills, the latter enroll in a conservatory program for younger students. Any student who wishes to join the music advancement program must be between the ages of 8-18 and must attend a live audition in front of instructors and staff.

The objective of Julliard School is to give talented students in the field of arts, from all over the world, the opportunity they seek. It also aims to help such one attain the greatest grade of artistic education possible for them to realize their full potential as artists.
It’s also amazing to know that application processes at Julliard consist of very discreet phases.

Overall, The Julliard School is a respectable institution that provides students with top-tier education when caring deeply about them.

Some notable alumni from Julliard
Viola Davis
Robin William

Location: 60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, United States.


The New York Performing Arts Academy

At the New York Performing Arts Academy (NYPAA), the students are educated and trained. It is one of the best acting schools in New York City and one of the most famous acting schools in the world. It is committed to making performing arts education affordable and accessible to everyone. Students receive world-class guidance and instructions from award-winning instructors, helping them to become seasoned professionals, well crafted with well well-developed affinity for the arts.

It is not necessary to have any previous acting experience or training to be admitted into the academy. Just let go of any preconceived notion. Be open-minded, free-willed, and honest.

Some conservatory courses offered by the New York Performing Arts Academy
(a) Scene study or Meisner for film and television
(b) Acting on stage, film, and television

Some other training programs are offered in the academy and help to provide a nurturing environment for performers to become versed and industry-ready performers who can work in different parts of the entertainment business.
The New York Performing Arts Academy is ready to help you realize all your dreams through arts education. Just sign up for one of the training programs at affordable prices and seize the opportunity to unlock your full potential.

Location: 1441 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, United States.


New York Film Academy

This academy, located at the tip of Manhattan in Battery Park, adjacent to the financial district and near Wall Street, is another exemplary institution.
The academy was established in 1992 by Jerry Sherlock and has over 400 staff and 5000+ students. It partners with Brooklyn and Whitney Museums. One noteworthy feature it has is that it offers a variety of degree and certificate programs.

This academy, located at the tip of Manhattan in Battery Park, adjacent to the financial district and near Wall Street, is another exemplary institution.
The academy was established in 1992 by Jerry Sherlock and has over 400 staff and 5000+ students. It partners with Brooklyn and Whitney Museums. One noteworthy feature it has is that it offers a variety of degree and certificate programs.
Available disciplines at the New York Film Academy
(1) Filmmaking
(2) Acting for film
(3) Producing
(4) Photography
(5) Cinematography
(6) 3D animation and VFX
(7) Game design
(8) Documentary film making
(9) Screenwriting
(10) Virtual reality

Notable Alumni of the New York Films Academy

  • Issa Rae
  • Lana Condor

Some Unique Features In The New York Films Academy

  • Performing Arts Programs
  • Ballet And Contemporary Dance
  • Musical Theater
  • Vocal Technique

The academy invites top industry talents to speak to students about their experiences in film, media, and performing art space. It has to be in the collection of the best acting schools in New York City.
It has campuses in New York City, Los Angeles, South Beach Miami amongst others.

Location: 17 Battery Pl, New York, United States.


New York University Tisch School of Arts

It was established in 1965 and is renowned for its uniqueness. You can earn a BA, BFA, MA, MFA, MPS, or PhD in any discipline you offer. Scholars come from around the world to study various disciplines.

Some of them include:

  • Acting
  • Dance
  • Cinema studies
  • Collaborative arts
  • Design for stage and film
  • Dramatic Writing
  • Film And Television
  • Game Design

This school grants you the opportunity to encounter people who have a deep sense of curiosity about themselves. Studying in this great institution can help you intern in the best organizations in the country. Admission into the school is a highly selective process. Applicants are rigorously evaluated through a two-part admission process which includes submitting the common application and an artistic review or audition. Tisch School of Arts is a place where creativity thrives and students are encouraged to push the boundaries of their art form. Unsurprisingly, it is rated as one of the best acting schools in New York City.

Some notable alumni who have made a remarkable impact on the movie and entertainment industry

  • Spike Lee
  • Lady Gaga
  • Anne Hathaway

The school, being one of the best acting schools in New York City, offers programs that help and build the foundation of students, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the industry.

Location: 721 Broadway, New York, United States


New York Conservatory For Dramatic Arts

This is a private acting college in New York City. It is an on-camera acting school established in 1980. It admits over 200 students yearly. The school offers a 2-year degree which requires auditioning as well as summer programs. The campus is located in Manhattan’s historic Flatiron district. It is popularly known for preparing students for a career in film and television acting by studying the Meisner technique.

It has a faculty that includes film and television stars such as Sara Buffamanti as the artistic director, Jay.R. Goldenberg as the head of school or director of education, Kyle C. Norris as the associate program director for musical theater, and lots more.

Notable alumni of the New York Conservatory For Dramatic Arts

  • Jacob Batalon in the Spiderman ‘Homecoming’ movie
  • Ser’darius Blain in the ‘Jumanji’ movie
  • Shelley Hennig in the ‘Teen Wolf’ movie 

If you’re a fan of any of these movies, you’d want to look into this prestigious institution. These popular alumni sure make this institution one of the best acting schools in New York City.

Location: 39 W 19th St, New York, United States


The American Musical and Dramatic Academy

This is a private conservatory for the performing arts in New York City. The conservatory offers both a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a two-year certificate in professional performance.

It was founded in 1964 by Phillip Burton and the New York theater community. The campus is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The school features four main theaters for learning, skill development, and performance including a black box theater, two laboratory theaters, and an outdoor amphitheater.

Notable Alumni Of The American Musical And Dramatic Academy Are:

  • Jason Derulo
  • Ray Fisher
  • Anthony Ramos
  • Janelle Monae

As a student, you get the foundation you need to succeed in the industry. That’s exactly why you’re here, reading through this list of the best acting schools in New York City.
The school works hard at creating an environment for students to develop the skill, confidence, imagination, and power to contribute to their community as artists, entrepreneurs, visionaries, lifelong learners, and conscientious citizens of the world.

The American Musical and Dramatic Academy is dedicated to educating a diverse community of creative artists in the performing arts. It functions as both a school and a stage for students.

Location: 211 W 61st St, New York, United States.


Stella Adler Studio Of Acting

This is another renowned school located in New York City. This great institution for performing arts was founded by Stella Adler, an actress and educator, in 1946 and since then, it has become one of the most respected schools for training actors all over the world. The institution provides students with a top-tier education in acting and performing arts. It is strictly committed to Adler’s teaching which emphasizes the importance of imagination, personalization of scripts, and the actor’s understanding of his role concerning the world at large. The school offers classes in screenwriting, directing, and playwriting which give students an all-around education in theater and filmmaking.

Range Of Programs Offered In The Stella Adler Studio Of Acting

  • Full-time conservatory programs
  • Part-time programs
  • Evening classes
  • Weekend classes

The conservatory program is a rigorous 3-year program that provides students with a comprehensive education in acting and prepares them for a career in the industry.
The teachers are dedicated to providing students with the necessary tools and techniques needed to succeed in the world of acting. They follow a curriculum that includes voice and speech training, movement classes, and scene study. This is a result of their wealth of experience and dedication to being one of the best acting schools in New York City.

Some notable Alumni of the Stella Adler Studio Of Acting

  • Marlon Brando
  • Robert De Niro
  • Salma Hayek

If you are looking to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, Stella Adler’s Studio of Acting is a great choice.

Location: 65 Broadway Floor 2, New York, United States


HB Studio

This is an acting school located in Greenwich Village, New York City. Stars in the field of acting have successfully graduated from this great school. Noteworthy examples are the likes of Christopher Walken and Alpacino. This school is certainly one of the best acting schools in New York City.

The school was founded by a Viennese actor and director, Herbert Berghof, and his wife Uta Hagen in 1945. The couple is held highly in the field of acting.

The school explores an individual’s creativity and imagination and its curriculum is based on the techniques of great acting teachers in the past century like Konstantin Stanislavski and Uta Hagen.
It is solely committed to producing great and experienced students.

HB studio offers a 2-year program which can be branched into either full-time conservatory programs or part-time programs. Workshops are also available to train students.

The faculty in HB studio has lots of experienced actors, directors, and teachers who dedicate their time and effort to equip students with the tools they need to be exemplary and skilled actors.
The schedule is this school is very flexible and able to accommodate all kinds of individuals. It is also affordable while achieving the aim of providing quality education to prospective actors.

Location: 120 Bank St, New York, United States.


The William Esper Studio

This is another highly respected studio located in New York City. It was founded in 1965 by William Esper, a renowned acting, director and acting teacher. The studio has a history of producing successful actors and it is known to be one of the best acting schools in New York City.
Like most acting schools, William Esper Studio based its curriculum on the teachings of Sanford Meisner, a legendary acting teacher who developed a technique that focuses on the actor’s emotional life and the relationship between characters.

Its founder, William Esper, studied under Meisner for many years and he was able to develop his approach in line with Meisner’s teachings, while including his insights and experiences.
The studio offers a two-year program that includes courses in voice and speech, movement, screen study, script analysis, and audition techniques.

During classroom instruction, students can work on productions in the studio’s theater and are encouraged to participate in various workshops and master classes.
Many publications and organizations credit the studio as one of the best acting schools in New York City and the country. This has garnered them public recognition.

Successfully actors that the William Esper Studio has produced

  • Sam Rockwell
  • Patricia Heaton
  • John Malkovich
  • Mary Steenburgen

William Esper Studio is a nurturing environment that supports students in developing their skills as actors
Most impressive is the fact that William Esper himself and his wife, both seasoned actors, as well as a team of talented instructors, are members of the studio’s faculty.

Location: 208 W 37th Street, New York, NY 10018


Bottom Line

This list of the best acting schools in New York City provides the leverage you need to apply now in any of these acting schools highlighted. They are indeed the very best.
If you seek to become a better performer, what are you waiting for?
Go through each acting school and select the one that suits your schedule and budget.

Some of the best acting schools in New York City charge approximately 60,000-70,000 USD

It can take at least 2-3 years to acquire an acting degree depending on the course.

This solely depends on the eligibility requirements asked for by the institution.

Successful actors earn as high as $50,000 annually

The average annual pay for entry-level actors is $40,000

There’s no age limit when it comes to acting. Children as young as six months can audition for roles. We’ve even seen actors as old as 85 years get nominated for acting awards. The bottom line is this: you’re never too old or too young to start a career in acting. The passion is all you need!

Best Acting Schools In New York City
Best Acting Schools In New York City

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