Selecting Acting or Drama as Career Option

Acting Mask

Acting and / or Drama.. What is the difference?

A curious mind may start with the above question. ‘What is the difference’? Ultimately, if you are looking for an acting career and in search of an acting or drama school, you must know the difference between these two. There are many universities, colleges and institutes in different parts of the world that offers Diploma, UG and PG level courses for aspirants of acting and drama career. But first it is good to know the difference.

Merriam – Webster dictionary defines ‘Acting’ as “the art or practice of representing a character on a stage or before cameras’ and ‘Drama’ as “a composition in verse or prose intended to portray life or character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue and typically designed for theatrical performance”. It also defines Drama as’ “a play, movie, or television production with a serious tone or subject”.

So, it may be evident that ‘Acting’ relates to an artist and his presentation of an artistic acts, while ‘Drama’ refers to a broader aspect. It includes the genera of the art form encompassing its scripting, planning and presenting.

Look inside and be sure that you really love Acting.

You should have the answer. Do you love acting or drama?

There is no meaning in doing something that you do not love. For example, Acting has a great career prospect and you will find magnetic character in the areas of acting and drama. These icons may attract you towards their profession through their larger than life presence. But you should know if Acting is right for you as a profession. If you do not love acting, then success may always elude you.

Think of the following,

  • How many times you have volunteered in a drama in your colony or school or college and what was the general response you received from the viewers?
  • Are you an extrovert and a person who naturally gels with people?
  • Have you anytime written a script, discussed with your friends and received applause for an independent idea?
  • Do you love reading novels of different genre and get involved in the characters?
  • Are you willing to work hard and have the ‘never accept failure’ kind of persona?

If your answer is yes for these points, then you probably are the most appropriate contender for a career in acting and drama.

Remember that acting may be inborn in some. But even if you are not one among them, don’t worry. Appropriate training will bring out the best out of you.

‘Media and entertainment’ industry is on growth path.

Acting and drama has a direct relation with the media and entertainment industry, which comprises of print, television and films. In recent times digital media has received high growth trend. As per IBEF, ‘Indian Media and Entertainment’ industry is set to grow at a rate of 13.5% between 2019 & 2024 to reach US$ 43.93 billion. Close to 1.5 million people is directly dependent on the industry. Digital media constitutes the largest part of the entertainment industry and with the growth of digital media, digital advertising has become a core concept for most of the industries.

The phenomenal growth trend is attracting large talents in the sector. In addition, due to the advent of digital media, the sector is increasingly getting integrated with global industry, attracting more and more foreign investment.

Acting is one among many options after obtaining an acting or drama qualification.

In general, people may believe that acting is the only option for the students pursuing courses in acting or drama. But the same is not correct. There are many other job prospects. The type of jobs that are directly or indirectly related to an acting or drama career are mentioned below. For further reading please read

  • Jobs directly related to a professional acting or drama qualification:
    • Actor
    • Broadcast presenter
    • Drama therapist
    • Runner, broadcasting/film/video
    • Theatre director
    • Theatre stage manager
  • Jobs where a professional acting or drama qualification would be useful incl:
    • Arts administrator
    • Choreographer
    • Community arts worker
    • Further education teacher
    • Media researcher
    • Music producer
    • Secondary school teacher
    • Special effects technician
    • Talent agent
    • Television floor manager
    • Theatre manager

There are different education options in India and Abroad for Acting & Drama career.

An aspirant can study Diploma, UG and PG level studies in India or in a Foreign Country. Name of some of the reputed institutes are mentioned below,

Opportunities in India

  • The options are many. A few of them are listed below,
    • Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune
    • Barry John Acting Studio, Mumbai
    • National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi
    • Institute of Creative Excellence (ICE), Mumbai
    • Asian Academy of Film & Television (AAFT), Noida, Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi.
    • National Centre for Performing Art, Mumbai
    • Sangeet Natak Academy, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi
    • Whistling Woods International, Mumbai
    • Delhi Film Institute, New Delhi
    • Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema and Entertainment (RSACE)
    • Darpana Academy of Performing Art, Usmanpura, Ahmadebad
    • Dr. B S Ambdekar Marathwada University, Aurangabad
    • University of Mysore, Mysore
    • Faculty of Fine Arts, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata
    • University of Rajasthan, Jaipur
    • Faculty of Performing Arts, M. S University of Baroda, Vadodara
    • Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata
    • Chennai File School, Chennai

Opportunities in International Destinations

  • There are thousands of options for studying acting in international destinations. Name of a few of them are listed below. Aspirants may also follow Hollywood Reporter to know the name of the best twenty-five institutes.
    • Yell, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
    • Vancouver Institute of Media Arts, Canada
    • NYU Tisch School of the Arts, New York
    • UC San Diego or Los Angeles or Irvine, USA
    • Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, UK
    • Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    • University of North, Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
    • Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
    • London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art, London, UK
    • The National Institute of Dramatic Art, Kesington, Australia
    • The Old Globe and University of San Diego, San Diego, USA
    • Columbia University, New York, USA
    • USC School of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles, USA
    • Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, UK
    • CalArts, Valencia, California USA
    • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
    • University of Washington, Seattle, USA
    • Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA
    • Southern Methodist University, Dallas, USA
    • Canadian College of Performing Art, Canada
    • Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia, USA
    • American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, USA
    • Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
    • Depaul University, Chicago, USA
    • Florida State University, Sarasota, Florida, USA
    • McGill University, Canada
    • Sylvia Young Theatre School, London, UK
    • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, UK
    • National University of Singapore, Singapore
    • The University of Tokyo, Japan
    • LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore
    • The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Different institutes and universities have their own admission process and students need to follow the recommended procedure for admission. Serious aspirants for ‘Acting & Drama’ education in international destination may read my next post coming soon.


  • ‘Acting and drama’ forms an integral part of our entertainment system.
  • The general perception about education in acting or drama is only relating to the performers or actors. But a structured education covers the broader aspects of the artistic expression including research.
  • With the advent of Television, – which can be called as second wave in the entertainment sector – the demand for professionals in entertainment domain increased drastically. Internet and mobile telephony has brought in entertainment in the palm of individuals, making it one of the most progressive sectors.
  • There are many options to study ‘acting and drama’ in national or international institutes. The student will have to follow the respective college/ university guidelines and the country guidelines for admission.