Why Theatre Professionals Might Choose Trade School Over University

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Kevin St. James
Beauty Makeup Instructor

As I was finishing my undergraduate degree in Theatre in the late 1990s, I spent countless hours deciding which graduate program I should continue on with. If I was serious about a career in professional theatre and/or film and TV, it seemed more degrees were necessary. While the traditional university path does have its merits depending on a student’s career goals, it is not the only way.

For me, I’m so glad I opted to not continue any further in the world of academia. I’ve worked professionally in theatre for over 2 decades, been a part major music videos here in Nashville, and currently teach the Advanced Makeup Program at Academy of Makeup Arts. To be honest, I’m not sure a Masters or PHD would have really benefited me all that much and I would be currently saddled with massive debt.

It’s a bit of a taboo thing to say in the academic world: Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctorate programs are not for everyone and an aspiring artist can enjoy a successful career without them. On top of that, training can be acquired at a fraction of the time and cost.

Here at AMUA, we offer training programs in Wig and Hair Design, Special Effects and beauty makeup. Our programs focus on working professionally in the theatre, film and TV world and are taught by qualified and experienced professionals. Explore our options, you may decide a trade school path is for you.

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