TAEM- The Arts and Entertainment Magazine has interviewed many actors, directors, and producers over the years. Each time we have always asked how they received their start in their respective careers. Education has always been our focal point in giving our student readers a foothold towards success to achieve their dreams.
With that in mind we wanted to explore the beginnings of an actors career, and dwell on the education that they would need. Professor Ken Elston of George Mason University, located in Northern Virginia, excels in teaching students the fine art of acting and helps them hone their careers and thus realize their dreams. Ken, tell us about your own early education in this field and where you studied.
KE- I was lucky enough to have exposure to the arts early in my life. Besides a strong high school experience in theater and a family who scheduled weekends around theater and art, I began working in professional summer stock while still in middle school. I was a double major (Political Science and Theater) as an undergraduate at Temple University, a state school that gave me a scholarship support to study what I valued. Then before attending graduate school, at Ohio State, I worked in a “company system”, as an actor in repertory theater, which is something that hardly exists in the profession anymore. In many ways, that is the problem that educational theater has to solve: How do we provide experiences for our students that access the kind of journeyman learning previously available after graduation? (more…)