How can Australian actor training be relevant in a world of 86 per cent unemployment?

Gabrielle Metcalf and Andrew Lewis

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Completing a University degree in actor training may have become a practice in absurdity. There is not enough work for most graduates to even pay the HECS debt that they would have accumulated over their three-year degree. What does this signify for the relevance of actor training, when most graduates can only look forward to a future of unemployment or at best, underemployment? This article charters territory for the Academy to navigate in order for actor training to become more relevant and its graduates better equipped to meet the challenges of the high unemployment rates in the arts industry. A starting point is to examine the pedagogical components of Conservatoire actor education and ask the question, “How can we enhance the preparation of students for the industry?” Two main areas of inquiry will be explored: firstly, the new triple threat; actor, writer, producer, where students are given specific tools as part of their training to become creators and producers of their own material. Secondly, we argue that actor training should include professional preparation units of study that teach students entrepreneurial skills and how to transfer their drama training to other areas of industry.


Actor Training; Actor Unemployment; Actor as Triple Threat; Transferrable Skills; Professional Preparation; Actor as Entrepreneur

To cite this article

Metcalf, Gabrielle and Andrew Lewis. “How Can Australian Actor Training be Relevant in a World of 86 Per Cent Unemployment?.” Fusion Journal, no. 17, 2020, pp. 96-106.

First published online: April 2020

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