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Does a Theater Degree Count Against Me

Jimmy writes in:

I have a bachelors and a masters in theatre. I never intended to break into the entertainment industry as a Production Assistant, but I now have decided that that is where I want to start. I trained to be an actor, and I am finding that it may be more difficult than I’m willing to stomach.

My trepidation with continuing in the business is due to the fact that I do not have a degree in film or film production. So realistically I am wondering whether I even have a shot given my credentials. Does a theatre degree holds up in applying for PA positions?

Generally speaking, your degree doesn’t matter. We’re not doctors or lawyers; nobody is checking our “credentials.”

In the particular case of a theater degree, though, I’d avoid mentioning the acting part. If you say you majored in acting, they’re going to assume that’s what you really want to do. Change your resume to whatever the theatrical equivalent to “production” is. If and when you’re asked about your degree, just say you realized after graduation that film is where you wanted to work after all.

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