The Unfortunate Consequence of Quality Actor Training



Contributed with love by Studio Director Terry Knickerbocker


I believe in the power of trained actors.


But here’s a terrible statistic: of all the actors who graduate from most serious conservatory training programs;  including BFAs, our program, MFAs, and the other top conservatories, less than half will be working actors five years from graduation, and less than 25 percent ten years out.

I’ve seen this phenomenon play out over and over ever since I was a student at NYU forty years ago.  In my analysis of this awful trend, I’d say the reason is that these programs do a very good job of training actors how to act – but not how to be an actor. 

So – graduates report a sense of feeling like they’re in the middle of the ocean when they complete training


They know where the shore is, but have little or no idea how to get there.



In a way, speaking for TK Studio in particular, I’m partly to blame. I have assiduously kept any focus on The Business out of the classroom. I discouraged auditioning, I cast students in great scenes where often, realistically, they’d have little chance of getting cast in those great parts. But those scenes were an essential part of their growth.

I felt it important for students to be laser focused on the craft. We took our time, we made mistakes, we focused on process.

Now that you’ve all had foundational training– you may be facing a very different, challenging, and crowded landscape.


It’s rough out there.


I emphatically do not want my students to be part of that disturbing statistic above.  In the classroom we’ve been passionately committed to excellence. Now – I want to commit with you to success.


That’s why I want to focus on “What’s Next?”



Once you can say you’re a trained actor (and what a beautiful thing to be able to say) I believe you need four things to significantly increase your chances of success as an actor:

  1. A solid understanding of on camera script analysis and technique,
  2. A simple approach to cold reading,
  3. A skillful way of auditioning,
  4. A clear understanding of all the components of running the business of being an actor – a business where you’re the CEO.  

The Program we’re offering this Fall (Take Charge of your Career (formally known as the Third Year Program)) addresses all those things.  I’ve recruited amazing teachers. If you were lucky enough to see Katie Flahive this Summer, you know what I mean. Allison Brzezinski is a storehouse of knowledge about the BUSINESS, and will share all of it with you – with energy and clarity.

I am so ALL IN about this new program because I know how good my students are – and it breaks my heart to see many actors lose momentum after you leave class. I am fiercely determined to help all actors buck that trend. I am committed to your success.

Life is short. The business is going on without you.



There are so many projects happening now. And many of you might still not know where to start, how to work on camera, or how to own the room at an audition, or a producer meeting.

I haven’t been this excited about a class in years. I believe this 10-week experience is going to be invaluable.

This information is not really available all together at any other studio in the city. So many actors get out of training and nose dive. I hope that you aren’t settling for a money job when you long to act, or are someone who says “I’m an actor” and when asked “What are you working on?”, gets embarrassed.

I urge you to ask yourself not only, “How good do I want to be?”, but also  “When do I want to become a successful actor?”

What are you waiting for?



Interested in learning more from Terry?



Terry Knickerbocker Studio offers comprehensive Two-Year Conservatory rooted in the Meisner technique, in a state of the art facility in Brooklyn, New York.

Interview Today for the Fall Conservatory or the Winter Conservatory

Fill out an Application Here

Or Call 718-801-8999

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