Why learn acting in a drama school in France?
Acting is a form of art that sweeps the world over. It doesn’t matter your background, age, ethnicity or location, acting expresses humanity by shining a mirror up towards itself and showing our natural selves back at us. We are all predisposed to empathy and acting pokes into that like an ice-pick with subtle gestures and booming charisma. So, wanting to be a part of that process and dramatic legacy is something that should excite you, it should burn inside you; pushing yourself to the absolute limit of your capabilities in performance. Training, therefore, seems a necessary requirement – 10,000 hours of deliberate practise are needed to become world-class in any discipline, so starting those hours mulling about a school for likeminded individuals is an ideal place to start.
But, with so many choices from around the world, the question remains – “Why should you learn acting in drama schools in France?” – “What makes a French drama school the right one to choose?”
The short answer is: France has as much to give as any nation across the globe in terms of potential, training and the proof is when you investigate the collective achievements derived from the Gallic country.
France has a natural flair for artists and literary masters stemming back to the renaissance with mystery plays and miracle plays. The legacy of these theatrical workers keeps France firmly rooted in the history of drama. To be surrounded by the history and culture that shaped some of the greatest minds to ever bear their name to the stage, such as Molière, Thomas Corneille, Sartre, Artaud and Voltaire, is a privilege for any potential performer. Steeped in beauty and comedic brilliance from some of the planets most esteemed tragedians/comics, the possibility of walking where they walked and breathing the same air should inspire you, creatively and with renewed determination.
During the 18th Century, France’s society and art became electrically politicized due to the revolutionary ideas that were circulating. This created an atmosphere that embroiled the will of the nation, as opposed to the monarch and the theatre industry in France boomed; having 14 theatres in 1791, to 35 in 1792. The working class became important in their role as a reactionary creature, voicing themselves aggressively from the pit (in what some call, a symbol of their desire for democracy). Politicians were popular playwrights of their day; Marie Joseph Cenier was a Jacobin, elected to the National Assembly and François de Neufchâteau was the interior minister of the country. Imagining a more reliant culture on the theatre, is hard to even contemplate. It was a means of speaking truths that needed attention, a way of shuttling to the heart of what the common rabble most desired. It wasn’t for the rich and powerful, it was for the whole of humanity. Exactly what acting tries to encapsulate.
France is no slouch to flexing its creative muscles across multiple platforms. Cinema is widely recognised to have been born in France. The Lumiere brothers were pioneers in their new and improved variation of the cinematograph, allowing multiple viewings. You might expect that the French film industry is among the greatest in the world, and you’d be right. Paris has the most ‘cinema houses’ per inhabitant in the world and French filmmakers regularly get employed across the globe to promote their art.
French cinema also has one of the highest catchment areas in terms of films watched so, you also see many talented directors from other nations opting to work with French cinema as their means of production.
Everything is set-up perfectly in France to train, perform and put on a spectacle. The love for cultural artistic elements across the nation is regarded in the highest possible way. So, understandably, French Actors are becoming and have become globally recognised performers based on their care for the art, and the base which they were lucky to find themselves in. Actors such as Jean Reno (Léon: The Professional, The Pink Panther), Jean Dujardin (The Wold of Wall Street, The Artist), Eva Green (Kingdom of Heaven, Casino Royale) and Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, Hackers Game) all have their technical ability and foundations built up in France. These artists’ works span over years and continue to make newer, more-innovative work that audiences continue to lap up. The actors associated to France have a huge responsibility in carrying the dramatic tradition that stems from the pedigree linked to proud theatrical nation.
You don’t have to research for long to find out the extensive nature with which the French spirit has enwrapped the history of performance. France shouldn’t be written off any drama students search for training – and now, you can even apply to study in English, should your French be a little shaky.