The Industry is Coming: Advice to New Grads

The Industry is Coming: Advice to New Grads

Congratulations! Congratulations! You’ve graduated from drama school. You can finally put your tights in the bottom drawer and start smoking again. You can either keep your good habits and hustle, network or embrace the entire industry without expectations. It’s up to you. However, I would prefer the former. It can be frightening to leave the safety net of drama school, but don’t worry! StageMilks’ guide to being a valuable part of the entertainment industry and standing out from the crowd for new grads.

Don’t stop working

After being out of drama school for several years, my biggest regret was that I didn’t keep up the good habits I had at drama school. The Actors Centre Australia had us do yoga every week, voice practice every day, read plays and write scenes every week. We also did self-tapes every week and worked on our craft for 60 hours per week. Instead of finding a way to maintain some or all of these things, I allowed myself to slack off and only occasionally restarted them when there was a job. You will be successful if you find a way to maintain healthy habits, particularly around voice and scene work.

It’s not enough to have an agent.

Showcase can be stressful and overwhelming. The school administrators want the best agents to be there. Actors are competing for the same spots, and agents have 24 actors who are desperate to get their attention. It is intense, and you may find yourself without an agent or with the agency you had hoped for. This can be difficult, especially if people in your year group move to better agencies than you. My friend got very few offers after the Showcase and chose an agency that was not right for her. They were left without an agent after 18 months and spent every waking moment sending showreels and headshots to agencies across Australia. They put their heads down and created a show that propelled their careers into highly acclaimed projects, an agency with great and international representation. They could create their work while being without an agent for a time, which was a significant advantage to their careers.

While Showcase is a great stepping stone for artists, it is only one of many opportunities. It is great to get signed or meet people, but that is not the end of your career.

Take a break

Straight-up drama school can be intense. Although my first point might seem to contradict it, it is important to give yourself some grace and to take a moment to thank yourself for sticking it out. All schools have high dropout rates. It is no surprise that you managed to complete the course, get through Showcase, and emerge as a fully-formed creative practitioner. Now you can join thousands of others who have graduated from drama school in bars, cafes and cafes all over the country, reminiscing about the great times.


Don’t worry, young graduates. There is still a place for you in this industry if you don’t see it immediately, or even if it does. It’s all about working hard and using your interpersonal skills to find the right job. Be patient, don’t rush and be kind to others. Don’t compare yourself to other people’s careers. You can make your luck, so go out and do it. Do. It!’