Our Philosophy on Collegiate Studies and Career GoalsThe most recent surveys demonstrate that only about a third of college graduates chose a career related to their major field of study. Colleges, particularly liberal arts colleges, are places to build character and deepen ones sense of self—they are not trade schools. College educated persons are far less likely to develop or maintain racist, sexist, bigoted attitudes, and are far more likely to become productive members of a society, contributing positively to the overall growth and well-being of a community. In short, college is the place where the "art" of being human is studied, and at Anderson, it is the even higher art of being a Christian.
Though the advocational pursuit of the theatre is enriching for both the practitioner, and the community benefiting from that practice, the theatre arts as a profession or career is one of the most competitive in the world. Moreover, many students are drawn to a very limited and narrow position within that profession—that of the actor. A student should consider carefully his or her choice to pursue the most competitive job in the most competitive profession in the world. They should realistically recognize the economic, emotional, spiritual, relational, and professional stresses that often come hand-in-hand with a career in the arts. With this in mind, the program advises career-bound students to carry a second major which would be useful in the theatre profession; Marketing, Public Relations, and Arts Management have all proven popular and useful choices. There are many jobs within the theatre; it is not all acting. If a second major is not palatable, students should consider developing a strong second emphasis in a technical field, such as scenography or lighting design. In the real world, actors often work for free; designers do not.
Whatever your choice, a life of art and faith requires tenacity and sacrifice at every step. Any artist pursuing a theatrical career must make him or herself as marketable, thoroughly trained and prepared, and as self-actualized as possible. Anderson’s theatre community provides an accepting and encouraging environment in which to prepare oneself, but as one of our graduates said after years in the New York theatre scene, "Every good, steadily working actor I’ve ever meet is also an emotionally healthy actor." Invest in yourself. God is in the business of creating full time, the ultimate artist. We venture into awesome company, with equally awesome personal and communal responsibilities when we decide to "create."