With Oscar season is upon us, we may – quite wrongly – assume that acting is a natural gift bestowed on a lucky (and attractive) minority. The truth is though, that no matter how much innate talent actors may possess, they've typically honed their abilities through sheer hard work and dedication to their craft.
Here, we take a look at some of the top drama schools and conservatories throughout the world and the celebrated stars of stage and screen they have produced.
Bottom line: If you attend one of these highly competitive drama schools you're well on the road to fame and fortune... But then, you probably already knew that.
The Juilliard School, New York
Founded in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art, the name Juilliard is synonymous with excellence in the fields of drama, music and dance.
The New York City school's impressive legacy, prime location and solid gold reputation means its students are ideally primed upon graduation for successful careers both on stage and on screen.
Each year, the world famous performing arts conservatory presents almost 800 drama, music and dance events, giving talent spotters plenty of chances to witness its students' considerable abilities.
Notable alumni: Jessica Chastain, Kevin Spacey, Laura Linney and Robin Williams
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London
One of the most prestigious drama schools in the world, London's RADA offers unparalleled formal theatre training - with student places notoriously competitive owing to its strong industry links.
First established in 1904, the school is famed worldwide for its rigorous approach to stagecraft, with a wealth of casting directors and agents attending its end-of-year student productions to find 'the next big thing'.
Notable alumni: Vivien Leigh, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Alan Rickman (the school's current Vice-Chairman).
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, London
The UK's oldest drama school, LAMDA is perhaps best-known for the speech and drama examinations it has been offering the public as far back as the 1880s.
However the school itself remains an extremely high profile breeding ground for some of Britain's most successful stage and screen actors, on a par with RADA in terms of reputation.
In addition, the school also offers vocational training to would-be stage managers and theatre technicians, with an impressive 98 per cent employment rate for these students weeks after graduating.
Notable alumni: Jim Broadbent, Sarah Mortimer, John Lithgow and Donald Sutherland
The Actors Studio at Pace University, New York
Overseen by New York's legendary Actors Studio, students at this unique institution at Pace learn acting via the famous Stanislavski method.
With an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Al Pacino, Ellen Burstyn and Sean Penn, graduates can also apply to be members of the studio itself, skipping the usual first audition due to their credentials.
During their time at Pace, students can also attend weekly sessions at the Actors Studio - with actors, directors and playwrights working in a uniquely collaborative environment throughout this three-year MFA programme.
Notable alumni: Chris Stack and Bradley Cooper
Yale University School of Drama, New Haven, Connecticut
Meryl Streep is among the illustrious names that have passed through Yale's drama department and if that isn't enough to convince you of its virtues, then nothing else will.
Founded in 1924, the Yale School of Drama offers training in every aspect of theatre - from acting and directing to stage and lighting design, playwriting and dramatic criticism.
YSD has its origins in the Yale Dramatic Association and works in tandem with Yale Repertory Theatre in a relationship the school describes as being akin to that of a "medical school and teaching hospital".
Notable alumni: Paul Giamatti, Sigourney Weaver, Patricia Clarkson and Lupita Nyong'o - a 2014 Golden Globe winner for 12 Years A Slave.
National Institute of Dramatic Art, Sydney, Australia
Australia's famous performing arts school opened back in 1959 with just two staff butis now considered a key component of the country's media industry.
Countless graduates have successfully entered the worlds of theatre, film and television as performers, technicians, production crew and behind-the-scenes creatives.
Competition for places on its prestigious acting programme however is extremely fierce. In 2012, 1764 people auditioned for the full-time course, with just 20 individuals eventually selected - an acceptance rate of only 1.1%.
Notable alumni: Mel Gibson, Baz Luhrmann and Cate Blanchett.
Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, New York
NYU's progressive School of the Arts combines formal conservatory drama training with all the benefits and resources of a top research university.
This distinctive combination - mixed with Tisch's ideal New York location - makes it a hotbed for creative expression and acting talent.
That's not forgetting Tisch School of the Arts Asia, which opened its doors in Singapore in 2007 and allows filmmaking students a chance to study abroad alongside their Asian based counterparts at a world class facility.