[quote] no audition has any bearing on the outcome of any other auditions. [/quote]
EmsDad, I appreciate the heuristic that you've described!
My view, however, is that one cannot assume that auditions are always independent events. I concede that there is not collusion going on between schools regarding applicants. However, consider auditionees as storage capacitors; they discharge energy at an audition, then need time to recharge to capacity before getting "pulsed" again. My observations at college auditions are that auditionees need time to recover and regroup between their auditions in order to be at peak performance.
If, for example, a student expends energy at the first audition of the day at Unifieds, and the second audition (or third or fourth, etc) is a short time (hours? minutes?) later. Is there enough time for the auditionee to mentally recover and give his/her best at the next audition? This will likely vary from student to student. I don't know of any auditionee who can be as effective at the end of a long day of auditions as they were at the start of the day. In any event, I contend that the time between any two auditions does have an effect on the later audition. The shorter the time between auditions, the greater the impact is on the outcome of the second (and subsequent) auditions.
When DS did his auditions - albeit for acting, not MT - he spaced his auditions out over several weeks, rather than compressing them into a Unified Weekend. He did this because he knew he need that recovery time. This approach certainly has disadvantages to it (cost, amount of time away from home, etc), but it gave him the best chance to perform at his best at each audition - to make them truly independent events. YMMV.
As an engineer, I love the scientific approach. I applaud the effort. But since the subjects are people, there's just too much unpredictability involved. Halflokum and Soozie both hit on the situation that my son had - once he was accepted to his #1 school, which was his 4th audition, all subsequent scheduled auditions were cancelled. For his data to fit the model, he would have needed to play out the string and finish the auditions.
What fun! I especially like the examples noted by jbehlend and bazaarshopper. These are all interesting points to ponder. If adding an audition would tire you out, then it would be a bad plan and would result in the odds of acceptance lowering for subsequent auditions until you "recharged," so, clearly, this should be taken into account in your game plan. However, readng some posts, some auditions only take 4-5 minutes - for example, a recent post on Nothern Colorado describes a very short on campus audition. I doubt seriously a passionate MT kid with chops is going to be bogged down by this type of audition at the end of the day at Unifieds. For any audition, as I have said, you should weigh your chances of success and our overall objectives and level of confidence desired in the outcome.
By and large, I actually believe the math in the OP holds and this is, within the frame of reference posited in the OP, a numbers game. How you choose to play it is the interesting "Freakonomics" question. I would never have guessed that crime went down because of Roe vs. Wade, either.
Regarding acceptance rates, the acceptance rate conjectures that I have drawn from CC data, as I have said, are far less conclusive, but I think are indicative. Halflokum is correct that some respondents may have stopped early due to an acceptance that they craved and this would bias the acceptance rate data downward (and bazaarshopper and soozievt have cited anecdotes that corroborate that this does happen). However, I think that there is as much or more likelihood that my estimates of acceptance rate data based on the CC threads are actually more likely to be biased UPWARD rather than downward for the reasons I noted in my previous posts.
Soozievt is right that you can only develop an acceptance rate ESTIMATE by guessing how many auditions people attended and I have stated this. However, I used the commonly recommended numbers of 7 and 8 for a guess as to how many auditions were done, on average, by a group of CC respondents to an "acceptance thread." Do you believe the numbers are less than 7 or 8 on average? Remember, the respondents are all CC people who have read the recommendations on how many auditions to attend! I would doubt that, on average, the CC respondents have done FEWER auditions than the "common wisdom" in CC. Also remember, it is likely some or many of the respondents have done MORE than 7 or 8. And while some people may have stopped after a key acceptance, the data doesn't include any of the people who got zero acceptances and did not respond at all. I believe that the weight of non-respondent, zero acceptances is likely far greater than the respondents who stopped after one audition. But I will model this and get back to you.
Also, let me reiterate that the OP shows why the generally accepted CC wisdom of 6-8 auditions seems to make sense: if you choose your list such that your overall odds of acceptance are good (around 25-35%), then your probability of at least one acceptance will be 90-95%. But if you pack your list with lots of "reaches" and you really, really want to enter an audition-based program, then you should add more auditions, especially those at which your odds of success are good.
I really enjoy this discussion and I think that EVERYONE'S feedback is very good!
It is indeed an interesting discussion.
I still don't think one can tell how many schools a student applied to based on the acceptance thread. Yes, you can analyze it by estimating how many you think each kid applied to but that is not the same as data whereby each applicant says, "I applied to X number of BFA programs and got into Y number." (not to mention all the other factors I brought up in an earlier post that make even that data not all that significant)
Yes, some students apply to very few BFAs. For example, I know of some highly talented MT and Acting students who are also very strong academic students who wanted a college strong in academics (and very selective academically speaking). Many of the BFA in MT programs are located within universities that are not very selective academically. Some of these students had NO interest in applying to such colleges. Therefore, their college lists had just a few BFAs on it such as NYU and UMich and then had schools like Yale, Northwestern, Brown, etc. on their list. I know of several such students and some landed at NYU or UMich (one of my former advisees is at Tisch and turned down acceptances at Stanford and Brown) and some got into those BFA schools but chose Yale, etc. So, they only had two or three BFAs on their list.
And following up on jbehland a bit....yes, I think the outcome at one's audition has other factors in play like he brings up some. I can say that I also think some kids get better at their auditions as the audition season wears on. My daughter, like jbehland's son, did not do Unifieds. She applied to 8 BFAs and did on campus auditions from December through March. Here is how that played out in terms of sequence of the auditions and the outcome (albeit, this is just one example and I can't generalize but many kids say they improve through the audition season and conventional wisdom is to not to make your first audition at your first choice BFA program in fact):
1st audition - accepted academically in EA, deferred BFA in EA, rejected in spring to BFA (also came down with a cold the day of the audition)
2nd audition - rejected
3rd audition - accepted
4th audition - accepted
5th audition - accepted
6th audition - Priority Waitlisted
7th audition - accepted
8th audition - accepted
(so her results started out not looking that positive and got quite positive after that)
Another factor....just one example.....after the first audition, my daughter changed one of her audition songs for her remaining auditions.
You all are very sporting! I'm about to leave for a trip so I'm going dark on the subject but keep the torch burning :-) For me the part that I keep getting stuck with is the denominator in the acceptance rate calculation (schools accepted divided by schools auditioned at.) Many circumstances influence the denominator including the previously mentioned "timing of notification" where one could stop early. How about logistics and the actual audition dates that the various schools make available? One might set up their travel plans in a way where they hit certain preferred schools but then "while they are at it" they hit a couple of others because they are nearby or in a connecting city or because it is the only audition date that school has made available that is logistically possible without messing up access to anothers school's audition date. Another reason why you can't say that these auditions are entirely independent events. I don't know about the rest of you but I have something that looks a little like an air traffic control board that laying all of these "independent yet dependent" events out so we can figure out how to pull it off. Have fun and all the best!
EmsDad: Just think of the revenue flow if you can design an App for this!
@santefedad - hilarious! The sad truth is that I actually could design an app for this (I have an MS in Computer Science) but I am too busy assisting in all the stuff associated with the crazy world of a dedicated MT kid (and she is only a freshman in HS!) and then doing my day job with the time left over (I guess I would have more time if I weren't OCD about accumulating information for her future auditions).
I am really enjoying this! Sometimes you have to just step back and laugh about this whole nutty thing.
I should never have read, "I Got In!" "Accept My Kid Please!" and "Crazy U." It was all so innocent, all I was trying to was kill some time in airports. Sometimes having a Kindle is a curse...
Do it for straight acting majors next time you're in an airport, Emsdad!
(Someone asked D what major she was applying for and she said, "straight acting"....conditioned by years of acting vs MT. "Oh, is there a major for gay acting?" she was asked.)
Too much for me! I wouldnt put so much thought into it. Your brain will hurt and it really wont get you anywhere. Either you will be accepted, or you wont. And lets say that what you worked off of is true and somebody gets into a prestigious program and they actually dont have the talent to hold their own. That's worse than not getting in.
I would always advise against people going to over 10 auditions.
And if she is a freshman, I would reaaaalllly advise against worry about it for a couple of years. Its a big source of stress with lots of expectation and disappointment attached. I didn't even decide to audition until september of my senior year, and I did just as well in auditions as anyone else I know. But that whole time I was so stressed about the whole ordeal, and never would have wanted to drawn it out or thought about it more than needed.
Entertaining thread though!
Just my 2 cents - My D did more than 10 auditions and did fine with the process. She did a combination of on campus and unifieds and videotaped. It worked for her as she has a variety of acceptances in the end and she ended up at a school that is a great fit for her. No one can tell you what is right for you. There are too many variables for each person auditioning. So I think you just have to read and research and follow your instincts. Then go out and have FUN at the auditions! Best of luck to all!!
@ Gwen, hilarious comment on the straight acting! Always having to explain when I say MT!
Gwen, that is funny!
I agree with austinmtmom. In fact, even when advising students, I have no magic number of how many schools to apply to. It is quite individualized depending on many factors. However, I can't think of anyone ever needing more than 14 BFA/BAs combined at the most (and auditioning at 10 schools at the most) and even that is a lot. But the number of schools applied to is quite variable among students with whom I work as it is a very individualized process when it comes to college list building.
Also, while I applaud Emsdad for learning all he can about the schools and this crazy process, it is REALLY early to think much about this for a freshman in high school beyond planning out artistic training for the next few years, high school academics and activities, test prep and plans, and summer plans. Knowledge is power but it is very early to be talking that much about college specifics at the start of high school when the focus should be planning the next four years for now. It is good to be prepared and do well in school and get good training in singing, dance, and acting and also in piano, but getting into nitty gritty about colleges is very early and could begin in junior year in my opinion. It might be kinda stressful to deal with this college process for four years! :D
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