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Is AMDA a bad school

Payne318Payne318 Posts: 1Registered User New Member
edited October 2013 in Musical Theater Major
I had audition for 3 schools (well 2 if you don’t count AMDA) and out of all 3 of them I made it into AMDA along with a 5,000$ scholarship. It seems to me that some feel the school is a scam and in fact there are some great things about it.

1. I can still get a BFA through the New School in NY, since AMDA's credits can be used towards the degree in the school (however I have to wait until I graduate).
2. It is right in New York City.
3. They too have a show case of some sort for the seniors.
4. They have there own theater (off-off- Broadway)
5. A lot of the teachers are from well established Colleges and Theater backgrounds.
6. There Alumni include many working and employed actors.
7. A BFA at Boco (or any other college) and a certificate really mean nothing on the street of professional theater (Unless you want to Teach).
Please me tell me why AMDA is so bad?
Post edited by Payne318 on
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Replies to: Is AMDA a bad school

  • LaralaLarala Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    Well, I dont know if it is a BAD school persay, but I dont think it has as good of a reputation as many of the other conservatory acting programs around. There have been several actors and actresses who have come from AMDA and have gone on to be successful on Broadway and elsewhere. So , its hard to say whether it is a bad school or not. I am sure some people love it and get a lot out of it. But not everyone is going to like every school they attend.

    I forgot to mention that I have a friend who is attending AMDA and she loves it. She did mention that she was not very happy with the dance classes that they take because I am not sure if they were challenging enough, but for the most part she loves it, and is hoping to be asked back next year.
  • notfrommenotfromme Posts: 435Registered User Member
    Payne,
    How do YOU feel about the school???!!!!! Is it what YOU want? You will always find people who did not like a school for one reason or another. My d visited about 15 different schools before narrowing her selection down to 7. Some of the schools she took off her list are some of the "most popular" on this site. One of her favorites ended up being one that is not mentioned much. You have to go with how you feel. Just like all schools, you will hear good and bad. You obviously liked it since it was one of three schools you auditioned for. Unless a criticism is truly justified, do not take it to heart. Well, that is my opinion for you...and enjoy you acceptance into the program!!!!!!!!
  • stitchesstitches Posts: 7Registered User New Member
    My son went to UNLV (Las Vegas) last year but they made changes and put their Music Theatre program under Theatre. He liked the school but felt the program wasn't strong enough in Music Theatre. He was one of 19 accepted back for his Sophmore year. However, he is at AMDA this year and he loves the school. Most of the staff are performers, directors, etc. and know their stuff. It is extremely demanding though and some kids leave after the first semester. They also want you to do a lot of "outside the school" classes such as additional dance, voice lessons, etc. In other words, if you aren't in class, you are taking a class so It can get expensive but he feels it has really helped him. The down size is that their housing isn't the greatest. Their "dorm" is old apartments about 100 years old, not anything like a nice regular university. They also do not have a dining hall so you have to be self reliant as far as feeding yourself. But I guess if you want to be on Broadway, you might as well get used to cheap New York apartment living early - especially if you can't afford the high rents. My son has met several people who went to AMDA and are doing well on stage now and they loved the school. I guess you just have to decide for yourself.
  • EricsmomEricsmom Posts: 1,224Registered User Senior Member
    bumping for boatrigs
  • bwaychicbwaychic Posts: 53Registered User Junior Member
    im in the SAME boat as you, and i decided against everyone else. Like, i know plenty more people go to AMDA than go to other schools, but they have an impressive alumni list to say the least. I'm auditioning on dec. 9th, and hoping that because its not AS difficult to get into as the other schools im applying to, it will make the whole process ALOT less stressful. I know that I would be happy there, I have a couple friends who go there and they absolutely adore it. I mean , i know it doesn't have the best reputation, we've all heard (sc)amda, lol, but how couldn't we have fun? Its musical theatre all the time, and we can still get the b.f.a. I know i want more than AMDA, but for some reason it gets more appealing looking the more I look into it, i think that the jokes cracked on it by those around me just make me look at it differently, and I'm assuming you too! So I saw, screw people, AMDA looks totes fun : P
  • KatMTKatMT Posts: 3,325College Rep Senior Member
    I thought that AMDA was a 2 year conservatory. Do they have an affiliation with a four year college that allows them to offer an BFA option?

    As far as reputation goes... I have worked with some incredibly talented people from AMDA and some not as incredibly talented people from AMDA. Being on the upper west side in NY is certainly an advantage and an experience, and many very well qualified professionals teach at AMDA because it is in NYC. In the end... just like everything else... you have to decide what is going to be the best environment in which to nurture your talent and encourage your personal growth.

    I will say that the more polished just out of AMDA grads I have worked with were the students who had spent 2- 4 years at a more traditional college or 4 year conservatory before attending AMDA... but that may have simply been because they were a few years older and were maybe more ready to handle the stress of living in NYC on their own in a less structured environment. Meaning.. that at traditional colleges (like NYU for example) there is a more structured freshman year living experience and more support services than a 2 year conservatory such as AMDA might offer.
  • MTgeekMTgeek Posts: 113- Junior Member
    AMDA is affilated with New School University. For those who wish to receive a BA or BFA you may choose to have your AMDA credits transferred to New School where you can create an individualized course of study for the following 2 years (probably with various liberal arts and more theatre courses). It's actually a pretty cool thing. AMDA is one of my back up schools, although I'm hoping it won't come down to that. I do not think it is the place for me to be quite honest.
  • shellipearlshellipearl Posts: 152Registered User Junior Member
    AMDA has been suggested to my daughter by some people who work with professionals as a good way to go. They have said you can make connections that you couldn't possibly make on a suburban campus and that making connections in these early years is what its all about. Does anyone agree with this?
  • mtdog71mtdog71 Posts: 498Registered User Member
    I have mentioned this once before. There are universities and conservatories that account for much of the training that is discussed here. AMDA represents a third alternative I would hold akin to "trade school" training. Each genre of training would have its own appeal to various students.

    Concerning making "connections" - that is an important element as one attempts a life in the performing arts. It is possible to make connections with the part time instructors at AMDA. However, I feel that many of the accredited programs discussed here also have connections to the professional world of theatre - this includes programs off the eastern seaboard and those in suburban settings.
  • boopster's momboopster's mom Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    My daughter attends AMDA and is just thrilled with the program. I would like to clarify some missinformation, however. AMDA is, contrary to belief, NOT an easy school to get into. They accept about 175 students per year, however over 4000 apply. Also, the caliber of the professors who teach there is top-notch, in fact one of her professors is a very well known Broadway actor (many supplement their earnings with teaching gigs when they are in between shows). The program is intense and those that don't give 100% are not asked back. AMDA shouldn't be considered anyones "fallback" school. AT $30,000 a year it's a serious investment and requires serious commitment.
  • _simplywicked_simplywicked Posts: 85Registered User Junior Member
    30,000 a year? For some reason, i was under the impression that it was 10,000 a year.


    haha I was WAY off.
  • MTgeekMTgeek Posts: 113- Junior Member
    Boopster's mom-- I think that number is a little off... but if it isn't also remember that there is 2 campuses, LA and NYC, as well as 2 programs.. The musical theatre studio and the acting/film studio. Personally, I have yet to meet a person who HAS NOT been accepted to amda. That is not to say that those who go there are untalented or the training is not up to par. It just means they are not as restricted as far as how many they can accept. So since they do accept more, it is a back up-- for me at least. Also because it is not a school that is anywhere near my top choice at the moment.
  • shellipearlshellipearl Posts: 152Registered User Junior Member
    Can someone who goes to AMDA or knows someone who has please give me some really good advice on the school. I'd like to know if this school perhaps in conjunction with another college program i.e. Hunter or Queens College might be a viable option for my d who feels like these next four years after graduating high school may be important years to get out there and audition, model etc.
  • BroadwayBelleBroadwayBelle Posts: 55Registered User Junior Member
    I have been accepted to AMDA with a huge scholarship. I toured the campus and was not impressed. I was getting a little scared that it was just like the previous college I attended (I'll just say a school in Chicago). The day of the audition I got a completely different feel for the school. It was very profession and it made a much better impression.

    I too had/have my doubts about this school, I have heard so many bad things from people, like "don't go there, if you can avoid it" so I asked what they think is so "bad" about this program. They said it's because you don't get anything on your resume. Which I understand, but if you think like a casting director, the casting director isn't going to take someone who is less talented but has a bigger resume than someone who is more talented and has a smaller resume.
    This business is a lot about connections. My cousin (who works in the industry) has talked to his friends who are working in musical theater and they all say it's a good program for people who are very dedicated. They did say that it's not such a good program for people right out of high school because it's so strick.

    Most musical theatre schools are going to teach their students how to audition well. That's really all that matters.

    FYI-I looked through my showbill programs which I probably have about 20
    Number of people who graduated from:
    CCM:12
    AMDA:9
  • ElliottsMomElliottsMom Posts: 362Registered User Member
    I have a friend who's S just graduated from the LA campus of AMDA. He did an accelerated program working through the summer and graduated in 18 months. Artistically his growth was huge. In his last semester he did an MTV reality thing. Now he is doing a national tour of a musical for very young children. He attributes being hired for this show, in part, from his connection with the choreographer who was a part-time instructor at AMDA.

    Now for some of the negatives. There are no dorms and apartment living was tough for many of the kids. They were constantly having money management problems. This meant a lack of food, no gas for the car, phones being disconnected. I was consistently sending this kid care packages hoping he'd eat. The degree portion of the program seems to be the hook for parents (completion of the degree in NYC). In reality, I wonder how many students do it. With essentially the electives already done, how many are willing to then go back to the general education courses for two more years to finish their degree??
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