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American Academy of Dramatic Arts

brookesmombrookesmom Posts: 25Registered User New Member
edited November 2012 in Theater/Drama Majors
Hi~
My daughter is in her second year working on Grad plays for graduation. She is considering on auditioning for The Company. Does anyone have any views on this? And if anyone is looking for information on new students auditioning for AADA... I would be glad to answer any questions that I can. I am happy with the education that she has received and feel secure in everything now~ BUT... I was a huge basket case when she applied... She had to move to Hollywood and I was scared to death for her!
She has thrived there. Is happy and I feel safe. I have lots of faith and dream as big for her as she does!
I am here for you if you need any advice!
Post edited by brookesmom on
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Replies to: American Academy of Dramatic Arts

  • timdbtvtimdbtv Posts: 10Registered User New Member
    Hello brookesmom.

    My high school drama teacher's D went to AADA in NYC. I am also considering going there next year myself at the NYC campus, so I have spoken to my teacher at great length about the program there.

    Her D graduated a few years ago and decided not to audition for the Advanced Company. From what I gathered from my teacher, her D felt that the extra year spent there was more so for students who felt they still needed another year before going out into the "real, working" world. Your D would definately do more productions and she will have a good chance of getting an agent and developing more connections in the industry if she has not already done either. Of course, she can do those things without going on to the Advanced Company, but it will be more difficult. I hope that helps to answer some of your questions.

    I do have a question for you. Would you mind telling me your D's cost for tuition and living expenses at AADA's LA campus? I am really confused right now becuase the 2007-2008 cost of tuition was $18,000, but the tuition cost for the 2009-2010 year is $27,000. I have no idea if the 2009-2010 costs factors in the living expense already, but I don't see why they would add that on. If it really is a $9,000 jump in tuition costs, that is so ridiculous.
  • parent56parent56 Posts: 7,658Registered User Senior Member
    my oldest son went to aada in nyc and also did not stay for the 3rd year (Company). he graduated 5 years ago. from what he tells me, it doesnt seem to have made a difference in the long run, whether someone was in company or not as to whether they were able to get work after. a few from his class have got work, but most are still doing what they need to do to pay bills and auditioning etc when they can. That is NO reflection on AADA...he loved it and feels it is an excellent school!!! it is just the nature of the industry..1. so many different unions and the old cliche (cant get job unless in union...cant be in union unless you have job) 2. the competition is so tough so many actors for so few parts. 3. so many non-paying jobs 4. reality tv etc
    he stayed in nyc for about 2 years after graduation and his most consistent work was voice-overs. he then moved to california and has started his own independent film company while he works for a company to pay bills, health insurance etc.
  • soozievtsoozievt Posts: 29,299Registered User, ! Senior Member
    I am unable to address the OP's original question.

    However, I just want to comment on something parent56 mentioned:
    cant get job unless in union...cant be in union unless you have job

    While it is true that without being in the union, you may not be able to attend Equity open calls....it is not true that you must be Equity to get cast in an Equity show. What you need is an agent. My D is non-Equity. She signed with an agent this week and will ONLY be sent to auditions that are union jobs. (she is about to graduate college next month)
  • parent56parent56 Posts: 7,658Registered User Senior Member
    soozievt, i agree with you, it was more of a generalization...there are the tech unions, tv unions, theater unions, film unions (aftra, sag etc)they all have different rules. i remember my son went to a call and with permission from the director there was able to stay in line....after waiting 8 hours they came out and said they were through. there is a built in advantage to an equity member for casting, the directors are supposed to cast equity members over non equity even with an agent. His passion is film and tv more than theater.
    one suggestion for your daughter... she should look into theater companies that do plays for school children, schools etc... most actors dont look at those but with those hours under your belt you are on your way to equity.
  • soozievtsoozievt Posts: 29,299Registered User, ! Senior Member
    By the way, I mentioned Equity, I know, but the agent will also only send her to union film auditions as well.

    You are right about the Equity open calls and the likelihood of not being seen if you are non-Equity at those calls.

    Again, with her agent, she will be seen for Equity theater and for union film work only and NO non-union work. If she wants to pursue non-Union work, she'll have to do so on her own and not through the agent. Also, when auditioning for an Equity show or a SAG film, she doesn't have to stand in line but will be seen via agent appointment auditions.

    I am aware of theater for young audiences. My D's boyfriend graduated with his BFA last May and was cast right away for a short Equity tour in a lead role in a musical for young audiences and became Equity through it.

    Does your son have an agent? Many times it is hard to even be seen for many films without having an agent.
  • parent56parent56 Posts: 7,658Registered User Senior Member
    not out in california, he finally had to make some tough decisions re making a living. the past 2 years he has worked for a company he really likes and gets paid very well, with all benefits but nothing to do with film. although he does get to use his creativity. (while in nyc he worked the usual jobs, bartender, waiter, pizza delivery, catering,..all jobs he could quit easily if needed for acting) he formed his own film company and has been acquiring his equipment etc, he has done a few voiceovers, and camera work on some independent films and has concentrated on his music as an outlet while not acting.
    AADA was his dream school from the age of 11, and when he went to audition, i remember being so nervous for him. he was accepted to 2 other schools by audition but this was the biggie! i will never forget the joy when we got his acceptance letter. There really was no choice, this was his passion, his life!! and it still is.
    he actually has handled the reality well, and the dreams are not gone, only the direction changed. He was never disillusioned, he knew how hard this career path can be.
    One path he didnt choose but for people who attend aada, it is an option...they have/had a working relationship (i think with new college of ny) that lets you go there after graduation for 2 years in order to get a degree which might be something people want to consider.
    congratulations to your D, fingers crossed for her and wishes for success in all she does
  • skipsmomskipsmom Posts: 185Registered User Junior Member
    Somewhat off topic, but about the Equity question....

    Lets say a school offers a BA Theater Arts and has a professional theater on campus for which students can audition and perform. They are racking up shows/hours/points (whatever) for their Equity card, and in four years could conceivably become eligible for it . Wouldn't this be a great reason to look at a BA at a very selective university as an alternative to a BFA at another school? Or at the very least, as a fallback position?
  • soozievtsoozievt Posts: 29,299Registered User, ! Senior Member
    My kid, nor us, gave any care at all whether she became Equity during college. She never tried to and it was not any concern at all.
  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Posts: 9,467Registered User Senior Member
    skipsmom, I would not allow the EMC possibility to influence a college decision. In the big picture, relatively few Equity members earn their card in this way, and most who do, are not college kids but rather actors who do a lot of work in their regional theatre. EMC takes 50 creditable weeks of work at a participating Equity theatre and you will have to pay the necessary fees when you apply. Not all theatres participate, there are restrictions on what constitutes a creditable week, and there are limitations on the types of work that can be credited.

    Once you do complete your 50 weeks, you have five years to actually join Equity. When you do join, you will no longer be able to accept any non-Equity work, you will have to pay the $1100 initiation fee and begin to pay basic dues and also a percentage of any income derived from an Equity contract.

    It's an important decision for young actors and one that should not be entered into without a lot of thought. Many national tours these days are non-Equity, and these are often (not always, but often) where many new college grads get their first jobs. If you have your card, you are not able to book these jobs.

    There are many excellent BA theatre programs out there but the Equity issue should really not be much of a consideration in determining where a student applies/auditions, in my opinion. There are far more important issues (and lots of them!) to be thinking about.
  • skipsmomskipsmom Posts: 185Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks for that explanation, alwaysamom! I appreciate your taking the time to explain it to someone whose previous experience in this field is.... nil :) Our other kids are in business and engineering, so this is a completely new avenue and we are feeling our way. The opportunity to start earning equity week "credits" (for lack of a better term) was mentioned as a sort of bonus at a BA program our student has considered, and I had no idea whether that was really the benefit it was presented as.
  • soozievtsoozievt Posts: 29,299Registered User, ! Senior Member
    I don't think earning Equity credits during college is that important and would not pick a college with that in mind. For that matter, that could be accomplished in many summer stock jobs if desired.
  • NKLOUNKLOU Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    Hi Brooksmom,
    I am planning to audition in LA. I currently live in the UK and moving to LA would be a very big step for me.
    How is your daughter doing now? How do you find the cost of the school and did you daughter manage to get any financial aid/scholarships?
    In your opinion, how effective has the school been in terms of her success in this field?
    I would appreciate some advice.
    Thank you
  • brookesmombrookesmom Posts: 25Registered User New Member
    Hi,
    sorry that I haven't come back sooner. A few parents have e-mailed me privately to ask me questions and I forgot to come back here and check on the thread. First to answer your question, Brooke's tuition is close to $20,000. It is locked into the price that her first year was but I will know more in a couple of weeks when I go to an appt. at the finance dept. I do think though that they honor the first year's price. I know that last year was at least close to the first year's price. I did hear that prices have gone up substantially for new students.
    As for The Company. She did get in and several famous and successful alumni seem to have attended The Company so if all of them felt that they weren't ready to face the "real" world they must have really gotten some great training because they are working actors out there that are house hold names so I am not sure if your teacher has the correct assumptions. French Stewart spoke at my daughter's graduation and he attended The Company and spoke highly of it. The Company gives the students an opportunity to invite agents and directors and others in the industry and so while the students who opt to not attend third year may get in auditions and pounding the pavement one year earlier, they may miss out on the connections a networking that The Company may provide for them. Hence we opted to accept their invitation.
    Good luck in your choices! :)
  • brookesmombrookesmom Posts: 25Registered User New Member
    Hi 56! Thanks for posting... I just came back on and am trying to answer all the people who spent time replying! My daughter did end up auditioning and got accepted to The Company. I decided to support her in this decision. I think she has made great connections already in the industtry doing plays during summer break and working, her voice teacher etc... I guess in the long run. It is an education. Did your son go ahead and take advantage of the AA degree program they offered? Don't you think the training was just good for life? Whether or not they ever get the big break... I actually believe that my daughter has what it takes. Of course I am her mom but one of the kids I work with, said to me after I said many years ago... "EVERYONE Wants to be an actor and many of those people are very talented." And she said Yes, but they aren't Brooke! And it hit me. She was right and I have sucked it up and supported her ever since and actually believe she WILL make it. ;)
  • brookesmombrookesmom Posts: 25Registered User New Member
    Hi NKLOU!
    Several kid were from the UK in Brooke's division. She loved them! Good luck to you! I am sure you will be welcomed with open arms! Brooke graduated and got accepted to The Company so you guys may meet! We actually lost our store in an earthquake in 2003 and qualified for a Cal Grant which paid for half of her first year! And also her second year. She got a writing scholarship through AADA explaining why she thought she should receive a scholarship both years... Jorge Ramirez is very helpful! He was our financial advisor at AADA.
    Welcome to California! :)
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