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Audition AFTER senior year? pros/cons

kwrinklekwrinkle 22 replies7 threadsRegistered User New Member
edited June 2013 in Musical Theater Major
I also posted this in the drama forum. Not sure if most theater folks peruse both or not...

My daughter will be a senior next year and plans to audition for drama and MT programs. As we've moved along this road I've started to wonder: Why not wait a year? Instead of auditioning a few months BEFORE graduation, why not audition a few months AFTER.

We have watched other kids juggle the audition process, some successfully, some less so. The common thread I see, even for the most prepared students, is how thinly they are stretched in order to pull it off. Since the college app/audition process is so crazy, why not buy some breathing room and sanity by lifting it off of senior year and letting most of the pressure fall after graduation?

These upsides come to mind:

-- Better focus on school work in what presumably will be more challenging senior year classes.

-- Freedom to enjoy performance opportunities that are available NOW. (Let's face it, even if she gets into a good college acting program, that's no guarantee of a successful career as an actor. What if this is as good as it gets??!!)

-- More time to experiment with and prepare audition material, and one more year of maturity going in.

-- More time to research/visit schools. (When our older D was researching colleges it made a huge difference to visit during the school year rather than summer, but it's so hard to find good times to do that and stay on top of school and not miss rehearsals...)

-- More sleep. Freedom to get a cold, strep, whatever, without feeling like it'll put her whole future in jeopardy.

-- After graduation, she'd have time to get a job to help pay for her coaches and travel!

When I floated this idea to my D it surprised me how receptive she was to it. Now, please help me with the risks/downsides. There must be some, but I'm having a hard time thinking of them...
edited June 2013
14 replies
Post edited by kwrinkle on
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Replies to: Audition AFTER senior year? pros/cons

  • jeffandannjeffandann 650 replies23 threadsRegistered User Member
    I think it depends on the individual as to whether this is good or bad. For my D, it was a very busy senior year especially around audition time, plus she was President of her school's top performing show choir (top 5 in the country, shameless plug). And she took several AP and college credit courses. Plus she found time to still have the fun you should have as a senior in high school (football games, etc, etc). This latter point was most important to me; I did not want her to be like some here and spend her entire senior year away going to twenty auditions, doing nothing but prepare for auditions, etc. She thrived in a busy environment and learned effective time management skills that will serve her well in college. And she is so ready for college to start; I think she'd go crazy if she had to wait a year to begin. The only sacrifice she had to make was missing the winter theater performance in February, but otherwise she was in all the other performances throughout the year.

    Was it a hectic year? Yep; from the end of January through the end of March she had either an audition, show choir competition, or scholarship interview each weekend, so we traveled a lot. But it also gave her and her mother and I opportunities for bonding and talking during such trips, and those times I found to be very special.

    So if your D wants to wait I think that would be fine, let her earn some $$, etc. But I also think if she is bright and willing to work hard she can manage the entire audition process, still do well in school, and still make the kinds of memories she should make as a high school senior. No real right or wrong answer either way.
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  • ActingDadActingDad 660 replies20 threadsRegistered User Member
    The only downside is really how your daughter feels about waiting a year. In our case, my daughter's high school experience was very poor and she just couldn't wait to get to a college program and be in the kind of environment she wants to be in. It would have been torture for her to get through another year. So I think it depends entirely on the kid.
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  • FlossyFlossy 3118 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Same. I would have loved it my daughter took a gap year and we considered it for a minute or two but she would have felt like a loser with everyone asking her where she was going to school and all her friends involved in the pre-college hoopla. You also don't really gain a whole lot of time since auditions start in Fall. I think there might be a tendency to get complacent and figure you have plenty of time when that's not really the case. You can always try and take a gap year if things don't work out.
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  • Gwen FairfaxGwen Fairfax 2380 replies55 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think it's a great idea. A year of maturity can make a huge difference at this age-- and especially when the audition is the biggest part of the application, that maturity can mean a lot.

    But it does depend on the kid. Mine absolutely refused to consider it-- she felt she'd waited years for a BFA and she wasn't waiting another minute.
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  • Times3Times3 1345 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We went through a similar thought process; it seemed so logical, in some ways, to wait and audition after graduating (sounded like a relief to me!). My son said he would consider a gap year if he wasn't satisfied with his results, so we plowed ahead, and in hindsight I'm glad. He had his best year ever academically, did participate in two school shows, and almost seemed to benefit from the tighter structure of the audition season. More importantly, he had this chance to test himself and see who else was out there. He felt ready to try, and now he feels ready to go. It really does depend on the kid, I think, but I agree with those who say maybe give it a chance now, audition as a senior, and bear in mind that a gap year is always an option.
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  • kwrinklekwrinkle 22 replies7 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks, all, for these comments. EmsDad's links to previous threads are especially helpful. I should have thought of searching old discussions :)

    I don't doubt that my daughter can rise to whatever she needs to do. She's working with monologue and voice/song coaches now, understands the need to get going on her essays, etc. Judging from my CC surfing, she ought to be on track to audition next year IF she stays on top of everything. She/we often enjoy juggling intense commitments when it comes to work we love. It's just that I've learned to resist getting sucked into patterns that risk burnout without first considering other options.

    Also, at D's school, gap years have some cach
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  • Times3Times3 1345 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Re: your final question, I can tell you that there are two kids joining the freshman class at my son's college who auditioned as h.s, seniors and weren't accepted but re-auditioned successfully after a year. One went to a well known BFA program and still felt like the first school was her dream--she'll be starting over there. The other attended the school in question as a BA theater major and re-auditioned successfully in December for the BFA; he'll have to do a full four years but already had some of the first year classes in the BA program, so won't repeat those. In both cases, it wasn't a problem, and this is a tiny program that does prescreens, so it's not like they could've been overlooked as repeat applicants.
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  • PrincesssjpmomPrincesssjpmom 209 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My D was able to finish high school in December, and still walk with her class in May. No stress during this very hectic time of auditions and extensive travel. D said it was the best decision she ever made, and I agree with her!
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  • dcsparentdcsparent 106 replies15 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My son is graduating a year early and then staying home a year. I think he's going to miss the social aspects of school, but it will give a him far more time to prepare for auditions. Maybe I'll finally get him into a dance class. Better late than never, I guess.
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  • entertainersmomentertainersmom 1399 replies23 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Congratulations MissWitch! You are an inspiration, and I hope you have a wonderful experience at AMDA!! :)
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  • GSOMTMomGSOMTMom 1702 replies13 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 2014
    Wonderful @MissWitch!!! Thank you for sharing.
    edited July 2014
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  • NAtlantaStudioNAtlantaStudio 282 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Congrats!!! Working for a dream is so fulfilling and sweeter when you start to achieve it!!
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