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Standardizing college theatre / musical theatre auditions

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Replies to: Standardizing college theatre / musical theatre auditions

  • LBSMOMLBSMOM 202 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
    I find this conversation thread very interesting. In hindsight there are a few things D would have done differently prepping for the process - the biggest would have been applying to more than just 7 schools. However, she was never deterred by the varying requirements by all the programs - her vocal teacher who also teaches at UARTS had her well prepared on a multitude of song choices and cuts - in varying styles. Her acting coach also made sure she had 6 monologues she could pull from, in varying lengths including 2 Shakespeare at any given time. She felt like the variety kept her fresh and on her toes and she never complained once about the requirements (which were different for every school).

    Maybe it is just me, but I don't think every college should standardize their requirements. If our kids can't prepare for a variety of scenarios then maybe this shouldn't be their career path. Believe me, I recognize the stress that kids go thru during audition process, I lived it. Everyone approaches auditions differently - academics always came first in our house and my D ended up at a school where they had to be accepted academically first. As a parent, I like that. We knew that several schools were very, very big reaches, but it never deterred her from wanting to audition and honestly, you never know what kind of kid a program is looking for OR if they see something in your kid they want to work with. We knew D would NOT get accepted into CMU, however she loved, loved, loved the audition she had there. They spent time with her, gave her great feedback and she left the room feeling validated. I'm sad to hear they are moving towards prescreens, but I also realize that auditioning 3000 kids can be daunting!

    I am happy it wasn't a "cookie cutter" process - it made her have to be prepared for any situation and I could see her growing more confident through each audition. To the parents that are embarking on this process, just make sure your kids are prepared. There are no guarantees - but if they are prepared it makes the process a lot less stressful.

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  • collegemom2000collegemom2000 286 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 299 Junior Member
    My head is spinning right now trying to figure out what coach to go with for my daughter. Currently speaking to one who requires a weekly commitment from September through Feb/March (adds up to just under $5,000.) Do people actually pay this much for coaching? I guess I'm having sticker shock. I assumed we could do a few sessions with someone to help with monologue choices and college choices, but we are not rich and I just don't see how we can invest THAT kind of money for what I consider to be just advice. Any thoughts? How successful are the coaches who work ala carte such as MTCA? Starting to think its time to give my child a big "no" when it comes to applying for theatre programs. There will be no money left for actual tuition.
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  • EmsDadEmsDad 1496 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,509 Senior Member
    edited May 2017
    @collegemom2000 - My d really liked working with Mary Anna Dennard and we didn't spend anywhere near $5,000, more like $1,500 including Moonfieds and her online coaching system. Most of the sessions were via Skype and d thought that it worked well. MTCA and My College Audition (Chelsea Diehl) offer similar programs where you can limit their services to fit your budget and work via Skype.

    Applying and auditioning for college theatre programs can be quite expensive including lots of college applications (12-14 or more), audition fees, travel, etc. Its not hard to rack up more than $10,000 in expenses. However, it is possible to limit your outlay by doing some combination of : (a) limiting your list of schools to 10 or less through lots of research and very careful consideration of your student's competitiveness, (b) limiting your school choices to mostly those within driving distance, (c) attending Unified auditions instead of on-campus auditions, (d) avoiding schools with expensive application and audition fees, etc. For example, you can easily do 4-6 walk-in auditions (or more) at Chicago Unifieds, pay no school application fees unless the schools show interest (for walk-ins, you don't have to apply before auditioning), and only pay nominal audition fees. However, the schools that support this will generally not be among the most popular and competitive programs.

    Mary Anna's "Moonfied" auditions give your student the chance to audition and do live prescreens for up to 20 or so programs in one location over a long weekend, including some of the most popular programs (Baldwin-Wallace, Texas State, Point Park, Penn State, etc.).
    edited May 2017
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  • stagedoormamastagedoormama 789 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 798 Member
    @collegemom2000 You totally need to do what works for your family. This whole process is unbelievably expensive, even when trying to cut corners. We didn't use a coach (though I wish we did) and being totally open - we spent upwards of 12K just for application fees/audition fees and travel expenses for auditions and unifieds. Though I wonder if we had a coach, we might have been able to spend less overall as we would have probably had a better list crafted for us, if that makes sense. Have heard great things about MTCA and Chelsea Diehl and I think they both do ala carte.
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  • theatremom10theatremom10 181 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    @collegemom2000 We used MTCA for my S. They offer ala carte options and we were able to use what my S needed. Our experience with them was amazing! My S feels that he will continue to use his coaches on and off throughout college because they have helped him grow as an artist. He is very happy with his end result. This entire process is very expensive even if you try to cut corners. Feel free to message me if you have questions about MTCA or anything else.
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  • collegemom2000collegemom2000 286 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 299 Junior Member
    @EmsDad and @stagedoormama thank you! I'm completely in favor of the coach idea. I went back and forth on it for a while in my head but I think we need one. We definitely will not be applying to any schools that require airline tickets or expensive hotels...mainly because I want my daughter within driving distance once she is in college. Considering the odds of making a lucrative career in MT, I am really reluctant to put out tons of cash just on the prospect of getting admitted. Full disclosure: I spent two years at performing arts school myself and discovered quickly that it was a waste of two years (luckily many of those PA school credits transferred to my four year university and I got a solid BS degree three years later.)
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  • toowonderfultoowonderful 4077 replies68 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,145 Senior Member
    I would estimate we spent less than $1500... for the whole thing. I would say our largest expense was the application/audition fees as we had no coach (D has a voice teacher, but we would have been paying her anyway, so not a "new" cost), minimal travel expenses (several schools within driving distance, and we could drive to Chicago unifieds for the others. My husband travels for work, so when we needed hotels we could use points). Now, D only auditioned for 7 schools, so that impacts costs as well - the people with the long lists are in a different situation. Just saying, it doesn't HAVE to cost a fortune, though I will freely admit we had a major geographic advantage being in the midwest
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  • vvnstarvvnstar 1711 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,733 Senior Member
    We also used Mary Anna and paid something similar to what @EmsDad paid. I would say most students were more in that range although some that lived closer to her may have worked with her more frequently. We also lived far from Dallas and did most of our work with her via Skype. It worked very well. We would highly recommend her. She was great to work with as was the song coach she connected us with. Loved Moonifieds. And the support of fellow Moo Crew students and parents. Mary Anna was so supportive at Unifieds as well. Her videos and books were invaluable. And she was terrific in helping us think things through when trying to make a final decision.
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