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Gap Year vs. Transferring?

taintedxl0vetaintedxl0ve 82 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
edited July 2011 in Musical Theater Major
I wanted to hear opinions on what's the better option when you don't get into the programs you auditioned for. I still have two schools left to hear from but if I don't get into either of those schools, I pretty much have three options:

Option #1: Gap year, get an audition coach, work more hours at my part time job, reaudition in the winter.

Option #2: Go to Pace with an undecided major. I didn't get into MT but I got close to a full scholarship based on academics. If I went there I could get an audition coach still and come home and still go to my voice teacher because I live 20 minutes from NYC. I'd reaudition for Pace in the winter for the spring semester, along with other schools.

Option #3: Go to Temple as a BA theater major, not in the MT concentration. I would reaudition there and at other schools in the winter. I'd still get an audition coach but that would mean I'd have to go back and forth to NYC for coaching. I got a scholarship there also.

I've yet to really weigh all the pros and cons of each choice, but I need to decide first between the gap year or not. Also, which schools take transfers for the spring? I know Marymount and Pace do. Anyone who's had experience with either taking a gap year or transferring, please post or PM me your thoughts. I'm so confused right now. I don't really want to take a gap year but I'm afraid as a transfer student I'll have no shot at all of getting in.
edited July 2011
20 replies
Post edited by taintedxl0ve on
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Replies to: Gap Year vs. Transferring?

  • MTBoy15MTBoy15 45 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Most of the really good programs don't look at you differently if your a transfer student. I spent a year taking gen eds at my community college and when i auditioned I was treated no different then students coming from high school. Everywhere I auditioned they didn't even mention that I was a transfer and I got into some pretty competitive programs. The statistics for transfer students starting in MT programs are low because there aren't as many transfer students auditioning as there are high school freshman. You may see that a program accepted only 2 transfers for the upcoming year but if you look at the transfer student and high school student ratio they even out. If you are going to take a year off and audition next year, my advice is to take courses at your community college so you can take some classes that you won't need to take when you transfer. It will save you money and give you more time to concentrate on your major's courses. Good luck!
    All in all, you need to do what makes you happy!
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  • pacheightpacheight 1153 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    take a gap year working in an NYC theater. you can live at home and be in NYC in 20 minutes?...I'd go get a job at a theater. I don't care if it's an assistant to the stage door manager, just get involved, you'll learn a ton.
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  • Lulu63Lulu63 474 replies1 threadsRegistered User Member
    I would suggest you go to Pace since you received a full scholarship. Hopefully you will get to work with or meet some of the theatre professors so when you re-audition you will be familiar to them. You will still be able to get coaching and voice lessons being close to home and there are some wonderful coaches in NYC. Best of luck with your decision.
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  • nydramamamanydramamama 18 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    agree with Lulu, College is so expensive!! go with whichever works out financially better for you Pace or community. (don't attend temple unless you really love it). then audition everywhere again including Temple Mt and Pace MT. Do well and take classes that will transfer with you. And of course, continue with coaching and lessons etc. good luck:)
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  • mtdog71mtdog71 495 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    I think the majority of programs I am aware of want transfer students to put in four years at their institution in any case. They are usually happy to accept transfer credit for general education courses and perhaps some elective credits - but they typically want a transfer student to go through their core curriculum. So a gap year vs. transfer - I would go with the gap year and apply as a freshman. Of course, it does depend on what an individual might do with the time. A wasted year is just that - wasted. If you spend the time perhaps working and taking a few dance classes if that's what you need, if you need voice classes, whatever - just use the year to get better.
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  • taintedxl0vetaintedxl0ve 82 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks for the opinions...still trying to figure all of this out. I think I've decided against Pace...even though I have a full scholarship, I'd still have to pay for dorming (otherwise admissions is taking away part of my scholarship), and being considered a transfer will make getting into a program even more difficult. I don't think I would have any opportunities to interact with the theater faculty, since students not in the program can't audition for shows or take theater classes, as far as I know. So that just seems like a waste of time to me that would affect my chances of getting into other programs. I'm considering Temple because I would be able to take some MT classes and audition for shows and get training there, along with private coaching and voice lessons I'll take outside of school. I'm deciding between that and a gap year...the gap year is not really what I want but it may be the best option.
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  • taintedxl0vetaintedxl0ve 82 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Bringing this thread back in hopes more people can offer their experiences or advice since I still haven't made this decision. I need to decide if I'm taking a gap year or going to Temple by tomorrow and I'm extremely torn. =/

    I've heard that the odds of getting in for transfers are almost the same as for freshmen because even though less spots are available when transferring, less transfers audition. Is that true at all?
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  • Lulu63Lulu63 474 replies1 threadsRegistered User Member
    Follow your gut! You have to some kind of feeling what is best for you.
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  • amtcamtc 2838 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you're leaning away from Pace then I kind of like the gap year IF you can do some sort of internship or work at a theatre, that could be very productive! As well as continuing your training.
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  • abbygirlabbygirl 28 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I think education is valuable-and you can attend Pace on a scholarship-wow. That is worth a year in school, regardless of housing fees. Regarding transfers to MT-my son was lucky to have been accepted into a program as a transfer Sophomore. But two programs were very vocal about their disdain for transfers from other MT programs, as they didn't want to "undo" any bad habits or inflated egos. Attending Pace and keeping current with MT skills would be my choice any day! Who knows? You may even discover something wonderful at Pace career-wise, that you never knew about! Whatever you decide-best of luck to you!
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  • taintedxl0vetaintedxl0ve 82 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I decided against Pace a few weeks ago, it would be more worthwhile for me to take a gap year and get coaching or go to Temple and take theater classes. Which schools didn't like transfers from MT programs, if you don't mind me asking? What school did your son transfer to?

    If I take a gap year, I'm going to get a second part-time job, but not sure I'd be able to find an internship or anything theatre related.
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  • takeitallintakeitallin 3352 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My daughter also transferred this year as a sophomore- she had enough credits to transfer as a junior but since she went into a BFA MT program, she lost a year. We did not find that any of the programs she applied to as a transfer had a problem with taking transfers, but we did find that with many of them she would have had to start over as a freshman. She actually had really good results with her auditions so I don't feel that being a transfer really hurt her as far as acceptances. I do think she would have had to repeat some of her coursework at some of the programs because she would have been a transfer, so there are definite disadvantages. One problem is that most of the programs don't seem to be able to tell you at what level you will enter (freshman, sophomore, etc.) until after you have accepted the offer and they have done a unit (or credit) analysis. The school that she chose did let her know that she would transfer in as a soph. which made it a little less chancy for her. The whole transfer process is more risky as far as transferring all of your classes over- most programs will not accept all (or any at some schools) of your credits from other schools so it may take you longer to graduate than 4 years.
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  • taintedxl0vetaintedxl0ve 82 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I think I'm going to have to take a gap year, mainly because I can't afford 5 years of college and most schools I talked to said I would have to start over as a freshman. If I took some college classes as a non-matriculated student would I still be considered a freshman when applying? I'm hoping to be able to take a few classes in the spring semester, just to keep busy. I'm used to constantly being busy so this sucks but it seems to be the best decision.
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  • austinmtmomaustinmtmom 2336 replies22 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    taintedxlove - So sorry that things haven't worked out for you the way you wanted. Before you sign up for any college classes make sure you check with the schools you plan to apply to after your gap year and see how they will treat you as an applicant. Best of luck!
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  • soozievtsoozievt 31396 replies371 threadsRegistered User, ! Senior Member
    tainted, I realize it feels like the situation sucks right now. And I'm sorry. But if you can, please see this as a gift of time. You can use the next year to position yourself better for auditions and admissions and create a new college list and so on. It can be a real growth experience. In the scheme of things, a year off won't change your goals and if anything, might bring you some great experiences. I realize you didn't CHOOSE to take a gap year and are doing it by default, but many actually opt to take a gap year for the benefits it can bring.

    I will share with you that I have a nephew who applied to competitive programs in another field of the arts. He didn't get into any of them. I won't outline all the reasons, but his list was too short, he was not well prepared, his list was not well balanced or entirely appropriate to his qualifications, he didn't put together a really good package to highlight his talents, and so on. So, he had to take a gap year. From that point forward, I assisted him. He obtained an internship in this field for the whole year (which I had suggested he do and helped him put an application package together for it)....all of which not only gained him valuable experience, but was on his resume (hadn't had a resume in the first round), was a topic of various app essays, involved a recommendation from those in the industry, etc. He also got more training that was better than his former training. He also developed samples for a package that was part of his application. He also had a part time job to earn money. He also gave lessons to children in his field. I helped him develop a much more appropriate and well balanced list of programs/colleges. His recs were much better ones because he went about them in a new manner. His essays were much better. I helped him create an activities resume. I helped him create a music resume. First time around, he did none of these things. The next admissions cycle, he got into all of his schools/programs but one and had choices and is now finishing his freshman year at a well regarded program for his field and loves it. He was not unhappy during his gap year. He took the situation in stride and made the most of the gap year and frankly, he benefitted greatly from it. I know you will too!
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  • do-what-u-luvdo-what-u-luv 279 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    taintedxlove - so glad it worked out for you in the end!!!! I am happy you will be attending Coastal with my daughter and austinmtmom's daughter!!! We were sad you couldn't make orientation with the other MT girls, but they plan to fill you in on all their inside jokes! Congratulations!!!
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  • scardeedadscardeedad 14 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    reading all of this shows that the many questions i have..has at least doubled..ha
    I stumbled upon CC and this forum b/c i was looking for information thats not really out there..and what i have browse thru the last few days has been mind boggling and fantastic..thank you
    My S is a relative newcomer to MT (since HS) but has been quite successful..finished 1 yr at American Unv..its pages so i will make this brief with a difficult question(at least for me)
    He wants to audition and transfer (if he gets in) to a school "noted" for MT.. ithink staying at AU in Washington DC (a cultural centerpeice) getting experience thru interships etc and improving is just as "good"....b/c dont most have to do regional "stuff" before broadway
    I know its a general question but would love some feed back...i need something to grasp...i need to bring reality into the picture and im not sure how thanks for your time
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  • takeitallintakeitallin 3352 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This is a tough one... yes he could audition for programs "noted" for MT and still has about 6 months to prepare audition material. There is a huge variety of programs out there as I'm sure you have seen on this forum; audition, non-audition, conservatory, BA, BFA, big schools, small schools... the list goes on. The first thing I notice is that you mention regional "stuff" before Broadway. Your son really needs to be realistic about his expectations. Only a very small percentage of MT graduates end up on Broadway. Many do regional theater, national tours, cruise ship tours, etc,. without ever making it to Broadway. Many more take their talents and apply them to non-stage careers in theater, or to careers totally unrelated to theater. Some end up teaching, or directing, producing or writing for theater. There are many directions that graduates of MT can end up taking. If your son's sole intent is to end up on Broadway, he may want to take another look at this as a career, because there are just no guarantees.

    If this is still something he is interested in, then he must also realize that while many MT programs do take transfers, the majority of them require students to start from square one as a freshman. There are exceptions- my D transferred after one year at a conservatory and then another finishing up GE requirements at a CC to a new BFA program where they accepted her as a soph.- but that doesn't happen often. Your son would most likely start over as a freshman.

    Another option is for your son to stay where he is, but take as many voice, dance, and acting classes as he can on the side, and for him to start auditioning for theater in the area and at school. There are many paths to a MT career- there are successful actors out there who have never attended college, as well as many who graduated in a completely unrelated field. We have a friend who is currently on Broadway, but graduated from an engineering program. There is nothing to say that the only way to get anywhere is to attend a well-known MT program.

    If your son still wants to audition to transfer, he needs to start preparing now. He should be brushing up on dance and acting, and taking private vocal lessons to get ready for auditions. He will need to look at all of the criteria that he wants in an MT program and build a list of schools that covers all of the bases; reaches and non-reaches. The competition for MT programs is extremely tough, with many programs only accepting 10 or 12 students. There is nothing to say that he can't do it; he may very well be successful in the audition process. He should just be aware of the constraints and of the competition before he starts, and also that there are many ways to get where he wants to be. Best of luck!
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  • scardeedadscardeedad 14 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    it is always nice to have someone else validate your own thoughts and actually ewxpres them better than yourself!
    now i just have to have that conversation with my S....and hope he understands that I am not "squashing" his dream..but possibly improving it !!
    thanks for your time.....any other agree or disagree
    have a great day
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  • takeitallintakeitallin 3352 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Good luck scardeedad! He can always audition and see where it lands him- you never know. The one problem my D had when she auditioned as a transfer is that while she had good results with acceptances, it was hard to pin the various schools down on what level she would transfer as. Most of them said she would "most likely" enter as a freshman or sophomore, but did not want to guarantee anything until after she committed to the school, and they then totally reviewed her transcripts. It made the decision process harder as it was hard to compare costs and time left in school. Fortunately her top 2 choices did tell her where she would end up, so she was able to make an intelligent decision.

    One other thing your son should consider is that the audition season is pretty hectic because of all of the preparation time and time involved with the actual auditions, including travel. If he decides to audition, he might want to adjust his class load at AU so that auditions don't impact his academics as much. Have fun!
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