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2018 Chicago Unified audition tips (Musical Theatre)

Broadwaybaby713Broadwaybaby713 10 replies16 threads Junior Member
OK, I know it's early, but I believe in preparing as well as I can. So I've heard some things about unified auditions, but I was just wondering some things.

1. How many people usually go. (Just curious)

2. How long are dance calls. And are there individual dance calls for each college. I know you go to CCPA for their dance call but is that where the others are held.

3. What type of accompaniment should I bring. (Digital or CD I mean. I heard that there are no accompanists at unified auditions.)

4. Are auditions recorded by the school?

Thanks.
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Replies to: 2018 Chicago Unified audition tips (Musical Theatre)

  • EmsDadEmsDad 1510 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2017
    I assume that you are asking about Chicago Unifieds.

    1. How many people usually go. (Just curious)

    Lots and lots. Probably around 1,000 students auditioning, maybe more.

    2. How long are dance calls. And are there individual dance calls for each college. I know you go to CCPA for their dance call but is that where the others are held.

    Dance calls are typically around 30-60 minutes, some are longer, a few are shorter (Boco's is fairly long). Not sure exactly what you mean by "individual dance calls," but if you mean "does each college hold their own dance call"? then the answer is yes (although not every school holds a dance call). If you mean "are some dance calls done on an individual basis" the answer is yes, in a very few cases (at least in the past). Dance calls are held in large ballrooms at the Palmer House, in studios in the theatre district in a few cases, and a few are held in carpeted meeting rooms in the Palmer House and other hotels.

    3. What type of accompaniment should I bring. (Digital or CD I mean. I heard that there are no accompanists at unified auditions.)

    You should bring a digital recording of all of your accompaniment on a playable device (phone, etc.) and a portable speaker (although some schools provide speakers). Some schools do provide accompanists, so you need to bring your rep book to all auditions.

    4. Are auditions recorded by the school?

    Yes, some schools do video recordings of auditions.

    Here are some past threads on the topic (there are many more, you can find them using the Search function):

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1956267-unifieds-chicago-2017-p1.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1964145-which-unified-location-did-you-prefer-p1.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1987149-la-unifieds-schools-2017.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1962725-on-campus-vs-unifieds-p1.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1924770-chicago-unifieds-audition-scheduling-advice-and-best-practices-p1.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1857986-chicago-unified-walk-in-regulars-p1.html


    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1614676-unifieds-2015-p1.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1738964-chicago-unifieds-debrief.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1734589-walk-in-auditions-at-nyc-unifieds-jan-25th.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1730989-chicago-unified-walk-ins-p1.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1728032-nyc-unifieds-2015.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1706251-chicago-unifieds-hampton-inn-v-palmer-house-hilton.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1693619-how-many-auditions-can-be-done-at-unified.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1681043-details-for-unifieds.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1657602-unified-or-audition-at-the-school.html
    edited August 2017
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  • sopranomtmomsopranomtmom 459 replies13 threads Member
    I couldn't hazard a guess about attendance except to say it is very, very busy. We went to both Chicago and LA Unifieds and Chicago seemed much more crowded. As to dance calls, last year the CCPA dance call was actually at a dance studio just a block away from the Palmer House, the rest were all in the hotel. Most of the dance calls seemed to run about an hour with the exception of BoCo which was at least 90 minutes, perhaps even a little longer. My daughter had all of her music on her Iphone and used a bluetooth speaker, however, don't assume that there are no accompanist at Unifieds. Several of the schools at both Chicago and LA had accompanists. They will tell you in advance if one will be provided or if you need recorded music. A few of the schools did videotape the auditions, but not all. Hope that helps!
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  • artskidsartskids 1528 replies22 threads Senior Member
    @EmsDad rock star, as usual! I know I have mentioned this elsewhere, some schools (Pace for example) will require you to book a 4 hour slot for the rehearsal. That slot includes the dance call.
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  • sopranomtmomsopranomtmom 459 replies13 threads Member
    @artskids That 's a really good point. Emerson does that as well. And Carnegie Mellon is a large block of time, even without the dance call and generally at a different location.
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  • artskidsartskids 1528 replies22 threads Senior Member
    ^^and when I typed "rehearsal" I meant "audition"! I was on the phone with my S talking about rehearsal :-).
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  • speezagmomspeezagmom 379 replies1 threads Member
    We are planning for S to do most of his auditions at Chicago unifieds as we are no where near ANY of the schools he is interested in. Hoping to minimize the trips and planning for 3 in total for auditions (hopefully) knowing we will need to do a trip or two to check out schools after acceptances. I perused most of the threads on this topic (thanks for providing @EmsDad ) I am already starting to feel anxious about the scheduling and juggling that will go into this. @-)

    Thanks to all of you for your advice and experience!
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  • sopranomtmomsopranomtmom 459 replies13 threads Member
    @speezagmom I will say that for me the scheduling aspect of all the auditions at Unifieds was the most intimidating aspect before we started the process but it actually worked. It ends up kind of like putting a puzzle together. A few pieces ended up needing to get moved around due to conflicts but I found the schools very accommodating to making changes where possible. It all works out!
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  • TheMTProjectTheMTProject 12 replies0 threads New Member
    Does anyone know if there is a group reservation code for Palmer House this year?
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  • GSOMTMomGSOMTMom 1702 replies13 threads Senior Member
    @TheMTproject, you can call the hotel directly to ask
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  • cece20cece20 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi! Just reading your post. My son won't be auditioning until 2019 unifieds, but I was wondering why you went to both Chicago and LA. Are they not all the same? Thanks!
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  • sopranomtmomsopranomtmom 459 replies13 threads Member
    Many students attend two Unifieds - sometimes NYC and Chicago, or Chicago or LA or even NYC and LA. There are reasons for this - first not every school attends all three Unifieds - some that are more regional may only go to one or two. Chicago draws the largest number of schools and is held over the most days allowing for more audition opportunities so it is a big draw for students from all over the country. But even with four days, you may not be able to fit in all the auditions you have planned in that time frame. Some auditions these days require a half to most of a day, especially the acting auditions. And there are dance calls for most MT schools that have to be scheduled in as well. So there are realistic limits to how many auditions you can pack in per day. The best advice is to try to keep it to no more than 2 or 3 a day and then maybe fit in some walk ins here or there. So if a student desires to do most of their auditions at Unfieds - it may realistically take two rounds in order to get them all in. We did Chicago and LA when my daughter auditioned last year - a little easier on the LA end since we live in Southern California. But we could have never fit all of her auditions in on the 2-3 days the schools are at LA and would have missed out on some schools that don't attend LA.
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  • atypicalstagemomatypicalstagemom 11 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Is there a general website for unifieds? So that my daughter can keep on top of when to sign up for auditions? And also so we can see a list of schools attending and plan accordingly -- which locations to attend and which schools my daughter should plan to audition on campus?
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  • vvnstarvvnstar 1715 replies22 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2018
    Here is the website: http://nuaregistration.com This is actually the link for colleges and universities to apply, but the link they give for students www.unifiedauditions.com does not appear to be working at present.

    @atypicalstagemom - you will sign up for Unified auditions with each individual school. And each school will have its own set of deadlines by when applications must be submitted. The only thing "unified" about Unfieds is that schools are all conducting auditions in the same city around the same dates. But they each conduct their own individual auditions with their own set of rules and guidelines. When looking at the school's audition dates on their school website, you will most likely see some on campus dates. And then see dates in New York, Chicago and/or LA if they participate in Unifieds.

    Be aware that many schools who are not part of the official "Unifieds" group will also be conducting auditions in the same cities on the same dates. Again, it is up to each applicant to contact the schools for which they want to audition and find out when and where they are offering auditions and what their process is for signing up for auditions.

    I would recommend planning to submit all applications and sign up for your selected audition dates as early as possible - September/October timeframe. Many audition slots are first come, first serve and require that you have applied to the college before being able to submit your request for an audition slot. You will also want to submit any prescreens as soon as possible in case scheduling an audition slot is contingent on passing a pre-screen. The sooner you know if you have passed, the sooner you can claim the audition date you desire.



    edited April 2018
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  • EmsDadEmsDad 1510 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2018
    @atypicalstagemom - to add to the great post by @vvnstar above, at Chicago Unifieds there will be approximately twice as many programs holding auditions in Chicago that weekend as listed on the Unifieds website (when it is working...), i.e, there will be something like 50+ schools there in total vs. the 20 or so shown on the Unifieds website.

    Sadly, there is no list you can find that will show all the schools attending. If you read through the past threads in Post #1 you will find some school lists from previous years.

    You can use the "Search" feature at the top of this page to find even more past threads on Unifieds.
    edited April 2018
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  • ncmomof5ncmomof5 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Mom of a junior d here —we will only be able to attend one of the unified, Chicago or NYC due to cost and time — how do we choose? Thoughts?
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  • EmsDadEmsDad 1510 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2018
    Chicago has more schools in attendance and more walk-in opportunities. Most of the auditions in Chicago are held in the Palmer House, so I think logistics are easier than New York. However, while all the "official" Unifieds schools attend both, the mix of "non-official" programs is different. There may be more "non-official" schools of interest for a particular student in NYC than Chicago - NYC will have more East Coast programs, while Chicago will have more programs from the middle of the country. Chicago also has more audition days, so you can possibly do more auditions.
    edited April 2018
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  • toowonderfultoowonderful 4077 replies68 threads Senior Member
    @ncmomof5 - were are you located? I am guessing NC from your screen name - so both probably require flying..... but if you live in driving distance from either it saves you stressing about winter travel and cancellations
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  • BassTheatreMomBassTheatreMom 306 replies8 threads Member
    This just popped into my head and I wanted to share it before I forgot all about it.

    If you are a member of Hilton Honors reward program, you are able to go on the app and select your room. It shows you the complete layout of the Palmer House. It's an old building that has seen various changes over the years, so not all rooms are the same. We were able to select a huge room - probably double the size of most standard rooms - that was tucked away in a corner of the building. It was still classified as a standard room and we paid the standard rate.

    When you are there for so many days, it's nice to have space to spread out. It's also nice to be away from people passing in the hallway and talking - or singing! - and feel like you are actually "getting away" from unifieds for a bit. Selecting that room was a huge benefit for us.
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  • catznpigzcatznpigz 51 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited April 2018
    We stayed at the Hampton Inn Majestic, just down the street (1/2 block). There was a considerable savings from what I could find at the Palmer House; I think our room was $159 or $169/night, but that included parking, which was somewhere around $50/day. Free breakfast, very small room. No fridge though, which would have been nice so we could have had a meal or 2 off of leftovers. It was close enough that, even though it was freezing cold, my D could fairly comfortably dash over the Palmer House with a coat over her audition or dance clothes wearing her flats.Very nice, no complaints. I saw plenty of MT-looking people there, but heard no singing through the walls, LOL.
    edited April 2018
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  • catznpigzcatznpigz 51 replies3 threads Junior Member
    By the way, my D and I thoroughly enjoyed the Chicago Unified experience. The schools she auditioned for there were pretty much "long shots" anyway (she netted one waitlist), and she got an MT acceptance from a prior on-campus audition the day we arrived there, so it didn't really feel high pressure to her. We basically treated it as a vacation; I have a niece who lives in Chicago who was delighted to serve as tour guide/restaurant guide/public transit consultant. One of the days she met us in the Palmer House lobby, and said, "there certainly is a lot of...ummm...'teen spirit' in this building, isn't there?"
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