BFA Acting Class of 2024: Preparation, Prescreens, Auditions, Questions and Support


I used an Excel spreadsheet and then separated the categories I decided to use with tabs. I’m using Microsoft Office on a Mac. The good thing is you can determine how many and what categories you want to have listed (costs, prescreen, audition dates, if at unifieds for auditions, application and audition costs, and program credit breakdown are a few of them that I use) and then size the rows and columns to fit the data for your own spreadsheet.

You can use Google Sheets or Numbers if you don’t have Excel.

Thanks “moms”! I can see I have to do a bit of exploring on our Mac and see what we have. Must add getting myself up to speed on spreadsheets to the “to do” list!

@anastasiasmom Thanks for creating this forum! My D and I are excited to get started on this journey! I’m working on creating my spreadsheet this month :slight_smile:

Hi @Classof2024ATL!! So glad you and your D are joining us on this journey! The spreadsheet will save me from insanity … there is no way I am going to keep all of the facts straight for this journey we are all embarking on. :wink:

Definitely agree with @anastasiasmom on the financial picture! I’ve been through this twice (MT then Acting) and D1 had a coach who included schools that would be affordable for us when they made her list. D2 did not want to use a coach, and we were naive in what we thought would be affordable (she didn’t apply to CMU or NYU knowing they were expensive/not known for giving aid). D2 ended up having to decline some really good offers/waitlists because we did not want to take out huge loans.

Now for more positive advice! :smile: Set up a new email account just for college. You will get TONS of college emails! We didn’t do this with D1, and there were times she missed an email here or there. We did it with D2 and it made things so much easier! She and I both had access to it (her preference), and I kept all of the login info on the spreadsheet.

I used Numbers on a Mac and, well, my daughter’s in college, so it worked! ;-D

@yellahamma @MTmom2017 @letterhead and @NYDreammom Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement!!! It is much appreciated! :smiley:

Thanks @MTmom2017 for the advice on the new email. My S already gets lots of the advertising emails from colleges in his school email, and I’ve been wondering if we should set up a new one to avoid missing important ones from the schools he’d actually be applying to. But was wondering if that would cause confusion at the schools who already have one email address that goes with his name (though maybe only in some marketing dept. database).

So am wondering if you set that new email up for your D2 before Junior year or do you mean set up a new one and used that one as the email address once you started applications?

Thanks @letterhead and congrats to your daughter. I expect I’ll start with Numbers too. :slight_smile:

So a tweak on the finance issue. Fortunately, we can afford most if not all programs, but I’m not sure why we would spend full pay at say NYU vs. other fine programs. My take on this whole thing is it’s really about talent. The program will provide excellent training and , hopefully, access / network, but at the end of the day, it’s about talent (BFA / BA / no school). For those that have a great understanding of the well respected programs, does an NYU offer “better” training or better anything then, say, Pace, or Molloy, or any of the great programs out there?

Trying to get my D to build a list and understand the differences between programs. I’d rather spend a little less and have some funds available to support her the first few yrs if necessary.

@rickle1 - my D Graduated from NYU last year. in our family, we had a rule, the college was just as important as the training. We wanted a school known for academics. If you look at a school like NYU, CMU, Michigan, Boston etc… those schools are well known outside the theater world as well as have global recognition and ranking. There are other places that have strong theater programs in colleges that do not share that same recognition. Right now, my D is supporting herself in the arts. Idk what her future holds. But she has a degree from a great school - one that has value outside the theater world. Just one perspective.

@Goggleson we set up the email right before she started all of the applications so her “official” email was the shared one. It was the one that admissions departments got with the actual college application, as well as it being the one we used for the theatre departments when sending prescreens/scheduling auditions. She still received college marketing-type emails to her regular email address, but the ones we needed to really pay attention to went to the new/shared one.

@rickle1, each school/program is very different and it truly depends on what your D wants. There are “top tier” schools that are frequently on those lists that get published (as I’m typing this I just got a Casting Networks email with a ranking of the top 25 graduate acting programs!), but there are many other great schools out there that have fantastic training. Some are very expensive, and some are not. Probably everyone on this board can tell you stories of people they know on Broadway, or in tv shows or movies who didn’t go to college at all, and others who went to one of the “top” schools who are working survival jobs. So yes, it’s about the talent! It’s also about what your D wants out of her college experience.

^ seems to be more interested in a conservatory type program. Doesn’t really care about the traditional college experience (at least she doesn’t think so - I think that’s a shame as she doesn’t know what she’s missing). She really justs wants to perform, write, and maybe direct. Doesn’t really care about traditional academic classes.

@rickle1 You can have your daughter do a blind curriculum review of BFA programs to see where she gravitates without regards to the name. But expect she may change her mind between now and end of audition season about what exactly she wants in a program, especially after visits. Last year’s thread (Class of 2022) was very helpful, recommend reading it all. Cast a wide net and ultimately she and your family will make the right decision for her.

@rickle1, if she wants a conservatory program with very little academics, then NYU is not the right choice. My D was the same way and didn’t apply to NYU for that reason. It’s a wonderful program for those who WANT strong academics with great training.

For those who like to plan ahead, here are the dates for this year’s National Unified Auditions:

Pearl Studios 500 8th Ave., NY
New York - Jan 18 &19

Palmer House Hotel
Chicago - Feb 3 -6

Westin Hotel (LAX airport)
Los Angeles - Feb 7-9

@MTmom2017 thanks for the info! And same to you @anastasiasmom for those dates.
Has anyone decided which Unifieds they’re attending? We’re closer to NYC (could drive rather than fly) but the impression I get is that Chicago might be a bit easier to navigate and more schools might be there. Would love to hear what others are thinking.


We will be going to Chicago. I’ve already booked our hotel. It’s closer to us and from what I’ve read more schools are in Chicago during the National Unified Audition dates. I’ve also read that some schools are there a day or two before and possibly a day after the official Chicago dates. But that doesn’t mean that the NY and Los Angeles venues are not well attended by colleges and universities. The National Unified Audition webpage only lists the schools that are registered with them. Many schools are in those cities at the same time in the same hotels listed or in hotels nearby.

Veteran parents, please feel free to clarify or correct me if needed.

We went to both for a couple reasons - one to limit the number of audition trips overall and also to not put all of my son’s eggs in one basket. This turned out to be a good decision because he got sick in NY. There is a great deal of overlap between schools that hold auditions at or near the Unified locations but there are always a handful that don’t go to all of them. This year Michigan only went to Chicago. NYU offered on-campus auditions during NY Unifieds. I think Shenandoah only went to NY and not Chicago (but I’m not positive about my memory on that!) We just looked at the various audition dates/locations offered by each school and tried to create a reasonable list for each city.

As far as convenience, staying at the Palmer House obviously makes it a little bit easier to get to the auditions in the hotel. But in Chicago, several of my son’s auditions were at different locations - BU, Syracuse, Rutgers and Roosevelt were not at the Palmer House. I believe Julliard was at the same hotel as BU and Rutgers also. It was fine because Chicago is an easy city to navigate. It was fun for my son and his friends to be in the same hotel all week and I think being able to hang out together probably helped with their stress levels. In NY, there are many hotels within a block of Pearl Studios. But again, there are schools in other locations like NYU and Pace on campus, Shenandoah at a different studio, etc. NY is also very easy to navigate so this wasn’t an issue for us. I can’t give any opinion on LA because we didn’t go to that one but my impression was it was a lot more laid back.