Final Acting Decisions Background - Class of 2024

Copying this from last year’s class. Hopefully, a moderator can pin it to the top.

Below are the categories from prior years and a link to last year’s thread:

https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/theater-drama-majors/2126589-final-acting-decisions-background-class-of-2023-p1.html

Programs Applied to:

Prescreens:

Accepted to:

Rejected from:

Wait-listed at:

Coach:

Background/Training:

Summer Programs:

Final Decision:

Here is mine. I just copied it from the MT board.
First of all I want to say thank you to everyone on College Confidential for being here for this roller coaster of a ride. We have learned so much from all the stories, posts and messages. My D’s public high school does not have a lot of experience with BFA MT or Acting majors so CC has been so important in this journey. I have laughed and cried and cheered with you. I wouldn’t have been able to guide my D through this process without each and every one of you. I hope to pay it forward in any way I can. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Programs Applied to: Syracuse, North Central College, Penn State

Prescreens: Syracuse, Penn State

Accepted to: North Central College, Syracuse

Withdrew: Penn State

Background:
D was in the dance ensemble of her first show in 3rd grade, started acting in the 4th grade and performed in her first musical in 7th grade and was hooked. She started vocal lessons in middle school and added dance for a few years in high school. The rest of her dance training was from shows and she was a cheerleader for 9 years. She is an actor and singer first but enjoys dance. She has been in ensembles, supporting roles, lead roles, produced and directed shows.

The Journey:

From our first college visit to Manhattan School of Music, we realized that the campus vibe was going to be equally as important to my D as the school’s program was. We are fortunate to live only a few hours drive from several programs so we visited many schools. On paper, MSM was her top choice. The facilities and equipment were incredible, but the school was just too tiny for my D. She didn’t necessarily feel comfortable with the specific location of the school either.

Next, we went to the NYU general tour and she fell in love. Everything about the school, the location, the academics, the program were top notch. This quickly became the dream school. We knew she couldn’t put all her eggs in one basket, so the visits continued.

Ithaca, URI, and SUNY New Paltz were next. There were positives about each of these schools, but they just didn’t have the vibe she found at NYU. She then attended a Theatre Honors weekend at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY. She left feeling it had good points, but was just not where she wanted to spend 4 years.

A friend of hers attends Syracuse for vocal performance, so she decided to add that to the list of schools to visit. The moment we walked on campus, she got very quiet. My husband thought she hated the school. But that was the furthest thing from reality. The school fit her like a glove. This was the first school since NYU that she could see herself at. Syracuse values education, community service, and the arts all the same. One is not superior to the other. Syracuse Stage was impressive . The Tepper semester, All Star C.A.S.T, London semester and Sorkin week. Wow! She then had two amazing schools to consider, both with hefty price tags, and neither were easy admits.

The next day we visited Fordham, Marymount Manhattan and did the Tisch tour at NYU. On our way home from that trip she realized that as much as she loves NYU, she wasn’t ready for NYC living, and truly wanted the traditional college experience.

We went to Chicago for vacation and visited Columbia College of Chicago, which she was really impressed with. We also went to North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. The campus was warm and inviting, the student tour guides were engaging, and the faculty were great. Naperville itself is beautiful. The program for MT and for Theatre had great opportunities and double majoring is allowed. NCC was a safety school, but a fabulous school. D would be perfectly content attending NCC, so we cancelled our tour at Loyola University of Chicago. Our return flight landed in Syracuse, so we took a detour thru campus and she just seemed right at home.

Senior year started and she quickly applied and was accepted to NCC with a great scholarship . That took a lot of pressure off since we knew she was going to school for her passion. She filmed prescreens and at this point only submitted to Syracuse. First choice was Acting, MT was second, and Theatre Management was third choice. She attended the November audition and had an admission interview and was invited to sit in on a Theatre Management class. The interview for admissions, the audition and the Theatre Management interview all went exceptionally well. She left feeling great. After auditions she sent in her prescreen for Penn State. This was the only school we did not visit.

On December 17th, she received her ED acceptance into her first choice program Acting. The financial aid package followed about a week later and she received a nice scholarship and excellent financial aid package which made the school very affordable. She quickly withdrew the Penn State app . It was very sad to let go of NCC as it was a great school and program… I truly believe you land where you are meant to be, and I believed my D was meant to go to Syracuse.

Final Decision: Syracuse BFA Acting

We attended a virtual admitted acting session and she is even more thrilled to be a part of this fabulous program at SU.

Congrats @dramamama3 ! :slight_smile:

@HAHCx4 thank you so much. I can not wait to hear the rest of the stories.

Congrats @dramamama3

So happy for you and your d!!!

I am really surprised how slow this board is, especially compared to the MT one, so I will add our story. Please add your stories! I have mainly lurked on this board for probably two years and the final stories are always my favorite to read.

It is long, but I couldn’t decided how to cut it down. :smile:

Programs Applied to: Boston University, CalArts, Chapman University (BFA Screen Acting), The New School, Pace (FTVC only), SCAD, Syracuse, University of Evansville, UNC Greensboro, UNC School of the Arts, University of Southern California (BFA only).

Prescreens: (Passed all) Chapman, The New School, Pace FTVC, Syracuse, UNCG, USC (academic prescreen type, not acting prescreens)

Accepted to: SCAD, Pace FTVC, The New School
Rejected from: Boston, CalArts, Chapman, Evansville, UNCSA and USC
Withdrew application at Syracuse after not being able to fit in the audition.
Wait-listed at: UNCG

Background/Training: Like the majority of these boards, my D started showing an interest in acting very early on. She began dance classes young and quickly expressed a love of being on the stage. We are very fortunate to have a thriving theatre community in our area, so we enrolled her in the local theatre conservatory around age 11 where she was able to take dancing, singing and acting classes. When it was time for high school she applied to attend an Arts magnet high school, but did not have the best experience there and, while she still loved to act, did not thrive there like we had hoped. Around her freshman year we became aware of a boarding arts high school that had a Senior year drama program. She wanted to join that program more than anything and auditioned in the Spring of her Junior year. She was fortunately accepted, and left home for her Senior year to board about an hour and a half away. Well, we all know how the class of 2020’s year was cut short, but in the time she had at the school she had the most wonderful experience. She entered audition season confident in her material and program choices.

My girl is different. She is not naturally sunshine and happiness. She does not agree with people to keep the peace. She is independent and opinionated. When it came time to pick schools and audition material, she picked what worked for her. She knew already that she strongly preferred acting for TV/Movies to being on a stage night after night. We investigated the schools heavily. We started with a list of roughly 30 strong programs and did a blind curriculum test on every single one. In our final list of 11 we still ended up with a couple of schools “thrown in for good measure”. (I wish we hadn’t done that. Some of the extra schools were clearly not good fits for her)

Remember how I said she was different, well, my girl chose a monologue with curse words and also did a male classical monologue. When I tried to push back on those, she told me that if a school wasn’t going to choose her because she cursed it wouldn’t be the kind of school she wanted to go to anyway and she felt the male characters get all the good monologues in Shakespeare. She was her absolute self in her monologue choices. We knew from the beginning she would not be most schools “cup of tea”, but as is often said on this message board, you only need one!

We did the BU audition on campus, Chicago Unifieds (Chapman, Calarts, Pace, Evansville, The New School and USC) and UNCG and UNCSA on their campuses. SCAD was a video audition for scholarships only. Syracuse we had to drop when the assigned USC audition clashed with it and neither school had availability to move it. She had to decide which school to drop, and we dropped Syracuse.

After her auditions were finished, she had naturally ranked the schools in her mind. She had three schools tied for number one for different reasons. We knew from the auditions, and actually even before them, that Chapman, USC and Evansville would not be the right schools for her. She definitely “felt” all the rejections, but thankfully having a senior class of 19 others all getting rejections too surprisingly helped her. She could truly see the randomness in some of the acceptances/rejections.

We, as her parents, always saw her in a big city. So it was a relief when Pace and The New School accepted her. Pace had a program that fit everything on her original wish list. The New School shined in their encouragement of creation. She enjoyed writing plays and creating films too, and The New School would fit that side of her. We have family in Georgia though, so SCAD was not ruled out entirely. UNCG is where many of her friends are headed, so she was tempted to hold out for that waitlist also. However, her decision ultimately came down to how responsive Pace has been. They quickly set up communications with teachers, current students, and accepted students. As she attended Zooms with Pace and she could see herself there. The students she spoke to were doing the kinds of things she has always wanted to do. The other accepted students felt like a good fit also. She decided pretty quickly to commit to the Pace FTVC program. (Her father and I saw her at either BU or Pace from the very beginning, so thankfully it all worked out!)

Summer Programs: UNCSA Summer drama program summer between her sophomore and junior year. Local theatre summer intensives other summers.

Final Decision: Pace FTVC

@BFAMom2024 I LOVE how your D stayed true to herself. My S was much the same way… he insisted doing this his own way so that he would be wanted for who he is. I know one person at PACE and she is very much an individual, too

Thank you @prarie I look forward to reading your story too as I know your S has some great choices!

Thank you for sharing!!! Congratulations to your daughter. Really does seem like a great program and perfect fit for her!!

Programs Applied to (all Acting BFA, no MT): DePaul, UMN Guthrie, Texas State, Nebraska Wesleyan, Oklahoma City, Otterbein, UNCSA, Evansville, Baldwin Wallace, SUNY Purchase.

Passed Prescreens: TXST & Otterbein. Not passed: DePaul
Accepted to: Nebraska Wesleyan, OCU, Evansville, BW
Rejected from: UMN, Otterbein, UNCSA, Purchase
Wait-listed at: TXST
Coach: None

Background/Training: 4th grade S announced he wanted to take hip hop. He quickly added jazz, tap, ballet and played children’s roles in regional ballet company productions. He was really into acting aspects of ballet.

In 7th Grade he began participating in summer MT, added school theatre and choir. The summer after 8th grade he was cast in a competitive HS summer MT production directed by established college faculty team from outside the area. In 9th grade he began acting classes with local acting studio consisting of HS, college and adult ages. As his love for acting technique grew, he felt limited being labeled “the dancer” in HS theatre. He was frustrated with how slow MT peers picked up dance but was also finding it harder to relate to the mostly introverted dancers at his ballet-based dance school. And he was falling behind in dance due to theatre schedule while his dance peers were moving into ballet company ranks. S came to realize he is not a big smile/jazz hands kind of guy and not drawn to most MT. After 9th grade he decided to completely drop dance and announced he wanted to become a professional actor. He went against the grain, picking and choosing between school and community theatre productions instead of being dedicated to any one program.

Summer Programs: MT productions through summer before 11th grade; local acting studio scene work; Interlochen Shakespeare Bootcamp summer before 12th grade.

Reflections on Auditions: S struggled with the DePaul prescreen specs and was not completely comfortable with one of the monologues for that prescreen. In retrospect S was drawn to DePaul’s rankings and film/TV exposure but school/program was not a fit. NWU is a wonderful program… he was sad to release that spot. S connected with OCU acting faculty, just felt that the overall U is MT focused and acting takes a backseat. UMN was likely not an academic fit, but also would have required blind dedication… he likes to pick and choose auditions. He felt he had an amazing audition and experience at TXST however S feels the climate and distance would be a hard adjustment. Otterbein was his first audition at Chicago Unifieds and was shell-shocked by the environment, so bad audition. I believe Otterbein requires MT and Acting majors to audition for all shows, so not a fit. It was clear in the UNCSA 30-minute group intro that he was not what they were looking for. Evansville and Purchase were both amazing auditions. Interestingly those were the 2 auditions where singing was required. Went to BW on the Sat following Chicago Unifieds. Because S had a headache the entire day and was exhausted, he assumed it didn’t go well. (Hubby and I were so worn… kept asking him if we really needed to drive all the way to Cleveland for another audition.)

Final Decision: Baldwin Wallace. Evansville was close because the faculty was great and S liked how it is a small program for actors who can sing. However, S felt the best connection with the BW acting teacher (interestingly a former ballet professional turned actor). BW came right out of the gate with the best financial offer; the acting program has formal relationship with Great Lakes Theatre Company & related Shakespeare festivals; it’s an easy drive to the Cleveland theatre district; U is surrounded by metroparks and water (S needs nature to thrive); S appreciates being around high level, classical performing arts and BW has an incredible music conservatory and a dance program. Bonus – we have friends and family nearby.

Final notes: S’s instincts were spot-on throughout the entire process; S announced he’s going to add dance back into his life.

Thanks, everyone, for sharing these stories full of helpful information! I don’t want to start a CC battle, but I have to ask… is anyone else seriously considering a gap year, perhaps with some kind of additional actor training? Or at least assuming in-person classes will not resume in the fall? (Which is admittedly trickier for performing arts majors.) I’m hearing that chances are 50/50 classes will be online in the fall. As background, we’re a veteran family who spent many years adapting to major changes in plans when my spouse was on active duty. We’re not particularly excitable but try to respond to evolving circumstances.

Great story @prarie ! Congratulations to him on finding a great fit school. I love how different all of our stories are, but there are pieces of everyone’s stories that I can relate to.

@ThespianMitera We are not personally considering delaying start, but I know I have read a lot of CC threads where people talk about that. I just looked and couldn’t find the exact threads, but I know the MT boards are full of people discussing what to do in the current climate.

Maybe this link will help:
https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/2177498-class-of-2024-no-bfa-mt-looking-at-plan-b-gap-year-p1.html

It was originally started for people who weren’t getting the audition results they had hoped for, but I know I’ve read info on delaying due to COVID too.

Congrats @Prairie and @BFAMom2024 ! So great to hear your kids’ stories, thank you for sharing!

Thanks very much, @BFAMom2024!

@BFAMom2024 - wonderful story! My D also did a monologue with curse words and for the same reason. She ended up exactly where she was meant to be - when you aren’t orange pekoe, you don’t expect to be everyone’s “cup of tea”. I am thrilled for you D with Pace - it’s a fabulous program and my D (who is also in NY) has really adored being in the city for school. Really, it doesn’t get a lot better than being a college student in NYC (and let’s all burn incense and sage leaves and/or pray in the hopes they are all IN NYC this August).

@prarie - SO exciting! I know the kids at BW really love it - just a very happy, talented crew there. So glad your S found his peeps and his perfect fit.

My son not only had an f-bomb but actually ended one of his monologues by flipping the bird, and got into the same school your D attends, @CaMom13 ! I guess they like spicy tea in the city! :joy:

Hahahaha! Well, @tsamuique - NYU isn’t for the shy and retiring. There are some introverts (and lots of extroverts) at Tisch but it takes a certain level of self-possession to go into a large program at a massive school in the middle of NYC. It takes a lot of independence and it very much helps to know who you are before you get there … so I do think they respond to that.

Just from observation of this board over the last few years I have gotten the sense that most MT/Acting programs are really looking for the students who will fit in well with the best of what the school has to offer. But that kind of perspective is really difficult for the kids and parents going through the decision process, especially the rejections… you only get that 20/20 vision in hindsight.

So far I love this thread!

@Dramamama3 I think I congratulated you before but I’ll do it again! Hooray for Syracuse and for knowing so early!

@BFAMom2024 I tell my kid “we’re not for everyone, and that’s ok!” I love your story!

@prarie Love this too- congratulations!

We’re apparently going to drag this thing out to the bitter end, but I’ll be back.

@TenaciousC wrote: We’re apparently going to drag this thing out to the bitter end, but I’ll be back.

Same here. 'Til the last possible moment.