Final MT Decisions Background - Class of 2023

Hi all.

Since nobody has started this thread, thought I’d get the party going.
Below are the categories from prior years and a link to last year’s thread:

https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/2059578-final-mt-decisions-background-class-of-2022-p1.html

Programs Applied to:

Prescreens:

Accepted to:

Rejected from:

Wait-listed at:

Coach:

Summer Programs:

Background
Final Decision

And since my D has made a decision, I can go first :slight_smile:

Programs Applied to (MT & acting if available): UArts, Shenandoah, Coastal C, UTampa, Fl Southern, George Mason, James Madison, Ohio Northern, UAB, Arcadia, Christopher Newport, College of Charleston, Mary Washington.

Prescreens: Coastal & Shenco (didn’t pass), UARTS (passed live prescreen MT)

Accepted: Chris Newport, College of Charleston, Mary Washington (BA non audition schools); UAB, Fl Southern, Ohio Northern (BA redirect), Arcadia BFA Acting/MT concentration, George Mason BFA acting, James Madison BA Theatre.

Accepted artistically to auditioned programs Indiana University South Bend BFA MT, Heidelberg BA MT, Ashland BA MT through Ohio Unifieds, but did not apply to these schools academically.

Rejected: Shenandoah, UArts, Tampa

Coach: Chelsea Diehl, My College Audition

Summer Programs: Community programs, Stratford Shakespeare in Canada after Junior Year

Background
D has been a storyteller since birth. Her childhood was spent with her brother building Legos and playing pretend for days on end. She got into the local theatre at age 6 and was involved in community theatre since age 7. She did this all for fun and the long days and intense work were a pleasure for her.

My daughter homeschooled since kindergarten, focusing on an arts-based curriculum. By high school, she opted to not audition for performing arts schools, but rather, to craft her own performance intensive program. Where we live, there are a gazillion theatre places with many talented performers. My daughter did both straight plays and musicals and wavered between which she liked more. She also dabbled in film last year and helped with casting and music composition.

In addition to a love of performance, she loves children and teaching. Until junior year, she wavered between education with a theatre minor or theatre with an emphasis in education.

She is used to a very competitive theatre scene and she seemed to get featured and ensemble roles with a few leads in high school. Her audition pool includes adults, including people who graduate from MT and acting programs and have worked in NYC for paid roles. We are used to a strange casting process and often laugh at the outcomes (e.g., she got recruited for a role last year, but they gave it to the audition pianist, who is a 50-year-old man).

After much contemplation, she decided to pursue the audition process. I am a mom who loves to go to shows and watch theatre, but I truly had no idea if she would be competitive. After stalking these boards for 2 years, we booked a consult with Chelsea from My College Audition. Chelsea was kind and supportive and helped us create a balanced list. She encouraged my D to apply for acting programs as she saw a huge strength there. But my D loved musical theatre as well and wanted to audition for both.

For this process, we wanted to focus on a smaller, targeted list rather than cast a super wide net. The schools we chose (mostly) had decent academics, were located close to home or within a short plane ride, and were within a price range we could afford. She also applied to schools super early and auditioned for several in the fall. This took a huge amount of pressure off as she had her first acceptance by early October.

The audition season was what was expected. My daughter loved auditioning and networking with all the people there. She’s met a lot of great people and talks to some of them.

I think the rejections were hard on her. In community theatre, you get a feel right away if you are not a match. But in these auditions, she got a lot of compliments, got encouraging notes, etc. and would then get a rejection later. The schools that were very clear on her were easier for the most part ?.

The one surprise we had were the callbacks at Ohio Unifieds. She went to this event to audition for Ohio Northern, but there were 20 schools there and she received artistic acceptances at 3 of them. But in the end, they didn’t seem like enough of a match to apply. She also got a huge amount of interest from Bowling Green, but they haven’t yet followed up and my daughter has made her decision.

Final Decision:
Because my D auditioned fairly early, she had most of her decisions early. Arcadia, UAB, Florida Southern, and James Madison were her favorites. The redirect at UAB didn’t have what she wanted, but the one at Florida Southern was a good option (they cast BAs in every show, plus encourage and support re-auditioning with a great success rate). Chelsea felt JMU was a reach for my D, so based on her results with the season, she didn’t want to get her hopes up.

Arcadia was the one school that seemed to be in the lead from the beginning. It had intense acting training, international study abroad, and great vocal training. The dance wasn’t strong, but there were tons of dance places close by. They were very generous with scholarships so it would have been easy to supplement her training. However, Arcadia was one of the schools we really didn’t visit other than a quick on campus audition during a huge rainstorm. So, a few weeks ago, we set out to see the school. She sat in on an acting class and attended the performance. She loved both the staff, students, and performance, but the school just didn’t feel right to her.

My D liked Florida Southern, but as this process unfolded, she really wanted to be closer to home. We are a tight knit family and she wanted to see her brother’s tech showcases and have us attend her performances without a plane ride.
Last week, she sat with her decision, made a pro con list and talked to many, many people. Every day, she wavered. A gap year was an option, but not one anyone wanted to do. But if that was what was right, we would do it. As a mom, I just had a gut feeling that something was going to work out. And I wasn’t sure what it was, but I would know it when I saw it. “Just wait.” I encouraged. “When it feels right, you will know.”

Just as she was going to make a decision, I checked the portal for JMU. At this point, my D did not want to check anything and asked me to do this for her. I saw she was admitted to the theatre program and went downstairs to tell her.

At that moment, it was as if the clouds parted and the sun came out. “Mom, this was my favorite school all along,” she told me. “And I could do acting and theatre education. They actually encourage that.” After all the flip flopping, I asked her to wait for one week to make sure this is what she wanted. She didn’t waver once. There was no analysis, no discussion, no pro con list. This was the one.

This morning, we paid the deposit. Last night, she ordered the merch. And we are signed up to attend an admitted students’ day for admitted arts students and their families. She has been here twice, seen some classes, met students and felt like she had enough to make her decision. It was in her gut all along and the right fit for her.

Final Decision: JMU, BA Theatre/Acting. Go Dukes!

Phew! We can all breathe in relief and happiness. The journey was intense, but in the end, she chose the perfect program for her. She will get to do intense theatre and dabble in theatre education, while still getting to pursue a liberal arts curriculum. She will have lots of dance and some music in her curriculum as well as the chance to collaborate on all sorts of theatre and creative projects. She loves that the program has the intensity, diversity, and flexibility she wants. Plus, she is under 3 hours away, making it easy for the family to come see all her performances and for her to come home as needed.

Anyway, so much gratitude for being part of this community this past year. I’ve met some of you online and offline and you are all incredible with wonderful kids. I hope our paths will cross again ?

@artandtechmom Thanks for starting this and Congratulations on JMU and having a decision!

Thank you @MTSongbirdMom. Holding hope and light for you and your D.

@artandtechmom Yes, thank you for sharing. It’s a lovely story and CONGRATS on the JMU decision! Sounds like she has found a great place and here’s to hoping our paths will cross again someday! Best of luck to your D!

@artandtechmom This made me tear up–This process is having this effect on me! I think we maybe met your family at Florida Southern. Was your D there with her dad?

@MTMusicmanmom, thanks so much! @azmtmom13 thank you! My D auditioned at FSC in December. And yes, her dad took her, so perhaps you met then?

Congratulations @artandtechmom !! Sounds like a perfect fit!
I love these final decision stories!! Can’t wait to read the rest of them for Class of 2023! :slight_smile:

@artandtechmom Congrats on having a decision! My daughter applied RD, so we haven’t gotten a decision back from JMU, but it was one of her favorite dance calls! I personally loved the school, and if she goes the BA route (what is out of the question at this point, right?) it would be her front runner!

@artandtechmom, Congratulations to your daughter and to your family and having made a decision!! My son seriously considered Florida Southern as well and were there in December. Perhaps we sat in the conference room together on 12/1. It sounds like your daughter has found her perfect fit!

@carriemc95, thank you! If you end up chosing JMU, let me know. Would love to connect. I was surprised by my D’s final decision as well, but removing that “f” for her gave her the “f-lexibility” she wanted in a program :slight_smile:

@NYKaren, thanks so much! And congrats on your decision as well. Yes, FSC is such a wonderful school. I’m sure our kiddos met. I wasn’t there, but my D said the whole group really bonded.

Congratulations, @artsandtechmom! I love the way you wrote out the journey and thought process, what she was looking for and why this school fit. Wonderful story with a happy ending!!! Congratulations!

@artandtechmom congrats, thanks for starting the thread, i am counting the days till i can post for 2024 lol(which probably means ill be “jinxing” myself now into a gap year and be watching till clas of 2025…)

OK, my turn. I added a catergory – Withdrew

Programs Applied to: Wagner, JMU, Otterbein, Viterbo, Molly/CAP 21, Rider, Monclair, Nazareth, Florida Southern, Carnegie, Point Park, Florida Southern, Marymount Manhattan, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Cortland, Shenandoah, Emerson, Hartt, Fairleigh Dickinson, Baldwin Wallace (Jeez, I just realized how much we spent on app fees!!)

Prescreens: Rider, Viterbo, SUNY Fredonia, Emerson, Nazareth (Passed), Shenandoah, Carnegie, Otterbein (No Thanks)

Accepted to: Nazareth College (BFA MT), Fairleigh Dickinson (BA MT), Florida Southern (BFA MT)

Rejected from: Emerson, Baldwin Wallace

Withdrew from: All others

Wait-listed at: N/A

Coach: None

Summer Programs: Local Intensives and Summer Community Theatre

Background
My son came to this later than some. He did his school show in 6th grade (Once Upon a Mattress) and had fun. He was ensemble, as expected for a 6th grader. Next year, the show was Sound of Music. He wanted to do it again and I said sure, have fun!! After auditions, he calls me at work and says that it went pretty good. I said great honey, just have fun! He was a basketball player and I was happy that he was trying something else other than sports. The next week at school drama, the cast list comes out. He calls me at work after its over and I ask how did it go? What part did you get? He said I don’t know, Mom. Captain something or other. What!!! You’re Captain Von Trapp? I don’t know, mom. Maybe? I’ll show you the list when you get home from work. How could this be? My sports kid doesn’t sing! He can’t sing Adelweiss!!! This is not going to be good!! Yes, he’s tall. Taller than every 7th and 8th grader, so that must be it! He’s the only one who can be a believeable dad. At the next rehearsal I ask the director how can he sing?? He doesn’t sing. I was calmly told, yes, yes he does… nothing to worry about! And, sure as hell, he sang! Wow, mom was shocked! In 8th grade, the director told everyone the play was South Pacific. She said she finally had an 8th grader who could sing This Nearly Was Mine. I said he practically opens the show singing Some Enchanted Evening!!! She told me not to worry. I suppose she was right… there was no looking back after that! That summer he starte voice lessons, joind the High School Chorus and when he was cast as Jean Valjean his Freshman Year over 2 seniors, I knew this was the real deal and rest he figured out what he wanted to do witht he rest of his life.

Ty continued training and added dance over the next few years and I was researching and researching. We started our college visits summer between Sophomore and Junior year. He figured out what he liked in a program and in a campus. We did a lot of campus visits and open houses. My son was the type that needed to be on campus and get a feel for the program and the campus vibe. Originally he thought a BA, but towards Senior Year, he knew he wanted the BFA. He added a Monologue coach before Senior Year and we decided not to go with a national coach. He had two leading contenders going into audition season – Florida Southern and Nazareth College.

We hit the ground running Senior year. Applications check! Prescreens filmed by October - check! Met with Guidance Counselor - Check! Outside recommendations secured and in hand - check! Tyler followed advice and cast a wide net. He had a dream schedule for auditions and it all seemed to fall into place.

Prescreens were submitted and he did not pass CMU, Shenandoah and Otterbein. Passed 5 of the 8 – not so bad!

We did scheduled 6 auditions before Christmas break and put his top contenders in that group. Had all other auditions scheduled after break going through 3/2.

First Audition was Fairleigh Dickinson in October. It went very smoothly and the acceptance came quickly thereafter. Emerson was next. This was the first of the big boys and was more of what to expect from these auditions. It was a long day, but he said it was fun! Baldwin Wallace followed. That was a long day and he found it less fun. Drove up to Rochester, NY from NYC in a November snowstorm for the Nazareth College audition. That was a nightmare! We left at night after his fall show and drove right into the snow. We must have been crazy! Thank God, we made it in one piece, but I swear I thought we were going to drive off the road at least 4 times!! Audition went fabulous and program head called me at home that weekend to express interset! Woo hoo! But no academic acceptance yet and never believe anything until you get it in writing. My son said he felt at home on campus. Flew down to Florida after Thanksgiving for Florida Southern. Again, great audition and loved the program. When we flew home after the weekend my son said it’s Florida or Nazareth. When our plane landed back in NYC, we got the email from BW and it was a no. It didn’t sting that much because he just had a great weekend in Florida and more or less had a verbal from Nazareth (his #1 at this point). Later that week, we got the no from Emerson and a yes with talent scholarship from Florida Southern! At that point, my son decided to withdraw from Hartt the upcoming weekend since he knew Florida would be above Hartt. I agreed with the strategy and was happy to spend a weekend at home! On 12/15, he got the official yes from Nazareth along with favorable financials. Now it was decision time.

Final Decision
My son’s heart was at Nazareth BFA MT. The financial were good and there was a very nice talent scholarship. It would be about the same price as the NY State schools. Based on his 2 visits and research, he like everything about the program. It was his “fit” He decided to commit to Nazareth and withdraw from all other auditions. I hoped he was sure, but he said that is where his heart is and he cannot wait to start this new chapter! We made it official right after the New Year! Tyler will be a Golden Flyer in September!

Congratulations, @NYKaren! So happy he found his perfect fit!

@artandtechmom @NYKaren Congratulations to both of you and to your kids. They both sound wise beyond their years, and were able to make hard decisions look relatively easy. I must say that I am jealous, as we sit here and try to figure everything out. But I know we will eventually get there, and one day I hope to write our story as well as the two of you have. Here’s wishing you and your kids many days and years filled with music, dancing, and laughter. All the best!

@NYKaren, so happy for you and your S. What a great journey and lucky he found what he wanted so soon in the process :).

@artandtechmom Congratulations! So glad your D found he fit! It sounds great. Thank you for sharing!!

Congratulations @NYKaren! Sounds like another fit! Hooray! I love this thread!