AMAZING @ElizaDoolittle , CONGRATS!!!
Congrats @ElizaDoolittle . Thanks for sharing the journey. Sounds like Pace was her perfect fit!
Outstanding @ElizaDoolittle ! Congrats!! Love that she saw it on her phone during school. Remember getting a few of those calls from D in the middle of the day. Good Stuff.
Congratulations @ElizaDoolittle ! Such a great program and sounds like it was meant to be.
Congratulations @ElizaDoolittle ! It sounds like Pace is a perfect fit. I love how she felt it coming out of the audition. Best of luck to your D!
Wow!! where to begin? How to even describe this journey?! I’ve been thinking about this post for TWO YEARS. I looked at my college confidential profile 4000 +/- visits in two years/650+ posts……guess I was a bit obsessed? OCD? Let’s just call me committed Dad
I’ll start with the obligatory info then tell the story- sorry for the length in advance- feel free to skip to the end if you so desire (like you need my permission)
Schools applied to: Baldwin Wallace, Ball State, Belmont, BOCO, Catholic, Carnegie Mellon, CCM, Coastal Carolina, Elon, Indiana, Ithaca, Marymount, Michigan, Millikin, Molloy/Cap 21, Montclair, Muhlenberg ( BA safety) Ohio U, Oklahoma City, Otterbein, Penn State, Point Park, Rider, Roosevelt, Shenandoah, Syracuse, Texas state, Webster, Wright state.
Pre- screens: passed: 5/17 CMU, Roosevelt, Millikin, Indiana (initially got a pre-screen wait list? What the heck is that??- more later) & Coastal Carolina (only school on our list that asked for option B on the common prescreen- we submitted option A & still got the pass?!)
Dad panics a tad in early October after 7 consecutive pre-screen Nos and insists we add Miami, Arizona & Columbia College of Chicago as we learned Muhlenberg won’t notify us either way till March- not really what we wanted out of the “safety”. Worth noting at this point DD originally argues for no Fla schools (humidity/ curly hair issue? What does dad know about that??) & avoid NYC/long island schools- doesn’t say it but like most kids wants to go away for college. Daughter counters with Ok if we add those schools I want to audition for Juilliard- they don’t require a prescreen- dad hands over the credit card thinking (Ummmm Juilliard isn’t exactly going to increase our chances & hard to call Juilliard anything but a lottery & think we have enough lottery types on our “ well- crafted list” but we forge ahead.)
Coach: MTCA- I am not here to lobby for coaching whatsoever, as you read this story you will see I had the time to do all the obligatory work, many times I wondered why we needed this “National Coaching service”. Could we have done it without them? I’m sure we could have. But I am truly glad we didn’t. Additionally, not only did the coaches help with the artistic pieces that dad is worthless in adding value, but they were incredible “mental health coaches/ cheerleaders” in this roller coaster ride. She listened to her coaches even when they said the same things as I did. Moreover, invaluably, they were huge supporters during the rough times. A luxury for those with resources no doubt, but I would not have changed it. For future parents, remind yourself often these are still 18 year-old kids. My kid is not needy, high drama. not a diva, minimal if any attitude- & yet there were many times these coaches were truly needed to “talk her off the ledge”. I cannot say enough good things about the MTCA directors: Leo, Charlie & Ellen. Her individual coaches: Tim Russell (voice), Ryan Quinn (Monologue), Marcus Guy (song), Katierose Mclaughlin (dance) truly special human beings talented, kind, motivating. Will always be thankful they were along for my D journey.
Accepted Schools: academically ALL- I think this gets overlooked, but my D has a twin & she applied to 6 school (not MT) every yes came with huge excitement. For the MT kid academic acceptances get “throw it on the pile with the rest of them & does it matter how much academic $$ they give me if I don’t pass my audition!?”
After early BFA/BM acceptances: Withdrew from Molloy/Cap21, Marymount, Miami (note the anti Fla/ anti NYC/LI slant) & Columbia College of Chicago- No longer needed another non audition safety- thinking so glad I panicked a month ago and added those additional application fees! UGHHH
For the rest of this final story I’m going to go off script a little bit I take you month by month through this journey. It was done by @mypennyx2 & his legendary post circa 2014- I found that format incredibly helpful as we planned so that’s what I’m doing – this post is 1/3 for all of you current and past people who have shared your knowledge your tears and your joys, 1/3 for me & my family & 1/3 for those that come next. Let me start by saying this process is NOT for the faint of heart. No one gets through it unscathed. There are soooo many talented kids & even after going through it, I still can’t tell you why some have success and others don’t. MANY talented kids get shut out. Which brings me to the list. Yes, we probably over did it, no you don’t need 30+ schools. But when you read here about fit & a well-crafted list- I’m still not sure how I would ween down our list. We did more research than one might think humanly possible (again note 4000 visits to CC in 2 years). I am certain had I tried to pare down to a more “reasonable” number I might have eliminated a school that ultimately became a yes. How do you explain passing the CMU prescreen but not some of our others? Reminder these are my opinions, not looking to debate or cause controversy about what a top school is vs what is not. If you don’t like my views expressed her, you don’t have to read this……deep breaths
Now maybe most importantly before I continue with the details of our journey, a few Caveats- my goal here is NOT to offend anyone. These are all my opinions, feel free to disregard them but please don’t start an online battle or controversy. These are my opinions based on my experiences. I am entitled to mine & you are entitled to yours. Ok off the soap box for now. ALSO, I will try to cite as many current and past CCers for 2 reasons 1) to acknowledge all that they have done knowingly or unknowingly to help me 2) so that future people can search their posts & gain some nugget of info that will help you future parents and kids in what is a process like nothing else I have experienced in my 50 years on this earth.
Let me start with a few acknowledgments & confessions…… I am a data geek, an analytics nerd, I studied the back of baseball cards as a kid. The best info on trying to objectify the odds in this insanity come from @Emsdad & @artandtechmom. Even though you guys likely don’t know it you were super helpful to me. As I already noted, Maybe the most incredible documentation of this process was given by @mypennyx2. An absolute must read. Past CCers who were always so generous with their insights and sharing- there are too many to list but they taught me the no one gets through this unscathed, those who were brutally honest in her experience & every year, EVERYEAR there is a story like @kamamom @EastchesterMom, @dramaqueen219. If you want a true source of strength and inspiration check out @MTSongbirdMom.
I am sure I am missing some truly inspirational stories. I suggest you go back & read the sharing/ venting as well as the final decision threads from the last 5 years (not sure I recommend reading all of them 3-4x like I did, however). Last year people who were especially helpful to me @El-Cee @lovetoact @BoolaBoola @afterp89 @Divamamacita @UKTOLA @kategrizz. Again, I apologize if I missed anyone. My WOLF PACK this year where misery truly loves company ….much love and respect to @muttsandMT @HAHCx4 @MTisNutz…But can not forget @GeddyMcNutty @WDWMom @jupdancemom @anastasiasmom @rickle1 @stanfordAI2019 @Jenny1993 @modansbsmt001 @loganator and sooooo many others. @vvnstar a wealth of info & my OCU guru/ go to…………Ok if you are still with me……here comes the saga grab some popcorn or a glass of wine or whatever vice of your choosing
In 2016, I sold my very successful business to a private equity company. It was a great day in my professional career made many “loyal” people very wealthy, I stayed on as CEO but by spring of 2018 the relationship had soured so badly that I was fired from the company I created 20 years ago. People were not as loyal as I had thought & I was in a really bad head space for a while, but it was at that moment in June of 2018 that I decided that with 3 teenage girls (plus an 11 yo girl- yup 4 girls!) that I would focus on their last 2 years at home before they went off to college. Oldest daughter was interested in Fashion design, my MT daughter & her twin who wanted to become a VET. That was the summer before the twins’ Junior year and eldest senior year in HS. The MT daughter had decided to go to the CMU summer program, she did all the legwork. I really had no idea back then that CMU was this powerhouse drama school I thought of it as an engineering school. We went to parents weekend in Pittsburgh and I still remember sitting in Don Wadsworth’s class with parents asking questions about “unifieds” and a gap year. I truly had no clue what they were talking about. In a voice class people mentioned these “coaches” that prep their kids for the MT auditions & one of the professors mentioned that her former CMU students had a service called MTCA. I looked it up and that’s how I stumbled on to College Confidential (if you don’t believe it look at my profile “member since July 2018”). At that point I didn’t even know this place existed. The last thing I recall from that CMU weekend was a strict, disciplined voice teacher who had taken a liking to my daughter said to us “ Honey , you are like me a hard-working white soprano, you are talented, pretty & have a beautiful voice , but you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than getting accepted to CMU”. That was my first wake-up call – July before her Junior year. So being newly unemployed, I got home, sat in my backyard and read CC MT posts for HOURS every day. This place gave me my PHD in musical theater application/ auditions… As I say now (again not trying to offend anyone) I learned more about the musical theater world than any straight 50 year old married white male should ever know (footnote: D’s reaction to the CMU voice teacher “well dad someone has to get hit by lightning, right” with a smile)
So we started with MTCA in august of 2018, I have to say they did a great job from just one assessment skype session in placing my D with coaches that fit her personality incredibly well. They instantaneously identified my D grinder, grit, hard-working personality & fed that for the next 2 years. Anything they asked her to do- she did. I kept reading CC and asking many questions along the way.
D kept training and training, learning to take mass transit into NYC at 17 years old by herself, a great life lesson…. I kept reading and reading and started formulating a list, printed up blank calendars (ok MANY blank calendars- helpful hint- always use pencil). I used audition dates from the prior year to plan out our attack……Never did I realize that my grand plan could fall apart by only passing 30% of the pre-screens. But you will hear this theme from me repeatedly: Adaptability is the key survival skill in this jungle!
Fast forward to summer of 2019- by the way she got rejected from the summer program at MPulse and Artsbridge- which at the time seemed like the end of the world- ha how little I knew……we decided this was a blessing in disguise and we would use July & August prior to her senior year to do essays, applications and train with coaches, broadway dance center, the local dance studio etc… etc… The MTCA college coach Amy and her organizational system was a huge help and we used their essay coach Lee w a few times as well. Coincidentally Lee is not only a great essay coach but he is an actor himself and that was really helpful in blending the artistic thoughts into a formal college essay as well as not being redundant with the supplemental essays. I truly think this was my D least favorite part (other than maybe the waiting in April of 2020). My D actually enjoys writing but the applications and essays when you apply to this many schools can be overwhelming. However, as I learned from CC getting these things done & being done with ACT/SAT before the school year started and freeing up time for fall auditions was a HUGE advantage. Good time to refill your wine now……
MTCA mock audition- very worthwhile
Film prescreens- yes, we did them professionally & didn’t have a great outcome, coaches all felt they were good before we submitted. This was truly more stressful for my D than the auditions themselves- foreshadowing that my kid is AN IN THE ROOM kinda gal. Results were mediocre at best. It was wake-up call about how hard this process was going to be. D handled the rejection fairly well. I think I handled them worse. In hindsight these rejections were not awful for us. Key Point here: NEVER LOSE A HEALTHY RESPECT FOR THE PROCESS. I also think flying through pre-screens relatively unscathed as some do gives people a false sense of confidence- Did I mention respecting the process? I had the epiphany at this point that the goal is to get as many live auditions as possible. There are so many GREAT programs that still do not prescreen. Look at our pre-screen results and our ultimate outcome, how do you explain that? No rhyme or reason which to me is why forming a smaller well-crafted list is nearly impossible- my opinion. Another point that may be controversial, I considered taking this out, but it needs to be said. The odds are especially slim for Caucasian females. This is just simple math. That doesn’t imply that it’s easy for guys or minorities- it’s not easy for ANYONE, but statistically this is the reality. If you are the parent of a white female be prepared: you are a dime a dozen, half the girls are wearing the same or similar outfit, 90% are very talented–you have to do something to stand out. Let me be clear, I’m not saying the boys are not talented, certainly not saying the minorities are not talented, I am not trying to start a fight, I’m just trying to state simple data points for future people: This is a hard process for EVERYONE ( actually hard doesn’t do it justice), it’s especially hard for white females I love the fact that this field is emphasizing diversity, enough said on this point, please don’t start a brawl w me
10/1 First “real” audition. we went to Muhlenberg to “audition for scholarship” we planned this as a good warm up to run through her material. Which didn’t change much from the pre-screens so I was having some anxiety, but D was steadfast that she connected with her pieces. Of note while we added piece to her repertoire throughout the audition season she never wavered from her original material. The director at Muhlenberg was warm & welcoming, the campus was beautiful …classic college fall day. Really nice facilities, impressive dance class we observed. Director essentially said to D & 3 other girls you are all very talented if you are accepted from admissions in March I would love to have you- that’s when the light bulb went off for me that waiting till march was not really the point of the “safety”. Had lunch w D HS friend. It was a nice day only a 2.5hour drive for us. MY BFA/BM or bust daughter got in the car and said- “if this is the only place I get in, I can actually see myself happy here”. We came home and applied to Columbia College as an additional safety because they had rolling admissions
Interesting anecdote on October 5th at a NYY playoff game I suddenly developed Bell’s Palsy- my entire left side of my face was essentially paralyzed, difficulty eating, blinking, speaking- this stayed with me nearly all of audition season. My wife hypothesizes it was brought on by the stress of this process- (I don’t think that was the case- but it’s possible- guess I’m not as tough and gritty as DD)
10/14- flew to Ohio U for an “experience the arts day” a new up and coming program that you could audition for without even applying seemed like another good test run…Also figured it was “an audition safety” or fit- as if that really exists. This was the only trip (amazing in hindsight) that daughter was a bit under the weather. In addition to her throat not being in optimal condition, at the faculty meeting 1 hour before the audition we get the NO email from Shenandoah regarding her pre-screen. That was a tough moment, she collected herself & did the dance call and the audition, still I felt this would be a likely yes- a few weeks later the “no” or redirect to BA theater came- another surprising moment for me, but a reminder ALWAYS RESPECT THE PROCESS, take NOTHING for granted. D was relatively unfazed as she really was never into the program but agreed since it was Columbus Day weekend to take the trip with me & work out her material once more. (interesting factoid here- In February we got a letter from Ohio U indicating she was awarded a TALENT scholarship, REALLY? then why did we get the BFA no? things that make you say hmmmmm)
One thing of note for October- D did a master class with Robin Lewis from Rider AFTER she was rejected from her Rider pre-screen- I would have said F this guy, but she showed up, smiled and may have even thought he would realize the error in their pre-screen decision- of course he did not but I admire my daughter for the grit and determination shown (note the common theme arising here?)
Foreshadowing moment: We were scheduled to do our first “ big” fall audition 10/26 had the flight to Nashville booked, but then MTCA announced a Victoria Bussert master class that same day, so we quickly changed to the 11/2 audition. Belmont was super accommodating & all worked out well at that point. Note to future peeps, the plan never comes together as you thought it would…Mike Tyson famously said “everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face”. Be prepared to take a few punches and be adaptable or ye’ shall be knocked out by the theater gods AKA keepers of the process.
10/26 Baldwin Wallace Master Class with Vicky Bussert through MTCA–daughter became infatuated with Vicky & The BW program. Heeding the advice of many we continually stressed the lottery ticket nature of BW, not falling in love etc…. My D told me out of 40 kids in the class she was the only one VB compared to a broadway star, she told D when she did her songs that she reminded her of a young Jesse Mueller. Outwardly I was like that’s amazing, it reminds us of your true talent and to ignore all the pre-screen Nos, VB knows talent. Inside I’m saying to myself ( seriously?? This rejection is really gonna hurt)
Good time to get a refill I’m only about to head into November………
November 2019- in hindsight these next 4-6 weeks are amongst my favorite. I strongly encourage fall auditions for many reasons. Pick schools with ROLLING ARTISTIC decisions so you have some answers before the holidays. Of course the risk here is you could get a bunch of rejections, but better early in the process, allows you to reassess, recalibrate if needed & allows you to relax if one or more acceptances come through.
11/2 Belmont Audition, a nice father Daughter weekend in Nashville. Nancy Allen is incredibly warm & we realize this program is the big time even though it doesn’t always get that cache. They are building a brand new performing arts center, the campus is meticulous. I really liked this program. 2 weeks later while we are at OCU Daughter gets her first BFA/BM YES!! I recall sitting in the hallway at OCU with @muttsandMT with tears in my eyes. In my mind I say OK no gap year, we won’t be shut out, amazing sense of relief (but I remind my wife that the bell’s palsy hasn’t improved even with this amazing development)
11/9 weekend we go to Wright state- see their production of Addams family (excellent production) Participate in the master classes on Friday and the audition on Saturday. Really impressed with this program. But this is where I realize one of my screw ups- Wright state no longer does rolling artistic decisions we won’t hear from them till march- in hindsight I wouldn’t have done this date I think it’s hard to remember every Caucasian female soprano 4 months later. This process is a sea of white girls ( not saying this to be controversial) but look around at unifieds you can’t help but agree……as I state at the top, I’m a numbers guy, a stats guy & being one of a few thousand white females- time passing by is not your friend. Older threads on wright state indicated they did rolling artistic decisions but sounds like one year they had an excessive yield and changed that- at least for all but a few sparkly unicorns. Anyway, we had a good time and drive Saturday night 1 hour from Dayton to Muncie Indiana to visit daughter’s friend at Ball State. It was not an audition weekend, but it enabled early communication with Andrea Sadler who is an absolute star, she sets us up with a bunch of students we meet some faculty members- seniors are auditioning for the showcase while we are there. Overall this program has long been one of my favorite “hidden gems”. The people there are as good as it gets- then I realize when they audition 1400+ kids each year it’s not so hidden. Spoiler alert: Did I mention- ALWAYS respect the process?
11/16 weekend trip to Oklahoma City. We chose this audition over the C.A.P. auditions in Atlanta…. OCU only has 3 weekend auditions & we can’t really fit in their Feb audition weekend & we don’t want to still be auditioning in March so it’s gotta be this one (turns out this is one of our BEST decisions). I love that OCU gives results in 3-4 weeks as well. The morning starts w a student welcoming / Q&A. then Dr. Herendeen. He says everything my D wants to hear, not the warm and fuzzy stuff, the if you come to OCU be ready to work & work hard, it’s not for everyone. He is a TRULY amazing human being & the facilities are literally the best we will see in the entire audition process. D comes out and says “I have the vibe”. A month later on 12/13 in the spam folder we get the yes from OCU.A legit top 10-maybe 15 (not gonna get into that debate either) program. We are ecstatic and know that we will go into the new year w 2 great choices….an amazing, humbling, relieving feeling. True elation( still Bell’s Palsy is unresolved). We spend the next 4 months comparing all programs to OCU & Dr. H. (doesn’t hurt that after Unifieds they announce Kristin Chenowith will be artist in residence). I expect this will multiply the auditioners in future years immensely, this is not a pre-screen school, get your application & request for auditions in EARLY! To me it’s one of the best programs in the country that doesn’t always make the “top 10 lists”
Thanksgiving break was a nice chance to do nothing but enjoy all the great F words- friends, family, food & football. Made much more relaxing with the Belmont yes in the books.
Weekend of 12/7 Catholic University audition. I have posted this before, but it’s worth repeating. As you future parents plan your audition schedule, I think this is a great program to have on your list. Though expensive they are generous with aid. The students are extremely chill & the faculty very nice. The day that we auditioned there were roughly 30 kids auditioning. 25 females and 5 males. IMHO, this is a solid program in a great theater town. They only have 3 on campus auditions all year- do the math, the odds are more in your favor competing against 100-150 kids. I don’t know their yield but I just think if you are looking for better odds than this process offers in general it’s definitely worth a look. We got the yes on 12/17 just 10 days after the audition and sent us off to the holidays with 3 GREAT acceptances (the OCU Yes came 12/13 as I mentioned- the day of her fall play at our HS) That was ONE OF the best weeks in the whole process!
We take an “intermission” and go on a family vacation for the holidays with little to no audition/ college talk till after New Year. A needed break after traveling since early October nearly ever weekend.
1/11 private audition with BW at Ripley via MTCA. It was run very well- smoothly but very quick in and out, at these off campus auditions they don’t typically have you prepare a monologue, sometimes they ask. My D was not asked. She did her 2 songs and was done in less than 10 minutes. It was a bit disconcerting as the warmth and connection that D had felt 2 months earlier wasn’t necessarily there, D was clearly shaken that she wasn’t sure if it went well. No reason to think it didn’t go well was just very business-like. This process can truly play head games with your mind if you let it, one day good one day bad…oh well NY unifieds was the following week & it was time to put BW in the rearview mirror as they stated we would know in early/mid March.
NY Unifieds-we live in NY but 1 hr from NYC & decided to go into NYC the night before. I was ready to go to combines- an open call of sorts with Shenandoah, Texas state, Wagner, Texas Tech & AZ state. There have been stories on these board about line sitters & people “gaming the system”. SO I got there at 5:45am & was 15th in line- 7 professional line sitters ahead of me that arrived as early as 4:45. Met nice people on the line,It was COLD( 18 degrees F I think) from 5:45-8:30 am. Main reason for D wanting to do combines was to prove to Texas State (KH) & Shenandoah that they made a mistake in rejecting her from the pre-screen. Personally, I think combine was a waste because KH was not their representing Texas state. Matt Edwards asked her to sing another song but we never got a call back- Daughter remained true to her grinder mentality and was able to compartmentalize it now that she had her “shot” ( credit to Hamilton& LMM she was not gonna give away her shot) to audition wasn’t happy but easier to cope with than the pre-screen No.
Back at Pearl Studios, we auditioned for Montclair which was uneventful- the no came within 2 weeks after Unifieds. Webster was likely the highlight of NY- Lara Teeter literally had one of his assistants pull D back into the audition song after she had already left & was standing, waiting for the elevator. He proceeded to work with her on her pieces, handed her his business card & uttered his famous line “no communication is a form of communication”. So, we did the dance with LT till results came out, he was always responsive and kind but the ultimate answer was no- even after he oozed interest in her during the audition- a lesson I learned on CC don’t read into anything that goes on in the room- easier said than done. We had a similar experience with Mizzou state where Bob W & Lisa B were in the room, she auditioned as a walk-in.He said “ promise me you will send in your application”. We did, he was very impressive warm and complimentary- was a bit stunned by the No a few weeks later, but having the fall acceptances eased the pain for the Nos as they were rolling in……that is except for the “ dream lottery schools” that were left to hear from & CMU which was slated for Chicago unifieds & has been the dream since summer of 2018.
1/26- Juilliard audition. We didn’t make it past the first cut. Only 6/60 did, all 6 were people of color. I am sure they are very, very talented & I’m not trying to start a fight with anyone just pointing out that these elite programs are working really hard to have diversity. I applaud them for that. That being said the air around Juilliard is big-time, a feeling like you have made it just to be auditioning here. There is no pre-screen it’s a cool experience but be prepared for the NO in nearly all instances.
The kid tells me as we are heading to Chicago unifieds how much she is going to miss auditioning, how fun it’s been how much she loves auditioning, meeting all these talented kids etc…. “the auditioning is the fun part”. My response-“admit it- it’s really bc you won’t be travelling every weekend with your dad much longer-right?” Shaking head emoji is good here.
Chicago Unifieds we get unseasonably warm weather and see so many faces we have passed the past few months, its kind of the culmination of this process. Still can’t fathom who thought scheduling Super bowl weekend was a good idea- I order room service and watch SB alone for the first time in 30 years?! #girldad. Even worse, I totally blew my chance to have a beer with my newest “ big toe” theater dad bro @MTisNutz……so we are in Chicago for 3-4 days have some good deep dish & prepping for the long time favorite of CMU……oh but wait, I left out a detail….we were invited to audition at Indiana off the pre-screen waitlist on 2/8- that was the original plan but since we never heard we plan to fly back to NY rather than Chi->IND so we fly back to NY Wednesday. I have to go to a consulting gig in Turks & Caicos ( boohoo for me) on Thursday; so wife takes the first trip with the kid that weekend to Bloomington. But back to unifieds….
Roosevelt & Millikin day 1, Ball State dance call & CMU day 2, AZ & Ball State audition day 3…All auditions go really well, we are experts at this point and it’s all fun…CMU as many people have stated is just a tremendous experience, reaffirming , kind, passed from room to room……just makes you wonder why so many other programs can’t be as kind and classy as CMU- they deserve all the hype they get. D comes out of that one beaming , feels like she really connected with everyone and has a real chance………as much a chance as anyone who buys a lottery ticket I suppose. Alas the rejection comes in mid march- tough day to see one of the dream schools left officially dissipate. The Ball State audition however, she knows the kids working the desk from our visit in November, we have met Bill Jenkins back in November when we saw a little night music & D got invited to the green room after a great show……D gets asked to sing FOUR songs for Bill and team. Great way to end Chicago Unifieds for us.
One thing of note, we had a really good audition at Arizona but fully expected a No bc they had a special youtube video that they required ( similar to the Ithaca prescreen) but it’s in lieu of the dance call…D is just fried at this stage, had a bad video/ pre screen experience from the start so the idea of recording a video again is just distasteful- we never send a video in to AZ……Lo & Behold when AZ decisions come out in March we land on the WAITLIST……. Hank & Danny who run that program are super impressive and first class…….I’m shocked we didn’t get a no.
Next weekend wife flies w D to IU while I’m hanging in Turks (face still drooping from bells LOL) Daughter is pretty fatigued, although she loves the audition circuit, the constant travel since October is a grind, & still trying to be a normal HS senior. Logistically there are some challenges getting to / from airport as this is the first & only time mom has been the designated travel agent instead of dad….add in that they couldn’t get an uber back to the airport bc it was Bobby Knight’s first time back at IU and the mad dash to the airport made it very stressful……D felt OK about the IU audition small program that she has a friend at, pleasantly surprised by another March waitlist.
Last week of auditions, we have off Presidents week & we were planning to do Elon & Coastal in the Carolinas same weekend- great plan, right? Yeah except we find out in early January that we didn’t pass the Elon prescreen, so we could have done Coastal Carolina in Chicago……oh well family vacation to Charleston & Myrtle can’t be bad right?? Weather is rainy & cold all weekend. I do get one decent day & I play the ocean course at Kiawah Island – great experience. A few good meals in Charleston to boot is nice….Coastal day of master classes & audition plus got to see legally blonde……it’s a really nice program, nice people, daughter was just fried and not feeling it at this stage….I think this was one downside of doing so many auditions early in the fall- she was out of gas, put on a good front & still grinding to the end, but it’s funny when you think about it, many kids we know had their first auditions at NY unifieds, we were more than half way done at that point. So, give this some consideration when future parents try to plan out their calendar, I think we did a really good job with that, but in the very end fatigue was definitely a factor.
So this is when we were expecting to get most of our answers ( many I shared already in this summary) and then plan our spring break trips in April to visit the schools we hadn’t visited……Even the ones we did visit we didn’t really sit in on classes or see a show at places like Belmont & OCU- she wanted to do that. Then the pandemic hit & all plans went out the window……most of the plan played out well but I would tell future folks…EXPECT the unexpected….for this year’s class it’s the pandemic- but if you look at other years posts there were all kinds of weather related issues, we got by fairly unaffected by weather……respect the process!! Be adaptable……remember what Mike Tyson said about having a plan…
I think the only important piece I left out till now was the BW results, early march they send an email telling us that results will be on 3/10……….3/10 arrives and we are truly thrilled to be on the BALDWIN WALLACE WAITLIST! THEN THE TORTURE ENSUES….cue Tom Petty’s the waiting is the hardest part.
So we have Yes from: Belmont, OCU, Catholic, Muhlenberg
Waitlist : Indiana, Arizona, Baldwin Wallace & Ball State ( priority wait list- we thought BSU was going to be a yes so when we didn’t get the call in late February it stung a bit. We had a great visit in November, D kept in touch with kids, great audition in Chicago=PWL)
No for all other schools listed previously……on one hand doesn’t feel like a great result but if you had asked me 1 year ago how we would feel about 4 solid yesses & 4 great waitlist, I would have signed up for that in a heartbeat.
Now future parents Please heed this next point & re-read it over & over……In my humble opinion, we had a GREAT result and STILL HAD TO SUFFER THORUGH OVER 20 REJECTIONS!! either pre-screen or auditions. NO ONE gets through this unscathed, if you don’t develop a thick skin this process will chew you up and spit you out.
April my D is sick of my sending my favorite movie clip from Dumb and Dumber “so you are saying we have a chance” as it pertains to the waitlists.
Sometime in early April we get the much anticipated call from Bill Jenkins that she is being offered a spot at Ball state. Woo hoo!! Have loved this program for many years and was thrilled to have it in the running….after a few days of discussions with our coaches & in our house looking at curriculums, & all the usual stuff, we decide to release all schools other than OCU & BSU (& the 3 remaining waitlist)….it was really hard to release Belmont & Catholic but it was the right thing to do at that point for the kids who were in waitlist limbo for those schools like we were waiting on ours- Primarily Baldwin Wallace.
D has some form of communication with Vicky B. roughly every 2 weeks from march 10- April12 when we get the infamous, somewhat secretive invite to a zoom session with 14 other kids Vicky and her staff, we hear through the grapevine that this has been the 3rd such zoom for waitlist and accepted students. That there was some kind of priority wait list for BW that we were never told we were on. Regardless on 4/18 we excitedly attend the zoom session . D on camera, parents off to the side listening……and my D is as smitten as ever w BW. I take a page out of the book of my favorite poster from 2 years ago @mypennyX2….what does that mean? Read his saga, it’s great, BUT IN SHORT……I’m all over the internet trying to figure out how many boys/how many girls/ how many minorities have committed to BW. We know from previous conversations with VB that they waitlist by TYPE, so you need some one of your type to decline in order to get an offer…….I am not proud of it, but im “stalking” 18 yr. old girls Instagram and facebook to see if they accepted/committed somewhere else
Still sending daughter my favorite movie clip almost daily……she is about to kill me, but have to add it here:
My count on 4/27 is there are at least 9 maybe 10 BW females committed. Their class is typically 20 10M/10F… in the meantime the amazing people at OCU & BSU are courting my kid hard, really showing the love, setting her up with former students who are now broadway stars for phone chats, inviting to sit in on all the classes she wants, offering voice lessons via zoom & we are reminding her & ourselves that OCU & BSU are amazing programs….dare I say dream programs, not feeling good anymore about BW but preparing to decide between 2 GREAT programs, no tears for us……would have been a dream come true when this process started!
Then on 4/28 we get the fantasy call. “We want to offer you a spot in the MT program at Baldwin Wallace!!”. Surreal- been reading these threads incessantly for 2 years. Sure my kid is talented, but so is yours & hers & theirs…….yup she’s pretty, sings and dances & she also didn’t pass 12 prescreens……got many rejections from schools that maybe you would say are not as good as Ball state, OCU or Baldwin Wallace……I am not here to say who is better or not, but to finally get those 3 yesses as we near May first, having been on lockdown in NY for 45 days & counting is truly one of the greatest moments of my life. Tears of joy from a guy who is NOT a crier……
Btw, the Bell’s Palsy actually started getting better around March 15th & is now about 95%…I also come to the realization, the peace in knowing that 2 years ago when I was fired from the company that I founded, surely there was some higher power that had a different plan for me ( I’m not the most religious guy, but I will say I try to believe in faith, in karma, in paying it forward, but when I look back at how the last 2 years unfolded I can’t help but think THIS was the plan….not the dates to audition X in this city or Audition Y November versus March, but to give MYSELF a “ GAP YEAR” to be part of this process with my daughter…….
Always respect the process, & be prepared for anything that can & will happen along the way……I cannot say thank you enough to all those kind people I named and those I didn’t name who got me through the last 2 years you may not have known what I was going through but we all have our own journey we all have our own path, you unknowingly helped me through mine….
& since I am fond of posting movie clips. Though my daughter isn’t named Adrian & I’d rather it say “WE” or YOU (not I ) but you get the point
As they say on who wants to be a millionaire Final Answer :
BALDWIN WALLACE MT CLASS OF 2024!!
Post script: here’s a text exchange between D & I on the eve of 4/28:
ME: so happy for you!! No one knows better than you & me how hard this is/was
Daughter: Thank you. I’m very lucky to have shared this journey with you (heart emoji)
Me: something I will cherish my entire life! Love you & so so proud of you!
Me: Baldwn F’ing Wallace!! ( get a thumbs up response)
I would never want to do this again, but if that text doesn’t make this whole thing worthwhile, I do not know what would. Peace to the class of 2024 they may not always end up where they belong (I think we did) but they will bloom where they are planted ( credit to @lovetoact). Buckle up class of 2025- it’s your turn on the Tower of Terror! NYYFanNowMTDAD out! I pass the torch to @Twelthman
OMG OMG OMG this is amazing and what a ride and I am SO happy for you both! What a DAD!!! What a DAUGHTER!! woo hoo!
So happy for you and your D, @ElizaDoolittle ! Thank you for sharing!
Yes!!! Been waiting for your novella for weeks now @NYYFanNowMTdad and you did not disappoint!! We couldn’t be happier for your family!
This is my favorite “pull quote” from your story, which resonates so hard:
“Now future parents Please heed this next point & re-read it over & over……In my humble opinion, we had a GREAT result and STILL HAD TO SUFFER THROUGH OVER 20 REJECTIONS!! either pre-screen or auditions. NO ONE gets through this unscathed, if you don’t develop a thick skin this process will chew you up and spit you out.”
Yes, yes, yes. It’s like they went through 100 sifters in 6 months and got sifted into the place they need to be! Wishing your girl an incredible 4 years of challenge and growth – and I think our girls hope they get to work together someday so maybe we’ll see you on the other side.
Hello, I’ll keep this short and sweet as S doesn’t prefer me to post.
Programs Applied to (all BFA MT): Belmont, Emerson, University of Oklahoma, Arizona University, Indiana University, Penn State, Coastal Carolina, Texas St, Michigan, Otterbein, Baldwin Wallace, Temple, Montclair, Wright State, and Webster
Prescreens passed: All but Michigan and Texas St
– Campus Auditions: Arizona, Baldwin Wallace, Wright State, Indiana, Belmont, U of OK.
– Chicago Unified Auditions: Penn St, Coastal, Otterbein, Temple, Montclair, Webster
– Emerson audition was at their summer program attended summer 2019.
Accepted to: Belmont, Emerson, Temple, Coastal Carolina (originally WL, received offer 3/24) and Indiana (originally WL, received offer 4/30)
Rejected from: Baldwin Wallace, Montclair, Otterbein, Webster, Penn St
Wait-listed at: University of OK, Arizona University
Summer Programs: Emerson 2019, Texas State 2019, TN Governor’s Musical Theatre School 2018
Background: He’s been tenacious and committed to the arts since age 5. He’s taken tap, hip-hop, contemporary dance classes, voice lessons and acting. His first musical was age 6, and he’s been going strong every since.
Final Decision: Indiana University
S really liked their program, facilities, and campus life. He connected with the existing MT students and directors, and during MANY Zoom calls really decided he fit with the incoming freshman MT’ers.
In hindsight, S said he would definitely send pre-screen auditions early fall for the early decision options. He was accepted to Belmont and Emerson by December, which gave him a confident and content feeling going into the remainder of auditions.
That was a fabulous read and so in depth with wit, realism and encouragement. Way to go to your daughter!!! and to YOU!!! What a cheerleader and supporter!
Hooray @ElizaDoolittle , my D auditioned in the same room, on the same day, right after yours at Hartt and now they will be PaceSetters together! Congratulations to your D!!! Thanks for articulating the feeling of wishing there could be a contingency plan…I feel the same way but ultimately we also arrived at the same decision. Awfully hard to tell your kid that she can’t accept her dream accomplishment because we are afraid of the future. Fingers crossed for all of our kiddos.
@NYYFanNowMTdad I’ve been waiting for you to post your story and it certainly is a story with lotsa chapters! It may even have more cups of wine than a Passover Seder! It certainly has a WONDERFUL finale! I’m very happy for your daughter! How lucky she is to have you as a very dedicated dad throughout this process. She did it! And so did you! Congrats!