I will post when we decide…would love to report that things have progressed, but we are still in a holding pattern!
Ok, I’m finally ready to post
Programs Applied to: U AZ, DePaul, Juilliard, UNCSA, Rutgers, U MN Guthrie, Carnegie Mellon, Coastal Carolina, Ithaca, Syracuse, Rider, Webster, Ball State, Wright State, Otterbein, U Arts, Roosevelt CCPA, Hartt, UW Stevens Point.
Prescreens: Passed all prescreens except Texas State MT
Rider Acting, Hartt Acting, Webster Acting, Ball State MT, Otterbein MT, U Arts MT, Roosevelt CCPA MT, Syracuse Acting
Wright State, UWSP
Juilliard, Carnegie Mellon, UNCSA, Rutgers, Coastal Carolina MT
Ithaca, DePaul, U AZ, U MN Guthrie
Coach: College Audition Coach (Moo)
Local musical theater intensive (3 weeks every summer in HS)
Lots of local opportunities to participate in musical theatre so his resume is quite full of MT, less straight acting. He caught the theatre bug in a summer camp when he was 6 and became more serious about it at age 10. Began voice lessons at age 11, and his voice is very strong. Dabbled in dance on and off since age 5, but he’s definitely a mover and not a dancer. Eventually gave up competitive swimming in order to focus on the performing arts.
This process was very eye-opening in many ways. His essays, auditions, prep work, coaching, etc. caused him to do a lot of introspection. Along the way, he discovered that although he enjoys singing and dancing, he doesn’t NEED it to feel fulfilled. His motivation to do theater is more about the story-telling, character development, collaboration, etc. His career goal is to be a versatile working actor. In addition to 5 songs and 5 dances, he prepared 7 or 8 different monologues and never got tired of them. They kept evolving and he continued to make discoveries with them. He loved working on his monologues. At the same time, he discovered his utter lack of dance skills, lol.
The List: He researched the programs on his list to make sure most of them were “acting forward.” He took off some big-name schools because he felt they didn’t meet this criteria. He applied to both the acting and MT departments (of schools that offer both), and added a few more acting programs to his list. Had he discovered his preferences a little sooner, his list might have looked a bit different. The other factor that influenced his list is the number of gen-ed requirements, which had to be fairly LOW. He’s a deeply curious, intelligent kid, but his ADHD has prevented him from being “good at school,” or “good at taking tests.” He’s never been a BAD student, but his grades and test scores definitely do not reflect his intelligence or his abilities (3.2 GPA). Also, there were no non-audition safeties on his list. He decided early on that a gap year to focus on more training would be his “safety.”
Last Thoughts: I learned about Moo through CC years ago and always knew her program/team would be helpful for my son. The fact that deadlines were imposed much earlier, forcing him to prepare essays and prescreens during the summer after junior year, was a HUGE help for a kid who tends to procrastinate. Between Cleveland Unifieds and Moonifieds, he was able to knock out a ton of auditions/live prescreens before Thanksgiving, and even have a couple of offers before Christmas. And during this unusual Covid-19 year, it was very helpful to have the coach’s tech advice. Self-taping and Zoom auditions became second nature and functioned without too many glitches. I’m also grateful for the handful of parents I met through College Audition Coach. 9 of us parents from all over the country formed a group chat which was a never-ending source of support, information, and friendship. Hope to finally meet them in person soon!
Final Decision: 19 applications and 28 live zoom auditions later, he was finally deciding between 2 of his acceptances - Otterbein MT and Syracuse Acting. He really connected with the people at Otterbein, liked the strong “acting-forward” program, and our lovely campus visit confirmed that he could be very happy there. Then he got the YES from Syracuse Acting. I’d never seen him so excited! Syracuse checked all of his boxes. He was very attracted to the opportunities to study & network in London, NYC, & LA. The traditional, spirited college campus is also a huge plus. Shortly after his acceptance, he was invited to participate in the Actor/Singer Track which is a wonderful and unique opportunity at Syracuse. The curriculum is more of an Acting/MT hybrid (with less dance) and it was something that put Syracuse at the top of his list from the beginning. After a bazillion info-zooms, and a rainy campus visit, he is ready to seal the deal. Final decision: Syracuse BFA Acting (Actor/Singer Track)!!! Go Orange!
P.S.: Thank you to all the parents who shared their stories and valuable information on CC, both from this year and years past. It’s a gift to go through this process PREPARED and INFORMED!
Congrats!!! What a journey. Welcome to the Orange family !
CONGRATS on the great outcome
I love reading everyone else’s journeys, so here is ours! Sorry for the length!
Programs applied to (All MT):
First and Final auditions at CAP: Southeast Missouri State, Wright State, Valdosta State, Montevallo, Ohio U, Nebraska Wesleyan, UAB (University of Alabama – Birmingham), Gainesville Theatre Alliance, Millikin.
Was called back for these at CAP but ended up not applying academically: U of New Hampshire (BA), Austin Peay, Oakland, Carthage, East Carolina, W. Georgia, Kennesaw, Royal Welsh, Montclair, Sam Houston St.
Live Prescreen at CAP: Otterbein, Molloy/CAP21, Central Oklahoma (all passed) ***There were a few at CAP that D had to send applications to beforehand to be considered by them at CAP, but then didn’t get a callback from them, so these I guess would be considered not passed prescreens – Texas St., UNCG, Missouri St., Shenandoah, Indiana
Non-CAP Prescreens: Ball State, Florida Southern, U of Tampa, West Florida, Auburn (passed all)
Artistic Acceptances: (All BFA MT unless noted) Southeast Missouri St., Valdosta St., GTA, New Hampshire (BA), Nebraska Wesleyan, Florida Southern, Tampa, Montevallo, Austin Peay, Millikin (redirect to BA), Ball State (redirect to Theatre Creation)
Waitlists: Auburn, Ohio U., West Florida, UAB
D has always been a singer. My mom was a church pianist since she was a teenager and one of her and my D’s favorite things to do was play and sing together since she was less than 2 years old. She attended her first theatre camp when she was 8 and she was hooked. Starting when she was 10, she has been heavily involved in our local children’s theatre and other community theatres. At 16, she joined a more intense conservatory in a larger city an hour away from our town. She also began voice lessons with a professor in the MT program at the university in our town. She had taken dance as a very young child and just picked it back up in the spring of her sophomore year. Just those couple of years of ballet really helped her, though she would consider herself a mover and not a dancer. She was homeschooled until her junior year, so she only had high school theatre for 2 years and both of those had Covid problems. She was only able to do one high school show where she got to be Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She absolutely loves other aspects of theatre besides performing, like costume and set construction and working on the crew.
In junior year, when we began making her list of where to audition, my daughter’s main criteria were that she wanted to be within driving distance of home in Alabama (we determined about 10 hour drive or so) and she wanted a more collaborative, family feel, supportive program with great training. She also wanted to have the opportunity to work behind the scenes on costumes, sets, crew, etc. She also was really interested in newer, up-and-coming programs. Price was also a huge factor, as I am a single mom. As a blonde soprano (with a mighty belt and great pop voice, I think ), she knew she needed to audition for lots of schools! She did the common app essay just before her senior year began and prescreens were filmed by the middle of September. I have been her organizational support through this process, prompting her when she needed to have things done by and helping with scheduling and that worked well for us.
We made the decision in spring of her junior year to join CAP for coaching. She only used a few sessions with them as we were mainly just interested in being able to do CAP United auditions in November. It was a great decision! Of course, we had looked forward to the event happening in Atlanta and getting to meet lots of people going through this process, but the pivot to digital format went surprisingly well. Getting the bulk of auditioning over before Christmas and having several BFA MT offers in hand made this much less of a stressful process than it could have been. She got artistic acceptances from Nebraska Wesleyan, Austin Peay, Southeast Missouri State (SEMO), Gainesville Theatre Alliance (GTA), U of New Hampshire and Valdosta State within a month or so after CAP UA. She was called back to quite a few more schools, but decided not to go through with the application process because of distance away or other reasons. GTA was interesting and she was accepted at Brenau, their partner University, but they wanted a decision before the end of December or she would be placed on the waiting list. She was nowhere near ready to commit at that stage before hearing decisions from many others and before getting to tour anywhere. Valdosta also wanted a decision early (by February 1). I thought this was strange! Florida Southern and Tampa also offered early BFA MT acceptances (in December).
In January, she had her zoom callbacks with Otterbein and West Florida. She found out 2 days later that she had passed to the final pool of applicants for Otterbein, one of her top choices, but the first week in March, she got the “no” email. In February, she had a zoom callback with Molloy/CAP 21. Obviously, they were outside of our 10 hour driving radius, but she had been called back by them at CAP and just loved the callback and the idea of living in a real university setting but getting to easily travel to Manhattan to train. Central Oklahoma had the option of doing an on-campus callback in February, so we decided to do it so she would at least get one in-person audition experience. We planned to tour SEMO on the way home. A big winter storm caused the Central OK audition to be postponed to early March, but we went to SEMO anyway and got to see a show and talk to faculty. We were impressed by the facilities and faculty and the show we saw. It became high on the list! The Central Oklahoma audition day was fantastic! She loved the head of the program who worked a song with her during her audition. And she enjoyed the dance call, getting to work with their main dance teacher. We saw Sweet Charity that night and the performance was great! So many good things about that program but she discovered that she wasn’t sure she wanted to go that far – it ended up being about a 12 hour drive. She withdrew her application in mid-April because they still had not made decisions and she was ready to commit elsewhere.
Over spring break in March, we were going to vacation in Orlando, so we did a tour at Florida Southern which is nearby. We feel lucky to have had the opportunity to visit some schools when so many have had to make their decisions sight unseen. D loved the tour at Florida Southern! We got to talk to two current students who toured us around the theatre facilities and we also took a general campus tour. It’s a small college with only about 3000 students and they only take 12 MT students per year. That was a big plus for my D who wanted a smaller atmosphere. They work closely with the dance department and you can minor in dance, or just take more challenging dance classes. There is also the opportunity to double major. It was truly the family-feel my D was looking for and the campus is so beautiful! She loves that it is very close to Disney and other theme parks where she is interested in auditioning for performance opportunities later. The price after scholarships/aid was just a little more expensive than a couple other schools on the final list or she probably would have committed then and there! The next week, we toured UAB and my D got to sit in on a dance class and an acting class. The head of the program is fantastic as are the facilities! She just couldn’t get excited about a school only an hour away from our town! The academic scholarship and financial aid there made it the most affordable option, so it stayed on her list in hopes of getting off the waitlist and she was already accepted to the BA program.
The first week in April, my D had a zoom meeting with the head of the MT program at Florida Southern, Dr. Roll, and a meeting with the academic/financial counselor there. Dr. Roll is fantastic! And we were able to get more added to her scholarship!
Final Decision: Florida Southern College – BFA MT! She is so happy with her decision – she just felt at home in the smaller atmosphere! She’s not only excited about the fantastic MT program, but the school itself has very small academic class sizes and accessible professors and so many outdoor activity options in the beautiful Florida weather (the school is on a gorgeous lake and the students can check out paddle boards, kayaks, etc. for free). I’m very sad that my first-born is moving away, but so excited for her future! She is bright and talented and ready to take on the world!
congratulations @ARBMusTheatre !!! i’ve heard great things and love that she found a small program that feels right to her!! mine ended up wanting smaller as well.
Congrats, I always felt like that hook up with Disney was a cool feature At Florida southern
I love reading all these happy stories!
Hello MT parents and students! I’ve been more active on the music major board, but I find yours really helpful too, and I thought some info about my D’s process might be helpful for future performing arts types, especially those who are undecided about which performing arts to pursue in college. My D learned a TON about herself during these last several months, and while we have no regrets about the decisions she made at the time or how it all turned out, we did learn a lot of shareable lessons. Future students and parents: if my D sounds like you or your kid, feel free to reach out to me, I’d be happy to share more about what we learned!
Stats: D, good student (3.85/4.4, tons of honors/AP, big rigorous suburban public high school), SAT 1550, ACT 35, national merit finalist, good EC (in addition to music and theater, debate - state winner/national qualifier level, NHS, etc.), good essays
Coaching: college application advisor re: essays etc., voice teacher, acting coach for monologues
Wish list for college: big university (with football etc. - traditional college feel), not conservatory or LAC, coast, decent academics (but not too “serious”), flexibility to act and sing, UG focus for arts - her “list” included several schools that ticked only some of these boxes, which I think is probably necessary for the arts application process
$$: we’re full pay but it would not be easy - cost a pretty important factor in decision
- D is (according to others, I would not know! :)) naturally quite talented in classical voice, opera comes easily to her
- But she is unsure about pursuing a career in opera (esp. with her light lyric soprano voice type - she’d be the ingenue forever and does not find that interesting)
- She would like to be able to explore jazz, pop, etc.
- She has quite a bit of MT experience, has had leading and other great roles in high school and summer program productions, etc., but does not want to pursue MT (definitely a “mover,” and just not in fashion for MT right now - appearance-wise and her voice is more suited for golden age than belting)
- She loves to act and can absolutely see herself pursuing acting as a career, especially film acting - she finds straight acting more satisfying than MT
Schools: I’ll separate her schools by type of program:
BFA Acting - Univ. Minnesota Guthrie, University of British Columbia (she’s a dual Canadian citizen), USC (but actually wanted BA there)
- Did not pass prescreens
- In hindsight, she really should have focused on acting BA programs, which we always knew were a better fit for her – maybe her prescreens were not good enough or the right fit, but I’m also confident she failed the “I only want to act, 24/7/365, starting now, for the rest of my life” test – the problem was that BA acting (vs theater) programs are so rare esp. at large universities
- If she had been really serious about majoring in acting, she should have applied to 30 programs, not 3 - in hindsight, these applications were kind of a waste of time re: the college application process, but it was great for her to find monologues, work with an acting coach, get some quality self-tape experience, etc.
- UCSB, UCI – last-minute additions while submitting UCLA application because easy to do – admitted to both, these are “audition after you get here” programs which feels like such a big risk - no time wasted on applications but I’m really not sure why we bothered to spend the fees!
- UCLA – passed prescreen, thought interview went great, not admitted – this hurt, even though UCLA would not have been a great fit because it is expensive and seems to be impossible to major in acting and also study music - in hindsight, she should have applied for vocal performance, she has some connections with the department and I think it would have been a great fit (but at the time of course, we did not know that she would have lots of success with music applications and so little success with acting)
- Northwestern – not admitted – this was totally expected, her entire application was about the dual degree and she didn’t pass the music prescreen
- USC – not admitted, which is a shame because it would be a great fit – BA acting can be combined with minor in music performance (based on audition once she’s there), decent academic merit scholarships for NMF - in hindsight, she should have applied for vocal performance and added a theater minor or something
- Yale – not admitted, which was obviously not surprising – would have been a good fit for her arts-wise, but not necessarily academically and not a great location for her
- Northwestern – did not pass prescreen – this was the only music prescreen she didn’t pass, her voice teacher thinks it may have been rep choice (she had a modern piece that I guess is not NW’s thing?), though of course there may have been many other reasons! Lesson: if you really like a music program, think about their personality in choosing rep [I was not-too-secretly happy about this one because the dual degree program would have been 5 years at full pay and I don’t think NW is a good fit personality-wise]
- BU – passed prescreen – not admitted, which was totally expected after the live virtual audition – it became clear during the info session on audition day that BU’s vocal music program would not be a good fit, so she didn’t have her heart in the audition and it was obvious she was thinking about dinner and not her songs – Lesson: auditions can go badly, even if you’re well-prepared - in hindsight she probably should have applied to more schools to account for this - I also blame zoom auditions and am confident her “professionalism training” would have kicked in if this were live
- ASU – admitted BMus and Barrett honors college – this is a great fit for a kid like her – ASU’s BMus is flexible re: classical, MT and even jazz and contemporary, can double major or minor in MT and acting (vs. general theater) – academic scholarship excellent (full tuition for NMF), decent music scholarship too, great honors college
- Univ of Oklahoma – admitted BMus – seems like less flexibility to add acting, but academic scholarship superb (nearly COA for NMF, for 5 years) - lesson: good test-takers should absolutely focus on the PSAT because national merit scholarships can be spectacular
- CU Boulder – admitted BMus
- UBC – admitted BMus in Opera and at such a reasonable cost for a Canadian citizen!
- UMiami/Frost – admitted for vocal performance, good scholarship $$, only school we were able to visit (and visit was great)
- Really just came down to UBC, ASU and UMiami/Frost
- Voice teacher, who would really like D to focus on opera, liked UBC the best and Frost the least – I think D delayed making a final decision because she didn’t want to hurt her teacher’s feelings - over on the music board, people talk a lot about getting input and advice from music teachers, but I am glad that my D was not too swayed by hers
- UBC had some appeal because it’s in Vancouver and would be a good place to start a film career but the program is just too narrowly opera focused
- ASU’s music program was a perfect fit for flexibility but D didn’t have the gut feeling that she belongs at the university
Final decision - UMiami/Frost - BM in VP - for many reasons:
- Admitted EA and shown a lot of love, good scholarships – this is all very important to D, she likes it when people want her and it’s a good sign that they think she’s a good fit for the program
- Program size perfect for the attention she wants (10-12 VP majors per class), and we trust that they will give undergrad performance opportunities without overtaxing her young voice – they choose their repertoire based on what the students can do
- Professors and students seem very nice – D has liked everyone she has met - and she can get the traditional big university/football spirit experience she wants
- Re: acting, she can be in student films to build a reel, audition for plays, be in the chorus for MT shows, take acting classes for non-BFAs, and there is lots of acting training in the VP curriculum - the lesson on this is that you REALLY have to dig - none of these opportunities are obvious from the website - you actually have to talk to students, alumni, professors, academic advisors, read the course catalog, etc.
- BM not exclusively opera so she can explore jazz, contemporary
- Academically a good fit, including if she changes to a BA in music for more flexibility or even to history or economics - this actually ended up being really important - the longer my D has to go in this COVID world without actually performing live, the less committed she is to a life in the arts - but then every little opportunity on stage reminds her that is where she belongs - I think she’ll stick with music, but it was important to her to know she can change majors and still feel like she is at the right university
- Maybe most importantly it just seems like a really fun place to go to college! Building a career in the arts will be so hard, I’m hoping she’ll have a full tank of wonderful experiences in college to get her through it.
Congrats. Really shows the importance of knowing what you want, who you are, and picking the right programs. So many just cast a generic net of top this or that without really understanding the curriculum, minor / double major opportunities, crossover to other discipline opportunities, etc.
It’s really about what will help you get where you want to go, knowing it’s a long road ahead.
@MathandSinging I am so glad you shared here. I suspect my kid is not quite as MT as he thinks he is and am wondering if he will figure out by college that he really leans VP (he loves dance as well but only if it has singing with it). It’s good to see a non traditional way it can be done!
@MathandSinging wow! i don’t know if you read my post but we landed at a VP program far less systematically than you did. but many many similarities…daughter more golden age than belter, voice teacher wants her to lean towards opera, college of choice have her major scholarship money and a ton of love which means the world to her.
big difference is that my kid really wanted small and close to home with access to NYC so Wagner fit the bill.
would be fun to compare notes as to where our daughters land in the next few years. mine is a dancer and loves all three of the triple threats equally but her light soprano voice seems destined more for opera.
we shall see!!!
Well - I will post our final story when I have time to give it the attention it deserves but I wanted to let this terrific group of people know that my D committed to Montclair State this morning! I really don’t know what I would do without the support of this forum - twice!! And yes, @NYYFanNowMTdad, the WL moved. So you’re saying there’s a chance…
Congratulations!! I am so happy for her! Montclair State is such a great program! My D has many friends there that love it. I am glad round 2 worked out so well for you guys. I have been quietly watching from the sideline. My second D will be applying to colleges next year although not MT. Most likely dance which is similar but hopefully not as bruited. We’ll see…
I do remember your story, and thinking that your D seems to have found a great fit! (I am from Colorado and have a sister who went to UNC for teaching - I do know that the MT program is great but Greeley would not be my choice of place to live or visit, I’m sorry!) It would be interesting to compare notes in a few years, interesting too to see how their voices develop as they mature and get more training. People are always telling my kid to resist being classified too young and then winkwink* but you’re obviously a coloratura - here’s hoping for a big resurgence of the Bel Canto era.