High School Musical- conflicting with auditions?

<p>I have a question for all of you 'experts' in the audition circuit.</p>

<p>What time of year did you find your child to be traveling the most for auditions? (January/February?)</p>

<p>I am asking because as my D is in production now with her HS Musical -("The Pajama Game" - she plays 'Babe') they are thinking of moving it to go up in February of next year - and all I can think of is that she will be out of town for most of the rehearsal time.</p>

<p>They set next year's schedule in May - and I know she would hate to miss being in it..but..only Moms can be in two places at once!</p>

<p>Has your school ever done a Musical in the Fall - or is that an equally awkward time? </p>


<p>Our school musical is in the spring every year (the drama is in the fall). My child's college auditions primarily fell during the months of January and February. It is possible to do some before then and some slightly after but so many really do fall in these two months. What I would suggest is to put down the known conflict dates or if this commitment is this far in advance, let the director know that you anticipate X number of days out....often auditions are on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, or Mondays, so we are not talking of missing the entire week or some such. For my D, she gave the dates in advance but our production, while it WAS in rehearsal during those months, did not have the performance until early April and so that is different than having the final weeks of rehearsal be during college auditions. I'd be more concerned if the production dates fell on the usual college audition weekends. Also, it seems odd to be rehearsing something now that won't go up until next Feb? If they can't seem to have it ready for this spring, wouldn't they continue in the fall and have it ready to go prior to the holidays considering they already began rehearsing? That is a long time. </p>

<p>My kids have dealt with conflicts to the wazoo over the years, never easy. Obviously college auditions are not flexible but you have to outline what you need ahead of time with various directors or teachers/activities. I know my D was cast in a significant role even with the known college audition conflicts and the fact that she had to miss every Friday for her dance troupe rehearsal. They also made it work by having an understudy. Last year she was Dorothy in Wizard of Oz and so another girl could stand in for her on the days she could not make rehearsals and they let the girl do the matinee too. This year, they had an understudy for her cause of the college auditions coupled with her missing Fridays, and there was never a plan for the understudy to go on but since my D had a car accident, that changed everything and she was out of the show entirely. Anyway, between outlining these conflicts ahead of time, coupled with a stand in for these rehearsals, they made it work. </p>

<p>I don't imagine your child missing "most of the rehearsal time" because college auditions usually involve just one or two nights out of town in a given week.</p>

<p>Good luck working it out and I hope she keeps the role!

January/February is the busiest time for college auditions I would say, though I always recommend getting in as many auditions as possible in the Oct-Dec portion of the year. It makes the rest of the year far less stressful if you have an acceptance in hand.
That being said, my daughter's school ALWAYS does their musical in the fall...and a drama in the spring. Because D loves musicals, she does her school's fall musical, and has typically done another musical...or two...with other schools/groups in the spring.</p>

<p>Musicalthtrmom's post reminded me of something else....no matter how you cut it, senior year is extremely full for these kids. I said all year that I USED to think my kid's life was full 24/7 but then we added this process to it! Because I just remembered (not sure how I forgot this) that all fall my kid was in a musical 50 miles from us and was home at 11 at night, plus on Saturdays and Sundays (this was not the only thing she was involved in outside of school), and then on top of that are all the college applications and I recall her writing over a dozen college essays during this time. Then there is the preparation of the songs and monologues (associated lessons, etc.). If you have yet to visit any colleges, there is that too. Ideally visiting in junior year eliminates that in fall of senior year but in our case, this WAS my D's junior AND senior year wrapped into one and so we had only made one college visit prior to the fall because we had not originally planned on her doing all this THIS year until six months prior to the school year beginning. </p>

<p>So, the fall is busy with the applications, essays and audition prep and then all the normal extracurricular stuff that kids like this do. The winter has the audition trips. So, EITHER way, it is more than usual. Doing a musical in the fall has an advantage of no audition trips but it still was a lot to handle with the app process as well. A spring musical CAN work if you can work the schedule out with the director in terms of the trips that might overlap rehearsals. You have to map out your audition dates (but won't have confirmation of these at this early date). Just be prepared for a WAY more hectic life than you thought you already had with a kid that is involved in theater and all things related. The audition season in particular feels like you are always coming and going. And start with the appications, essays and audition prep in August or September!</p>


<p>I just want to sound a note of caution here about scheduling too many auditions too early. As hard as it seems while you are doing it, it really makes a difference if you can take the time to try and scheule auditions not just by time but by "suitability." By this I mean, try and find out at which schools it may be advantageous to audition early for your child, perhaps because of rolling admissions issues, financial aid or scholarship decisions that are made early or maybe just because the school is not a first choice for you and thus might be a good place to try out audition pieces and get rid of some nerves. But I think that the majority of your auditions for the schools that "really matter" to you should be scheduled as near to the middle of your auditions as possible, especially if you are among those doing upwards of 7 or 8 of them. We found that it is easy to start to run out of steam near the end of this process, especially with all the demands of senior year in high school. My D did one really early audition (at NYU Steinhardt at their open auditions in early November - their focus on the vocal skills of their applicants played to my D's strength so she felt comfortable going there first), two auditions on one weekend in early December (Syracuse and Emerson EA - and yes, having that EA acceptance made life a bit calmer in our house) and then three more in January. The two that were scheduled for February were cancelled when she was accepted by her first choice, UM.</p>

<p>There is a lot still to be learned as the process is ongoing so spacing your auditions out a bit will give your child to the opportunity and time to incorporate what they learn along the way and hopefully get stronger with each audition. Sad and hopefully not true in most cases, if push comes to shove, maybe being in that musical has to take a back seat to focusing on this most important activity. Again, I hope that is not a decision that anyone is forced to make.</p>

<p>It is funny that most of the auditions in the snowbelt schools fall during heavy winter storm periods . You can never tell what is going to happen or when. This year, there was one weekend where many kids couldn't get where they were supposed to be because of a blizzard. This did not happen to my D, but is there anybody out there with this experience?</p>

<p>Add to this the increased factor of winter colds, flus, sore throats, etc. This has been touched on in the older CC boards. So keep your kids healthy. Too much running around can run down kids and their parents. </p>

<p>So space your auditions out in clumps according to geographic area, academic schedules and affordability. Rolling auditions, EA is also a factor, but I know kids who were accepted in their very first round, some in the very last and some in the middle. Planning to do some schools at the Unfieds will also ease the stress. Prepare, prepare, prepare. That is my best advice. </p>

<p>On top of all that, my D's school musical was earmarked for the last weekend in February. Two performances got snowed out and had to be re-scheduled!!!</p>


<p>To clarify things....My daughter's HS musical is in performances NOW this year - there is talk of NEXT year putting it on in Jan/Feb (2006) Rehearsals would start in late Nov. (all through Christmas time - seems crazy to me...)</p>

<p>We are close to the director (I designed the costumes) and she is asking for our input.</p>

<p>My d is also involved in her school's student govt (Co-Student Body President) next year - so I can imagine it will be a wild year.</p>

<p>I had a feeling that Jan/Feb are the busiest audition times. I'll see what influence I might have to persuade the musical team to keep it in the April time slot.</p>

<p>Thanks for all your input!</p>


<p>If the director does not go for April, maybe the show could be in early Jan. and start rehearsals in late Oct. which is only pushing it up one month. I say this because I just remembered that my D was also in another show this year that she directed (so had even more hours/work to do besides the rehearsals themselves) and that show was the first weekend in January which did not conflict with college auditions themselves. There are not many auditions those first couple of weeks of January. However, ideally the April production works a bit better because while your D will miss some rehearsals in winter (mine did but again gave the college audition dates out in advance to the director who was willing to still cast her in a major part), it was not THAT close to the show and it was still workable. Of course, ya never know what can happen in life because one week following her eighth and final college audition, she was in a car accident and ended up out of the show all together. </p>

<p>I echo the wisdom of the moms who posted above about scheduling auditions. if you can get one or two out of the way before the holiday, it spreads it out a bit plus your child has one under her belt. Word of advice on this forum has always been not to audition at your favorite school first. My daughter auditioned at one school in December (it was an EA application) and while she was admitted to the college, she was deferred for the BFA program and ultimately not accepted to it in April. It was good to have one audition done early (would have been even better to go into the audition season with an acceptance in hand, though) but also she learned from this audition. Her second audition was at a favorite school to which she was not accepted. The rest of her auditions ended up with positive outcomes. She now maintains that she thinks her auditions improved as the season wore on and that these early two were not as "on" for her, looking back on it. The first one she was actually sick at (Freelance brings up that point, it is the worst season for this) though she has never blamed it on sickness, but just adding that she was that weekend. But I think kids do improve as they audition at the colleges. She felt that her auditions felt way better the latter half of the audition season. </p>

<p>Another thing is that the best laid plans can run amok because ironically all these auditions are in the middle of winter. We thanked our good fortune that snowstorms did not mar our many journeys afar all winter when so much is riding on the line. But the chance of that was pretty good that it would interfere. </p>


<p>That time frame doesn't sound very conducive to a good cohesive rehearsal schedule! My child's school has auditions for the musical on the first day of school in August and callbacks the next day (I thought this was tough but it works). Rehearsals begin immediately after that and the show goes up mid- November and then life returns to normal before the holidays. Good luck!</p>

<p>This year, my S's musical was in November, with performances coinciding with one of his top choice school's audition (the first of three audition times). He initially thought about flying in - auditioning - and flying back for the performance. After much counsel (thanks CC'ers), he canceled and auditioned in February (along with four other auditions). That was a wise choice for many reasons, such as: Trying to squeeze in practice time for audition pieces while rehearsing for a show - the show gets priority; after the stress and strain of rehearsals (long days and nights), the voice is not 100%. On the other hand, successful auditions in the fall get first crack at scholarship $$, which tend to get smaller and scarcer in the spring (my perception).</p>

<p>My S experienced the same thing as Soozievt's D - auditions improved each time out.</p>

<p>Freelance makes a good point about cold/flu season in Jan-Feb-March. My S started taking Beta Glucan (an immune system booster) right after the holidays. His school got the flu outbreak just before auditions in February (about 25% of the school was out), but he never felt better.</p>

<p>So, my advise would be to line up fall auditions and get the audition pieces lined up early and well rehearsed. Some places have thespian festivals and multi-school drama auditions in the fall. These would be good venues to get an audition or two under her belt before her MT auditions. Good luck!</p>

<p>i have just a couple of comments. if your school has more than one round of auditions, go ahead and sign up for all of them because they tend to fill up. also, based on our experience, i would recommend auditioning at as many schools as possible, whether they are your choices or not, to get audition experience. as mtpop says, you getter better every time. it's also a learning experience as all the schools have different requirements. many schools that don't require auditions for entry, do require auditions for scholarship and you might go do that, again, just for the experience. and it also feels pretty good to get those acceptance letters from a school, even if it isn't one of your choices. we made a big mistake in only going to the top choice. i don't know that we would change the final decision and go to any other school becaue ocu has such a fine program and is so highly rated. even though, we're going into the theatre program, it is directed by the same man who directs the mt program, so the same quality and reputation should prevail. not to mention, that she can still avail herself of the same mt training by taking all those courses, plus audition for the same roles. so, the decision would probably be the same in the end, but it is a very good thing to look at options. unfortunately, we didn't discover this website until well into the audition process and did not know how difficult this process was. but, we may possibly do some auditioning next fall so we'll go into that a little better prepared. on another note, some other good products are zicam (shorten a cold), airborne (prevent), and echinacea (a supplement which helps the immune system).</p>

<p>At my S's school, they do two musicals a "small" one in the fall and larger one in the spring. This year they did "Pirates of Penzance" the first weekend in October and then (which threw a huge wrench in our audition plans) they were chosen to showcase at the State Theater Festival the weekend before Thanksgiving! As he was Frederic, there was no way they could do it without him so we did only one audition in the fall. (He was also Charlie in the Foreigner the first weekend in December so with rehearsals it was brutal to do more). So he listed out all of his conflist for Jan/Feb/March to the director before auditions for the spring musical "The Music Man the first weekend in March). Our director, who is a stickler for rehearsals as he should be, has always said college auditions are THE MOST important thing. So he crafted the rehearsal schedule around my S who was cast as Harold Hill) and we just had to work around performance, dress and tech which was exhausting but doable. He did the unifieds in Chicago and four others in addition to the fall audition. So it's possible - especially if you are up front with the director beforehand and he/she understands how important these auditions are.</p>

<p>I knew I could count on all of you to give me good input/insight!</p>

<p>I will gather together as many of the dates for auditions as I can glean so far - and keep in mind all of your advice. (from everyone..) and keep the director and musical director (her choir director) informed. The choir director is the one who would like to move the musical up - as his stuff falls mostly in late April/May (classical voice competitions and such) and I am not sure if they have had many kids do this audition route (a large Public HS) but I am sure we can work it out.</p>

<p>We have to travel from the Pacific NW - where there is hardly a direct flight to any place....so it is sometimes a whole day of travel added on to both ends.... I am sure there are others in similar boats!</p>

<p>I am mainly a lurker - but as the time approaches for my d's year of auditions - etc. I will try to be as helpful as I can to the next 'crop'. You sure have been for me!</p>


<p>There are advantages and disadvantages in any way you schedule the college auditions. Spacing them out is good, because many kids do get better as they roll along the audition trail. My son felt is later auditions were his better ones. Also they can get sick, so having them spread out helps with that situation as well. Syracuse, for example, outright states that they do not want to hear/see you if you are ill enough that your audition is affected, so that might one to schedule early and then reschedule if the student becomes sick. Some schools say that everyone is sick all year in their classes, and they can get beyond that. I do suggest having a cd/tape made of your kid's vocal selections that can be sent if the kid has some voice issues the day of the audition just in case it is a border line case. Some schools want that tape anyways if you are auditioning off site (Ithaca). It is a few hundred dollars to get a professional taping job and to burn additional cds as needed is nominal in cost. </p>

<p>As some kids get "better" as they audition more, some get tired and don't feel as fresh. You just don't know until you hit the trail. I scheduled my son's MT auditions as early as possible because I did not want to hit the snowstorms, my son's main sport was in the winter and would clash with the auditions, he had 2 major productions and his senior project scheduled for early spring, and a major classical concert. Left very little time in January and February. He had trouble squeezing in his Juillard auditions (in fact had to cancel one) which had to be in that time period. The drawback was that when he made an early pick, we had sunk a lot of time and money in those auditions and had we been able to spread them out, we could have saved a few thousand dollars--hurts when I think about it. </p>

<p>An advantage of some early auditions is if you get some early feedback. My friend's son applied to 10 audition schools, and got most of the auditions done by mid December and much of the feedback was bad. THey were able to revamp and schedule some more schools, include some non audition options, go to the Unifieds which was not originally on the agenda, and now have some decent choices. Had they just stuck with those ten school spread out over the season with hopes high, they would not be in very good shape, though a couple of schools did end up coming through which was a lovely surprise, but they weren't lighting candles, praying for the outcome since they did have other options as well. Good luck to all.</p>

<p>A couple of other things: Especially if it is a school that matters, try not to schedule an audition on their last date. My D was very sick at a school she cared about, so there wasn't even a possibility of rescheduling because it was the last day of their auditions. The other thing to remember--and try to keep track of, is that many schools won't let you sign up for an audition until you have sent in your application. Good luck</p>