Musical Theatre Major and English major/minor?

<p>Hello, everyone! Feel free to call me Javert, no Miss required. (: This is my first official post here, but I've had this question burning in my head for a while and I need some advice.</p>

<p>I'm currently a junior in highschool, and I've wanted to be an English major since the age of 7, no questions asked. However, I've developed an incredible hunger and love for musical theatre, and have been in about 20 shows thus far; I've taken dance lessons since I was 4 and singing lessons for 7 or so years. I've decided that I want nothing--nothing--more than to get to Broadway someday. However, I don't think I'll have a serious chance unless I major in MT in college.</p>

<p>Just in case it doesn't work out, I still want that English major; I've heard that majoring in MT is already a huge commitment, though, and that adding another major onto it is sheer insanity. If I major in MT and minor in English, would that still be a good idea? If Broadway doesn't work out after I live in NYC for 10 or so years, would my English minor be enough to fall back on? If not, could I possibly survive that double-major?</p>

<p>Thank you so much! I really, really appreciate any feedback.</p>

<p>What can one do with a degree in English (or history, or math, etc) that he can't do with an MT degree, assuming he doesn't make it as a performer? In other words, what specifically does a liberal arts degree prepare you to do that you couldn't also do with an MT degree?</p>

<p>Javert -- I would like to suggest that you take some time to explore some of the topics on this board. Many of your questions have been asked before, and have been discussed in great detail.<br>
Perhaps you should begin by researching the difference between a BA and a BFA degree. To make a long story short, it is possible to double-major with a BA degree, but pretty difficult to do when studying in a BFA program. As a junior you should already be looking at schools, but the first thing to decide is what kind of a degree are you interested in pursuing.</p>

<p>Cross posted with musicmon, who brings up a very good point: a minor in English doesn't really qualify you for many jobs, so it isn't much of a fall-back plan!</p>

<p>D is getting a BM degree in Vocal Performance with a specialization in MT from NYU (Steinhardt.) She came into the program with some AP credits and was exempted from Music Theory 1. She is planning to have a double minor...English and The Business of Entertainment, Media and Technology. She will need to take 18 credits every term to complete this in 4 years.</p>

<p>I doubt she would have been able to do a double major in 4 years, but probably would have been able to pull it off in an extra semester if she really wanted to. Unless she has a very clear reason to do that, it is not worth the additional cost of tuition in my mind.</p>

<p>However, with the BM degree and the double minors, she is able to satisfy her desire to pursue her talent, be practical in getting in some business/production courses, plus satisfy her "academic" side.</p>

<p>If she ever wanted to pursue a master's in Music Education down the road, the credits she received in English may allow her to be double certified as a Music/ English teacher with the addition of a few more English classes.</p>

<p>What can someone do with an English major? Write well and analyze the written word. These are important skills in our world. My DS says that he wants to major in theater, but like the OP, I'm very worried that he won't get enough of an education to fall back on if theater doesn't work out. Frankly, I'd like to see him double major, but I will take the advice of another poster and start to explore the difference between a BA and a BFA.</p>

<p>There is absolutely nothing wrong with an English major, and writing skills are required for every job, but the OP wanted something to fall back on. IMO, English (history, etc) does not prepare one for any specific job, except maybe teaching English. That would be no different than teaching theater or music--it still would require additional education to become certified in most states. I think of something to fall back on as specific training such as accounting, nursing, engineering, photography, or journalism (my major) to name a few. Even bartending or tax preparation classes would offer something to fall back on. I repeat, there is nothing wrong with majoring in English, but I don't think it offers more job opportunities than theater. Just my opinion.</p>

<p>My daughters high school had one theatre teacher for 1700 students and many English teachers so I suspect that it's easier to get a job as am English teacher than a theater teacher. As for photography and journalism degrees, recent graduates in those fields are having a horrible time finding work. I'm glad the op introduced this topic and I hope the discussion will continue as I am nervous also about my d's career choice in this economy.</p>

<p>As an English major, I was able to get a job in marketing communications. My department was full of English majors...we wrote brochures, direct mail newsletters, etc. We were part of a creative team that was well paid and our department head eventually went on to become president of the company (a cruise line.)</p>

<p>I know several journalists who chose to major in English rather than journalism. Similar skill set involved, but some argue that English lit gives a broader literary/ historical background.</p>

<p>I do think that in some circles being an English major conjures up an image of someone well-educated and smart. There is an automatic assumption that one can also write well and is analytical. I don't think being a theatre major brings with it those same stereotypes.</p>

<p>Now, I am not saying that is the case...I probably forgot half of the "literature" I studied, but I do believe there is that halo effect that can be helpful looking for a job or applying to graduate school.</p>

<p>And my daughter is looking forward to the academic challenges that English classes will offer in addition to business, theatre and music.</p>

<p>I think that with her major in MT and minors in business and English, she will have the skills upon graduation to pursue jobs in the entertainment industry or be a performer. I'm not sure which will happen, but neither would really be a "fallback!"</p>

<p>the checkbook: in NY State, as a certified English teacher, I can teach theatre or drama. But I don't believe it goes the other way.</p>

<p>My D graduated with a double major, with her second major being English. She didn't choose to double because she looked at it as a fallback but rather because she was a writer as well as an actor. Since graduating, she's worked steadily for almost three years now, partly because she double-majored, in addition to making excellent contacts during her college years. She had three different offers the spring of her senior year. One was strictly performance based, one was a combination of a 'new works/young playwrights' and performance position, and one was an offer to re-mount a production of a play she had written that had been produced in the UK the summer after her junior year. </p>

<p>Her opportunities were inextricably tied to her choices made in her college years. This business is so very tough. Most kids entering college have no idea how very tough it is. It's not a decision I would ever encourage any kid to make. Seriously. And I say that as a parent whose D has been unbelievably fortunate and successful since graduating. I have a friend who was conducting auditions in NYC today, an open non-Equity call for Hair. Kids started lining up just after midnight last night. There were 500 in line by 5 a.m. By the time the doors opened at 9, there were over 1000 and they were cutting off the line. I surely hope that those kids have other options because they're going to need them.</p>

<p>so did your D double major in musical theater & english and if so where did she go for her undergrad?</p>

<p>Andrew, my D has a BFA in Drama from Tisch.</p>

<p>alwaysamom, was she able to graduate in 4 years with a double major at Tisch and CAS? Did she take classes over the summer? How did she manage her schedule? My S also wants to double major with English. The only BFA program he applied to is Tisch because he really felt that a double major is more realistic in the BA programs that he applied for so I am very interested to hear how your D managed! He is very driven and so if he gets in and it's possible he'd do it, too!</p>

<p>sandkmom, yes, she graduated in four years. She took one summer class, if I'm remembering correctly (she graduated three years ago and I have 4 other Ds! :)). The way that Tisch schedules their studio time is the main reason that she was able to do this. NYU is one of the schools that places importance on academics and so they certainly encourage students to double major. It's not easy, given the time-consuming workload of these kids but the three full day studio/two full day academic schedule makes it possible.</p>

<p>Thank you, alwaysamom, for the info about your D who is doing exactly what my son wants to be doing. It is good to know that this is a possibility at NYU. Next up, auditions. Congratulations to your D on her successes...I'm sure the future will bring many wonderful opportunities her way. :)</p>

<p>alwaysamom, I was actually at that open call and got turned away at 8:20. It was quite disheartening, but I'm going to keep auditioning, of course! :)</p>

<p>I'm only a student, but I think the ability to sanely pursue a double major depends on both the type of degree (BA or BFA) and credits the student is already bringing in. For example, if I do the USC BA in theatre, I'll enter with 28 (32 if they'll accept by AB Calc subscore...) out of the 128 credits needed to graduate. That means I'll need to average 3 classes a semester, with a couple semesters with 4 classes, in order to graduate in 4 years. I don't doubt that I will be able to have a second major or a second minor there.</p>

<p>wisdomsomehow....my daughter was at the Hair audition also. You wouldn't happen to be from CA are you? D was talking to a couple of girls from the west coast. My daughter got there at 5:30am and just made the cut off at #458. She didn't get to audition until 5:20 and was in the last group to get in. It was a good experience for her and it really shows just how competitive this biz really is!</p>

<p>no, I'm from the east coast, too, but not near the city. We got a hotel in Solita, but didn't get there early enough, which was a serious bummer. Apparently, the new cast starts rehearsals in two weeks, and I'm so angry at myself for not being there early enough to be seen! I guess there were over 1000 people there, which is just insane.</p>

<p>I've been keeping a blog of my professional auditions (two days' worth so far).</p>

<p>Oh dear, I had no clue that I couldn't link to my blog! Hmm. I guess just pm me if you want the link? Am I allowed to say that?</p>