Hi arkham! I see that this thread is from earlier in the year but if you’re still in need of information I can provide some from the Purchase side! I am a junior in the program now and although I agree on some of his points, I have to disagree with JuilliardGrad on others.
The new faculty we have received actually are better than who we had before. One of our two undergrad voice and speech teachers actually teaches both at Pace and Purchase! All of our faculty have insane connections in the city because, for the most part, they all live and actively work there. Some of our faculty have critical accolades, the freshman year acting teacher used to teach at Juilliard and has a Tony. The third year acting teacher has an Obie.
Many of our recent alumni have had great success after graduation, one landed a series regular role in fear the walking dead, and the other booked a critically acclaimed off-broadway production, both right out of showcase. Those graduates were from 2018. Some alumni go and do their own work, start their own production companies. A lot of our alumni work, but you won’t necessarily hear about them. Like I said you have those that just will book big things straight out, but you have a lot that start smaller. Fact of the matter is that Purchase actors work, and that many casting directors hold Purchase actors in high regard. One alumni came back to talk to us and said he’s auditioning in the same rooms as actors from MFA programs and Julliard.
I think it is true that more emphasis is put on craft than industry, but that being said, it’s not like industry is glossed over. We spend a great deal of time honing the craft and figuring it, and ourselves, out. The big emphasis with us is resilience and ownership of our work. The program doesn’t churn out entertainers, it churns out artists. All of our productions are done as if they were true professional productions. Our D/T program is one of the best in the country so we are working with people in the tech world who we are going to see again professionally in the future. We hire professional directors, people who are working and doing things in the city. Our script analysis class also basically doubles as an auditioning class. We’re taught how to break down a script quickly and dig into it in the time constraints of an actual audition.
I personally think that Purchase has one of the best acting programs in the country, but it is true that it is intense and difficult. You really have to want to be an actor if you come here, otherwise you won’t make it through, which is common. It asks for an insane level of commitment and there is a lot of tasks being thrown at you that you have to juggle. But that’s part of the game, if you can’t do that in school, it’s gonna be that much harder when you’re not going to class everyday and you have to figure out how you’re going to pay rent.
As for the price, considering it is drama school, it’s really not that bad looking at other schools. I’m personally and out-of-stater and I’m paying the big 30k. I’m not in the camp where I think you should have to pay big money to learn how to act, so with that I think that Purchase is a steal for how good it is.
I do think we’ve dropped from legendary status, sure, but I think that’s just because a lot of people don’t know about us. And also poor advertisement, but that’s just the administration being the administration. There’s just not a lot of us who flaunt Purchase after we leave, I think that’s all that is, so there’s definitely less that people that aren’t in the school know about than those of us that are. I think we’re still a top tier program and I don’t see that going down the pipe any time soon. Now we’re more of a “if you know you KNOW” kind of program. But I can really only speak from my experience.
I will also say personally for me, I didn’t want to go to school in the city because a) it’s expensive, b) it’s expensive, and c) it’s loud. It’s very quiet (in noise and in other things) around Purchase and it makes it easier to actually hone in on things when you’re not in class. And you can go to the city when you want, it’s just a 40 minute train ride away, I used to go a bunch.
I will also say, having Purchase on resumes alone has gotten people big auditions.
Lastly, and I think it warrants saying again because you should know what you’re getting into. This school is not for the feint of heart. It is hard. Really. Really. Hard. It will kick your heiny. Even if you’re the best one in the class, which honestly changes from day to day. People quit. People used to get kicked out too, but they got rid of that. But that rigorous culture is definitely still there. They say that it’s a tear you down to build you back up kind of thing and it is, but that part of it isn’t necessarily how it sounds. It’s more that they ask a lot of you and it takes a lot of you to deliver, so naturally you adapt to it and then that becomes normal. It’s more like, okay, you have bad habits, time for you to relearn what you have learned.
Anyways, this was long so sorry about that, but I do have a lot more information that I would be happy to share if it’s wanted, and if you have any questions feel free to P.M. me.