Reality check?

<p>I'm just wondering what happens to all these talented MT kids when they get to college. All the other kids in the class were also the stars at their high schools and CTs. They haven't really faced much competition before. Is it a shock?</p>

<p>Good question...I don't really know what happens. My D was never the "star" at either her high school or community theatre. She's a solid, dependable, serious performer who has faced her share of rejections. I suspect even the "stars" you talk about have been rejected somewhere down the line...if not...well in comes the "reality check".</p>

<p>I think a lot of the kids who get accepted to these programs have already been in competitive situations with other really talented kids. Either they attended summer intensive studies at colleges or performing arts camps which required an audition and selection process. Many have auditioned and/or performed for local community college or professional productions, or have auditioned for scholarship and award programs regionally or nationally.
Still others are part of a local HS network program like the Cappies or one of the programs that feed into National High school music awards etc.<br>
My point is that many (depending on the area) already have an idea what it will be like because they are competing against these other students already at a high school level now even if they don't attend a performing arts high school. I know in Southern California the competition is extremely tough between and even within the local high schools, as many are performing arts magnets and conservatories. </p>

<p>For those who have never taken part in any of these activities, I guess they are in for a bit of a shock. But if they went through the audition process to get into one of these competitive programs they know already the incredible number of talented performers that are out there---if they got accepted then they are one of them. They will most likely really enjoy working with other students who are the top of their game, focused, driven, etc.</p>

<p>Francesca, </p>

<p>At my D's university she auditioned freshman year not only against upperclassmen but MFA students and even PHD students. Wake up call? you bet! I know several freshmen just auditioning or watching the juniors and seniors perform get overwhelmed and discouraged. One thing they need to remind themselves is have faith in the university - if they admitted you they have the knowledge to know you belong there. What I told her freshman year was if she were at this level then why would she be spending the next year in time and money studying? Wasn't the talent the older kids were showing promise of how great the program was and how far she would advance? Actually she got a callback freshman year along with MFA students which in itself should have been cause for celebration not doubt. </p>

<p>By the end of freshman year she looked back at herself and her own advancement and could see how far she had progressed and could times that by 3 more years and know "this is going to work". In her case she had not always gotten every role she had gone out for or been accepted by every school she auditioned for - she already had acquired tough skin and learned to handle rejection. </p>

<p>On the other hand we did know another girl who had not suffered rejection. Locally and in the community she got just about every role she ever went after. When she auditioned freshman year at college she fully expected that to continue. When she wasn't even called back she became so devastated she switched her major and left acting.</p>

<p>I have two kids in theater and we discussed this a number of times. They have both looked at rejections as an opportunity to improve. They look at the positive side of auditions. Bright kids know what the score is. Anyone who is expecting to get all the best roles is kidding themselves.</p>

<p>I had a pretty good audition season, and am excited to start MT, but in my high school productions, I was by no means always the lead. (Trust me, I have spent some time as MAN #1!) In fact, in HS, the lead I wanted always seemed to go to someone else (usually one guy who isn't even going into MT). I used to resent that, but I changed my attitude after I got good supporting leads (Lumiere, Bill Sykes, Javert) because these parts are fun and memorable. Now I really prefer these type of roles, and am glad to have had the opportunities becuz I feel like they really stretched me more and I learned a lot more than I might have being the actual "lead." </p>

<p>I am going into freshman year expecting to return to "Man #1"...I know there is a lot to learn! It's all about the attitude you bring with you....</p>

<p>Good for you. Nick! You will learn much with that attitude, and I imagine, do well!</p>

<p>My D was never the star, almost always ensemble in High School. But interestingly enough,since then, in community theater she has gotten more parts than many of her peers, even those going on to MT programs in college. I think some of it has to do with her knowledge that the play is always the sum of its parts, not just one or two parts. She is a wonderful team player who will jump in and help with anything, and once a director sees that (along with talent) I think that is extremely memorable. Some of her HS classmates were unfortunately rather DIVA-ish and had much trouble being a suddenly little fish in a big pond.</p>

<p>Most of my leads have been in community theatre, too. I think my high school director got pretty set on the same person for the lead and chose musicals to fit him. I hope that won't be true in college...that would make me nervous. Hopefully, they will try to choose things so they can spread it around and give us all a shot at some meaningful roles.</p>

<p>It would be interesting to hear from some other MT majors what their experience has been with the school "spreading it around."</p>

<p>My D went to a couple of schools before she found the place she is currently studying... one place had major favorites, and one did not seem to too much. And at the second school there were so many opportunities to perform it wouldn't really have mattered...</p>

<p>Snoggie, can you tell us what the second school is that has lots of opportunities?</p>

<p>Snoggie & Nick...your experiences mirror my daughter's. She knows that the end result is what matters most and whether she is Woman #1 or Starlet, she has helped the production be the best it can be. She constantly auditions...even for parts in national tours she KNOWS she can never get...just for the experience. Rejection is as much an opportunity as acceptance...so answer the person knocking on that door!!!</p>

<p>My D loved being immersed in the big pool of super-talented kids. It is so much more fun doing a show with kids who are just as "into it" as she is. When she made all-state choir in high school (a big deal in our state), she called me with awe in her voice and said, "It's so nice to be singing in a choir where everyone is better than me!" Of course, EVERYONE was not better than she was, but with the right attitude, being the little fish in the big pond can help you to grow to someday be the big fish! Though I suppose with the wrong attitude, it can be overwhelming.</p>

<p>arrdad... my D's second school was Muhlenberg, which she LOVED but left for reasons that had more to do with the fantastic academics and her feeling she needed more focus on training than both academics and training. (She has always gotten good grades but has had to work for them; Muhlenberg had both demanding training and academics.) She would recommend it to anyone wanting a good LA BA.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the replies. My son is eager to be surrounded by people who are as committed to performing as he is. He almost didn't do the school musical this year, just because he found rehearsals such a frustrating waste of time.</p>

<p>His high school joined the Cappies program this year and he loved seeing shows at other schools and then discussing them afterwards. He said the discussion was his favorite part. He liked meeting "theater kids" from other schools.</p>

<p>He's a hard worker, but he also hasn't faced much competition for roles. I do worry that he's in for a shock.</p>

<p>The amount of shock you son is in for will directly relate to the school that accepts him. Some schools are very hardcore and accept only hard core students. Very, very, very rarely does a freshman enter a school and get big parts unless it is a pure character part.</p>

<p>Perhaps your son could audition for a community theatre show for the summer? I know it may be too late at this point, but that would give him a good idea of at least some talent outside of his school and would be good experience!</p>

<p>I second Alexa's idea! Look around for a website that lists auditions for communtity theatre shows in your area. I don't know where you're from, but one simple and free one for the New England area is netheater411.com.</p>