Schools that let you audition for outside professional projects


So I’m a high school junior now, and throughout High School I’ve been auditioning for/acting in professional projects like short films, small parts in movies and TV shows, commercials, etc. I am planning on going to college to get either a BA or BFA for theatre/acting in the NYC area, and I really wanted to be able to continue auditioning while in college (get a foot in the door of the business, and who knows, maybe i’ll even book something big and take a little break from college for it. i obviously wouldn’t leave school for anything, but sometimes big opportunities come along and while i’m not by any means counting on it i don’t want to rule it out).

I know that many schools (like NYU and Pace) do not allow auditioning for outside projects, does anybody know which schools do not disallow this? Does Fordham? Wagner? Any others?


It was my understanding that Pace was supportive of outside gigs. But the school was not on my D’s list- so I did not pay careful attention

Oh, that may be. I thought they were until someone told me otherwise, so they may have been mistaken.

Pace allows outside gigs for sure, they told us. You might look into New School for Drama.

I have a friend at NYU. She says that after Freshman year, you are allowed to do outside projects. She went on to say that outside projects are a lot to take onto your plate as NYU demands a lot of your time (as it should if it is a great program).

There is some flexibility for outside work at CCPA Roosevelt. You have to ask permission to audition for stuff during the school year, and you still have to do your tech requirement and be at all your classes, but you can opt out of the casting pool for the term.

Cynthia Nixon starred simultaneously in two Broadway productions while she was a freshman at Barnard College.

@Techtheatrewiz - my D is a student at NYU, and there are people who get professional work while at school. But it is hard to keep your studio schedule going with that- so students who take a gig sometimes do an “academic” semester, and don’t take drama classes. But I would NOT say NYU is supportive or encouraging of that during your undergrad years (maybe as you are getting ready to graduate- who knows, we’re not to that phase yet) Their opinion is that you are there to train- work comes after you graduate.

This is definitely good to know before you apply.
I know Chapman in LA is good with it. Northwestern is also good with it, but since my D hasn’t done this herself, I don’t know exactly how it works–I’m guessing you have to make arrangements for fulfilling requirements.
Many conservatories are not good with it.

Chapman is in Orange County and realistically about 45-1 hour south of LA with No traffic and they do not allow LA side jobs per the meetings we’ve attended this year.
S was accepted and he knows he will have to put his acting on the back burner if he chooses to attend

re Chapman, I know a current student there who is happily and very regularly auditioning (with permission). The student usually takes Uber to get to the LA auditions. The student’s auditions have actually increased now that the student is accessible to LA. My understanding is that it is not a problem as long as it doesn’t impact your classes.

Not in LA or NYC, but CCM Drama allows and encourages you to audition for professional work after Freshman year. Because Cincinnati is a smaller market than LA and NYC, it’s easier for us to find opportunities. There were three CCM Drama students cast in a James Franco produced movie called “Goat” this past year, they all are now in SAG-AFTRA. I just finished a run of an Opera downtown, I played a comedic acting role and got to make some money doing theatre!

Pace and the New School for sure. We also know someone that got a national tour while at Marymount Manhattan and they worked with her - she still graduated on time I think.

I think you would find that NYU is supportive and flexible for good opportunities AFTER the first two years of primary studio training. The nature of the studio system in advanced training years does lend itself to these “parenthesis” of opportunities and for a good opportunity, the faculty can be supportive.

I agree with @halflokum. D was telling me about a senior in her studio who is in an off bway show right now

Yes @toowonderful, my daughter has several friends whom have done the same. And when their stints were over, they were welcomed back. One of them even had to leave a bit before the semester had ended and that permission was granted. Tisch is actually quite flexible after the first two years.