The Class of 2026 – Sharing, Venting, Discussing! MT

Yes, totally normal!!! And it feels so lonely to think you’re the only one experiencing it so badly, but I guarantee you are not!! People love to post the successes, but not so much the failures.
There is no guarantee your student will get into an audition based program, much less a top tier one. You’ll hear a million times to include some less competitive schools and a safety (non-audition program), but if your kid doesn’t look at them as real options, they are not much of a consolation when the acceptance comes in.
My student went through it last year and it was brutal and excruciating to be the bystander and not voice my thoughts/doubts. Honestly, it’s good I didn’t, because I probably would have made it worse, lol!
This is the hard part in parenting, letting your child go, letting them make their own decisions to pursue or not pursue certain goals, to remain steadfast, or to change their minds. They are the ones living the life, not us, and they need to take their successes and failures and walk their own path.
I’ll DM you a little more about our story, but take heart, things may not go as planned, but it will be ok and they will move forward in one way or another.

3 Likes

I hear what everyone is saying about the challenges and frustrations, and appreciate the advice to include non-prescreen schools and non-top schools. My son still hasn’t gotten his prescreens in (a frustration of its own) so he has not gotten any responses yet. My question is, how different are the job prospects/career opportunities when considering the non-prescreen schools??

Relieved to hear others have struggled as well. This thread will be very valuable over the next few months. Part of the problem is that as the parent, I am WAAAAAAAYYYY too involved in the process. I absolutely should be making my D do most of the work, but as a super micro-manager I just can’t, plus with all of her extracurricular activities and work, I don’t even know where she would find the time. For the record, we are up to 33 schools applied, and several of those are non-prescreen (Belmont, BW, Viterbo, Webster, Manhattan Marymount, NYU) and we already have either live or zoom auditions lined up, so hopefully, she will be one of those girls who does well “in the room.” Like most I’m sure, we were hoping to have an acceptance or two before going to unified, but alas looks like we’ll be part of that madness. Another frustration is that we were unaware that the Common App only allowed 20 schools, so now there are a few schools we can’t even apply to if we wanted because they don’t have school-based application portals. So dumb. Thanks again for the support!

Honestly dramadrama, evidence shows that once they are in the audition room post graduation, they are all just part of the same big pool. Either you look and sound like the part they are casting or you don’t. Reading Unnaturally Green by Felicia Ricci was eye opening. She got the Elphaba national tour standby part coming basically off the street and was asked to literally sing the one note from the end of Defying Gravity. Nobody cared where she went to school. I;m sure most of you are like me and look through playbills at pro shows, and you can’t help but notice that for every Julliard grad there is someone from some unknown little regional school that doesn’t even offer a BFA. And honestly that’s part of the frustration, these schools we are killing ourselves to get into cost a small fortune and don’t even guarantee future success.

3 Likes

My S did not pass many of his prescreens. Had early acceptances at some “lower level” programs that was a big ego boost and then at Emerson which was a big boost. Then he was accepted at UNCSA which is where he is. This is a CRAZY process and depends on so much more than talent alone. Classes are looking for so many different aspects of these kids and the only thing to do is brush it off, move on and make sure you have a balanced list. Good luck!

3 Likes

UNCSA for acting? My D has been straight MT but mabye we should open up to straight acting possibilities.

UNCSA is one of the premiere conservatories in the country. My S is acting but they have both MT and acting students there and singing is part of the audition. They do both musicals and plays each year. Isaac Cole Powell is a recent alum

2 Likes

Check to see if you can apply to additional using the coalition app.

1 Like

And then there is the added kick to get the prescreen no, then the next day get the financial aid/merit award letter and they are offering more $ than any school your kid has heard from to date. Sigh….

3 Likes

everyone gave great answers. I would just add that this is why it’s important to have a list that includes safety schools. Defined as non audition theater programs that are great…Muhlenberg comes to mind.

2 Likes

The hard truth is “yes”…none of our kids are as talented as we think they are and when you finally do attend in-person unifieds, that becomes even more apparent how talented the kids are and there are thousands of them applying to schools with 40 or less spots. My DD got a coach at My College Audition and that made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. The coach vets the prescreens. My daughter re-filmed hers over and over and over. The coach helped pick the schools and set realistic expectations. My DD got into a dream reach school in 2019 and is extremely happy. Yes she is very talented and had every lead in high school and had professional credits on her resume…almost all the top kids to so get a proper coach or it is extremely difficult to navigate this process, let alone succeed. The playing field is very unlevel in this process - you need a coach to level it for your child! good luck!!

1 Like

Keep those award letters. Use them to help negotiate more financial aid from the schools they are accepted at!

2 Likes

Open any professional musical production playbill. You will see students from BFA Acting programs and schools like Yale, DePaul, Minnesota Guthrie and even colleges nobody has ever heard of. I tell my kids to forget the dream school idea. Go where they see that “spark” and potential in you and where you will get the training that will connect you to your future. There are amazing teachers and practitioners in schools that are not top 20, many of whom have been working professionals. You need to find somewhere to learn and grow. Nobody is going to check your alma mater at an audition (unless they went there, too!). When my kids make their lists, I have them focus on the criteria they need/want from a long list I have. Then, they check the schools they are interested in against that. There are a lot of up and coming programs that offer more attention and training than some top tier schools. Auditioning is like dating. You’re going to “marry” a school and the faculty and the department for four-ish years. Make sure that there is a fit both ways.

4 Likes

Where are you guys from? My son is also an international student (Canada).

broadwayLD- my final decision post from 2 years ago outlines the very very challenging time and demoralizing experience we had with prescreens. her outcome in the end was great, but it was never once for the feint of heart & yes we all feel those doubts and yes the talent pool is absurd & yes I have seen kids get totally shut out. some people have GREAT pre screen results and still get few or no offers, thats a different kind of pain & hardship, everyones path is different but very few are easy, or painless. I think if you have a broad list as others have mentioned most kids do get offered a spot. you are in the 2nd mile of a marathon here Hang tough its a roller coaster ride for at least 5-6 more months. I dont know now with all the covid stuff but when my D auditioned 2 years ago there were still many many good schools that did not pre screen. my D fared MUCH better in person that via digital submission, I cant imagine what it would have been like for her last year when EVERYTHING was digital. I think if you read the past few years venting threads and past few years final decision threads that will help you alot…or make you more neurotic LOL, hang in there!!

2 Likes

Wow! I didn’t even know that was an option. Great advice, thank you!

1 Like

Colombia, so you can imagine the craziness level in this process… We are learning through youtube videos, forums and Facebook communities :sweat_smile:

Hi. Where to you see this information? We scheduled our audition and it is in person.

On the website (Theatre Arts: Marymount Manhattan College)

Not yet for UNCSA. You yet? I did reach out a few weeks after submitting our D’s application. They said they were running behind and ran into some complications. He said mid October it should be up and running. We have still yet to receive a link. let me know if you received one so I know whether to communicate with the school or not.