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USC School of Dramatic Arts invitation

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Replies to: USC School of Dramatic Arts invitation

  • burnbrighterburnbrighter Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Madbean, thank you SO much! Your information has been extremely helpful to me. Being from NYC, (and never having gone to LA), is it very hard to get around to these auditions without a car? I've only heard rumors about the public transportation system, so I'm definitely curious to hear more about this.
  • 5boys5boys Registered User Posts: 1,775 Senior Member
    @bb....I am a So Cal native and although it is a great place to live in many ways, public transportation is not one of them. There is none..... You would definitely need a car if you want to get around if you went to USC. The bus system is ridiculous and just not going to work. That would be a question maybe madbean can also answer, as her son is at USC and maybe she has some ideas as he gets around. My S who is a junior is probably going ot apply to USC, but really prefers a place like NYC where he doesn't need a car. He has only had his license for 6 months and he is already sick of driving:)
  • researchmavenresearchmaven Registered User Posts: 875 Member
    My S is about to graduate from USC and my D is about to start at NYU/Tisch. We are also from the NYC area and were surprised at the difficulty of getting around to auditions, etc. without a car. There are solutions, however, besides buying a car. My S used Zipcar and it met all his needs. We still do love the convenience of walking or taking the subway in Manhattan and my D is looking forward to that.
  • shacherryshacherry Registered User Posts: 489 Member
    It may not be ideal for a parent who worries, but I do think freshman can have a car at USC.
  • madbeanmadbean Registered User Posts: 3,241 Senior Member
    Transportation around L.A. has a few wrinkles, as you have all observed. My older son had a car on campus and that worked really well--but he was used to L.A. traffic, freeways, and parking hassles. It's a spread out city. My younger S doesn't have a car on campus, but many of his friends/roommates do. He actually likes to use public trans to get to LA Live and downtown, which has a lot going on. The Expo rail line is right on campus and is an easy fast ride to Culver City which has charming shops and restaurants. It will go on to Santa Monica, but I'm not sure when that phase will be completed. Could be a while.

    Anyway, as was mentioned above by researchmaven, USC has zipcars on campus and they are relatively inexpensive, very easy to rent for a day at the beach, trip to Disneyland, etc--especially when a group of friends splits the cost.

    I'll also mention USC's Visions and Voices program provides a number of free tickets to specific performances of selected plays, art walks, museum exhibits, concerts, operas, etc. These events also provide free transportation to and from USC, and often even provide dinner. They are amazing. My son saw "Chinglish" at Orange County Rep and "Book of Mormon" at the Dorothy Chandler (I think) in L.A. with them. Programs most in demand require quick rsvp's, of course, but kids without cars not only enjoy the events but they meet other like-minded students.
  • ChairoChairo Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    Mabbean I need your advice. Regarding the BA core requirements I see a lot of theory and very little acting, voice, movement clases. The BFA program is very well structured with sequential performance
    related courses. How can a BA get the same training? My D was also accepted at NYU BFA and we are now having second thoughts about USC.

    Thanks.
  • casadelewiscasadelewis Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    I know this is a off-the-thread but now that we seem to have a cluster of students for BA and BFA, what dorms are you all considering? The Arts and Humanities bldg. (dance and drama floor) is more expensive than New or North. My D's friend is a soph and says New/North is the "cool people" dorm. Another thread says it is a lot more "social" than some. I was also thinking that if a freshman is teching a show (since freshman are probably not cast) I want her to be able to have the possibility of walking back to a dorm at 10:00 at night with other students. Do you have first, second and third choices?
  • madbeanmadbean Registered User Posts: 3,241 Senior Member
    @Chairo, I believe the catalog shows the Acting BA requires a total of 52 units in the School of Dramatic Arts. In contrast, the BFA requires 84 units. However, these are simply the basic requirements. Students may fill their free units as they choose and take even more classes. All BA Theatre majors will take Intro to Acting and Intro to Directing, plus a sequence of "theory & practice" through periods of drama and a few tech courses. Most are the same courses taken by BFAs. The BA also requires each student to select at least 17 units from upper division classes--that's about 8 classes--all performance courses if one wishes. As just an example, an acting student could select Intermediate and/or Advanced Acting (2) + Acting Shakespeare (2) + Physical Theatre (2) + Advanced Movement for Actors (2) + Basic Voice (2) + Musical Theatre Audition (3) + Dialect (2) + Stage Combat (2) + Professional Preparation for Actors (2) + Acting on Camera (2) + (by audition) Senior Showcase (2) That list was about 3 courses more than the required minimum. But in addition, many BA Theatre Acting students choose to add one or two minors, from business to music to screenwriting or film/tv production at the School of Cinematic Arts. And many are interested in the Musical Theatre minor, taken through the Thornton School of Music (audition required), which adds additional performance classes. Also, acting students do get cast in shows their first year since there are so many productions, including highly regarded independent productions, a Capella, dance groups, student films, and even get paying professional gigs here and there. However, in practical terms, these kids also have some GE requirements and often try to get many out of the way in Freshman year to be able to immerse themselves in their major later. It's really up to each student and the advisers meet each student to map out their plans. I am laughing at myself because I really shouldn't know this much about the requirements, but then my S is getting a double major and the planning and scheduling all those units in sequential order has been a little intense so he can graduate in 4 years. He did bring in some helpful AP units, but still.

    Here are more details: http://www.usc.edu/dept/publications/cat2011/private/pdf/2011_2012/theatre.pdf

    @casadelewis, I'm just a mom so my take on dorms may miss the whole point. But New/North does have the party rep. Many go through rush, go Greek, have that work hard/play hard attitude. They often go to the library (right next door) to get quiet study time. If having roommates that may occasionally bring in loud and sloppy friends, this may not be the dorm for your kid. OTOH, mixing with kids from all sorts of majors is really fun and that's part of what makes USC special--so many really engaged, very smart, outgoing kids. If a student really needs to unwind in quiet, craves alone time, isn't into noise, I'd say this is not the best spot. Arts & Humanities is the nicest, newest housing. Air conditioning is nice, and their dining hall is rated the top one. Since it's made up of suites (4 bedrooms x 2 kids each) there is not the same feeling of a long hallway with doors open and everyone seeing everyone walk in at night. The Drama & Music floor may be a new addition since my boys were freshmen. It could be awesome depending on if togetherness is good or too much. hehe. I would say that the Architecture floor (also in A&H) is the spot to feel like you are almost living alone -since all the arch students practically live in their studios and are never in the dorm room at all. So that would be the opposite of social. ;)
  • ChairoChairo Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    Madbean. Thank you very much for your detailed feedback. I did spend last night about seven hours with my daughter planning her future curriculum and you are absolutely right, we were able to put together a great 4 year program. I didn't realize that there are many courses in acting, movement and voice available to BA's as well ( I was initially frustrated when I saw some classes that were only for BFA's). Also, the opportunity to add one or two minors is a big plus. My D will also bring a few AP classes whhich will help. Thanks again!!
  • casadelewiscasadelewis Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Thanks madbean! She is probably more of the New/North type of kid. I looked on the map and saw that Leavey Library is very close and Doheny library is across the quad so there are quiet places to go study. :) At least she'll make a lot of friends and then can switch somewhere else the following year if she doesn't like it. I didn't know if any of the other kids had decided what they wanted to do.
  • lorilynnelorilynne Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    My daughter is a freshman BA Theatre major with a double minor in SCA. She lives in New North and is in a sorority. She says the best decision she ever made was going to USC! She will stay in the summer and do an internship and take some acting classes with industry coaches. If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me. Everyone was so helpful to me last year when we were going through this!
  • ChairoChairo Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    My daughter was also invited to apply to the Thematic Options Honor Program. Anyone familiar with it?
  • lorilynnelorilynne Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    My daughter is doing TO. She loves it but you must like reading and writing- there is a lot of it. The topics and teachers are fabulous. it is another place to meet kids you have something in common with. Also the classes are small- about 20.
  • ChairoChairo Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    Thanks lorilynne. My daughter loves to read and write. She plans to minor in screenwriting, so I believe the TO program will benefit her.
  • Georgia GirlGeorgia Girl Registered User Posts: 3,771 Senior Member
    All freshmen dorms now are residential "colleges" with a faculty master in residence. The faculty member arranges lectures, special dinners, outings, etc. Students may participate or not in these activities according to time available.

    The University Village project has been approved by the city of Los Angeles. This extends the campus and adds a huge plaza, more restaurants, dorms, academic buildings, small shops and a boutique hotel. To complete the entire project will take a period of years.

    Bicycles and skateboards are popular on campus. There are many libraries and all dorms are no more than a 10 minute walk from a library.
This discussion has been closed.