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Final Decisions, BACKGROUND, class of 2018

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Replies to: Final Decisions, BACKGROUND, class of 2018

  • connectionsconnections Registered User Posts: 1,327 Senior Member
    That is a fabulous story, Mrsmelchoirgabor! What determination and drive you have--it will take you far. Extremely impressive. Best of luck at NYU!
  • Jkellynh17Jkellynh17 Registered User Posts: 2,011 Senior Member
    That's a great story, and sounds like an excellent outcome for your D. She will be right there in the middle of things if she decides to pursue screenwriting and film.
  • mamarosemamarose Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    @txdramamama, it sounds like your D's experience was in many ways identical to my D's -- coming from a public school in Texas, very strong academics, experienced some tough disappointments during the audition process, got accepted to a few BFA programs, changed her mind from wanting a BFA to a BA during the process, ultimately decided on a BA at USC, plans to double major, and accepted into Thematic Option at USC. We should probably arrange for our daughters to meet!
  • sherryjane73sherryjane73 Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Finally, I'll share our journey as well:

    Auditioned for: Juilliard, Carnegie Mellon, DePaul, Rutgers Mason G, Boston U, Emerson, Fordham, NYU, Syracuse and SUNY Purchase

    Non-audition applications: Skidmore and Muhlenberg

    Prescreens: none

    Accepted to: Fordham (on the spot at her audition!), NYU (Atlantic), Emerson. Waitlisted and then accepted to Syracuse BFA.

    Waitlisted but ultimately rejected from Mason G. BFA, but accepted academically to Rutgers U (BA)

    Waitlisted at both Muhlenberg and Skidmore but did not accept waitlist spots since she knew she had an acceptance from Fordham.

    Rejected from: Juilliard, CMU, DePaul, BU, Purchase

    Final Decision: Fordham BA Performance

    Coach: 4-5 meetings with audition coach in the month before LA Unifieds, just to work on her monologues

    Summer Programs - Auditioned based: CSSSA (California State Summer School for the Arts), CAPSA (California Arts Partnership), RSAC (Rutgers Summer Acting Conservatory). Non-audition based: A couple US Performing Arts one-week camps each of the last two summers.

    High School: Small private school in Los Angeles with a very strong theatre program, and generally a very strong visual and performing arts curriculum.

    My D went into the audition process feeling that she definitely wanted a BFA. She only applied to her "safe" schools (the non-audition programs) at my urging, and she was dramatic about that ("You don't think I'm going to get in anywhere!"). She was very headstrong about applying only for schools where she could actually see herself. She went into her first audition feeling ready, but here's what happened: she was called in fairly early with Paolo. She did her monologues, he gave her some adjustments, she did them with his adjustments, and he complimented her. Then, he asked her, "How are your grades?" She said, "I have good grades, but I'm not great at math. And also, I have ADD." Oyyyy...I guess we didn't coach her on the interview! It's kind of a funny story now in retrospect, because she has a 3.7 GPA unweighted, and a 1980 SAT score, so she's solid academically. But, when Paolo asked if she had any questions, she said no. I think these were her big mistakes in that first audition. I told her then, "Never volunteer that you have ADD and always ask a few questions! It shows that you're interested in the program." Lesson: definitely coach your kids on the interview portion! Also, don't schedule your first audition with one of your top schools. Her 2nd audition was with Fordham, where she was offered admission on the spot, so that came at the right time and really helped boost her confidence going into the rest of her auditions.

    All in all, Unifieds were grueling but certainly a memorable experience. She cried when she didn't get called back for DePaul, but other than that, she handled everything well and had a blast. Ultimately, she said that she learned that she takes rejection well. She also had a fairly good feel on how her auditions went - the schools where she was accepted, she felt very confident about, and the schools from which she was rejected were not unexpected based on the feeling she got from her auditors, except for Purchase (she was filmed at LA Unifieds, allegedly the equivalent to a call-back, so she was disappointed and surprised to not have made at least the waitlist).

    When the acceptances/rejections rolled in, I was most surprised that she wasn't accepted to Skidmore or Muhlenberg! Those were, in my mind, her "safe" schools, at least according to the stats on our school's Naviance program. I found myself wondering, how bad would it have been if she didn't get in anywhere? Was it my fault for not pushing her to apply to more safe schools? But then I remember that she DID have some great choices, so I stop beating myself up.

    Even though my D thought that she wanted a BFA, she chose the BA at Fordham. Its small size pushed it over Tisch, and its location pushed it over Emerson. She said that she realized that learning about things other than theatre would help her become a better artist, and she grew excited about the large core curriculum at Fordham. When she got off the waitlist at Syracuse, it threw her for a loop for about a week, and she struggled with the decision, but she stuck with Fordham.

    This whole journey took so much out of me; I think only you theatre parents could truly understand! I feel as if the last 7 months have been completely devoted to college admissions and stressing about my daughter's future. I think we could not have known that all along, they would be okay! This process is simply designed to cause us to worry, stress, and obsess, because other than composing charts, calendaring dates, and acting as a general assistant and fan, we have no control over the process. I am so happy and relieved to be done, and looking forward to graduation on May 29. I am exhausted, excited, and so emotional!
  • bromquestbromquest Registered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    Congratulations! I think Fordham is such an exciting choice!
  • connectionsconnections Registered User Posts: 1,327 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    I love these stories. Thanks for sharing, Sherryjane73! I second your advice about rehearsing for the interview and not going with your top choice first, if at all possible--my daughter did a similar thing at her Guthrie audition several years back and I was wincing at what she'd said to the auditors. On the other hand, she's now at Northwestern, and loves it there, so maybe these things are meant to be. (She was also rejected from Skidmore btw!) Fordham is a fabulous school. Very exciting for her!

    Btw, Sherryjane73, is there any chance we were sitting together during the long Juilliard audition? I sat next to a mom whose daughter went to a small private school in LA. I spent the whole day at that audition and yet didn't ask anyone if they were on CC! I should have worn a T shirt or something....
  • entertainersmomentertainersmom Registered User Posts: 1,414 Senior Member
    Congratulations!!!
  • bromquestbromquest Registered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    Yessss I agree a little interview prep is a good idea. My son was asked by one auditioner whether he could dance and responded apologetically that he can "move" but is not a dancer. They responded with advice that he take a couple dance classes if he is serious about this path. No acceptance from them :/ A lot of 17-18 year olds don't understand that this is not the time to be modest. I guess we parents have ourselves to blame for over emphasizing manners and humility!
  • EastchesterMomEastchesterMom Registered User Posts: 795 Member
    @bromquest‌ -- what an awful experience your son had! During my D's audition journey, I couldn't help but notice that some of these schools seem to expect these kids to be Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers already and emphasize dance in the audition. Guess they don't intend to teach the kids anything, since they're expected to know it all already! Others have no dance audition and let you know that they will place the kids in appropriate dance classes once they arrive on campus. Wish I had known this going in...we would have avoided the former and emphasized the latter. My D committed to Molloy/CAP 21, where there was no dance audition...but make no mistake, they will train her in dance...we have already been told that she will dance her little feet off.
  • OctaviarOctaviar Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    I've been a little confused about that myself... if they are looking for already skilled and polished what does the 60k a year cover?
  • EastchesterMomEastchesterMom Registered User Posts: 795 Member
    @Octaviar -- I agree 100%. I think it's terrible to tell a kid that if he's not a skilled dancer at 17 or 18, he's not committed to an MT career. Despite all the negative vibe about AMDA, they were one of the schools that explained to us that they intend to train their students in Broadway-style dance themselves, so they are not looking for polished dancers in their audition. I just saw Les Miz, and the actor playing Enjolras (Kyle Scatliffe) is an AMDA grad...he was amazing!
  • bromquestbromquest Registered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    Just want to clarify my last post that my son really liked that audition and interview and took the comment as valuable advice. (It was an Acting program at a conservatory and not MT by the way.) I shared it because we think there was a better way to answer that question if he could go back in time and do it again. The question did surprise him though since he's NOT MT. Maybe it further supports the argument posed by other CC'ers that even the acting majors at conservatories are placing a greater emphasis on MT skills - at least this school, this year.
  • EastchesterMomEastchesterMom Registered User Posts: 795 Member
    All the more reason why the question shouldn't have been asked in the first place, and why the auditor's response to your son's answer was mean and inappropriate. Aren't these kids under enough pressure?
  • halflokumhalflokum Registered User Posts: 1,870 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    I don't read what bromquest wrote as anything mean nor inappropriate and I'm not sure she took it that way either. It sounds like small talk in the audition room or a stock question to gauge dance level more than anything else and that line of questioning is fair play and should be answered honestly. Perhaps they were encouraging her son to take some dance this summer which is actually good advice for movers and advanced dancers even in straight acting programs.

    I'm not sure how many schools are still looking exclusively year after year for the highly trained dancers. Maybe U of OK? Penn State? Elon? (or none of those 3... not the parent of a highly-trained dancer so it wasn't on our radar) but I do know that schools will from time to time deliberately seek them out and some schools like NYU that changed up their dance audition last year to not pay as much attention to it, put it back in the mix this year. Rumor has it that TSU really sought out dancers in particular this year to compliment their already overflowing wealth of leading ladies.

    College programs will certainly endeavor to train you and will work with whatever you bring to the table. But as far as dance goes, if you are an untrained dancer when you get to their program, in 4 years you will leave their program as a better trained dancer. That is always valuable, but you will probably never book chorus work in the most competitive markets (like NYC) that requires the far superior dance skills with a line out the door willing and able to take those jobs. That's just the reality for major markets. In some regional markets you might discover that hey surprise, I'm the dancer even though I didn't start until college.
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