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BFA Acting Class of 2024: Preparation, Prescreens, Auditions, Questions and Support

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Replies to: BFA Acting Class of 2024: Preparation, Prescreens, Auditions, Questions and Support

  • MTmom2017MTmom2017 529 replies2 threads Member
    @Goggleson we set up the email right before she started all of the applications so her "official" email was the shared one. It was the one that admissions departments got with the actual college application, as well as it being the one we used for the theatre departments when sending prescreens/scheduling auditions. She still received college marketing-type emails to her regular email address, but the ones we needed to really pay attention to went to the new/shared one.

    @rickle1, each school/program is very different and it truly depends on what your D wants. There are "top tier" schools that are frequently on those lists that get published (as I'm typing this I just got a Casting Networks email with a ranking of the top 25 graduate acting programs!), but there are many other great schools out there that have fantastic training. Some are very expensive, and some are not. Probably everyone on this board can tell you stories of people they know on Broadway, or in tv shows or movies who didn't go to college at all, and others who went to one of the "top" schools who are working survival jobs. So yes, it's about the talent! It's also about what your D wants out of her college experience.
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  • rickle1rickle1 2261 replies19 threads Senior Member
    ^ seems to be more interested in a conservatory type program. Doesn't really care about the traditional college experience (at least she doesn't think so - I think that's a shame as she doesn't know what she's missing). She really justs wants to perform, write, and maybe direct. Doesn't really care about traditional academic classes.
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  • NYDreammomNYDreammom 396 replies0 threads Member
    @rickle1 You can have your daughter do a blind curriculum review of BFA programs to see where she gravitates without regards to the name. But expect she may change her mind between now and end of audition season about what exactly she wants in a program, especially after visits. Last year's thread (Class of 2022) was very helpful, recommend reading it all. Cast a wide net and ultimately she and your family will make the right decision for her.
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  • actorparent1actorparent1 807 replies6 threads Member
    @rickle1, if she wants a conservatory program with very little academics, then NYU is not the right choice. My D was the same way and didn't apply to NYU for that reason. It's a wonderful program for those who WANT strong academics with great training.
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  • anastasiasmomanastasiasmom 208 replies2 threads Junior Member
    edited June 2019
    For those who like to plan ahead, here are the dates for this year's National Unified Auditions:

    Pearl Studios 500 8th Ave., NY
    New York - Jan 18 &19

    Palmer House Hotel
    Chicago - Feb 3 -6

    Westin Hotel (LAX airport)
    Los Angeles - Feb 7-9
    edited June 2019
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  • GogglesonGoggleson 22 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @MTmom2017 thanks for the info! And same to you @anastasiasmom for those dates.
    Has anyone decided which Unifieds they're attending? We're closer to NYC (could drive rather than fly) but the impression I get is that Chicago might be a bit easier to navigate and more schools might be there. Would love to hear what others are thinking.
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  • anastasiasmomanastasiasmom 208 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @Goggleson

    We will be going to Chicago. I've already booked our hotel. It's closer to us and from what I've read more schools are in Chicago during the National Unified Audition dates. I've also read that some schools are there a day or two before and possibly a day after the official Chicago dates. But that doesn't mean that the NY and Los Angeles venues are not well attended by colleges and universities. The National Unified Audition webpage only lists the schools that are registered with them. Many schools are in those cities at the same time in the same hotels listed or in hotels nearby.

    Veteran parents, please feel free to clarify or correct me if needed.
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  • mindatworkmindatwork 153 replies5 threads Junior Member
    We went to both for a couple reasons - one to limit the number of audition trips overall and also to not put all of my son's eggs in one basket. This turned out to be a good decision because he got sick in NY. There is a great deal of overlap between schools that hold auditions at or near the Unified locations but there are always a handful that don't go to all of them. This year Michigan only went to Chicago. NYU offered on-campus auditions during NY Unifieds. I think Shenandoah only went to NY and not Chicago (but I'm not positive about my memory on that!) We just looked at the various audition dates/locations offered by each school and tried to create a reasonable list for each city.

    As far as convenience, staying at the Palmer House obviously makes it a little bit easier to get to the auditions in the hotel. But in Chicago, several of my son's auditions were at different locations - BU, Syracuse, Rutgers and Roosevelt were not at the Palmer House. I believe Julliard was at the same hotel as BU and Rutgers also. It was fine because Chicago is an easy city to navigate. It was fun for my son and his friends to be in the same hotel all week and I think being able to hang out together probably helped with their stress levels. In NY, there are many hotels within a block of Pearl Studios. But again, there are schools in other locations like NYU and Pace on campus, Shenandoah at a different studio, etc. NY is also very easy to navigate so this wasn't an issue for us. I can't give any opinion on LA because we didn't go to that one but my impression was it was a lot more laid back.
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  • NYDreammomNYDreammom 396 replies0 threads Member
    We only did NYC because most of the schools we were interested in were in NYC so actually did the on-campus auditions wherever possible. We found the Unifieds too crazy - way crowded (budget extra time for building entrance checks and elevator queues) and less personal but some people like that energy.
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  • anastasiasmomanastasiasmom 208 replies2 threads Junior Member
    We also plan on scheduling on campus auditions besides going to Chicago. Partly due to scheduling unknowns (dates and times available and ones that don't overlap) and partly due to on campus only auditions on her list. I am putting dates on a spreadsheet as they are posted on each college website that she will apply to just to get an idea of what is available. Also, I know some schools want applications before you set up the audition time slot, some just want the application completed prior to the audition, and others, like Otterbein, tell you to send in a prescreen and wait to find out if you are invited to a live audition before you apply to the school. It's enough to make my head spin!


    @NYDreammom I appreciate the heads up on the craziness and factoring in extra time. That is oh so helpful!! @mindatwork that's an excellent point about spreading out the audition schedule.
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  • toowonderfultoowonderful 4077 replies68 threads Senior Member
    NYU will be in Chicago during the unified period (though they are not a unified school) - that’s where my D did her audition :)

    I noticed that LA unifieds are IMMEDIATELY after Chicago this year.... that could affect timeslots of schools if they need to leave time to travel etc. Could be an issue if there are any concerns with weather......in Chicago.....in February....
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  • MTmom2017MTmom2017 529 replies2 threads Member
    I don't know when they were this year (2019), but last year LA was immediately after Chicago & a big storm was scheduled to come in on Friday. People (auditors & students) were frantically trying to get earlier flights - it was crazy!

    My MT D only did Chicago, but she didn't want to go to school in NYC. Acting D did both New York and Chicago, as she had several NYC school auditions that she could knock out that weekend, along with a few others so she didn't have to do so many in Chicago. We are not close to any of the schools where either D was auditioning. As far as where to stay - we liked being at the Palmer House for the convenience, but a number of the schools were at other hotels. D had friends there she could hang out with in the evenings, which she enjoyed. We also splurged on the Executive Floor - they had continental breakfast, evening hors d’oeuvres (this was our dinner a couple of nights), snacks & drinks during the day. The bar is open in the evenings and it's much calmer than the main one downstairs. If you'll be doing lots of traveling, sign up for Hilton Honors & get points! There are also lots of people who choose not to stay at the Palmer House because it's so crowded/chaotic. Do what will be best for your child.

    For scheduling auditions, I bought a paper calendar and wrote all of the possible audition dates in pencil (dates were on the spreadsheet too). As we got them scheduled, I'd erase everything but the scheduled time & put it in ink. It helped us actually seeing it on paper.
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  • GogglesonGoggleson 22 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Thanks all of you for sharing your thoughts and I especially love when those who have been through it come back to help us newbies out. You people already deserve a medal, based on what I've read in the past threads, so thanks for paying it forward.
    Really need to get S to start looking more decisively at his college list so I can start looking at those audition dates. Hoping once exams are finished and school breaks up, I can catch him in that small break before he goes into summer mode. He's definitely more relaxed about all this than me, but then he hasn't been on this forum. ;-)
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  • artskidsartskids 1528 replies22 threads Senior Member
    ^^^same with 2016 AND 2018. Storms were coming and auditors/auditionees were scrambling to move auditions up and get out! We were able to leave early in 2018 (and some of the schools finished early to head to LA) but in 2016, the normal 6 hour-ish drive from Chicago to the east side of Cleveland took almost twice that. Always a joy to be in Chicago in February :-)
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  • sagezinniasagezinnia 18 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I am new to posting but have been reading threads for a bit and find them very helpful, thanks for all the info! One of my biggest concerns, besides financial, is the timeline. I understand the importance of applying early and the deadlines are obvious, but the "early" is not so clear cut. My D is away all July at summer intensive, and while she has done some work towards the goal of applications/auditions, the majority will be done in Aug. & Sept. -- is this the norm, if there even is a norm? - appreciate any insight.
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  • anastasiasmomanastasiasmom 208 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Hi @sagezinnia

    I reviewed the posts from class of 2022 & 2023. Most of them talk about having applications and prescreens in by the end of September to mid October (some earlier and some in November). From what I've read the advantage to getting things done by early October is that you have more choices for audition dates. Some schools fill their audition dates earlier than other schools too. So if there is a "norm" then by past posts I would say early to mid October is the time frame.

    Also, some schools have already started to post the audition dates for this coming year.
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  • yellahammayellahamma 111 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @sagezinnia - Agree with @anastasiasmom. Begin checking for prescreen/audition info soon. D was ready last year but missed the Elon fall prescreen deadline by a few days. I think it was 9/21 or 9/22. Good luck!
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  • sagezinniasagezinnia 18 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Thanks @anastasiasmom and @yellahamma - D is tracking dates she has found up to this point, and waiting for some not yet released I believe. It will be a very busy August!
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