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Anybody know about CCM Drama/SMU Acting?

stagehog111stagehog111 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited February 2010 in Theater/Drama Majors
I was just wondering how hard these programs are to get into and how good they are. I know the MT program at CCM is amazing, but I don't know much about the Drama program. Does anyone know how many people usually audition for CCM Drama/SMU Acting each year, and how many students the schools accept?

Post edited by stagehog111 on

Replies to: Anybody know about CCM Drama/SMU Acting?

  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    Try posting this over on the theater and drama colleges thread under ARTS.
  • littlemermaid13littlemermaid13 Registered User Posts: 124 Junior Member
    what does smu stand for?
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,559 Senior Member
    Southern Methodist University...which is in Texas.
  • ilbamomilbamom Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    SMU offers a BFA degree in Acting and in Theatre Studies with emphasis in playwriting, or directing or stage menagement. They accept about 24 students a year with half being acting track and half theatre studies. The classes are exactly the same the first 2 years. This program has a strong l
    iberal arts component. Admissions is very competitive.
  • jypas91jypas91 Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    I go to a PA school in Kentucky, and a lot of our best seniors go on to CCM for drama or MT. The acting program is also apparently very competitive, and completely worth it, from what I've heard. I don't know how many people audition, but it's ranked pretty high.
  • counselorcounselor Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    As someone who directed theater in Chicago and now lives in Europe I can recommend that a theater aspirant consider universities in city centers like Dallas (SMU), Loyola University (Chicago), etc. While places like Northwestern University or Yale or UCLA have excellent programs, they are extremely competitive and even the better-than-average student may struggle to find a spotlight. The real spotlights are on the stages across large metropolitan areas--offering great training and opportunity. Find a school where the professors are active in directing and producing in the cities as well.

    Another option is overseas. Head to Europe. There are plenty of exciting universities offering great theater programs--London, Glasgow, Stockholm! Fees are lower than most US universities as well and in places like Stockholm, you'll be welcomed as the intriguing outsider. After graduation, you can return to the US and appear worldly and interesting too! And maybe you'll even have an extra language or two under your belt!
  • roseredrosered Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Can you compare SMU with LIPA? Is LIPA well regarded as an acting school? If you had to choose between SMU and LIPA, what would your choice be? Also, CalArts?
  • chrissybluchrissyblu Registered User Posts: 709 Member
    CCM accepts about 33% of the students that apply to the program, according to the stats. My D was accepted to the program this year, but turned it down in favor of UCLA. That being said, she spent a wonderful day at CCM before making her final decision. Here is what she learned:

    The CCM Acting students are, in her words, among the "nicest kids she ever met." She spent some time with them, attending their voice class with Rocko, who was an amazing professor. They made her feel welcome and a part of their program.

    The facilities are amazing. Until we saw UCLA's facilities, they were the best. UCLA also has amazing facilities. But CCM is incredible. The entire campus is incredible.

    They do the real conservatory style program. You get mask work, stage combat, intensive conservatory work in voice, movement, acting, etc. Rocko is the best voice instructor in the world.

    The black box theatre is really the coolest. It is altered each quarter to force the actors to learn to work in a different style - in the round, three quarter, etc. Very cool.

    Okay. The negatives.

    Cuts. They call them "the boards." They weigh heavily on everyone's minds in freshman year and they do happen. People get cut. This must be so because this years Acting graduating class has six students in it. That's all. Six. What happened to the other 6-8?

    The neighborhood. I'm not a chicken/rich chick used to living in high society. I lived in Berkeley off of Telegraph. I lived in the Tenderloin in San Francisco. But the neighborhood just outside of CCM is not good.

    Alumni network - its just not the same as other schools like CMU, NYU, Juilliard, UCLA, USC, or Cal Arts. If you go to one of those schools and graduate, you are "in" a club that will take care of you and has the clout to do it. (Hollywood, NYC).

    Academics - is there a challenge? Can't say for sure. They did throw money at my daughter for academics. That was really nice. Not sure there is much academic challenge if this means anything to you.

    MT - the MT kids are the beloved children. Acting kids take, well, second place. You can feel it. Its not stated, but its there.

    Those are just my D's impressions. But you have to figure these things out yourself. Go. Tour. See.

    But I will say this: I think CCM Acting is absolutely one of the up and coming schools. I would put it with Emerson as one of the look over your shoulder, here it comes schools. In a few years, someone is going to break out of there big and and everyone will want to go to CCM for Acting.
  • chrissybluchrissyblu Registered User Posts: 709 Member
    I just saw you asked about Cal Arts, so I will respond about that too. Cal Arts accepts about 7% or so each year. Again, my D applied and was accepted and it came down to UCLA v. Cal Arts.

    The pluses:

    Well, the faculty are so positive. They have this "feel good' "touchy feely" vibe going on. They call you on the phone. They talk to you. They make you feel like you are the greatest actor that walked the planet. Its a very supportive place.

    Work with MFA's - the BFA's and the MFA's work together on everything practically. They are in shows together. The BFA's are directed by MFA's. The theory is that the BFA's can learn from the MFA's. My D liked this because it meant the BFA's would not be ignored in favor of the MFA's. Rather, the MFA's would be part of her life.

    Work with film, animation kids: as they like to remind you at Cal Arts, you are buying a network when you pay the high tuition. The Cal Arts filmmakers and animation students are the people who will run Disney some day. The Actors work with these kids, making connections that last a lifetime. You can leave school with a DVD of your voiceover work.

    Academics - you are required to do critical studies, which is basically general ed. You have to do some basic studies. So, unlike CMU which barely has you do any general ed, you have set courses you have to take. Its not intense, but it exists. This is a good thing.

    Location: Near LA baby.

    Okay.... the negatives:

    The campus isn't as nice as my D's high school. They really need to work on the buildings.

    Not enough housing. No guaranteed housing. Most students end up living in apartments nearby and walking up the hill or getting a car and driving into campus, which apparently is cheaper, but not so great for the college life experience.

    No rec centers. They have a pool and some small gym stuff. That's all.

    They are a little 'out there" in their approach to things. You have to be willing to stretch and be innovative. They believe you should learn how to make your own work.

    Its outside of LA. Its a bit of a hoof to get there, especially if you don't have a car.

    Its ridiculously expensive.

    That's what my D thought about Cal Arts.
  • 2dogs1cat2dogs1cat Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    My son has applied to SMU and I must say that the campus is beautiful. The school was modeled after the University of Virginia - it has the same rotunda but much much bigger (well, it is in Texas). It is located in the heart of Dallas, and in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the "metroplex" (what the area of cities that combine Dallas and Fort Worth). It is a school with a very rich endowment and will be able to sustain scholarships offers through the years. It does not have a MT program - it has a voice program and an acting program, however it appeared that the schools are somehow working together - and the idea of "MT" is not discouraged. You can double major - even if you are applying for the BFA in acting - an idea I really like (as a mom I think that my S should get as much out of college as possible - including a possible back burner type of career). I live here in the metroplex and the weather here is HOT. If you can not handle the heat (many days over 100 - but in the middle of the summer) don't come.

    I don't know enough about "acting" to give you the cons of the school - but will tell you that the staff there is incredibly kind and informative. Dallas now has a brand new threatre complex - Fort Worth has Bass Hall - and in between quite an active theatre community. The school does allow you to work on stage outside of class - so you can audition for the large and small companies.

    This is not an inexpensive school - and it does attract a lot of kids from very wealthy Southern families-but I have never heard anything but nice things about the school. I hope that my son will be admitted to the BFA for many reasons...but also so that he won't be off on the East coast so far from home (I can be a bit selfish - not that my son will take any of that into consideration when he chooses where to go - at 17 he thinks that the farther he can get away the better).

    I hope that this helps anyone out there thinking of SMU...I don't work for them, and I'm not an alum...so I have nothing to gain from this comment.
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