I Didn’t Pass a Pre-Screen. Now what?

Getting a rejection early in the college audition season can be a huge blow to one’s confidence, ultimately leading you to question your ability and destiny. Many thoughts might begin to run through your head: If this school doesn’t want me, will any others? Am I really good enough to be doing this? What if I don’t get in anywhere?

What I would first like to say is: it’s okay to be sad! Take the necessary time to feel a bit sad about the outcome and then when you’re ready, pick yourself up and move on. As you know, this career choice will come with lots of rejections – so, now is as good a time as any to start to develop that thick skin!

Next, I want you to consider this: it simply could have nothing to do with you. The school could be looking for something very particular in this year’s class and you just might not fit their needs. That does not mean you won’t get in anywhere – it just means you aren’t the right fit for this program. And who wants to attend a program where they wouldn’t be a good fit?

While it may seem hard to do so, I’d like you to focus on what positives this can bring to your journey. First, this means you can successfully take this school off your list (unless you’d be happy there not being in your desired program) and save those travel and audition fees. I suggest possibly using those funds for another school if you have the time and resources. A huge benefit of finding out pre-screen results early is that you have the option to insert another program into that school’s place. If you hadn’t received results early via a pre-screen, this “no” could have been dragged out until March or April leaving you no time to re-group!

Use this rejection as a chance to reflect on your audition materials. Don’t make yourself crazy overanalyzing, however! Chances are, like I said above, it could have nothing to do with your audition material but some factor you cannot control. However, if you already had doubts about your second song choice – now’s the time to consider a change! Pick something new and fresh that could give you a confidence boost.

Think about what you loved about the pre-screen school and what factors made you excited to apply. I guarantee there is another school out there that’s slightly less competitive but still maintains the structure and foundation that you want from a program. If you are a potential Musical Theatre or Acting major and are having trouble deciphering what schools may be better fits or have better odds of acceptance, be sure to check out our new BestFit offering – an opportunity for one of our industry experts to carefully review your materials, taking into account your school preferences. They will provide you personal written feedback on your audition materials, potential programs to add to your list, additional prep to be doing and more.

Take this first no as motivation instead of setback. Use it to fuel you and put your best foot forward for the rest of your auditions. You can’t go to every school, so rejections are necessary in order to discover the perfect program. While it may sound like a great thing, too many acceptances are not helpful either! It makes choosing a program that much more difficult.

So, brush it off, tell yourself that’s not where you are meant to be and get ready for a wild ride for the next few months. College auditions here you come!


About Chelsea Diehl

Chelsea is a social contributor for Acceptd and the founder of My College Audition.