Let’s Get Digital: The college admissions process in performing arts

There’s no doubt about it, the college admissions process is overwhelming, especially if you’re pursuing performing arts. From your very first college interview to your in-person audition, it can be confusing and frustrating and totally awesome all at the same time. Here are some tips for mastering the prescreen video!

One of the biggest things when you’re going through the college admission experience for the performing arts is your audition. And it is nerve wracking. You’ve rehearsed for hours and hours, enlisting the help of everybody from your parents to instructors, best friends, siblings, even your dog, and that at end of the day, you are your own worst and best critic.

Here’s the thing, though: If you want to land that in-person audition, you have to nail the prescreening video.

See an example of a good prescreen video here. 

For the performing arts, the prescreening video is often as important as your college interview. Here is your chance to show them what you can do in a controlled environment. It takes a little pressure out of the college admissions process because you are totally in control. You have as many takes as you want, and if you don’t like something, you can just do it again.

But there are some things you should know about creating a prescreening video. Because college admissions and performing arts are kind of our thing at Acceptd, we’ve put a little something together for you. Here are five things to remember when creating a prescreening video.

1. Memorize!

It seems obvious, right? But trust us, it’s not. If you want performing arts programs to know you take the college admissions process seriously, you have to memorize your material.

2. Selfies!

DO NOT TRY TO HOLD THE CAMERA YOURSELF! To create a high quality video, invest in an HD camera and a tripod, even if you have to rent or borrow them. It makes a huge difference.

3. Audio!

Even if your camera has a good microphone, use an external one as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re a dancer, actor, or musician, audio is essential to the performing arts. Be sure to listen carefully for echos, white noise, or random sounds from the next room.

4. Feedback!

Consider your prescreening video the first part of your college interview. This is the first time those important decision-makers will see you doing your thing, and you get to control what they see. Be sure to find out what your teachers think about your video. Prescreen your prescreen. If the professionals you know like it, odds are the college admissions reviewers will too.

5. Lighting!

Even if your sound is great, your materials are perfect, and your video is steady, bad lighting can make the whole prescreening video appear unprofessional. The performing arts are all about connecting with your audience. If your audience can’t see you well, they can’t connect!

These are just the basics.

There are a lot of other resources out there that go into more detail on music, dance, or theatre specific prescreening videos.