While it may seem hard to believe, summer is coming to a close and the school year is ramping up. If you are a senior, you are probably feeling ready, excited and…completely stressed out! Fall of Senior year is an especially stressful time as the next few months are crucial months to stay organized and on top of college applications and auditions. Balancing school demands, a social life and applications is stressful enough – but throw in scheduling and preparing for auditions and it’s enough to make your head spin.
Here are some crucial items that need to be tackled in the month of September for a performing arts applicant:
You are bound to have multiple pre-screen schools on your list that will require you to upload audition videos. Before you are ready to upload your materials, it’s super smart to make a profile so you are ready once you feel comfortable material wise. Once you have made a profile, browse the directory to add schools to your list and read up on past blog posts to gain some helpful insight into the college audition process.
What are my dream schools? Am I meeting the academic standards? What schools are realistic? These are all important questions to ask yourself. Make sure to have a list that is structured with Reaches, Matches and Safeties that is based on both the performing arts side and academic standards. Need help figuring out what schools are a good match for you? Check out our program Perfect Fit. You can upload audition material and one of our industry experts will thoughtfully review them and respond with feedback and college suggestions. Our expert will make sure it has a good balance of Reach Schools, Matches and Safeties based on your material, and will provide information (like acceptance rates) for each school.
Want to pursue a degree in the performing arts? Ask yourself these questions first.
Summer is the perfect time to start to get organized for college applications and potentially, college auditions. Maybe you have already begun prepping and are completely sure this is the right career path for you – or maybe you are toying with the idea of getting a fine arts degree but aren’t completely sure. Maybe you want the performing arts to be a part of your college career but are not positive in what capacity.
Either way, making this huge commitment to get a degree in theatre, music or dance takes some serious soul searching. Here are some questions I recommend asking yourself to help determine what you’d realistically like to pursue in college:
Is this something I want to pursue full time or is this more of a hobby?
If you attend a conservatory for performing arts, you can guarantee you will be working on your craft 24/7. There will be little to no time for anything else. If you attend a Liberal Arts school and pursue a BFA/BM, you will still take general education classes but will have very little additional room for anything outside your major. If you know that nothing would make you happier than performing and training and you want little to no outside commitments – this is definitely a major you should pursue. If you know you love to perform but have an equal interest in another field, maybe a minor in Theatre/Music/Dance or a school where you can double major is right for you. You don’t have to be set on a having a “career” in the performing arts to enjoy doing it. They can always be a part of your life – it’s the capacity of how much you want it to be in your life that is up to you.
Senior year is complete! The sun is out and you are ready to enjoy summer before your next big adventure begins. I wanted to offer a few suggestions to be sure to incorporate into your summer plans!
Here are 10 things to do before college begins (eek!):
Connect with your soon-to-be roomie
Not only is it important for you to bond – but it’s also important to figure out who is bringing the TV! Friend them on Facebook, follow them on Instagram and get to know them through phone calls over the next few months. It’ll make move-in day much more fun!
Visit with your doctor
While it’s never a super fun visit, it’s important to check in with your doctor before school. Get prescriptions to anything you will need throughout the year and it might be smart to have a physical before you leave.
Check in with your parents and have a frank conversation about money and spending. If you need a new debit card, now is the time to set that up. If your parents will be helping you throughout the year, make sure you understand the parameters so you don’t blow your budget!
Get a summer job
Keeping with the theme of organizing your finances, if you can, it would be beneficial for you to nab a summer job. Having the extra cash while in college is very helpful. If you’ll be supporting yourself, books and school supplies can really add up. Also, you just never know when you’ll need to order that late night pizza!
Ready for the best four years of life? Well, here they come! College allows you the freedom to become the person you are destined to be while studying the thing you absolutely love the most. You’ll develop lifelong friends and make memories that you’ll never forget. And if you are a Musical Theatre/Theatre major you have a plethora of things to look forward to within your major!
Here are the top 5 things you should be getting excited about:
You’ll be surrounded by people who speak your language…finally.
Booked it, Riff, Bevel, Fierce, Kick-Your-Face and Living are just a few of the words that will be in your daily conversation with your classmates. You can talk about all of the musical theatre goddesses you are stalking on Youtube everyday if you want. You’ve found your people at last, my friend.
Your class schedule will make your non-theatre friends laugh.
Your day starts with ballet, then you have a quick break before Scene Study where you are currently playing an 80-year-old woman, then you have Clowning and your day ends with Improvisation where everyone will be improvising their feelings and then talking about how that made them feel for 2 hours!
It’s getting close to final decision time (May 1st is just around the corner!) and you may be stressed because you are having a difficult time choosing which college to put your deposit down on. Many times, the final decision comes down to finances and what you and your family can feasibly afford. Your dream school might just be out of reach because realistically, you can’t afford it. That can be very tough to stomach.
I have had lots of conversations over the past few weeks with families weighing the decision to send their kid to a school they can’t afford. While I am a complete and total advocate for college training programs (you’ll need to be trained to be competitive in this field!), you need to be completely honest with yourself about what type of debt you are willing to take on. Graduating with a degree in acting, music or dance gives you absolutely no guarantee for employment in the future and graduating with a mountain of debt can be suffocating.
Do not go into major debt attending a performing arts college. When you graduate, your top priority will be to find work that’s (hopefully) within your field. You’ll most likely need to supplement, for awhile at least, with another job as well. One of the biggest mistakes I see young graduates doing is filling their schedule to the brim with “day jobs” in order to survive and pay for rent, food and….yes, student loans. The first thing that gets eliminated when you do this is auditioning, networking and everything that is fundamental to building a career in the arts. You get stretched too thin. Don’t let crippling student loan debt be one of the reasons for missing a once in a lifetime audition!