As Fall approaches and the temperatures drop (finally), I am usually so excited for the start of school and the start of our Fall season here at Artistree. However this year, it’s slightly bittersweet, as the studio is missing three faces that have been us for ten years. They are our first group of graduating Seniors, who are now Freshmen in college. And it was just this time last year that we were scrambling to get their prescreen tapes done, weeding through each schools individual requirements and helping calm their nerves as they waiting for their early decision choices.
Things have certainly changed since I was accepted into my Musical Theater program. And now that I am watching my most beloved students making this very big decision, I want to impart some of the wisdom that I have learned on the other side.
If your child is thinking about going to college for theater or musical theater, the preparation really needs to begin NOW, no matter what their age. And the sooner the better. Here are a few tips that you must follow:
ATTEND A SUMMER PROGRAM
I would absolutely recommend attending a summer theater program at one of the prestigious colleges the summer between your junior and senior year. Northwestern, Michigan and Carnegie-Mellon are just a few of the wonderful programs that offer summer intensives that can enhance your child’s chances of getting into one of these schools. They are able to work with and be seen by the faculty of these schools, which can be huge come decision time. Plus, the creative experience and training they receive is unparalleled.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE STUDYING TECHNIQUE
Private coaching is a must for someone applying to a good theater school. Gone are the days where you can walk in green. These days, excellent vocal, dance and acting technique are required JUST TO GET AN AUDITION. Do not rely on natural talent. You must study privately with excellent teachers as soon as possible.
You would never stop playing the sport you wanted to go to college for to concentrate on other things. And performing is no different. You must take the technique that you learn and apply it in a setting with other actors. There is no substitute for stage time in front of a live audience. Every single time you step onstage, you learn something. And colleges are looking for extensive resumes in their applicants
AND, REMEMBER–YOU WILL BE WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE
After all is said and done, if you have done the work, you have sit back and trust that you will be put where you are supposed to be. That’s how the universe works. And your special and unique artistic talents are going to shine through and be vital to the program that you are selected for.
Being an artist is not an easy road. But if there’s nothing else you can ever see yourself doing, then work hard, prepare, and trust. Your future and an amazing college journey awaits you.