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Looking To Pursue A BFA In Musical Theatre/Acting In College?

By Lisa Perez
By Lisa Perez

Pursuing a degree in musical theatre or acting is a process. It can also be very costly and stressful. There are increasing demands and requirements placed on students hoping to get into a top performing arts program. Each and every year the competition continues to increase. 

Here are 5 tips to help you command the spotlight.

Number One – Training classes: 

You may have natural talent, but fine-tuning your skill is important.  There are many alternatives to traditional brick and mortar training.  Using virtual platforms like Skype allows you to have lessons at home saving on time and travel.  Dance training is tricky—find a studio that’s convenient to you and take basic classes in ballet and jazz.  While you don’t have to be a life-long dancer, you will be expected to pick up choreography quickly.  Being familiar with terms and movements will give you a leg up!

Number Two – Do your research:

Start by making a list of what’s important to you in a performing arts college program and then begin to compare and contrast them. This takes effort and time but may be the most important step to save you time and money when going through the audition process.  Why pay, apply and audition somewhere that’s not right for you?

Number Three – BE OPEN to choices:

Many students focus on the name or reputation of a program when compiling their list.  There are lots of great performing arts programs, so do your research. Most programs only take 10-16 students per year.  Making sure your list is realistic is crucial.  Your list should always include: reach, fit and safety schools. The competition is fierce, so make certain that you have a well-balanced list.  Compiling a list only comprised of highly competitive schools may yield fewer results.  At the end of this process, you want options!  You may be pleasantly surprised to discover and learn about programs you never knew existed.

Number Four  – Stay ORGANIZED:

There are many steps to getting into a college performing arts program but they all begin with the application. In 99% percent of programs, you must first apply to the institution, before submitting an audition request.  This takes time, LOTS of time.  Each school has its own set of requirements and essays.  This part of the process requires a great deal of time management.  Make certain to check your timeline daily and set up reminders.  Many students apply to 15-20 programs. There will be deadlines on top of deadlines!  It is easy to miss one if you are not organized.

Number Five – Be Prepared: You can act, sing and dance but….what about the audition itself? Make certain to check the school requirements for each audition.  Some schools will provide an accompanist and some will ask you to bring pre-recorded tracks.  Some schools require songs from certain time eras.  You may be required to have a 16 bar cut, 32 bar cut or an entire song. These are just a few of the many requirements for an audition.  In order to be prepared, you must know what’s coming.

The journey to a degree in performing arts is long and complicated. Make certain to stay organized, informed, focused and confident.  Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it!

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