Saturday, March 24, 2007

Grad School Update

After an exhausting month of stress and anxiety, my MFA Acting auditions for grad school are finally over! Here's the rundown on my progress in case you've been following along:

As you know, I totally blew my first audition for School No. 1. It prompted my cathartic 21-stanza Audition Haiku. What can I say? I was depressed and writing about it helped. But I didn't really want to go there anyway, so it's all good.

The audition at School No. 2 went very well which I posted about here. Thank you all for your words of encouragement and support after both these posts! I had my visit to the campus of School No. 2 earlier this week which was enlightening. This school's program probably has the best reputation of any of the schools I'm applying to, so I was expecting a lot and for the most part what I observed lived up to my expectations. However, I've come to the realization that I will have to get over the fact that a lot of what I'll be studying in these programs are things I already know from my professional experience or from my undergrad studies. This became quite evident in a voice/verse class when the professor stepped out of the room to leave the students to do a scansion analysis of their Shakespeare monologues. I began to help the girl I was looking on with (because she needed it desperately) which prompted a chain reaction of other students seeking my advice for this line or that or in some cases whole sections of monologues. It made me feel like the big man on campus--or more accurately, the "old man" on campus, which is another thing I'll have to get over.

I got to meet briefly with one of the faculty members at School No. 2 who will be making the admissions decisions and expressed to her my interest in the program once again and tried to glean some information on my chances of acceptance. I left with no better idea than I came with though, so we'll see. I should know by mid-April.

School No. 3's audition went well for the most part, too. I was slightly thrown because of the space in which I had to audition and the fact that I wasn't really provided with any warm-up space for preparation. This audition was slightly different, too, in that the faculty wanted to see a scene rather than monologues like at the other schools. So I had to enlist the help of a friend to do the scene, burdening not only my own psyche with this anxiety but someone else's as well. I ended up getting wait-listed there. Better than a flat out rejection, and it's my third choice school anyway.

My audition for School No. 4 was last weekend. This by far was the most pleasant audition experience. The students who checked me in were extremely friendly and accommodating giving me a choice of warm-up rooms. There were at least six faculty in the audition room (more than any other school) and after I presented my monologues they did a very thorough interview. Each question was very thoughtful and almost every faculty member in the room had a question for me. I was called back the next day along with 20 other perspective students. They ran a very pleasant yet thorough call back process in which we were led in everything from voice and movement exercises to improv. I left there feeling like they had a good sense of who I am and what I can do. I can't imagine why I wouldn't be accepted there. But ya never know... It's my second choice school.

Anyway, that's it in a nutshell. For now I'm in wait-and-see mode. I'll keep you all abreast of any news. In the meantime thanks again for all your well wishes and support. It's nice to know there are folks out there in cyberspace pulling for me in addition to those here at home, too!



At 11:34 AM, Blogger Glenn said...

Good luck, Michael. You sure as hell have what it takes to be a success in any MFA program worth your salt. I'm very optimistic.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger Matt said...

I remember when I was auditioning for graduate schools - it was annoying and exhilarating at the same time.

I'm thinking of you, too!

At 12:10 AM, Blogger Donnie said...

Good luck, Michael. I can't to hear how it all turns out. I'll have my fingers crossed for you.

At 12:57 AM, Blogger LSL said...

Yay, an update! I'm so not art-y, so the whole process sounds really demanding and stressful, and very impressive. I think I understand what you mean about your audition at school #2 and already knowing some of what you'll be studying. Life experience and a good undergrad degree goes a long way, doesn't it? I had that experience myself, although in a different field. Are all the schools local or is it possible you'll be moving? We're all pulling for you and can't wait to hear the news :)

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Y | O | Y said...

I'm happy to hear that you recovered from that first audition. I know it had you down...but maybe it was exactly what you needed to put in great performances for the better schools. I don't know squat about them, but your description of #4 sounds like they have their shit together. Look forward to hearing that it all worked out for the best!

At 8:49 PM, Blogger TCho said...

I hope all goes well!


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