Friday, April 27, 2007

Plan B

I've been sitting on this news for about a week now, and it's not good. Despite some promising auditions, callbacks and interviews, all of my applications for graduate school have been unsuccessful with the exception of one school where I made the waiting list. I knew this was a possibility, but never seriously considered the reality.

I've spent the last week mulling the situation over in my mind. Most MFA Acting programs are highly competitive choosing a company of 10 to 12 actors who must work well together in terms of type and talent. They are usually designed for people who have never acted before. In a sense, I've already achieved what most of the students in these programs hope to once they graduate. I have both the training and experience. Also, I think my age was a factor. Being at least a full decade older than most of the other applicants would make it difficult for me to blend into one of these companies. My age came up in the interviews more than once. Questions like "With all your experience, what do you hope to get from this program?" and "How would you feel being in classes with students who are fresh out of undergraduate school?" and the most direct "This program is tough for older actors."

Perhaps I was naive only applying to 4 schools. Perhaps I shouldn't have limited my choices to schools within commuting distance from New York. I want my degree so I can teach acting on the university level someday. But maybe an MFA Acting is not the degree I should be going after since I already have a BFA in Musical Theatre.

It's disheartening, and I'm left to figure out my Plan B. So next year I'll apply for the URTA Auditions (University/Resident Theatre Assoc.). It's a way to audition for many programs around the country at the same time. And it could mean leaving New York for a while at least. Many of the URTA participating programs are affiliated with a resident professional theatre which may be more appropriate for me. I'll also look into other degrees, too, perhaps MA Theatre Arts or Theatre Education programs. I'll use the upcoming year to make up the academics I'll need to be eligible for them. It's easy to systematically plan an alternative route, but it still sucks that everything is still another year away and that everything I've been working toward for the last six months isn't going to happen in September. It feels like starting from square one again. But at least I'm not giving up.

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11 Comments:

At 9:25 AM, Blogger kevin.lambert said...

In spite of the setback, I have every faith in you. You're pursuing something I'm too chicken to consider.
The Flaming Curmudgeon

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger Glenn said...

Hold your head up, Michael. It's their loss. And the reasons are probably as trivial as you describe. You know, UNO has a decent MFA program here.

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger KipEsquire said...

Just do what the smart people do: lie on your résumé. ;-)

(Best of luck in your new round of applications!)

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger Y | O | Y said...

I'm sorry to hear this. In your search for Plan B, maybe you'll find an even better and more fulfilling calling!

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger Matt said...

I'm sorry, Michael. I know that's a blow, but it will work out for the right reasons. The same thing happened to me when I auditioned for Masters programs - I was told "no thanks" by three schools and was put on the waiting list for the fourth. I ended up re-auditioning the following year and was immediately accepted into one of the top-ranked music schools in the country. Things work out.

 
At 9:56 PM, Blogger MiKell said...

Screw them. At least you are attempting to follow you bliss...

Most of us only dream about it.

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger Donnie said...

I'm sorry to read about grad school. Look at it this way....at least you HAVE a plan B. So many just throw in the towel and do something else. You stuck in there and altered your plans to eventually get to where you want to be.

 
At 10:27 PM, Blogger LSL said...

Gosh, I'm sorry to hear this news. I'm glad you shared it just so we could offer our support. It sounds really hard, and I know what starting from square one is like. Thinking of you!

 
At 11:52 PM, Blogger BigAssBelle said...

well hell. fuckers. sorry to hear this. on the other hand, the creativity that leads you to these pursuits will likely lead you to something even better. i'd start going all pollyanna on you and saying things like "nothing happens by mistake" etc etc ad nauseum, but i won't ;-)

if this is not meant to be, i'm hoping there's something even better down the road.

 
At 12:23 AM, Blogger Red7Eric said...

Hm. I would have thought that being ten years older than your classmates would have made you more attractive as a candidate -- every acting company likes a little diversity, right? Perhaps not.

Anyway, congratulations on making the decision to go back to school. I just got out and it was a great experience -- not easy, but great. My question is ... if you want the MFA so that you can teach at the university level -- does it have to be an MFA in Acting? Is there another Theatre degree that would help you achieve that goal and be more challenging to you? Whatever happens, best of luck ...

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger TCho said...

Awww. I'm crossing my fingers for you!

 

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