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The stress of applying to college for the arts

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The stress of applying to college for the arts

KC writer Sammi Stec discusses the extra stress of applying to college as a music or theatre major.

KC writer Sammi Stec discusses the extra stress of applying to college as a music or theatre major.

Sammi Stec

KC writer Sammi Stec discusses the extra stress of applying to college as a music or theatre major.

Sammi Stec

Sammi Stec

KC writer Sammi Stec discusses the extra stress of applying to college as a music or theatre major.

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Seniors are far into college season as many are committing, visiting, or applying to college. This is the most stressful process of senior year, but it is a little more stressful for anyone applying for music or theatre majors.

A normal major requires an application, a well written essay, teacher recommendations, SAT scores, and your transcripts. For a music or theatre major, that’s the easy part. That is just step one. Many colleges require prescreen auditions for theatre majors: a video audition including vocal, acting, and dance portions. The vocal requirements are usually two songs, one comedic or lighthearted, and one tragic or serious. They must also contrast in time period, one must be from a classical time period, and one from the contemporary time period, or modern day. The acting portion usually includes one to two monologues also contrasting in time period and genre. The dance portion for the most part is a combination or multiple combinations you create yourself and submit.

That seems like a lot for one school, and it is. Depending on what each school requires, you have to prepare multiple songs, monologues, and dances. In my case, I only had to prepare four songs, three monologues, and three dance combinations. The one combination was from a specific school that require their own dance for their prescreen. Did I mention that most of the deadlines for these video auditions were anywhere from October 1st to November 30th? Most students are just starting regular applications at that time so I had to start a little bit earlier to submit the prescreens at a reasonable time.

It was definitely a challenging experience balancing the beginning of senior year and trying to audition for five schools through videos, but it made me more prepared for the live college auditions I have been doing the past month or so. I was definitely more confident with my material and ready to face a real audition after all of the prescreen mayhem.

Technically, this story does not have a very happy ending. Although I was accepted to most of the schools academically, unfortunately, I did not pass any of the five prescreens I submitted; I got denied from five musical theatre programs. As upsetting as that was, I don’t think it was a waste of time at all. This process has been a good learning experience overall, and I challenged myself in new ways to improve what I was doing.

Because of these preparations, I have been much calmer in my live auditions and I have already been accepted to two musical theatre programs, as well as many schools academically. Prescreen auditions take a lot of hard work, time commitment, and patience. I am so lucky to be able to go to college for something I am really passionate about, and whether I passed five prescreens or zero, every step made me a better performer and a more confident person overall.

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One Response to “The stress of applying to college for the arts”

  1. Lauren Wolfe on January 21st, 2019 2:14 pm

    Go Sammi!

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The stress of applying to college for the arts