Summer Opportunities: Performing Arts
CollegeAdvisor.com presents its summer opportunity series webinars on Performing Arts in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with college students and alumni. Our CollegeAdvisor panelist will share their insider perspectives on specific summer opportunities, how these opportunities impacted their college application, and how these experiences shaped their interests. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2021-04-20 Summer Opportunities – Performing Arts
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on summer opportunities in performing arts to orient everyone with the webinars timing, we’ll start off with the presentation, then answer your questions. And then a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panel. Hi everyone. Um, my name is Nadia Atkinson. I am Williams college class of 21.5. So I’m an off-cycle senior and I’m getting my bachelor of arts in theater and English. Uh, so we’re going to talk today about PR summer performing arts programs, um, specifically in theater and other performing arts.
Um, But feel free to ask questions also about visual art, which I do advise students in when we get to our Q and [00:01:00] a, uh, so I personally partook in one program that was an official conservatory style summer program, uh, Lockwood, playhouses, young performers conservatory, which is a very selective. Some five week summer program in San Diego, which is my hometown.
Um, so all of this we’ll be sending eco specific, but the supplies across the board. Um, and then two years I partook in the San Diego fringe festival, which isn’t specifically a summer program geared towards high school students, but it was a really good opportunity for me to gain professional skills. Um, so the first year I was an actor in two productions, directed by my friends from my high school.
And then, uh, the next year I personally directed and wrote one of the productions. So often I get the question about how people find out about these opportunities. It really depends on what you’re [00:02:00] looking for. Um, there are a lot of benefits to be had by doing a training program. Where you’re getting mentored by faculty members.
You’re doing intensive training every single day. You probably have specialized classes and there’s a lot to gain too, by going a little bit more rope, partnering with an organization or applying to be in a festival, something similar where you are personally getting professional experience, but you have to learn everything from the ground up, basically.
Um, and the way that I personally found out about. Was by talking to my performing arts teachers, um, being involved in local theater organizations and just following their accounts for working opportunities. Uh, if you go to the website, um, Theaters near you. They will often have ways for young people to be involved.
And they actually often are really looking for young people to be involved. Um, if it’s not an internship, they might have a young people’s leadership group, which I know LA Jolla Playhouse does. Um, they might be looking for assistance. So there’s a [00:03:00] lot of opportunities there that you can look for. Um, by, after doing fringe for the first year, I met a lot of artists in the local San Diego area.
Um, giving me a much better understanding of what there even is to offer and what kind of theater companies there are. If you live in a small town, if you live in a town that maybe has like one or two very famous companies, look for the ones that are less known, the ones that are smaller because often those PR programs will actually have.
Better leadership opportunities. And you’ll get more hands-on experience if you do partner with them. Um, in terms of summer programs that are more recognized, renowned, like UCLAs that, of course you should just do a little bit of Googling, um, and you’ll be able to find info on them. There’s a lot of websites with compilations.
And of course, I also found out about a lot of this, just speaking with theater kids at my high school, because we were all [00:04:00] doing similar work. Everyone is looking for similar things. Uh, so often your peers can be your best resource too.
So normal day in the programs and. I’m excited to talk about these two, because you can see how different the training is for both. So an intense summer intensive program. So this is where you will likely pay tuition. Often these programs, do you have financial aid available? Um, but it’s a specifically training program, often affiliated with a university with a theater company, but it’s specifically about education.
You will be doing around five weeks. It can be a little bit shorter, a little bit longer. It really depends. Um, but you will be training likely nine to five every single day. So I would arrive, we would start the morning with yoga or movement class. We’d work for about three hours lunch break and then spend the rest of the day [00:05:00] working.
Um, so it’s very much like rigorous classwork, um, my personal program. It was about each class is about an an hour and a half, depending on the day. And with a ton of different subjects from acting movement, vocal mask, work, script, writing monologue work scene work. So scene study, we kind of ran the whole gamut of different types of, um, after training.
It was mostly actor focused with a little bit of writing and devising thrown in there, and we had a final production. Where we could invite audience members to come see the work that we created together, uh, versus for instance, participating in San Diego fringe festival, which was literally doing a show outside of high school.
Um, it was very much individual rehearsals scheduled by the director that we did an addition. Um, during the semester, before the summer to prepare. And then when we actually got to the [00:06:00] summer, we had tech in the spaces, um, and then actually performed. And I think we had about five performances. And we also, if you partner with, um, Institutions in your area like festivals.
They’re also really lovely because if you’re a participating artist, you will have access to the other performances that are taking place. So we got a pass. So I spent a lot of my time actually watching other people’s work. And if there’s any advice I can give to young theater makers is please, please watch as much work as you possibly can, because that will make you a better artist.
Um, it’ll also show you the different avenues. Of performance making, because I think. The kinds of art we can create in high school is very restricted by budget by time of day by what the director or teachers are, have training in. And there’s a ton of different forms out there that you actually might be more interested in, [00:07:00] in types of performance making that you might want to go into.
So maybe you’re not an actor, but you’d want to go in for like dance theater. So there’s a ton of different things to, to look for. Um, S uh, so, um, how did persuading in these programs affect my college applications? So, um, I, I think it’s important for me to first talk about my, um, application process as a whole and the types of programs that I applied to.
So I applied to a series of both conservatory style training programs. UCLA is a BA, so you do take other classes, but it’s basically a BFA style training program. So I applied to, uh, to UCLA, I applied to U Michigan’s in our arts program, which is this visual arts theater double major, basically, but also where you’re doing art, making like [00:08:00] 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Um, I ended up going to Williams, which is a liberal arts institution, um, because. I felt like a liberal arts education is better for my work as a director, um, in the, in the grand scheme of things. Uh, but it, but I have had experience applying to both and what YPC, which is the young performance conservatory allowed me to do is see firsthand what that kind of conservatory style training is and what it would look like to fully dedicate myself to theater.
For many, many hours every single day and actually make decisions based on that. I really love doing it. Um, and it gave me an idea too, of what kind of theater work I was interested in. So again, when I said watch as many things as you can take as many workshops as you can. Movement ended up being something that truly changed my life and still impacts the place I direct today.
Um, because YPC has a really intensive, um, movement style [00:09:00] training. So the things that we learned there, I still applied to my work. Um, and physical theater is actually some avenue I’m more interested in going down than some other forms of theater. So it was a really, even though I didn’t write about it, it was a really nice resume thing, of course.
Um, because we play houses and recognizable. But it also gave me the chance to start thinking about the types of theater I would pursue in college too. And San Diego fringe. Um, I wrote about. In a professional capacity. So what it meant to direct my own play outside of the confines of high school, because we often don’t have the opportunity in high school to director on pieces.
Um, so this was a really great opportunity to literally do everything by myself as a high schooler. I’m not saying I did all of it. Well, there’s a lot. I learned, uh, but you are doing this alongside other professional artists. So it is a really good training ground for what it looks like to self produce.
Uh, Your own theater things, which if you are going down the theater ride, [00:10:00] And especially if you want to be a director or playwright, you will be self producing a lot of work for those first years out of college. Uh, and so it was a really good chance for me to not only in my college applications write about, um, actually showcase the fact that I am very professionally committed to this as a, as a form that I want to pursue as a job eventually.
Um, but as well has now given me a clear idea of what it means. To actually self produce, um, which is very, very important. Um, no matter what kind of college program you go to.
So what’s our performing arts programs did I do in college? So most of my experiences internship based, um, Aye summer after freshman year, I did the marketing assistantship at the Williamstown theater festival. Um, and during my freshmen, uh, freshman year, [00:11:00] winter semester, I did their arts administration internship.
The following summer. I did marketing with signature theater in New York. Um, The summer after that, uh, it was COVID, but in the fall I took part in the literary literary internship with vineyard theater. And during my spring semester, I did a program within national theater Institute, um, in advanced directing, which was a semester program, but they do have summer programs available, um, which are basically condensed.
Versions of the, of the training that you get in the semester, long class, but specifically oriented around their summer season. Um, so my work was mostly arts administration focused, uh, because I think it’s really important for any, again, especially as I’m going into directing, but for any person interested in, uh, the performing arts, you should get experience as to what it looks like to run a theater company behind the [00:12:00] scenes, because.
Even if you want to be an actor, that’s absolutely what you’re doing. 100%. You should know the decision-making, the work that other people put into it. It will make you a better artist. It will make you aware of what it takes to again, put a productions professional. And especially with, um, institutions like the Williamstown theater festival, which is a summer stock.
Um, and if you don’t know what summer stock hit summer stock is, it’s basically the theater company only runs during the summer. Um, so all of the productions are mounted within the span of two to three months. So I believe Williamstown has about six shows and all of those are done pretty much back to back.
No, Insane work hours. If you’re an apprentice with the festival, you’re expected to do at least one to two, um, full night shifts because of how much work it takes to put up that season in such a condensed amount of time. Amazing learning opportunity. Very stressful might not be [00:13:00] your thing. Versus, uh, when I entered with a signature theater.
That is an off-Broadway theater. They actually don’t produce anything during the summer. Um, so my work primarily with them was gearing up for the start of the fall, doing the admin work, to prepare, finishing up the show that was kind of their into the summer one, um, which was a completely different office experience than I had at WTF.
Um, so it, and it’s useful to get both because again, you will likely be working in. Both if you can, um, professionally and they’re very, very different work environments and you can actually start figuring out what kind of work environment you do want to be in and which one you work in best. Um, as a playwright director, actor designer, um, and then NTI is basically a seven day, a week, 10 hours a day, training pre like professional training program.
You have [00:14:00] everyone from the MFA students to. To completely recent call, um, high school grads participating and you are treated. An artist that is there entirely for training, you put on it, basically one show every single week, insane hours, but you work with some unbelievable faculty members. Um, like I know that they had Stephen Sondheim come for their past summer programs.
Um, I personally worked with some fabulous directors like Richard Digby day. So it’s very prestigious competitive to get into and an incredible, like professional training experience where you actually do meet a lot of artists you hopefully will work with in the future. Um, so how do these programs impact my interest in education?
So. As I mentioned before YPC was the first time I had the chance to do any physical theater or movement work. Um, and I completely fell in love with [00:15:00] it. It was unlike anything I’d experienced before. It was really intense. The first day I cried. And then after that, it was, it was it. That was what I wanted to do.
Um, My teacher, Mary Reich, if anyone knows of her in the general world, I hope she’s doing well. Um, basically took us on these very intensive sessions where we had to completely open up physically and be very vulnerable. Um, and it kind of shaped the way that now I like to run my rehearsal rooms. I usually don’t start with table work.
Um, I will start with movement because I think that, um, Movement led me into a whole world of like, if anyone has sort of biomechanics, anything else like that, where basically it’s about performing, not with the body as a fundamental part of the character, uh, rather than it just being text focused, which actually allows for much more experimentation and [00:16:00] freedom in my experience.
Um, so also keeping in mind the fact that with these programs, It’s nice because you get to learn other ways of approaching theater. Not everything is method acting. I think a lot of high schools were very focused on giving, given circumstances, Dennis Lawsky methods of training, which don’t work for everyone.
Um, so a lot of these programs are really great for starting to build your toolkit as an artist and find what forms work for you. And, uh, with fringe, it was because it was my first professional experience. I realized that I prefer directing. Then acting and performing. It was so much more rewarding for me personally.
Um, and being able to kind of put this child of my own up on a stage and work with the actors was an experience that I hadn’t gotten. At all in any classes in high school, because I was always told what to do as an, as an actor, [00:17:00] rather than getting to form my own piece. And that was incredibly formative experience in terms of what path that took me on.
Um, especially because it was the summer after my senior year. And then basically in college, I did, I think one shows a performer and everything else I’ve directed since then. Um, so this summer is going to be. For sure. Uh, but that both allows for op some opportunities you usually don’t get. And also some not as GRI forms of previous opportunities.
So from speaking with people who are currently looking at summer programs, like the stellar Stella Adler, Um, training program, Atlantic training program. Those are mostly either remote or hybrid where some classes are in person. Some classes are remote. You will probably be, have to be six feet apart. And in masks, if you’re in a smaller, um, [00:18:00] program, there may be the opportunity if everyone is vaccinated to bend those rules a little bit, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Um, so just keep that in mind when applying. And look at each individual program and what their COVID protocol is. I have a suspicion that a lot of them are going to be a little bit up in the air until we get closer to the summer, but something to keep in mind. The great thing about the pandemic is that there is a lot of teaching resources now available online workshops created by theater companies that are completely free.
So you don’t actually have to pay. Tuition for the same kind of training you would be getting in a remote way. So keep that in mind, as you’re looking at these programs that doing a program, just because it’s a big name, doesn’t actually give you necessarily the best experience. Um, so don’t do something just for the resume credit, actually think about what kind of training you’d want to get the great thing too about zoom is that now it’s very easy to put on your own production.
[00:19:00] Collaborate with the playwright from your high school, put on like a zoom show with your friends, because that can actually be a more formative experience. Um, then for instance, doing like two hours a day of zoom classes also during the summer. Uh, so just keep that in mind, as you’re starting to parse through things, um, and check in with your local theater groups or organizations too, especially if you’re interested in internships or assistantships or shadow.
Um, because as things start reopening up, theaters are starting to figure out what their seasons look like for the fall. So there will be a lot of exciting work being done that is more hybrid, which allows also for easier participation.
And I’ve been talking for a while, but, um, In terms of advice for applying for these programs and this applies to colleges too. Because often the application for more, um, [00:20:00] selective summer programs mirror your college applications in the future begin collecting your application materials. Now, um, selective programs have early deadlines, especially if you’re looking at colleges for next year.
Performing our schools always have early deadlines in like December or even November, or even earlier than that. Um, because there’s just more material for them to process. You will likely have to fly out for an audition, et cetera. Um, so, and that includes summer programs. So start looking into that. Now, if you haven’t told me.
Um, if you’re an actor, you will almost always have to have one to two monologues, usually one contemporary, one classical, um, try to make those be different. Shaun Aras. So one comedic, one dramatic too. If you can, um, also have up-to-date resume because having one to two monologues and an up-to-date resume on hand, basically prepares you for every.
Sometimes, if you’re also doing, um, a musical theater program, you’ll have to have at least like 16 to 32 [00:21:00] bars of a song. Having that on hand too is very, very useful. Um, especially if you’re doing an audition for a production, if that’s what you decide to do, uh, they might ask you to sing something off the bat.
And so always being prepared with those audition materials and having that memorized is pretty key. If you want to be a perfect. Um, if you’re doing directing or playwriting, you will probably have to submit additional material like script samples. If you have a full play, they’ll probably ask you for 10 pages, max.
Um, if you’re a director they’ll often ask you for production photos or an artistic statement. Or anything, or like videos showcasing your work. If you are doing videos, make sure that those are short they’re called reels. Um, and sometimes for acting work, you’ll have to submit a reel as well, but just make sure that it’s five minutes max, so that you don’t bore, whoever’s looking at your application, but it showcases the best [00:22:00] parts of the work that you’ve done.
And no one takes us advice, but please do not use overused audition monologues. I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard, I ate my divorce papers with catch-up the sardine monologue. Like anything from our town. There are so many that you should not do. And that includes Shakespeare model.
Because if you choose hernias for Midsummer night’s dream, I guarantee you at least 20 other applicants will have the same monologue. There are others. I promise. Um, so depending on the arts organizations, Especially with classical, you have a little bit more leeway in terms of character, gender. Um, a lot more people I know have started doing.
Um, for instance, one of my friends, he did Cleopatra for one of his auditions. Um, people are much more open to that. Um, I think rather than contemporary, but I would look at the program you’re applying for in seeing kind of like how mired in tradition the [00:23:00] faculty members are before doing that. But I promise that there were classical monologues that far.
Puck that you can find, just do the work and actually look for those. If you’re looking for contemporary monologues actually read plays, um, because sometimes there’ll be like really great monologue sections that you just need to like remove a few lines of the other characters texts, and they form really, really great monologues.
Try to avoid any storytelling monologues where you’re recounting. Like I saw a cat running across the street. Ashley tried to find monologues where the characters in active conversation with someone else. Um, because storytelling monologues are really easy to kind of fall back into a less energetic mode of acting.
Um, so find something where you’re actually trying to get something from the other person and you can really easily find an objective. And there are plenty of really great monologue books you can purchase. Just make sure those monologues are all from published. [00:24:00] I found a lot of success in looking at short one act plays because people often don’t read those, but they have some really great monologue texts.
Even if the play itself isn’t very well known or if it’s not even a very good play. Um, and those are really quick and easy to skim through. So I really recommend going to your library, checking out like a book of one acts and just like skimming it. Um, and then for tuition. Don’t overpay for summer program, just for the resume credit.
I think the program that I did during the summer was $2,000. I knew, thankfully I had a conversation with my parents. They were able to afford. There are some programs that are $10,000 for the summer. Don’t get into debt to do with summer theater program pre college. Um, there are so many other things you can do where you will get a really good experience.
Wait till college to figure out financial [00:25:00] aid. You don’t, you don’t need to overpay for it and also make sure you’re actively involving your family into any conversations around anything, with tuition based stuff, just because you really don’t want to spend all of your time applying for things and then have your heart broken because your family can’t afford it.
Um, some programs also do offer financial aid, so it is worth getting in contact with those programs in the. To see if you would qualify for it, if you think you might not, and wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. Um, so just keep that in mind too, that there are plenty also free things you can do. You don’t need to pay that will also make a really impressive resume.
And we’ll also give you a lot of really good pre college experience.
Okay. So I can, um, talk a little bit about CollegeAdvisors, summer opportunity database. So this database has opportunities in various fields. Remote in-person paid and unpaid that, uh, are designed to boost students’ resumes and [00:26:00] involvement in the careers they’re interested in. It’s just a jumping off point for any high school students so that they can familiarize themselves with the programs that they might be interested and what’s required to apply.
Unfortunately, at this point in time, this database is only available to CollegeAdvisor.com clients through their advisor. Um, so that means that. If you would like to have access to this, we would love to work with you. Okay. So that is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the handouts tab, moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read through the questions you submitted, paste them in the public chat, so you can see and then read them out loud before our panelist gives you an idea.
As a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, double-check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page. [00:27:00] Okay. Our first question is what is movement and physical theater?
I muted myself. Okay. Um, great question. I should have explained that. Okay. So physical theater has a huge range of. Forms to it. Um, it’s everything from biomechanic work to Michael checkoff, to Grotowski and onwards, basically it’s anything where the specific focus is on the human body as a form of performance.
Like for instance, method acting is very much about reading into the text reading. Objectives into the text. If you’ve ever done the series of questions, which is what kind of moon sign is my character, what, you know, backstory do they have all of that is very text-based movement. [00:28:00] Movement. Technique is about using the physical body as your tool.
Um, so a lot of it will be, um, if you’ve ever done viewpoints, it’s basically. Moving around the space and accessing spatial coordination to actually tell stories. So a lot of choral work is focused in that, um, where you’ll have an ensemble of performers moving together in some way, there’s like a series of exercises you can do to create different shapes, different forums.
A lot of it is touch based. Um, so it’s kind of this in-between. It’s not dance because it’s not choreographed. It’s not exactly contact improv, although it can be, but it’s like moving with another group of people and having that be the main mode of storytelling, if that makes sense. Um, so for instance, physical theater, like clowning is a really good example of physical theater where basically all of the [00:29:00] storytelling is told through the body.
Um, if you look up completely Tay it’s this incredible theater company in the UK, where they merge physical theater with. Scripts. So basically the performer will turn into a tree for instance, as like a part of the set. And so the body is literally becoming a part of the landscape, but then it also like others are performing like text.
So it’s kind of moving between both is kind of like realism of like the text and also using the body’s language as a form of communication. I hope that made sense. That’s a little bit highfalutin, but if you are interested in that, I really recommend looking into it. Um, I think it’s an incredible form.
Um, and there are a lot of different ways of getting into it, but just like, as an example, like what I would do as a director, if I was more interested in physical theater movement, et cetera, [00:30:00] is rather than start with table work where we’re like sitting around a table and talking about the script. I have my actors walk around the space, lead them through a series of walking exercises and then try to, um, like imagine the physical body of the character before anything, like, where does your character lead with your shoulders, with your nose?
Um, where does the character hold their weight when they walk? Like how heavy is the, are their footsteps? So starting from the physical rather than the textual, um, and that’s a little bit simplistic, but that’s kind of. I hope illustrates the difference a bit.
Okay. Our next question is, do you know any summer opportunities for vocalists or singers? And what about for dancers? Good question. Um, so it depends with COVID. A lot of things are very, again, up in the air. Um, but I would definitely look at [00:31:00] UCLA. I would look at, um, why PC, because even though YPC is performance-based, there’s a lot of vocal work.
I think programs that actually combine performance like with vocal are better than necessarily just acting. If that makes sense B where you have programs that are very specialized, just because to be a good singer, you also should be a good performer and you should also know healthy vocal habits. Um, you know, so.
That’s just something to look into. Um, Atlantic theater school has things I know I’m aware of. Um, Northwestern has their cherubs program, which is a really, really fabulous, um, opportunity. I think they actually have it split into acting and musical theater separately. And I think also dance, um, I would honestly also, again, like look at any of the UCS, like UCI has a fabulous dance program.
Generally speaking, I don’t [00:32:00] necessarily know if that translates into a summer session. Um, but I would also look there. Um, I believe Julliard also has summer programs. So basically my advice, because there are so many is to look at these higher education schools and then see if they have anything. For students.
Um, but I would definitely say that Northwestern is one of the first that comes to me because I also know that they actually put on full productions, which is a really good experience for you to have. Um, so yeah, and then in terms of dance, I personally have much less experience in dance, so I’m not exactly sure of specific dance, specific stuff.
Um, but I would look at organizations like New York city ballet. Your local ballet company, anything else like that? Um, because I’m sure that they also have intensives. Basically what you’re looking [00:33:00] for is like summer intensives rather than just classes, because that will actually give you the kind of like nine to five training that you’re probably looking for.
Um, yeah, if I can remember anything more off the top of my head, I will come back around. I would say the one other thing for vocalists, especially is getting specific about the type of singer that you are. So if, you know, I definitely want to go into kind of classical Western classical opera. You might want to look more at places like Idlewild or Julliard versus if you’re like, I want to do musical theater, those programs will be very different.
Um, first is if you want to do jazz, those programs will be very different, but, um, they’re all out. Yeah. I’d know, wild is a fabulous program. Also inner lock-in is really, really great too. Yeah. Um, but also the more specific you can get in terms of like the words, the easier it will be to Google things that will be a better fit.[00:34:00]
Um, okay. So our next question is, uh, what are some of the technical elements of performing arts? Or what our programs for the technical elements of performing arts, I’m assuming that means design. Um, so I know, um, oh, I actually do know someone. I would look at Carnegie Mellon’s summer programs too, because I know that they have designed specific ones.
Hmm. This is tough. Because their designers are very underrepresented in summer things, which is really unfortunate. And also just training programs in general, you’re much more likely to get design experience from actually just doing a show, um, because there isn’t much point. And doing a design intensive, if you’re not also putting on a [00:35:00] production, if that makes sense.
Um, so I would actually say probably the best things for you to do would be to shadow. If there are any local theater organizations in your area, shadow designers volunteer to be a designer on your school’s productions, just because tech is so deeply tied into the actual staging thing. It’s a little bit more difficult.
To find programs that are about like teaching design without also that added element of actually working on a show. But I know Carnegie Mellon has, um, quite a few things. Again, I would look at cherubs too. Um, yeah, I hope that’s helpful. I designer friends are always very upset that there’s so little for them in this world, this wide world, in terms of like training apart from college courses.
Uh, but I would say, yeah, any show you can participate in, participate in to get [00:36:00] experience because that’s by far the best way rather than, and that’s how you learn. Same goes for directors. Honestly, the best, some of the best experience you can get is just doing it. Um, because that’s how you learn what your aesthetics are.
Um, that’s how you learn what it actually takes to amount of production. There’s only so long. You can be in a classroom talking about it. You just should go into it.
Okay, this might be a rough one, but our next question is what do we do to become a successful actress? Well, it depends what you define success as I think so. Uh, I think in high school, at least what I’ve, when I remember high school, people talked about the real world as this terrifying thing. And success means being a star on Broadway.
That is not the path for like the majority of actors. There are so many incredibly successful [00:37:00] people who have managed. I define it as being able to sustain a financially sustainably, do the. That is my definition. If I can be a director and just direct and to have my staff cover my living expenses, that is a success because even getting there will take a lot of time and a lot of years, and you’ll spend the first year out of college, like, unless you’re very lucky, um, doing.
Your main job in theater on the side, because it just takes a while to integrate yourself into the community, to have people start trusting you to build that network theater is so much about the network and community you build. You will get jobs through designers, you know, through directors, you know, and so recent college grads just don’t have that system of support yet.
Um, which is why it’s really tough for people right out of school. Um, one of the best pieces of the. It’s not quite advice, but [00:38:00] just like what the life of an actor is that I’ve heard is your main job is auditioning in. Once you land a role, that’s your vacation, because you will be auditioning many, many times a day, um, for quite a while.
And then actually getting into a production is kind of where you can take a breath and relax. So. Dedication like being committed to it. I’m not one of those people who thinks that like theater should be your only thing and that if you go decide to pursue a life in the theater, The only thing you should focus on, there are a lot of very successful interdisciplinary artists.
You don’t need to confine yourself to just acting, to be successful in the theater. I know plenty of people who are directors and also make money by being like stage technicians. And you’re still involved in the same community. You’re still involved in the production, but finding different ways of actually making money.
Um, but yeah, drive. Like being kind to people kind of Jenner generous and also hard work [00:39:00] by far the most important qualities. If you’re awful and talented, people don’t want to work with you. If you’re just talented and don’t actually commit yourself to the hard work, it also doesn’t work out. So really being genuinely kind, genuinely wanting to work with people and collaborate and also putting in the hours to train.
Is what’s going to get you there and also being open to different opportunities because again, like ha bringing your ego into it, isn’t going to create any like sustainable relationships. Long-term. So being willing to take on some projects, you’re maybe a little less like confident about maybe being willing to learn some skill sets that like you didn’t necessarily think about, or like explore it.
A type of like a theater theatrical form that you are not necessarily like. Well versed in. We’ll actually get you quite far, just because if you go in and you’re like, I will only do Broadway musicals as a dancer, and that is it. Nothing else interests [00:40:00] me. You’re going to have a much rougher go of it. I hope that’s useful some pearls of wisdom that I’ve picked up on this past weekend.
I heard. That there’s three things you look for. Good pay, good people and good material. And if you have two of those, you should like hang on to that position. Um, okay. So keep the questions coming in, but we’re going to take a brief moment, a brief moment in the middle of the Q and a, and, uh, let’s see, uh, If you want to work with one-on-one with an advisor from our team of over 155 advisors and admissions officers, uh, then please sign up for a free consultation by going to CollegeAdvisor.com and clicking the green chat button in the bottom, right of the screen from there, just write in consultation and a live team member will get back to you to help coordinate your free consultation with us.[00:41:00]
And I’m sending the offer.
Alrighty. So back to the Q and a, our next question is, um, are, uh, sorry, are these programs on campuses or is it different because of COVID and I know you answered this a bit, but it depends on the program. Um, I know that NTI theater maker. Is on campus at the O’Neill, um, because the program is smaller, so it’s like 20, 20 people and they’re testing everyone while like the summer season is hybrid.
Um, I know that some programs are just online now, so it really depends on the capacity of each institution. So I would look into their individual websites because there isn’t. The kind of weird thing [00:42:00] about this moment is that no one knows what they’re doing. And so theater institutions are on very different pages when it comes to COVID safety, when it comes to reopening things, how soon things are happening.
Um, so I would look specifically at the opportunities you’re interested in just because even looking at colleges. I am at Williams fully in person right now, most of my classes are in person. Whereas a lot of my friends at different institutions are completely online. Um, so it, it really depends from program to program.
Okay. Keep the questions coming in. And our next question is, um, what are the costs of these types of programs? That also ranges again, YPC was 2000 theater makers is 10,000. So huge range. I would say they’re usually. 5,000 [00:43:00] is like the medium range. Again, there is financial aid often available for these programs.
So if you do feel like finances are a difficulty for you, which I know they’re usually for me, you can’t actually get program support, but I will say the program support because they are arts institutions are usually less generous just because arts institutions are usually struggling too. So you’re much more likely to.
Financial aid. If you’re doing a program through, through a higher education institution, just because they actually have the funding.
Our next question is what kinds of scholarship opportunities are available at top non Ivy league universities for performers? You’ll get tired of me saying this, but it depends on the institution. Um, eh, for instance, I had. Loved the U Michigan program with all my heart. It’s so cool. Um, but for [00:44:00] me out of state, it would have been $79,000 a year.
I could not do that. Um, whereas UCLA for me was in-state it would have been 21,000. No, actually it would have been like 14,000 a year. Um, so huge difference, whereas out of state students would of course have to pay more. Um, so it really depends. Yeah. Performing arts programs are incredibly selective. Um, I think U Michigan is about a 0.5% acceptance rate Julliard is I don’t even know, like 0.1 it’s, it’s kind of insane.
I think the acting classes are around, you know, like 10. People are accepted out of like thousands and thousands of applicants. So getting also a merit scholarship for those programs is also going to be more competitive. So I will say that it’s usually better to look at the financial aid record of the [00:45:00] institution rather than bank necessarily on merit scholarships.
Just because again, those will be more competitive. Um, so for instance, Williams, for me, Was very, it was much more affordable because it has a very, very good financial aid. So I can do theater here. And because the school has so much money, it’s actually relatively affordable compared to again like U Michigan, which is a state school and has very little money to give it students because of that.
Um, so I would look into each school independently. A lot of people miss out on really good scholarship opportunities by not actually looking at the individual department websites, because those often have opportunities that aren’t available to the larger school. So if you’re specifically going in for like say visual art, um, often the department will be able to offer you money that the wider school doesn’t have access to and it’s its own individual application.
So I would look at. The programs, there are also a [00:46:00] series of national scholarship, like, um, arts bridge, I believe, young arts. That’s what it’s called. That’s I think $10,000 that you have to apply for through a national program. Um, I got arts scholarships through local institutions. So I would talk to your high school counselor to see what scholarships are available near you, because you’re much more likely to get those as well.
That. The scholarships at universities that are much more prestigious. Um, yeah.
Uh, all right. That’s it. That’s the last question we have. So if anyone else has a question, please submit it now. Um, and if not, then we can start to wrap up the webinar. Let’s see. And just wait a moment. Thank you, Nadia so much for all of your wonderful experts. Um, it’s been a weird year for everyone involved in [00:47:00] theater.
I hope ever holding up. Yes, definitely. Um, okay. I think we’re gonna, um, we’re going to call it, uh, thank you so much to our panelists. And, uh, this is the end of the webinar. We had a really great time telling you about summer opportunities and the performing arts and here’s our whole April webinars. So I hope everyone has a wonderful night.