Our BFA audition tour has officially come to a close. It was quite grueling, yet enlightening, and resulted in some great bonding time between my daughter and I. Many lessons were learned that Micah will take with her to the next stage in her journey, and I've been gleaning as much information as possible to share with my students and parents back at the Patel Conservatory. Here are a few nuggets:
Embrace the Differences: No matter how similar the programs, degrees or curriculum look, they are unique. We didn't have to visit the campus to get a glimpse of how different each program is or what their specialties are. A table conversation is a fine start to learn more about a school or program. Being in the presence of the faculty and students from the program makes an impression that your student will learn to trust. They all hold their auditions in a different manner and create a different vibe. Some do tours, overviews, orientations or Q & A's, some don't. Pay attention to that, it will help you work through the next steps when the results start to come in and the field of contending programs becomes more defined.
Find Support: We offer a "College Bound: Part 1" workshop in May and a "College Bound: Part 2" workshop in the fall. This year, I offered a fall semester extension of the workshop by providing a weekly class that met to hash through the checklist and make to do lists. It turned into a "support group" of sorts, providing the opportunity for the moms and students to vent, share insights and ask questions. I developed the class in the hope I could be helpful, but ran back each week excited to share a new insight I'd gained from the parental perspective. The other participants did the same, and some of the results were free SATs, scholarship leads and discussion of programs we may not have previously considered.
During the audition process itself there is also a need for support. As time and auditions passed, we connected with other auditionees and their parents. A huge shout out to Sharon Gilberg and her daughter Shayna, who listened patiently to my endless banter, shared experiences from other schools and seemed to always need coffee and food at exactly the same time we did. I am so grateful that we were able to hang together on more than one occasion and know great opportunities lie ahead for your exceptionally talented daughter!
Learn: If there is one thing I learned from my short performance career, it was to learn whatever I could from each audition, whether they went well or not. Make adjustments and count the not-so-great ones as opportunities to learn and the awesome ones as replicate-able. Keep in mind, you can carry what you learn from this process into every job interview you ever have, no matter how it turns out.
Use the Information: Sort out what you learn about each school and it will help narrow it all down. It can just be a verbal discussion of how the place or atmosphere "felt" by discussing the perceived pros and cons driving home from the audition, or actively creating a pros and cons list on paper. My daughter and I are firm believers in pushing on doors, and letting them slam in our faces as a way of knowing the next steps. This has helped define her journey. It also changes your perspective when you think that it is all part of the process. The rejections were, for the most part, expected, and the acceptances have definitely been a confidence boost.
Keep in mind we have yet to know her whole story. She applied to 12 programs, was accepted into 2, rejected by 3, chose not to audition for 3 and is waiting on responses from 4. We do know she'll likely end up in either NYC or Florida. Boston is also still looming out there, but feels off her radar.