For the last six months, auditioning for Graduate School took up a great portion of my life. In that time I was also involved in a court case which would ultimately decide the location of my sons residence; and writing and completing a full length play.
I am now happy to see that my son will remain in New York City, am in the process of mounting my play, and (so far) have gotten two rejection letters out of the seven Grad schools I applied to.
For those thinking of applying to Graduate School—you have an exciting road ahead. If you think your life is stressful now, be prepared. In fact, that is probably the best advice I can give you. Have your monologues down. Have many. Do them so many times, you can perform them at gun point. Know them as though you wrote them. This will ensure freedom to deal with your nerves which you will naturally encounter in abundance. Nerves are positive. I began this process thinking, “I won’t be nervous at all. I’ll know my monologues so well there will be nothing to be nervous about.” Well, there are things to be nervous about that have nothing to do with anything you can control. Nerves are a natural element in doing something a little out of the ordinary. Or, doing something you care about a great deal. I cared a great deal about performing. I was eager to show my pieces. I was proud of them. I showed them to everyone. My girlfriends family (fathers side and mothers side), my family, my sons mother and her new family.
There’s so much I want to share about the process. I hope to answer any questions you may have, clear up any misconceptions you may have, but also to give you confirmation that the process, even if you aren’t accepted anywhere (though I still don’t know if that’s true), is worth the undertaking.
The amount of work I put into these auditions: the paperwork, the applications, the recommendations, the renting of rehearsal space to perform my monologues, the hiring of acting coaches, the hiring of voice coaches, working three jobs, being thirty-five, having a son, rehearsing my monologues (six of them) over and over and over and over and over, finding a song and rehearsing it over and over and over and over, doing yoga, deep breathing, reading University websites, reading MFA websites, reading coach websites, reading about professors at Yale, Juilliard, ACA, ART, ACT, Brown, UCSD, leaving out parts of my application, scurrying to meet deadlines, practicing my monologues with friends, incorporating feedback, imagining myself entering the auditioning room, seeing myself succeed, imagining their adjustments to my monologues, imagining my responses to their adjustments, imagining their questions about “why” grad school, talking to myself over and over and over and over: I feel smarter, faster, and stronger. Just applying to grad school makes me feel as though I’d gone to Grad school.
In the coming posts I will candidly describe my experiences, my call backs, the monitors, the auditioner’s, and all the faces I met along the way (friendly and not) on the road to applying to Yale, Juilliard, Brown, ACA, ART, UCSD, and ACT.