Drama majors face unique college application process

December 11, 2017 — by Ava Hooman and Aaron Choi

As the first semester comes to a close and most seniors finish their college applications, a handful of seniors pursuing theater arts will have another challenge ahead during second semester: auditions at the schools where they’re trying to get in.

Seniors Hannah Yoon and Mateusz Kranz plan to spend time during second semester traveling to different colleges. The application process for prospective actors and actresses is tedious and requires much more initiative than the average application.

Yoon is applying for a double major in theater and humanities at Northwestern, Wesleyan, Amherst, UCLA, Marymount Manhattan, Fordham, USC and UC Irvine, and applying for theater only at NYU and Carnegie Mellon (which don’t have bachelor’s programs for acting majors).

Kranz plans to double major in computer science for all of his college choices. Although it is generally understood that it is hard to double major with a bachelor of fine arts major, Kranz said he is ready to take on the challenge.  He is applying to an extensive list of colleges, including Carnegie Mellon, USC, NYU, Princeton, Harvard, Chapman and Georgetown.

“There are several schools where as soon as you apply you have to schedule an audition slot which are in second semester, but at some schools you have to film a pre-screen and send that into schools,” Kranz said.

For colleges that ask for a pre-screen, only the students with qualifying prerequisites are invited for an audition.

Yoon has already scheduled two auditions at Unifieds, which is where several theater colleges gather at one event to run their auditions. The mass auditions are a social gathering for aspiring actors around the nation as well as a significant opportunity to forge relations with college representatives. She will be heading to Los Angeles in February for the auditions.

Preparation for these conventions is meticulous and nerve-racking.

“I did a lot of prep for the auditions,” Kranz said. “I practice my monologue a lot, as I’m applying for drama everywhere.”

As these students go to their auditions in drama, they also struggle with internal conflicts. Despite pursuing what she loves, Yoon can’t help but feel like she is trading wealth for her passion.

“Even though choosing theatre as my major jeopardizes my financial security, I know that I wouldn’t be happy unless I majored in theater,” Yoon said.

Even though they understand the risk of choosing acting as a major, Kranz’s parents are supportive of his choice, as long as Kranz applies to competitive programs that have historically produced successful actors.

“I chose theater as my major because I felt like I’d rather do what I love than make money,” Kranz said.


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