3 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Applying to Theatre Colleges

Skip these missteps to perfect your applications and auditions.

Every future college student faces a long application process. Theatre applicants, however, have additional requirements that can make applying a little more complicated. If you’re a famous actor or actress in the making, you’ve got a bit more to complete.

Theatre college applications require essays about your theatrical goals, a list of extracurricular activities, your GPA and standardized testing scores, and a resume of performing arts work. You may have to attend in-person auditions and even interviews after you complete your application.

An easy — and potentially embarrassing — mistake many students make is ignoring a school’s audition requirements.

There are a lot of tips and tricks on perfecting applications — but completing yours can be simple. Here are three red flags to avoid while working on your theatre applications.

Mistake 1. Assuming All Auditions Are the Same.

An easy — and potentially embarrassing — mistake many students make is ignoring a school’s audition requirements. Sure, much of the audition process will be the same at every school; but don’t assume schools are all looking for the same thing. For example, the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance requires theatre applicants to prepare two contrasting monologues and perform a few improvisational pieces — but The Boston Conservatory asks applicants to prepare both classical and post-war monologues. Take some time to read each school’s audition requirements so you know how to ace the audition.

Mistake 2. Forgetting to Fill Out Supplements

Using applications that can be sent to multiple schools is a fantastic time saver. But more often than not, schools want more information than the answers to those basic Common or Unified Application questions. Colleges — especially those specializing in performing arts — love using supplements to learn about you. They’ll ask questions on everything from your favorite food to your favorite song. Finding schools’ supplements can be a little tricky when it comes to theatre applications. To ensure you’ve answered every question and filled in every box, head to each school’s website. You’ll find application checklists there that can help you figure out what extra info theatre majors need to submit.

Mistake 3. Faking it ‘til You Make it

Think it’s okay to fudge some of your accomplishments? Don’t try it. Colleges are smarter than you might think, and they’re great at digging up information on prospective students. Everyone’s heard that colleges look students up on social networking sites; they can also verify your resume. Colleges often check with local theatres to find out what performances you’ve been in. They can also see if you really were president of the drama club at your high school. Let your accomplishments speak for themselves. Be honest and your talent will speak for itself. Besides, wouldn’t it suck to be known as the girl or guy who lied on their application?

Quick Tips for Applying to Theatre Colleges

  • Be careful not to mix up important dates. Set cell phone reminders for upcoming auditions and application deadlines.
  • Prepare audition material that shows off your strengths — don’t pick a Shakespeare monologue just to impress.
  • Your physical application is just as important as your resume and audition. Remember that your SAT scores or GPA still matter.

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