Author Topic: Grad School vs Experience  (Read 6425 times)

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vap12

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Grad School vs Experience
« on: Sep 14, 2006, 11:42 pm »
Hi, I'm a senior in college and have been stage managing at the college level for 4 years. I absolutely love it and want to pursue it after graduation. I haven't taken any courses in the subject because I attend a small liberal arts school. Does anyone have advice on good grad programs in stage management? If I took a year off, what could I do to get my foot in the door?
Thanks!  :)

Maribeth

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Re: Grad School vs Experience
« Reply #1 on: Sep 15, 2006, 01:28 am »
I don't know that much about grad school, but I finished my undergrad a year ago and then did an apprenticeship for a year. The theatre I did it at had a resident stage manager, and I was the ASM for the season. It was great to learn from someone more experienced, and I got a chance to get to know the ins and outs of this particular theatre. Also, it was a really good way to make connections with people I worked with, which has helped me to line up work for the future.

I loved my apprenticeship, and it was a really good way to bridge the college/"real world" gap. Also, I was eligible to earn EMC points for the shows I ASMed. It's definitely something to look into. 

ReyYaySM

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Re: Grad School vs Experience
« Reply #2 on: Sep 15, 2006, 10:47 am »
There are a couple of other topics already going on grad school vs experience.  Try this one about grad school, or this one about SM college degrees.  Both weigh the pros and cons of grad school (or school in general) vs. experience. 

Best of luck to you in your decision!

MatthewShiner

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Re: Grad School vs Experience
« Reply #3 on: Sep 15, 2006, 02:05 pm »
It's not always grad school vs experience, you do experience while in grad school.

Please check previous posts, as there are threads about this.

If you want specific information about grad school, and if it is the right choice for you; I am from the pro-grad school camp (although I do NOT think it is for everyone), you can private me.

Best of luck on your decision.
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vap12

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Re: Grad School vs Experience
« Reply #4 on: Sep 16, 2006, 05:45 pm »
Thanks everyone. I couldn't find the threads before. Perhaps you could help me with another question. I've never had to record blocking for an entire show and most of what I've done involves stick figures. I'm afraid that lacking blocking and costume plots in my portfolio will keep me from getting in anywhere. Are there any good resources to learn how to record blocking and costume plots?
Thanks!

Balletdork

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Re: Grad School vs Experience
« Reply #5 on: Sep 16, 2006, 07:34 pm »
There is a thread here re; good theater books- check it out!

KC_SM_0807

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Re: Grad School vs Experience
« Reply #6 on: Sep 17, 2006, 08:38 pm »
I'm also struggling with whether to go to grad school or go out professionally.  I have been blessed to work with someone who is going to help me get my foot in the door after I graduate, so I think that I may go that route.  It's a really hard decision, but you have to figure out whats best for you. I've also been told by several people in the professional world that you go to grad school for connections.  If you have those connections without havin to go to grad school, why spend another three years in school?  I do believe that it is a valid argument.  However, having a higher degree may be more effective when it comes to getting a job. I mean... if you do to go grad school, granted you will be receiving a higher degree, but what will you be doing there? Stage Managing.. which is exactly what you would be doing professionally or as an intern.  You really just have to weigh out your options and figure out if you are ready to go out and work professionally, or if you want to spend 3 more years in school.   Best of Luck and I hope that everything works out for you either way.
"Perhaps, therefore, Stage Managers not only need to be calm and meticulous professionals who know their craft, but masochists who feel pride in rising above impossible odds."

LisaEllis

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Re: Grad School vs Experience
« Reply #7 on: Oct 11, 2006, 08:48 pm »

I'd have to say that I'm in the opposite camp...the "Don't waste your money because you start at the bottom anyway" camp.

I have a BA, and the folks who have worked under me that have a Master's are not willing to work hard.  They spent that energy and 2 or 3 years getting a degree, and they still have to make coffee and sharpen pencils at the end of it.  No matter what you come out with, you start at the bottom. 

If your degree is in something else completely, and you have no theatre background at all, then having a masters degree that teaches you something new is worthwhile.  But if you have a theatre degree, then go work.  A masters is only good for dramaturgy and teaching college.  Besides, in 10 years, you might want a masters in business or artistic administration instead anyway.

My advice is to find internships (paid or unpaid) and get out there.

Good luck, whatever choice you make.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Grad School vs Experience
« Reply #8 on: Oct 12, 2006, 09:57 am »
Quote
I'd have to say that I'm in the opposite camp...the "Don't waste your money because you start at the bottom anyway" camp.

On the flip side, I went from graduating at grad school to being a stage manager at a major regional theater because of the grad education, and I have never assiststed again.

It all depends on the top of the school, the type of student and where they are and where they want to go.



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Candy0081

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Re: Grad School vs Experience
« Reply #9 on: Oct 12, 2006, 04:56 pm »
I am finishing my third and final year in grad school and I am a fan of it.  I  am in a program that pays me and I get a degree.  I've been interviewed because of the school and then hired.  For me grad school was the right choice, otherwise I might still be waitressing and stage managing at the community theatre.  It also gives me more options later.  If I decide to go into teaching I can. 

Candy

fuzzy_7

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Re: Grad School vs Experience
« Reply #10 on: Oct 13, 2006, 03:12 pm »
I"m going to go to grad school primarily because of my geographic location. Arkansas is not the best area for theatre so to make connections you pretty much have to go to grad school.
Derek A. Fuzzell

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