Author Topic: Equal-Opportunity Program?  (Read 4215 times)

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gafftaped

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Equal-Opportunity Program?
« on: Jan 29, 2012, 12:46 am »
I'm a senior in high school going to be interviewing for colleges soon, and I was wondering if my high school's style of choosing stage managers could be a hindrance to me.

We are only allowed to SM one show a year (can ASM multiple, though) so everyone can have a chance. This means that last year, my director reserved me to SM our musical, as is also the case this year. However, at the time of my interviews, I will only have one show on my resume where I am listed as the stage manager (several more, however, where I have ASMed).

Any feedback on how this could impact my acceptance, as well as how I can play it off? I have already had a show outside of school where I was a part of the general crew, then they interviewed for SM and ASMs, and my lack of actual stage management experience prevented me from getting the position I wanted.

missliz

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Re: Equal-Opportunity Program?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 29, 2012, 09:24 am »
Explain it to them. The fact that you've only SMed one show isn't from lack of initiative, it's just a timing/scheduling thing. (The fact that a director is reserving you for shows definitely looks good too!) You're clearly still motivated to find places you can get experience (ASMing, crew on outside productions) so I don't think it'll hurt you.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

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lsears

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Re: Equal-Opportunity Program?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 29, 2012, 05:02 pm »
I agree with Missliz, just explain it to them.  There are many reasons why a college applicant may be short of shows on their resume - sometimes people come to an interest in stage management late in high school and only do one show, sometimes their schools only do one production a year.  The interview and how you conduct yourself are more important than a list of shows.

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hbelden

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Re: Equal-Opportunity Program?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 31, 2012, 06:53 pm »
Agreed.  Undergrad is not the same as graduate school.  More important than specifically-SM credits are a proven commitment to theatre, in any contribution.  The purpose of undergrad is to teach the craft to you, not to hire the most qualified SM for their productions.
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Heath Belden

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MatthewShiner

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Re: Equal-Opportunity Program?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 31, 2012, 08:29 pm »
Well, wait, Heath. . . if one is applying to a BFA program, there might be a higher standard or expectation . . . I think that a MFA has a higher expectations then a BFA, but a BFA would most likely have higher expectations then a BA.

BUT, I think there are ways to sell and package yourself to make up for the lack of credits on your resume - and there is time to add other credits.

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

hbelden

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Re: Equal-Opportunity Program?
« Reply #5 on: Feb 01, 2012, 05:49 pm »
That's a good caveat, Matt, but still, we're talking about stage managers.  How many high schools out there know that SMs even exist, let alone how to train them?

I guess it really depends on how fierce the competition is for admission to the college.  Back in the early nineties, when I was an actor in a BFA program, we just used un-cast actors as the stage managers in any given semester.  I know SMs have come a long way in academia since then, but still, I stand by my statement that a wide range of theatrical experience is more helpful in college admissions than a long list of SM credits.
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G.Miciak

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Re: Equal-Opportunity Program?
« Reply #6 on: Feb 01, 2012, 06:14 pm »
I am in a BFA program now that has taken and will take people that have little stage management experience. What they look for is ability to work with others and most of all, a demonstration that a person knows what they are getting into (i.e. an understanding of what the job is). Of course, the best way to know what the job is, is to do it, but being an ASM still means that you have that understanding.

I know my program has rejected applicants for a lack of experience, but I don't think you would fall into that category. Keep adding credits where you can and you should be just fine.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Equal-Opportunity Program?
« Reply #7 on: Feb 01, 2012, 06:35 pm »
There are some top tier BFA programs (like North Carolina and DePaul for example) where there is a bit more expectation.

As much as I am opposed to 17 years old picking stage management as a career goal based on their high school experience and expectations, and pumping up to 120,000.00 into BFA program, there is some stiff competition for these top tier programs.

It really depends on the program, but a good program will look for potential - but it depends on the program. 

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

BARussell

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Re: Equal-Opportunity Program?
« Reply #8 on: Feb 03, 2012, 03:02 pm »
That's why I think the interview process is so important, having met with some of the students at UNCSA, and going to a pretty tough program myself, it's really not  all about experience, although that is important, it is about attitude, personality, and commitment.  I had "fake" stage managed once in high school, before applying. Turns out I knew nothing about SMing but ended up liking it nonetheless, so I am happy I made that decision at 17 otherwise I would be three years behind in experience, and nowhere near building a career.
"We don't negotiate with weirdos!"

 

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