Author Topic: Need Help Narrowing Down!  (Read 5078 times)

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SM_Maddie

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Need Help Narrowing Down!
« on: Sep 07, 2011, 07:55 pm »
Hey Everyone!

I know there are questions about these schools, and I've read most of them, but I would still appreciate any advice/recommendations on narrowing down my own massive college list. I started out with 13 schools, and have narrowed down my list to 9. Ideally, I would like to be around six. Any advice, helpful information, or general pointers you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

I'm looking (ideally) a school in the city, that offers plenty of opportunity to it's undergrad students. I would also like a school that doesn't have too large of a SM program (in terms of the number of SM's within the program) and that offers many chances to make connections and connect with people working in the industry.

Again, any advice would be greatly appreciated  :)! The Schools are...

DePaul univ
Emerson college
Penn State Univ
Rutgers
SUNY Purchase
Syracuse Univ
Univ of IL - U/C
VCU Univ
CCM

Scott

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Re: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #1 on: Sep 09, 2011, 11:47 am »

DePaul univ
Emerson college
Penn State Univ
Rutgers
SUNY Purchase
Syracuse Univ
Univ of IL - U/C
VCU Univ
CCM


IMHO:

Purchase does have a large number of stage managers in their program relatively, but they probably also produce the largest number of people working in the field.  Every graduate I've met has very good professional contacts as well as a good skill set.

Syracuse produces a lot of working actors, especially in musical theatre. They are doing something right with their program in general and I suspect that there would be some nice niches for potential stage managers.

I was distinctly unimpressed with what I saw going on in the stage management program at U of IL U/C when I was a guest artist there for a few weeks (about 11 years ago) and have yet to meet any working stage managers from that program (as far as I know).


MatthewShiner

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Re: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #2 on: Sep 10, 2011, 10:30 am »
Do you want to cross off programs with grad programs?

I would push for you to be in or near the city you think you wish to live in - you might as well start making connections while you are in college.

I think they are all pretty much interchangeable as far as undergraduate programs, and without knowing how you learn, like to learn or what you want to learn, it's hard to give you more personalized information.
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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: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #3 on: Sep 11, 2011, 01:27 pm »
Well I guess I'm the resident VCU expert (btw VCU univ is redundant, lol) Anyway, like most bfa programs it's a career oriented program so what you get in work experience you lose in "learning" about theatre.  It's conservatory "style", 2/3 Theatre, 1/3 General Education classes.  You work on shows starting from you first year, which is a little rough going straight from nothing to college and shows. All shows are undergrad acted (barring age appropriate grad roles) combo undergrad and grad designed,  and completely undergrad SM. We currently have 9 people in the SM department, in a theatre school of 250 and a university of 33,000. The whole department is very connected, close, and family oriented. We do 4-6 mainstage shows a year, 20-30 completely student shows in our blackbox space. SM Alumni work all over (Broadway(Rock of Ages, God of Carnage, RENT, etc.) Studio Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, etc...) all of the faculty are currently working professionals which can be a good and bad thing. Richmond has 12 "professional" theatres (2 equity houses) that always offer positions and jobs to students in and on shows. It is a larger city with a "rough" reputation (it's not) and a lot of things to do in your free time...any more questions just message me
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SM_Maddie

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Re: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #4 on: Sep 15, 2011, 08:38 pm »
Thanks guys! I really appreciate your advice, it's helped a lot!  :D

elizabrenn

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Re: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #5 on: Apr 17, 2012, 09:59 pm »
from your list of "wants" in a program, i think i can narrow down your list for you:

Rutgers (MGSA)

 :)

vbskeeby

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Re: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #6 on: Apr 18, 2012, 07:05 pm »
I went to Univ. of IL at U/C and loved it, but given what you want, I'd recommend DePaul.  What the kids who went to college in Chicago have over me is that their professors SM at the big theatres in town so they have amazing connections right out of the gate.  And here I am, with an MFA that's 12 years old and these kids just walk right in.  Plus, you can also ASM or floor manage for theatres in the city between your school shows or over the summer, something that I really couldn't afford to do as I am an adult with real bills.

SM_Maddie

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Re: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2012, 05:52 pm »
Thank you for your advice again, everyone! It actually came down to a really tough decision. I applied and was accepted to DePaul, Emerson, Penn State, Rutgers, Webster, SUNY Purchase, and VCU. After much thought, I've decided to attend DePaul next year! I love Chicago, I love the program, and I just know that it's the place for me. Thank you all for your help in this decision making process!

dallas10086

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Re: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 06:40 pm »
Congratulations! And you can't go wrong being in Chicago.

G.Miciak

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Re: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 02:28 am »
I don't understand why these discussions never include coming to Canada to study. We have a few very good programs and it is WAY cheaper for an international student to go to university in Canada than it is for an American student to go to university in their own city.

Yes I realize that our system is slightly different up here, but the skills are the same. A degree in Canada and apprenticing in the US would probably be sufficient to make the switch across the border. Has anyone ever done this or do you know someone who has? I would be curious to hear how it worked out for them.

On_Headset

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Re: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2012, 02:54 am »
Realistically, though, your best bet in all cases is to go to school in the city where you aspire to work. The worst thing to do to yourself, especially early in your career, is to move to a new city with no leads, contacts, job offers or insight into how you might obtain these things. Of course, no matter where you go, if you never leave campus and refuse to involve yourself in the local scene, you aren't going to get very far--but someone at, say, DePaul can easily work on a few Chicago-area productions, while someone at Duke is never going to get a chance to make contacts for their future career in San Francisco until after graduation.

There are some exceptions (If you get an offer for a really really really prestigious program, it doesn't matter if you've always had your heart set on working in Peoria: go to NTS or wherever accepted you. Similarly, if you've always wanted to work somewhere where the local programs aren't known to be especially strong [Las Vegas sticks out in my own mind here], going elsewhere for your degree might be helpful), but in general, given the choice between several more-or-less equivalent programs, take the program which gets you geographically and culturally closest to the area where you hope to work someday.

(I'm a Canadian myself, and I definitely agree that our schools are underrated, but given the choice between, say, Ryerson or NYU for an aspiring actor who hopes to work in NYC... go to NYU. Ryerson would be way cheaper, but NYU would be an infinitely smarter move career-wise.)

MatthewShiner

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Re: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2012, 07:52 am »
I also would recommend going to school where you want to work, in general, but New York City can be hard - and maybe the one city to give you pause.  Let me play devils advocate for a second - having just gone a round with a university in NYC.

You don't train for war in a war zone.

Making connections in NYC at 18-22 is hard, because you are entering an already flooded market, and you are just another young, inexperienced (resume wise) stage manager, entering the sea of other young, inexperienced (resume wise) stage managers.  You may not be able to use those connections to get a step up on the career ladder.  I know too many very good, young stage managers caught in the world of PAing - they only make the AEA weeks OUTSIDE of NYC, but in NYC cap out at $400.00 a week.  (NYC IS VERY COMPETITIVE)


Also, NYC for example is slighted toward commercial theater - the only job that really pays enough to live off in NYC.  If you have no interest in commercial theater, long runs and the world that affords (and I know, at times, Broadway seems very exciting, there is some huge downside).  If commercial theater is not your interest . . . and the competitive world that goes with it - then perhaps you might want to go to school in large theatre market but not the specific world of NYC.

You may not like the lifestyle of living in NYC.  It's a full time "job" living in the city.

NYC is not for everyone, but luckily it doesn't have to be.  There are plenty of other cities you can make a living at doing this job.  And ones you can afford to live in and enjoy life.

Now, again, making the connections, learning the city, etc, etc . . . will only help you, but . . . location should not be the ONLY decision to take into consideration.

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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.

Scott (formerly Digga)

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Re: Need Help Narrowing Down!
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2012, 10:55 am »
Thank you for your advice again, everyone! It actually came down to a really tough decision. I applied and was accepted to DePaul, Emerson, Penn State, Rutgers, Webster, SUNY Purchase, and VCU. After much thought, I've decided to attend DePaul next year! I love Chicago, I love the program, and I just know that it's the place for me. Thank you all for your help in this decision making process!

My friend is also going to DePaul next fall for Tech Theater/Set Design.  She loved visiting and is really looking forward to it.