Advice to Aspiring Student Performers
For singers, dancers, and performing artists of all types there can be no greater joy than following their passions. After all the singing lessons have been completed, all of the dance auditions have been held, and all of the art portfolios have been submitted, though, aspiring artists should carefully consider their choice in performing arts schools.
Those students who carefully consider their options and work towards getting accepted by the biggest names in their field stand to greatly benefit in their career. In fact, despite increased competition, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be an 11 percent increase in performance art job availability between 2008 and 2018. The reasoning behind this is that due to all of the electronic media outlets and advanced technology, there are more advertising venues to promote theater, thereby resulting in a boost in ticket sales back at the box office.
Like the old saying says, there are three key elements to consider when applying for performing arts colleges: “location, location, location.” While the cost and coursework are crucial, schools located in or near major metropolitan centers like as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston should be at the top of any applicant’s list. A metropolitan area ensures a better selection of internships and other job opportunities which help students establish connections in the field.
It is also important to look at the school’s curriculum to make sure you have the proper training to make your skills stand out among the crowd once your formal studies are completed. Look at Sacred Heart University, for example, which exposes students to one-on-one lessons and encourages their students to perform in front of an audience with the many ensembles and theater opportunities throughout the school year. Sacred Heart University prepares their students in the fields of music and theater to develop their interests, talents and skills so that each student will have practical experience in which they can draw on later in their career.
To remain competitive, students that have made up their minds about applying to a performing arts school should have a portfolio as strong as their passion. This portfolio does not have to include every piece you have ever recorded, composed, or performed. Instead, students should emphasize those aspects of their portfolio that make them unique. Singers should demonstrate their range, artists their versatility, and everyone should include awards they have received from competitions.
Those who need to put together an audition should think about their selection of performance pieces well in advance. Any audition piece needs to be perfected and practiced as much as possible, because you need to “wow” the admissions personnel. Applicants should play their strengths and follow their heart–passion, devotion, and enthusiasm shines through in any performance.
As you interview date approaches, you may want to prepare a sample audio tape or video that you can provide to the admissions people after your audition so that they can review your talent even after the audition. This is a great opportunity for you to showcase your talent by adding a few musical pieces of different genres to show that you have a versatile range. If you really want to get into a great performing art school like Juilliard, an audition tape gives you opportunity, out of the limelight, to put together a strong audition. Not only does preparing ahead of time helps you to work out the kinks and calm your nerves (which would certainly be on high alert on the actual day), but it gives you a tangible–visual–resume with which to impress the judges as they make their final decisions.
Performing art schools come with some stress, but with careful consideration, ample planning, and a lot of drive you can succeed. Thanks to your hard work you can make a career out of your passion and the tools you learned at your performing art school.