As the college application process comes to a close for most PHS seniors, some are just beginning, by taking a different route of auditioning for schools’ arts programs.
Seniors Abigail Willson, Kay Sibal, and Emmett Reed are all in the process of applying to and auditioning for universities nationwide.
“I’m auditioning for acting programs at liberal arts colleges, a few in LA, but mostly in New York and Boston,” Willson said.
The audition process is long and strenuous, Reed said. For USC and NYU, you send in a video, which serves as a pre-screening, and if the school likes it, you are called back for an in-person audition.
“I am planning on only doing one audition,” Sibal said. “UCLA is the only school that I like enough to audition for.”
In order to prepare, Sibal and Willson said they are working with outside sources, such as retired actors, to prepare monologues.
“Most schools, for theatre, require two contrasting monologues,” Sibal said.“One from before 1900, and a more contemporary one. One is usually dramatic and one’s comedic.”
Willson said she is considering doing a minor in vocal performance, which she has experience from her choir background.
Although both Sibal and Willson said they have felt a love for performing from a young age, it was a hard decision to pursue it in college and beyond.
“It took me a while to commit to [acting], because it’s such a specialized career, so you have to really be sure,” Willson said. “There’s a lot to lose [if you become an actor].”
Sibal said she is keeping her horizons open, and is still not 100 percent sure she wants to pursue performing as a long-term career.
“I was in a lot of shows last year, and I was introduced to the lifestyle where it’s rehearsals every day, always in a show, and I really loved that; it kept me going,” Sibal said. “That’s what made me decide that I wanted to do that in college.”
Sibal also goes back and forth from studying theatre, music, or even environmental studies in college, she said.
Reed is planning on auditioning for music production and jazz voice, although he didn’t realize until recently that he wanted to pursue music long-term.
“I think it’s cool because there’s a lot of options to go from it,” Reed said. “Big studios are kind of a thing of the past, but with modern technology it’s becoming really easy to just record at home, and it’s a lot cheaper.”
Reed said his audition videos were due on Dec. 1, and currently he is figuring out what songs he wants to do, and which ones highlight his talent best.
All three seniors said they have back-up plans, including taking a gap year and switching majors. But they aren’t the only seniors pursuing an arts major in college. Many are also going through the same process.
“I think it’s so cool that so many people in our grade are doing this, and I think that’s amazing, and it takes a lot of thought and bravery to pursue arts in general,” Sibal said. “The arts are so important, so I’m so glad many people are doing it.”