Audition #2 in the ongoing effort for my daughter Katie to get into a top notch Musical Theatre program.  Last weekend it was Emerson College in Boston.  This has always been at the top of my daughter's list, partially because last summer she met someone who went who really liked it, and partially because she is also interested in ASL (she has 3 years of American Sign Language at her high school).  For those of you who don't know, Emerson is focused on communications (performance arts, broadcast journalism, technical communications, etc.) including a good Communication Disorders program.  For the musical theatre program there are about 500 applicants and 30 to 40 positions.

I did not go on this trip, but my wife and daughter loved Boston.  I've only been to Boston for a conference in a hotel and we were pretty much hotel-bound the entire time.  Apparently there are something like 37 colleges in Boston and my wife and daughter felt like they were surrounded by other college students their entire (short) stay.  They felt safe.  Emerson is consolidating in a single block of Boston so their campus buildings will probably be changing a lot in the coming years.  I had to laugh a bit at some of the wonderful changes coming since they will be happening either after my daughter would have graduated or in the last year of her time there.  For those of you with twelve year old children, this campus should rock by the time your kids are ready for college.

Apparently the audition went well.  She had a bit more time with the auditioners at Emerson than at Carnegie Mellon and they got to know her a little bit.  They went through her resume pretty closely.  She sang "Repent" from On the Twentieth Century and a ballad from Follies. She will probably change her second song for some of the other auditions since neither sufficiently shows her high range.  And she has been working on her high range and has really improved with a new song.  I don't know the name of the piece she is doing but it does sound very good.  "Repent" is good because she can really show off her presentation and acting skills with it.  It is quite funny.  On the other hand, "Repent" might make it look like she is trying to hide her singing abilities.  I guess the ballad should be making up for that.

She had very positive feedback from the voice auditioner and the acting auditioner and once again she was the best dancer in her little group.  Also, it sounded like a few more people may have noticed her leadership abilities as she once again took charge of her little group and connected with many of the other auditionees.  For instance, when they were doing their monologues, the group waited outside as one by one the were called in.  After Katie returned from her turn, someone said, "Oh good, Katie's here.  We can talk again."  Ahh, the intangibles...hopefully someone notices what an amazing person my daughter is.

So in the end, she felt pretty positive, but you have to wonder if the responses of the auditioners is positive for everyone.  I could imagine that if you have 10 minutes with an extremely nervous kid, in order to get to know them at all you have to be nothing but positive and complimentary.  They will have plenty of time to be disappointed later when they get their letter.

Next stop...Pepperdine this weekend.  They are more of a straight acting school (in fact I think the degree is stage and television acting) but they will listen to a song if you have one during the audition process.  This is going to be a whirlwind trip since my daughter has commitments Friday and Saturday night.  So we are squeezing in a flight to LAX, a short night's sleep in the hotel, a quick drive to Malibu, an early morning audition, dash back to the airport, catch a flight in time to make it to the Saturday night performance.  Ugh.

Break a leg, Katie!

   -Matt