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taking the reins and scared ****less

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taking the reins and scared ****less

Old 05-09-06, 12:12 PM
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taking the reins and scared ****less

Okay, my current situation is as follows:
I'm hanging around the dorms until my last final Friday afternoon. After that, I'm done with this school. I'm a theatre major - as many of you know - at VCU. I've decided this isn't the place for me and it's not where I belong. I don't feel that I will have the sort of opportunities I want from my college of choice. After a lot of talking with my mother (my best friend) I decided that I wanted to transfer. However, all of my schooling is getting paid off loans. I couldn't spend another year here if I didn't really want to just to wait around to transfer. We don't have the money for me to sit back and use this school as a waiting room before I make a better decision for me. So I'm taking this next year off. But, I'm not living with my parents. I can't go back home - I don't have it in me, and where they live isn't exactly a theatre mecca. I move into my own studio apartment August 1. It's in a nice complex with a pool, exercise room, public grills, laundry room, 24/7 security. And I'm paying for it myself. I'm spending the year working, auditioning for theatre in the city, working with former classmates on black box theatre (what I've been doing at VCU all year and don't even need to be a student to do), auditioning for new schools, and taking one or two gen-ed courses at the local community college. No, I'm not the person who's like - I'm taking time off - and never goes back. I'm taking the year off for the purpose of applying elsewhere while saving money. I've already got some applications half filled out and am working on essays already. My parents are hesitant but supportive and are helping me out a lot. My friends here are all upset I'll be leaving. My head is always filled with thoughts of next year.
What if I'm stuck here?
What if I don't get into another school, a better school?
What if I do?
None of the schools I'm applying to are in Virginia. I'm spending the next year taking charge and being independent. Then I'm heading off to a school where I will know no one (so long as I get in) in a big city (nothing else would do) and finding my way. Granted, I've never had trouble with people - I get along with pretty much anyone I want to. But I'm still so nervous. I'm an incredibly self-assured and confident girl but I still have these random moments where I worry that this next year will tell me not to do theatre any more. I've done well this past year in my productions and have received praise in many areas but I'm still worried that I won't find the validation I seek.
The schools I plan on applying to so far:
NYU, Julliard, Stephens, UofFL, DePaul, UofMD. The chances I'll get into some of them are quite slim but it doesn't hurt to try. If anyone else knows of good theatre schools in prosperous cities - you let me know.
Anyway, I just wanted to share. I needed to get it out. Is there anything I should do on my year off from school?


For the first time since I was 5... I don't have school in the fall. Wow...
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Old 05-09-06, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RVAbatman
What if
Hey, welcome to the club.

Either way, you seem to have your **** together. Better than I did, that's for certain.

As for your time off? Work, save money, have some fun, spend a lot of time with your friends.

I don't really have anything useful to say, except good work and good luck.
 
Old 05-09-06, 12:21 PM
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Anything you should do in your year off from school? Yeah, two big things. Make sure your spending is largely in line with what it was like in school and what it will be like when you go back to school. I've seen too many friends fall in love with their improved lifestyle once working and refuse to pursue their dreams. My best friend included. And make sure you keep your long-term goals in mind and constantly pursue them. A little time off can be a godsend for reflecting on what exactly you want and how you plan to make it happen.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:21 PM
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Hey, take a page out of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: DON'T PANIC. That's the most useful thing anyone will ever tell you. Deep breath. Don't panic. You'll be fine.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:22 PM
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Don't sweat it too much. You sound like you know what you want to do, and have a plan for getting where you want to be - which puts you a long way ahead of most of your peers. You also have a good head on your shoulders, and have a good command of the language.

If it comes down to it, you'll have no trouble wrapping some rich fellow around your finger.

(I was serious in the 1st paragraph).

edit <pretty sure the 2nd one would prove accurate too>
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Old 05-09-06, 12:26 PM
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<---- DON'T PANIC

Anyways, +1 to what jsc said. Work hard, save your money, watch your spending, don't go nuts on booze and fancy foods or clothes and act as much as possible. Good luck and keep a level head. You'll be fine.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Flippin Sweet
Hey, take a page out of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: DON'T PANIC. That's the most useful thing anyone will ever tell you. Deep breath. Don't panic. You'll be fine.
Now is a perfect time to panic!
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Old 05-09-06, 12:29 PM
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"ah, this must be some definition of the word 'safe' that I'm not familiar with..."
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Old 05-09-06, 12:31 PM
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Hmm, well, look up some BF members wherever you go. If you're in any kind of major city there should be a bunch. If you pick a college in Philly you can drop me a line . That'll give you some folks who'll at least have biking in common.

One of the more useful things you can do is make friends with people outside your peer group... By which I mostly mean, since you're in college, older folks. Sure you should mostly hang out with people around your age and whatnot, but having some friends who're a little more experienced, financially stable, owners of stuff you might need to borrow, etc. can make a big difference in helping you feel like you have someone nearby to call on if you need something.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
One of the more useful things you can do is make friends with people outside your peer group... By which I mostly mean, since you're in college, older folks.
Great advice, Jeff. The older people can be very helpful when you need something, and they also have a lot more life experience to draw on to give advice.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:36 PM
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Everyone but me in my core group of friends is 21+ . (Haha good thing they aren't bar hopping folks). So that kinda counts for older people right? Hahaha.

Yes, older men love me. On that note, I'm practically prostituting myself this summer. Some job changing had to be done so I'm now waitressing this summer. It's at a restaurant that is known for it's majorly busy lunches that are filled with upper class bussiness folk. And business men like service from a cute girl with a smile haha. Mmm I'm making bank this summer hahaha.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:37 PM
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I say get the panic out of your system if you can, then look at it with a level head.

*how long will you stay here (make it definate, no "I want to"....make it "I will")
*are you going to fidn relevant work while on hiatus? (yes is the preferred answer, it helps once you graduate)
*how much are you going to save up for an emergency slush fund (6mos is preferable...don't blow it once you get into school...save it up, and add to it as possible, so when you get out there, you are going to be that much less stressed out....due to my field of work, I keep a 9month slush.)

Be analytical about this, and make a plan. Plans are the ultimate tranquilzer for panic.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:40 PM
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Don't get pregnant.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:41 PM
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Oh, and apparently you can find cheap apartments to live in if you don't mind being some loser's "cuddle and stuff buddy"...
 
Old 05-09-06, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jyossarian
<---- DON'T PANIC

Anyways, +1 to what jsc said. Work hard, save your money, watch your spending, don't go nuts on booze and fancy foods or clothes and act as much as possible. Good luck and keep a level head. You'll be fine.
and do a bit of related studying, just so your brain doesnt get too lax
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Old 05-09-06, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RVAbatman
... so I'm now waitressing this summer. It's at a restaurant that is known for it's majorly busy lunches that are filled with upper class bussiness folk. And business men like service from a cute girl with a smile haha. Mmm I'm making bank this summer hahaha.
If you're taking a psych class this summer, you could apply the results of this experiment to a project for credit - otherwise you could do it for fun - it could have some application in theater as well.

Try out some different accents to use while on the job, and stick to one all day long. Keep track of the tips you get, and see which accent (if any) gets larger tips. You could try normal voice, southern girl, Irish lass, and maybe another one. Try these out over a few weeks, and mix things up so you're not always using the same voice on the same day of the week. After you figure out which one will work best, you can stick with it for economic reasons.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:47 PM
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The same thing happened to me when I was at Johns Hopkins; I knew I wanted to continue school, just not there, and didn't want to spend the outragious tution at a 'waiting room' deciding what I wanted to do.

I took a semester off, which was enough for me, and working a crappy job made me realize even more how much I needed to continue school, that and I needed some kind of stimulous.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:51 PM
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You should look into doing some sort of summer stock or apprenticeship over the summer. I worked at the Williamstown Theatre festival for 4 summers and saw a lot of non-eq and apprentices become really successful. It may be hard to make this work financially, but it will pay for itself in the long run.

also- if you're concerned about whether you will keep wanting to act or be in the theatre industry, you should definitely put a lot of time into trying to figure that out. You won't be able to do a good job in your new situation if you aren't convinced you want to do it, and it's way too hard to make a living in this business if you don't enjoy it. One of the hardest parts of studying for a career in theatre is the process of re-discovering what you love to do, but from the point of view of making it your career. A lot of times this is a hard time for people and they can lose interest because it doesn't seem fun anymore. But if you decide to stick with it, you'll find in time that the work is more rewarding than ever.

I went to Carnegie Mellon in Pgh. That may not be what you describe as a prosperous city, but you might look into it.

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Old 05-09-06, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bennyk
You should look into doing some sort of summer stock or apprenticeship over the summer. I worked at the Williamstown Theatre festival for 4 summers and saw a lot of non-eq and apprentices become really successful. It may be hard to make this work financially, but it will pay for itself in the long run.
Yeah definnitely a good way to get a legs up on the competition.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:55 PM
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Yea I already missed the big summer stock auditions. But there are quite a few graduate students that I got to know over this past year who have offered to help me find acting work next year. Weee.
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Old 05-09-06, 01:25 PM
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I transferred to a new school after my freshman year in college. I had many of the same doubts as you, including a hefty loan burden. For me it worked out great -- I was accepted at my new school of choice, and had a much better time there for the last 3 years. The only downside was feeling like the new kid in school for my sop****re year when everyone else was a returning sop****re and I didn't know anyone. It took a long time to get past that. FWIW, I believe that transfer acceptance requirements may be slightly relaxed from freshman entrance requirements, as you've already proven you can be accepted into college and perform there.

Oh yeah, and I went to DePaul for a while too post-grad -- Chicago is a great place to be.
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