Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/Right college for me?

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Question
"Hello, i was wondering if you could help me find the right schooling for my field of interest. I have a passion for acting and the theatre, and have been pursuing it for most of my high school career. I am now a senior and college application deadlines are fast approaching! My biggest issue, however, is that i have no idea where i want to go. I want to look into schools with excellent theatre/acting programs, so maybe a performing arts school, that are known for the majors and/or minors im looking into. I know i dont want to pursue acting solely, but instead maybe as a minor, and i want to major in either arts management or directing (for casting and/or producing). If you know of any schools that are ideal for my areas of interest, please let me know!! I appreciate your time in reading and answering my question. Thank you."

Answer
You have thought about this, I can tell. I hope you are now while you are in high school directing in school and community theatre, so you have a good resume'.
There are questions to ask yourself about attending college and majoring or minoring in directing or arts management. I receommend that you research by googling colleges that have majors in arts management and majors in directing.
Below are questions for you to answer.
One being where do you want to live while going to college? Do yuu wnat a big university or small college? How much financial aid do you need?
When you are ready to think about college, there are considerations to ponder. It is advisable to talk with those who will support you financially, while you attend college.  
The following is a list of questions you must explore while choosing the schools to which you will apply.
•   Have you studied college guides for Theatre colleges and universities?
•   Do you know if the college or university has regional auditions near your home?
•   Can you audition at state and national festivals?
•    Does the college/university allow its undergraduates to perform?
•   Have you completed all financial aid applications?
•   Are you contacted local civic and business organizations to see if they offer scholarships for which you can apply?
•   In what environment, do you want to live? Urban? Rural? Dormitory? Off-campus?
•   Who are the graduates of the college/university, and where are they working in the profession?
•   What is the history of the school?
•   What course titles are included in their curriculum?
•   Does the college/university offer an AA, BA, BFA, MA, MFA?
•   What acting technique does the school endorse?
•   Does the Theatre Department provide showcases for their students with professional agents?
•   What type of audition do you need?
•   What grades do you need for admission?
•    How much weight is put on the audition?
•   What is the tuition cost?
•    Do they have opportunities for study abroad?
•   Are there scholarships available?
•   Can you visit and sit in classes in session?
•   Does the school offer career preparation for after you graduate?
•   What is the title of the acting degree will you receive if you finish the acting program?
•   What financial aid is offered?
•   What are your chances of getting into the school?
•   Will you be allowed to work and audition if you are not a Theatre major?
•   Will you be allowed to work and audition outside of school while attending?

My advice includes your applying to a minimum total of eight community college, colleges, universities, and/or post-high-school conservatories. One of these should be an institution for which you would need no financial aid to attend; another of these should be your ideal school, the one for which you might need a full financial ride to attend. Others would fall between these two financial extremes. You should apply to a wide range of college and universities, including your dream college.
If the financial aid that is offered, plus your own financial resources if any, is not sufficient, you may contact an institution’s Financial Aid Office and respectfully try to negotiate more. If you try to envision paying for the entire several years of study, that can be daunting; perhaps if you can pay somehow for the first year or first semester, more financial aid will come through. If you obtain financial aid, but find that you must put off entering, ask the college’s Financial Aid Offices if they will hold that financial aid for you until you can begin. This is sometimes possible, as post-secondary institutions like to attract older students. Be sure to complete any needed financial aid forms.
Do you want a liberal arts degree? Many knowledgeable people advise that you go to a two year community college or a small liberal arts college for an undergraduate degree. You will take part in a variety of opportunities and study a widespread, exploratory view of what college offers, and then you can specialize in Theatre for a later degree.
Do you want a conservatory degree? Look at the school’s alumnae to see what they doing in theatre or film. Visit the campus; ask to sit in on a class. Study what credentials the faculty have.  Ask what performance and showcase opportunities the conservatory offers for underclasspersons.
There are many things to consider when you are choosing a college or university.  

Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing

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Gai Jones

Expertise

I can answer the following questions: How can I choose the right college to study Theatre Arts? How can I prepare a monologue for audition? What do I need to study to become a Theatre educator? How can I use Theatre techniques in leadership positions? How can I implement ensemble Theatre experiences for class/cast/staff development? I prefer not to answer any questions about agent recommendations.

Experience

I have fifty years of work in Theatre education. I am an professional Theatre educator, actress, director, and producer. I have two published Theatre education books. I have taught all levels, including elementary through college/university and senior citizen acting. I have experience in leading national ensemble building experiences using Theatre techniques. www.gaijones.com.

Organizations
AFTRA/SAG 2002-present, EdTA member since 1968, Thespian Director, Senior Theatre League, Professional Member, Past Territorial Director/Past Regional Director, AATE Member, CA Representative, Americans for the Arts, CA Educational Theatre Association, member, membership V.P, Past President, CA Thespians, Ex Trustee, VP membership, past Director, CA Teachers Association, CAAE board member, CSUF Alumni Association, Daughters of the American Revolution, Drama Teachers Associations of So. CA, Member, Membership Secretary, Girl Scouts of America, Grady County Historical Society, Legislative Action Committee, National Educational Association, Order of the Eastern Star, Parent Teacher Student Association, USAO Alumni Association, Zeta Phi Eta

Publications
RAISING THE CURTAIN BREAK A LEG Secondary Schools of Theatre Association “Shop Talk” EdTA “Teaching Theatre” AATE “Stage and School” AATE Guest Editor and contributor “Stage of the Art” Theatre Arts Curriculum, grades s7-12 LA TIMES BACKSTAGE WEST DRAMALOGUE STAGE DIRECTIONS CETA News Journal CETA Position Paper 2007 Sage to Stage Curriculum, senior citizen Osher Institute Curriculum, CSU, Channel Islands CSU, East Bay, Curriculum professional developments www.dramaeducation.com

Education/Credentials
BA Speech and Drama Oklahoma College for Women MA in Theatre CSU Fulerton, CA Teacher Fullerton Union District Placentia Yorba LInda Unified District Instructor Fulleton College Associate Professor, CA State University, East Bay Workshops with NYU, Roosevelt, Northern Colorado University, University of CA, Irvine, A.C.T., University of Texas, Austin, UCLA, ComedySportzLA, Junior High Teaching Credential Life Time Standard Secondary Credential Administrative Credential

Awards and Honors
Black Box Theater renamed GAI JONES THEATER, El Dorado H.S. Placentia, CA 2002; The World’s Who’s Who of Women; Secondary Educators of America; Young Educators of America, CAAE Leader in Theatre Education; Stage Directions-Leaders in America; Outstanding Arts Educator, Orange County; CETA Outstanding Educator/Life time Achievement Award; CA State Thespians Hall of Fame; EdTA Hall of Fame.

Past/Present Clients
over 25,000 students, past and present

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