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Indecisive Poet

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Indecisive Poet last won the day on July 14

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About Indecisive Poet

  • Rank
    Double Shot

Profile Information

  • Pronouns
    Anything works
  • Location
    Scotland
  • Interests
    British Romanticism...and philosophy? theory?
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    MA English

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  1. Indecisive Poet

    2019 Acting MFAs

    To be very honest, I'm less interested in the training that comes with a degree in acting and more interested in the exposure and connections. I missed the boat on doing any kind of youth acting at all and on building up an acting CV, and I've always felt that by missing that boat I also missed out on the possibility of being "discovered" and by extension of being successful. The only reason I would do an MFA is because I don't think there's any other way to break into screen acting at age 24 with nothing but university theater experience – it's always seemed to me like the people who are able to find success in acting do so because they began acting at a very young age and had agents who were getting them high-profile auditions by age 16 (of course there are exceptions to this but it seems most of the exceptions just got exceptionally lucky by knowing someone or being stumbled upon). Acting is loads of fun and I'd love to continue doing it just for the thrill of it whether or not I found ~success~ (by which I guess I mean not needing a day job), but I wouldn't switch gears from English to acting and go get the MFA if I knew it would just lead to acting in local theater on the weekends or teaching drama. So I'm not sure if there's a path that's right for me here. I say this to a forum full of people who know much more about this than I do so – any thoughts? : )
  2. Indecisive Poet

    Letter-writers?

    Hi all, Next year I will be applying to both English PhD programs and MFA programs in fiction-writing. I have a concern about my applications for the latter: I only took a few creative writing classes as an undergrad and they were all with part-time lecturers rather than tenured faculty members (and my undergrad university has some very well-known writers on the faculty – kicking myself now for not taking advantage...). Two of these lecturers I had good relationships with but I don't believe the others would even remember who I was if I reached out to them, and I definitely didn't submit great work in their classes (I thought I had an interest in screenwriting at the time but as it turns out I am a terrible screenwriter and have since focused entirely on fiction and poetry). I'm in an English MA program now and creative writing is not a component. It seems my only option is to ask the two part-time lecturers for letters and an English professor, of which I have several good options. None of them, of course, are familiar with my creative work. Does anyone know how heavily LoRs are weighted in the MFA admissions process? I understand that the writing sample and the statement of purpose are the most significant components, but I am concerned that my lacking LoRs will nonetheless hurt my applications.
  3. Indecisive Poet

    2019 Applicants

    See you here next year for the 2020 cycle! One great thing about the extra time will be the chance to retake those tests if you can afford to. Fluke tests, harder questions than normal, etc happen to everyone and hopefully only once. I took a gap year after undergrad and it was 100% the right decision. I'll be taking another after my MA program ends this summer and applying to PhD programs next fall... I'm still trying to prep mentally for applying to (and working) jobs and being out of university again (by far the worst parts of gap year) but I'm confident it's the right decision for submitting my strongest apps and that it will be as fruitful as the last.
  4. Indecisive Poet

    2019 Acting MFAs

    This was so helpful – thanks so much for sharing the info. I think you're completely right about needing to know 100% that it's what I'm interested in pursuing before I apply. At the moment I'm weighing a few different options and I think this next year (while I finish my MA in English) and the gap year after that will be super helpful in mulling things over and getting some more acting experience. Best of luck with your applications! Let us know if the audition coaching is worth it. Sounds...expensive 😐
  5. Indecisive Poet

    Acting MFA—How much experience is needed?

    This is great information (and reassuring) – and thanks for the info you shared on the other thread as well. As of now, all I'd have would be school credits, so I think I'd need another year at least to get involved with some regional stuff and festivals if I were to seriously consider applying. Do you know anything about what's expected in the way of acting classes? I've read that while it's fine to not have an undergraduate degree in theater, it is expected that you've taken acting classes somewhere, even extra-university.
  6. Indecisive Poet

    Acting MFA—How much experience is needed?

    Bumping this topic as I'm in a similar position. Anyone have thoughts on this? @directeur's post says experience isn't as important as "dedication, a strong theatre background, and a clear desire to pursue a professional acting career" – but what are those things if not experience? My assumption is that by "dedication to acting as a career," programs aren't asking for an essay that says "I know I want to act" but are rather looking for an extensive and impressive resume.
  7. Indecisive Poet

    2019 Acting MFAs

    Hi all, I'm dropping in from the English forum hoping someone here can humor me. I'm wondering if anyone might be able to shed light on what kind of experience is expected of applicants to MFA programs in Acting (i.e. when program websites say things like "we expect to see a demonstrated commitment to being an actor" on your resume). Do applicants normally have BFA Acting degrees? How many years of acting experience is expected and in what settings? Should applicants have taken many acting classes before, and are some kinds better than others? Another question I have: acting (especially for film) can be unlike other fields in that your age and the way you look matter very much in the hiring process (even if at degree level they do not). Is there a "normal" age to apply to MFA programs in acting? Is there ever anyone in MFA Acting programs not in their early 20s? These are just curiosities from someone who has done minimal serious acting but has been too afraid for many years to pursue it seriously because I sort of missed the boat. Didn't realize it was something I was very interested in until the end of undergrad, whereas if I had gotten into it as a teenager I would have been equipped to pursue it whole-heartedly. Do feel free to rip me apart if it's insane for someone who hasn't worked extensively in the industry and doesn't have ~connections~ to even consider this – but right now, I'm just interested in hearing about how all of this works.
  8. I've read very successful statements that have done this. I think the trick is to do this in a way that comes across as necessary rather than as name-dropping, i.e. explaining how your work fits within a conversation that XYZ scholars are a part of or explaining how your work complicates Scholar Z's argument -- if those conversations really are central to your work. Certainly I think it is important to address how your work fits into your field, but you may find you don't need to mention particular scholars to do that. One way to do this organically is by mentioning them in the same place where you're discussing papers you've written, i.e. "In Professor X's class, I wrote a paper that drew on Scholar Z's [argument/idea], complicating it by arguing Y." Personally, this is what I would choose to do since it shows how critics have influenced your thinking rather than merely saying that they have. I've also read a successful statement that simply wrote "My work has been most influenced by X, Y, and Z" at the end of a paragraph without explaining it further. So my impression is that, like most things in the statement, there isn't a right or wrong way to do it.
  9. Indecisive Poet

    2019 Applicants

    I'm looking at Rice for next application cycle -- this is interesting! Do you think this is reason to edit the Rice SoP to not include the same things about fit, interests, etc. that are in the other statements? I'm thinking about advice I've received to not discuss in the SoP what's already obvious elsewhere in your application (ie grades, stuff on CV). Or do you think the space in the application portal is an area to expand on research interests mentioned but not gone into depth on in the SoP? It seems there would inevitably be overlap even in this case, though.
  10. Indecisive Poet

    Updated Funding Packages

    Stacy Klein, Larry Scanlon, and Sarah Novacich all focus entirely on medieval literature -- albeit not Norse or Old Irish 😊
  11. Indecisive Poet

    Updated Funding Packages

    You might look into Rutgers if you haven't already -- though I can't recall anyone there who works on your specific interests, there are a few really great medievalists there and the focus tends to be on the Anglo-Saxon period rather than the usual 14th century authors. There has also been an abundance of courses offered in the medieval period in previous years.
  12. Speaking from my own experience, the multiple-pass strategy worked very well for me. It was a great way to ensure I answered all the questions on passages I recognized. I took the ST twice and both times I did not have enough time to read and answer all the questions -- answering all the questions in order would likely not have gone as well for me. I think I went through and looked for familiar names and passages and answered those questions, then went through a second pass to answer one-off questions, and then went through a final pass for whatever was left. That said, my better score (which I'm happy with) was in the 83rd percentile. Maybe some folks who did better than I did can weigh in.
  13. Indecisive Poet

    2019 Applicants

    Applying to more schools since you have the time (and if you have the money) -- sounds like something I would definitely do if I were you!
  14. Indecisive Poet

    Interfolio?

    Thanks, @a_sort_of_fractious_angel. I am leaning toward not using it. I wonder if your approach would work for me, though -- two of my recommenders have only known me for a month and I'm hoping to give them up until December to write their letters as we get to know each other better. I'm also planning to send in all my materials pretty close to the deadlines because I was only convinced to apply this year instead of next year a couple weeks ago and will be scrambling to get things done. Maybe I can just be up front with them about the number of emails they'll get and how I want to make that easier on them, and I can ask if they'd prefer to get started on the letters now or to submit them all at once in December.
  15. Indecisive Poet

    Interfolio?

    Hi all, I haven't found a post about this more recent than 2012 and am looking for updated experiences. Did anyone who applied to 10+ programs use Interfolio and have success with it? Did those of you who did not use it find that it wasn't a problem to forgo it? I dread the idea of paying for yet another part of this process and it seems much easier to follow the website's instructions and put in my letter-writers' email addresses rather than navigate a third-party service that sounds complicated and inconsistent, not to mention email each of the programs and ask if they accept it. But -- I equally dread the idea of my letter-writers receiving 13 different emails requesting uploads. One of my letter-writers is British and unfamiliar with the US application process and he has never had to support so many applications for one student before. Another one of my letter-writers suggested Interfolio to me last year when I was applying to MA programs and seemed disappointed that the programs I was applying to didn't accept it. Thoughts?
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