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Squidpunk

Directing MFA for 2018 - Let's connect

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@E. Karenina — if it helps, getting a few interviews and then being rejected from grad school during my first year that I applied was the best thing that ever happened to me. At the time, it felt awful, but in the past two years I’ve made the best work of my career and now I understand why grad school is the right choice for me.

I think, at the time, I was so concerned with “Will they like me?” and trying to impress them that I forgot that I was a smart and desirable candidate with a lot to offer. I made my application about THEM, not about ME.

I think one of the reasons I’ve been doing so well this year in my applications is that I’m coming to these interviews without any concern for impressing the schools I’m applying to. I’m thinking: What do *I* want to talk about in my interview, and I’m driving the conversation, rather than worrying “Is this the right answer?” 

Be selfish. Demand that this process bring you clarity about who you want to be as an artist. If you bring that into the room, you will understand if UMass is the right place for you. Sending you good vibes.

I had an insane day yesterday — woke up at 4am to get to the airport, my flight got delayed, then I missed my connecting flight in Philly, and there were no other planes that would get me there on time. Ultimately, I wound up taking a taxi at breakneck speed to catch a train to New Haven that got me in only 30 minutes prior to my interview (I had the last slot). I was deeply impressed with how much Yale helped me out to make sure that I got to my interview and they were apparently ready to stay late if I couldn’t make it. That generosity of spirit meant a lot during the stressful moments. I felt really great during the whole callback & interview and we had a really fascinating conversation; I articulated who I am as an artist! I’m proud and happy and excited. Also, when they called time on my rehearsal scene, both of the actors were like “Nooo! We’re having such a good time!” Which, honestly, is the only validation I need.

We will apparently hear in a few days! I wish I could just sleep until then.

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@MadamDirector Thank you!! I'm definitely excited also. They have all been so kind and accommodating via email, that I'm sure it will be a great couple of days. Now, to drop my dogs off at the sitter, and then planes, trains, and automobiles to Amherst!

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Hi everyone!

I am possibly looking into MFA programs for 2019 and I was wondering what all your backgrounds in directing are? Do you have professional experience or assistant work? It seems like you're all having good luck with the selection process and I'm curious where you are at in your careers and if I'm in a similar position so I too can have the success you're all having. Thanks!

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1 hour ago, bluto said:

and I was wondering what all your backgrounds in directing are?

This May, I'll be five years out of undergrad. I'm the cofounding artistic director of a theatre company, so I've racked up quite a few directing credits over four season with my own company. (My partner and I pretty much split the season, with a rare guest director thrown in.) I also have a couple of professional directing credits from a youth theatre where I worked during undergrad, and a couple of assistant director credits from during and after college.

Just about all of the programs I applied to stayed pretty clearly that they were seeking applicants with 3-5 years of experience beyond college, but I'm sure there are many programs out there that are looking for different types of applicants. During interviews I've met current students with background very similar to mine, as well as folks with very different experiences. 

I interviewed at one school where they seemed almost turned off by the fact that I'd founded a company (a lot of "Well, why do you want to leave that to come to grad school?"). At others, my background seemed like a perfect fit, and no one batted an eye about the idea of stepping away from my company to pursue more training. 

All I can say is do your research, find the schools that speak to your reasons for pursuing grad school, and go for it. Be honest and clear about why you want to go to graduate school at this point in your career, and the programs that fit your wants and needs will come together. 

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@Squidpunk that is an incredible story!

I can actually relate and confirm. I applied for the first time last year and didn't get anywhere past a couple of interviews with some really cool schools, but i learned so much about myself and my art through that process. I've directed four productions since my last interview and each one has gotten so much better than the one before it, as opposed to before I applied where each production kind of felt like I had plateaued in my progression as an artist. 

I chose not to apply this year, and I feel pretty good about that choice, but I've been lurking around here a lot and I gotta say I am jealous of you all and I am inspired by you all, and, even though we've never met or even had a real conversation, I am sure proud of you all as well. 

Keep up the good work everyone!

<3

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UMass interview went very well! There are a lot of pros about the program and a few cons that I wouldn't have known about without visiting. They are now finished with interviews, and they said they will be making decisions soon. So @MadamDirector I think we will hear from them in the next week or two. 

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@Directorial Noooo!!! Sorry to hear that. They got the tuition part right but the you part wrong. I just got my Northwestern rejection today as well. Friday nights are all right for rejection letters apparently. 

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On 2/22/2018 at 4:36 PM, theatregrad18 said:

Has anybody heard of any non-directing interviews from Yale Drama? We're dying over in the Theatre Studies thread. 

@theatregrad18 Sorry, I don't have any info on Theatre Studies. They are already through directing and playwriting interview though. 

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53 minutes ago, terrarium3528 said:

@E. Karenina, is Yale really done with playwriting interviews? We haven't had any news in the playwriting thread—how did you learn that?

Sorry, done with directing. An acquaintance who applied for playwriting was notified of an interview, so I know they have at least started that process. I don't know the timeline for playwriting. 

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Still no word from Yale, so I think that’s a no for me, since one of my friends heard a Yes last Thursday. I think I’m honestly too much of a radical for Yale, and am confident that it isn’t the right place for me if they say no. My top choice was always Columbia, so my fingers are crossed! 

I pulled my applications from Northwestern and UCSD last week because even though I’m a finalist for both, the fit doesn’t seem m right. NU just isn’t progressive enough for me, and after spending so much time on the East Coast lately, I realized I really don’t want to spend 3 years in San Diego. I did chat with Robert Castro for a half hour or so after I pulled my application and it was really cool to connect with him!

No word from Columbia, but no one has heard yet at all from what I gather...

Getting prepped for Brown! I’m excited but also feeling a little ragged with all the traveling. I’m not sure it’s the right fit for me, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

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Hey, gang! My application journey has finally reached the end--I've just accepted a spot at Boston University! 

I'm still technically waiting for responses from two other schools where I had finalist interviews, but after visiting all three I knew in my gut that Boston was the best fit for me, so it was incredibly thrilling to get to say "yes" to their offer. It doesn't quite feel real, but it definitely feels good. 

I'm so eternally grateful to have had this group as a sounding board and venting-place through this crazy adventure...not knowing anyone "in real life" who could fully empathize has made you all a real gift  

Now I'm just going to sit here with fingers crossed, sending every good vibe I have for all of you to get your own exciting news soon!! 

Edited by MadamDirector

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@MadamDirector Congrats! That is great to hear- hope you go and celebrate!

I've just finished up my final interview weekend. They said we'd hear back by the end of this week (ahh) so I know I will be obsessively refreshing my emails until then. But will be happy, as I'll finally know where I'll be then and can stop worrying!

Best of luck to everyone and fingers crossed!

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@Squidpunk that's awesome that you've got such a clear idea now of which programs would really give you what you want and need. I hope you get good news from Columbia! 

@forestofarden there will definitely be celebrating in my near future! I hope you get good news from that top choice school, but no matter what, it sounds like you have options, which is so wonderful! 

@per4mance and @E. Karenina thank you! I've heard nothing but good things about their floral, and I do love the city as well. Plus, it's where my partner is from (and where his family still lives), so that's an added bonus for him as well... and he deserves a bonus after taking care of my stressed out self for the past six months! 

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