Anybody else's teenager applying for Musical Theatre next year?

(58 Posts)
dancinfeet Thu 02-Nov-17 09:18:31

Anyone else in the same position who wants to share information and advice, or have a child who is studying Musical Theatre?
We are not in a position to fund her at one of the big full time dance / theatre schools, and the DADA awards for a funded place are fiercely competitive, so she is looking at Musical Theatre degree courses instead. Any advice on the finding the best Musical Theatre degree courses, or audition preparation would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou!

OP’s posts: |
FANTINE2 Fri 03-Nov-17 14:12:59

You might like to visit the NOT A PUSHY MUM website. You will find lots of people on there who are going through the process.
It's very non judgemental too!

user1457824083 Fri 03-Nov-17 17:16:34

I second Notapushymum. My DD is going to be auditioning for Acting Ba courses this year, for the second time. Like you we have to stick to Student Loan funded courses but are making sure to only apply to conservatoire/drama school training. Last year she was offered a place on a Foundation course which was unfunded so we had to turn it down. ☹
Some of the big schools are Student Loan funded - Central, Italia Conti, GSA,
Make sure to research the courses each school offers, some are singing/acting others dance heavy. Good luck to your DD, it is a real roller coaster of a ride!

Dizzydora71 Sun 05-Nov-17 18:52:09

Hi my daughter is in her second year at Stella Mann doing a performing arts degree. Her course is costing £10,000 a year but only gets £6,000 paid by student loan as they don't consider performing arts important . She has to fund the other £4,000 through her maintenance loan and working . She found the first year hard and a few times wanted to come home as she lives in a shared house . But she is loving the second year the amount of coursework dramatically rises in second year so be prepared . Daughter had to give up working part time to fit all coursework in .

cathyandclare Tue 07-Nov-17 06:29:08

I've got two going for it this year, although mostly with a focus on acting, just a couple of MT courses on the list. DD2 is also applying to unis, DD1 is graduating this year from an academic degree and trying for MAs. Like you they're looking at the UCAS/conservatoire courses but their chances of getting into RADA/LAMDA/Bristol/Guildhall etc are small.

Friends are doing MT at Artsed (fees are higher than the loan though) Central, Bird, Urdang, Mountview and LCM. GSA also has a good reputation, apparently Italia Conti is launching a UCAS MT degree this year.

Good luck to your DD, is she going to try for the diploma courses too and hope for a DADA?

HRTpatch Tue 07-Nov-17 06:30:14

My dd is in her 3rd year at Chichester and loves it.

errorofjudgement Tue 07-Nov-17 18:52:37

Hi, we’re a year away from this as DD is in Y12, but watching with interest.
Wishing good luck to all over the next few months.


dancinfeet Fri 24-Nov-17 23:00:34

Hi cathyandclare, I am really trying to steer her away from the DADA route full stop. I don't want her to have to face the awfulness of passing an audition and being awarded a place to a vocational school only to have her hopes smashed if she doesn't get a DADA (this was me many years ago with dance college, and it broke my heart at the time, even though I did get to go to my second choice of college and still qualified as a dance teacher ).
I would rather her know that it all starts and stops with her Uni audition and A level results. I don't want lack of funding to be the reason why she cannot take up a place at her chosen college/Uni, I would rather that we didn't consider those schools in the first place.

HRTpatch, Chichester is my daughter's first choice of Uni! Which course is your daughter on? My daughter is really keen on the triple threat course, but was very disappointed that it is held at the rather dismal Bognor campus unlike all the other musical theatre courses that are over at Chichester. She preferred the Halls at Chichester too, but there doesn't seem to be a feasible way to stay at Chichester and make the 8.30am triple threat course start time over in Bognor five days a week. We went to an open day last month which she enjoyed, but I don't know what to do about the whole accommodation thing as she is adamant that she doesn't want to live in Bognor Regis!

OP’s posts: |
DancingHipposOnAcid Mon 18-Dec-17 13:04:19

DD applying for MT BA courses this year. The independent application courses (Arts Ed, Mountview) qualify for student loan funding but fees are more than the loan. Others that you apply for through UCAS (Central, RADA, GSA) seem to be standard uni fees levels.

DD sadly no callback to Arts Ed but over the moon to get callback for Mountview last week, to take place in April. UCAS application just gone in so no feedback yet.

corythatwas Tue 19-Dec-17 08:33:55

It's a balance between her disappointment now and her disappointment if she comes out and can't get work. I would look very closely at how the alumni from the different places do in the industry. And look very closely at what loans are available for various schools: as Dancing and several others have pointed out, many of the big conservatoires do actually qualify for student loans.

Dd is into acting, so slightly different. But she has a lot of contacts with older students/people working in the industry, and her experience is that straight acting students who went the university route are regretting it now as they are struggling to get work and agents. May be different with MT, but I would investigate that first.

Also remember that if your dd is going into this world, she will need to be very good at coping with disappointment, because that is what this life is basically about: being criticised, being turned down, picking yourself up, being criticised... Dd is on a foundation course now- she had to wait 2 years, working and earning to even get that far- and she says it's already beginning to show which students weren't mentally prepared for that aspect of it.

Btw your dd should be encouraged to do as much of her own research as poss. That kind of savviness will stand her in good stead. Particularly if she can match it with a clear-headed estimation of where her own strengths lie.

user187656748 Tue 19-Dec-17 08:44:50

Does she have an agent now and is she getting work?

I know you don't need to be told this but its a really tough industry and so research as cory has said is key. But even then, the reality is that an enormous part of succeeding in the industry is luck. Or (and this cannot be underestimated) family connections.

DS1 acts and has had various tv/movie roles (but he is a bit younger). It is so difficult and the key is actually having experience. As an older actor unless you're on Spotlight it is very difficult to get experience but to get onto Spotlight you need the experience.

Experience, experience, experience.

corythatwas Tue 19-Dec-17 08:58:20

What user said, though I would add that having experience as a child actor does not necessarily translate into work as an adult, and conversely not having worked as a child doesn't necessarily mean you won't get work as an adult.

A good conservatoire can also be a good way of getting you out there; if you are outgoing and work hard at it, it's another setting for making contacts in the industry, if you don't happen to have the right family background. And they will do a proper showcase at the end, which a university might not do.

corythatwas Tue 19-Dec-17 08:59:29

Or to put it another way: you need acting experience to get into drama school, but not necessarily paid acting experience. At that point, they're looking for potential and a certain confidence + good attitude.

bingethinker Wed 21-Feb-18 19:03:26

My daughter having applied for the triple threat Ba course at Chichester has had an offer for the music plus musical theatre Ba. Probably because she can certainly sing and act but is a really late starter in dance (been doing ballet less than a year). Does anyone have any experience of/know anything about this? Seems they will turn her into an actor/singer but would she be able to do any dance at all? I think it will matter to her that she can also improve in dance.
Thank you!

dancinfeet Sun 25-Feb-18 21:31:21

Hi bingethinker
Congratulations to your daughter for her place at Chichester! I think that she will still get some dance lessons on the music Musical Theatre course, from what I understand from the Chichester open day we attended back in Nov. All musical theatre students take classes in all three disciplines, but they will take more classes in their specialist subject, so in your daughter's case, music. On the triple threat, I understand the time is divided equally between acting, singing and drama.
My daughter has her Chichester audition on Saturday, and she has applied for the triple threat course. Hope the predicted weather for next doesn't make travel down there too difficult, as we plan to go by train (from the other end of the country).

OP’s posts: |
corythatwas Mon 26-Feb-18 10:47:28

Good luck to your dd, dancinfeet!

Mine is auditioning in Manchester next weekend.

dancinfeet Mon 26-Feb-18 11:17:43

Good Luck corythatwas to your child for Manchester! Is that at the Arden? We have just got her audition through for Performers College and it's on 11th March, so looks like we will be venturing down south two weekends on the trot. (a huge undertaking for us country bumpkins!)

OP’s posts: |
corythatwas Mon 26-Feb-18 19:02:17

Not sure where it is to tell you the truth, dancinfeet. Dd makes all her own arrangements, wasn't even allowed to go with when she was still at school. (and I've always wanted to see a drama school sad)

It's the BA in Acting, anyway. She is no dancer and certainly no singer: her dream would be classical acting.

janinlondon Mon 05-Mar-18 12:03:56

Am posting here because there seem to be knowledgable people on this thread - please be kind to me, I am a total numpty. DD (18) is in upper sixth and about to sit her A levels. She has five excellent Russell Group Uni offers for Anthropology, but "just to see if she could", she decided to have a shot at musical theatre at one of the drama schools. She has a standard academic education - nothing in a drama school to date - so we were surprised when she was given a spot on a reserve list for a BA in musical theatre. My question is - what does this mean? I am really honestly completely uninformed, and she doesnt know. Can anyone help us? Please? (Babes in a very confusing wood!)

user1457824083 Mon 05-Mar-18 18:58:29

Jan I think this means that as the audition process goes on some people may have been offered a place but decide not to take it. This frees up places on the course for others. Not sure where she has the offer, some schools have a list with numbers...almost a first in line. Others replace 'like with like'. So it is a waiting game. I have heard of people being offered places at the end of August/beginning of September.
Congratulations to your daughter on her success!

janinlondon Tue 06-Mar-18 08:35:48

Thanks User - its ArtsEd and they currently have 12 on the reserve list. Auditions continue to 20 April so we were thinking after that they will be able to tell us what position she is. Meantime we have to firm UCAS choices in May.....what a minefield!

bingethinker Thu 08-Mar-18 13:05:03

Congratulations to your daughter janinlondon! I think she can still accept uni offers (as they are conditional on both sides) and ditch them later if she gets an offer of the artsed place.

For info re the music/musical theatre Ba at Chichester, if anyone is interested, it is more of an academic degree with a big emphasis on music, either for an instrument or for the voice, with a secondary interest in either dance or acting....but students on the course have an opportunity to audition during the first year to switch at the beginning of the second year to the triple threat course. I wish my daughter would just take it as I'd rather she did a degree, she's a clever kid....but she is also auditioning for a number of foundation courses in the hope it will bump up her dance experience enough to make a drama school triple threat course next year. She will go for Chichester as offered if she doesn't get a place on Foundation. Minefield indeed....but she is much more relaxed now she knows she will be going somewhere next year. As am I!

KatyMac Thu 08-Mar-18 13:13:17

Juat rememebr the whole "sitting on the edge of your seat because you don't know what happens next" continues after your DC get it!!

DD is about to graduate and all the auditions start again!

BTW Performers are running a new degree I think.....but I'm not sure about funding

& I think (but I'm not sure) if your college meets certain CDET requirements you can go on Spotlight when you graduate (before you have had any work) the main requirement (again 'I think') is the number of contact hours and unis are apparently less likely to meet the requirements

But I'm not an expert - it's been endless debated on NotaPushyMum and 'AlexanderHamilton' on MN knows way more than me!

AlexanderHamilton Thu 08-Mar-18 15:01:53

How did i not see this thread?

I’m flattered Katy but I don’t know everything & my knowledge is skewed more towards Dada diploma courses than degrees.

Anyway - JaninLondon - Arts Ed reserve - wow! That’s one of the top places for MT. Wel done to your Dd.

My dd has only auditioned for 3 places as she doesn’t want to go to London yet. She’s been offered places at all 3, we’ve turned one down as it was a Btec Level 3 & only 10% scholarship.

She’s got Dada auditions at the other two coming up so we are keeping fingers & toes crossed.

KatyMac Thu 08-Mar-18 15:58:08

You do know more about CDET tho' smile

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