CAP Blog

Our latest thoughts on just about everything

Mar
03
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Do I want to catch a Broadway show every weekend?... well, that’s a silly question.

This is absolutely possible if you attend the Harrt School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Tracey Moore, who is the head of Harrt’s MT BFA program is here talking with us today. Tracey actually started out as a performer. Not to name drop or anything but she was in Camelot with Dumbledor… the first one! That’s right folks! Richard Harris himself! She also toured as Emma in Ragtime, and so many more productions. After performing for years, she decided she needed to figure out her next chapter which led her to eventually teaching at Harrt.

Harrt is a conservatory program with the University of Hartford. The school itself has about 5000 undergrads and about 1000 grad students. The perks of being a conservatory, are that the emphasis is completely on your skills. They really hone in on you acting, singing, dancing and train you to be the best you can be. You are also given ample professional opportunities through some of the partnership that have been built into the curriculum!

For the students asking about performing right away. Well, you can, and you can’t. Let me explain. As a Freshman and a Sophomore, you are NOT able to perform on the main stage. You can however be on the crew. Sophomore year you are able to be in what they call “in-house” productions where you perform only for the theater program. Freshmen do have an opportunity to perform though. The seniors in the program participate in something called the Honors projects. These projects can be plays, cabarets, musicals, etc., and freshmen can audition and perform in these.

So where do you live while you’re at Harrt? The first two years you are required to live on campus. There are so many things to do though, you won’t mind a bit! Being only 2 ½ hours away from New York City, you could catch a show every weekend (take me with you!), or you could head over to Boston which is only 2 hours away.

Now for the parents’ big question. How much is this going to cost you? Well, it’s not cheap. BUT they do offer financial aid programs, which they call discounts, and on average students get about 50% off of their tuition. There are a few other financial aid opportunities you can check out on their website, and of course fill out the FAFSA!!

Tuition- tuition discounts- average discount is 50%. A few financial aid opportunities are available as well. FAFSA!!!!

If you would like more information, you can visit the school’s website, or go to our CAP Parent Portal!

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Feb
24
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Laissez les bon temps rouler

With that being said- New Orleans, what a town! The history, the community, the parties…. OH! And Tulane University!

We’re talking today with Michael McKelvey who is the Interim Head of Musical Theater and the Artistic Director of the Summer Lyric Theater at Tulane. Michael spent some time working as the Head of Musical Theatre Voice at Point Mark University and headed up the music program at St. Edwards University.

The program at Tulane is very unique in the sense that they don’t go to all of the big auditions, and to get into their BFA program, you can audition your sophomore year. Tulane is part of a group of southern schools that are almost their own set of Ivy League schools. If you can get into Tulane, and you can afford Tulane, you can more than likely get into the program. Most students at Tulane also double major!! The program is not a conservatory but is smaller than other schools. It consists of both a BA and BFA program as well!

This school strives to be as inclusive as possible in their casting, and opens auditions up for anyone in the program, meaning you could potentially get the lead in your freshman year!

With all the entertainment in the area, Tulane is a great school for student life and experiences. You can live on campus or off campus, and still have some amazing times!

Plus, a bonus- Tulane is one of the only schools in the country that REQUIRES you to take a public service class!! How cool is that?

Now, I know the biggest obstacle might be the cost to go to this amazing school, but there are scholarship programs available, so please go and check them out!

To discuss the program more with Michael, you can email him at mmckelvey@tulane.edu. You can also go to our CAP Parents Portal for more information! So… Let’s let the good times roll!

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Feb
17
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University of Nevada at Las Vegas

Do you want to go to a school where you could potentially have professional opportunities while in school? A school with a theatre program and a separate conservatory program? 3-4 years of intense actor training? If you answered yes to any of these, University of Nevada at Las Vegas might be for you!

This school has an acting school that is a non-audition program available. If you would like more intense training, you can audition for the acting conservatory program as well. Being in the Las Vegas area, there are professional productions happening everywhere. UNLV does not discourage students from auditioning outside of the school, which means you could graduate and already have professional credits on your resume! How great would that be!?

The best part? This is a state school, which means it’s state pricing. Out of state tuition max costs are looking at about $40,000 per year, and with the financial aid and merit aid you could get, you’ll end up paying a lot less!! So go online and check out this unique program! It just might be exactly what you’ve been looking for!

If you have any questions, visit our CAP Parents Portal!

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Feb
10
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Emerson College

So many BFA’s I don’t know which to choose!

Today we are talking with Eric Weiss, the Director of Programming for the department of Performing Arts at Emerson College. Eric studied acting at Syracuse University receiving his undergrad degree. He then moved to NYC for about 8 years to perform, and finally found his way to Emerson where he was actually a student first. Eric decided to participate in their grad program in theatre education. That was back in 1999, and he’s never left!

Emerson College- a unique school with over 8 BFA programs available to you! Each student must complete 128 credits to receive their degree, but there are so many paths to choose from, any student could find a home here. With an incredibly active student theatre scene, a diverse student body, and the high rankings amongst other schools for being LGBTQ friendly; this school could be exactly what you’ve been looking for!

One thing to keep in mind; this school is for the go getters. Highly aggressive (action takers) students will absolutely thrive here! AND, if  you’re thinking about those college auditions as I hope you are, Emerson will be at the UNIFIEDS! So go check out their website and programs and put them on your list! You don’t want to miss the opportunity to apply here!

If you want more information on Emerson College, visit our CAP Parents Portal!!

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Feb
03
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Finding yourself on a wait list? I think I can help!

 

RECAP TIME! A waitlist is basically a list of students who are all just as qualified as those who have already been accepted, they just don’t have open slots available right now. IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE A SECOND CHOICE! Please do not think this. Being waitlisted means they absolutely want you; they just haven’t found an open space for you yet!

The person who doesn’t get into the school from the waitlist, is the person who does nothing after being put on that list. The person who doesn’t give up is much more likely to get in. Email them and thank them for the audition and the opportunity to be considered for the program!

Next… write them again. Tell them they are high on your list, make them feel like the bell of the ball, butter them up a bit. THEN… DO IT AGAIN! If they are your number 1 choice, and you are dead serious about that school, you need to tell them in your email that you are ready to make a deposit NOW!

But why send so many emails? Because they will recognize your name from your emails when they turn to the waitlist to pull students! They don’t want to beg you to go there, they want students who really want to be there. So, sending the emails shows them how much you really want it.

It’s weird, yes! But keep in mind, it might feel weird and awkward for you, but it’s extremely helpful for the admissions staff. Get over the weirdness of it. You want them to hear the words “you’ve got mail”

If you would like more information on this process, visit our CAP Parents Portal!! Happy writing!

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Jan
27
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Introducing the accomplished and fun Mr. Earl Weaver!

Earl has been working at the University of Central Florida since about 2003. He is the Coordinator for the Musical Theatre program. Earl spent his early years in SoCal in the riverside area, performing all over. With many theater credits under his belt, Earl is an amazing match for a program like this. (We even worked at the same theater… at different times of course).

The University of Southern Florida has one of the most affordable programs available. It is an accredited program as well, which means that the students are required to participate in at least two productions! The school also allows for anyone to audition for each production regardless of year. They pride themselves on conducting auditions like real world auditions. Meaning, the best person for the job gets it, you can’t phone it in even if you’re a senior and they’ve seen you perform many times before, and helps to keep you on your game. In fact, students are required to audition!

So, you’re in Florida right? And what’s in Florida? Disneyworld, Universal Studios, and other theme parks. You know what you can do about that? AUDITION!! The school allows students to audition and work in productions outside of the school, so head on over to the Mouse and audition for a show or parade!

Now, one of the most important questions- is there financial aid available? YES! Earl suggests you fill out the FAFSA application (you all know the one I’m talking about). And do your research! This is an amazing school with amazing opportunities, but it is a very large school (68,000 students) so it makes for a very competitive atmosphere. You need to be sure that is a good fit for you!

So, if you’re looking to book a college audition at one of the best BFA theatre college programs around, head on over to University of Central Florida! For more information, visit our CAP Parents Portal!

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Jan
20
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Let’s talk about affordability!

Affordability is a huge component of choosing the right schools for your student(s). But how do you know if the program you are choosing, while affordable, is worth it educationally for your student? I’m here to help! Here are the top 10 most affordable and best training programs you’ve never heard of!

1. Southern Illinois University Carbondale: This beautiful school offers a BFA in musical theater, has the heaviest emphasis on voice, small class sizes, no out of state fees, and comes in at the price of around $29,000 per year. This includes room and board!

2. Northern Kentucky University (Cincinnati): You can get a BFA in Musical Theater, Acting, Playwriting, AND Stage Management. That’s a lot of BFA’s! They focus heavily on the acting side, and it comes in at around $28,000 per year!

3. University of Southern Maine: BM in Musical Theatre, major focus on voice and music, and only costs around $35,000 a year (merit and need based aid are available).

4. University of Minnesota Duluth: NINE, that’s right Nine BFA’s in theatre, including Musical theatre and Acting! Triple threat focused school, costing around 30,000 per year.

5. Indiana University of Pennsylvania: BA in Music Theatre, voice and music focused, and max price per year is $30,000. What a steal!

6. University of Wisconsin Stevens Point: BFA in Musical Theatre, Triple Threat program, $24,000 per year, and all the cheese you could eat!

7. Southeast Missouri State: BFA in Musical Theatre, Triple Threat Program, $24,100 per year

8. Shawnee State: BFA in Musical Theatre, Triple Threat program, $29,000 per year

9. Valdosta State: BFA in Musical Theatre, Triple Threat program, $30,000 per year

10. Western Carolina University: BFA in Music Theatre, Acting and Voice focused, Terrance Mann (OG Beast, OG Javert, 3-time Tony Nominee) on faculty!!!!!!! And only $19,000 per year. WHAT?!?! Where can I sign up?

So, there you have it folks! A full list of affordable schools with best training programs! If you would like more information, visit our CAP Parent Portal!!

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Jan
13
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Are you interested in participating in a BFA program at a theatre college that’s located on a Hollywood studio lot? ME TOO!

Scott Barnhardt is the lead faculty for the Contemporary Musical Theater and Film program at the Hussian College in L.A. (previously The Studio School). Scott grew up in SoCal attending the OCSA school and taking part in the CLO circuit. Scott attended Wagner college where he received his BA in theater and speech, and then spent 15 years in NY! Scott was part of productions in NY such as Big River, The Boyfriend, and Book of Mormon! After performing for 15 years, Scott decided to make a shift and attended UCLA grad school, where he discovered his love for teaching. He ran the OCSA theater program for about 4 years before coming over to the Hussian College.

Hussian College is one of the most unique programs around. The school itself is located on a Hollywood Studio lot, specifically the LA Center Studios right in the heart of L.A.! The school only has four programs, so it is smaller than your average college. This can be a huge plus though! The opportunities for performing are endless as they open auditions to everyone. Plus, you have the opportunity to receive your BFA in film here! Scott’s class particularly teaches students how to act for stage AND screen.

The opportunities for students to let their creative juices flow are endless here. As we speak, they are working on building a program around projects pitched by the students. There are showcases for these projects in L.A. as well!

If you haven’t already, go look at the virtual tour of this campus. I promise you will be amazed! This campus is in an amazing environment that allows the students to get a feel for what it’s like on a real film set.

Now for that question I know is nagging at you. How does housing work if the school is on a studio lot? Well, there is no housing with this school. There are plenty of options in the L.A. area however! Most students rent apartments with other students in the area. Which means that room and board are not included in the tuition fees. These fees are around $40,000 a year. And most students receive financial aid and scholarships. Merit scholarships are also an option!

I will say this- This school is not for everyone. Because of its unique location and specialized focus, some students may not thrive here. But for those who are a match for this school, this is a STELLAR match!

For more information, visit our CAP Parent Portal!

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Jan
06
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Colorado. The state of outdoor everything! If you want four seasons a year, you need to check out CU Boulders program!

Bud Coleman, Head of undergrad musical theater program at CU Boulder is our guide today. Bud is originally from Texas and initially majored in architecture, but quickly realized he was better suited for theater and dance (lucky for us) which he did receive a BFA and minor in respectively. Bud has years of experience, not just as a professor, but as a professional in the acting world. He was part of an all-male dance company in New York, and became a Broadway dresser after suffering an injury, where he learned so much about the industry and the directors, he was able to work with. Did I mention he has a PHD from the University of Austin?

So, why CU Boulder? Well for one, it has two different musical theater programs available to you while on your journey to your BFA. This college theater offers a BM program focused more on the music end of things, and then your standard theater program. But this school is anything but standard. Both programs work off what Bud calls, the same spine. This is the heartbeat of both programs. With these two programs available, you’re also able to petition to switch to the other if you feel it would be a better fit for you.

CU Boulder offers a welcoming environment for all their students. And is a safe place for the LGBTQ community. Inclusion is a main focus for this program. As Bud states “We really try to be humane.” Meaning they aren’t one of those schools who beat you down to build you up. They start off building you up from the beginning. This is somewhat unique in theater programs, and something to really consider.

I’m sure as an incoming freshman you biggest question is: “Will I be able to perform?” The answer is YES!! Auditions are open to everyone… and I mean EVERYONE. If a science major decides they want to take a crack at center stage, they can absolutely audition. They do not restrict auditions to anyone, which again is an amazing opportunity not given at many schools.

If you absolutely fall in love with Colorado, which you will because its beautiful, the school holds a Shakespear festival each summer that the students are able to take part in. They even offer a small stipend for those who do. Whether you do decide to stay year-round, or you decide to go home during breaks Colorado also allows students to gain residency. That could mean a discount in your tuition!!!

And finally, scholarships? Yes. Scholarships are available for this program. Bud suggests you fill out that FAFSA application we keep talking about! But there’s one more perk at this school that is so rare it’s like finding a diamond in the rough… MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE. I repeat, MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE! Based on your GPA you could receive a merit scholarship! This does not happen with many schools, so it’s definitely something you should take advantage of.

If you’d like to learn more about CU Boulder, you can visit the school’s website, or email Bud at bud.coleman@colorado.edu

You can also find out more on our CAP Parent Portal! And if you haven’t joined yet…, what are you waiting for?

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Dec
30
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Man have I got a Guru for you!

Andy Lockwood, funny guy, financial aid and college planning guru, and a recovering attorney… we’ll forgive him for that last one. Andy has some great tips and information for you while you get ready for your students to find their theatre colleges and start their BFA programs.

The first question to ask yourself is, what are you trying to get out of college? Something to remember is that this is a 40-year commitment, but not just a 4 year commitment. So, starting early to plan financially for this process is extremely important.

All schools have some form of financial aid available. And only about 25% of students actually end up paying the sticker price, which means there are a ton of discounts being given out. Why not be one of the 75% receiving them? And keep in mind, when you are applying for things like the FAFSA, they will ask to see your 2020 tax returns (it’s a two year look back on income), but this doesn’t mean they won’t take into considerations any changes on your 2021 returns due to the pandemic. If you are declined initially for financial aid, or not enough financial aid, you are able to appeal this decision and show them that change in income.

Another thing to take into consideration is early decisions. Are they binding? You signed a contract, right? Well, technically it wasn’t a contract as 17-year old’s can’t enter into a contract. Usually in the fine print there is something along the lines of “If we admit you, you have to come unless the financial aid package is not adequate.” If for some reason you have made an early decision and later change your mind and no longer wish to attend that school, you can use this excuse! And you absolutely should! If your student and you have realized that the early decision school really isn’t the best fit, you absolutely can get out of it. And you should.

If you are looking for an interesting read (or stocking stuffer), check out Andy’s book “How to Negotiate your Crappy Financial Aid and Merit Aid Offer.” You can also reach out to Andy for more tips and information on his website at www.lockwoodcollegeprep.com

As always, check out our CAP Parents Portal for more information, and for goodness sake if you haven’t already joined, what the heck are you waiting for?

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