By Theresa DeMario
Drew Boudreau of College Auditions Professionals, is firmly grounded in the performing arts. Specifically, Boudreau works in Musical theater and Improv Comedy. His experience ranges from actor to stage manager to his current position at the Orange County School of the Arts. On Savvy, Boudreau coaches youth in their college admissions auditions.
During our interview, Boudreau said that a Savvy lesson looks a lot like any other lesson except perhaps more tailor-made and less scripted. Boudreau likes to do an initial interview with the student and the family to make sure everyone is on the same page and to figure out exactly what the student needs to focus on. After the initial meeting, lessons are done one-on-one with the student.
Students still work on monologues and do mock interviews on their Savvy lessons, just like they would in-person and Drew coaches students to give the best performance they can. Boudreau recommends being over prepared for your arts audition, and not to lean heavily on your ‘back up plan in case things don’t work out.’
“Back-up plans are a recipe, an insurance, that you will not go into the Arts” -Drew Boudreau
Picking the Best College
Sometimes students seeking a degree in Performing Arts are concerned about the difference between a BA, a BFA etc. A BFA is more prestigious whereas a BA is less intensive. In the end, Boudreau cautioned not to get to wrapped up in the letters. It’s more important that you pick a school with a program you are happy with than one based on the degree offered or found on a “Top Schools” list.
Final List of Colleges
Once you have an idea of what you like and what you don’t like, it’s time to make your list. Boudreau was adamant that the magic number is twelve. You want to limit your list to twelve colleges so that you are not overwhelmed during the audition process.
When thinking about your college list, consider these 7 Questions to help you narrow down the choices:
Do you like the program?
Have you talked to the alumni?
Have you been able to talk to a professor or college advisor?
Is the training what you’re looking for?
Is their philosophy what you’re looking for?
Does the location make sense for me?
After you make your list, it’s important to get right on finding out the audition requirements. Get them early and start preparing. In our interview, Boudreau said that the standard application requires at least one song and one monologue. Musical theater programs may require two songs and one monologue but if the institution places heavy emphasis on acting, they sometimes ask for two songs and two monologues.
Be sure to take note of which colleges have prescreen auditions as well, to weed out the less serious applicants. A prescreen audition is where you send in a video audition before you do your actual audition. This is usually only one song and one monologue.
Choosing Your Monologue
Choosing a great monologue is a daunting task. Boudreau said that choosing from a monologue book can be treacherous. Many of them have pieces that don’t actually make good monologues for auditions. If it’s a monologue about talking about something, throw it out. Telling a story is easy but not very compelling. Instead, Boudreau urges his students to choose a monologue where you are engaged with someone and you are trying to get something. There should be goals and obstacles to overcome with someone you know- that you have a relationship with.
Always have a backup for your monologue and your song. “You don’t want to be sitting in the waiting room and hear someone else singing your song and singing it better” Boudreau said.
“The best college for you is the best college for you, individually.” -Drew Boudreau
It turns out that the question of which school is the best for a Performing Arts degree is not an easy one to answer. According to Boudreau, what it all boils down to is picking the school you feel the most at home at.