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8 Ways the AMDA Admissions Process Can Help Prepare You for the Performance Industry

May 01, 2013 - Careers, Featured

At AMDA, our goal is to prepare our students for a rewarding career in the performance industry. To achieve this, much of the way we operate mirrors the experience you will have when you enter the industry as a professional. Our application and audition process is no exception!

Below are 8 important tenants to follow whether you’re auditioning for the role - or the school - of your dreams.

1. It’s all about connections.

Is it a cliché? Yes. Is it also completely true? Absolutely! Rare is the performer who has achieved success without lots of help along the way.

Luckily, from the beginning, you will have the AMDA Admissions Office on your side. We are happy to be one of your first connections and understand that for some of you this will be your first time applying to a school. Don’t hesitate to call us - we are here to make this process as straightforward as possible.

Also, reach out to your friends, family, teachers, guidance counselors, librarians, and mentors. Whether they’re editing your application essays or lending you a presentable pair of pants for your audition, these folks can make a world of difference.  In many ways, some of these early friends and mentors can remain the most important resources throughout the rest of your life and career, so don’t forget to repay the favors!

2. Early is on time and on time is late.

In an industry where time is money – punctuality is critical. Deadlines, meetings, auditions and performances all provide you with opportunities to display your dedication and professionalism. You’ll also find that being early enables you to focus on the task at hand without added stress.

For these reasons, when applying to AMDA, we always recommend submitting your application documents before your audition date. This way, you are free to focus your energy on preparing your audition pieces instead of rushing to get documents submitted by the deadline. Also, when it comes time to audition, make sure to leave your house even earlier than you think you should. In addition to making a fabulous first impression, this also allows you to arrive at the audition with time to spare so you can relax and take a few deep breaths before presenting your pieces.

3. Get Organized.

Many artists resist getting organized because they think it somehow undermines their creative personalities. But being organized does not make one less of an artist! In fact, artists may need a few carefully chosen organizational tools more than anyone else just to keep track of important information in a mind already overflowing with creative ideas.

Calendars, checklists, apps and email reminders can offer some much needed assistance in meeting application deadlines and remembering appointments. If this type of structure doesn’t come easily to you, you’re not alone. Chances are, your library has a whole section dedicated to it! Luckily, some of these books are written specifically for the busy artist. This is a great one to get you started.

4. Expect the unexpected.

It’s not pessimistic – it’s professional!

Even the most organized person in the world will still have to deal with unexpected situations. When you accept that these events are part of life and do your best to plan for them in advance, you are less likely to get sidetracked when you do encounter them. While you obviously can’t plan for all of life’s unexpected events (that’s what makes them so beautifully unexpected) you can still do your best to have a few backup plans in place for the things that are notorious for going wrong at the worst possible times.

Keep backup copies of your documents in case yours get lost in the mail. Have a backup ride to your audition in case your car won’t start. Carry a backup map in case your GPS decides to guide you in giant circles. You get the idea.

5. Look Good on Paper.

As a performer, you’ll often make your first impression before you ever setting foot in the casting office. Your headshot and resume - and even your emails - can speak volumes about you.

When applying to AMDA, you will be asked to turn in several supporting documents in addition to your application form, so that we can learn a bit more about you. Each document is an opportunity to present yourself clearly and authentically, so be sure to submit items that are well-edited, thorough, and accurate.

6. Present yourself professionally.

In life, there is nothing wrong with expressing yourself through fashion, piercings, tattoos, etc. But for auditions it’s generally best to present yourself as a blank slate – open to a wide variety of roles.

For your AMDA audition, it is recommended that you wear business casual attire (or appropriate dance attire if applying for Dance Theatre). By dressing simply and professionally, you will help ensure that your performance takes center stage rather than your style. If you are unable to attend a live audition and must audition via video, these are still great guidelines to follow.

7. Be accessible.

When a director calls with the role of a lifetime, or your agent tries to mail you your paycheck, you’ll want to make sure that your contact information is up to date and that you are easy to get a hold of!

As an AMDA applicant, you’ll want to do the same. When it comes to confirming auditions or sending admissions decisions, we’ll need to make sure we are able to contact you as quickly and easily as possible. If you move, get a new phone, or finally decide to change the embarrassing email address you’ve had since junior high, be sure to give us a call and let us know so we can keep in touch.

8. It’s okay to brag about yourself. In fact, it’s your job.

To be a performer, you have to be comfortable marketing yourself. This means having confidence in you – the product. When it comes time to do interviews, be ready to talk about what makes you so great.

Your AMDA Admission interview is a great opportunity to practice this skill. If you have experience, talk about your experience. If you have passion or natural talent, talk about your passion and natural talent. Once you believe that you have something to offer it’s a lot easier to make other people believe that too. If you don’t know what your unique skills are – spend some time thinking about it. Or ask your friends and family!

We can’t wait to get to know you throughout the Admssions process. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or if we can assist in any way.

AMDA Admissions Team: Top : Karen Jackson, James Bowman Bottom: Julie Baysinger, Vanessa Conte, Petra Conte