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A summer task list for aspiring actors

Hoping there's an Oscar in your future?
Hoping there's an Oscar in your future?Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Are you planning to major in Theater or Musical Theater in college? If you will be a senior this Fall, there’s a lot for you to do. Doing the things below during the summer, when you have a bit more time, could save you from a great deal of stress later.

Put together your acting resume. You will likely need this for most of the schools you will be applying to. If you’re planning to major in Musical Theater, you also need to include your singing and dancing experience.

Get “head shots” taken. It’s advisable to have these done by a professional photographer.

Prepare your monologues. Check out each school’s website to find out what type of monologues will be required for your audition. (Aspiring Musical Theater majors will also need to prepare the solos required for their audition.)

Find out if you will need to provide any digital material and prepare those. Some schools require a pre-audition before an official audition is offered. These are sometimes done via DVD or online. Some schools also accept DVDs in lieu of an in-person audition. It’s important to find out what the schools you will be applying to require.

Compile a requirement sheet for each school. It should at least include a list of all their audition requirements, their application deadline, and dates of auditions.

Make sure you are on the schools’ mailing lists. This will not only let them know that you’re interested, it will enable them to let you know if they will be conducting auditions near you.

You might also want to spend some time this summer exploring the SNAAP (Strategic National Arts Alumni Project) website. It has some great info on career outcomes for students who major in the visual and performing arts.