By Mike Kinnerk ‘20

As a little kid, I always wanted to be a singer and an actor. Now I am trying to make that dream a reality. I am pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre in college. The admissions process for this major is a lot different and a lot more difficult than for other majors.

Since this major is performance-based, to be admitted to a program, you must audition. Also, due to the nature of the major, class sizes are extremely small. Thousands apply for approximately 30 slots in each program. This means applicants must apply to an exponential amount of schools to cast a wide net.

The odds are really not in anyone’s favor.

My college audition journey began in Berea, Ohio, right outside of Cleveland on the Saturday before Thanksgiving at Baldwin Wallace University. Baldwin Wallace is known nationally for their exceptional Musical Theatre program. I spent the entire day auditioning and then waited to hear back. Two weeks later I was rejected. Being rejected sucks! But rejection is the name of the game in this business and it was something I needed to get used to.

Over Martin Luther King Day weekend, I traveled to New York City to attend the National Unifieds Auditions. Over the course of the weekend, I auditioned for seven schools at Pearl Studios. I auditioned for my top-choice school, Pace University in Lower Manhattan. Everything went very well and I had a wonderful experience! The weekend was filled with long and stressful days, but was overall very fun and a great experience.

Two weeks later, I made the short trek downtown to the Palmer House for part two of Unifieds. Chicago Unifieds was filled with many auditions, lots of french fries in the hotel lobby, and many new friends! I auditioned for eight schools at the Palmer House. It was again a very successful week.

Now comes the worst part: the waiting.

Most schools will not release decisions until early to mid-March, so I have lots of waiting to do. Even with a few acceptances from New York Unifieds under my belt, the last leg of this marathon is extremely stressful. Every day is filled with doubt about every move I made in the audition room and crazy calculations trying to determine my odds of being admitted to the programs of my dreams.

With only one audition left to go at the University of Arizona next week, I am sad to see this process end. So much blood, sweat, and tears went into this, along with lots of research and money. I am very grateful to all those who supported me, especially my parents for their endless love. I am very excited to see how this pans out not only for me but also for all of my friends.