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BWW Blog: Letters from a Nobody in New York

This is a small list of things I wish I was told during my college auditions. Hopefully it helps. 

BWW Blog: Letters from a Nobody in New York

College Musical Theatre auditions are like going through puberty twice; unsettling, exciting and ultimately terrifying. As a high school student, you're supposed to show up to colleges from across the country and be prepared to put your "best self" forward. What happens to the students that don't know who they are yet? Are they left behind? Do they not go to school? Do they major in psychology because they watch too much Criminal Minds?

I don't know a lot. What I do know is that nobody knows what they're doing. Read it again. No one knows what they are doing. I am a Senior BFA Musical Theatre Major at Marymount Manhattan College. I auditioned for over 15 schools in 2015: I was unhappy, anxious and somehow I lost my love for something that kept me grounded my entire life. This is a small list of things I wish I was told during my college auditions. Hopefully it helps.

1. Keep your list of colleges small. Get strategic. You belong in a school that will respect your talent and see the potential in you. Create a list of "Must-Have" qualities that your dream school MUST have, that will help narrow down your choices.

2. Good Training doesn't always equal going to college. I know plenty of successful performers that went to school for business or finance. Sometimes the best training is growing up. Find your own voice teacher and dance classes, a degree does not equal a full or healthy career. Your determination does.

3. This is YOUR education. Although any given school has a strict curriculum, set your own goals as an artist. Sometimes it's as small as choosing your own singing rep in your voice lessons or producing your own projects. It is not the school's job to give you satisfaction in your own work, that's your job. Now, if you feel like they aren't supporting you and your authentic self. Ditch them. No school is worth you questioning your self worth.

4. You are in control. When auditioning for schools, the actor can often feel helpless and out of control. No matter the results of any given audition, the right outcome will be your result. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Shrug knowing that your audition is your chance to show other people your work. You want theatre to be your job, then treat it as such. Show up for you. And all the magic that you own.

Auditioning for colleges in 2015, left an 18 year old Liam feeling worthless, lost and out of place. Colleges are supposed to feel like a "home away from home" but after a long strenuous audition season I was left feeling nothing. Instead of reluctantly traveling halfway across the country for a college experience I didn't want , I decided to give into my fears and do the thing that everyone said not to do. I deferred for a year. As a performer and human, I am always so scared to give in. I want control so badly, I'(M) Willing to give up my happiness in order to get it.

While on my year off from school, I worked for the happiest place on earth. Disney World became my college campus, where I would make horrible mistakes and make money doing it. So go me? I lived in an apartment for the first time, paid my own rent, "cooked" for myself and my heart caught up to the person I wanted to become. A year and a half passed by, I stared at Cinderella's Castle in the middle of Orlando, Florida and decided that I wanted to get my college degree. I was ready to move on. After a year and a half of working for the mouse, I put my application in for one school and one school only. The next Fall, I auditioned and was accepted into the Musical Theatre Program at Marymount Manhattan College.

My name is Liam Joshua Munn and I will be a guest writer for BroadwayWorld for the entire Spring. We'll have articles, interviews and conversations planned throughout the next few months. I am excited to take this journey with you. Till next time, friend.

BIO: Liam Joshua Munn (he/him) is a New York Actor who loves coffee and a good Rosemary Clooney record. He made his 54 Below debut last year in his solo show "I'd Rather Be Sailing". He's been seen on the stages of Williamstown Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage, Walt Disney World, and Lincoln Center. His theatre interview podcast series called "On the Callboard" has just finished its first season and will be back for a Second Season starting in late February. liamjoshuamunn.com//@liamjoshuamunn


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