Looking into MFA programs, Shakespeare Festivals, and regional theaters for which I may audition this winter, I'm overwhelmed both by my own steps forward to upping the stakes of my ambitions and at the prospect of competing for the limited openings for which so many talented actors will be vying. As I inch forward in the process, I find myself curious about other actors' (and directors and designers) experience with MFA and/or training with regional stages has been like. So, here are a few questions:
• Did grad school accomplish your goals; and what WERE your primary goals (e.g., training, experience, connections, Shakespeare, contemporary, stage, film)?
• How did you find the information you needed about the programs for which you eventually applied? (One actor I know goes to the recent showcase link on many MFA websites to find the names of recent graduates, to whom he then writes.)
• What part of your training did you find most valuable? Least valuabe? Were you surprised by this?
• How old were you when you went and at what stage in your career? What was the age range of your fellow students?
• If you have ever audited auditions or helped admit actors to an MFA or other training program, what qualities were of most interest to you?
• If you're now in the business of casting actors, which schools, training programs, or regional theaters have seemed to best prepare actors for the roles you need to fill?
• Are you glad you went?
I can't wait to hear what you have to say!