Prepare to Apply for Juilliard in 5 Easy Steps! (And look younger & more beautiful too!*)

By: Luci Rosa, Assistant Director of Admissions

 

  1. Visit our Web site (www.juilliard.edu – if you’re reading this, you’re already there!). Gather and read all the information. Review the requirements carefully. Review faculty bios. Is Juilliard right for you? Are you prepared for Juilliard?
  1. Pay attention to Application Deadlines, Financial Aid Deadlines, and school Fees!
  1. Prepare your materials/recordings. Provide us with your best representation.
  1. Visit Juilliard and take our tour. (Reservations required online here.)
  1. Schedule a lesson with a teacher of choice (music only), and attend a student performance (certain dance, drama, and music performances are open to the public – check the Calendar of Events for more information).

Good Luck with completing your application. We look forward to meeting you!

 

*Results not typical.

Cool Things About the Drama Division that You Might Not Know

By: Jo Mei, Third Year Drama Division Student

Hello, my name is Jo Mei and I am a third year Drama student. There are so many things that are special to Juilliard that I want to share with you that it’s hard to choose where to start.

Well, I’ll begin with my final step in the “getting in” process. The year I applied was the first year the Drama Division incorporated the Final Callback Weekend into its admission process. Out of all the people called back during the initial audition process in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, 40 or so candidates are invited to spend 2 days at Juilliard, where they’ll get a feel for what a typical Juilliard day is like. Then out of those 40, 18 are selected for the incoming class.

Initially, those two days put a lot of fear in my heart. I thought, “There’s no way I can act for two whole days straight.” But it turned out to be a fantastic experience. I was able to meet the entire Drama faculty because they guided us as though we were already their students. In those two days, I took a hardcore movement class, had my first exposure to masks, learned about poetry, an established poet performed for us, I sang (poorly), read a short play… and so much more. Sometime during that first morning I realized the point of this is not to do everything they throw at me perfectly, the point is for the faculty to see me try my best, be myself, and not fear to fail. This was also a chance for me to take a hard look at what Juilliard training is like. Do I like this? Can I see myself here with these people for 4 years? Obviously, for me the answer was “Yes!”

Another thing you might not know about the Drama Division (unless you’ve taken a tour of the school) is our famous photo wall. Each year every student, faculty and staff member gets a new headshot taken and the photos of the students go up on a wall in the drama theater lobby. I love looking at the glowing faces of my classmates. Somehow each photo captures something very genuine and intimate and seeing them all together just makes me very proud to be among these talented artists. Make no mistake, these are not glamour shots by any means – some of us despise our own photo and can’t wait till the next year, but that’s also part of what makes it great. Not to mention, the photo session at the beginning of the year is just one big party with food and music and catching up about the summer, and meeting the first year students. My very first photo session/party will burn bright in my memory always.

If you think it’s difficult getting into the Drama Division as an actor, that’s nothing compared to the Playwriting Program. Each year only 4 playwrights are accepted out of hundreds of applicants. And as the playwrights compose new plays at Juilliard, the entire Drama community assembles to hear their new works. And what makes these readings special is that the parts are cast with actors from across the division. So it’s a rare opportunity to work with students in other years of training and sometimes even alumni of the division will return to read as well. For example, this year, one of my classmates got to collaborate with alum Greg Jbara, weeks before Greg won the Tony for his work on Broadway in Billy Elliot.

Also, many of the playwright’s plays get developed into studio workshops either for the 2nd year or 4th year season. And being able to contribute to plays as they are conceived, edited and re-edited is an enormously gratifying experience. How great to be able to say I originated a role in a play written at Juilliard that goes on to have a life off-Broadway or at Lincoln Center.

The time slot where we read new plays is called Community Meeting. This is also something unique to Juilliard Drama, I think. Every week, the entire division gathers as a unit. Some weeks we hear new plays, other weeks it’s a time for guest speakers. Just this year we had Ed Norton, Laura Linney, and Edward Albee, just to name a few. This has also been a time for master classes, or just a time for dialogue. We’ve also had a string quartet come play for us… I have to say Community Meetings are full of surprises.

One more cool Juilliard happening I’m selfishly looking forward to is the 3rd year’s Shakespeare Rep slot. Actually, I’m looking forward to the entire 3rd year season, which includes a movement-based play and a cabaret. But we will end the year with the Shakespeare Rep, which is two Shakespeare plays simultaneously rehearsed and performed by the same cast. This year the third years worked on Othello and Love’s Labour’s Lost and last year, Julius Caesar shared the stage with As You Like It. One more cool thing about Shakespeare Rep is that the plays are performed on our uniquely designed Globe set which is modeled after the original Globe Theater from Shakespeare’s time.

So, as you can see, I can go on about Juilliard Drama but I hope this brief blog entry gives you some insight into things you might not have known.

So You Think You Can Dance – Part II

Hello Dancers, I’m back with the next step for your college search!  Now that you’re aware of types of college dance programs and types of degrees (if you’re not aware, click here to read my last blog entry), it’s time to dig a little deeper into other factors that should influence your college decision:

  • LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: If you’ve been a “city kid” all of your life, do you dream of going to college on a beautiful, leafy-green campus? Maybe you are from a small town, and you think you are ready to make the move to a big city. Wherever you want to spend your college years, it’s best if you can visit the campus in person ahead of time to get a feel for it. Try to visit during the school year, when students are on campus and classes are in session. Try to picture yourself living and studying in that environment, investigate what the city has to offer, and think about some practical issues: Will you need a car? Do you have a choice of living on- or off-campus? What are the job opportunities, both on- and off-campus? What are the cultural offerings? Juilliard is located in the heart of New York City, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. We are part of Lincoln Center, which also includes The Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, and the New York Philharmonic, among other wonderful cultural organizations. We have a very small campus – one building plus one residence hall, which all first-time college students are required to live in for the first year. You can explore Juilliard further by taking our online virtual tour.
  • PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: If you want to be a professional dancer, the performance opportunities that you get in college can be the foundation of your career. The on-stage experience that you get in college will increase your level of professionalism after you graduate, and working with guest artists or faculty choreographers can help you make connections that lead to internships, apprenticeships, and even paid company positions. Similarly, if you want to be a dance teacher after you graduate, the opportunities to assist with or teach classes while you are still a student will prove invaluable. Think about what your ultimate professional goals are, and then research what opportunities are available within each college program to help you reach that goal. How many performance opportunities are there per year? Do you get to perform as a first-year student? How often is student choreography showcased? How often are guest teachers/artists/choreographers brought in? Can students gain teaching experience? Are students given opportunities to learn the technical side of the theatre (i.e. lighting, costumes, sound design)? All of these types of opportunities, in addition to what the actual coursework is, are what make up your college education. Make sure that the program you choose offers opportunities outside of simply enrolling in Ballet Technique 101. Juilliard’s dance performance activities are outlined here.
  • FINANCIAL AID: Ok, I know you don’t want to talk about it. The idea of shelling out thousands of dollars for a college education is probably a pretty fuzzy concept for you right now, and you are probably sick of hearing your parents and teachers harp on you about looking for scholarships. But believe me, if you graduate with a boatload of student loan debt, you will wish you had thought more about financial aid and scholarships before you started college! At first, you shouldn’t let the cost of private college tuition or out-of-state tuition deter you from applying for a program that really interests you – you never know how much aid a school will offer. But you should research how and when a school awards its scholarships, and you should also seek outside scholarships that are not tied to any particular school (http://www.fastweb.com/ is a great place to start looking). Juilliard awards its scholarships for dancers a bit differently than most schools: we look primarily at a dancer’s financial need, especially since we admit such a small number of dancers each year (12 men and 12 women). Many other colleges do offer dance scholarships based on talent, and/or merit scholarships based on academic performance, in addition to whatever aid your financial situation entitles you to. You can read more about Juilliard financial aid here.

Alright, so now that I’ve added to your summer homework assignment, I’ll give you some time to further your college search taking the above criteria into consideration.  I’ll be back soon with some thoughts about application and audition processes!