Shakespeare: on applying to The J

by Sean Thorne, temporary Admissions Assistant

As a temporary staff member in the Admissions office, I am afforded the perspective of being involved without being invested. I am half way through my four month gig here at The J. I’m sure I could fill a bottomless carpet bag with all the I-wish-I-knew-that-when-I-applied-to-school moments of realization. Before the wind changes and I have to pack up shop, I’d like to pass some of those moments on to you!

So, here are the top three:

What’s in a name? Everything! Shakespeare got it wrong when he said that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Understandably, many applicants have multiple names for any number of reasons. The application process is a daunting task for both the applicant and the admissions office. We are a lich-urally processing thousands of applications, each with variable parts. When applicants put different names on different parts of the same application, that doesn’t smell sweet – it smells confusing. So, all I ask is to pleeeeease be consistent. If you don’t like your name, then just call yourself Rose.

To thine own self be true. Let’s restore some of Shakespeare’s admissions cred – he was right on this account: Know yourself. That’s not an easy observation to fulfill, but, from my position, it gives applications greater specificity. With greater specificity you’ll be able to easily define your artistic and personal goals and, more importantly, why Juilliard is a good fit for you. Plus, college is a place where you will grow academically, artistically, and personally. You will learn much about yourself, your art, and your world. This is a tough city. This is a rigorous school. The real challenge is to still love the environment causing such stress and strain. If you work hard, you’ll create a reality for yourself that you never previously imagined.

That that is is. If you have a live audition coming up: congratulations! You’ve conquered the recording pile and given the wealth of pre-screening that is no small feat. Now is the time to let go of the outcome and have fun with your audition. Think of it not as a race towards an acceptance letter, but as a shopping spree. You’re out there in the world shopping around for a school that is the best fit for your talent and potential. If we’re not a fit, then keep shopping until you find something that does. To echo the point made in Lee’s haiku below, whatever is the result of your audition here you will be provided with new opportunities and surprises that you may never imagined happening. That is, there are no bad conclusions, just different opportunities. So – come prepared. Play hard. Have fun!