Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm back...sort of

How to summarize...

We had a family camping weekend in Cook Forest - even Don came! We managed to set up our tent, build a fire (eventually), go canoeing, and split some wood. The weather was perfect and we had a great time.
Then I went to Mass. for two weeks, and it was wet wet wet! We managed to have fun in between the raindrops, though. We went mini-golfing, ate ice cream at Kimballs, spent a day in Maine (shopping in Kennebunkport, lunch in Wells, beach at Ogunquit), visited Westford's playground, introduced Cinderella to my "vintage" Barbies, brought home an armful of 80's prom dresses for my friend who's costuming "The Wedding Singer" this fall, swam in the pool, visited with family, went back-to-school shopping, drank some wine, enjoyed the new porch, played Guitar Hero for the first was pretty full. I also taught 3 songs to my Mom's chorus, videotaped the choreography, and performed in two hour-long shows at a county fair. It was good. And the transmission didn't fall out, and no one had to go to the emergency room, so it was a step up from 2007!
My mind was pretty preoccupied the whole time, though. I'm trying to figure out Plan B in this whole grad school thing. Plan A, which fell through, was to pursue an MFA in Performance and Pedagogy at the Univ. of Pittsburgh. Plan B has been up in the air since that didn't work out. So, I thought, maybe Plan B was to pursue an alternate route, and I looked into an MA at Regent University in Theater Studies, about half of which can be done online, and the rest with an 8 week summer residency. In the course of "looking into it", they told me they had openings for Fall, so I jumped at it, did all the application essays, resumes, letters of rec., transcript, etc.etc. and they accepted me into the program. However, it's not one of those programs which funds the grad students, unlike Pitt, and the money turned out to be a pretty major stumbling block. Especially since I had missed most of the deadlines around grant and scholarship money. The start of classes was fast approaching, and I was starting to freak out about it, so I asked them to defer my enrollment at least until spring.
In the meantime, I was rethinking the whole MA option, and the online part of it too, wondering if after all the work is done, it might be perceived as somewhat of a lesser degree - a "Jr. College" version, if you will. And that for my ultimate goal, of teaching in a university, I'd probably be better served pursing an MFA after all.
Which brings me to plan C...possibly going back to square one and reapplying to MFA programs. And since the local ones, Pitt and Point Park aren't accepting applications until 2010 and 2011 respectively, it would mean moving if I'm to go somewhere in 2009. Surprisingly, (or maybe not) there aren't that many options for MFAs in theater in the Northeast. My shortlist right now is Boston University, Brown University, Yale (yeah, right!), Penn State, and Regent (which also offers an MFA) Perhaps with Regent, I might not have to reapply with all the paperwork, and could just do the audition phase. There are probably other programs out there, but these are the ones I'm looking at right now. I don't want to live in NYC (sorry Steve...if it were just me, it might be different) I also need to think about URTA auditions (a group audition in NYC or Chicago hosted by a variety of grad schools). It costs money to audition, and you need to be nominated and have a sponsor...It's a lot to wrap my brain around.
In the meantime, I've started working on Murder in the Cathedral, the kids start school on Monday, and I have to learn a new murder mystery script this weekend. The kids all got haircuts today! (There were 10 kids in Great Clips when we went in...fortunately the family of 7(!) in front of us was just finishing up!)
Sorry for the boring post...I'd love to stop talking and thinking about all this, and just get on with it! Unfortunately, I don't see that happening any time soon. All input and advice is welcome!!!


Melissa said...

Do you suppose, maybe, doing fewer OTHER things besides pursuing plan C might give you more time to pursue plan C? Oh, and I vote for Brown. I'm told if you get your degree through Trinity Rep you get your degree from Brown...Not sure what the significance of that would be...

Blackbird said...

Whatever letter of the alphabet you get to, you're probably going to need to take out student loans to finance the thing. Schools have deadlines for applying for financial aid from the school (which you should also do), but you can take out student loans through a bank at any time. You need 1-2 months' lead time, though, as the paperwork goes through both the school and the bank. See (click on the College Finance tab).

See if you can do some informational interviewing. Call people who do what you want to do (Pitt faculty members, maybe), tell them you admire them and want their advice, and offer to buy them coffee if they'll meet with you for half an hour. They can give you a better sense of what kind of degree would be most useful.