Life After School for a Performing Arts Student

As I’m entering the final semester of my senior year, there’s a lot of stress tied to this point in my life. This can also be the case for those outside of my career path, but there’s something about finding jobs after school that can be extremely stressful for performers in particular. I’m going to share a little bit of my ups and downs.

The final semester for performers usually means auditions, auditions, and more auditions. Like most performers, I get very nervous when I even think about going to an audition and in the past I’ve panicked a lot when I step into the room. This is obviously something I need to work through since it only inhibits me in the audition room. I’ve been told by many mentors that the more auditions you go to, the more normal it will seem and the less stressed out I’ll be. I really hope that’s what will happen to me. I got to start the audition process with the awesome company I worked with last summer. I’m so thankful to start my auditions there with familiar faces in the room. The scariness of auditions goes away when you know there are people rooting for you. Going to that audition and feeling encouraged is the next step to finding friendly faces at auditions where I won’t know a single person.

I’ve been asked what my plan is over and over again from all sorts of people, and to be honest, I have no clue yet. There’s no possible way for me to know the logistics of my life plan until I attend a million and one auditions. Some of these auditions can be for a summer theatre, while others could take me for an entire season. It’s all in the luck of the draw! I know for a fact that I will be going to Chicago to attend as many auditions as possible and show up to local auditions in the Midwest. And of course, I’ll be sending in many video auditions. I may not have a solid plan, but I’m really looking into traveling from regional theatre to regional theatre, auditioning for cruise lines with long contracts, or basing myself in Chicago for a couple years until I build my resume. My only problem with Chicago is there’s not as much musical theatre, which is my biggest love. And if I went to NYC right away, I would be in a pool of thousands of others my age who are hopeful to make it big right away.

I could think of many different turns my life will take me, but no part of me has a single idea where I’ll be. I may not even end up getting the jobs I anticipated and I have to be ready for that. This industry is super competitive and very tough, which is a reality that hasn’t quite hit me yet while being in school. I’m excited to start auditioning, pretty terrified, and I’m trying to go into the future with zero expectations. It’s so difficult for me to trust that God has it all together even though I can’t see what’s happening yet.

So these are my honest feelings about the future. If anyone who has experience in the musical theatre/theatre/dance industry has any tips, please let me know! I would love to hear them!

xo, Brynne

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