Being well prepared for the audition is hands down the most important thing a student can do if they are serious about getting accepted into OCSA. Okay, that may seem really obvious. But, the question you need to ask yourself is, what does “well prepared” truly mean? Your child may be super talented and so you are thinking, No sweat! But it is not just about talent. There are a lot of talented kids who audition but not everyone gets in.
On the other hand, you may be asking yourself, “Is my child talented enough to really shine and stand out among the competition?”
Ultimately, that is a question that only the conservatory director can answer. It is the director of each conservatory that conducts the slew of auditions/interviews that occur each year. And in the end, determines who will get acceptance letters, and who will not.
As you hopefully know by now, I am all about doing your research and if you’ve found me, you must be all about doing your research too. GREAT. You are off to a good start.
Here are some other things you should do first, the sooner the better, because time can be of the essence.
You can preview Audition Requirements here. Remember this is a guide and that the admission application will have complete and updated requirements for the upcoming school year.
It’s important to remember that students who demonstrate a sincere passion for their art make a good impression. Also kids who seem like they have a real interest in becoming part of the OCSA community — whether they’ve had a hard time fitting in elsewhere, or are just very driven to succeed in their respective discipline and have not found the support in a traditional school environment — are sought. If this is has been your child’s experience, it’s okay to mention it.
Kids who are seemingly there auditioning more for their parents than for themselves are fairly transparent and probably won’t be considered serious candidates. Again, it’s all about the passion, and it has to be legit! These directors have been doing this a long time in most cases and they are good. They know when it’s from the heart, and when it’s not.
Finally, prior to applying, if you still have time: If your child has been dancing since he/she was three and taking classes five times a week, this doesn’t apply to you. But if this is not you, you may want to consider spending the six months, a year, or even two years prior to applying/auditioning honing their skills. There are so many options, not all of which are expensive. Community arts and theatre classes; private visual arts classes, creative writing workshops, etc. will be a nice addition to your application. And, since you will be asked to provide an optional letter of recommendation from someone who has been involved in working with your child in his or her chosen area of interest, this is your opportunity to build a relationship with someone credible who can provide this.
Through these classes, I have become acquainted with several individuals who know OCSA and understand the process. They work with kids and their parents to ready them for the audition. I’ve heard more than one say that “If you are well prepared, you will get in” and that is what they do; help kids get prepared. Be on the lookout for these resources too. It’s nice to have options.
OCSA sponsors a Community Arts Program, which does not fall into the ‘affordable category’ but presents a really terrific opportunity if you can swing it. These Arts Enrichment programs are held on weekends during the year and during the week in summer. They are taught by OCSA teachers/directors in most cases and offer a small group atmosphere. Not only will your child gain valuable experience, but they get to know OCSA (they are held on campus), the teacher, and other OCSA students/prospective students. As a parent, you not only get good material for the application/portfolio but also a chance to gain a better ‘inside’ perspective, and help your child get on the right path toward acceptance.