Acting for scholarships

by Michelle Brooks | staff writer

For students interested in attending college after high school, scholarships are one form of financial aid that can help reduce the cost of college tuition. These scholarships can be given for a variety of reasons, including a high GPA, community service activities, and, in some cases, extracurricular activities.

“There’s a lot of just theatre-oriented scholarships and then there’s also some general scholarships as well that they can apply for. So a lot of our seniors, we actually push to apply for them, and there’s different programs. We actually have a scholarship search built into our curriculum and our advanced theatre class,” theatre teacher Jay Asterman said.

In order to be eligible to receive certain scholarships specifically for theatre, students can audition or be scouted through a program, called Young Arts, that allows them to perform in front of college admissions personnel.

“We’re actually going through this thing called a ‘Young Arts monologue’, that you do and it’s like, you perform a classic piece and a contemporary piece and you have four and a half minutes to perform both and then they [college admissions personnel] give [them] to the Young Arts people, which then they give out to other colleges that can give you potential scholarships,” junior Jenny Love said.

During the holiday breaks, students can go to Reagan High School to audition in front of multiple colleges in person, or may simply choose to film their audition and send it electronically to the individual colleges for further review. However, students can practice their monologues during their theatre classes.

“So, the only thing that we do here is we’ll have – we’ll do our filming that we send off for the audition monologues for Young Arts. And we usually have like Sante Fe University come in and talk to our students, in particular, about their program. But, they’re the only one that actually comes to our school,” Asterman said.

Regardless of the way in which students chose to submit their monologue, this process may still prove intimidating for some.

“It’s kinda nerve-racking, especially since I’m not used to being filmed doing it. But it’s kinda more like an excited kinda nervousness,” Love said.

Although there are a multitude of scholarships that exist for students, one of the main differences is that the theatre scholarship can be prepared over an extended period of time.

“I mean, the prep work is easier [because] the academic scholarship is all about the test, or, them keeping their grades, so that’s a more consistent one,” Asterman said. “They’re prepping these audition monologues over the course of a couple months, and it just comes out at one moment [whether] they’re gonna get the scholarship or not. So, it makes it a little more nerve-wracking.”

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