The final chapter: My college audition journey- part four

This beautiful school is my home for the next four years! (Photo Provided by: Layla Valenzuela 23.)

This beautiful school is my home for the next four years! (Photo Provided by: Layla Valenzuela ’23.)

Layla Valenzuela, Copy Editor

Hello and welcome to the final installment of “My college audition journey.” We’ve made it, folks. Believe it or not, I have finally made a decision.

I fully applied to around 20 schools across the United States seeking a BFA in Musical Theatre. I cast my net from across the street in Fullerton all the way to Boston, Massachusetts, not sure of exactly where I wanted to pursue my education. I traveled across the coast of California, Utah, Chicago, and New York to find my perfect fit. Though I thought that I knew exactly what I wanted at times, my mind would change in an instant—that is, until I found the school of my dreams.

This was the exciting email! (Photo Provided by: Layla Valenzuela ’23.)

After nearly an entire year of preparations for auditions and researching schools, I am excited to share that I will be spending the next four years at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York pursuing a BA in Theatre Performance.

For some of you, this may seem completely out of left field, as I haven’t discussed my applying to Wagner as much as other schools, so let me catch you up to speed:

Back in November, I attended an audition weekend called “Drewnifieds,” hosted by my college audition coach, Drew Boudreau! There, I had one chance to audition for a panel of professors from different schools, some of which I knew were there and some of which I didn’t. The experience was stressful because I had one shot to get it right, but I had so much fun auditioning with all my friends at home in Orange County.

How could I not fall in love? (Photo Provided by: Layla Valenzuela ’23.)

I didn’t know that Wagner was there until that night, when I received an email inviting me to a callback. The following day, I met with a professor via Zoom and was recorded performing my monologue so that my tape could be reviewed by other theatre department professors later in the year.

In late February, I received the email accepting me to the program! I didn’t know too much about Wagner since it was so far away, but my family and I decided to take an impromptu trip to New York about a week in advance.

When I arrived, I fell in love. Wagner College is a relatively small school with a blissfully peaceful campus in Staten Island, NY— just a short trip away from New York City. As I met with students and professors, I realized how much the environment at Wagner reminded me of Rosary. The sense of community and intimate learning experience drew me in right away. The school even has a tradition called ‘Songfest’ that could be considered a sister to our very own Red and Gold, so I know I’ll feel right at home.

I can’t wait to go back! (Photo Provided by: Layla Valenzuela ’23.)

Though I set out thinking that I definitely wanted to pursue a BFA in Musical Theatre, I found that Wagner College’s BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Theatre Performance will better provide me with all the resources that I need to continue my academic education and begin my artistic career. Every person that I’ve met from Wagner has welcomed me with open arms, I’ve even met the rest of my future classmates in the Theatre Performance program!

I’m not going to lie, this process has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life. The amount of rejection and criticism that an aspiring MT student has to face truly tests you. From handling rejection from your dream school to schools that you considered a safety, there were many tears shed. Thankfully, the stress and chaos made me want to pursue this career even more and I feel like a stronger person because of it; like I said at the beginning of this process—I’m truly crazy.

All in all, I couldn’t be more excited to live out my wildest dreams in New York! If you had told me even a year ago that I’d be where I am today, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Thank you for following along on my journey with me! If you’re interested in pursuing theatre in college or just have any questions in general, feel free to reach out, I’d be more than happy to help out! Go Seahawks!