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Marymount Manhattan College

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If you are considering Marymount, understand it is

May 23 2014Perfomance Arts
If you are considering Marymount, understand it is largely based within Theatre Arts and Performance. We possess great Biology, Business, English, and Comm Arts departments, but the school is overtly centered socially around the lives of its theatre students. As long as you find your niche regardless, and you are okay with the constant showmanship in your peers, you'll fit right in.
1st Year Male -- Class 2017
Education Quality: A+, Scholastic Success: B

I'm an acting major at Marymount Manhattan College,

Jul 09 2014Perfomance Arts
I'm an acting major at Marymount Manhattan College, and after finishing up my first year as a student, I am confronted with the simple and unavoidable fact, that if you are not talented, you will not enjoy acting component of acting school. This goes for any college drama program, not just MMC. I have been fortunate to have been cast in multiple school productions this past year, but I have many friends and peers who haven't been as lucky as I have been. Some of whom are juniors and seniors, and still have not been cast in a show. The performance opportunities offered at MMC are numerous and plenty, and if you're not cast inside school, you are surrounded by "Theater Mecca" New York City. MMC offers four mainstage shows a year, with a student run showcase called Director's Projects, each semester. In addition to this, MMC offers January Projects which practice and perform during winter break, which are just more examples of performance opportunities offered. On top of all that, MMC has plenty of festivals that vary with each year giving student actors, playwrights, and directors even more opportunities to have their work premiered. The reason I'm explaining all of this to the community is to clear the air on the idea behind Marymount not giving enough opportunities to its students. As I said earlier, if you're talented, you'll do fine. Sophomore year "juries" will tell you that. Yes, Marymount does have a rather large acceptance rate for theater students, but because of that, some students are going to have a better experience than others. That's just the way the statistics are going to play out. Not every student can be cast, not every kid is going to get a trophy. Honestly? Marymount Manhattan College does a phenomenal job of preparing students for the real world as performers, and gives them a great toolbox of skills that will help them make it as professionals. I would highly recommend it to any prospective students thinking about a career in acting. Marymount is a great school, with some really great people.
1st Year Male -- Class 2017
Education Quality: A+, Useful Schoolwork: B

RE: Professors in the Theatre department

Feb 12 2014Perfomance Arts
RE: Professors in the Theatre department
They are a combination of arrogant, brilliant, self-absorbed and knowledgeable. As you go through the program, you will see that they will play favorites over others. This usually happens during the second year, some time after jury evaluations. If you are one of their 'boys,' you may be the ones who consider them fair and equal. If you are not, don't be discouraged. Keep your nose in the business of training to be an actor and you will have a toolbox for life. Favorites or not, and fairness notwithstanding, the training is the same and at the end of the day, the thing that REALLY counts is what you do with what you learned after you graduate.

As you put your nose in the work (which remains intense), you may notice that the main stage productions will have a lot of the same faces. Two reasons:

1. The same faces are really good and really deserving.
2. The rest are the simply favored by the faculty (yeah, it sucks.....such is life).
There are things you can do if you constantly looked over. You can cry (which kinda helps, but only for the moment). You can use NYC as your personal playground and get cast in some local productions (which can only HELP your portfolio....never hurts). You can get with the faculty and say "hey....I'm talented, I jumped through everyone's darn hoops.....what gives?" They are always open to discuss why, though people rarely have the guts to just go and call them out on it.

My advice:
1. Roll with the pack when you need to
2. Know when to be quiet and listen to the theatre professors, no matter how ridiculous (no matter where you came from, they will still know more about it than you).

3. This is the toughest one - Stand up for yourself when you are cornered or bully'd by a professor. Remember, you are the paying customer. Remind yourself that they are there for you - not the other way around. There is a difference between being broken down/built up, and being humiliated by a sadist.

They will constantly say that "in the real world" this, and "in the real world that." And they will be right. But every now and then, they need to be reminded that MMC is a school of the liberal arts - not American Idol.

RE: Students at MMC
Everything you heard about snooty, rich, fat white girls has some truth to it. The male/female ratio is very skewed, but is somewhat neutralized by the large amount of Gay men (sorry, girls). To hear about girls getting breast implants for their 18th/20th birthday is not uncommon here.

But let's kill the myth, here. They are not the majority - they are simply the loudest. You may see the freshman class act like they just got out of high school, but hey - they did. You might see seniors continue to act like that. They are beyond cure but many of them are still sweet. Just because someone loves themselves so much does not mean that they can't have love for others.

The most important thing to remember is that your reputation as an actor does not start when you leave Marymount - it starts the moment you decide to be an actor. Treat everyone the same across the board. You don't have to be loved - just respected.

When year two comes and you are going through the most important evaluation of your four years there, the professors will commit the biggest sin of all. This is when they start picking favorites and in no uncertain terms, start considering who are better than others.

This creates a separation in the student body. They unwittingly or not create cliques, where your classmates start distancing themselves from who did not have a good evaluation. It will be business as usual for the ones who survived, and a devastating feeling of loneliness and career worry for those who did not.

My graduation class was like that in a sense that no one had the guts to support each other from fear that they would lose favor. The graduating class after me? They picked each other up and for the second evaluation in the Spring (the first is in the fall) pretty much all of them survived.The bottom line is you begin to know what people are made of after year two. The best advice I can give is that you are there for a purpose - to train to be an actor. If you keep it about the work, almost all the rest of the nonsense that students indulge in becomes less relevant.

4th Year Male -- Class 2007
Surrounding City: A+, Extracurricular Activities: D-
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