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.
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.