When Kelly Kudlik set foot in New York Metropolis for Cal State Fullerton’s B.F.A. musical theatre showcase, her post-graduation plans have been unclear. Inside per week, she networked with an agent, acquired a callback for a job with Disney and made plans to maneuver to the Massive Apple.
Yearly, the School of the Arts companions with the Alliance for the Performing Arts to assist college students like Kudlik unlock doorways to future careers in theater. They take a gaggle of seniors within the musical theatre program to New York Metropolis, the place they carry out in a showcase for an viewers of expertise brokers, managers, casting administrators and producers.
For the primary time, all 14 college students who carried out on the iconic leisure membership, 54 Beneath, acquired a name after the present, both from an agent, supervisor, casting director or manufacturing firm.
“This can be a staggering and extremely uncommon statistic. Sometimes, you’re fortunate if a program’s college students obtain 20% response charges. To see a 100% response fee this 12 months was completely thrilling,” stated Josh Grisetti, assistant professor of theatre and dance who led this 12 months’s journey.
Getting ready for Opening Night time
Outfitted with 4 years of musical theater coaching, Grisetti stated that college students step off the aircraft with the skilled expertise and talents they want to achieve New York’s leisure scene.
Scheduled on the cusp of graduation season, the journey is a chance for them to community, discover the town, be taught from trade professionals and chart their post-graduation paths.
“The B.F.A. program coaching focuses quite a bit on expertise that we’ll want to use in the true world, like how one can audition for a job, how one can put together music and how one can interact in truthful storytelling,” stated Naya Ramsey-Clarke, a senior within the B.F.A. musical theatre program. “It was actually the end result of those previous 4 years and all of the work that we’ve been doing.”
Grisetti stated that a part of what makes this expertise distinctive from different showcases is that it provides every scholar a possibility to shine.
“Each scholar will get a full track, which permits brokers to see them inform a whole story from starting to finish. It’s not only one a part of a track that has the very best notes, which is what numerous faculty showcases have grow to be,” defined Grisetti. “You get to see them act. You get to see them make the story their very own, and I feel that’s why it really works so effectively.”
Along with performing for expertise representatives, college students additionally take part in workshops with Broadway actors, dancers, choreographers and composers in addition to join with CSUF alumni.
“That is the assistance they should open doorways for his or her future careers — and I imply literal doorways — to casting workplaces and auditions that you just can’t entry by yourself,” stated Grisetti.
With CSUF President Fram Virjee, School of the Arts Dean Arnold Holland and devoted professors sitting within the entrance row of their showcase, Ramsey-Clarke stated she felt supported at every flip.
“I actually appreciated the steerage and group of our professors and the way they structured the journey,” stated Ramsey-Clarke. “They ensured that it was a productive expertise the place we may all be taught and develop.”
Setting Up Careers After Graduation
Each Kudlik and Ramsey-Clarke stated that performing within the New York showcase was a “surreal expertise,” however what they bear in mind most is what occurred after they stepped off stage.
Kudlik stated she was instantly contacted by an agent who wished to ship her to an audition just a few blocks away for a job on a Disney cruise ship. A day later, she was sitting in a ready room for a callback audition surrounded by Disney casting administrators.
After returning dwelling, she discovered that she booked the lead position within the Disney cruise ship’s major present.
“This expertise didn’t simply open doorways for me in my profession. It additionally helped me determine what I need and the place I wish to be after I graduate,” stated Kudlik, a senior musical theatre main.
The cruise will set sail this summer season for Australia, and Kudlik will journey with the solid for the subsequent 12 months. As soon as her contract ends in March 2024, she plans to maneuver to New York to proceed auditioning for roles.
After her efficiency of the track “Altering My Main” from the Broadway present “Enjoyable Residence,” Ramsey-Clarke acquired calls from three brokers thinking about representing her after she graduates.
On high of making ready for commencement, she’s squeezing in conferences with a number of brokers. She plans to remain in Orange County and discover the movie and tv trade in Los Angeles, hoping to show her ardour for efficiency right into a profession on the large display.
“After the present, I had individuals contact me instantly, and I continued to listen to from individuals. It’s been very validating of all of the work that I’ve been doing,” stated Ramsey-Clarke. “The expertise gave me the boldness to really feel like I may take these subsequent steps.”