Just Keep Swimming

by Taylor Ratliff

              YOU GUUUUYYYYYSSSS!!!!!!!!! Hello!!! ‘Tis I, college audition addict Taylor Ratliff, here with my very own blog on Upstage Left! Thank God for TPAP, amiright?

             Is everyone in the college audition cycle breathing? Because I know I’m not. I feel like a corset of anxiety and nervousness is continually crushing my ribcage because of audition stress. But, as a reminder to us all, let me just say that I have found new meaning in the term: “Just keep swimming.” I’ve been rejected from a whole bunch of my top schools, and at this point, I don’t have any idea where I’m going. But, more recently, I had the AMAZING pleasure of working on Casa Mañana Theatre’s production of West Side Story, and I realized something equally frustrating and comforting: any sort of training from any sort of program will get you work in this business, and although a college degree may seem the most desirable, it isn’t the most necessary asset in show business. For example, take Cameron Adams (TPAP Faculty and fierce hot mama); she booked the movie remake of The Music Man with Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth when she was 17, never went to college, and now works consistently on Broadway. #TPAPrunstheworld

      What I’m trying to say is that if your dream school(s) doesn’t make you an offer, don’t freak out. If programs that you know and you love and ones you happen to have known the directors of for years and years upon years don’t have a place for you, don’t freak out. If you don’t get a SINGLE OFFER from a SINGLE COLLEGE, don’t freak out. If you’re reading this, you’re a TPAP queen / king / player / lover / artist / fighter / dreamer / composer of the EXTRAORIDNARY, and never doubt that you’re in the RIGHT PLACE at the RIGHT TIME.

    I will say, however, that the college audition process is a bitch. Hands-down, no questions asked, it sucks. It’s expensive, it’s inconvenient, it’s disappointing, it’s seemingly impossible, and at times it feels like a complete waste of your talent, your dedication, your staying up until midnight the night before Texas State marking new cuts in your pop song because you want Michael Maresca to think that you’re the next Sia or Troye Sivan.

        IT SUCKS. AND YOU WILL CRY, AND YOU WILL SCREAM, AND YOU WILL TAKE A LONG-ASS SHOWER AND SCRELT 11 O’CLOCK NUMBERS UNTIL THE HOT WATER RUNS OUT, AND THEN AGGRESSIVELY BRUSH YOUR TEETH BETWEEN THE CURSE WORDS THAT SLING THEMSELVES BETWEEN THE GAPS IN YOUR ENAMEL UNTIL YOU SPIT ONE LAST TIME AND GO CURL UP IN YOUR BED AND TURN OFF THE LIGHTS SO YOU CAN FINALLY GO LIVE IN DREAMS. But let me tell you something guys: what you want out of college isn’t going to simply appear, even at your dream school. It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of time, and it’s a lot of late nights. But at the end of the day, we go through all this hell to MAKE ART. We just have to remember that.

So, there you go.

XOXO, Tay