Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Great news, sports fans!

I just found out a few weeks ago that I got accepted to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts MFA program – dramatic writing for musical theater. It’s a two year program, it is intense and it would mean fully immersing myself in the creative collaborative process. If all goes well, I’ll start in the fall. It’s a real kick in the head, just knowing that I made the cut and I’m bright enough and talented enough to be a part of such an illustrious program. I feel especially grateful – and sweetly relieved.
The application process was harrowing, in a way. Once I completed all of the paperwork (which was as thick as a small town phone book, and no I’m not exaggerating), there was an applicant’s weekend where we were arbitrarily paired off, librettists with composers, and asked to write a five minute script to song in a day from a list of about 10 prompts. yes, that’s right – we had ONE day, more or less. we met on friday evening, worked on our idea saturday and presented on sunday at high noon.
The process was unexpected, for me at least, but I totally get it now. The faculty needed to see us work under pressure as strangers because that’s pretty much what we’ll be doing in the program. You can’t necessarily teach someone how to collaborate – and collaboration is the absolute backbone of what they do there. It’s a bigger part of what creating a musical is all about.
That was trippy – sitting in the lounge area that Friday evening, listening to everyone introduce themselves and unravel their stories: where they were from, how they got here from there, what their lives were like, their hopes and dreams. It felt like the first day of school. Or something.
It helped a great deal that I got really lucky with my random choice when I was paired with Benjamin Gammerman, a recent NYU graduate from Long Island. He was pretty much bubbling over with snippets of little ditties at all times. He’s the kind of guy that can turn anything into a song. Not only that but he was open, friendly and willing to start working right away. An added bonus was that we both have pianos (in case we got stuck and couldn’t get to the rehearsal studios) but the real kicker was that he lived four blocks away from me.
Actually, now that I think about it, it wasn’t luck at all. God threw me a bone.
I don’t mind putting my life on hold to pull this off, if I must. I’m already writing musicals. This week has me in Harlem’s iconic Apollo Theater for a performance residency that will culminate in 2 performances this weekend. One of them is already sold out. (No pressure…)
I have always believed in having something solid and meaningful to show for my time, especially in a place like New York City, where one can burn through time exponentially without even realizing it. Two years goes by in this city in a matter of months. I have friends who are already figuring out what their options are for retirement, and they’re in their 30s. (Egad.)
The real work with graduate school? Figuring out how to pay for it. Stay tuned.

No comments: