Four Seniors Respond About Their Idyllwild Arts Experience

May 25, 2012 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

This week we continue our conversation with four more graduating Idyllwild Arts Seniors and their experience at Idyllwild Arts – what they’ve experienced, lessons they learned and where they’re going next year.

Corbin a Music major, Mauricio a Dance major, Paulina a Musical Theatre Major and Anna a Moving Pictures major took the time to answer our questions. They each have taken full advantage of their time at Idyllwild Arts Academy to learn about their art and themselves while looking towards the future and the lessons to be learned here.

1. Tell me about your experience at IAA? How has it affected you as an artist, dancer, performer or musician?

Corbin: My time at IAA has allowed me to mature in a way that took me off depending on my parents for things, and realizing that if I need to get something done the only person that is going to make that happen is me. This has affected my music by making me go after my own musical education proactively, as opposed to simple waiting for people to feed it to me. This is also the lesson that I have learned here that will stay with me far beyond the short time I spent at Idyllwild Arts.

Mauricio: I think it was amazing and awesome. At the beginning I wasn’t sure if it was the place for me. I’m a post-grad but I didn’t want to take academics I just wanted to dance. This school embraced me.  I didn’t know anyone and I missed my family and friends. It was a huge change. Also, I only had a year of English before coming to Idyllwild so it was really challenging to be immersed in a new language.

Additionally, at Idyllwild Arts there’s a huge connection to the Dance community and opportunities for doing more beyond school. I danced with Inland Pacific Ballet and competed to the semi-finals in the Spotlight Awards. The teachers here are the best and it was a good opportunity to study with Patrick Frantz, who is the founder of the Pittsburg Ballet, I had no idea of the quality of faculty I would study with before coming here. The faculty is equal to those at universities and other dance programs.

Paulina: My experience at IAA has been extremely multifaceted. Moving away from home and coming to a community like this at the age of fourteen was an odd, yet rewarding experience. The people, as well as the curriculum at Idyllwild Arts have been the building blocks to my character. Powerful and supportive mentors (both within the department and outside) have provided me with support, advice, guidance, and tough love that surpass anything I have experienced. These past four years have undoubtedly been the most influential of my life thus far, and I attribute the majority of that to the wonderful people I have had the honor of experiencing, the classes I have had the privilege of participating in, the performances I’ve had the privilege of attending, and the community I have been gifted enough to thrive in. All of my experiences here have influenced my art, and studying under the guidance of Howard Shangraw has made me in to a better performer, person, and artist.

Anna: I came as a semester student in my junior year. It’s been exciting and very different from my old school as I left to pursue a career in science. I want to be a bio medical engineer. At my old school my dean wanted me to drop theater as it was “useless”. Creativity is a huge part of my life and even though I’m not going to pursue the arts in school I need the arts. I had been here once for the Summer Program for “Acting for the Camera” so I knew that Idyllwild Arts would be a good option for me. When I auditioned for the school, I initially thought I would be in the theatre program but I afterward Marek suggested I be part of the Film program and that has worked out perfectly.

Being in the Moving Pictures department is natural. My family is actively involved in the film industry but I had never been a part of it myself. On my first day in the Moving Pictures department I had a camera put in my hands and was given instructed in how to shoot a scene following standard rules. I was instantly encouraged to become involved in the filmmaking process and just do it. It wasn’t about theory as the Moving Pictures program makes you learn by doing and to be engaged.

2. What’s been the most critical lesson that you’ve learned as a student? Is it something in the academics or the arts?

Corbin: This school gives students every opportunity to succeed, but it is also arguably easier to not take it seriously, and allow the experience to instead hinder a student’s potential. I learned I needed to have the drive for this school to work in positive way. If at least a part of everyday isn’t solely dedicated to a student’s art in some way I have found that there is usually a lack of drive or desire, which is only detrimental to a career in art. Therefore, Idyllwild showed me that I had that push to dedicate myself to music, and that using the resources provided by the school, I can advance incredibly fast. This work ethic is something that was given to me by this school, and is a habit I’ll take with me to the Eastman School of Music, as well as wherever else my future leads me.

Mauricio: I’ve learned to work hard and never give up. There’s not a lot of competition here as we’re all friends. Outside though there is a lot of competition and people who are always better. Other students started calling me a “bunhead” as I would get to class early and start working and warming up. I’ve only been dancing ballet for the last two years so I’ve really had to fight to catch up. It’s been important to open my horizons and see what else is out there. Building contacts with teachers inside the dance world makes a huge difference.

Paulina: I would say that the most critical lesson I had to learn was to be independent. Admittedly, I come from a family who wants to give me the world and more; so coming here and not having that forced me to grow up very quickly. This was a valuable and critical lesson that I NEEDED to learn before college, and I am so thankful that I can fully take care of myself.

Anna: It’s a combination. I grew up with a philosophy of doing one thing really well. Here you do everything. You do your physics homework and learn how to make a film. I’ve learned a lot about concentration and time management.  Also, my first big lesson was remembering to eat dinner. Last year I had to make sure that I learned to stop filming before the dining hall closed and go and eat a meal.

3. Where have you been accepted and where are you planning to attend college/university/conservatory or art school? How did Idyllwild Arts education prepare you for the college audition/application process?

Corbin: I was accepted at the Eastman School of Music, Cal State Long Beach, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, and wait listed at the Curtis Institute of Music. Idyllwild helped me by supporting me every step of the way with college counselors who were on call to answer ANY question, and music faculty that pushed me every step of the way to be the best I could be.

Mauricio: I auditioned for the Pittsburg Ballet, Washington Ballet, Ballet Austin and Boston Ballet and I was accepted to Boston’s summer program with a full-scholarship. So I’m going to Boston Ballet this summer and then will have to find a place to live and a job to help pay the rent to stay and study with them afterwards. I did attend the senior seminars but chose not to apply to colleges because I really want to dance and be in a ballet program.

Paulina: The theatre faculty at Idyllwild Arts prepared me (maybe even a little too much) for Chicago Unified Auditions. First semester, we met with Howard once a week to review and get critique on audition monologues. We also met with Bonnie Carpenter once a week to work on scheduling, and audition etiquette. I honestly don’t know if I would have been able to get it together as well as I did without their help.

I was accepted to Point Park University, University of Hartford (Hartt), Columbia College Chicago, Pace University, Cornish College, Birmingham School of Acting (UK), and Boston Conservatory. I will be attending Boston Conservatory (my first choice since freshman year) for the fall of 2012. I will be a student in their BFA Musical Theatre program.

Anna: The college counseling process was really helpful. I had a weird transcript since I switched schools mid-year in my junior year. Fortunately, I have great SAT scores and have tested well. I worked closely with Erin Latimer, my college counselor and she helped me gage what colleges were realistic for me to apply too.

I was accepted to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Through my college essay I was able to demonstrate my leadership skills. Erin was very helpful in helping me craft my essay. I talked about being sick and how I overcame that and how I learned that I wanted to help other people who were unwell. I demonstrated that I knew what I wanted to do. Also, I’ve been an active volunteer and worked in a retirement home where I played the harp and taught residents to play mahjong.

Also, even though I’ll be working towards a career in bio medical science I still plan on making films. It’s going to continue to be a part of my life. There’s no reason why I can’t continue to work on screenplays and continue to pursue my need to be involved in the arts.

Entry filed under: Arts, College Counseling, Dance, Moving Pictures, Music Stuff, News, Theatre. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

2012-13 Academy Prefects Selected Moving Pictures Screenings This Weekend

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May 2012


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