Something’s Coming: Part 4

And so the saga continues on that winding road to grad school that happened one year ago.  Last time, I mentioned the passing of anniversaries.  February 5 marked the anniversary of a fateful, stressful, snow-ful day:  audition day in Chicago for UCSD and for USD/Old Globe.  Though I felt quite prepared for the audition itself, the logistics needed for the day resembled a schedule the President might keep.  I needed to fly to Chicago that day, complete the two auditions, and fly home in time for the final dress rehearsal of The Little Dog Laughed, which was opening the following night.  And then…it snowed.


My original flight out that morning was cancelled, but I was able to book one later in the morning.  If you can imagine me sitting in the East Terminal of Lambert-St. Louis at 7:30am amongst dozens of other waiting passengers, finding an open bar (which actually was not hard), and drinking two beers while studying “Little Dog” lines, then you would have an accurate picture of my morning.  As you can also imagine, it tightened my day even more.  It was literally O’Hare to El to Hyatt to El to O’Hare without pause or hesitation.  It made for perhaps one of the most exhilarating days of my life, but I don’t think I would recommend repeating it.  

Oh, I almost forgot one of the funniest–only in retrospect–parts of the day.  The early morning drive to the airport through the semi-plowed streets meant my low-riding Beetle was having a dickens of time.  In East St. Louis, the snow and ice caused a guard on the undercarriage of my car to come loose.  I scraped my way across Eads Bridge sounding like a snow plow.  By the time I was able to pull over at Laclede’s Landing, my adrenaline was pumping so hard that I ripped the guard the rest of the way off with my bare hands.  I literally tore my way through this day.  

The following is an email I sent to loved ones who were following the adventures of the day closely.  I tapped this out waiting for the El:  

Hey folks!

So much to report but I will try to keep this brief.
1-Missed my original appt for UCSD with the flight delay. Literally sprinted down Michigan Ave. to make it there by 2pm when UCSD ended auditions. Made it at 2 on the dot. No dice. So screw them.
2-Neon lights from God seemed to point now that I was there for one thing…Old Globe. Rallied.
3-Knocked it out of the park. They were extremely nice. Got a great vibe from them. They said I had an “extremely good command of the language”. We also chatted about Drowsy Chaperone–my contemp mono–because neither of them had seen it. Any chance for more chat is a good thing, and they kept asking questions. Should know something end of March. I felt so good. So good.

Thanks for all the prayers. Truly. God, it takes a village, you know? Now on my way back home.

Bradley J.

PS-Gentle snow falling in Chicago. Lovely. A gift.

In the days following this report, my mom had mentioned how uncharacteristically curt I seemed in regards to UCSD.  Really I don’t hold any malice towards them or their program.  Instead, I think the takeaway is that UCSD was clearly not the right choice for me, and it took a frenzied sprint down Michigan Ave. to realize it.  Oh, and I made it home in time for curtain.  

Check out the rest of this series here.

Something’s Coming: Part 3

Since my last blog post about grad school, a number of “anniversaries” have come and gone.  I’ve been reliving the application process from a year ago.  For example:

Dec. 5, 2013

Had new headshots taken to day.  It went really well with Gerry Love.  Things are coming together.  I am trying to get the USD/Old Globe app out stat!  Also began the online UCSD.  This could happen.

I feel like the Notre Dame kids who are applying for schools are starting to worry about their auditions.  I am in the same boat.

I’ve gone to bed with my Riverside every night this week.

There’s kind memories sprinkled in amongst the stress:

Dec. 10, 2013

I have just brewed a strong pot of coffee, I am cancelling walking in the garden with Jen for tomorrow, and I am looking forward to hunkering down tonight to work on applications…Both Cassie and Clare [my sisters] called tonight with well wishes on the application.  And Mom stopped by about 10 o’clock with desserts and lunch for tomorrow.  God, I love them!  I’m not sure they understand why I’m doing this, but I am grateful they’re there for me.

I remember sitting at the desk in my living room writing this:

Dec. 15, 2013

I have been “Man in Chair” quite literally today, as I have been sitting and writing all day today. It was pretty lonely, but I am near the finish line.  Now, I will “sit” on my essays and revise them with fresh eyes tomorrow.  Thursday I will “sit” for the GRE.  Then I will “sit and wait”–hopefully–to get an audition at these schools!  We’re real close now.


Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing all the ups and downs of this rather tumultuous time.  Are YOU thinking about a MFA in acting?  Go to my Connect page and drop me a comment.  I would love to talk to you.  You can also follow this blog from that page.

Something’s Coming: Part 2

Here’s the second installment of a series of blog posts from the journal I kept discerning grad school.  When I was going through this process, I talked to my trusted friends and consulted a number of blogs of complete strangers just to gather as much information as possible.  Are YOU thinking about a MFA in acting?  Go to my Connect page and drop me a comment.  I would love to talk to you.  You can also follow this blog from that page.


Oct. 2, 2013

My friend Joy has been sitting on my shoulder for a year now.  After West Side Story one night, she pulled me aside and–completely out of the blue–said, “You need to go get your MFA in acting.”  It was a sincere comment, and I took it to heart almost immediately.  Aside from being a trusted friend, I respect her and her work immensely.  I didn’t take it lightly that she was giving me unsolicited advice and that she was telling me something I had been pondering for a while now.  But could I do it?

This sounds a bit melodramatic, but that’s because it’s important to me to weigh my options and seek the opinions of those who I trust.  I need as much help as possible to process all of this.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to say what I truly want, but I am realizing that an MFA is what I want.  All the work I need to make that happen and the leap of faith that I will need to leave my current life is quite scary.

I am going to pursue this.

I had a great talk with Joy at last night’s Drowsy Chaperone rehearsal.  I basically spilled my guts.  I told her that I think it’s time, and that all arrows seem to be pointing towards this big life change.  She responded:  “I can tell!”

Comment from my 2014 self:  Even though this was a short journal entry, it held three important ideas.  First of all, I actually made a decision and then stated what I wanted.  I didn’t know how it was going to happen, but it was worthwhile for me to state that I wanted something in my life to be different.  It’s an important step to take if you actually want something in your life to be different.  Secondly, I was already using words like “trust” and “faith.”  Things have a way of working out for the best.  Take heart in that.  Lastly, talk to someone.  Talk to anyone.  Maybe what you want isn’t so earth-shattering.  And maybe people are willing to help you achieve it.

Something’s Coming:  Part 1

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