Saturday, February 18, 2012

143. The Juilliard Door Closes

I did not get invited to the Final Callbacks at Juilliard.


Kathy Hood sent out an email that said that out of the 1387 people that auditioned for Juilliard this year... they asked a record number of people to stay for the End-Of-Day Callbacks during each audition day, over all of the days, this added up to 157 people in total. I was one of them.

From that group, they selected 40 people to invite to the Final Callback Weekend. (Congratulations to anyone who made it this year!) However, I was NOT one of them.

I am sad. Very sad.

I LOVED my Juilliard audition experience. It was seriously one of the best days I've had...ever.

The tough thing about these MFA Yale, Juilliard and that they never give you feedback on your audition. It just doesn't work that way. They never tell you why you weren't chosen...or what you could do to improve your audition for next year. 

I completely understand why they do not offer this information. It would be overwhelming to deal with those kinds of correspondences for hundreds of applicants. It's just not realistic or advantageous for the school to do that. I get it.

But the nature of this "lack-of-feedback," as to why you didn't get chosen and someone else did, can be very confusing. 

My brain naturally goes to the thought, "Is there anything that I did to sabotage myself? Is there anything I could have done to improve my chances?"

However, the conclusions that I come up with, as answers to these questions may have NOTHING to do with why I ACTUALLY wasn't chosen. So really...I just end up making myself crazy. 

This year...I am very confident that I did EVERYTHING within my power to give my best possible audition...maybe I went a little overboard, actually. 

All well. 

Ultimately, I will never know the real reason I wasn't chosen. And that's okay. I guess I don't really need to know...Because I am who I am...and I don't want to be accepted to a school where I'm not wanted. That would suck! So if I'm not wanted there for ANY reason, then it's a good thing that they've let me go on my way this year.

Is there anything I can do now to change the outcome?... Nope. What's done is done. So the only really healthy option for me is to be grateful for the opportunity that I had...and move forward with the new learning that it's given me.

What have I learned?...I am still processing that. And I am sure I will be discussing those ideas in future blog posts.

But before I wrap up this post...just wanted to share with you a few details about yesterday...

1. I think I may have checked my email every 3 minutes yesterday...Allllll day long...It was hilarious! I was totally obsessive compulsive about it...Until I finally received the email from Juilliard around 4:30pm...Then...whah-whah...sadness.

2. Also received my "official" rejection email from Yale yesterday. "Way to coordinate with Juilliard, guys! Nice timing! Double-whammy of rejection!" I mean, I knew about the Yale outcome already, but still...that was icky to have to receive both of those emails within hours of each other. It was as if the Universe was teasing me..."No, MFA for you, Wilcox...It doesn't matter how much you care about this...or how close you come...You ain't never gonna get it...So let me just confirm your inadequacy by these "official" rejection letters in your inbox." Thanks, Universe...I know you know what's best for me and I don't, but...the mocking? Is that really necessary? Ugh. Bleh!

3. I got "the email" while I was at work. I was proud of myself...because I didn't cry. In fact, I'll bet my bosses had nooooo idea that anything out of the ordinary was happening for me. I am a professional. I do not share my personal drama at work.

4. After work, however, I made a phone call to my teacher and friend (also the person that wrote my recommendation letter for Juilliard) Mr. Robert Parsons. I left him a voice mail telling him about my disappointment at not making it to Final Callbacks at Juilliard this year. He called me back later, but I couldn't answer at that time, so he left me a voice mail in response...I have included it below...If I could figure out how to export the voice mail from my phone, I'd put it on the blog for you guys to listen to, but since I am not that technically saavy I've just typed it. (I hope you don't mind my sharing this with everybody, Bob!) His words meant a lot to me and are a great comfort.

Feb. 17, 2012, voice mail from my teacher, Robert Parsons:
"Hey, Virginia...It's Bob calling...Oooooh, boy...Got your message...and ahh,...I'm really, really sorry. I'm so, so sorry...that you didn't get called back...and I am also really, really surprised. I thought you definitely were...were IN this time. But, uh, regardless, it certainly does not diminish your brilliance, because you are... you're just, you're f*#king brilliant. I mean, reading your blog and just the way you think through these things and I know it leaks into your work as well, nobody can take that away from you no matter what obstacles appear. And though it's not Juilliard this year and it's not Yale this year...but, I guess NYU is still a possibility, so hold on to that one...But I just want you to know that I'm thinking about you and I feel like, you know, whatever this's just gonna make you stronger, ultimately, and...yeah, something good is gonna come for you, at some point, whether it's this year or whenever...It's gonna happen, so just hang in there. And I think a lot of people are behind you and rooting for you, so keep it rollin' girl!...Um, I'll try and get back to you or you call me. I've got a show tonight...But if you feel like calling, I should be around. Alright, you take care. Bye."

THAT's when I finally cried...Listening to Bob's voice mail...Standing on the corner of 37th Street and Broadway in Astoria. (Why wait until you get to the privacy of your own apartment to lose your s#*t, when you can do it standing on a street corner in full view of the passing public? LOL! Ridiculous me.) Thank you, Bob, for your compassionate words! It feels good to know that you believe in me...even though...even though...I didn't get in to Juilliard.

Anyway, yesterday wasn't allll tears and disappointment...I joyfully reconnected with my friend Jordan last night. He just moved to NY recently. We had a nice sushi dinner and had a blast at the Astoria Art House Salon...where I got to sing a couple of songs and Jordan played the piano. It was lovely. So the day certainly ended on a positive note.

And, yes...I am still in-the-running at NYU...but I am feeling like...I don't I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, ya know? At this point, I'm kind-of anticipating the rejection letter from them too...'cause...I can't even make it to NYU's Callback Weekend even if they do invite me.

Sooo maybe this really isn't going to be "my year" for grad school acceptance after all.

Still...I'm going to complete this Acceptance the best way I know how. So gonna keep on blogging until April 1st, as promised, and I am excited about it too, because I've still got some cool posts hiding up my sleeve for you all to look forward to...a couple of interviews waiting in the cue...and some other fun surprises in store...So it ain't over yet!

Don't worry about me. I haven't lost hope entirely.

Maybe I'll try for Juilliard again next year...Got really close!...I don't know yet. We'll see.

The door at Juilliard has closed for 2012...but there's gotta be a window in here somewhere...



P.S. If anyone who has been invited to the Juilliard Callback Weekend would like to write a guest post for the blog, even if it's anonymous, I'd love for you to contact me and we can discuss! Email me at via virginia wilcox at gmail dot com. Best wishes and break legs!


  1. I'm in the same boat Virginia. 1st round yes, callback weekend no. But, remember this... 4 years is a long time, and it just may be that the universe has something else in store for you that you never could have anticipated. So, chin up. I barely had the courage to tell people I was auditioning. Your courage with this blog is unbelievable. Hopefully I'll meet you at the NYU callbacks...the waiting continues.

    Congratulations on being brave and being present. That's really what acting is at its core I think. So really, we just had 6 months of training!

    my heart goes out to you. xxo

  2. Virginia,

    You have no idea how much strength, inspiration, and encouragement your blog has given me-and everyone who reads it, I'm sure! Without ever seeing you act i can just tell you are an incredibly generous, present and gifted artist! With so many people to see, so few spots to fill, and so little time to get to know everyone auditioning, it's so hard to not fall through the cracks during the audition process. You've made it further than a lot of people! myself included! and you made it further than last year! so chin up! you are doing good work!

    fight the good fight virginia!


  3. Hi Virginia,

    I don't comment on blogs, really, and blah-blah-blah the same thing people always say. But! I am totally blown away by your project and the incredible (and admirable) vulnerability you have in allowing yourself to show how much you really, really want something. And I feel like with that vulnerability here -- how could it not make your work onstage magnetic?

    You got so close! And while close isn't admission, isn't an MFA, isn't a YES! -- it's also not nothing. And the fact that you made it further than last year, and in such a measurable way (callbacks at both Julliard AND Yale!), seems like such a reassuring indication that progress IS possible (and that you are making it).

  4. There is purpose in your pain

  5. I have a question. Why just Juilliard, Yale, and NYU? There are a lot of other great schools out there with a reputation that (almost) equals the three you applied to. ACT and USD come to mind, and I know there are many more places you could get excellent training and lay the foundation for a great career in theatre. It seems almost like shooting yourself in the foot to just apply to 3 schools every year that are SO competitive that almost every extremely talented person who auditions ends up falling through the cracks. You are obviously talented because you've been getting so many callbacks! So why not cast your net wider if what you really want to do is go to a great school?

  6. Hello, Anonymous Commenter #5!

    That is a very good question. For a uber-long-winded answer...check out the following link or you can simply go to the "Juilliard-NYU-Yale" tab on the Menu.

    However, I will attempt to give you a shorter long-winded (and slightly more specific) answer to your question...Which is...that ACT and USD are not on the East Coast.

    I agree with you and you are correct in that ACT and USD and...many other programs are also "top-notch" and would be fantastic training. However, FOR MY LIFE...I want to create personal contacts and relationships with the NEW YORK theatre community. Why? Because I love it here and this is where I would like to live AFTER grad school.

    I have already had the experience of moving to New York with no professional connections and would not like to have a repeat performance of that experience. I am originally from CA. I grew up in the SF Bay Area and went to undergrad in Southern CA (Cal State Fullerton). But allllll of my California resume credits and relationships have VERRRRRY seldomly to help open doors for me professionally in New York. That is not everyone's experience, but it has certainly been mine.

    So.....If I am going to invest 3-4 YEARS OF MY LIFE in an MFA program. I want to know that at the end of it...I will be getting out of it exactly what I KNOW I NEED in order to give myself, not just great training, but a better advantage in the job-market post-grad-school. It's not JUUUUUUST about getting a piece of paper with my name on it and the three little letters M.F.A....It's about spending time training, growing and learning surrounded by the same community of people that I will be looking to do my creative work with for the rest of my life...So THAT'S why Juilliard and Yale and NYU. THOSE are the communities of artists that I feel the most connected the location that I want to live be able to establish the kind of career that I envision for myself for the future. It's been a strategic decision...these three schools...and I have not chosen them lightly.

    Other people will have different needs/wants/values/desires for their training and their careers. And that's FANTASTIC for them...and I support them 100%. Everybody must make choices based on their own personal preferences.

    I love NEW YORK!

    So for me, right now, today, at this point in my life...These three schools felt like the BEST fit for me. And I'm not interested in wasting my energy on anything that I'm not toooooootally excited about.

    But that's not to say that...if the given circumstances of my life were to change... that I wouldn't consider some other programs...I'm definitely open to that. But for's these three that I've chosen to focus on.

    Hope that answers your question.

    Thanks for asking!


  7. What about Fordham?

  8. Fordham has an MFA in playwriting currently, but...correct me if I am wrong...but there is no MFA in acting offered there.

    1. You are correct about Fordham. The Actor's Studio at Pace University has an MFA program in acting. Please look into it because I am rooting for you!

  9. Met you last year at BCEFA an hope you're not upset about Juilliard. I got the idea when I met you that you are interested in doing the work. And that's what it is about. So no matter what happens now - a year from now - ten years from now - a hundred years from now - keep doing the work. That's what makes it fun.

  10. Ah, Virginia. You are astoundingly talented. A couple of things come up for me reading this. One is wondering why you only applied to these three most insanely competitive schools, where it's really NOT NOT NOT about who's best, but about the particular chemistry of who they put together, and really there's just so much luck involved. Why not broaden your pool to other REALLY good programs that aren't quite as insanely competitive? And the other thing that comes up is that you don't need a graduate degree to work work work, so I hope you are doing it. I can tell you that I applied to grad school three times in three different areas, and never got in. One year I applied to the Old Globe for the acting grad program and didn't get in. That same year I was hired there on an Equity contract and one of the grad students was understudying me. So.... YOu just don't know. School is not everything. You will triumph!