Senior John Viso looks ahead to a bright future.
Choosing a college for senior John Viso was a process unlike any other. However, after a tedious audition process, Viso’s dream is just beyond the horizon.
Viso had originally planned on majoring in musical theatre in college. In order to do this, he had to go through multiple rounds of extremely selective auditions. He started by applying to 12 colleges and then proceeded to audition at six.
“The schools I looked at were Pace University in New York, Point Park University in Pittsburgh, University of Oklahoma, an acting school in Liverpool, England called LIPA [Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts], Viterbo University in Wisconsin, and Ball State University. All these schools are the cream of the crop for musical theatre,” Viso said.
All of these schools are known for being some of the best musical theatre schools, which is why they accept between six to 20 new people each year. The University of Oklahoma is a top five program for musical theatre, making it one of the most selective in the nation.
“I had to have two songs prepared, two monologues, and had a dance call. Most of the schools just had one round of auditions but Oklahoma. I made it to their final round of callbacks and they had 1,500 people audition initially, but they only call back 150 [people],” Viso said.
Viso made the top eight percent at his auditions, but unfortunately it was not enough. However, Ball State University came back to him with an offer too good to refuse. Instead of getting a B.F.A. in musical theatre, he would get a B.A. in theatrical studies.
“When I got my rejections I was kind of put down, but Ball State came back to me with this offer to do something that wasn’t in my original track, but I am a very firm believer that things happen for a reason. I think there will be opportunities that come from this that people submerged in their musical theatre won’t get,” Viso said.
In theatrical studies, Viso can pick and choose his classes, rather than have a very structured curriculum that he would have had in musical theatre. This major also focuses on playwriting and casting, which Viso pointed out that he’s always had an interest in.
Viso explained, “I plan on having a B.A. in theatrical studies, with an emphasis on casting, and I will also audition for a dance minor.”
Ball State University describes the theatrical studies major as, “Intended for academically advanced students who want a broad-based study of the theatre discipline and who may then pursue interests in playwriting, management, dramaturgy, or theatre history/criticism.”
This is not the end of John’s stage career, though. Ball State is allowing Viso to re-audition for the musical theatre program, and he can still audition to be on the main-stage production.
John has big plans for the future; he is planning on re-auditioning for the musical theatre major, he would like to audition for national tours, cruise lines, and Disney shows to build up experience and get hopefully get job offers from them.