Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

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Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

THE MUSE

Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

THE MUSE

ALEXIA PORES: JUILLIARD

Theatre+senior+Alexia+Pores+reviews+her+lines+on+a+flight+to+New+York+in+preparation+for+her+Juilliard+audition.
Photo Courtesy of Alexia Pores
Theatre senior Alexia Pores reviews her lines on a flight to New York in preparation for her Juilliard audition.

Every year The Juilliard School auditions a couple thousand drama applicants, and only two percent of these applicants are admitted. Thespians from across the country all saw this as their big moment, while theatre senior Alexia Pores saw it as a waste of time due to Juilliard’s level of competition. Up until her college counselor had forced her to submit an application, Pores had no intention of even applying to the school. It was when she had taken her first steps onto the campus that Pores had finally felt like she belonged at Julliard.

“Once I walked into Juilliard, this odd calm and confidence came over me,” Pores said. “Everyone says that you’ll know your place in your heart when you first walk in, and the only college I really felt this [feeling] was at Juilliard.”

Pores applied to 14 colleges, and she auditioned for 12 of them. The application procedure was difficult, but the audition process was even more so. Pores had to prepare and perform numerous monologues, songs, and write copious essays in order to be considered. With some school’s process being more intricate than others’, Pores found her Juilliard audition to be immense.

“It wasn’t that [the Juilliard audition] was more difficult, just that it was much more extensive. For the amount of time I’ve spent going back and forth there, it feels like I’ve already been through a year of classes,” Pores said. “I think just the anticipation and the days leading up to the callback weekend made [the audition process] hard. It was just doing all of these while knowing in the back of my head that I could potentially attend the best program in the world.”

Juilliard asked their auditionees to prepare four monologues and a song, but they are only expected to perform two of the four monologues in addition to the song. Pores was asked by her judges to perform all four, and the song during her audition, and was later informed that she had been called back for the second round of auditions. 245 individuals were auditioned during the first round, and only 32 were called for the second–8 of those 32 being high school students.

“When I returned for the callback, the halls were filled with current [Juilliard] students  applauding us through the corridor. The admissions director, Kathy Hood, told us that she had read our essays closely and “couldn’t wait to get to know us better,” Pores said. “The judges from the first audition room then write the pieces they want you to do at the callback.”

Arriving at 8 a.m. with her callback time at 3 p.m., Pores did not leave the audition until 10:30 p.m. Pores had to wait hours until she was called to perform her pieces. Walking into the audition room, Pores saw 30 of the school’s faculty members staring her down, awaiting her performance. She performed her monologue, song, and had her interview, but the second round of auditions still wasn’t over.

“After everyone had gone, we did an hour of group acting work while these same 30 faculty members watched us roll around on the floor, and do weird actor stuff,” Pores said.

At around 8:30 p.m., the judges came out with the third callback cut. It was a list of 12 of the 32 who were asked to stay for the second round, four being high schoolers and Pores being the only female; the other 20 were asked to go home.

Finally at 10 p.m., it was Pores’ turn to be interviewed by the head acting teacher alone in her office. The third round had finished shortly after their interview, and Pores had to wait until March 9 to hear back from them.

“So the numbers went from 2,200 who auditioned, to 169 who were called back out of all audition days, to 50 who are asked back for the final weekend in March,” Pores said. “I went up with my father to the final callback weekend where I essentially spent three days taking classes with the best acting teachers in the world, so if nothing, I got to say I did that.”

At 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, Pores received a call asking her to be a part of Group 51 at Juilliard. Pores’ efforts had finally yielded the results she’d dreamt of. Ever since she had began acting at the age of five, Pores knew what she wanted to do it for the rest of her life. At the beginning of the college process, Pores told herself not to “expect” one college to accept her over another, or vice versa.

“I expected and fully prepared myself for the possibility of not getting in anywhere. I think that now that I’m through the thick of it, I can fully appreciate that it was hard work that facilitated where I am in the process now,” Pores said. “I think it’s too easy for artists our age to take the hard work they do for granted because we love it, so it never really felt like I was ever working too hard.”

Regardless of the amount of work she had put into all of her auditions, especially Juilliard’s, Pores didn’t find any of the lengthy process difficult; rather, she had underestimated the difficulty of deciding which school she should actually attend after receiving all of her offers.

“I feel like when I was making the decision I was just delaying the inevitable of choosing Juilliard,” Pores said. “It came to a point where I was almost trying to look for one reason not to go to Juilliard just cause it was so hard to comprehend and even believe that that was a possibility.”

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Alexa Pope
Alexa Pope, Lifestyle Editor
Having the name Alexa Pope usually entails getting referred to as ‘the Amazon thing’ and/or ‘that one lady from Scandal’, but since this is her very own bio, she thought she’d give this individuality thing a whirl. She love eating tomatoes like apples, going to the beach but not actually getting into the water, and dedicating one day out of the month to solely listen to New Edition. As funky as she may sound, she does have aspirations (shocker). She hopes to be a part of a magazine one day, role undecided, but it’s a dream to say the least. With this being her last year on The Muse, she hopes for the publication to grow to dynamic heights and for herself to grow along side it.
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