College decision day has just arrived. You’ve accepted a college offer, but it’s not exactly what you were hoping for. You get a BA or BM, instead of your dream, a BFA. Not getting a BFA isn’t exactly the tragedy it might seem at first. I was in the same situation as you, several times in fact, and I can honestly say that I am grateful to be a BA major.
BA lets you explore more than just play. Do not mistake yourself. I love acting, but acting is only one aspect. Having a bachelor’s degree allowed me to explore more aspects of theater than I would have had the opportunity to explore everything from stage management to sound management to dramaturgy. It allowed me to be a better performer, partly by watching amazing actors and directors work, and partly by learning the importance of the team for actors. With crews, actors couldn’t put on a good show, and it’s easy to forget that sometimes.
If you go to a school like mine, which has both BFAs and BAs who sometimes take classes together, you have the opportunity to learn from them and share what you learn from them. Some of my favorite people on campus are BFA, from whom I learned so much. One of the classes that is just a BFA class is movement. Although I never took this class, I still learned a lot about using movement in my performance by working with the BFAs. Also watching other amazing performers allows you to be a better performer. You can learn by seeing their technique applied on stage.
Being a BA also allows me a lot more freedom to control my learning. My school requires BFAs to audition for all major productions. BAs are not required to do so. I’m able to decide whether or not auditioning is something I want to do or not. If there’s something else I want to focus on, like my playwriting or directing, I can decide not to audition for shows. I also have a much less rigorous schedule than my BFA counterparts. I don’t need to take dance or music theory lessons unless I want to. It allowed me to pursue a minor in history, one of my passions outside of acting.
I know not being a BFA may seem like the end of the world right now, but you never know how wonderful a BA or BM program can be until you try it. It might surprise you. This could allow you to discover a new love within the theater. This could allow you to have the possibility of having more of your own agency sooner. All majors, BM, BA or BFA, will find work after university. It all depends on your mindset and how you use your time at college. It’s only been four years. Take full advantage of it and don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on what you get!