Senior Luckenbach’s stressful second semester


Luckenbach as Muzzy van Hossmere in “Thoroughly Modern Millie”

Claire Porter, Staff Writer

While many seniors are enjoying this application-free semester, senior Catherine Luckenbach, majoring in Musical Theater, has her most vital part of her application to stress about.

“Most seniors absolutely love knowing that they are a second semester senior because all of their college application processes are over. However, the most important part of my college acceptances are in my second semester,” said Luckenbach.

Luckenbach has been an aspiring actor from a young age. Since third grade, she has been in about 14 shows. And to her, musical theater was never something she had to think about– she knew this would always be her passion.

Her college applications don’t just consist of the standard online application, but she must also send in prescreen videos to schools. Luckenbach fortunately got past all her prescreens, and now has 13 in-person auditions to complete.

“Catherine had to throw out a much wider net in order to increase her chances of being admitted to other schools. She had way more applications to do than most students,” said senior Kalila Kirk. “I really admire her for persevering through this extra difficult process.”

Musical theatre is a very competitive field. Schools only take about 10 to 13 female applicants, and even more selective schools take no more than six. At auditions, Luckenbach is competing against thousands of other young women for a very small amount of spots based on short, 10 minute auditions.

The auditions are intense. Many have nerve-wracking procedures, such as rescinding an audition if a song is more than 16 bars, a practice which University of Michigan is known for doing.

“Penn State ‘taps you out’ of the dance audition if you aren’t up to their standards, and if you are  ‘tapped out,’ you are unable to sing or act for the school,” said Luckenbach.

Within the next few months, she must travel to Chicago, twice to Los Angeles, New York, and North Carolina to complete these auditions. In preparation, Luckenbach has rehearsed numerous songs, monologues, and dances with both her college audition coach and voice instructor.

Luckebach also stated, “Of course I wish I could have a ‘normal’ second semester because I would have a significantly less amount of stress, but having my auditions second semester has allowed me to thoroughly prepare for my auditions.”

In the end, Luckenbach remains positive about her stressful second semester endeavour. “I’m attempting to look at the audition process as an opportunity to do what I love most, rather than a challenge in which I must prove myself.”