Monday: Roll out of bed from the three hours of sleep you got after your red-eye flight. Drive to school. 2 AP classes, 2 honors classes. Musical rehearsal at school. Drive to theater company. Rehearse for company musical. Drive home. Homework. College audition practice. Sleep.

Tuesday: 6 A.M. Pilates. School. Music Theory class. Jazz dance class. Homework. College audition practice. Sleep.

Wednesday, Thursday: Repeat Monday’s schedule. Add voice lessons. Add 3 hour acting class.

Friday: 6 A.M. Pilates. School. Personal coaching with academy students. Rehearsal. Red-eye flight. College audition practice.

Saturday: Get audition ready. Meet with a dozen schools. Sing the songs you have practiced for months. Recite your mastered monologues. Get rejected. Get accepted. Learn a new dance combo. Perform the dance combo in front of a panel of auditioners from your dream schools. Practice more. Sleep.

Sunday: Repeat Saturday. Take a red-eye home.*

Anysa Wilson, senior, lives by this schedule. As a member of Orange Lutheran’s Musical Theater Academy, she aspires to be a Broadway star. Countless hours are poured into her craft, both on campus and off. Each year, Wilson and many other OLu MT Academy members take part in two intensive musicals at OLu and two at an outside company. When not in rehearsals, they spend any free time taking dance, acting, and singing lessons, truly earning the title of Triple Threat.

On top of this demanding schedule is the incredible theater college audition process. As musical theater programs are some of the most selective programs at most schools (most accept less than 20 incoming students), aspiring thespians are forced to audition for an almost impractical number of schools. And these applications are not over the internet, but live, in person.

While this life commitment would be intimidating to most, Wilson explains why so many theater geeks grind for their passion. She describes theater as “home” and her fellow MT lovers as “family.” In theater, she said, “there is a place for everyone. It provides an outlet for every story to be told, with no judgements.” For Wilson, theater broke through her shy shell and taught her empathy. The lessons learned and family earned through theater are priceless and timeless. The sleepless nights, exhausting rehearsals, and demanding auditions are, without a doubt, worth the personal development they produce—oh, and the constant spotlight and chance at stardom are pretty cool too.

* Repeat entire process for 14 plane rides, 7 cities, and 27 auditions.

Photo Credits: Anysa Wilson