dancesingact
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so here is my situation

predicted 5,5,6,7,7,7,7,8,8

offers to study dance, drama, R.E and English lit for alevel

But also received a place at a competitive performing arts college after an audition there and complete a BTEC in performing arts. I want to go there as it fits my aspirations and has a good track record for drama school progression but my parents want me to stay and do alevels and keep on making snide remarks about my choice.

My career goal is to be a swing and cruise ship performer, with performing arts teaching as a stable source of income.
I cannot imagine myself doing anything else except for perhaps primary teaching, marketing or events management.



What should I choose???
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studytheblurb
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Reading this, even with not knowing you personally, the answer is so obvious. The BTEC is what you should do, you know what you want to study and you can go to your preferred school which means you will find like minded fiends who are interested in what you are interested in, you will also have teachers who are professionals and who have a passion for what they do. Whereas if you study a levels knowing you want to do dance and drama as a career option but are also studying re and English you will lose passion and motivated for re and English since you like the other subjects more, and you will regret taking a levels since it was more plainly pushed by your parents and not yourself. I wanted to do btec art but I listened to others instead of myself and chose a levels because they looked more ‘ intellectual’ and chose art, English , psychology and geography . Quickly I lost interest in all of my subjects except art, and I put all my time into art because I love it, I know that I want to do it and I am sick of going to my other lessons because all I want to do is art and it frustrates me so much because I had the chance to do art 24/7. Do what you want to do because if you don’t you will 100% regret it.
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username4368778
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whatever you choose, there's next to no point in doing 4 a levels. you mentioned marketing so maybe business a level if you choose to take that path? honestly just do what you enjoy. i was in a very similar boat about a month ago: similar predicted grades, toss up of doing a btec extended diploma in games development or a levels in maths, computer science and graphics. i realised that i sought out the college route in the first place because i was unhappy with the idea of doing maths when i could be learning about games, which is my interest. in the end, i settled on a levels because the btec didnt have a big enough focus on computing but i changed maths to product design, and now im much happier with the idea of doing a levels. i dont know if my whole situation applies to your situation - what made you consider applying to college? is it because you dont like your potential a level subjects?

my advice would be that either route is viable, but whatever you to, you must tailor it to your interests. are you happy with all 3/4 potential a levels? it's just a matter of what will get you out of bed in the morning?

edit: i totally get the whole 'parents making snide remarks' thing, trust me when i say, i never heard the end of them

i don't know you but based on what you've written, i would do a levels in drama, dance, and probably business (based on the marketing interest)
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dancesingact
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(Original post by studytheblurb)
Reading this, even with not knowing you personally, the answer is so obvious. The BTEC is what you should do, you know what you want to study and you can go to your preferred school which means you will find like minded fiends who are interested in what you are interested in, you will also have teachers who are professionals and who have a passion for what they do. Whereas if you study a levels knowing you want to do dance and drama as a career option but are also studying re and English you will lose passion and motivated for re and English since you like the other subjects more, and you will regret taking a levels since it was more plainly pushed by your parents and not yourself. I wanted to do btec art but I listened to others instead of myself and chose a levels because they looked more ‘ intellectual’ and chose art, English , psychology and geography . Quickly I lost interest in all of my subjects except art, and I put all my time into art because I love it, I know that I want to do it and I am sick of going to my other lessons because all I want to do is art and it frustrates me so much because I had the chance to do art 24/7. Do what you want to do because if you don’t you will 100% regret it.
it's just so hard when all you constantly get told is that you are doing the wrong thing and that you are going down an unstable path etc etc!!! I know the risks but you're right in saying that I would regret it if I didn't try. thankyou for setting my head straight !!
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dancesingact
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(Original post by joe_c.x)
whatever you choose, there's next to no point in doing 4 a levels. you mentioned marketing so maybe business a level if you choose to take that path? honestly just do what you enjoy. i was in a very similar boat about a month ago: similar predicted grades, toss up of doing a btec extended diploma in games development or a levels in maths, computer science and graphics. i realised that i sought out the college route in the first place because i was unhappy with the idea of doing maths when i could be learning about games, which is my interest. in the end, i settled on a levels because the btec didnt have a big enough focus on computing but i changed maths to product design, and now im much happier with the idea of doing a levels. i dont know if my whole situation applies to your situation - what made you consider applying to college? is it because you dont like your potential a level subjects?

my advice would be that either route is viable, but whatever you to, you must tailor it to your interests. are you happy with all 3/4 potential a levels? it's just a matter of what will get you out of bed in the morning?

edit: i totally get the whole 'parents making snide remarks' thing, trust me when i say, i never heard the end of them

i don't know you but based on what you've written, i would do a levels in drama, dance, and probably business (based on the marketing interest)
the reason I chose college was as it has a very high success rate in getting students into musical theatre degree courses and drama schools.

do you have any advice with dealing with those comments? I'm not very good at letting stuff go and moving on😂!
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dancesingact
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thankyou so much to both of you too lots to think about... also forgot to mention the college is 1 hour 20 mins away and sixth form is 10 mins😂😂
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(Original post by dancesingact)
the reason I chose college was as it has a very high success rate in getting students into musical theatre degree courses and drama schools.

do you have any advice with dealing with those comments? I'm not very good at letting stuff go and moving on😂!
trust me i know what you mean i would get so angry because they just couldn't see my point of view but i just had to bite my lip lol
do your research and get some solid facts you can use when your parents try to make snide comments - at the end of the day, you're choosing one of two paths to reach the same destination so it is purely down to which one you will get more enjoyment out of.

e.g: "dont bother putting any effort in your gcses, you're going to college" (a favourite which really annoyed me because the entry requirements for college were virtually the same)
ideal response: "college will give me the qualification and experience i need to progress to university, just like any a level i could study - only i will enjoy college more studying what i love full time, rather than part time!"

do bear in mind that by going to college you are shutting doors to higher education in most other fields, however if you know that performing arts is the one and only route for you, that's not even an issue. worst case scenario: you could do a foundation year at university if you got to the end of college and realised you dont like performing arts so it wouldn't be a tragedy. only reason i decided on a levels was because computer science is an entry requirement on some potential courses im interested in, otherwise i would be going to college too. just make sure you enjoy what you decide on! if u do a levels deffo do dance and drama, then pick a third one you like.

facilitating subjects are a load of BS if you know what you want to study further on - just study what you need for uni and what you enjoy.

sorry for the long response
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username4368778
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oh that travel time is quite long. keep it in mind that it will add up over your 2 years - if you can use it productively then it's not a problem but don't write either path off imo, as long as you enjoy what you study (i know i keep saying that but if gcses have taught me anything it's that i cba to learn things im not interested in) then everything's gucci
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giella
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I would advise compromise. There is always compromise to be had in these situations. I know someone who is 28, did musical theatre at university and still hs never worked in cruise ships despite auditioning every year. She’s done a bit of pantomime over the years but hasn’t managed to crack anything stable. She’s doing teaching on the side and is probably going to make that her full time career.
She is actually an interesting case that you might want to take note of. Her parents did her a deal that they would support her as long as she gave herself plenty of back ups. She did A levels, including drama, and she had a university plan as a back up. Her parents watched her progress through that and saw how she committed to all of her subjects as well as her extracurricular dance and such and they could tell that she had the resilience and the talent to give musical theatre a good crack. Ten years later she’s starting to look at other options. But she’s had a good run and she made an informed decision with the backing of her parents the whole way. And that’s been an amazing help to her.
Shutting down all other options at your age is a massive risk. You’re sixteen (I’m guessing) and that’s a little too young for your parents to be able to know you’re worth that level of risk and investment. You haven’t mentioned if you’ve really immersed yourself in music and theatre and dance outside of school. If you haven’t, I completely agree that they should be cautious about betting everything on that yet.
Do A levels with a theatrical bent ie drama or theatre studies and two other options as well. You’ve got the capability to do that and you’re not shutting down other options by doing those. This is probably something they can get on board with. As it is at the moment you’re offering them a one man life raft with no paddle. Make a little room for them. You’ll be grateful of their support down the line.
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dancesingact
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(Original post by giella)
I would advise compromise. There is always compromise to be had in these situations. I know someone who is 28, did musical theatre at university and still hs never worked in cruise ships despite auditioning every year. She’s done a bit of pantomime over the years but hasn’t managed to crack anything stable. She’s doing teaching on the side and is probably going to make that her full time career.
She is actually an interesting case that you might want to take note of. Her parents did her a deal that they would support her as long as she gave herself plenty of back ups. She did A levels, including drama, and she had a university plan as a back up. Her parents watched her progress through that and saw how she committed to all of her subjects as well as her extracurricular dance and such and they could tell that she had the resilience and the talent to give musical theatre a good crack. Ten years later she’s starting to look at other options. But she’s had a good run and she made an informed decision with the backing of her parents the whole way. And that’s been an amazing help to her.
Shutting down all other options at your age is a massive risk. You’re sixteen (I’m guessing) and that’s a little too young for your parents to be able to know you’re worth that level of risk and investment. You haven’t mentioned if you’ve really immersed yourself in music and theatre and dance outside of school. If you haven’t, I completely agree that they should be cautious about betting everything on that yet.
Do A levels with a theatrical bent ie drama or theatre studies and two other options as well. You’ve got the capability to do that and you’re not shutting down other options by doing those. This is probably something they can get on board with. As it is at the moment you’re offering them a one man life raft with no paddle. Make a little room for them. You’ll be grateful of their support down the line.
The course I was accepted on accept less than 10% of applicants and it isn't the normal local college course but is one where drama schools come in to audition and the staff have taught at mountview, arts ed, central etc. Clearly I take part in numerous extra curricular drama, dance, singing and worked my ass off to get accepted. the issue with taking a levels is that it will make it so much harder for me to get accepted into drama school after as I wouldn't be able to fit 25 hours of training plus private singing lessons around my a levels so would not be improving at the same rate as peers who have gone down the btec route. I have looked into primary teaching and found out I would be able to get on some degree courses with my btec or I could do a pgce after drama school (which 25% of drama degree students do). I would actually love to teach and would be happy to do so of performing doesn't work out/alongside. I am aiming for a portfolio career (which the majority in the field end up having as the jobs are contracted over a short period of time so there is no such thing a stable long term job) out of interest what school did she graduate from?
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dancesingact
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would you guys think it was better to do a btec and get at least D,D,D or alevel and get say B,C,C as realistically I wouldn't be able to study much and keep up my training
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username4368778
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(Original post by dancesingact)
The course I was accepted on accept less than 10% of applicants and it isn't the normal local college course but is one where drama schools come in to audition and the staff have taught at mountview, arts ed, central etc. Clearly I take part in numerous extra curricular drama, dance, singing and worked my ass off to get accepted. the issue with taking a levels is that it will make it so much harder for me to get accepted into drama school after as I wouldn't be able to fit 25 hours of training plus private singing lessons around my a levels so would not be improving at the same rate as peers who have gone down the btec route. I have looked into primary teaching and found out I would be able to get on some degree courses with my btec or I could do a pgce after drama school (which 25% of drama degree students do). I would actually love to teach and would be happy to do so of performing doesn't work out/alongside. I am aiming for a portfolio career (which the majority in the field end up having as the jobs are contracted over a short period of time so there is no such thing a stable long term job) out of interest what school did she graduate from?
if you're confident you won't be able to keep up with the btec students, do the btec. it seems like a high-quality college from what you've said so it's not an enormous risk. (again, you could always do a foundation year at uni)
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(Original post by dancesingact)
would you guys think it was better to do a btec and get at least D,D,D or alevel and get say B,C,C as realistically I wouldn't be able to study much and keep up my training
it's hard to say what you would achieve on each route but i reckon you'd get higher than B C C based on your subject choices and your predicted grades. but DDD is miles better
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giella
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(Original post by dancesingact)
The course I was accepted on accept less than 10% of applicants and it isn't the normal local college course but is one where drama schools come in to audition and the staff have taught at mountview, arts ed, central etc. Clearly I take part in numerous extra curricular drama, dance, singing and worked my ass off to get accepted. the issue with taking a levels is that it will make it so much harder for me to get accepted into drama school after as I wouldn't be able to fit 25 hours of training plus private singing lessons around my a levels so would not be improving at the same rate as peers who have gone down the btec route. I have looked into primary teaching and found out I would be able to get on some degree courses with my btec or I could do a pgce after drama school (which 25% of drama degree students do). I would actually love to teach and would be happy to do so of performing doesn't work out/alongside. I am aiming for a portfolio career (which the majority in the field end up having as the jobs are contracted over a short period of time so there is no such thing a stable long term job) out of interest what school did she graduate from?
I would be interested in why this college doesn’t offer A levels in the subjects but no matter.

In answer to your question I believe it was in or near Surrey.

You sound like you’ve researched this a lot and that you’re very dedicated. I think, however, you sound like you’ve yet to convince your parents that this is the best route forward for you and that counts for a lot. They know you well and it is a bad idea to pitch yourself against them. It doesn’t sound like they’re against you studying this st university per se but that their problem is your route in. That’s why I would suggest you find a way to meet them in the middle if you can.

Your argument also sounds flawed. If you don’t think you’ll have time to fit things around A levels then what kind of a bite out of your time do you think that commute is going to take? There is a sense that you’re wanting to take an easier or perceived more prestigious route rather than necessarily the most practical or the more challenging route. Drama and dance A levels are just as good preparation for performing arts study as BTEC and arguably provide you with a more rounded preparation if you do a third subject such as English Literature, Psychology or even a science. You’re clearly capable of doing them as well. You mention doing four but there is no need to do four. You could do three and free up time that you need as well.

Drama schools have no preference for which route you take. They also don’t care what school you went to. It is also possible to be quite dazzled by claims tht certain schools make but bear in mind that no one is going to care in two years time what school you went to. And if you’re talented now you will still be talented then.

What school is this exactly?
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dancesingact
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(Original post by giella)
I would be interested in why this college doesn’t offer A levels in the subjects but no matter.

In answer to your question I believe it was in or near Surrey.

You sound like you’ve researched this a lot and that you’re very dedicated. I think, however, you sound like you’ve yet to convince your parents that this is the best route forward for you and that counts for a lot. They know you well and it is a bad idea to pitch yourself against them. It doesn’t sound like they’re against you studying this st university per se but that their problem is your route in. That’s why I would suggest you find a way to meet them in the middle if you can.

Your argument also sounds flawed. If you don’t think you’ll have time to fit things around A levels then what kind of a bite out of your time do you think that commute is going to take? There is a sense that you’re wanting to take an easier or perceived more prestigious route rather than necessarily the most practical or the more challenging route. Drama and dance A levels are just as good preparation for performing arts study as BTEC and arguably provide you with a more rounded preparation if you do a third subject such as English Literature, Psychology or even a science. You’re clearly capable of doing them as well. You mention doing four but there is no need to do four. You could do three and free up time that you need as well.

Drama schools have no preference for which route you take. They also don’t care what school you went to. It is also possible to be quite dazzled by claims tht certain schools make but bear in mind that no one is going to care in two years time what school you went to. And if you’re talented now you will still be talented then.

What school is this exactly?
the reason why it doesn't offer a levels is because a levels haven't got enough practical content compared to btec. they are not just as good, they will mean I more prepared for the industry and honestly I would rather give it my all now than regret not studying what I love earlier on. I think the first poster hit the nail on the head with what she said. My mum is convinced it is just my dad. In my opinion the btec is more challenging as it is 25-30+ hours per week of training and extra time outside for coursework and study as well as showcases, full length musicals , plays a cabernet and professional panto each year. And the 4 a levels is just what all the sixth forms do around here for the first term. Not gonna say what college it is🤷😂.

I said that I wouldn't have time to fit the same amount of training those doing btec would be doing if I was taking alevels - there are only so many hours in the day!

I also may not be commuting and may find accomodation near the college which they organise.

Is there anyone on here with experience in the field who could be tagged and asked for their opinion??
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dancesingact
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thanks everyone for your help... it's made me realize how passionately i want to do the btec and how nobody can persuade me anyway else😂😂🤷
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dancesingact
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What also puts me off a levels is how there is no audition so anyone of any ability can join, so it won't be challenging and full of like minded people. The a level dance is half theory and you can pass with a pretty low level of dance. same with drama a level tbh. I know I sound like I'm bashing a levels but if I want to give this career a good shot I now realise I need to do btec. the college also runs a lot of non btec classes on the timetable and audition technique etc so it isn't all about he qualification.
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dancesingact
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most PA btec colleges that offer only performing arts btecs (like mine) don't offer alevels alongside.
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Emma1999_
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I had reasonable grades got 3 6's , 4Bs, 2As and L2P and distinction at GCSE. Everyone told me a levels was my route but I didn't know much about them . I had no passion or intrest in anything but I applied for a levels. It wasn't until around June when I suffered badly mentally I decided to first choice a BTEC in accounting and Business . Never had an intrest in this or passion , didn't know much about it . Results day came and got the grades for a levels
Something told me to go for the btec and I know it was right for me regardless of what ifs and I believe I may of got higher with a levels but this course has improved my mental health so much .
Do what's best for you and get that job on a cruise ship its two short years so choose what you want and well done on your audition.
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(Original post by Emma1999_)
I had reasonable grades got 3 6's , 4Bs, 2As and L2P and distinction at GCSE. Everyone told me a levels was my route but I didn't know much about them . I had no passion or intrest in anything but I applied for a levels. It wasn't until around June when I suffered badly mentally I decided to first choice a BTEC in accounting and Business . Never had an intrest in this or passion , didn't know much about it . Results day came and got the grades for a levels
Something told me to go for the btec and I know it was right for me regardless of what ifs and I believe I may of got higher with a levels but this course has improved my mental health so much .
Do what's best for you and get that job on a cruise ship its two short years so choose what you want and well done on your audition.
thankyou and I have also had alot of mental health issues (depression and anxiety) so think it's what I can cope with best .

really glad your mental health has improved on the btec
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