September 10, PRAGUE—‘Soooooo, did you get in this year?’
– The application deadlines for the specific field of Alternative and Puppet Theatre at the Theatre Faculty of the Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU) are in the beginning of January.
– Usually, by February is when the applicants find out what tasks they have to complete before the first round. They vary from year to year. Will it be a monologue of your choice, or theirs? Will you have to submit a video, or prepare a 5-minute puppet sketch, or both?
– The quick first round takes place every March. Based on the school’s statistics, about 150 people turn up. About 50 percent make it to the second round. “The results will be online in a week,” says the jury’s main person.
– The lucky ones are gifted with an e-mail, which consists of all the tasks necessary for the second round—the final one. It reads, “The second round will take place in two weeks.”
– For two weeks, the second-rounders experience a state of bliss and exude everpresent self-confidence.
– Then comes April, the once-in-a-lifetime chance to fulfil one’s dreams. All the participants perform their hearts out in a three-day marathon of seemingly endless theatrical assignments, either in a group or as an individual, all in front of 20 committee members.
– Lastly, 5 extremely long days later, the final verdict is out.
Anna did not make it. She knows what that means: she will have to go on to tell all the people around her, all the friends who were rooting for her, all the acquaintances who know through a mutual friend that she applied to DAMU again this year. But what is by far the most is telling her mom. Her mother and best friend in one, whose voice cracks, when she realizes what is about to happen—her daughter is yet again about to enter the stage of depression, frustration, and melancholia. “But she was so ready this year. She was so sure she was going to get in this time,” she thinks to herself while she comforts her child, holding Anna in her arms.
“I can’t even remember the last time I experienced happiness during the spring season. I have grown used to being sad around this time when the flowers start growing,” she concludes.
Written by Huyen Vi Tranová.