Undergraduate Application Anxiety.....HELP!

I have been lurking on this site for about the past 10 months or so in anticipation of writing this very post. I have silently followed the instructions of the most vociferous and prudent of you and have now come to a crossroads as to what my next moves are.

Here is part of my story:
I graduated high school in 1984, was accepted to Tisch School of the Arts on scholarship to the Drama department when they had a 5 studio system for Theatre majors. I was one of a class of 16 that was able to attend Circle-In-The-Square Theatre School. The IMHO the best of the bunch. I was in a summer internship at Credit Suisse First Boston, at my Dad's pleading to find some supplementary work, and was asked, that September to be a stockbroker trainee. Being no fool, I, of course, accepted. I subsequently left NYU to pursue my newfound dream as a captain of industry. The stock market crash of 1988 had other plans for me.

Disheartened and feeling slightly disconnected. I turned to drugs and alcohol as a solution. I went to rehab and tried to start again. I went to DeVry Institute for Telecommunication Management and was recruited (before completing the degree program)into a job working for an ISP in NJ as a network engineer. I excelled at it and was quickly promoted. 7 years later, I was given an obscene amount of money in order to run my own company based on an idea I wrote on the back of a napkin in a dinner meeting.

In 2001,even though I had been around the world living in different countries for extended periods of time, been the cover story article on different topic within my given trade, had employed over 60 people I was never really with myself. A failed marriage, rising debt and an inability to handle even moderate success only compounded this and after 10 years of sobriety, I relapsed. I lost my company months before we were to take it public. Caught two felonies. Spent 26 months in jail. Got out and continued to use.

Since 2006, I have been sober. I am very active in the recovery community of Delray Beach, Fl. Incidentally, the largest in the nation. I counsel recovering addicts here in town, I bring meetings in to the various rehab centers here. I the manager of a halfway house.

But most importantly, I will graduate from Palm Beach Community College in August 2008 with a 3.76 GPA. I was been offered a scholarship to Palm Beach Film School solely on the basis of my writing and am sponsored by a local radio station for additional funds. I applied there in order to get a "showreel" for FSU and UCF as per some of the direction of you "to get some experience". I have taken a couple of film classes at PBCC, but didn't want to go ballistic as these would be transfer credits and did not know how they would be viewed by an admissions board.

My questions I guess are multiple fold:

1.) I am an older applicant, 42, looking into get into an undergraduate program. A.)Should this be a problem? B.) I have transfer credits from NYU at 3.0, Devry at 3.72 For the remainder at PBCC I have 3.76. Yes, my overall is lower than 3.76 but my last school is at 3.76 so I puff up....sue me. There are however a lot of credits on my transcript especially from Devry that are W's they have a Program of Study (read:money making scheme)fortunately I was recruited out. Does this over extension of credits (Attempted:126 Earned:80)present a potential problem?


2.) My previous felonies while I am not proud of my actions, I have complete my probation and all other requirements and am a few years away from getting it expunged from my record as adjudication was withheld. I understand that htis should not be lied about or covered up, but how should this be presented in its "best?" light.

3.) What am I up against and how to prepare, the application season is upon us.
I have what I believe to e two very strong recommendations should I cultivate more through the Palm Beach Film School contacts. There is an internship that is associated with the program, however, my completion date of that program is near the application deadline.

4. Is UCF a good secondary choice as a backup. I know that there are other schools nationwide. But quite frankly, at $3900.00 @year for a Florida resident, I'd be more than happy to stay a home with FSU or UCF...or whatever school you guys collectively can say is worth my considering.

I hope that you all can respond, I am more than willing to give you any information that might help you to direct me intelligently.

Namaste,
Greg
 

Cinematical

Active Member
Wow.

Yeah, you should finish up undergrad and head to grad school. They would eat you right up. Your level of life experience (that sounded like something from a video game) is enough that I'm sure you could make several movies based purely off of it ”” that is, for filmmakers, a very good thing.

Seriously, you should make films. It takes those that know life to show it back to us.
 
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Thank you both Cinematical and Bandar so much for your help and support. It means a lot to me. I am thinking about the big picture, i.e. Master's at AFI, USC Stark or LFS in the UK for Producing so that's dead on cool cool thinking.

What are your thoughts on the following: Undergrad film major yes or no? (As this is my current prickly pear)...Knowing full well that MFA Film will happen.
 

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