DeBlogs > Tyler Esselman > why-depaul

Why I Chose DePaul

When I was a junior in high school, I was confident that I would be going to school to study acting. But that was about it. I didn’t really have any clue as to how to go about pursuing those programs because I hadn’t been exposed to the culture of drama conservatories too much in high school. I vaguely knew about NYU and Juilliard​, and knew that DePaul had a conservatory because my uncle attended DePaul and told me about it. With that most basic knowledge, I scheduled a visit at The Theatre School​ during the summer between my junior and senior years.

I was struck immediately when I entered our old building​ on Kenmore. It felt good; like it was full of life and inhabited by real people. As I went through my information session​ and tour of the school, what I picked up was that this was a place where I could be a part of a team and also grow as an individual artist. That was what I wanted. It was small, focused, and dedicated to the craft. Plus, everyone I interacted with during my tour and audition process was incredibly kind and seemed genuinely interested in expressing their belief in their school. That certainly made an impression on me. I left with the distinct feeling that I might have found a home for my college years.

Once I was actually accepted and offered a financial aid package, it became clear that the stars were aligning. I received the best scholarship offer of any school I was accepted to and also knew that Chicago would be a great city for me being from the Midwest. Chicago also held the attraction of being an incredible theatre town​ where I could learn my craft from the city and not only my school. Checking the “yes” box to say I would be attending The Theatre School at DePaul University is a moment I will never forget. I hope any other young theatre artist who does the same feels just as much satisfaction.

Tyler’s Hot Track of the Week:
This one makes nostalgia ooze out of my ears. Please enjoy.