Harriet’s background is uniquely suited to help students pursuing the arts to reach their goals.
Harriet has over twenty years experience as an executive producer of animation, live action and special effects for national and international brands. She was involved in casting talent, hiring musicians and producing a variety of media. She has hired countless college students from a variety of programs and maintained close contacts with internship granting institutions.
With Harriet’s help, students identify preferred programs; prepare essays, portfolios and auditions. With her guidance, students learn to communicate who they are as they navigate the college search and application process. Harriet is well-informed of the particular requirements for applying to a visual or performing arts program. She helps the student to convey their passion and commitment in all parts of their college application. This is an innovative approach to college counseling that directly speaks to the interests and talents of this specific group of students.
Currently, Harriet volunteers as the college and career counselor for the Mountain View/Los Altos High School District’s Freestyle Academy of Communication Arts and Technology. After observing the student’s reticence to use the mainstream resources available to them, Harriet felt there was a need to assist students in identifying programs that were of interest to them. Her goal is to help the student prepare a concise presentation of who they are and what skills they possess.
Harriet has made presentations to groups of students and their parents, helping them to understand what options are available. She has privately counseled students both nationally and internationally on their portfolios and has helped with essay preparation and the audition/application process. Her students currently attend a variety of schools including Brown, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Boston Conservatory, MICA, Pratt, University of Michigan, RISD, UCLA, USC, Chapman and LMU.
Harriet is a member of NACAC, The National Association for College Admission Counseling and WACAC, The Western Association for College Admission Counseling and maintains active involvement in the area of visual and performing arts programs.
Robynne O’Byrne is unique among college counselors in that she is also a licensed Clinical Psychologist. Her path to counseling students in the performing arts was a natural extension of the work she has done professionally and as a volunteer at the Marin School of the Arts. She has extensive experience working with teens in both clinical and non-clinical settings. Her unique skill set allows her to help students navigate the stressful and often anxiety provoking process of applying to and auditioning for college programs in the performing arts. Robynne is also adept at helping parents support their students through the process.
For the past 4 years Robynne has volunteered on the governing parent body in the Theatre Department of the Marin School of the Arts. She has helped students there to navigate the application/audition process as they look towards heading off to college. In addition, Robynne’s own child has gone through the application/audition process and was accepted into one of the premier BFA Acting programs in the country.
Robynne has a deep understanding of what is required of students as they navigate the process. She understands what admissions counselors are looking for with respect to personal essays and the overall application. She helps students identify their preferred programs and to find their own voice as they work to express themselves in their essays and auditions. Robynne understands what students can expect at the live auditions, what questions they may be asked, and how to present themselves in the most professional manner. She also has experience helping students prepare for and submit their pre-screen auditions. With her guidance, students are able to organize their time effectively, narrow down their list of schools to those that are truly a fit for them, and handle the process of applying and auditioning in a fun, exciting and effective manner.