Part of my job is preparing people for drama school by offering them audition coaching. My students have a great record of getting into top schools, in the UK and the USA and I’m proud of that fact.
Today, I wanted to give you a little bit of coaching in a blog. Particularly for those of you lovelies out there that can’t make it to Scotland to benefit from our coaching (it’s really not that far, we even have airports!)
1) Choose your pieces and learn them long in advance of your audition dates. The scrabble for you to prepare them with highly unpleasant, you will not be ready and you’ll struggle to remain calm when you’re trying to remember your pieces later.
2) Don’t be afraid to stay still during your pieces, in my audition coaching, one of the most common questions is ‘should I put a bit of movement into it’? Sure, the answer is, sure – if you think it would help, but stillness is a very powerful thing when you use it well.
3) Don’t apply in May. Places open in Autumn, then they start filling slots, get organised, choose your schools in advance, don’t bother with open days unless you live close by or have really deep pockets. Apply immediately. It won’t make you a better actor but statistically you stand a better chance of getting a place, rather than being stuck on the waiting list. (CRINGE – waiting list = good enough to get in, but not quite good enough to get a place)
4) Sexual, profane, aggressive – leave those monologues alone.
5) Since one of your monologues is likely to be Shakespeare, you should probably find out how to do Shakespeare, I’m going to be doing an audio series on Acting Shakespeare which should be released on www.bookonacting.com in August. That might help, or a good book, because although all they want to really see is if you can do modern and classical acting, if you can actually work out what Shakespeare’s telling you what to do, it will REALLY help. Trust me, I’ve made some awful monologues great by adjusting the person’s reading of the lines!
*) A point. If it isn’t NCDT accredited, it ain’t a drama school. So a college or a university course in acting does not have the reputation, standards or facilities that a proper accredited drama school does (US people, that isn’t true, but conservatories STILL have a better reputation than most university theater departments, excepting a few…) I hate it when people tell me they went to drama school and I ask which one and they say Glasgow Cheltenham College of Navy and Army Trading Printers. NOT A DRAMA SCHOOL!