Do you have to audition for drama school?
Before covid, recording an audition was rare. After covid, it's more popular but one way or another, if you want to get into drama school, you'll have to audition.
As scary as they seem, auditions are normally the school's first impression of an individual's acting ability and qualities, hence why it is so competitive and the need to nail it.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of auditions in drama school, the benefits of going there, why it is hard to get accepted, what you may need to get in and some solid tips. So read on and make sure to take notes! (We’re winking at you, and you can’t see it)
Becoming an actor or someone who works in the drama and theatre industry means dedicating oneself to an unpredictable lifestyle. Drama schools follow the same route. They equip you with all the necessary tools and skills to navigate this chaotic yet attractive path. But to experience all that, you need to pass the audition first.
Why Do You Have to Audition for Drama School?
What do you picture when you listen to the phrase ‘audition’? Frequently, people assume auditions to be a room full of individuals with numbers sheets stapled to their clothing. They wait pensively to be in the limelight in front of fearsome-looking panellists.
Well, this isn’t far from the actual representation. It all comes down to the stature of the school—the more prestigious the institute, the more complicated the audition process.
Almost all performing arts practice-based courses, including theatre or drama, will hold auditions for every contender who has passed the first cut. The first cut in this sense includes your application, personal statement, supporting evidence, and any other document that the school may require.
Auditions are the best way to find unique talents among the sea of competitors. Panellists are not looking to test candidates. Rather they use this opportunity to pick out those that fit certain attributes and talents such as social skills, straightforwardness, confidence, authenticity, commitment, self-awareness, and more.
Out of all other methods, holding auditions seems the most plausible as it also gives the candidates a higher chance of equal critique. Bye-bye, biased selections!
The audition itself will generally be quick and sharp – possibly 3-5 minutes for some drama courses. Some auditions have follow-up interviews and second-round auditions, either on the same day or a different specified one. It signifies you won’t have a lot of time to make a significant mark. Keep practising, kids.
Benefits of Going to Drama School
There are numerous different routes to success as an actor. The road of smallest opposition normally concerns being related to a well-known director or producer. Still, even then, you cannot guarantee success as the audience will, as always, have their own opinion.
So, what would be the most suitable way to hold a career as an actor? Of course, putting unfair nepotism and extreme luck out of the equation, going to drama school would take the cake.
For many actors-to-be, drama school training is the finest way into professional acting as it offers not just an essential basic grounding in acting and a chance to hone your art but also credibility and recognition in the eyes of casting specialists.
Attending drama school shows an enduring dedication to following your vision. All things considered, if the school is reputed and you display an enthusiasm to learn and a knack for it, you will have won yourself a seat on the course, with higher chances to succeed as an actor.
Is It Hard To Get Into Drama School?
The simple answer is YES.
It is not as straightforward of a process as it appears. While picking a fitting drama school can be troublesome by itself, getting admitted into one is another boulder on your shoulders. There’s not just one round you need to pass; there’s actually around three to five. And then you have the interview and workshops. Oh, and let’s not forget your application that will be your ticket to the audition.
We know practice is key to doing well in your drama school audition. Still, auditions can get very challenging, as each institution, especially prestigious ones, can only choose a handful of applicants.
You’ll be judged on multiple factors. So, the only thing you can do when facing this dilemma is to not give the panel an apparent justification to reject you. Easier said than done, we know. But you’ve got to keep your hopes up!
What Are The Requirements to Get Into Drama School?
While some actors attend university before going to drama school, others don’t. For the most part, there are no legal requirements (unless stated by the school) to be eligible, apart from the 18 and above age factor, to apply to a drama school.
You don’t need to have performed at school or in a regional amateur theatre. Taking part in such activities and taking short courses related to your field can boost your track record, effectively raising your chances of getting accepted.
And while GCSE grades (5 GCSEs & 2 A-Levels) are what most panels look for, they are not obligatory. Grades do not determine anyone’s worth in getting into drama school. You do, however, obviously, have to be fluent in the English language.
If you aim to go into a well-known drama school like RADA, you will need to understand specific requirements. The school will expect you to follow classes to a T, schedule, practice, and learn to be self-disciplined, dedicated to your art and overall managed. You’ll work with reputed lecturers and with other gifted actors. So keep your focus on examining, listening and understanding all you can.
What drama schools are searching for is raw talent and promise. They want students to exhibit smart, imaginative, practical, and valuable proficiencies to take on the superior degree-level training they offer.
Applying to a drama school won’t necessarily cost you much. Though schools like RADA and UCAS Conservatoires do take application fees. You ought to remember that if you’re called for an audition, schools normally set the audition fee for around £40-£50.
On the other hand, some schools have payment plans and scholarships or offer free auditions to people who fulfil particular requirements, such as lower income or being unusually gifted.
Tips to follow on audition day
Auditions are paramount to almost all drama school applications, which is why you want to avoid any surprises once you’re on centre stage. Here are some tips you can follow to make your performance pitch-perfect.
Prepare for the long day ahead-
With all the preparations and training for the actual audition itself, many tend to forget to think about the basic necessities. This includes packing light snacks (if the school allows it) and water bottles or fresh drinks to keep yourself hydrated, trust us. You don’t know how long you’ll be at the audition. If you fall ill during your audition, it won’t end well.
Apart from keeping your hunger in check, it would be best if you had an initial game plan, from deciding what you’ll be wearing and the method of commuting to adopting warm-up exercises.
Don’t be frightened to ask questions-
Your questions and concerns are as meaningful as those you’re being asked. You might feel a little uneasy, but interviewers actually like people who know what they want from the get-
go. Hence, all your fears are unfounded, mostly because you perceive asking questions as a symbol of fault.
By asking the right questions, you aren’t just bringing your confidence in a positive light; you are also showing the school that you can be productive and efficient and develop a more profound emotional relationship with other members.
We’re not saying you should ask anything that comes to mind. Rather, look at the school’s website, ask around, and try to note any noteworthy points. You can briefly discuss teaching styles and your goals. This will show the panellists you have a clear mindset with your determination in wanting to get accepted and succeed. Sometimes it is crucial to do your job correctly and for individual and professional development.
No one can pull off a “perfect” audition since there is no such thing as a perfect audition. You’re bound to make one or two mistakes, and it doesn’t matter if they are smaller than an ant. If the panellists are as experienced and rigid as they claim to be, they will, without a doubt, notice the blunders.
Now, the question lies in whether you will be made aware of it or not. First, if you make a mistake, you never point it out yourself. If it is an obvious mistake, don’t apologise; continue your performance and stay in character.
Usually, panellists don’t interfere, nor do they show emotion during the audition. But there are special occasions where a judge may see something in a candidate, where they may feel confident in training with worthwhile results and offer direction with a different style.
If this happens to you, consider you’ve been given a golden egg. Accept the direction and execute it as the panellists advised. Show them you understand and are willing to be flexible when necessary.
Prepare for cold readings-
Usually, auditions do not involve cold readings, except for some more strict schools with a
rigorous admission process.
However, being uncommon does not mean one shouldn’t be prepared for it. If you have natural improvisation skills, then you can tilt the table in your favour with productive cold readings.
Skim through the provided script and note any dialogue that stands out. Use that to improvise in a way that matches the theme and timeline of the story.
Be true to yourself-
There are a great number of aspects that go into how a drama school selects its students. You can’t possibly train for everything, so go with what you can control and let go of whatever feels like sand running through your hands.
You will only have a few minutes to audition, and no school anticipates applicants to behave in a particular manner for the goal of attending their school; they want to see the real you, a talented and adaptable multi-dimensional actor.
The audition hall is a great place to make connections and learn from one another. However, be sure to note that something that may work for one person may not necessarily be right for you.
Nothing is more stimulating nor practical to young aspiring actors than their first drama school auditions. As spooky or nerve-wracking as they can be, they carry considerable prospects for the youth to develop and personally grow in their talent and love for the arts and as an individual.
Auditions play a bigger role both internally concerning the education you’d receive and externally, where you can use all that you’ve learnt more direction, constructive criticism, and learning from fellow actors.
They display our resilience and imperfections unquestionably and, to a degree, in the most suitable form. They allow actors to showcase their skills to important figures in the world of art and drama, but most notably, they are a joy and liberating for those who feel like nothing can stop them from letting them unleash their authentic selves.
At the end of the day, while the auditions may be filled with the air of competition, it is still a place to bond and show the world what you have to offer.
Keep in mind that the panel are not pushing you; they only want to get to know your true self, similar to how you would want to get to know them. Auditions aren’t one-sided affairs, as you would also want to study in a school that appreciates your talents and are devoted to helping you become the best version of yourself. You are also encouraged to interview them, ask them and clear out any queries you may have, and try to envision if you could work with them.
So keep your chin up, train like there’s no tomorrow and nail that audition!
Looking for drama school or college audition coaching? Get in touch with us today!