Auditioning for drama school
Whether you have auditioned for drama school before or if it's your first time, understanding what is asked of you is extremely important. There are a lot of myths about what each school specifically looks for but the honest truth is, they only know when it walks in the room and presents itself. I sat on the panels for many years and those that made their mark and stayed in my memory are those that showed real connection to their chosen material. Which is where you come in. Your job, and the job of any actor, is to show your true self in any audition. We never hide behind our pieces - we reveal ourselves through them. A school want a glimpse of who you are. They want to understand what your artistic voice is, what makes you tick, what stimulates you, on top of seeing whether you are ready for a vigorous three year training which is why it is important that you choose your pieces carefully.
As actors, we are storytellers and when auditioning for drama school you get the opportunity to choose any story you like. So preparing monologues you are passionate about, from plays you love or inspire you, characters that speak to you, that move you or vibrate within you in some way, is going to mean a big part of the work is done. Why speak any words otherwise?
A drama school is looking for those they can train and prepare for a career as an actor. They are not looking for a polished performance that you can repeat in the same way every time. The most important thing when auditioning, which is what I focus heavily on at The Audition Room, is the ability to change and be re-directed - to play! To allow new ideas to inform new impulses, to keep the piece fresh and alive. As actors our imagination is our best friend so the more we can let it run wild, play and respond to a new suggestion, the more variety we can find. We can always dig deeper. When I have been in plays performing night after night on stage, I always try and find something different or hear a piece of text I've heard a thousand times differently. Remember, every actor's interpretation of a character will be different. That's the beauty of what we do. It is how it lifts off the page for YOU that a drama school wants to see!
The process can be tough. Most schools have three rounds, sometimes four. So making sure you are excited to show the school the work you have prepared is a great way to look at the audition journey.
At The Audition Room, I offer courses that help you prepare from the very beginning and my main focus is helping you find your unique voice within your chosen pieces. Within a group environment you get to see other people work on their pieces which is one of the most useful ways to improve your acting craft.
We have online and in-person courses available and I also offer one to one coaching if you felt that was more for you. See the links at the bottom of this page for more info.
Self Taping Your Audition
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, self taping has become the new normal for casting directors. As professional actors we now tape our auditions at home most of the time. Because of the pandemic drama schools were forced to follow suit and I created The Audition Room initially to help actors transition from an in-person audition to a self taped one. But even coming out of the pandemic schools have decided to still ask for tapes for the first round and, some schools, the second round because it has proven to be easier and cheaper to manage. So whatever you think about self-taping, it is here to stay and it's a chance for you to get the hang of it!
Our online course is a perfect opportunity to understand performing for camera and you will come to realise that with key tools you can use it to your advantage. The intentions are the same, the stakes are as high, but now we are not performing it in a large space to a large audience with the need to project our voice to the back row of an auditorium. So it is not the piece that's 'smaller' - it is merely the distance from your audience. Now, you just have the you and the camera... and you get to do a few takes and send the one you are most happy with.
Self taping for drama school may seem a little informal and you feel like when you send a tape into the vortex that is the Internet, It may get lost, but trust me, you have no less chance of getting seen and noticed. If anything, your audition is being watched, uninterrupted, by a panel that have the opportunity to rewind, pause and discuss, so their are huge benefits. Also, it can be hugely costly for auditionees travelling to and from the schools for each and every round, many coming from overseas. So this is a positive step forward in making the auditions more accessible for all.
Whether you are thinking about my online course, in-person course, or private coaching, there are huge benefits to all. You can read more about ways I can help, here: