To say things took a unexpected turn this year is an understatement. Every part of our industry had to think on it's feet and look at other ways to get things done. We Actors are exceptionally good at adapting and using our skills to make things happen. The ability to change tactic is part of our DNA often having to find new ways of earning money in between jobs and getting used to rejection is all part of our skill set so a pandemic is just another bump in the road. A big one!... but still, just a bump. Passion and determination will always push you forward. It may not always be the direction you'd hoped but if you look very closely, there will be an even more exciting window that opens along your journey.
The whole audition process was thrown up in the air due to COVID and drama schools had to bring everything online. Some didn't announce new audition guidelines until very late in the process. It was something none of them had ever dealt with and they wanted to make sure they still gave every applicant a fair and thorough audition. After all, it's what you pay for. So, if you got through it and came out the other side, well done. You should be proud of yourself for adapting to the self taping process. We panellists were watching your self tapes from the comfort of our own laptops and I promise you it works just as well. Let me tell you, as a working Actor, self taping is a great skill to accomplish at this point in your careers. I wish I had the chance to nail a self tape earlier in my career because they are becoming increasingly popular for Casting Director's and I think it will now become the new norm across the board. I wouldn't be surprised if Drama Schools continued to audition online. It would reduce travel costs for most applicants, with some having to stay overnight in a hotel as well as their train and in many cases flight costs.
Auditioning for drama school is a challenging process. A lot of preparation and money goes into it and very few applicants get in on their first attempt. This is not because drama schools want you 'to have lived' - which they of course do, but through the preparation you learn and build through the doing, through the actual auditioning so don't be defeated if you weren't successful in your first, second or even third attempt. You will have grown and hopefully gained some confidence. It takes a lot out of you and we all know the places are extremely limited. But, if drama school is meant for you, if it's your souls calling, if you focus on your goal, and you put in the work, you will succeed. Turning it as much as you can into a creative process will help you learn and grow along the way so whatever the outcome you'll be ready for the next phase in your life whether it is a place at a school or auditioning again next year.
In the next couple of months schools will be announcing their new audition guidelines for 2021 entry. So if you are thinking of re-applying keep your eyes peeled and make sure you are on the schools email Newsletters. This way you will get first knowledge of any updated audition information and can start planning. Decide on your budget and what schools you want to apply for. Make sure you do your research and approach the whole process with you choosing the school in mind. Because after all, this is your career and if you end up getting more than one offer, you need to really make sure you train at the school that you feel in your gut is right for you. So, choose wisely and don't just apply to a random bunch.
Start looking into some workshops that focus on audition preparation or anything that you feel will be useful to better your skills. It is a great time to be a part of this industry as there is a whole community out there of passionate people that want to help you. If you dig around twitter you will find seminars, workshops and Q&A's with directors, teachers, Actors. Many of these are either pay what you can or completely free. I am running a FREE Q&A on September 21st at midday on Audition Preparation for Drama School so feel free to book via this link. It's a great way to set you off on your journey, get back on the saddle and more importantly, you can ask anything you'd like. Book via this link or at the bottom of the page. https://www.theauditionroom.co.uk/book-online
The most important thing you can do in between auditioning is Feed your brain! Immerse yourself in as many plays, scripts, tv series, podcasts, books, stories as you can. Keep discovering what makes you tick as an artist. Keep asking yourself why something specific resonates with you. Staying curious is the best way an Actor can stay open. Read the newspapers, watch the news, watch documentaries. Look at the lives of others, be intrigued by what's going on around you. All this will fuel you inner world and ultimately your imagination. After all, you want to train to be a professional storyteller. You want to use yourself as a vessel for these characters all around us. Knowing the world you live in is key!
Finally, keep keep KEEP searching for the right speeches and make sure, whichever ones you choose, it is something you are passionate about. Something that excites you causing something to vibrate within you. Otherwise, why on earth speak the words? There is abundance of new books on monologues. Don't just choose the first one you see or use the one you used this year just to make thing's easier. It is clear when an applicant hasn't put much thought into it because we will see the same speeches over and over again. If it is done well, I don't mind but surprise us! Surprise yourself. Find someone new that inspires you. We change year on year as human beings so be on the hunt for something new. A great way to do this would be to get on social media and ask the community of Actors for advice. Send out a Tweet and I am sure you'll get some helpful responses. Think outside of the box. Go to the National Theatre and sit in their bookshop for an afternoon. Go online and google all the websites that have monologues and start reading them. You'll also find lots of scripts online for free and now more than ever Theatre's are releasing live plays so you can watch them from the comfort of your home and see if there is anything for you in there.
In the upcoming months The Audition Room will be adding a series of our own Drama School Audition Preparation Masterclasses. This will be run by leading working Actors who sit on the Audition panels at some of the leading drama schools year after year. We are hoping these will be in person but depending on guidelines which we will watch closely, we may transfer to online.
The Audition Room was created by Actors for Actors. We offer online coaching sessions, career mentoring sessions, self tape and audition preparation sessions and more. Subscribe via the Website to be the first to hear of upcoming workshops/classes and our latest Blog Posts.