Auditioning for drama school can be stressful and, with thousands of applications per year, competitive. So here are our top ten tips on how to beat the crowd, get an A* for effort and get off to a flying start:
TIP #1 – RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
Exactly what it says on the tin. Research is key to ensure that you are applying to the right drama schools. Check out DramaUK, the training body for UK based drama schools, for more information on accredited establishments and their different qualities. Or maybe you’re thinking of really spreading your wings and venturing across the Atlantic to New York or Los Angeles?
TIP #2 – MAKING THE SELECTION
Don’t just pick a school because it’s famous, or because their website looks funky. Choose your final list based on the following elements:
∙ Type of training (theatrical, screen etc.)
∙ Course content
∙ Length of training
At the end of the day, go with your gut feeling. If you’re unsure about a school, and you can afford to, send in an application anyway. You never know, the audition day can reveal a great deal about the inner workings of each school.
TIP #3 – THE COSTS
Applying for drama school is not cheap. Start saving now. Remember, if you’re applying to schools on the other side of the country, you’ll need to book travel and accommodation which all adds up when you include the hefty £50+ audition fee.
TIP #4 – YOUR APPLICATION
So you’ve picked your final selection of drama schools you’d love to train at. Now it’s the boring part. Applying. But remember, not everybody gets an audition, so make sure you spend some time making your application stand out.
TIP #5 – BOOKING YOUR AUDITION
Once your application has been processed, you may get an email, letter or call inviting you to a first-round audition (there can be up to 4 rounds). Sometimes they give you different dates to choose from, sometimes you’re stuck with the one they’ve given you. If you do have a choice, choose a date that gives you enough time to prepare.
TIP #6 – PREPARING YOUR MONOLOGUE(S)
Now, this is the tricky part. You must become a true Sherlock detective to find monologues that fit your age and that aren’t “To be or not to be” or “Is this a dagger I see before me”. Find something that means something to you and a monologue that hasn’t seen the limelight, because if it has, you can 99.9% guarantee someone has already done it for your audition panel. If you’re a 5ft 2” 18-year-old, don’t choose a speech for an 80-year-old talking about how being 6ft tall has affected her. They want to see you, not a caricature.
TIP #7 – GETTING COACHING
This is by no means a necessity. Some of the country’s best actors have had successful careers without coaching (and drama school), so don’t feel like you haven’t got a chance because you haven’t got a coach. If you do want to get the help of a coach, you can either give us a call on +44 (0) 20 3808 8125 or search online/locally for an acting tutor.
TIP #8 – PREPARING FOR THE BIG DAY
Work out your route to the venue. Print off copies of your speeches clearly labelled. Prepare a packed lunch and power snacks. Pack a large bottle of water and a notebook and pen. In terms of clothes, this a completely personal decision. But if you want to go for the professional route, wear black jogging bottoms, a t-shirt/jumper and trainers. If you don’t want to wear this 1984 outfit, just make sure you wear something socially appropriate.
TIP #9 – THE BIG DAY
It’ll be a long day so prepare yourself for a lot of waiting around. Each school differs, but generally first rounds consist of presenting your monologues in front of an audition panel and taking part in a group workshop. Relax and ignore the many rumours that circulate during the day. Focus on yourself and your performance. The panel will want to see you, not someone you think they want to see.
TIP #10 – LET IT GO
Like any audition, let it go. What’s done is done, don’t overthink it. The more you can try and forget it, the more of a surprise it’ll be when you open your recall/acceptance letter.