It’s easy to forget when you’re at a drama school audition that your chances of being selected hinge as much on your ability to collaborate and work well within a group, as your individual abilities. This is why the further you get in the audition process, the longer the movement and voice sessions become. Your speeches may be stunningly poignant and render the panel irrevocably moved, however, if you don’t appear to support and use your fellow applicants’ choices as a springboard to go further in your decisions, chances are you won’t be considered. Drama schools are looking to build a company – a group of actors who are independently strong performers but when working together are capable of surpassing their own limitations to create work that is both bold and honest.
In these workshop sessions, they urge you not to “feel like you have to perform. Just do what comes naturally.” Despite this, many candidates choose to overlook this advice and act like they’re in a full-scale West End production of Mamma Mia! the musical.
The Guardian’s Secret Actor contemplated the “look at me “ quality that he thinks all performers possess and declared it a necessary characteristic for all actors – without it “they’d be dentists.” However, there is a fine line between “pure peacockery” and using this attribute as a way to be better in your acting.
“What separates the peacocks from the good guys is the finesse they employ when displaying this element of “look at me”. It’s what separates the self-important Russell Crowes from, say, the self-effacing Bill Patersons.” It’s having to strike the balance between doing enough to be seen by the panel yet not forcing them to look at you because you’re an insufferable show-off.
What Audition Doctor preps you for is not to be that person. There is always one and sometimes horrifyingly, more than one, which inevitably leads to a competition for attention from the panel members. It is mortifying to witness but because of Audition Doctor’s guidance and advice about these workshops, you can go to your audition understanding that interesting and brave choices aren’t necessarily those that cause the most clamour and pandemonium. Audition Doctor is about daring to fail – either loudly or quietly – but always with the intention of pushing artistic limits and striving to reach the seemingly impossible.