“You have to act wherever you can, you can’t be picky. Wherever you get a chance to act – and it might even be an audition room, even if you’re auditioning for something you know you’re never going to get or you might have read it and you might not even have liked it but you know you have to go, if you get a chance to act in a room that somebody else has paid rent for then you’ve been given a free chance to practice your craft. In that moment, you should act as well as you can because if you leave the room or the theatre or wherever you are and you’ve acted as well as you can, there’s no way that the people who watched you will forget it. That was something that someone told me years ago and I think it’s great advice because it’s always about that, it’s always about the work at the end of the day.”
Actors have found that Audition Doctor is a place where they are able to hone their craft to such an extent that they are able to reach the emotional places that the role requires every time. Consequently, auditioning feels like less of a lottery as students are often in control of their performances; performances that have been rehearsed and considered but without any loss of spontaneity or authenticity. Audition Doctor’s popularity relies heavily on the fact that lessons encourage students to become more independent of thought and more confident and adventurous in their artistic judgements.
Hoffman went onto say that the stature and awards that have become attached to his name mean precious little “If I show up to work one day and the work I’m doing isn’t any good, I’m just a guy who’s not acting well. I’d tell that to anyone starting out: take those words and bring them alive. If you do that, something will transpire.”
Professional actors come regularly to Audition Doctor because every lesson takes away the fear of being “that guy”. The intensity of Audition Doctor sessions also strengthens a different muscle – that of developing an acute concentration.
Last week, Mark Lawson wrote an ode to Maxine Peake in the Guardian in which Steven Moffat spoke of Peake’s ability to maintain focus during TV shoots: “Filming can be tedious and repetitive. But even by the seventh take of a scene, she’s still listening to what the other actor says and responding to it, giving you something fresh.”
This is something else that Audition Doctor develops in every one of her students – the capacity to continuously listen and react in the moment and on the line.
“I’ve done 30 hours of television with [Maxine Peake] now,” says Moffat, “and she has never spoken a line of mine wrongly. There has never been an interpretation that jarred, which is very rare. She has this native actor’s intelligence for what you intended or even sometimes to go beyond that and show you something you didn’t know was there.”
Actors who come to Audition Doctor find that sessions strengthen both their gut instincts and their critical faculties, which means that in the audition room, they often surprise themselves as well as those auditioning them.