In a discussion called Is Acting Art? on the programme The Actors’ Roundtable, Christopher Waltz mentioned that while the performance that an actor gives can be called art, it’s the result that makes the art and not necessarily the process that leads to it.”
Nicholas Cage countered this idea and argued that “the happy accidents that happen between lines” that make certain performances spectacular have little to do with craft and a lot more to do with imagination.
Audition Doctor’s indispensability lies in the nurturing of the two. In the same discussion, Stanley Tucci stated: “In order for something to be art, it has to be truthful. Secondly, it has to be individually truthful and it’s that true individuality that makes art.”
Audition Doctor sessions are about creating emotionally detailed characters. The speeches that students work on are helpfully looked over by Tilly to ensure that they are suited to their individual talents.
This is especially useful for drama school applicants. Even experienced actors find it necessary to seek a second opinion. Tamsin Greig recently said: “I’m not brilliant at reading scripts. You would’ve thought I would’ve got better…so I take a lot of advice.”
In an interview with David Hare in today’s Telegraph, Gaby Wood wrote: “In plays from Plenty to Skylight to The Vertical Hour, characters’ emotions are as strong as their beliefs, and the electricity in the dialogue comes from fine tunings of disappointment or misunderstanding. Whole swathes of history can be dredged up in a single room; love can be ignited and lost within minutes.”
Students who come to Audition Doctor consistently find they become less intimidated by such scenes and that their approach becomes far more nuanced and specific.
Benicio Del Toro said: “There’s a science to acting. There are many obstacles that stop you from being good in front of that audience, as there are many obstacles that will make you freeze up in front of a camera. There is a riddle to it that is never the same, from role to role.”
Audition Doctor’s ability to remove the obstacles in an actor’s performance is one of the many reasons as to why Tilly is in high demand.
Del Toro went onto say: “It’s a difficult business, no doubt at all. People don’t realise that. The obvious advice for an actor is to work on acting and question what it is – all the time, everyday. But perhaps the best advice is to work on everything from the basis of theatre. I don’t think there’s such thing as acting for movies – there’s just acting.” This line of thinking is why Audition Doctor’s client base includes actors who are auditioning for all mediums – not just theatre.
Fiona Shaw recounted her experience of playing Electra and said: “Electra made me realise that a play – with the right cast, in the right moment, in the right place – can be like sculpture and painting and literature all at once…People come to the theatre in the hope that it will have something to do with them – and when it touches them, it is both painful and brilliant.”
Those that attend Audition Doctor are encouraged to develop both craft and art; it is the confluence of both that engenders a truthful performance and hopefully a meaningful emotional exchange between actor and audience.