Anthony Head was interviewed in The Stage this week and commented on how actors, particularly British actors, are the only artists who cease to develop their discipline after drama school.
We’re the only artists who don’t practise regularly,” he explains, “and if you can’t throw crap at the wall in a safe environment, you can’t really do it when you’re working. You can in theatre to a certain extent, but in the confines of a role. The thing about acting class is that you can do anything.”
Head has credited the acting lessons he took in America during the filming of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as integral to the success of his career. While acting lessons have been ingrained into the culture of the American acting industry, the same cannot be said in Britain. However, things are changing. The rise of Audition Doctor’s popularity particularly with professional actors has risen dramatically. The undeniable fact is to get better, one must relentlessly practice. Head credits his wife with pushing him to attend the lessons, saying to him: “Listen, you need to do something well, instead of doing…things half-arsed’.”
Head went onto comment: “It’s great to put yourself in those positions, to flex those muscles and find out what works and what doesn’t work. Because that’s what acting’s about – getting to do things in your life that, hopefully, we don’t have to do. And when it’s a rollercoaster ride, it’s exciting. We go through a gamut of emotions in [a] play.”
Audition Doctor sessions are all about strengthening the muscles that the actor feels the role needs. The specificity of the sessions for each student reflects the detail of the work undertaken.
Christopher Waltz was interviewed by Xan Brooks in the Guardian: “Carl Jung once claimed that if you collected a sample of 1,000 pebbles, you could calculate the average weight of a pebble on the beach. And yet the chances of finding a single pebble that matches that weight is about a million to one: it basically can’t be done.”
Waltz stressed that the analogy was appropriate when approaching the creation of a character:
You cannot reach a generality and you cannot reach an individual through generalities.”
Students who come to Audition Doctor have the luxury of gradually building up the psyche and inner landscape of a believable human being. The depth of research and experimentation that they commit to in the sessions is so comprehensive that they generally surpass the other candidates for the job in terms of knowledge of the character and the play itself.
Anthony Head advised young actors when auditioning to “Make a choice and stick with it. And don’t be scared of making a choice because if you don’t get it, you don’t get it. But if you do get it, you’ll get it.”
Audition Doctor is all about taking risks and making fearless artistic choices. The character that actors form in the sessions are always marked out by audition panels as being totally original. This is why students often land the jobs they audition for.