In an interview in The Stage, Charles Edwards said: “It’s a very tangible thing, actually, putting together a performance. It’s twisting and rearranging and changing. One feels one is creating something whole, working on a performance.”
This is something that Audition Doctor’s students have found during the course of their sessions; frequent attendance results in the building up not just of their character, but also of their craft.
Kevin Spacey recently commented: “The craft of acting is to step into someone else’s shoes, someone else’s ideas; to look at something in a mirror and not see ourselves and not feel weird but feel free.”
This ability to be inhibited and open to play is something, like everything else, that has to be honed. Audition Doctor has helped many actors in this regard. With many parts, there is sometimes a difficulty in making them your own – particularly if it has been seen to be definitively immortalised by another actor.
Janet McTeer spoke about making the part of the Marquise de Merteuil (a role that has been played by Glenn Close and Laura Linney) in Les Liaisons Dangereuses her own:
“There’s a process in rehearsal where you have to let go of that and ask what you can do with the part.”
Finding the essence of your unique take on a character is something that Audition Doctor has proved indispensable at doing. Much like the rehearsal process, a character emerges through trial and error.
Charles Edwards stated: “The most exciting part of rehearsals is when you start to feel what the performance might be, and that pushes you into directions you hadn’t thought about before.
Students frequently comment on how they find themselves in unexpected creative avenues and how excited they feel when their limits are surmounted. This is why even when students are not auditioning for a specific role or medium, they still attend their weekly sessions because the work they undertake at Audition Doctor is invaluable.
McTeer said: “In my heart of hearts I love theatre. It’s the joy and terror of putting a play on, the creativity of it,” she said. “It is infinitely harder than film and television and more tiring. Your performance is heightened in the way it isn’t with film.”
Students are encouraged to pick speeches with heft. As Charles Edwards said: “I like plays with sweep. I like watching something expansive, emotionally as much as narratively. I like characters that go from one extreme to another.”
Because students work on parts such as these frequently during sessions, when professional auditions for challenging roles come around, they are much better prepared.
McTeer said: “The people I respected and wanted to be [when I was young] are still the people I respect and want to be. Lindsay Duncan, Harriet Walter, Juliet Stevenson, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, who all did amazing theatre and were just incredibly good at what they did. That’s what I wanted to be. The only way to do that is to be as good as you possibly can be in as varied roles as possible.”
Audition Doctor affords actors this possibility.