For me, the number of lessons with Audition Doctor depended on the stage I got to in recalls. With drama schools such as RADA and Guildhall, there are up to four audition stages. While the competition gets stiffer with candidates of equal competency and talent battling for limited places, it became increasingly more vital to try and show flexibility. Regular lessons in between recalls at Audition Doctor gave me the secure environment to do this.

Working on an audition speech from ‘Cock’ by Mike Bartlett was an eye-opener; the speech was a young woman’s angry indictment of what she saw as her future father-in-law’s hypocritical and false leftist ideals.  My initial shallow interpretation was basically quite shouty and accusatory with no varying shades of tone or emotion which made it generalised and quite frankly exhausting to watch. Tilly and I then looked closely at the text and “actioned” it which involved assigning a transitive verb for each line. Initially it was difficult to recall each verb for each line and when I did it again I felt like a car continuously stalling. However, not only did this process ensure that I became more aware of the character’s thought process but also gave the speech far more intensity without resorting to deafening the audition panel.

At drama school auditions, it was interesting to note that different drama schools had varying requirements for performing audition speeches. Most informed you that they didn’t want you to direct the speech at the panel as they would be jotting down notes during your audition and therefore didn’t want to be a distraction if they failed to react to your speech. Others however, stipulated that acting was not a solitary process and interaction was cardinal and therefore preferred you to direct your speech to them. Some drama schools even provided an existing student for candidates to say their audition speeches to. I directed most of my speeches to the bookshelf (more specifically a collection of wartime poetry) just above Tilly’s head which meant that it wasn’t as intimidating for me when asked to look the audition panel in the eyes during my speeches.

While rehearsing audition speeches alone in your bedroom is undeniably a prerequisite to attending an audition, performing in front of an audience is equally important. Acting in front of friends or parents can be excruciating, which is why lessons at Audition Doctor are indisputably beneficial. Apart from her twenty years of experience in the acting profession, her invaluable support and guidance, Tilly is also- to put it bluntly- a person in the room.