While Audition Doctor has always maintained that training at drama school is the wisest way to enter the acting industry, said establishments have come under fire recently for a myriad of reasons. They have been criticised for being too expensive, not preparing students for television work and failing to teach students how “to remain mentally strong and professionally active when work is not forthcoming and 40 years in a call centre seems to be beckoning”.

A former student wrote in The Stage “Drama school can be an introverted place. You learn, you observe, you grow, but you spend a huge amount of time surrounded by the same 14 to 40 people who know things about you that some of your closest friends may not yet have realised or deem appropriate. It’s a place where you should be focusing on yourself and your personal growth, but this very easily creates a bubble that dulls your awareness of the outside world…There are positive aspects to the effect of the bubble. It allows a student time for self-improvement and growth, a cocoon stage if you will. However, to fully grow as a performer, and mature as a person, an understanding of the wider world is needed and this should never be forgotten.”

In another article, Julius Green, author of “How to produce a West End show” spoke of how graduates are sometimes ill-served by their drama schools: “[Drama schools] could usefully spend a bit less time teaching their students how to find their ‘motivation’ and a bit more teaching them how to fill in a tax return and explaining to them how to go about booking digs. It is a constant source of amazement to me how ill-prepared for the exigencies of life drama school graduates can be.”

While all this is valid, no institution can shoulder the sole responsibility of the careers of all 35 graduates. Their obligation lies in laying the foundation; it is down to the individual to ensure that they build on this foundation and carry their training through. Accredited drama schools already provide their students with a significant amount of direction.

Geoffery Coleman, Head of Acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama states: “Typically, students might have sessions with agents, accountants, casting directors, producers, Equity, Spotlight, voice-over companies, corporate performance companies, radio/film/TV/theatre actors, and many other sectors within the industry.”

Seeking out someone like Audition Doctor is your responsibility if you keep failing to land auditions. Gaining a fresh professional perspective is indispensable – especially if you’ve just come out of drama school and have only had the instruction of a certain group of teachers and have acted with the same 14-40 people spoken of earlier.

Everyone in the Industry is adapting to suit the ever-changing nature of the profession all the time – even drama schools. Though the fact that drama schools are thinking of expanding their curriculum to teach students how to fill out a tax returns is undoubtedly useful, it is not why anyone wants to go/ is at drama school. They go to become better artists.

As Coleman said: “We realise a vision of training artists. I want to engender in all our graduates the sense that they are shape-changers, not commodities, and that through their performance they can change people’s lives…We train artists, not passive vessels or mere pretenders.”

Lessons at Audition Doctor are about training artists – whatever stage you are at as an actor. They are a bubble in the good sense; they provide counsel and encourage self-development. Furthermore, Tilly ensures that you aren’t a pretender and are always honest in your acting.