The Stage published an article this week stating that “Spotlight recently sent a memo to agents informing them that 1,700 new performers are to graduate from Drama UK and the Council for Dance Education and Training accredited schools this summer. This is a staggering figure given the likely number of available jobs. The 1,700 figure is a conservative estimate. Hundreds more will flood out of the non-accredited schools to compete for the same small number of professional opportunities. The actual number of 2015 course completers is more likely to be 3,000.”
This, coupled with another article about Gemma Jones claiming that “a rise in entertainment and reality formats on television is limiting the opportunities for young actors”, does not paint an optimistic picture for those starting out in the industry.
Jones went onto explain: “When I first started there was Play for Today, Play of the Week – really good classic dramas were done on television all the time. Now, reality shows and game shows and all these series, however well they are done, mean that there is not so much choice. I was incredibly lucky to come into the business when I did because there was always work somewhere. You might have to go a long way away to a lonely rep theatre but there was always something. Now it’s much more difficult.”
Audition Doctor’s indispensability lies in the high number of jobs and drama school places that Tilly’s students get in the ostensibly overcrowded industry. Whether it’s a speech for drama school or for a professional job, the work undertaken at Audition Doctor unfailingly means that your performance will never be hackneyed or the most obvious option. The originality of interpretation that Audition Doctor students develop during the sessions is their greatest currency. It is this that makes them distinguishable from the other 3000 graduates and the thousands of others already working in the profession.
Luke Treadaway said in Ideastap: “Drama school is a great training ground and a great way of experiencing lots of things. It gives you the space to try out lots of methods of working.” Audition Doctor works in much the same way. Different approaches are taken with each actor to elicit a real and untheatrical delivery.
However, the work that an actor at Audition Doctor chooses has limitations on how far they can exercise head and heart ,which means picking the right speech is hugely important. Jenny Agutter recently said “You need to go after the things that excites you, there is great drama and you need to chase after that.” The more interesting the speech, the more students get out of the sessions themselves.
The most successful of Audition Doctor’s students are those that work on their craft continuously in the lull between jobs and auditions.
In Niamh Cusack’s advice to young actors, she said: “If you see a play and there is a particularly good speech in it, then get the play and learn the speech. Practice is what makes you a good actor. The more you’re prepared – learn speeches, try them out – then the easier it will be for you to walk in and do a good audition. Thinking you’ll get that big break without that hard work is a bit crazy. I don’t think there are that many geniuses; most people have worked really, really hard.”