The Times reported that “in a report published by the Conference of Drama Schools, it was revealed that more than 25,000 applications were made to the 22 accredited drama schools in England and Wales…Which means that they are now twice as difficult to get into as Oxbridge.” The number of applicants is ever increasing, seemingly immune to the hike in tuition fees. The main reason cited for this was the proliferation of audition-based shows on television.

Geoffery Colman (Head of Acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama) stated: “This year, we received more than 4,000 applications for a place on our degree course and that figure is going up every year. But we’re finding that fewer and fewer of those applicants will have ever set foot in a theatre, understood what it means to train for three years to be an artist, or have any idea of the professional world they’re signing up to. Audition-based shows have made it look quick and easy to attain a kind of celebrity-based stardom…You have only to work on your voice for about three weeks and, bam, you’ll be good enough for the West End or No1 in the US charts. Whereas what we’re saying is that it takes three years to train a voice. Young people are increasingly coming in with this idea that talent is an instant right that should be ‘spotted’. They aren’t coming in with a real commitment to the work required to become an actor.”

Edward Kemp, artistic director of RADA insisted that despite the fact that such shows encouraged record numbers to apply, the panelists are not of the Simon Cowell persuasion: “What we want to see is not the commercially lucrative finished product of the TV audition show but unformed raw material that we can mould. That is a totally different auditioning experience, for a quality that is much more difficult to spot.”

The idea that a drama school audition is a talent show is a misguided one; drama school auditions do not solely comprise of performing audition speeches, the interview is also regarded as an integral part of the process. This is where the panelists gauge your commitment to the Theatre, how receptive you are to direction and your dedication to the training process.

What Audition Doctor can help with is not a rigidly polished performance but the capability to respond authentically to the circumstances of the play. As you have more lessons at Audition Doctor, Tilly also opens your eyes to the fact that the interpretation that you might have both agreed on is merely one out of a thousand possibilities; Audition Doctor gives you the freedom to adapt and play around with the character. This is why Audition Doctor sessions are such golden opportunities – the chance to be vulnerable in the presence of a professional eye is rare and it is one of the assets that drama schools most prize. As Colman says: “What we are looking for is authenticity, pliability, a core radiance. It’s up to us to find that. But my best advice is – be vulnerable. And, for God’s sake, go to the theatre.”