Drama schools have been often been accused by industry professionals of being overly-traditionalist institutions, entrenched in a by-gone era when actors could just about conceivably dare to sketch out a career trajectory – drama school to regional repertory theatre to the West End. Certainty is a concept that no longer exists in any sector nowadays, so is going worth it at all?
As Di Trevis argued in the Guardian: “Would-be actors [at drama schools] have as students a life that is a cross between novice nun and trainee commando.” Is it worth it? Her verdict – No. This is because “the profession they are training for hardly exists.” She argues that drama schools fail to equip young thespians with the entrepreneurial skills and nous required to produce their own work. This, she asserts, is the key to survive as a working actor in today’s Industry.
She believes that drama schools should revolutionise and put “more emphasis through their training on making their own work, seeking out collaborators, developing skills in adaptation, and writing, re-inventing and developing a new kind of Poor Theatre for the 21st Century.” While this is unarguably good advice in a fast-paced industry that is ever-evolving, she goes onto recommend acting workshops “where actors do much more than scene study: they form a community; they share experiences; they sustain each other.”
Paradoxically, this is precisely what drama school offers. It is often at drama school where the seed for future artistic collaborations are born. Drama school students are not yet actors, it is within the supportive confines of the school’s walls that they become the nation’s future professional thespians. Over the three years, it is inevitable that the rigorous training schedule forms tight bonds. Furthermore, the graduate show-case is also still one of the best ways to get noticed by agents and even critics. Michael Billington even went so far as to say that “newspapers should abandon their belief that the West End represents the beating heart of British theatre.”
Drama schools have modernised since Trevis’ article; most drama schools offer a variety of different courses focusing on purely, for example, Screen-Acting and Film. Therefore it would be unwise to dismiss drama schools as antiquated establishments as they have evolved to ensure that they are adapting to suit the contemporary needs of the profession.
The capricious nature of the profession has been documented ad nauseum. Unusually, this has not acted as a deterrent for young hopefuls. The need to show the audition panel that you are worth the time and investment has never been greater. Audition Doctor ensures that you are not only endowed with the most effective speeches specifically for you, but also the emotional and intellectual understanding of the character as well as the play. Although Audition Doctor is not a certified drama school, it offers training that ensures you are portrayed in your most favourable light. You have a limited amount of time in an audition to prove that you are a worthy candidate for drama school. Going to Audition Doctor guarantees that you don’t waste sixty pounds on a ten minute audition with no hope of a recall.