In this week’s Guardian, Christopher Eccleston warned against the waning opportunities for working-class actors. He described this disturbing phenomenon as contributing to a “culture that is resultantly bland”.
Despite recognising the excluding nature of today’s tuition fees, he stated: “It is not essential but my advice would always be: go to drama school, treat it as a trade, study it and then apply yourself.”
In an interview for Ideastap, Luke Treadaway stated that although he did go to drama school, he mentioned: “[When] if I meet young actors, I don’t tell them they have to go to drama school. I’ve met a lot of young people on jobs recently that haven’t been to drama school. I’ve been meeting 18 year-olds that have done more stuff than me and have got an agent from a very young age. I think that’s a great way to go…if you have developed your own contacts and you’re finding ways to get work, why mess up a good thing? Keep going with it, because you only really learn when you’re on the job anyway.”
However, getting the job in the first place is why actors come to Audition Doctor. Those that attend regular sessions are able to clearly chart their progression. Many become confident with Shakespeare which has stood them in good stead for drama school auditions most of which require at least one Shakespeare monologue.
Ideastap wrote: “A lot of [Shakespeare’s] speeches tell a story and, often, it shows the panel the intelligence of the actor, because it is quite hard to get that meter right. Although sometimes those monologues can end up being quite mannered and “Shakespearean” with a capital S.
Actors come back to Audition Doctor time and time again because sessions take away any anxieties and make Shakespearean monologues as exciting and relevant as their Modern piece.
Geoffrey Rush who is going to play King Lear in Sydney stated: “Shakespeare asks all the big questions. And for those who say it’s too much, think of it like a great box set of television which people can watch for 20 hours without getting bored. Lear is curiously entertaining.”
Aside from students notching an apparent upward trajectory in terms of their technical and intellectual development when approaching texts, Audition Doctor also encourages actors to be braver in their choices and not to shy away from inhabiting emotional spaces which might expose their vulnerabilities.
Amy Adams recently stated in an interview: “I’ve worked with a lot of actors who go to places that I can’t even imagine. I so respect them but I’ve always been a little too scared to stay there…I don’t like to use the word “brave” because bravery to me is like when soldiers are brave, I don’t know what the word is for actors, I’ll have to really think about it.”
The willingness to take bold decisions and the adventurous fearlessness with which students come to tackle scripts under Tilly’s tutelage is one of the many reasons for Audition Doctor’s continuing indispensability towards professional actors.