Whenever advice is proffered by teachers at drama school before auditions, they always encourage the following: Be open to suggestion, be willing to be vulnerable and be receptive to your fellow actors.
It’s difficult to follow such advice when experiencing the often fraught atmosphere of an audition. Frequently, lines that you were so sure of weeks before are inexplicably wiped from the brain as you engage in a group exercise.
Drama school auditions cannot be predicted and it’s essential to know that you will be entering them in a prepared state. No matter how connected you feel to your speeches and how impressive you believe your performance to be, it will all go out the window if you don’t have a measured and practiced state of mind.
This is why Audition Doctor is an essential prerequisite to any audition. Aside from cultivating the character’s psychological state, Audition Doctor prepares you for how you choose to present your own personality. It is this that the panel, more than anything, want to see in a candidate. (“We want to see you“) After all, it is you that they are interested in; it is your character that they will be training.
Being open to vulnerability and having the ability to listen are characteristics that have to be acquired and practiced. This is what Audition Doctor sessions allow you to cultivate.
Furthermore, much as Audition Doctor is about building up particular qualities that are useful in auditions, lessons are also about removing any extraneous “acting” that acts as a hindrance to truthfully portraying any character.
When Judi Dench was interviewed in The Sunday Times, the article mentioned that “at the Central School of Speech & Drama, her group were given the task of preparing a mime by the old actor Walter Hudd. They were to take a few weeks. Dench forgot about it and had to improvise on the day. She came up with a very minimalist performance. “I did it on the hoof, I hadn’t thought about it. Everybody else did very complicated pieces. Walter just said after mine, ‘That’s how you do it.’ And that was it, it was really accidental. He made me think.”
Audition Doctor sessions are about stripping away the unnecessary complications and blending improvisation with informed decisions as a result of exploring the text. It’s this that drama schools are looking for – the ability to use the text as a springboard for a variety of different possibilities and to find the truth in each decision and situation. If taken on as a student, Audition Doctor lessons are a rare opportunity that give you the time and space to allow you to do just that.