With September just round the corner, the inevitable preparation for drama school auditions begins. Most preliminary auditions begin in November and beginning the groundwork in September can seem premature to an outsider. However, candidates who have applied before know that it takes time to choose speeches – you may have to prepare as many as five – as each drama school has its own specifications. Furthermore, they must be performance- ready before you send off your application forms. You could be given an audition date with as little as two weeks notice. Many candidates think they are being strategic by not sending their forms out till the mid-January deadline, in the belief that it gives them far more time to perfect their speeches. In reality, this just means that thousands of other candidates who were more organised than you are forging on ahead; they will do their recall auditions while you are being seen for the first time and will have a greater chance of getting a place before you. It won’t matter if you are more talented than them, you might well be put on the waiting list while they start buying their jazz shoes in anticipation of the start of term.
This is why Audition Doctor already has a set of students gearing up for the 2014 intake. Audition Doctor sessions are the most practical way of furthering yourself as a prospective actor – from choosing speeches to your breath and how you hold yourself- Tilly analyses it all. It isn’t only whether you have the emotional capacity that drama schools are looking for, it’s your ability to connect with your breath, your facility with movement and your openness to direction. Many auditionees think that if they choose a speech that involves hysterical shouting or distraught sobbing, they will prove that they have “range”. In reality, there is far more to choosing the right speech which is why Audition Doctor is indispensable Plays are combed through, speeches are discussed in detail and you never feel like you have settled for something mediocre.
Aside from attending Audition Doctor sessions, Tilly always encourages her students to go to the theatre as often as possible. Sam Rockwell mentioned something similar in his interview with the Guardian: “When young actors haven’t seen films or haven’t seen and read plays, it’s irritating to me,” he muses. “Because you have to always remember that everything’s been done – and it’s been done well. You can’t be Robert De Niro or Meryl Streep or Robert Duvall without really hard work. I don’t know if people understand that acting, if done well there’s a lot of homework involved.” He goes onto mention that during his years at drama school in New York he realised “there was a responsibility, that it was more of a calling, not just a way to meet girls, or a lifestyle – it wasn’t about being famous, it was more like Jedi training. If done well, it’s a noble profession. You can affect people.”
Many people think that actors just get up on stage and are hit with a bolt of inspiration. In reality, there have been hours of preparation and rehearsal. Drama school auditions are no different and lessons with Audition Doctor are a mixture of inspiration and preparation. Starting work on your speeches now only means that you are in the best position to succeed.