In the Guardian’s “Before and After the Show” series, various actors recounted their experiences on stage. Both Lisa Dwan and Stephen Mangan spoke of the “nerve-racking and thrilling” feeling of being “hit by a truck” by the end. Mangan went onto describe the difficulties of “getting yourself into exactly the same mental state every night after six months of doing the same show eight times a week. You come to the theatre with whatever anxieties or triumphs the day has brought, and there are times when you really don’t want to be there.”
The mental and physical exertion that actors routinely experience night after night is argument enough for proper training. The series itself debunks the myth that many wrongly assume to be true – that acting is easy. It’s a myth that sometimes drama school students themselves believe.
Theatre producer Richard Jordon related depressingly that “Even among drama school students, when you ask people what they’d like to do after graduation, some answer that they want to be famous. It’s a big problem in the industry that reality shows make it seem as if being an actor is easy, and that you don’t need the training. But if you’re going to survive, then being properly trained is crucial, not just in acting technique but also in the techniques of getting a job, building a career and surviving in the longer term. Lots of young actors are no longer in the profession just six months or a year after leaving training. They may be very good actors, but they haven’t got the skills to survive the harsh realities.”
Drama schools not only have the professional teachers to nurture each student’s craft, but also the practical tools to ensure their training doesn’t go to waste. In an industry where 80% of practitioners earn less than £10,000 a year, it would be foolhardy to ignore the incomparable resources and guidance that drama schools offer their students.
In the same series, Juliet Stevenson mentioned: “It’s a weird thing, acting: it’s like playing tennis, or the piano. One day you can’t get a note right, and the next the piece just seems to play itself. The audience won’t necessarily know the difference, but I do.”
For drama school auditions, you normally only get one chance to get the note right. The level of scrutiny that every candidate is under by professionals at a drama school audition is high. This means that a lot of the time, they will know the difference.
A recall rests on the necessity of getting to the same mental place every time you are in front of an audition panel. Audition Doctor ensures that nerves are harnessed in a profitable way. Students at Audition Doctor routinely get places at drama school because the work done during the sessions mean that auditions are never lost opportunities. Most of the time, the graft and exploration that each student undergoes at Audition Doctor mean that students eventually find that the pieces just seem to play themselves.