Workshopping Drama School Audition Speeches

The most exciting parts of the following sessions were when audition speeches were approached in different ways. It was exciting to realise that sometimes the ambiguity of the text actually encouraged the freedom to experiment; audition speeches worked equally well when performed in totally contrasting ways. Even when a speech didn’t work, Tilly and I analysed why it didn’t and it revealed subtleties of the character that were previously not apparent. The “failed” attempts actually meant that my understanding not only of my character but the play was far more profound and I avoided any superficial decisions. Eventually after trial and error and through Tilly’s acting coaching, it was reassuring to know that at the drama school auditions I had a backup of alternatives. This versatility gave me confidence which was instrumental in ensuring that I wouldn’t be caught off-guard if the audition panel chose to redirect me.

In addition to character analysis, Tilly also focuses on physicality and vocal proficiency. You will find this preparation indispensable for drama school auditions. It is crucial not only for your speeches, but also for the workshop part of the audition where you are closely observed in movement and voice sessions.

In the beginning, Tilly is indeed what she claims to be- an “audition doctor”. As you perform your speech, she will stop you and dissect precisely why you have chosen to make certain choices and both of you will continue to analyse the language and plot. This is invaluable during auditions when at times the panel will question your decisions. Having done such detailed research, you feel like you can respond to the panel confidently which is a real boost during the uncomfortably nerve-wracking process of auditioning for drama schools. Gradually, the speech begins to flow and she stops you less and less. Soon, your familiarity with the character, coupled with all the work you have done together percolates and you realise that you are inhabiting not the one-dimensional character that was present at the beginning of your sessions, but an authentic human being.