Every so often, Ideastap will interview eminent actors on their careers and their perspectives on the acting profession. This is in the hope that the advice disclosed will provide some solace and useful guidance to those occupying the already overpopulated waiting-room that leads into “the Industry.”

Anthony Head’s interview raised some interesting points on the topic of drama school and training. Although he was of the view that drama school “isn’t a prerequisite, some people suit drama school more than others”, he deplored the fact that British “actors are the only artists that don’t practice their craft when they’re not working. Americans do classes once or twice a week.” For actors, drama school is the most obvious method of achieving professional instruction.

However, there are other avenues to explore such as classes offered at the Actor’s Centre or private Audition Doctor workshops – both of which Tilly teaches. Training in any sphere – be it artistic, scientific or business is an undeniable necessity if you want to become a professional and acting is no different. British Theatre is known for being an exemplar of unsurpassable quality, largely due to the consummate pairing of talent and rigorous training that British drama schools offer. However, British actors who fail to hone the skills that they learned at drama school may find themselves lagging behind their American counterparts. Attending regular workshops is a way of topping up and building on skills that could easily become rusty.

As Daniel Mays stated in his interview in this week’s Independent: “the daily rigours of theatre work are the best work-out he could hope for. “It’s a muscle you’ve got to come back to, and it’s a discipline. It’s like playing sport…You’ve got to turn up and deliver every single night, and sustain that character for two hours.”

It seems that drama school can give you a solid grounding but if stamina and longevity is desired, attending regular acting classes throughout your career is a necessity. Private lessons at Audition Doctor or Tilly’s group workshops at the Actor’s Centre are a fantastic way (to quote Anthony Head) to “keep that energy and feeling of success going when you’re not working and to practice not falling into your default mechanism…it’s when you feel a bit unsure, you go back to your old schtick – all the stuff you know you is not brilliant but it’ll get you through. It’s a chance to get to recognise and avoid that.” Sessions at Audition Doctor are a way of experimenting and stretching your acting muscles. It’s a chance “not to be lazy and not to stick to what you play time and time again.”