There has been much debate recently over the usefulness of drama schools. Derek Jacobi averred: “It can teach you movement, it can teach you voice, it can teach you deportment, it can teach you fencing skills, all sorts of things. But I firmly believe that it cannot turn someone who walks into a drama school as a non-actor into an actor.”
Furthermore, Paul Roseby stated: “Drama schools are incredibly expensive and the majority of actors don’t need three years’ training. They need various modular courses every so often to go to. But they don’t need three years. You don’t need to learn how to act, you need to learn how to sell yourself. You can either act or you can’t.”
Drama school is expensive, but it costs no more than a normal degree. While drama school is by no means the only form of training, it is one that is professionally recognised. Additionally, alternative models that allowed Jacobi time and opportunities to hone his craft, such as repertory, no longer exist. Drama schools are still places where those who do have, what Jacobi calls, the “seed, the desire, the will and the talent” to become a professional actor can learn their craft. Although some actors do manage to build successful careers without training, the majority of actors on stage or on television will have had some form of professional training.
Furthermore, Nick Hytner this week confessed that even he found Shakespeare’s plays confusing. Drama school is a place where there are tutors who have extensive experience to unpick language and explore the possibilities of what you, as an actor, are capable of.
Edward Kemp, – Artistic Director of RADA- hit back at Roseby by saying: “These days RADA graduates such as Jessie Buckley can find themselves playing leading roles in major theatres almost upon graduation.” He added that training can give confidence and bring an improved sense of self-image that one could argue were requisite in marketing yourself to the industry.
This is precisely what Audition Doctor affords every one of her students. The way you perform you speeches is absolutely linked to confidence and self-image. Even if you have the will and the talent, a speech cannot be performed at its best if you are self-conscious in anyway. As mercenary as it sounds, an audition is also an opportunity to market yourself to the panel as a student worthy of a place. Audition Doctor sessions strip all the extraneous “acting” and self-conscious ticks which leave you knowing that you will be your greatest asset as opposed to your own obstacle at your audition.