In conjunction with last week’s programme ‘Nation’s Best Am Dram’ on Sky Arts 1, the Guardian asked several actors to give advice on how to act. Suggestions ranged from the importance of breath: “If you stop breathing properly, you get a sore throat. And if you stop breathing, you die” (Miriam Margolyes), “Never go dead for a second on stage. Even if you are doing nothing, do it actively. Listen” (Roger Allam) to “Don’t be a twat. There’s always one: make sure it’s not you.” (Julie Graham).
Paterson Joseph mentioned the vital point of “choosing a play you feel confident you understand: liking a play isn’t the same as understanding it.” This is where Audition Doctor is instrumental. Although Tilly always insists that her students must love the speeches that they pick, she always emphasises that the text (and by extension – the character) is fully understood and insists that her students re-read the texts multiple times. Re-readings often unearth subtleties of the character; these are subsequently discussed with Tilly and the resulting interpretation undoubtedly adds depth to your performance. It is these insights into your character which will distinguish you from other drama school applicants.
Another tip that Joseph gave was casting to the performer’s strengths. The initial stages of working with Tilly for drama school auditions involves auditioning speeches themselves. While a speech can be well-written, seemingly the right length for drama school auditions (no longer than two minutes) and the right gender, it simply might not showcase your abilities in the best possible light. Audition Doctor ensures that the combination of your speeches exhibits your natural strengths.
While the flippant dictum “Know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture” has been taken as a general rule for acting, clearly, drama school hopefuls know it isn’t as simple as that. Ralph Richardson said, before you leave the dressing room, ask yourself: “Is it human?” Audition Doctor does just that. Tilly guarentees that each student embodies the character which is what every drama school candidate must prove they can do not just if they wish to gain a place at drama school, but also if they ultimately want to become a professional actor.