Much has been written about Paul Roseby’s declaration that three year drama school courses are a waste of time and money.
Nick Asbury’s response to it was a considered one; while he deplored the “astronomical” costs of drama school that meant “[it] saddles people with so much debt that following a stop/start formative acting career is unthinkable”, he also refused to agree with Roseby’s assertion entirely.

“In my view, there are two main reasons to go to drama school: the first is to learn something. The vast tendrils of “technique” – breathing, stagecraft, listening and generosity etc – are taught differently in each school, yet knowing something about yourself inevitably makes you a better actor. Training gives you the time and space to experiment – to fail, and work out why. It’s wonderful to do that, and important.

The second reason is to meet people who are going to give you jobs. Agents use the main drama schools as a filter system. They can take actors on, fresh from school, and then put them in front of casting directors. In most cases, actors with no experience and no drama school training simply won’t be taken on by agents, unless they have a USP that stands out, like being the child of a famous actor, or being stunningly attractive. Or if they can play the accordion while reciting Shakespeare on one leg.”

There is another reason to go to drama school, which has somehow, in the panic that has ensued from rising tuition fees and increased competition, been forgotten. You should go simply for the love of it.

As Geoffery Coleman (Head of Central School of Speech and Drama) wrote in The Stage: “British actor training continues to aspire to the notion of a tradition and craft being passed down through the hearts and minds of successive generations. Actor training must never be founded upon a vocational rhetoric that is actually nothing more complex than a student’s need for employment. We must ensure that the reality of training actors today does not, by default, result in the students exclusive grasping attainment of a commercially viable technique – one that will get ‘picked up’ – but also a culturally valuable experience whatever the future employment statistics may say.”

In other words, you must want to go to drama school to pursue the art itself. It’s only with this passion for your craft, married with an awareness of how to market yourself that survival and success in this business is possible. To have one but not the other is useless.

Audition Doctor is in the unique position of being able to guide you in both directions. The emphasis is on choosing speeches that you are passionate about and that showcase you in a “marketable” light. The panel want to see you at your most vulnerable and malleable as these are the two qualities that are most likely to mean that you will be easy to train and flexible within the industry.

While it shouldn’t be all about employment statistics, it’s important to realise what makes you “bankable” – in other words, what makes you different from the person who is going in after you. Sessions with Audition Doctor are essential as this is quality is drawn upon in your speeches.

This is the asset that will get you a place at drama school and upon which a career can be based. This is why Audition Doctor has proven time and time again to be so invaluable – because going to drama school is as much about love of the art of acting as it is about putting food on the table.