If you would like to pursue a career within the theatre industry, most plan to go to drama school. This can be an extremely stressful process to some as there is a lot of pressure to do well and get into the school of their choice. Knowing what to expect at your audition is the first step.
Make sure you do your research and only apply for the schools that you really want to study at. Auditions can be costly - up to £50 per school - and then there’s the travel and accommodation (if you need to stay overnight) costs to think about too. Go to open days if you can, as you’ll be able to get a better sense of the school and what they have to offer, you’ll be able to see if it really is the place for you. Give yourself a few options, it’s best not to just go for one school.
You have been given the date of your first audition, well done! Now, you need to think about the logistics of how to get there, to make the day run as smooth as possible. Book your travel in advance and give yourself plenty of time to get there, allow time for delays and traffic – you don’t want to feel flustered before you’ve even turned up. Aim to arrive an hour before your audition starts, this will give you enough time to look around the area to see if it is the place for you - if you do get a place at the school, this will be where you spend the majority of your time.
Most drama schools ask for a Shakespeare and contemporary speech, but make sure to check the requirements of each school you are auditioning for, as they may ask for something different. Find contrasting monologues where you can show off different skills and be versatile. Choose a character who is similar to you and around your own age, a character that you feel you could be cast as in a professional production. It’s also best to stick to your own accent, if you were to change accents then it has to be perfect and not distract from your acting.
Learn your lines well and make bold decisions on how you want to first present the monologue. However, be aware that the audition panel may give you directions and ask you to perform the speech in different ways. Be open and adaptable – listen to their instructions, be able to drop any pre-made decisions you had thought of. They want to see if you are able to play and try out new ideas. Practise your monologues in front of friends or family, get used to how to perform this to a panel rather than just practising on your own.
It’s also best to read the whole play from where your monologue is from. You will be able to understand the character and their motivations, which will help you in the context of the monologue. Make sure you understand what is happening in the monologue – if there is a word or phrase you don’t understand, do your research or ask for help from a friend or drama teacher.
Wear clothes that are easy to move around in – tracksuits or leggings are common to wear in an audition room. You may have a warm-up or group workshop, which will require you to be physical, so you don’t want to wear restricting clothes. If you have long hair, it might be best to tie this up away from your face. Make sure to also bring an umbrella and be prepared for all kinds of weather – you want to turn up looking fresh and feeling prepared.
Published: 04 March 2019