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What is the best advice on getting into drama school for musical theatre training?

There are so many musical theatre training opportunities to choose from at a number of different drama schools all over the country. Follow these easy steps to ensure you are as prepared as you can be and increase your changes of getting into the drama school of your choice.

Know your stuff:

  • Research the drama school - Find out who the teachers are and what their backgrounds are within the theatre industry. Do some research into these people and the people who will be auditioning or interviewing you. This will help you with some conversational points
  • Have a good understanding of the course - Know what will be studying, the lessons you will be taking, and the practitioners you will be studying. Understand how this course sets itself apart from others and also why you want to study there
  • Attend and open day - It can be helpful to go to an open day or watch a showcase at the school. Seeing the facilities in person can help you see the atmosphere, which you won’t get from just researching online
  • Research the schools graduates - This is great to see the success rate of the school, especially those who took the course you are wanting to study and see what their career path has been since graduating
  • The schools satisfaction survey - It’s also a good idea to look at the school’s satisfaction survey which you can find online. This will give you an idea of what current students think of the teaching. This is great to do as you will be spending a large majority of your time studying at this school and you want to be somewhere where you are comfortable and other students feel the same

       Search all theatre opportunities here

Nail the drama school audition:

If you're applying for a musical theatre course you must be able to act, dance and sing on the day of your audition. There's a lot to think about but if you follow the tips below, you'll smash the audition.

  • It’s best to have a physical and vocal warm-up routine in the days leading up to your audition
  • Familiarise yourself with some basic terminology that may be used in the group dance audition. They will be looking for how you respond to instructions as well as your ability to work in a group and your technique
  • There is normally a dance routine you will have to learn on the day. Practise picking up steps and style by attending dance classes prior to your audition. Have a look through the dance workshops available to you on the Get Into Theatre website. 
  • You will most likely be asked to prepare two songs and they may choose which one they want to hear on the day. Make sure you practice both equally and feel confident singing both
  • Choose two contrasting songs that show off your ability, but take into consideration how your nerves may effect your voice and try not to choose something too challenging. They will also be looking at how you act through song and how you portray the character
  • Practise your songs with the sheet music you will bring along with you on the day, so you know the key it is set in and you are familiar with the way it sounds on the piano
  • For information on preparing your monologue take a look at What is the best advice on getting into drama school? 

Be yourself – but how?

  • Try not to get wrapped up in other people too much on the day and absorb their nervous energy. There will most likely be a bit of waiting around before your audition/interview with other people in the same room. Think about what keeps you focused and calm; listening to music, breathing rituals, or reading a book.  Read our tips on Tackling nerves and anxiety.
  • Sometimes, you may be asked to workshop with others, in these situations be open and playful and really throw yourself into what is asked of you. They want to see how you interact with other people and collaborate.

       Find more theatre careers advice here

Have confidence – but how?

The best way to have confidence on the day is to make sure that you are well prepared. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Know what is in your control on the day and what is not. You want to be able to walk away from your audition or interview and know that you have done everything you can in your power to be the best you can be. The best way to do this is think about the things you can control:

  • Preparation; learn your song so well you can sing it in your sleep!
  • Be on time (better still, be early!) Pre-plan your travel well ahead of time
  • Sleep well the night before; do whatever relaxes you in the evenings (take a bath, read a book, watch a film)
  • Wear appropriate clothes; wear something that make you feel confident, you don’t want to be worrying about what you look like on the day. Bear in mind that you will be moving around/getting physical on the day, so make sure what you wear is practical. You will need dance shoes, check which classes these will be and take along the shoes needed, for example; ballet or jazz.

If you have all of these things in your control, then you can relax a bit more on the day and concentrate on being yourself, having a big smile and being friendly. If you are busy worrying about if you have forgotten a line, then this can block your personality from shining through and really this is the most important part of any audition/interview.

Find theatre vacancies with The Stage Jobs here

References:

https://www.coursflorent.education/news/how-to-get-into-drama-school

https://www.spotlight.com/news-and-advice/tips-and-advice/how-to-nail-your-drama-school-audition/

https://www.spotlight.com/news-and-advice/tips-and-advice/how-to-nail-your-drama-school-audition/

https://www.thestage.co.uk/advice/2017/a-beginners-guide-to-applying-for-drama-school/

Photo: Shutterstock

Published: 04 March 2019