Getting into Acting School can be a tough business. There is a high demand for places so you need to be as prepared as possible.
I sit on the audition panel for my acting school and I have seen all sorts of auditions, from the brilliant to the proverbial car crash.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that drama schools don’t mind if you mess up, because they are looking for the best and it’s a competitive environment, as is the industry.
So, here are five tips to help you secure that elusive place at acting school:
1. Usually you are asked to perform a monologue. This is a short speech from a play or film. Make sure you pick something that you can shine in and that will suit you. Don’t make life difficult for the panel by picking something you would never be cast in. You can stretch your range during your training – but to start with, do something appropriate and do it well.
2. Read the whole play and know every detail about the character, including their full name. A panel may test your knowledge of the character or play to see how well you have prepared. Sometimes I ask for the full name of the character they are playing. You would be surprised how many people can’t answer that question.
3. When you perform, don’t look the audition panel in the eye. Look to the side or above them unless you are reading with them or directed to look at them. When you look them in the eye, you involve them in the acting process and they may be uncomfortable with that. They also want to be able to watch you – not be part of the action.
4. Do some research on the school and be able to talk about what they do. It’s not all about you, you know. Walk a mile in their shoes: what do they teach and how do they teach it? This shows you’re interested in them and have taken the time to do some research.
5. Don’t antagonize a panel by being smart or confrontational. This will get you dumped faster than you can say “Acting School audition”.
Professional audition technique is an art form. When you start auditioning for acting schools, they are not looking for the finished product but raw material and a great attitude they can work with.
I cannot stress how important your attitude is in this process. When I audition people, I am on high alert for any problem people. I spend a year with the students and it could be a long year if you let the negative people slip through the net. I am not alone in this; this is the way most agents and casting directors work. We are well versed in reading the signals of any potential problem people and they never see the light of day.
So, work on having a great attitude and the doors will start to swing open.