Preparation is the key here.
On the day of the audition, you’re going to have to be as relaxed as you can possibly get without using any substances. To be relaxed means coming in prepared and ready, being confident that you know everything you have to know.
Apart from preparing your audition monologues, you must also take care of your travel arrangements, appropriate clothing and accommodation if that’s necessary. Don’t leave anything until the last minute as it will mess with your head, which has to be clear for your short performance on that very special day.
2. As You Arrive
As soon as you have arrived and standing next to your future drama school building, calm yourself down. Have a cigarette if you’re a smoker or just have some water.
Once inside, go straight to the reception to state your business. You’ll be given a form to fill in and then instructed where to go and what to do. Don’t forget to listen what you’re told, no matter how nervous you are.
From there you will go straight to the audition waiting room where you’ll see other students waiting for their turn. It’s alright to be polite and say “hello”, but other than that you should concentrate on what’s coming up next.
Make sure you know your lines and sip some more water again to stay cool and maintain an adequate amount of fluids in your mouth. Normally, if you have arrived on time, your turn will be in about 15-30 minutes.
3. Three Parts of the Audition
The three parts of the audition process are:
- Ensemble workshops
- Solo auditions
Group workshops tend to last several hours, sometimes even the whole working day. Tutors work with students on voice, movement, warm-ups, improv among other things. They will also work on everybody’s audition speeches, helping you to prepare for the next day when you’re going solo.
Solo auditions, the most scary part, last about 15 minutes each, not longer. You act out your monologue and then perform a song and/or dance if it was requested in advance.
Interview is the last and easiest part, you get to it right after your performance. Sit down with the people who audited you and talk about your goals as an actor, why you want to study in that school and similar things. It’s a relaxed and pleasant conversation.
Remember that being nervous is absolutely fine and tutors know that, so don’t be embarrassed and DO NOT apologize.
4. If You Forget Your Lines
Everybody knows that it’s very likely to happen, so don’t think you’re the only one. Professionally working actors forget their lines all the time, hence there’s no reason to worry about it. When that happens, start over; you will not be marked down because of this. Just try to stay calm.
Keep in mind that it’s not your memory that’s being assessed here. When you do forget your lines, just look down, have a deep breath, focus and try to remember, then continue.
Here’s what’s important: DO NOT break the character. DO NOT apologize or explain anything. Stay COMPLETELY focused on what you’re doing.
5. Being Nervous
Who isn’t familiar with the feeling of nervousness? Actors, due to the nature of their work, have too many reasons to be nervous, so you might as well start getting used to that.
First thing to remember is that people auditing you know that you are nervous; they are well aware of what it might do to an actor’s performance. Some tutors will even encourage you to stop, relax, re-focus and start all over again. That’s not a bad sign, and it can sometimes take some of the pressure off.
Remember that auditors don’t want you to fail, they want you to succeed!
Here’s the thing: nerves can sometimes be very good. A calm newbie actor during a drama school audition process is very often boring to watch. Of course being overly nervous isn’t too good either. You’re going to have to try your best to find a balance there. When you do, try to remember what you did to accomplish this task so it can be used later.
If you start feeling numb, lightly jump around and waive your hands to get rid of that feeling. A good trick during the process of a drama school audition is to imagine the whole panel sitting there naked. This technique helped a lot of actors to get through their auditions.
Yoga and Alexander Technique are great for learning how to control your nerves and how to calm yourself down.
Don’t discard this short encounter with your possible future tutors, it’s important.
This quick interview allows people auditing you to understand your ways, your attitude and see what you are bringing to their school. As you might have imagined, the questions will be the standard: “Why do you want to become an actor?”, “What have you done recently?”, “What plays and films and actors do you enjoy?”
Make sure NOT to script your answers but rather prepare for them. This means reading plays, watching good films and researching drama schools.
This will be the end for now, until you meet again. Once you’re done, thank everybody, say your good byes and get home to start praying. Here you can read what to do once you get the results.