My drama school audition journey

Posted by Natasha Stone on

I thought that the natural way to get into Drama School was to wear red lipstick, look mysterious and parade around in a faux fur coat…needless to say, 12+ years later I realised there was a little more to it than that…

I was 26 when I got into the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and I had promised myself that this would be my final year auditioning. Why? Because I wasn’t prepared to put myself through the emotional roller coaster of ‘Drama School Audition Season’ any longer.

Any actor that has auditioned for drama school knows that from June to March you spend the whole time in a constant cycle of:

Finding speeches, applying for Drama School, auditioning for Drama School, getting rejected from Drama School, having a few months of crying into your pillow before you once again try to find speeches for Drama School. 

I was sick of it. And I was sick of people asking me why I hadn’t gotten into Drama School yet.

Where it all began

Like many young actors, I was sent to drama groups when I was younger and spent many years falling into that trap of people telling you that ‘you should be an actor’. I think this is a really damaging thing to tell young people because we already build up this pressure for them to be ‘something’ or ‘somebody’ before they've even really had a chance to explore anything else (or to even experience LIFE) before being crushed by the weight of people's expectations. 

I was lucky enough to get bursaries so that I could go to Young Theatre groups and have classes before getting an agent when I was 17. 

I worked on a short film and got to the final of a Hollyoaks casting - I thought this was it! I’m doing what everyone wants me to do. So the next natural step was to audition for Drama School…

Auditioning at 17

I turned up at my first ever audition - I hadn’t read the play, I didn’t know my lines and the last show I had seen was Blood Brothers at our local theatre when I was 13.. 

They took a chance on me and offered me a recall, two weeks later I still hadn’t learnt my lesson and was swiftly given my first ‘Sorry, you have been unsuccessful'. 

Fast forward to the following year and I was a little more prepared but still had no idea what I was really doing - I applied for the same school again and made the same mistakes…again. But I didn’t know what to prepare or what I was doing wrong so I started to doubt whether I could act or what I was doing.

I realised that there was so little information out there about auditioning for Drama Schools and everyone that had auditioned kept their cards close to their chest.

"Getting into drama school was like this big secret that nobody wanted to share."

I stopped auditioning for a few years because I couldn’t deal with the constant ‘Sorry you’ve been unsuccessful’ and having to tell friends and family that, once again, I didn’t get in. 

I let Drama School define whether I was good enough or not and I stopped acting. 

Auditioning at twenty five…

I was sat at my 9-5 job many years later and one day thought…this can’t be it…after all these years of acting, surely this can’t be it.

I started googling part time drama courses just so that I could find something to bring me back to my passion. I found that Central offered a short course - I’d never thought of them before and paid my money to go and try two of their short courses for eight weeks. I fell in love with the school and the training.

They didn’t care about my Essex accent, they didn’t want me to change or be a different person which was so refreshing from the other schools I had auditioned at. 

They taught me to lose the fear of just getting up and performing. It didn’t matter if my acting was crap or if I made bad decisions, they taught me to just try new things and lose the fear (this was the biggest thing I have learnt throughout my time at Drama School).

That year I auditioned and, for the first time in my life, I got to the final round.

I went into my final round audition really not knowing what to expect, I got to the final fifteen minute interview and I genuinely thought that I had got in. 

A month later, pacing at my desk, I got the soul-destroying UCAS notification that I had been unsuccessful and my world fell apart. All the confidence I had built getting through the rounds just came crashing down and I was back in the 17 year old mindset of not being good enough. 

Identity School of Acting

I had one final audition at Identity School of Acting - I went along and got accepted into their part-time drama school. The training was great - the flexibility was exactly what I needed to fit around my life and I spent a year there training before auditioning to get into the IAG agency. 

I got in. I couldn’t believe I was finally repped! The pressure was insane, I was going up for castings that I was totally out of my depth for and wasn’t getting any successes there, but the time had come to audition for Central again.

This time, there was a ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ mode that kicked in and I thought to myself:

‘I am not leaving this building until you give me a yes’.

I got to the final round, I got to the interview stage and they said you’re back! But why you and why now? And for the first time in my life I was honest with the panel: 

‘Because this is it for me now. I can’t do this anymore. I’ve got skills and I’ve got this far without drama school, but I need your help and your training to just get to that next level, but this is it now, I can’t go through this again’.

31 days later I got my first ever yes. I cried, I was sick, I was elated. Everything I had ever wanted was finally here.

My thoughts…

If you define your success by a ‘yes’ at Drama School, I would have given up on acting at 17. You have to do whats right for you WHEN its right for you. If auditioning is giving you:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Feeling of inadequacy 

Then don’t do it. Take a break, nourish yourself and then come back to it at a time when you are ready. Having that break for a few years between auditioning was CRUCIAL to me. 

 Also, make sure the school you are auditioning for is RIGHT FOR YOU. RADA, Guildhall, Lamda…nothing against those schools at all but they werent the right fit for me. Central was where I felt at home and where I felt like I could meet my potential, really speak to graduates and currency students from the school (message them on instagram!) to get a feel for the place! And apply for audition fee waivers so that you can try as many schools as possible!

I’m going to be releasing a load more blogs over the coming weeks about my time at Drama School and how I found auditions to try and help more of you that message us about your own journeys :)

Always on Instagram DM’s for any advice! ->

Tasha xx

← Older Post

Leave a comment