So you’ve decided to audition for Drama School! Congratulations! For many of you this may be your first time auditioning, for others this could be your second, fourth, tenth or thirtieth time auditioning (I started applying at 18 and got in at 26...just because it might be a ‘no’ sometimes doesn't mean you’re not good enough to get in!), so whichever stage you're at, we’re going to be guiding you through every step of your audition process to make sure you are as prepared as possible for your audition day.
For context; I’m Tasha, founder of TheLovieDiaries and a 3rd year Acting student at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, I started selling making journals for performers in my first year to pay for my place at school and have since built multiple free resources to help people like me (working class and proud!) get into Drama School...so let's get started!
BEFORE YOU APPLY FOR DRAMA SCHOOL
Applying for Drama School is a real rollercoaster of emotions that can last anywhere from 1-9 months, so I think its really important to note that before jumping straight in, you want to make sure you get yourself as prepared as possible so you can enjoy the experience and feel confident throughout.
MAKING SURE YOU’RE READY
Drama School training is a huge step from anything you would have done before, so make sure this is something you really want to do. We’ve provided the following questions that we think every actor should ask themselves before undertaking training. I have personally been asked every single one of these questions throughout my time of auditioning, so it’s good practice to know why you’re doing what you’re doing!
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE APPLYING:
"WHY DO YOU WANT TO TRAIN AND WHY TRAINING NOW?"
I was asked this question at every audition. They want to know why you want to train at Drama School, why this course - what is it that interests you about studying here? What will you get from this school in particular? What is it that excites you about training? And why have you decided to apply this year? Why is it important that you get in this year?
I’ll always be truthful with you here, I’m not saying this is the right answer AT ALL, but these were my honest answers the year I was accepted into Central:
“Because I’ve got to a certain level on my own with my acting, but now I want the proper foundations and the training from you to advance my work. I can only get so far on my own. Why now? Because I’m 26, I've spent a long time working out why I want to train and why acting is right for me, so I'm coming to this completely ready to give up my job and commit everything I have. I'm more serious than I have ever been about wanting and needing to train. It's now or never for me.”
"WHY THIS SCHOOL AND WHY THIS COURSE?"
What inspired you to choose them over anyone else? They don’t want to hear ‘because you’re the best school’, they want to hear that you’ve researched the school and the course and found something there that really appeals to you. What is it about the school that appeals to you? Do you really like the acting style of their alumni? Are you really interested in the methods they teach on the course? Have they got a strong emphasis on classical training and is that an area that really interests you?
Write down everything that makes you tick as an artist, everything you want to explore and everything you enjoy, then research schools and courses that will help you thrive in those areas.
My answer (again not right, but just to give you an example)
“I always wanted to develop my own work and have control over my art - CDT is one of the only acting courses I have seen that teaches this. I’m also a huge fan of ‘Complicite’s work and I know that this course is in partnership with them so I was really interested to explore that area. Why Central? It was the first school that I felt wasn't judgemental about my Essex accent, it was the first school that encouraged me to be my authentic self. Central felt like home.”
"WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE AN ACTOR?"
Again, schools want to know what it is that interests you about ‘acting’, what is it about the craft that really inspires you? What type of actor would you like to be? Would you like to create your own work, or work in theatre/film? This is one of THE most asked questions and in my first year auditioning I was not prepared for this...I think I mumbled something like “Because I love it?”, now whilst there's nothing to say that ‘I love it’ is the wrong answer, but personally I think if you can write down what inspires you about acting, where you want to take your acting and the type of work you want to create...you have some strong conversation starters that the panel can dig further on.
My answers (again, not right, just for example):
“I want to create my own work and tell my own narratives in acting. I want to explore technology and theatre and tell stories that I’m interested in hearing about. I love the freedom that acting gives you to explore someone else’s story and to affect an audience.”
"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU CAN BRING TO THIS COURSE?"
This is a really tricky question, especially if you haven't prepared for this. It could be really easy to say ‘I’m hard working and passionate about acting’, but every actor on the planet can say this. They want to know what is unique and special about you that you could bring to the course. Are you really interested in exploring physicality? Great! You can bring that to the course! Are you really explorative and creative, do you like trying new techniques? Are you inspired by different mediums and techniques? Are you great at singing or do you speak another language? Are you slightly older and are you coming to the class with a wealth of personal and emotional experiences? Brilliant! Identify what makes you unique or what you think helps enhance your acting and bring that to the table.
My answers (again, not right, just for example):
“I’m 26 now, I’ve experienced a lot in my life that I hadn’t when I first auditioned at 18, so I’m able to explore more character traits and emotions than I could before. I’ll be able to support the other members of our class through my own experiences. I’m also fascinated by technology and new advancements in theatre, so I’d love to bring that into the room to look at new ways of making theatre.”
Everyone is on their own path and at their own point of the journey when it comes to Drama School Auditions, my best advice is to just be authentically you, understand what makes you tick and why you want to train, practice and prepare properly so that you can give your all in your audition.
They aren’t looking for perfection or a fully trained, well rounded performer - otherwise you wouldn’t be looking for training. Instead show them this is you (wonderful you) with your life experiences and your interests, here to smash your audition and get into their school.
We are always on our Instagram DM’s for advice so please feel free to drop us a message if you need any advice or have any questions about applying!