Sunday, 20 October 2013

RADA

Around the time of my LAMDA audition I was feeling a bit under the weather, I had a bad cold and it was making me sound very nasal. I spent the next three days gradually feeling worse, just in time for my RADA audition. My audition was on a thursday in the afternoon, so I was up bright and early on the 7.30 train to London. I was sick on the train. It was horrendous. To make matters worse there was a massive queue for the bathroom so I had to throw up in a bag, wait until the queue had died down and then do the walk of shame down the carrige carrying my bag of sick. It really was horrendous. Firstly, I am a bloody awful traveller anyway without being ill. Secondly, I was ill. Thirdly, I was sitting directly under the heater which was making me feel like death.

I arrived in London certainly not feeling like my usual bright-eyed and busy-tailed self. However, I had a little time before I had to be at RADA and the fresh air (ironic as London air certainly isn't very fresh compared to the Scottish countyside) did me good. With the slight fear that I may projectile vomit on the audition panel I made my way to RADA. I'm not going to pretend that I wasn't nervous, because I was- but what struck me as odd was that I thought I would be a lot more nervous that I had been previously as it was 'the big one'. I had seen RADA for the first time about 6 months beforehand when I had been in London to watch my papa sing with his choir, and been staying near by. One evening I actually got my picture taken outside it and tweeted it saying '' It's so sad I know bur I just passed it and I had to. The amazing RADA .. maybe one day I will get there !''. Anyway, at that point I wasn't even sure if I was going to apply, as mentioned before I thought on my first year of auditions there was no point.

So I arrived at RADA and entered the reception, to find around twenty or so applicants already waiting. The receptionist took my name and told me to take a seat (there were none lol). So I stood awkwardly and waited for someone to speak.They didn't. It was practically silent, apart from one boy talking on his phone and a girl talking to someone she had brought with her. As more and more people came the atmosphere became a bit less tense and people started chatting. I made friends with a nineteen year old New-Yorker called Joseph and a an eighteen year old girl from the Cotswolds, I cannot for the life of me remember her name. Anyway they were both lovely, and we just talked a little about where we were from and where else we had applied etc before we were all led upstairs. We were taken into a big conference style room by the lovely Sally Power, where we all sat round a large table and were asked to fill out some forms indictating our pieces to the panel. We were then given a breif talk about the audition process at RADA and offered a chance to ask any questions we had. It was explained that there was absolutely no funding available for the foundation, no scholarships what-so-ever and that if we had indictated we would like to be considered for it we would have to fund it completely ourselves. Turns out that out of the thirty people there, only myself and one other girl had applied for the foundation as well as the BA. I should note that unlike LIPA - the age of the applicants did seem a little older. After being split into groups of roughly four, we were taken to our audition rooms. Luckily - Joseph happened to be in my group. My audition room was in a separate building across the road from the main one.

I was the first to audition in my group. I entered a large rehearsal space that had props and setting on one side. In the far corner was the panels table. The panel consisted of two RADA tutors, one male and one female, both older. I want to say the lady's name was Lois, either Lois or Alice - I honestly forget the panels names as soon as they tell me. I can't actually remember what order I performed my pieces in but I did the same modern from Outlying Islands and Lady Percy from Henry IV part two. In between my speeches I was interviewed. The interview was lovely and relaxed. The questions were quite in depth and they let me blabber on without stopping me. I hadn't really been asked much at my previous auditions - in fact I was asked nothing at all at LIPA- and it was kind of disappointing as I felt that panels didn't really get to know much about me. At RADA I was asked a little about where I am from, about what I was doing at the moment, about where I go to the theatre and how regularly and about the type of performances I attend. I was also asked who my favourite actor was and why. This question threw me a little bit, because I have many favourite actors but struggle to pick one. In the end I panicked and went for David Tennant - I talked about his Scottish roots (coming from a small town was something I can relate too), I talked about his versatility, I talked about his work in theatre before he was as well known, I talked about popular programmes like Dr Who and Broadchurch his current work and I also mentioned that he was going to be playing Richard II later in the year at and I quote ''some theatre in London''. I felt that the panel, although polite and friendly enough- weren't really giving much away. It also threw my confidence a little when they said that my modern speech seemed a little long. I explained that I had timed it and it was under three minutes. Lois/Alice/panel lady responded saying that she hadn't been timing so couldn't be sure, she just wanted me to be aware for the schools that had a two minute limit. This was slightly reassuring, she was just trying to help me. For all the schools with a two minute limit eg.LIPA, I had cut my monologue anyway. Lady Percy had drastically improved since LAMDA and I was a lot happier with the speech. I wasn't sure about my contemporary - it was ok. I would have said it was an average performance but enjoyable nonetheless.

I left RADA unsure of what to think. No matter the outcome, I felt honoured to have auditioned for such a prestigous school.People say that RADA has gone downhill, that there are better places to train, that it is outdated. However, RADA still has the reputation. Unlike many of the other schools RADA is and always will be world renowned. Even having the name on your CV will open doors for you. In spite of this, you can't choose a school solely on its reputation. You have to want to train in their way, you have to feel you would fit in there, you have to know that it is the school for you. After all , you don't want three years of hell and feeling that you aren't progressing just for a name on your CV. Fortunately, I fell in love with RADA at my first round audition- it surprisingly was the school for me.

LAMDA

The second of my auditions was for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Now I'm not going to lie, I had heard some complete and utter horror stories about LAMDA auditions. One boy studying at another drama school had told me that his LAMDA panel were 'b******ds' and it was the worst audition he had ever had. Apparently they made him stand behind an umbrella at the opposite side of the room and practically shout his speech at them. From other blogs I had learnt that there was a dreaded piece of tape that you had to stand on the entire audition, restricting your movement and also that the panel didn't even watch your speech, they just scribbled furiously. In fact, pretty much everyone seemed to find LAMDA their worst drama school encounter. As a result of this I was bloody terrified about my audition. To me LAMDA sounded like the stereo-typical drama school. Now I can only assume that these stereotypes come about because the auditionees are being dramatic and the actor in them is comes to light, but honestly I can assure you that neither the panels nor the audtions themselves are anything to fear. The exact opposite of what people expect.

Luckily I saved myself a trip to London, as LAMDA audition in Edinburgh. I arrived at the Bedlam Theatre about 30 minutes or so before my scheduled audition at 3.15. I was met by a lovely second year student from Edinburgh who had taken the opportunity to come home at the weekend. I got to ask her various questions, and found out that after school she had taken two gap years and had got a place on her second attempt. I was informed that my audition and my interview would take place in two separate rooms with two different panels and that I would actually be presenting my speeches on stage. I now know that the Bedlam Theatre isn't very big, but I had never been there before and the idea of presenting my speeches on stage made me panic a little.

So firstly I had been dreading the panel, now I was dreading the stage .. what more could go wrong? I didn't really have much time to think about it as I was next. When I entered the auditorium I was happy to see that it was very small, only seating one hundred or so people.I was met by the most lovely adorable old man EVER. Anyone that knows me, understands how much I love elderly people. I do, I just can help it. I want a baby like Benjamin Button- or better still I could just adopt a pensioner. Anyway, he was so old and cute and he had the poshest RP accent ever and it just made me so so happy. I think he was the Vice Principal of the school, I am almost certain that is what they said but don't take my word for it, it was months ago. The member of the panel was a young woman who was part of the admissions staff- I thought it was pretty interesting that she had an in put, but I put it down to seeing what a non actor thought, after all audiences are made up of the general public. To be honest for all I know she could have an acting background as well.

I was asked to stand at the back of the stage under the light. The light was honestly blinding me it was so bright, my eyes were burning the entire time. I performed my classical piece first which was different to the one I had done at LIPA. I was playing Lady Percy from 'Henry IV part two'. This was my first performance of this speech and to be honest I wasn't comfortable with it yet. I grew to love it over the audition process, but at first I struggled and felt again as if it was dying and I couldn't save it. I did the same modern piece as before from 'Outlying Islands', and this time the panel had no problems with my accent. I left the audition room feeling uncertain about how it had gone and went back to the waiting area. I had to wait a few minutes until the person before me was out of their interview and then it was my turn. The interview was held in a small office type room and was conducted by a fairly young male LAMDA tutor and ex student, and another female member of the admissions team. The interview was fairly short, we talked about what I was doing acting wise, we talked about the other drama schools I had applied to, we talked about why I wanted to apply for LAMDA. On my form I had indicated that I would also like to be considered for the foundation course and I was asked a little about this. I made the confession that I had absolutely no way of funding it and discovered that LAMDA offer one scholarship for their foundation course. The interviewer then told me that he had orginally began studying on the foundation course and it was, as everyone seems to say, his best year of training. They seemed very positive and told me not to let money become a barrier as I would find a way round it.

I left my interview feeling happy that I had made a good impression and connected well with my interviewers. Obviously I have no idea what the London auditions are like, but if the Edinburgh audition was anything to go by then the LAMDA panel are most definitely not the big bad wolves they are made out to be. Both panels were rather lovely and made me feel at ease. I left the theatre extremely excited as I was so happy that my assumptions had been proven wrong and LAMDA seemed like a fantastic school.

Around two weeks later, I recieved a letter saying that on this ocassion I had been unsucessful. I was extremely disappointed by this, I had desperately wanted a recall and to go down to London to actually get a sense of LAMDA as a school.

It was upsetting but I didn't have much time to dwell as I was slightly preoccupied - I had recieved a second letter that day and it just happened to be a recall from RADA.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

LIPA- Recall

My LIPA recall was exactly a week after my first audition. They work in three week blocks, so two weeks of preliminary and then the third week is the recall for those auditionee's. It's a good idea because it means you know when your recalls are but it doesn't give you much time to prepare. Not that there is a lot to prepare for really, seeing as you don't have to do anything new.

Anyway once again after registration we were taken to the big hall, where we were given a lovely little speech about how we had all done very well to get a recall and even if we weren't sucessful we shouldn't be disheartned because the panel had obviously seen potential in all of us. I would say there were around 40 people there and we were split into four groups. Similar to the week before , there were four stages and we would rotate classes in our groups. The classes consisted of speech presentation, voice, movement and acting.

 Just my luck that I would be in speech presentation first. I feel that our group was at a slight disadvantage seeing as the other groups had the opportunity to warm up during voice and movement and we just had to perform dry. We only presented to one panel member who was the acting coach and foundation leader that was on my panel the previous week. I presented my speech about 7th or 8th. Every other person in the group decided to present their modern monologue. I did my Shakespeare. I honestly felt it was the stronger of my pieces but in this instance I performed it dreadfully. I don't know what happened but I was aware of how bad it was during it, it was like a crazy outer body sensation where I couldn't save it and just couldnt get my focus at all. I knew the moment I sat down that my journey at LIPA was over for the year.

The second of my classes was the movement class. This was basically a few stretches so that the panel could see our strength and flexabilty, and some coordination games . They were all pretty easy apart from there was an arm coordination game that I was awful at. I felt I did well in this class but to be honest I'm not very sure that it had much weighting.

If there is one thing I learnt during my auditions it is that I really really need to let go and stop taking things so seriously. I need to learn to be spontaneous and random and embarass myself. I might fail in doing so, but you know what? I have come to accept that failure is ok. Without failure then we cannot learn, and without learning there will never be success.The loosening up lesson came about during the voice class. To start, we did basic breathing exercises lying on the floor, we did some humming, ooohing and ahhing etc. We then played a game in a circle - where basically one person had a ball of energy that made them make a certain noise eg ''eeeek' (or along those lines). This person had to let it travel through their body, allowing it to affect them in anyway - demonstrating these affects through the changing the sound of the energy. It could be pleasant/unpleasant depending where it was in your body, and whatever sound it made when it was passed to you , you had to begin with. I was about half way through the circle and by the time it got to me I honestly felt anything original had been done, I ended up making a range of squeaky noises and pained facial expressions and the entire thing was just horrific. I couldn't have looked any more tense and uncomfortable if I tried. I could have done anything in the world, yet I was safe and boring. At least it was a lesson learned.

Finally, the acting class. This class was observed by the head of acting. To begin with we had to release all tension, we stood with our eyes closed and listened to the tutor's kind of meditation type thing as he walked behind us and told us where we had tension. Apparently I had a lot of tension in my neck. It took him multiple times of coming over to me until I somehow managed to rid myself of it. It was so frustrating - I wasn't even aware of it in the first place. We then played a game in pairs where we had to take turns, one of us throwing insults and the other throwing lovely comments about the other. We swapped around, and then also played it a couple of times both throwing insults at each other.  The next exercise was to imagine that you were taking things out of a box and to say out loud what you were taking out as you did it. It could literally be anything and didn't have to make sense ie. car, tree, bus, toffee, my gran. The aim of the game was to get people blurting, and not bothered about filtering what they say. I was the demonstrater and although I think its great that I went first and shows willingness, It meant I didn't quite have the same understanding of the exercise as the people who went later. The teacher interrupted and said that usually when people are truely being spontaneous that is when they begin to get a bit rude with what they are saying and swear or say sexual things. As soon as he said this, auto-matically everyone began swearing, expect me. Everyone else was doing it because the teacher said that it was a good thing, I didn't do it because as they didn't either I didn't have any desire to. Nothing in my brain was telling me to swear, they weren't being spontaneous they were trying to impress by appearing spontaneous. To end the session, we had to walk across the room as if we were on stage, then look to our left and pretend to see someone we knew, back track and walk towards them. I honestly have no idea what this exercise was designed to do but it was fun and relaxed. I actually thoroughly enjoyed the acting workshop.

After the sessions we were given time for lunch, before being called back into the big hall and split into three groups, two of which went to different rooms. I was in the group the stayed in the hall and unfortunately, as I knew it would be ... it was the end of the road. We got a little speech about how 'on this occasion' it was felt that we weren't right for LIPA, but that didn't mean that we wouldn't be sucessful elsewhere or in future years. We all must have had something in us, or we wouldn't have been recalled.

As I left the building, I was aware of people around me crying down the phone to loved ones etc. However, I felt very calm. Obviously I was heart broken, but to be honest I was expecting it. I didn't think I would get anywhere on my first year. I know of people going from no recalls what-so-ever on their first year of auditions to five offers on their third year. I hadn't even been expecting a recall. I walked away from LIPA knowing that at age seventeen, on my first ever drama school audition - I had gotten a recall. And the thing about getting a recall is, they don't just give them out- it was reassurance. Reassurance that I was on the right path and reassurance that whether I was a good actor or not, I had potential.




LIPA

My first ever drama school audition was at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. I had rescheduled my audition from the previous week, as I was singing in our local music festival so I was now attending their last preliminary audition of the year. I travelled down to Liverpool the day before so had arrived at LIPA bright and early at about 8.40 am (20 minutes before). On the agenda it was scheduled that registration would take place between 9 and 9.30am. When I got there I could not believe the queue, there was at least 100 people queueing already and I was early! I stood in line and waited patiently until I got to the front where I was given a name badge and a time sheet. The morning auditionee's had been separated into 3 groups that rotated between a workshop, panel audition and tour of the building. I had my workshop first, followed by my audition and then my tour. A perfect running order! Registration took place in the canteen and all of the bustling tables were full, which meant when I got my time sheet I had to stand by myself. The room was very busy and looking around one of the things that struck me was the age of the other auditioners. I had had it drummed into me that I would be one of the youngest there and everyone would be 45 (slight exxageration), however, although I was definitely still one of the youngest, most of the auditionees couldn't have been much older than 20. I believe that LIPA seems to be the youngest of the schools in terms of applicants, certainly of the auditions at the schools that I attended anyway. This made me feel slightly more at ease and eventually after about 10 minutes of awkward eye contact with another girl who was standing nearby - she made the first move. Brief chit-chat and I got to know a bit more about her, she was lovely but I couldn't help wincing as she told me she was singing 'On My Own' as her audition piece. DO NOT SING LES MIS EVER- EVEN FOR STRAIGHT ACTING COURSES.

 At 9.30 we were escorted up the stairs to a big hall where we were told to sit down on the floor. Along the wall was a row of chairs with several people that we were later introduced to as tutors, members of staff and current third years. The head of acting gave us a little speech about how they receive thousands of applicants, of which very few get recalled and fewer get offers. We were told to remember that just because we didn't get into LIPA doesn't mean we aren't talented and wouldn't get into another drama school. Many of their current students had more than one attempt at getting in and we shouldn't let this deter us. He then chatted for a little while about the course itself and changes in course content- which I believe is the reduction of dance and more acting for camera instead. He introduced us to the 'stool of destiny'- which was essentially a very tall chair. He explained that at LIPA they seemed to have a problem with people dancing around during their musical theatre songs and to combat this had introduced the stool. He was a very enthusiastic american gentleman and gave us a little demonstration with some jazz hands- I liked him he gave a great vibe. We were then introduced to the director of the foundation course and strongly advised that if we hadn't done so already (which I had), to tick the box indicating we would also like to be considered for the foundation. They explained that we should not let money be a barrier as LIPA had two foundation scholarships and often when decling someone  that they felt was maybe not ready for the BA they were desperate to give them a foundation recall yet couldn't as the box had not been ticked. I cannot stress how much I recommend ticking the box, especially if you are young. Everyone I have ever spoken to that has done a foundation course, at a range of different schools - said they felt it was the best year of the training. If you can't pay then you can't pay, or if you are certain that you don't want a foundation course place, fair enough but at least by ticking the box you have given yourself the option and created more opportunity for yourself. After the speeches we had opportunity to ask questions and were then given the structure of the day.

 As I had my workshop first I was staying where I was in the big hall. Around 60-70 of us remained in the hall, and two of the third years led our workshop. The workshop was not assessed their were no panel members watching and it was essentially just warming up, playing drama games and getting a bit more friendly with the author auditionee's. As I had this first I found it benefical and it loosened me up a bit, ready for the panel. However, if I had been in the group with their auditions first I would have found the workshop a slightly pointless as it wasn't the type of workshop where you actually learn anything.To begin, we made a large circle around the room and played the dreaded 'tell us your name, where you are from and an interesting fact about yourself' bonding game. Of course, I hate this game seeing as 1) no one has ever heard of where I am from 2) my interesting facts always seem to make me seem weird or boring 3) people spend my turn trying to work out whether I am Irish or American and I am neither. I have however been mistaken for both during my auditions.
 '' Hi, I'm Chloe- I'm from ******* " (I like to protect my privacy but I will give you my name lol ). ''Sorry, where?''  '' It's a small town in Scotland'', ''Ohh'',  Then I just blurt out in panic. '' Yes my interesting fact is that I have phobia of cling-film'', ''Wait -what? like actual cling-film?'' , ''Oh well it's actually only when it touches my food, you know at buffets and on sandwiches and things. It's like a sixth sense. I can tell when it has been near my food without seeing it. I can smell it.. and taste it.. ''  , ''Oh I see - very interesting. Ok,next''. * EVIL GLARES FROM ENTIRE CIRCLE* Awkward times indeed my friends, awkward times indeed. Anyway, I was soon forgotten and we continued with our games. We play everything from Woosh to an adaption of Granny's footsteps with keys. The session ended in a Q &A with the students, both of whom were lovely. The female had done the foundation course and the male had taken a gap year - both had very interesting stories to tell.

My group's panel auditions were scheduled inbetween 11-12, I think my personal audition was supposed to be around 11.25 or something but I honestly can't remember. There were either 6 or 8 audition panels so the group was split about 10-15 for each panel. The room I was in was right next to the hall so I didn't have far to travel, I did however have a very long time to wait. The panel were running late and I didn't get seen until nearly an hour after my scheduled time which resulted in me missing my tour of the school - slightly annoying. Anyways - the room wasn't very sound proof and I could hear the other auditionee's singing and doing the shouty bits of their speeches through the wall. A girl a few people before me also had to come back out to put away her mobile phone, it had went off in her pocket. Needless to say I did not see her at recalls. I really cannot stress enough the importance of common sense. Anyway, the boy before me sang Jesus Christ Superstar and was OUTSTANDING. Safe to say I was full of nerves. In general people were only in around 5 minutes, and the feedback I got from the other auditionee's was the questions were pretty simple ''Tell us what you are doing at the moment?'' or ''why did you pick this piece?'' sort of thing.

''Is there a Chloe here?''.  I was met by a very friendly third year student at the door who then took me into the room and introduced me to the panel. My panel consisted of the foundation course leader and an external musical director - who was also my pianist. The third year student was on the panel as well. ''Ok Chloe, do you have your review?''  I handed over my review of 'A Respectable Widow Takes To Vulgarity' by Douglas Maxwell, which was embarassingly handwritten. ''Thanks. So what order are you going to do your piece's in for us today?'' UH OH. I hadn't thought about this. I quickly decided on Shakespeare, song and finishing with contemporary. I was performing Isabella, from Measure for Measure. To be honest, the actual performance is a bit of a blur- I felt it went very quick. Hopefully this is not a result of me rushing it. I didn't feel anything particularly negative about it though- it was a average performance. It was now time for the dreaded 'stool of destiny', I have to say it was a strange experience. I had decided to sing 'Green Finch and Linnet Bird' from Sweeny Todd. I have already mentioned my struggle of singing in auditions and nerves- but this was really something else. The top note in this song was a G (which is basically my top note) but I didn't hit anything above an E. It was shocking. I was cringing inside. I was shaking and panicking so much that I didn't even act. When I say shaking- I do not physically shake... just my voice. Anyway- about 2/3 through I got ''thanks Chloe, thats enough''. We had been pre-warned this would happen but I couldn't help feel a bit disappointed. Anyway- I moved on to my contemporary piece determined to save myself. It was a fairly good performance despite the confusion. I should stress that I have a very mild accent , not like the scottish people on tv at all. ''What is your contemporary piece Chloe?'' 
''Ellen, from Outlying Islands'', ''What islands?'' , ''Outlying Islands'', '' sorry what-lying?'' , ''Out'', ''Could you repeat that please?'', ''OUT. OUT-LYING ISLANDS!!'' , ''ohh, out-lying''.
There had been absolutely no accent problems at all. None what-so-ever until then.

Anyway, that was it. I wasn't asked a single question and I was certain that meant that they weren't interested in me. I thanked the panel and left, awkwardly stumbling into the door frame as I went and being called back for my sheet music.

You can imagine my confusion when the next afternoon I recieved an email inviting me to a recall the next Sunday...

Friday, 28 June 2013

Decisions

I always knew that I wanted to audition for drama school and had been researching where I wanted to go for years. Seeing as I am Scottish The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD) had always been the big dream, after all it is our only conference drama school. I had never dared to think about places such as RADA or LAMDA, they were elitist for rich, posh people. They would never want a Scottish, working class girl like me, right? WRONG. Let me tell you this right now. You must get over the misconceptions around these schools. You must stop thinking that you are not good enough for them and I don't mean 'good enough' as in your acting ability, I mean good enough as a person. There are some drama schools that have very very prestigous reputations and that scares people. However the good news is, drama schools are no longer only for the upper class!Yes a hundred years ago acting was very much for the bourgeois but times have changed- money is less of a problem and drama schools are becoming more and more accessible as they join with universities. It is so so important to remember that they want a mix of people, so whether you are male, female, black, white, asian, upper class, middle class,working class, old or young you have exactly the same chance as anyone else. Remember this and do not be put off by any snobby auditionee's (of any class) - panels HATE arrogance.

When making my decisions about which schools to apply for, I had no intention for applying for the big schools - not in my first year auditioning. To be honest, if it wasn't for my drama teacher I would have only applied for foundation courses. I didn't think I was ready for a degree, there was no point, it would only end in tears and waste a whole lot of money. Anyway- my drama teacher basically said I was being ridiculous and I should definitely go for a degree. My mum agreed that if I was paying to audition it might as well be for the degree course. So I did. There was no stopping me now, if I was applying to three year courses then I had to attempt the big schools -  if I didn't I would regret it. I mean seriously come on, who wouldn't want to say they trained at RADA or LAMDA? Getting a place there would be beyond my wildest dreams!

The next problem I faced was that I couldn't decide between acting or musical theatre. I absolutely adore musical theatre and love singing and dancing, however acting is my strength and I wanted to be taken seriously as a straight actor (extremely controversial I know but more on this later...) I didn't think I would get the range of actor training I desired on a MT course, but I didn't think I would get enough singing and dancing to satisfy me on a straight acting course. The CSSD Musical Theatre pathway sounded perfect for me, classical actor training with extra singing and dancing. Eventually I decided that I was not strong enough to compete against some of the triple threat MT artists, I have little dance experience and I am really just more of an actor that can sing. Even then I don't know if I really have the type of voice required for MT. I have this really girly light, airy fairy, classical voice, fitting with Les Mis/Phantom/West Side Story - good old school Musicals. I cannot belt at all and I get major nerves singing in auditions. I have mucked up every single audition I have ever sang in EVER. I mean seriously its like my throat seizes up, I shake horrendously and I miss all my top notes - I sound like a screeching cat seriously it is painful. (If anyone knows how to combat this it would be very much appriciated lol). Give me an audience and I still shake, but at least I hit the notes and sound semi-decent . So I decided that I could maybe do a post-grad in MT, if I was still keen after an acting degree and that would give me time to develop my singing nerves and dancing whilst becoming a fully-rounded classical actor.

After the straight acting was decided, along came the next problem. I am in love with Guildhall School of Music and Drama but due to their only two applications limit, I decided that on my first year of auditions I should give it a miss- so not to waste my chances. I know plenty people that took more than two years to get into drama school. For god sake Judi Dench took six attempts to get into Central. Yes thats right  DAME JUDI DENCH one of the best actors in history!

Finally after 40+ prospectuses and what felt like a lifetime I narrowed my choices down to RADA, LAMDA, RCS, CSSD, BOVTS, GSA and LIPA. I felt that each of these schools met my needs in course content and had strong reputations. I also felt that there was enough diversity between the schools that I would find at least a couple that I could see myself spending three years in. I should say that there are other schools which I would have loved to apply for but due to lack of money could not. Places such as Mountview and Arts Ed have fantastic reputations (especially for MT wow),  however from a single parent family I was limited to only applying to schools funded by student finance.

 Eventually I sent my application to UCAS/ CUKAS right before the deadline (literally about an hour before) and also sent my other applications even later. Mostly this was because I was very last minute in deciding, which was weird as I had been planning well in advance,  but it was also partly because I was only 17 and thought the closer I could get to 18, the better. In any case, on reflection it was a bad idea. My auditions were all very late in the year which meant the stakes were higher as many places had already been taken and the panel were under a lot more pressure to decide.

The reason behind my blog

Before and during my drama school audition process I would frantically search the internet trying to get as much information about the schools and audition day itself as possible. One of the sources that I found to be a huge help were peoples blogs of their experiences in previous years. By reading them I felt much more prepared about the audition day itself as I knew what to expect. During my auditions I kept meaning to start a blog, but never got around to it- so here I am now! Firstly, don't take what I am saying as fact. Schools change their panels and audition structures yearly, this means that your experience could be totally different to mine. Secondly, this is my personal opinion. Every school is unique and every auditionee will have some schools they are suited for and others that they are not. Keep this in mind. I had heard horror stories about some schools and personally loved them, others I expected to be fantastic weren't that great. The only way you will ever know is by trying it out for yourself. My advice is to save, save, save your money and audition everywhere possible! That way you will get a wide perspective of all the training on offer and decide what is right for you.