Hi all and happy hump day!
As I sit here at my desk on this lovely Wednesday afternoon, I decided to jot down some thoughts about going to train at a performing arts school. I myself, studied Musical Theatre at the London College of Music a few years back. Since then, I have worked at West End Stage, Cameron Mackintosh, The American Musical Theatre Academy and whilst I decided not to pursue performing myself, I still very much indulge myself in the stagey world and live vicariously through our students here at Associated Studios.
Auditioning for Performing Arts Schools/Drama Schools can be scary and daunting. But the first thing you need to realise is that the institutions you are auditioning for, want to accept you and are genuinely rooting for you.
There are so many articles and ‘do’s and don’ts’ around auditioning, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. My biggest advice to you is quite simple and extremely cliché. ‘You do you’.
Apply for schools that YOU like the look of, not the school that just seems ‘the place to be’ or because your favourite Actor trained there. There are so many wonderful schools and academies out there but it’s important you apply to the right ones for you and not just the schools who have the biggest names. When it comes to auditions, be yourself. You will be spending a lot of money, time and effort attending these auditions so make it worthwhile. Be yourself, ask those questions you’re too nervous to ask. Be confident. Be honest. And be true to yourself. That’s all schools want to see at auditions.
When it comes to choosing your audition pieces, choose something that you love singing and that shows you off to your absolute best. People get so bogged down with trying to find the most obscure Musical Theatre song that no one else could possibly be singing. Now whilst I wouldn’t advise singing the likes of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ or ‘On my Own’, I wouldn’t rule out a Musical Theatre ‘classic’ just because it’s overdone. If you can sing it brilliantly, then why the devil not?
Remember, an audition is just as much for the school as it is for you. Get your money’s worth. Speak to the staff. Speak to the students. Ask questions. Communicate and soak up all of the things you learn whilst auditioning.
Performing Arts Schools audition hundreds of hopeful applicants throughout the year. Don’t get too invested in thinking “What are they looking for?” “Am I the right kind of person for this school?” “How can I be the person they want?” Don’t try to be anything else other than YOUR best. Not the person sitting next to you who is singing the same audition song. Relish in your unique qualities and enjoy the healthy competition. After all, that’s what this industry is all about.
Above all, be a good company member. People want to work with nice people. Take the lows with the highs and enjoy the ride.
And most importantly, be nice to the office staff.