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Friday, 25 December 2009


Lots of news to report from this past month, namely what happened at my:

RADA recall on the 15th
CENTRAL on the 22nd

And what the news was following the LAMDA audition.

And so first up:

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

The audition was, of course, in Bristol. This meant getting up at 6am to catch a train from Paddington. I got there at 9am (its only a two hour journey). I had never visited the city before and so I took the opportunity to have a good walk around. I liked the feel of it and think I could be happy there if I got a place at the school.

The audition was scheduled for 11am and I got there a little early to sort myself out. The audition required me to sing as well as give a classical and modern speech. I did some voice warm ups a little distance away. The school was very cosy, seemingly a grand sized country house opposite a large green. Five minutes to and I approached the entrance.

Through the front door and the receptionist showed me through the hall to the adjacent room where two or three bright eyed fellow applicants sat. This waiting room seemingly backed on to two other rooms where two audition panels were working throughout. As we sat there we could hear the person in there giving their song and speeches. Oh dear, I thought, he sings like a bloody opera singer. Singing is only part of the audition I reminded myself.

The two other people beside me were chatting away- a garrulous 17 year old and a really camp guy, early twenties. Occasionally they directed a question at me which I quickly answered as I was trying to focus on what I wanted to remember about my speeches. And the door opened and I was summoned.

The long room had a table at one end, RADA style set up. Two ladies, both blonde, one in her thirties, the other in her sixties introduced themselves to me. They had a great glint in their eye, very friendly and I felt at ease. They fielded a lovely selection of personal questions, also telling me things about themselves making it feel more like a conversation than an interview.

Suitably relaxed they asked me which speeches I was to perform, which song to sing -(by the way I'm singing 'Brush Up Your Shakespeare' from Kiss me Kate.) and then asked me to do my stuff. Afterwards, they were wonderfully full of praise. They said that they 'can see why other drama schools have offered recalls'. They mentioned my energy, intensity, obvious great potenitial. They also had criticism - I am not the best singer in the world - granted. And they both wanted to see a relaxed side to my acting - a casual, laid back, making-it-look-easy style. I took what they said on board and left them both all smiles and headed home to London.

News was to follow by email two days later: GOOD NEWS! They have asked me for the recall- 30th January, a full intensive day 9am-6pm. Back to Bristol for a proper grilling.

Now for news from LAMDA - they responded wiith a letter by email following my audition last month. It said words to this effect:
'Thank you for coming. We felt that you did not audition at your best and would like to offer you another chance to have a first audition. We will ask you to attend in due course'
There you have it - nota fail, not a recall success, but somewhere in the middle but on the positive I will give it another go when the time comes!

Now for the RADA there and was waiting in the reception alone this time. After a while I was led up by the receptionist to wait outside the same audition room. Two girls were ahead of me, perfectly friendly. Then I was called in. There were four on the panel including Ed Kemp, RADA's principal. Two of the others were in their sixties and a bloke in his late thirties. Ed Kemp led the interview, friendly, but obviously not pulling any punches. He asked me some probing questions to get a feel for my theatre knowledge:

What's your favourite type of theatre?

Who's your favourite actor and why?

How did you come to be an actor and here?

What roles have you performed and especially felt an affinity with the character?

I think that my answers were a bit all over the place. Then I did my speeches and my song, all went fine I suppose. Then he asked what other schools I was applying to and then said thank you very much - all over job done.

Week later -letter in the post - regrettable decline to offer me a third recall. No dice. Oh well - good to get the recall, an achievement in itself.

Last news to report - Central School of Speech and Drama. Tune in tomorrow. Merry Christmas.

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