Welcome to the latest instalment! News so far:
It was full steam ahead last week preparing for my RADA audition on the Friday and LAMDA on the Sunday.
I had a couple of sessions booked with the best drama teacher I know, well he should be good at £35 an hour!
I had 3 hours with him spread over a couple of speeches and he was a tremendous help and so when it came to Friday morning I felt calm-ish and prepared. After all I have been preparing for this for months now!
He sent me a text message in the morning, which summed up the key points to keep in mind-
'Good Luck. Breathe. Ground. Enjoy,'
I turned up at the tube station 40 minutes early and went into Cafe Neros for a tea. I was wearing a white vest and managed to spill it all down my front just before I left. Brilliant. 15 minutes to go and I was part lime green. Running to buy a new T-shirt was considered, but I thought fuck it - that stain is really the least of your problems this morning, and got on with it.
In the reception at 9am with 5 other people wearing the same nervously expectant face. At 9am prompt we were shown up to a grand conference room and given a curt speech by a secretary type. We filled out a couple of cursory forms and then...the waiting began. The audition panel (2 teaching staff members and a student who collected as and lead us across the hall) saw us one by 1 - and I was last! For an hour and a half I watched as each of them was summoned, lead in for 15 minutes and then left in a cloud of relief, to carry on their life.
There were 4 girls, 3 were 17-18 yrs old, one was maybe early 20s. All smiley, happy and perturbed. There was also a guy who spent the whole time doing vocal and physical warm ups, making life seem rather awkward for the rest of us who were playing it cool. Fair play to him, but he did seem a bit of a burke.
He came out last before me. 'You'll be fine' he smirked in a tone so saturated with condescension I almost fell out of my chair. He was about 19. Great.
'Would you like to come through then'. Long room, table with two friendly faces behind it, an older man, a younger woman and a chair opposite them. The student perched on a table a little way to their right. I took my place and had a nice enough conversation, Their manner was easy and their questions probed my grasp of theatre. 'How much theatre do you see?' 'What do you think of that play' Why did you choose those speeches'.
'Well...please show us your speeches then.' I performed my modern and classical and then they both asked to see my third speech. Apparently sometimes they ask, sometimes they don't- your not supposed to read into it either way.
Then when I finished, the man said 'Good - that speech suits you.' Praise! Wow! They actually make a point of saying that they will not give speech feedback in their paperwork (I suppose it makes the process too long as they are seeing 3000 people who have 2-3 speeches each. You do the math (whilst I cut my hand off for using such a horrifying phrase).
He went on to say something along these lines 'You need to let the words do the work more. The Cassius speech is conspiratorial - he's discussing treason essentially - so bring it down, more intense, and remember - conspirators don't look like conspirators - or they would get caught - factor in that circumstance- with less physical action.'
He finished by asking me me to confirm that I have only had training over the last year and at school. A loaded question? I dare not analyse it. So I walked out feeling pretty good. Nice chat, speeches went well enough, no dropped lines.
'You will hear from us in the post within the week: a letter either saying no thanks - try again next year- or come back and see us for stage 2/4.' Exit.
LAMDA on Sunday. A comparatively lightening quick affair and a different format to boot. In. Meet with Student. Running ahead of schedule. Lead across the school. Custody handed over to a guy outside a door. door opens. Big rehearsal room. Two old academics that looked like they have seen it all behind a table on 1 side of the room. 'Take that marker please and give us your speeches' (15ft away from them' Speeches ensue. 'Thank you...how old are you?' 'Thank you'. Exit.
Lead across to another room with two lovely fresh faced people for a 5 minute chat about this and that. 'How did your speeches go?' 'Had any other auditions?' 'Why those speeches' Thank you. Exit. All over.
Days pass. Letter in the post from RADA.
RECALL!!!!!!! TUESDAY 15th DECEMBER
Have to sing a song. 5 members on the panel, including the head of the school. Eeek
So now your up to date. And my current tasks are as follows:
Factor in feedback that RADA gave me.
Have more singing lessons.
Have another private acting lesson.
Work more on speeches.
Speak to you again in a couple of weeks!