And so from one final audition to another. Literally. I left Central and caught the train to Bristol to check into a hotel in eager anticipation for my 9am start the following morning, feeling quite like an actor on tour!
I caught a cab and arrived in good time to do a solid little session of hyper-ventilation, just out of sight of the entrance to the school. Then in I went, to be one of 30 for the day. Bristol receives roughly 2000 applicants, and recalls 300. They see these recalled persons over the course of ten separate all day workshops (of which I was attending the second of ten) - seeing thirty on each day. 10 x 30 = 300. Maths that is. Of these 300 boys and girls they select roughly 20. 13 boys and 7 girls (an imbalance that is a true reflection of the proportion of work out there for men and for women - there's simply more for men- unfair but a fact).
We were divided into three groups of 8 and one group of six. My group was all boys - which seemed to be a rare coincidence. The day was timetabled- Our groups were on a rotation, taking about 8 different 45 minute 'sessions' throughout the course of the day until 6pm, with 45 minutes to eat our packed lunches. The first session was an individual meeting with the head of the course. A fairly quick how d'ye do with a couple of questions about our life, our acting. He also had us briefly sing.
Next we took it in turns to perform our speeches to a panel of 4. This was filmed and strictly timed, a bell going off after 2 minutes were up. I just made it inside the time - the bell going off when I finished my last word! Other sessions included Singing- singing our prepared song each with some exercises to test our pitch etcetera Voice- tongue twisters and cold reading a narrative passage, Improvisation - playing some games and quickly preparing and performing a scripted scene in partners, Movement - a session of hell with an Anne Robinson from the weakest link impersonator, who made our thighs burn until eyes watered with hellish balletic exercises. It was a packed day - full on, tiring, but fun. They certainly put us through our paces.
At the end of the day we were informed that news would come in a letter, saying either No Thank you, or that we are on a short list for a place. Few places would be awarded at these early stages.
THE NEWS: I AM ON THE SHORT LIST!!!!
I am over the moon with this achievement. News of a place or not could arrive any time in the next couple of months. All I can do is hope with all my heart for now!