I am currently studying Musical Theatre in my final year of college, which is the equivalent of being in Year 13 at Sixth Form doing A-Levels. From September of 2017 I have been experiencing applying to Universities and Drama Schools for the first time. I’ve had a fair few failures as well as some quite exciting experiences along the way. It’s not quite over yet, as I’m still in the midst of auditions, so as I’m coming to the end of this chapter I thought it was only right to document it, so I am able to look back at this point in my life and cringe at all of the stupid things I did and to save you from making all the mistakes I made first time round.
Auditioning for Drama school is exciting, nerve-wracking and disgusting all at the same time.
These past couple of months have been some of the most emotionally exhausting and strenuous months of my life. Auditioning for Drama school is exciting, nerve-wracking and disgusting all at the same time. You are allowing yourself to be judged, on your appearance and talent by people who don’t know you and will only care to know you if you’re good and fit their “idealistic” body requirements. Well anyway, that’s what I thought. I applied for both Acting and Musical Theatre BA courses, and through process of elimination and comfort, quickly came to the conclusion that Musical Theatre was the only choice for me. Don’t get me wrong, training in straight acting for 3 years is what other people will make leaps and strides in, but I am not one of those people. Plays and Practitioners interest me just as much as Choreographers, Lyricists and Composers. I have an equal interest and appreciation for all parts of expressive theatre, so why should I limit my enthusiasm to one area?
Then I would cry for three hours straight trying to list all of the things I thought were horribly wrong with me, wishing I was 3 inches shorter, or blonde, or a full on legit soprano.
I have applied to 11 schools in total, and currently have 9 auditions under my belt, 3 places and 1 recall to attend in April. From this you can see I’ve been rejected from a total of 5 schools. 5 out of 9. I have a 55.5% failure rate. And, don’t get me wrong, at the time when I got the emails through it felt like the biggest thing in the world. I felt like my hopes and dreams shattered in front of my face and someone told me to sweep them up and burn them, because they would be of no use to me anymore. Then I would cry for three hours straight trying to list all of the things I thought were horribly wrong with me, wishing I was 3 inches shorter, or blonde, or a full on legit soprano. But, what it all came down to was the fact that I wish I could just grow a penis and be done with it. This is a common reaction for girls. We, for whatever reason, decide it’s a million times easier for a boy. Which statistically is kind of true. But it doesn’t mean they don’t work just as hard, it just means they were born with the male anatomy and, as it turns out, there are way less boys competing for places than there are girls. This is unfortunate, but, they are the facts.
You are going to pay these people outrageous amounts of money for an educational experience in a place you need to feel like you will thrive in.
Once I decide to pull myself out of my pit of self-loathing I take a moment to painfully relive the audition. 9 times out of 10 I will find something about the school or the audition process that I didn’t like, and that somehow softens the blow. You have to remember, as cliché as it sounds, you are auditioning them as much as they are auditioning you. If you didn’t like the teachers or the environment of the building you wouldn’t have liked wasting three years of your life there now, would you? You are going to pay these people outrageous amounts of money for an educational experience in a place you need to feel like you will thrive in.
I guess I want to try and write what I would’ve liked to have known before I started.
You can’t let your failures define you. If I let mine define me I would be walking around 55.5% a FAILURE! (And living with that wouldn’t be great for my mental stability.) You have to wait for the little gems to appear. They will, it may take slightly longer or completely take you by surprise, but if you want it and work for it they will be there. You will know when you walk into the right school, because no matter how many mistakes you think you may make, (or you actually do make) they will lap it up, because they will care about you. When you start to feel valued things just seem to go your way. Over the next couple of months I will share with you my experiences with my auditions, recalls and places, and will also delve into the preparation side of monologues and songs i.e. how I chose my pieces and how you may go about choosing the right pieces for you. This is by no means a professional guide, it’s just me sharing my opinions and experiences. When I started this process I was taken aback by how little there was about honest and in depth audition experiences. I guess I want to try and write what I would’ve liked to have known before I started. An honest, all the funny, embarrassing, stupid mistakes left in, online, easy to access, good old fashioned blog. I hope you enjoy laughing at my misfortune with me, I have a feeling there’ll be more to come.