Drama School Applicants

“Hi Martin. Just to say I got into Central which is where I’ll be starting in October. I also got to the final round at RADA : ) so I thought I’d let you know. Thanks. The lessons were a real help!” – Richard Koslowsky (former student)

Much of my work over the years has been working with those wishing to go to drama school and it seems that there is ever increasing competition. Most decent drama courses at accredited schools take around 30 new students a year but there are hundreds who apply and for the very top schools that number can reach over 1000. It’s really quite frightening.

A few of my scripts - with the skull of a former student!
A few of my scripts and the skull from a past student – I mean a past production

It makes sense, therefore, to give yourself the greatest chance of success by choosing the most suitable audition speeches and presenting them in a way that shows you off at your best. Some applicants fall at the first hurdle by choosing the wrong speeches or by selecting pieces which are incredibly over performed. Those sitting on audition panels will have seen plenty of people playing Romeo or Juliet in their time and believe me, it can get a bit wearing. It’s important to try to make a piece your own and if you choose to play one of the lead roles from Educating Rita then do you really think you can do a better job than Michael Caine or Julie Walters?

It seems like an obvious idea to go and buy the latest audition monologue book to find suitable speeches. Unfortunately most people do go for that easy option and as a result all of those speeches become over used as well. When you come to see me one of the first things we do is to make sure that the pieces you’ve selected are suitable or we start from scratch and look in my collection of over 1000 plays to find something that is absolutely right for you and that won’t be found in any audition books. By choosing something more original you are already giving yourself an advantage and audition panel members will always be interested in seeing something different.

“Hi Martin! Just to let you know I was accepted to study on the MA Acting course in September at Arts Ed! Thank you so much for all your help – would not have been able to do it without your help, advice and guidance.” – Mark Hemmings (former student)

As well as choosing the right pieces I can direct them to ensure that you make the most of your opportunity. Most actors wouldn’t dream of being in a play without a director and your speeches are no different. In fact, they shouldn’t really be seen as speeches at all, because most of the time nobody is actually ‘giving a speech’. In an audition piece your character is usually in conversation with another (unseen) character. As your character speaks they say what is on their mind and that thought links to another, then to another and so on without the other character speaking at that particular moment. Of course in your mind that character is likely to be listening to you or doing something even if they aren’t speaking. If you can imagine them clearly enough in your piece then the audition panel will see both of you. There are mistakes that people make which I can help you to avoid. I can work with you to study the text, honing your analytical skills and making sure that you understand the full meaning of what you are saying. I also encourage you to make educated and informed choices when developing your character, which is one of the main jobs of any aspiring or professional actor.

Me as Major Ross in Our Country's Good at drama school.
Me as Major Ross in Our Country’s Good at drama school

I can give you advice and tips on improving your sight-reading, or sight-acting as I think it should be called. Even with the script in your hand it’s the acting that is important – you won’t create a great impression if you’re just reading the lines.

I was fortunate enough to be offered a place at two of the most reputable drama schools in the UK, so as a former student I can tell you what to expect and advise you on which courses are worth pursuing if you are serious about being a professional actor. One thing worth remembering is that your training is a stepping stone to a career which will hopefully last a lifetime, but making the wrong choices at the start can significantly affect your progress later on.

The good news is that some people are successful and it really is worth making the effort – you learn a great deal and you could end up experiencing some of the best years of your life. I certainly had a great time when I was training.

Book an appointment to see what difference it can make to your chances of success.