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New Year, new me? Plus musings on first term at LAMDA…

Haaaaappy New Year WordPress!!

Hello everyone 😀 How are we all? I’ve literally just logged into WordPress now and around this time last year I made this site on the whim and the stats today, right now, are crazy. Just wanted to say thank you to all the readers out there for supporting my blog over this past year! I’ve loved reading all the emails and seeing other people being inspired from this to start writing their own WordPress blogs. Absolute awesome feeling.

 

So, the New Year! Have we all made resolutions? Looking back on my last year resolutions I said to myself: now listen, you are getting into NYT and getting a BA place at drama school – and somehow all that positive thinking came true. I was recently recommended the book ‘The Secret’ and it talks about how to utilise the positive Laws of Attraction in the universe…. now I know that may sound a little different but a little different is GOOD sometimes so trust me – get this book.

For this year my new year resolution is to explore more. Explore London more for one; and to have courage to explore my choices. Good actors make good choices and to do that I think you have to be comfortable to be bold. So that’s what I am setting myself for this year 🙂

My first term at LAMDA has been wonderful and I can honestly say I feel more in my body and voice. Adjusting to 38 contact hours a week was tough at first but you get used to it; and to be honest – I quite enjoy the intensity. (Oh yeah – it takes a special type of person to say that, I know.)

Looking back now, it hasn’t been easy though because I feel drama school is as much reflective as it is active. So in a sense, I could do exercises all day but only when I come home to process what the hell just happened to my body do I ‘absorb’ the lesson. Therefore the lessons require your constant, personal reflection to help you grow. So it has been tough, but then again, it’s just what I asked for :’)

So for you readers out there who are auditioning this year (and yes I may be popping around at your LAMDA audition ;)) – just to confirm – it’s worth it.

 

All my best,

AA x

(Aspiring Actress)

 

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Thoughts after the National Youth Theatre 2016

Hellooooooo WordPress 😘

Okay, don’t kill me, I know this has been a while BUT I’m back. Moving to London and beginning drama school has been insane and this is the first moment I’ve actually had to sit and write; so here we go.
The National Youth Theatre.

I don’t think I’ve ever met such like-minded, genuinely decent people in my life. I know that seems quite the compliment but I mean it.

We laughed, we cried, we raved, we danced, we wrote, we sung, we made stories and we all made really good friends. I bloody loved it and the people that I worked with just completely made it for me. Hands down. And now I am officially a member of NYT!!! 😀

The Trinity Laban halls turned out to be rather interesting… As in I AM GLAD TO HAVE EXPERIENCED HALLS BUT NEVER AGAIN.

Oh my.

I couldn’t sleep some nights because some rather vocal, alcohol abused 18 year olds had – oh you know – little parties at 3 am and I was SO cool with it.

Nah I’m exaggerating a little – halls wasn’t that bad, but it was nice to have had the experience. The utter joy.

The best thing at NYT for me was probably the sense of community that I left with at the end. Now I know that sounds disgustingly cheesy of me but alas, it’s true. There was this final moment on the last day where all of the courses sang a song on the field opposite Trinity Laban and it was the most uplifting experience. It’s just the feeling of togetherness that I loved and it really clicked for me that this really is the true National Youth Theatre: just being together as a company and doing what we love.

I really urge anyone who is just the slightest bit interested in having fun – audition for the National Youth Theatre! Trust me, you will not regret it.

If you don’t get in the first time: ‘fail again, fail better.’ (Beckett)

Thanks for reading 😎

AA x

(Aspiring Actress)

P.S having a BALL at LAMDA 🙂

Final round audition – LAMDA

This was my last audition for drama school 2016 entry. Oh sugar.

LAMDA is such an amazing school and it would be just unreal to be accepted there! Alright. I’m drooling. So, to the day!

Before I begin however I need to just outline the whole process a bit as someone in a previous post was asking me about it. So for LAMDA a person can have a minimum of 2 rounds and a maximum of 4 rounds before being offered a place to study full time. (A 4th round would just be a repeat of the recall day [3rd round] if the panel are still undecided.) EDIT: A person who has got into the BA this year had to do 5 Rounds before LAMDA made a decision to offer a place.) This is from a LAMDA admissions lady who told me (as I was chatting away to her in the corridor) to which she also informed me that 5000 people applied to LAMDA this year.

Yep. You heard me right.

5000.

So, as you can imagine, it was awesome to get to this stage. I know I say this in a couple of blogs but I actually do mean it when I say it!! Drama school auditions are so difficult and I know how much it hurts when you get rejected just at the first round. So you there, reading this through the screen, don’t judge me for feeling proud because I definitely don’t feel guilty! 😀

We all got there at 9:30 am and again I was warmly greeted by a lovely LAMDA student who made me feel straight away at home. We were split into two groups; one group to have an improv and movement session and one group to have THE audition. I was in the group for THE audition first (I’ll get to that bit later as I was the last to be seen by the panel for the morning session.) Whilst waiting to go in for our audition slot we were brought individually to have our interview with a LAMDA tutor and an admissions lady. I felt like my interview went well and I was just my usual wacky self when I went in. The questions were quite similar to my first round like what have you been up to? Why here? And they also asked the most fabulous question ever – why do you want to be an actor? (That went down a TREAT let me tell ya) and they also asked me who was my favourite actor and things like that. All good and enjoyable and was feeling optimistic!!

So after waiting for my time it was finally my slot for the individual audition.

Right in present tense lets shake it up. The student helper takes me up a different set of polished stairs this time to wait outside a new room to be called in. Literally the Head of the school, Rodney, (I was freaking out inside) shakes my hand and welcomes me inside. There are 10-12 people on this panel. The room is massive and it’s lit with stage lights. They are going to see everything. GAH. Okay back we go.

Now for LAMDA final you have quite a few things you need to do. You do 2 pieces (one Shakey and one modern) and then you have to sing your unaccompanied song, then sight read a passage given to you on the spot, then do a duologue with a extremely attractive LAMDA Grad and try to remain professionally focused. They redirected me once but you can’t really look into whether they do or don’t because everyone’s audition is individual and different. Oh I forgot, then you have another mini interview with the panel. They asked me about the acting experiences I had written on my CV, who I’d worked with and how I’d gotten on at other drama schools. Let me tell you I was exhausted after this and I still had half the day to follow!! After my individual audition we had a group movement session with the vivacious Head of movement (John) with everyone from the morning, which basically had us doing all kinds of crazy stuff. What a session. I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the whole of it. 😁

Oh and something else I have to mention is that on this day, as a drama school auditionee, LAMDA treated us like actual human beings and provided everyone with lunch. I know this seems a simple thing but I have applied to 7 schools this year and not once have I ever been provided with the courtesy of lunch. I mean for goodness sake we even pay for these auditions!! Anyway that’s another debate but basically I was falling so hard for this school. 🙈

After a lovely lunch my group had improvisation and another movement workshop. The improv session I quite enjoyed actually (how shocking – I know) and I wasn’t so nervous about it as I usually am at auditions. The woman taking our class was called Michelle (and oh my goodness she was sooooo into her work – in a really good way) and yeah I thought she was fabulous. Anyway we were asked to interact with everyone else and improvise on the spot/devise from stemmed bits of text to work with. A really fun and stimulative session!!

The next movement session was with a lady called Donna. Oh my goodness this woman was a machine!! WE DID SIT UPS AND PRESS UPS IN A DRAMA SCHOOL AUDITION. GUYS GET TO THE GYM FOR A LAMDA AUDITION. Saying that, she was hilarious, which I guess made up for the side-splitting pain of actual exercise :’) At one point she gave us all an instruction and this one girl got it right and Donna said ‘Right well she’s getting a place’ and everyone’s faces fell instantly. It was only afterwards as she burst out into a howl did I realise she was pulling our legs!! And then she went on to say that the session we had with her was only the ‘baby version’ compared to the real thing, as she ‘didn’t have time to be cleaning up the sick on every recall day.’ 😂😂

Pretty intense but she could have a laugh, which I liked!

So after the brief torture we just played a few games to end the day with a laugh and on a high! We then could ask any questions we had and then they told us we will know in 2-3 weeks! (I’m like a crazy person every time my phone buzzes)

Here’s hoping for some good news! Pray for me!!

And just as an update I’m still patiently waiting to hear from Drama Centre and RADA. Got to love waiting. Mhm.

Major update: I HAVE BEEN OFFERED A BA ACTING PLACE AT LAMDA!!!!!!!

Lots of love,

AA x

(Aspiring Actress)

 

Final round audition – Bristol Old Vic

Now for BOV there are only 2 rounds as out of the 3000 that apply only about 200/250 are recalled, as they were telling us on the day; so this was technically the final!

I was actually meant to have this recall on a different date but thank the lord Bristol let me change!! (for personal reasons but it’s all good as I had my audition in the end.)

The day started at 9am and I came into the main room with lots of chairs facing a TV, funnily enough, showing last years BOV grads. This boy called Sam got chatting to me and he was telling me he was here last year for the final so I was able to ask him lots of questions! I was feeling good and really looking forward to the rest of the day. We were then split into different groups that would go around the different panellists on a carousel so to speak. My first session was… improv.

DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN

Okay now don’t look at me like that – I know you dread it too!! And if you don’t well, bravo. You’ll be a wonderful actor. Screw you.

If I think back on the session though it actually wasn’t that bad and dare I say it, fun? The whole class was just very free and playful and I felt closer to my group for it, which was lovely 😀 The lady taking our class was awesome so all in all it was a fabulous first taste of Bristol!

The next session was ‘the audition’ in the black box of doom as I like to call it. You literally do your speeches, filmed, in a black box theatre with all the heads of facilities watching. I felt mine went okay, not as good as usual, but alright. They film you at Bristol because they see so many people, so I think they use that as a reminder of who’s who. But never fear they delete all footage after the audition process so your 2016 rendition of Romeo won’t be popping up on youtube 10 years down the line at your Eastender’s reunion. So they tell you.

After the audition we had a finance talk and yada yada yada all good and well. If you don’t have the money you can’t go. Yippee.

Moving on to the next session which was movement. The lady taking this session was an ex professional dancer I think? But she seemed really into the whole class which was exciting for me because if I want to go to drama school for anything it’s passionate teachers. We used a lot of core strength in this class, so for instance, one move she had us do with a partner was to crawl sideways on our hands and tips toes and keep as close to the floor as we could but not touching it by letting our torso fall. Whilst doing this we had to remain direct eye contact with our partner. It was really physically demanding but also quite powerful to watch, as you couldn’t let your eye contact break. Continuing on with the partner work we had to respond physically to our partner’s first move in a next exercise and try to keep a momentum flowing. A bit dance like to be honest but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Then it was lunch time and a well needed break to be fed and watered and ready to go for the second part of the day.

The first session after lunch was kind of like the improvisation but it wasn’t. The session was called ‘speeches’ but we only performed our modern monologue and then we did improv after that. I preferred the way I did my modern in the black box of doom then in this class. I don’t know something just felt a bit off to the way I did it here. But the improv part was fun as we got to think and create a character by picking up one of the hats left for us to choose at the back of the class. We then all had different hats on and by effect had all created different characters. We listened to everyone’s character and then we had to swap hats and perform their characters as well. It was an interesting session to say the least!

After this session we went to see this lovely old man, who I forget the name of now, to redirect our Shakey, and then after that go in individually to have our interview with the Head and Senior tutor of the school. So I did my shakey and the old man got everyone in the room to participate in my redirection to act as listeners in the scene. He said I really let loose of the emotion the second time I did it and I felt that myself, so I was so glad I got to work with him. Then after this I went to another room to have my interview. The panel were absolutely lovely. They asked me what I’m up to at the moment and about my past two years and seemed really interested in what I had to say. Also they asked the usual – how are you getting on with the other schools – and they said I had done very well which was nice to hear 🙂 They asked to see my Shakey piece and I did it with the redirection in mind, speaking it to the senior tutor, and it was great because he was giving me emotion!!! Oh my lord I was thinking finally this is why I want to come to drama school!! (Plus it was lovely to work with such a great actor!) The head, her name was Jenny, told me it had improved from the black box of doom. Woo. Good news. Then Jenny asked to see my modern as well and she decided to sit in the scene with me and reacted off of my modern. They were both laughing and giggling and they seemed to really enjoy it. They thanked me and then said I could go.

After this we had one more session to go … oh yeah the day is still going people! We had singing! And this was in THE smallest room so your voice echoes and bounces off the walls straight into your ears. Be prepared to sound loud in that room. It was a guy taking the singing and he tested our vocal range and asked about any singing history we had. We all sung our unaccompanied songs individually and then that was it.

Finally, the day had finished! We were all brought back to the initial room we started in and Jenny sat us all down and basically had ‘the talk’ with us. And I’m sure you can guess what talk that was. I can tell you now, it was deeply depressing. She mainly talked about the stats of people getting in. 12 people. Guys it’s so hard to get into this place. However, she congratualted us all for getting to this stage as she said if you weren’t good you wouldn’t be here! And I was proud of getting this far because the year before I didn’t even get to this stage, so it was awesome to spend the day at Bristol. I unfortunately did not get into this school but hell, it was great day. What a lovely place and what lovely teachers. If I don’t get Drama Centre, LAMDA or RADA this year I’ll definitely be applying here again.

Till next time,

AA x

(Aspiring Actress)

Recall audition – RADA foundation

Okay I admit I should have posted this a while ago but because I wasn’t so crazy about the whole thing I think I was a bit lethargic to write about it. But I’m writing about it now, so enjoy!

This was an all day workshop at the school which started around 9:30am and there was about 15-20 other people on the day. Ages were mostly 17-18 but then there was someone who was 22 or 23 so I thought hey I’m not a failure being here! (jokes jokes)… Not a very good joke, sorry. We played name games to start with, just to break the ice I presume, and then we played ball games but improvised so they could test our interaction with one another. Then we had a switch of teachers and this was a little bit like movement but not as intense as some other schools :’) So it was more of a thinking game really as he would say ‘elbow’ and you’d have to touch your knee, or ‘head’ and you’d have to touch your bum (how cheeky) and vice versa. Like the Guildhall recall, we were asked to build numbers and shapes associated with given words in groups of about 5 after that ( I guess to test our team building skills.) And this was fun but sometimes you can’t help to just call out in your head ‘BS’- you know what I’m saying? But obviously I was super positive throughout the whole day! Oh god this blog is getting more and more unintentionally sarcastic as I go on.

Anyway, so we switched teachers again for the final time and we had a sonnet to read as a group. Now, anybody who knows me knows I really like sonnets, but this workshop honestly felt more like an English lit class then a drama school workshop. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of analysis and pondering but jeez as an actor all you want to do is just dramatically read that thing!! It was a good workshop on the sonnet but their approach just surprised me a bit. Then we had a 5 minute break and we were spilt into 2 groups: 1 for interview and 1 for modern monologues, but after the first group had been interviewed they had to come in and do their modern straight away! So this was fine and it was interesting to see everybody’s modern. (Which literally consisted of rape, murder, sexual violence oh my goodness everybody’s monologue was so doom and gloom!!) Drama schools really don’t lie when they say everybody’s modern is like that. Finally, it was LUNCH TIME – HOORAH.

I’m skipping my lunch details because I’m sure you’re not too bothered about that!

The afternoon began splitting us into 2 groups again for the classical monologues (my fav.) So we went to a new studio this time which was long and narrow like my first round and I was second to go up. The lady said she liked my monologue but she redirected me to say it more to the other people watching and really make a connection. (Very guildhall :O) but I did it again and she seemed to be nodding and then she said I could sit down, so alright. I then had my interview which was with the course director Joan, who was lovely by the way! We just had a very informal chat about why I wanted to do the course and what did I think I had to do in the course to improve myself. Next we were brought all together in a new studio to do our shakey pieces to everyone and the teachers auditioning us. After that they had a Q&A and the panel basically said you’ll either hear quite quickly to say thank you for coming but no thanks, or you won’t hear till like June which means they are considering you and you’ll be put on the waiting list. It’s been a good amount of weeks since my audition so I guess they’re considering me? But honestly who knows, and this course is soooo expensive I don’t even know what I’d do if I actually got in. Anyway, I enjoyed the day and I guess it’s always nice to spend more time at RADA 😀

Ciao,

AA x

(Aspiring Actress)

Man Met/ MST update

So guys news from Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre…

I did not get in 😦 ah well!

Someone emailed me and was telling me about their rejections from drama school and I really can empathise. It does suck, there’s no other way of saying it. But the important thing is to pick ourselves up and keep going!! Positive thinking, hard graft and a good heart and I really believe something good will turn out. Well, I hope so. 🙂

Till next time,

AA x

(Aspiring Actress)