I arrived at the Guildhall audition in a rather bubbly and talkative mood which I think must have shown in my audition as I was lucky enough to be offered a recall!
The audition started with a brief group workshop which involved the usual warm ups such as walking around the room and feeling a sense of company within the group and then following instructions as to how to move around the space and portraying these levels of state and speed on a scale. The next exercise we did was one that Josh and Rona had done with us when they visited earlier in the year: The Spontaneous Band/Orchestra. This involved one of us having to conduct the rest of the group in a vocal imitation of a musical ensemble of a particular style. I volunteered as conductor the first time which I hope showed my enthusiasm although I was also worried it might make me seem too dictating and loud; in the next one someone else took on the role of conductor and so I was part of the ensemble and used this as an opportunity to show my vocal ability by doing some scat singing and although I know this wasn’t what we were being judged on I felt pleased I could show this skill of mine. Interestingly, unlike at my GSA audition the weekend before, I felt a colder more isolated atmosphere in the room when doing some of these company focused activities which was interesting to experience how it effected my performance and I think it made me work harder to make it work. We then moved on to a very simple exercise where we had to go into the centre of the room and hug a partner as if they were a friend you hadn’t seen in a very long time; this exercise was to see how naturalistic we would be and if we could ‘create the world’ effectively. It was interesting watching the others and how lots of the people really over acted and felt the need to vocalise and exaggerate their every move – which was obviously very unrealistic and unbelievable.
When it came to doing my audition pieces I feel I had got to a point where I was actually quite nervous. The panel was made up of two working actors who had graduated from Guildhall and now were in the profession. The audition required me to prepare 3 monologues and a song (but it wasn’t guaranteed that the would ask for all of these) and in the end I showed the panel all three of my monologues which they work shopped with me for quite a while after seeing my modern piece in full. They got me to take my modern speech apart and perform it in a less defensive way and to try and soften the character and make her more vulnerable. They also wanted me to forgot my directions from before and everything I had practised and to present it more as if I was chatting to a friend to make it more spontaneous. One member of the panel stepped in and got me to walk round the room with them and say the monologue as if we were walking in the park and we were having this conversation, which was strangely more difficult than I thought.
Thankfully we were able to use the bodies in the room to address our monologues to if needed, and so I took the opportunity to use mine as Troilus when performing my Cressida monologue which I found so helpful as I could react of off them and feel like I was saying the speech to the character rather than it being a soliloquy. The panel then requested to see my Ophelia and they offered me direction before I had even started; they asked me to deliver the monologue in a grounded and angry way rather than the typical distressed Ophelia way. They got me to do an exercise where I pushed against the body as hard as I could to get out the frustration and anger and so I felt the resistance and strength of the character which although was difficult it was actually really effective in getting the response out of me that they wanted. I think overall the vibe I got was that they wanted me to prove that I could be fierce and strong and that I wasn’t just a sweet floaty girl.
The talk was very informal and they just asked what I was up to at the moment and what I had recently seen at the theatre, to which I answered by telling them about the difficulty of seeing theatre when living in Suffolk but how I take advantage of the Live Screenings and how I saw The Entertainer and also the touring and independent shows we get at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. I told them about the production of ‘A Diary of a Hounslow Girl’ which premiered in Bury and how amazing I thought it was! I felt a little worried that I wasn’t asked to sing so when they asked if I had any questions I took the opportunity to ask again if they wanted to hear me sing, to which they replied ‘No, Not today thank you’ which gave me the glimmer of hope that they might want to see me again!
Waiting for the results was torture and by this point I was adamant that I would be unsuccessful however when they called my name as one of the successful auditionees whom they wanted to put through to the next round I was over the moon! Myself and one other girl (who had travelled from Cyprus) were the only from that session to get a recall, and we were taken outside and the Panel spoke to us about the things we should work on and bare in mind ready for our recall. I was told that I needed to be FIERCE, STRONG and like WOMAN not a girl, when doing my Shakespeare pieces, and to show the more vulnerable side of Charlotte in my modern piece.