I attended my recall audition at Guildhall on Tuesday the 6th December, only two weeks after my initial first round audition. The day took place in the same way with the same structure, however instead of the panel being made up of graduated actors, the teachers who work at Guildhall took their place; on our panel there was a movement tutor, the other a voice tutor and the other a director at the school. I found the whole feel of the school really warming and although I was not lucky enough to gain a place at such a prestigious academy such as this on this occasion, I am certain that Guildhall is somewhere I could see myself training in the future, and will definitely audition here again in the future as I feel it could be the school for me!
Similar to the primary audition, we had to take part in a short group workshop which involved warming up and becoming aware of our bodies and surroundings, through exercises such as: Walking around the space as if we were on hot sand, then walking through the surf of sea as it breaks on the beach shore, then increasing the depth of the water until we were walking as if we were wading deep and felt resistance. This was interesting and made you really create an image and world in your head and make it come alive by the amount of movement in your body. We also did an exercise that linked voice and movement which involved us having to pretend to scoop up the water and wash ourselves with it and as the water drips down we had to transform our downwards action into a release of air on a chosen note moving between vowel sounds as instructed. I thought this was a really productive exercise that I hope to take away from my audition experience as use as a way of calming and zoning whilst warming my body and voice up before shows and future auditions. Unlike the first round audition we didn’t do any improvisation or exercises during the workshop and instead we were dismissed before proceeding with our individual audition slots.
I was the fifth person to be seen and I felt quite a bit more nervous than my first audition as I guess the stakes felt somewhat higher and so I felt under more pressure. I had to bring the same three speeches I performed in my first round (1 Shakespeare, 1 Contemporary, a contrasting speech and a song) and these were work-shopped in the same way the graduate panel had done before. I was feeling quite conflicted with how to present my modern speech as I had received such varied feedback with the angle to take regarding my portrayal of the character. Beforehand I always played the character with a confrontational defensive character who puts up a wall between herself and the outside world as a way of protection, and made an effort to portray myself with strength rather than seem too soft and innocent, however in my previous round the panel told me to explore playing her more vulnerable. This is something I wasn’t too sure about as I had purposefully been told on so many occasions to not let them view me a weak or girly or innocent as that is what someone immediately thinks when they look at me. I decided to take some of these notes on board at the end but also show her tougher side too, however I was offered the same direction from the new panel. The panel asked me questions such as: why does she even go to the councillor about this? Why does she raise the subject of sex so soon and how does she do this? For what reaction? I feel I responded well to his direction although he did get me to try it quite a few times and so perhaps I didn’t quite address it the way they had hoped on the first few attempts. He then asked me to do my Cressida monologue which I feel went quite well considering I hadn’t given it much attention since my last audition; however, this wasn’t a problem and I feel I got the thought changes and sense of train of thought a lot better than in recent performances. I am not sure what their views on this speech was as they moved on afterwards and asked to see my song: ‘Gimme Gimme’ from Thoroughly Modern Millie, which they quickly took apart and asked me questions about only a few days in! I was upset that I couldn’t sing the song in complete as I couldn’t show off by belting my big notes and hadn’t got into the feel of the song yet. I think for these reasons I should maybe have chosen a different song or at leas started at a different point in the song, as the opening is extremely disjointed and fragmented in terms of train of thought.
I think the part of the audition I found the hardest was the interview as I was still so overwhelmed and pumped with adrenalin from performing the monologues and so wasn’t thinking as straight as I could have been and struggled to put into words the answers to some of their questions. I think it was also because I cared so much and desperately wanted to say the right thing and so just ended up rambling in a panic and not quite being able to express myself properly! When asked why I wanted to train as an actor at Guildhall I didn’t quite know how I should answer it as to me it was just an overwhelming feeling of ‘because I want to’ but I know that would not have been sufficient enough in an interview situation and evidently everyone auditioning wanted to go there! I explained how I wanted to train rather than just trying to find my way, as I wanted guidance and support into finding myself as an actress and a structure to delving into characters and working with directors and teachers so well renowned and successful as those at Guildhall. I could feel myself getting wound up as I knew in my head it was so much more than all that but I just couldn’t put it into words!
Although I was really upset that I didn’t gain a place at the school I was thrilled to have gotten to the point I did as apparently this year about 3000 people auditioned and only a very limited amount of people even got recalled. I also felt my age may have played a part as not only do I look extremely young for my age anyway, but the people who were also auditioning were older and some had even taken foundation courses as other accredited schools such as Mountview and Central – and these were the people who got through to the next stage. Nevertheless I enjoyed the day and the audition process at Guildhall and will definitely audition here in the future as I felt the training style would suit me but maybe I just need some time to mature before trying again in the future.