The day started with a brief warm up which involved the usual activities, such as: walking round the space and engaging different parts of the body at different levels of intensity when instructed; vocal and physical work via the tongue twister ‘Joe’s Button Factory’; the pairs number game where you alternatively replace numbers with actions and sounds. We then did a short group activity where we had to pretend we were a group of students in a flat share who were meeting for the first time and organising who sleeps where, house rules and getting to know each other. Personally I didn’t see much relevance to the last exercise however it was a good ice breaker and I guess it actually gave a good idea of how individuals work as a company and the strong characters in a group etc. Another aspect to the workshop I really appreciated was their emphasis on making the most out of it for you and the importance of being happy and positive and feel good about yourself and your work as it will radiate into your performance and it is just generally such an important thing! As mental health and well being is something I feel passionately about this stood out to me and made me feel really at ease and like the tutors cared about each person.
Once the workshop was done we simply had to wait until our individual slot where we were to perform our contemporary and classical speeches and then engage in a short, informal interview chat with the panel. My first speech was the modern and I feel my performance was okay and nothing went wrong, however I just felt I wasn’t really in the moment and instead I was simply going through the motions and reeling off the speech but not connecting or feeling it. I wasn’t sure as to whether this was because I had performed the speech so many times now and so it felt less spontaneous or whether I had gotten complacent with it and let it get stale and loose its character and energy – however this was something I was aware of throughout my performance and regretted desperately. Following this I performed my classical speech, which I feel I did a lot more justice. I felt I gave a reasonably solid performance and I from the laughter I heard from the panel suggests to me that they enjoyed my performance and interpretation of the text.
During the interview I was mainly asked about what I was up to at the moment and I explained the basis of the UAL course and all the opportunities we have, including off timetable things such as Improvability, Season shows, etc. which they seemed very interested and impressed with how busy I am. I also mentioned Gary and the fact that I knew that several of his ex-students trained here and the influence that had on me wanting to have the opportunity to come and audition for Arts Ed.
Overall I was a little confused as to how I felt about Arts Ed audition as it was over quite quickly and while nothing went badly I felt like I didn’t invest enough into the monologues as in my opinion they were flat and like I was just going through the motions rather than living and breathing the character. I thought all the people were lovely and I really enjoyed to one of the graduate students helping on the day about her experiences at Arts Ed and how much it helped her and how much she loved it, which sold the school to me the most. She spoke to me about the film side of the course a lot as this was one of the selling points of the course on offer at Arts, and she explained how all the equipment they have is up to date, expensive professional kit, to ensure the actors get used to working with the real things and so the end product is always of a high standard. The one thing I wasn’t too sure about was the environment being so school like, as obviously Arts Ed has students from the day school, sixth from and then the BA programmes under the same roof and subsequently caters for all of them. I know I shouldn’t judge a place on something as trivial as this, however it seemed to make an impact on me and I just hoped that it wouldn’t be an indication of how we would be treated or mean we were still sheltered into a school environment – however I’m sure this wouldn’t be the case!
After not having much of an idea on how my audition went, I was pleased to receive a letter a few days after stating that they would like to see me again in January for a recall for the BA Acting Course! For this I will have to perform the same two monologues I did in the initial round and also learn a short extract of script dialogue for a screen test for acting for film. I haven’t yet experienced anything like this in an audition so am rather apprehensive however I hope I can do myself justice as long as I take direction and act confident.