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Auditioning For Drama School

28 Apr

Over the last few weeks I have been auditioning for drama schools in London to do an MA in Acting. I had been pondering over the idea of going to drama school for a while. I already have a degree but thought that a year at drama school may just give me that little bit of extra training that I need.

Should I apply… should I apply…. should I apply…?!?

Well I finally did and I couldn’t be more pleased that I did as I was lucky enough to get offered a place at one of the best drama schools in the country. YIPPEE!

Auditioning for Drama Scool

My Audition Experience 

I don’t want to single out certain schools but I did audition for a few of the main drama schools in London. The audition process was pretty much the same for all of them but all the schools have different vibes. I went into some of  and didn’t feel comfortable at all but at others I could see myself running though the corridors singing as free as a bird.

For all the auditions I needed to learn one modern and one shakespeare monologue. It really doesn’t matter what monologues you choose as long as you do them well. I did a very common one by Helena from A Midsummers Night’s Dream.

You will either be asked to do your monologues on front of the group of other auditionees or on your own with a panel of teacher/s. I much preferred auditioning on front of the group because although this sounds more nerve wracking it is actually supporting and you kind of forget about the teacher/s.

My first audition was terrible! If something goes wrong, don’t let this put you off. I felt awful afterwards and thought there was no point in carrying on with the other auditions but I got back on my feet, neatened up my monologues and got an offer.

Advice

Stay grounded. When performing monologues don’t move unless you have an intention. When someone is swaying on their feet or walking back and forth it is very distracting to watch. This advice was given to me by a current student at one of the schools and it made my monologues so much better. You will stop thinking of your movements and will only move in response to the text. Own the space and stand tall.

Stay focused. If you get through to the second round you will likey be asked to improvise. Listen carfully to what they are saying and do exactly what is asked for. It maybe to change your monologue style or to act like a fish or a watermelon (this isn’t an exaggeration!)

Be bold. When asked to do a task, go for it and don’t hold back. They much prefer seeing actors make a fool of themselves for being over the top then someone holding back and thinking too much about what they are doing.

I was terrified about auditioning but I actually ended up having loads of fun and leaning new things about myself as an actress, even if I didn’t get excepted into the school.

I am very excited about starting drama school in September!!!

Working as a Film Extra

5 Apr

Before I had been involved with any extra work it sounded exciting and glamorous. Being on the same set as the stars was mind blowing to me.

“What if they notice me? Maybe they will give me a role in there next up and coming film.”

So when I got my first extra job I was ecstatic. I thought, “This is it. I am really making it.”

I quickly realised I had been mistaken. Last month I was an extra in a film and over the top of my book I noticed so many extras had come glammed up and were flirting outrageously with the third director and anyone they could speak to. I watched them all with fascination knowing that this was their first extras job. Their bubble would soon burst when they only see a snippet of their feet on the big screen. This got me thinking about how newbies to the work are often mistaken about what there job really is.

Being A Film Extra

Extra work is just extra work. They are there with many other extras to just fill the space. It is not seen as an acting job or a step towards your next acting job. In fact if you tell a casting director that you do lots of extra work it will probably hinder your chances of getting a real acting job.

The Truth

  • Anyone can be an extra: your nan, neighbor, builder. ANYONE.
  • The actors or director will not notice you, no matter how good looking or funny you are.
  • It will not be beneficial to you as an actor.
  • Lots of people say you get treated like cattle – however I don’t think it’s that bad.
  • It’s a long, long old day.
  • Nobody in the industry is impressed with anyone who does extra work.
  • You can meet other struggling actors like yourself and get good advice from them.
  • It is good for a little bit of extra cash.

Extras No No’s

  • Speak to the actors. You will get sent home and may get fired from the company you are working for
  • Wear heals – your feet will be in agony.
  • Don’t put extra work on you CV. You will be seen as a good extra but a bad actor.

My first extra experience was like many others. 

I got up super early on the morning of the shoot, which had a call time of 7am, washed and blow dried my hair and put on a full face of make up. I didn’t care that I looked like I was really for a night on the tiles, I looked good and was convinced I would get noticed.

I battled through the cold wind on a frosty January morning to Pinewood studios.

I walked into this room, with smudged eyeliner and windblown hair to find it filled with hundreds of people. I quickly realised that I was a needle in a haystack.

I was never noticed by anyone. The whole group of us extras sat around all day fiddling with our phones and making little talk to pass the time. Then we would get shoved onto set where we stood in silence, then walked back and forth until the director called cut.

Extra work is a long tedious day of doing nothing but it can also be fun and it is a opportunity to meet people from all walks of life.

The best way of looking at extra work is its a bit of extra cash. Some pay very well although I have drastically noticed how much less they are paying extras now. Some people make a career out of being an extra but they are fully aware they are extras and not actors.

Actors Checklist: My Acting Bag

4 Apr
So when I first started going to auditions I regularly forgot thing. Now after going to so many I have sorted myself out and leant what I need to pack in my bag before going to an audition.
I hope this helps some of you remember what to bring to your next audition. None of us like to be caught out!

Actress Bag

  1. Showreel: Not something that is always needed but sometimes I do get asked if I have a reel. Its always handy to be able to pull one out of my bag. This trick never fails to impress.
  2. Pen and Paper: Scribble down the names of the casting director and any answers to questions you know you will be asked. Also if you are given any information its always good to right it down straight away because if you are anything like me you will forget it by the time you get home.
  3. Google Maps or a Map: No excuses like ‘I could’t find the place’ will cut it with casting director. So get yourself a map so you don’t get lost.
  4. Food and Water: Bring dried snacks, such as cereal bars or fruit to keep energy levels up.
  5. Change of clothes: Flat shoes, high shoes, trousers, blazer, dress, dance clothes. It all depends on the role and activities.
  6. Make up and Deodorant: To freshen up when its needed. We all start sweating a little when the nerves kick in.
  7. Tissues: We all hate that feeling when the noes starts running and theses nothing to help you out. Sniff sniff!
  8. Positive mind frame: This won’t be in your bag but its something you must have before stepping into every audition room. ‘I can nail it, I know my lines, I am GREAT.’
  9. Monologues: You need in your back pocket not in your bag. You should have contrasting monologues learn off my heart. Classic, modern, dramatic, comical and shakespeare monologues are a must.

5 Inspiring Actresses

29 Mar

The 5 actresses that have most inspired me

Doris Day

Doris Day As a very small child, all I wanted to do was watch Calamity Jane over and over again. I was obsessed with Doris Day from the age of 4! Such a beautiful appearance yet a strong and talented actress. I find it strange, how so many… many years later how I look at her and see how my style is actually very similar to hers. Clearly she inspired me from a young age.

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts Yet again another actress that I was crazy about at 5 years old. I was hooked. Yes, because of the great Pretty Women. I was amazed at her personality, her characteristics, her laugh, the clothes, everything. She made me want to get behind that camera before I even knew what a camera was.

Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman I read a book about Ingrids life and career a few years ago which inspired me as an actress. Ingrid had a vision and she went for it! It wasn’t magic or luck it was her fearlessness and her drive. It reminded me to stop being afraid of things.

“I didn’t choose acting, it chose me.” Especially as a child I realated to this quote of Ingrid’s. I honestly used to say to myself , ‘I want to act, I don’t want to be an actress but I know I will be.’ and here I am years later working as an actress.

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep Well, it can’t be denied that she has done it all. She is a truly talented, focused and hard working actress that deserves every minutes of her success.

I did an essay on Meryl whilst I was at university. I watched all her films and read books on her. She has devoted her life to the art and has created an amazing pool of work. She has still remained a modest women with all her personal life kept personal!

Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet I love her choice in movies. I enjoy everything she is in and I believe she has picked her roles very cleverly and has been involved in work that shows her great talent.

It has been nice to see her grow as an actress from her early days in Titanic. She is a confident, beautiful and a very watchable actress.

One more lady that I couldn’t miss off my list… Do I need to give a reason why!

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Sucker For A Quentin Tarantino Movie – Django Unchained

29 Mar

People seem to love him or hate him!

I love his movies.

quentin tarantino djanjo

Last week I was having a drink with a few friends when we started talking about Django. To me I find it very difficult to understand why the opinion on this movie was so slip (excluding the controversial topics in the movie, for example, the violence). Some people hated it and I couldn’t understand why. This was when it was pointed out to me that people find his movies slow. Really! I honestly can’t see why. I find his movies fascinating and gripping and overall incredible.

Django is the best movie I have seen in a long time and it is probably one of my favourite of all time. Yes, I said it. It is right up there.

This got me thinking about his other movies and how I have only seen a fraction on his collection. I’m setting myself a challenge to watch all of his movies and I will see if I still hold the same opinion. As you can clearly see, I only give myself challenges I enjoy ❤

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