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16 drama school students tell us what it's really like to audition


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As the autumn season swoops in so does another audition season at drama schools.

Drama UK Accredited schools and Conservatoires represent the highest standards of training; they provide a vocational style training and a direct route to the profession. On average each school gets thousands of applicants each year for very few places; usually around 30.

They have rigorous audition procedures, and just auditioning at the schools can cost up to £60. It’s an expensive and daunting venture, so we spoke to those who have done it. Here are some words of wisdom from several 20-somethings, all of whom have made the leap into drama school - and some even beyond.

1. ‘’Be yourself because you are the only one of you!’’ – Rosemary Berkon, Academy of Live and Recorded Arts

2. ‘’You have to have confidence in yourself and what you’re doing and just take on whatever they throw at you however crazy it seems! Being yourself is so important also.’’ – Monica Young, Drama Studio London

3. ‘’My usual resort is f*** it, as in what have I got to lose let's just go crazy!’’ – April Collette Wells, East 15 Acting School

4. "Drama school auditions are simultaneously one if the most stressful things, but the key is to not stress. After three years of it, i'd gotten over the nerves and fears and everything that everyone faces and just did it, and here I am on a BA" – Ben Reid, Italia Conti

5. ‘’Don't take yourself too seriously at an audition; if you enjoy yourself and relax this will come across so much better in your performance.’’ – Amelia Mulcahy, Academy of Live and Recorded Arts

6. ‘’Don’t take it personally if you doesn’t get a place... they're always looking for something each time, (it) doesn't mean you're not talented!! Try again and again until you get a place and use their feedback to build you up for next audition.’’ – Rakel Sigurðardóttir, Drama Studio London

7. "I think each year you get a better idea of what you want. I went from blindly applying to pretty much every well-known school in my first year to only picking three that I really felt I was right for this year. I think it's also really important to see other people's successes as such a positive and to be happy that someone you know is doing well. Let's say that one year your friend got a place but you didn't. Don't be bitter! You just can't compare your outcome with theirs. It's each to our own little journey in that respect. Be happy for others; it works out so much better in the long run’’ – Luke Coughlan, East 15 Acting School

8. ‘’Only accept what you think you deserve don't just go somewhere because they've given you a space - go somewhere that you like the feel of as you'll spend three years there. If you have your heart set on a school then fuck it, say no to second best and wait another year.’’ – Kiren Kebaili, Academy of Live and Recorded Arts

 9. ‘’Be lucky. That's all the advice I have.’’ – David Paynes, Guildford School of Acting

10. ‘’Always feel a right to be there and don't rush your pieces. Taking your time to own the space is crucial because at the end of the day you paid for the audition and the panel want you to leave feeling like you've done your best work! They're on your side!’’ – Owen Baxter, Drama Studio London

11. "Just have fun because whatever happens, at least you had a good time!" – Ola Orebiyi, Academy of Live and Recorded Arts

12. ‘’Best thing I was told once was 'just do it' , pretty basic I know but I swear by it. (If) anyone asks for a volunteer or asks you try a new exercise, whatever it is,  'just do it' don't think.’’ – Molly Walker, National Youth Theatre

13. "It’s bloody expensive." – Francesca Dell, Academy of Live and Recorded Arts

14. ‘’Just be prepared, open and enthusiastic - you only get one first impression, so as long as you show you are willing to work and grow you'll be fine.’’ – Tanya Bridgeman, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

15. ‘’You can't be everyone's cup of tea; just find someone who likes your flavour.’’ – Georgia Borne, Drama Studio London

16. ‘’Rejections can be really disheartening, but you can usually find a way at to learn from them. And choose something that suits you; don't try to go all out if you can't vaguely relate to the character. Something I learnt at ALRA that I’d say helped me.’’ – Madeline Spooner, Academy of Live and Recorded Arts

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