Audition: Birmingham School of Acting

  • By Andrew Stainthorpe
  • 11 Mar, 2016

I'm a tiger, grrrrr!

It was a very cold, wet and snowy Friday when I travelled to Birmingham for an audition at Birmingham School of Acting (BSA), part of Birmingham City University. I went down the night before because the audition was scheduled from 9am to 5pm on a Saturday.

After checking-in to my cheap hotel (which I was delighted to discover I had pre-paid several months previous) I went to scope out the audition venue. The campus looked very modern and was in a fairly quiet part of town. I’m glad I did a recce as I wandered around for far too long looking for the entrance! After that I had time to check out the Bullring and other parts of the city before getting quite lost and struggling to get back to the hotel. I was literally dripping wet when I eventually found it and so had an early night ready for the next day.

Saturday morning was bright and sunny but bitterly cold. While I was waiting for the venue to open I was surprised to see someone I knew who’d been in a show with me a couple of years earlier. It was his recall for a BA course and I discovered that the BAs and MAs were to be auditioned together.

Once registration was complete, we were taken for a movement workshop. This started with a gentle warm-up followed by being observed while walking and bobbing around. Then we were all taught a dance routine. Now, this isn’t my strong point but I think the best thing to do in these situations is throw yourself in with gusto and embrace mistakes! Keenness is all!

This was followed by a team game were we tried to carry a “ball” (actually a person) from one side of the room to the other. We couldn’t let our feet move at all when the ball touched us. If a foot moved, it was back to the start!

After that we all had to pretend to be various animals, trying to move and sound like those creatures and really understand what it might be like to see through their eyes and interact with other animals. This seemed to take about an hour but in reality was only about 20 minutes – some of the animals were quite exhausting! In that time I was a: mouse, cat, lion, wolf, chimp, lizard, chicken, and flamingo. When we’d tried out all these animals we were then asked to choose one we liked best and incorporate those animal characteristics into human form - I chose the lion.

This brought us onto improvisation. Using our animal/human characters we went up in front of the group (about 30 people) two at a time and improvised a workshop. At this point I thought I was a tiger and not a lion, but hey, they’re similar. I really enjoyed the improvisation and thought I’d done a pretty good job. A comment from one of the course tutors was encouraging (I don’t think they commented on anyone else’s).

After about two and a half hours of this movement activity it was time for lunch before an afternoon of more intense auditioning after a quick vocal/singing warm-up. There was quite a bit of waiting around in the afternoon while progressing from monologues to singing to sight-reading in front of a camera. Without going into too much detail, here’s what happened: 

Monologues – I felt these were a little rushed and I actually forgot my contemporary halfway through and restarted it.

Song – I chose Send in the Clowns by Stephen Sondheim. Originally I planned to do Stars from Les Mis but changed a week before as I felt Send in the Clowns suited me better. I’m glad I did as one of the current students told me that in one session, five people in a row sung Stars! Anyway, the result was I really enjoyed doing the song and felt I did a pretty good job.

Sight-reading – For this I was given a couple of paragraphs of text and then had five minutes to look at it before reading it in front of a camera. I think the text may have been Dickens but can’t be sure… Again, this went as well as can be expected; after all, I can read.

I left the audition pretty stressed and drained, and then had the three and a half hour drive back home (I got a bit lost coming out of Birmingham). I didn’t really hold out a lot of hope for being offered a place at BSA: I’d forgotten a speech; I forgot I was a lion and not a tiger; and I even wore the wrong clothes (apparently, long story).

However, they must have liked what they saw as I was offered an unconditional place the following Monday!

News

By Andrew Stainthorpe 07 Dec, 2016
On Tuesday 6 December, I performed at my first spoken word evening at The Star of Kings in Kings Cross, along with some of my fellow ArtsEd MA Acting buddies. It was a fantastic evening and the standard of writing and performing was outstanding.

It was so great that we're doing another one on January 31, 2017.

Here's the piece I shared at the event:

Kanye  

If music be the food of love, then what the hell is Kanye?

With this chap’s style of “music” I am really not quite au fait .

Although I like to be on trend, I’ve never been a cool kid

And Kanye’s rousing lyrics leave me feeling pretty tepid.

 

Another one I just don’t get is someone known as Snoop Dog.

(My feelings for this type of thing would make a good monologue.)

I’ve always liked Bruce Springsteen more than any of these rappers

And hearing Dr Dre, to me there’s nothing else much crapper.

 

For I have never been a one for “rolling with my homies”.

I like to be in bed by nine to play with my… cojones .

When these fellas start to rap to me of dollars, boats n’ hoes

I’m frequently reminded about other people’s woes.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against these rappers with their millions.

I don’t begrudge their sweet success, the joy they bring to others.

I know that some, they do great things and give kids inspiration.

And who knows? One day, Kanye might be leader of a nation.

 

I find it hard to understand how people get so wealthy.

I don’t think having so much cash can be so very healthy,

Especially when lots of folks, they have so very little

And wrestle with the daily grind. For them life is a struggle.

 

That some have loads and others naught, I find that hard to fathom.

Just walk along the road and you see a gaping chasm

Between those that have and those who don’t. Wealth is so destructive.

So that is what I want to say and speak on this injustice.

 

Outside these doors, along the street, a woman’s huddled over.

She doesn’t have a “spinning rim” or Krystal or Range Rover.

She doesn’t have a bed or board. She’s barely got a blanket.

She’s barely got a life or hope. To some, she’s just a maggot.

 

There’s an old man in a freezing room, afraid to turn the heat on.

When the banks collapsed, hit took a hit, and now his pension’s gone.

The banker didn’t blink an eye, he took a hefty bonus.

He drives a brand new Lambo, doesn’t care about the homeless.

 

A single-parent family is working round the clock.

A girl on zero hours, has two children run amok.

They know her at the food bank, seen her standing in the street

Counting out her pennies to put cheap shoes upon small feet.

 

They say the system doesn’t work and the NHS is fucked.

(I’m yet to mention fracking and that many books are cooked.)

The benefits don’t pay their way, the migrant child is here to stay

And the young men now are unemployed, they can’t go out to play.

 

But back to Kanye and his ilk, it not their fault it’s like this.

It’s mine and yours and his and hers, so try not to dismiss

Unequal rights and policies, unequal opportunities,

Unequal distribution, education or advantages.

 

Let’s share the wealth, let’s share the love, let Kanye have his say.

And when Snoop Dog makes a difference, I’ll thank him with “hooray!”


By Andrew Stainthorpe 16 May, 2016
2016 is a momentous year for the Royal Shakespeare Company – it’s the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. As part of the celebrations, the Company is taking on its biggest challenge ever and the BBC is here to follow it all the way.

Performing ‘ A Midsummer Night's Dream ’ – one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies – a professional cast will tour the country, but there’s something unique about this production. Alongside the cast of professionals, a local amateur group of six actors will play the Mechanicals, including the famous role of Bottom.

With unprecedented access, BBC English Regions is capturing all of the action in nine 30 minute regional documentaries, to show just how hard it can be to find ‘The Best Bottoms in the Land’.

‘The Best Bottoms in the Land’, follows the pressures and pitfalls of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s project, from auditions to the opening night of each region’s local performance.

Erica Whyman is the deputy artistic director at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the pressure is on her to deliver a hit. She says: “My reputation is definitely on the line, because it’s got to be the finest production of ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ that I could possibly deliver. The most daunting aspect for me was the uncertainty of bringing together the professional company, with the amateur actors and the schoolchildren; it was a project like no other that the RSC had ever taken on. Having the BBC’s cameras there to follow us from auditions to opening night has added another element of surprise – but it’s fantastic to have these documentaries to follow this once in a lifetime experience.”

In the North East and Cumbria, The Castle Players stormed the auditions to perform alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company at Northern Stage in Newcastle.

Andrew Stainthorpe from The Castle Players, who plays Flute, said: “Life is extremely short and extremely precious and goes by so fast that we should make the most of it. If you have some kind of dream or ambition you owe it yourself to do it.”

He added after the performance: “At the standing ovation I almost cried it was so good. When they roar with laughter you feed on that.”

Jacqui Hodgson, Executive Producer of The Best Bottoms in the Land, said: “I am particularly proud of this programme and thoroughly enjoyed following The Castle Players on their incredible journey to perform with the RSC. The Castle Players brought enthusiasm, excitement and energy to their performance and I hope viewers will enjoy the film as much as we did making it.”

The documentary will be shown on BBC One (North East and Cumbria) on Friday 20th May at 7.30pm. It will be available on BBC iPlayer after the broadcast.

RSC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A Play for the Nation

  • A professional cast of 18
  • 84 Amateur actors from around the UK, 14 different amateur companies
  • 580 schoolchildren
  • 12 venues 
  • A production lasting 5 months
  • A year from auditions until the first opening night
By Andrew Stainthorpe 18 Mar, 2016

As a general rule, I’m seldom moved to tears but I found myself battling moist eyes when almost 450 people rose to their feet, clapping, whistling and cheering their thanks for a performance I’d helped to create. I found the curtain call at the opening night of the RSC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation , incredibly moving. The culmination of more than a year of preparation, this affirmed my decision to make a dramatic change.

Opening night followed three solid days of technical and dress rehearsals, and I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It was hard work and at times I struggled with some of the demons that actors sometimes face: I’m no good, this isn’t funny, I’ve been miscast, I’m going to ruin everything and make a fool of myself...

A few days earlier I’d been happy with my performance but seemed to lose it somewhere along the way. What if I didn’t find it again? Was this whole drama school business one huge mistake?

I need not have worried. Once the show began I was back on form and the audience completely lifted my performance to how I wanted it to be. In fact it was even better, with new, exciting discoveries made while on stage!

After the performance, the response was overwhelming. When we came out of the theatre there were so many friends and supporters waiting to cheer and applaud (as well as a few microphones and TV cameras looking for our reactions). I can’t remember how many people hugged and congratulated me – including a few strangers – me but it felt amazing.

Taking front/centre stage for that curtain call was one of my most joyous and fulfilling moments. Even now, almost two days after the event, I still find myself welling up a little at the memory. And the best part is I get to do it several more times in Newcastle and then in Stratford in June!

By Andrew Stainthorpe 11 Mar, 2016

 I spent three weeks at Mountview in summer 2015, participating in a three-week acting summer school. It was a wonderful three weeks – the sun shone constantly, I learned a lot and had fun, and it was like a three-week holiday in London. While I was there I saw the school’s current MA students final performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was one of the best versions I’ve ever seen. “Wow,” I thought! “This school produces some great talent!”

So naturally I applied for the MA and attended a first round regional audition in Newcastle. As with Birmingham, there were applicants for various courses at this event including musical theatre, BAs and MAs. The BA and MA acting students were all taken into a room and asked to line up by number (yes, we were given numbers – something I don’t really like but there were a lot of us). We then all sat down in order in a semi-circle.

This was interesting, I thought, and wondered what we were going to do next. It turned out that we were all going to audition in front of everyone! Cue, nervousness and stress!

And so it began, in order, from number 1 to 23.

I was 23 so I had to listen to all the Shakespeare speeches before doing my Iago, and then had to sit through all the contemporary monologues before showcasing my Professor Lyons.

Being last could have quite badly for me as I might have thought everyone was so much better than me and got really worried. However this wasn’t the case at all. There are some things I that you’re advised not to do when auditioning and I saw a lot of people do those things! In fact, I couldn’t even hear a lot of the speeches because several people spoke so quietly, barely above a whisper. Some people put on strange voices, some didn’t really know the name of the play/character they were doing, some were overtly sexual/sweary… Having said that, some of the people really were excellent and I rated a number quite highly, certain they would get – and deserve – a recall audition.

When we had all finished we waited for 15 minutes before being told whether or not we were being offered a recall.

What I learned most from the day is to have confidence is your own abilities. When you do an audition in isolation, just before a panel in a private room, it’s easy to start imagining how the other candidates – essentially, your competitors at this point – have done. This isn’t a worthwhile exercise. You just don’t know what the audition panel is looking for so don’t worry about the other candidates and don’t worry about the panel. Just do your best work and (nerves aside) enjoy yourself.

I was offered a recall in London...

By Andrew Stainthorpe 11 Mar, 2016

It was a very cold, wet and snowy Friday when I travelled to Birmingham for an audition at Birmingham School of Acting (BSA), part of Birmingham City University. I went down the night before because the audition was scheduled from 9am to 5pm on a Saturday.

After checking-in to my cheap hotel (which I was delighted to discover I had pre-paid several months previous) I went to scope out the audition venue. The campus looked very modern and was in a fairly quiet part of town. I’m glad I did a recce as I wandered around for far too long looking for the entrance! After that I had time to check out the Bullring and other parts of the city before getting quite lost and struggling to get back to the hotel. I was literally dripping wet when I eventually found it and so had an early night ready for the next day.

Saturday morning was bright and sunny but bitterly cold. While I was waiting for the venue to open I was surprised to see someone I knew who’d been in a show with me a couple of years earlier. It was his recall for a BA course and I discovered that the BAs and MAs were to be auditioned together.

Once registration was complete, we were taken for a movement workshop. This started with a gentle warm-up followed by being observed while walking and bobbing around. Then we were all taught a dance routine. Now, this isn’t my strong point but I think the best thing to do in these situations is throw yourself in with gusto and embrace mistakes! Keenness is all!

This was followed by a team game were we tried to carry a “ball” (actually a person) from one side of the room to the other. We couldn’t let our feet move at all when the ball touched us. If a foot moved, it was back to the start!

After that we all had to pretend to be various animals, trying to move and sound like those creatures and really understand what it might be like to see through their eyes and interact with other animals. This seemed to take about an hour but in reality was only about 20 minutes – some of the animals were quite exhausting! In that time I was a: mouse, cat, lion, wolf, chimp, lizard, chicken, and flamingo. When we’d tried out all these animals we were then asked to choose one we liked best and incorporate those animal characteristics into human form - I chose the lion.

This brought us onto improvisation. Using our animal/human characters we went up in front of the group (about 30 people) two at a time and improvised a workshop. At this point I thought I was a tiger and not a lion, but hey, they’re similar. I really enjoyed the improvisation and thought I’d done a pretty good job. A comment from one of the course tutors was encouraging (I don’t think they commented on anyone else’s).

After about two and a half hours of this movement activity it was time for lunch before an afternoon of more intense auditioning after a quick vocal/singing warm-up. There was quite a bit of waiting around in the afternoon while progressing from monologues to singing to sight-reading in front of a camera. Without going into too much detail, here’s what happened: 

Monologues – I felt these were a little rushed and I actually forgot my contemporary halfway through and restarted it.

Song – I chose Send in the Clowns by Stephen Sondheim. Originally I planned to do Stars from Les Mis but changed a week before as I felt Send in the Clowns suited me better. I’m glad I did as one of the current students told me that in one session, five people in a row sung Stars! Anyway, the result was I really enjoyed doing the song and felt I did a pretty good job.

Sight-reading – For this I was given a couple of paragraphs of text and then had five minutes to look at it before reading it in front of a camera. I think the text may have been Dickens but can’t be sure… Again, this went as well as can be expected; after all, I can read.

I left the audition pretty stressed and drained, and then had the three and a half hour drive back home (I got a bit lost coming out of Birmingham). I didn’t really hold out a lot of hope for being offered a place at BSA: I’d forgotten a speech; I forgot I was a lion and not a tiger; and I even wore the wrong clothes (apparently, long story).

However, they must have liked what they saw as I was offered an unconditional place the following Monday!

By Andrew Stainthorpe 03 Mar, 2016
This week was a mini-whirlwind of publicity! I spent an afternoon with the BBC filming my back story as part of a brilliant Inside Out documentary that is being made for the RSC Dream 16 project.

These documentaries are being made with the different teams of RSC Dream 16 mechanicals up and down the country, with The Castle Players filmed for BBC North East and Cumbria. The process has been ongoing for a few months now and the cameras have been with us at rehearsals in Barnard Castle and Newcastle, watching us dance, warm-up, participate in workshops etc. It's been really interesting to be involved and I think everyone has enjoyed it very much.

The cameraman had already shot footage of me while I was managing an event at BALTIC , Gateshead, as part of my day job, and this week I was interviewed in The Old Well Inn about my past and was filmed walking wistfully across a bridge and down by the river, avoiding ducks and looking very cold! I thought I handled this with aplomb and it felt a bit like being a TV presenter only without actually saying anything! 

After that we did some filming of our final Dream16 rehearsal before we join up again with the professional cast and the other amateur group, The People's Theatre , in Newcastle next week. During this we all said a few lines to camera, which is what you can see in the photograph above - they call me "Just One Take Andrew." Thanks to my fellow mechanical, Ben Pearson, for taking the photo.

There are some nice surprises in the documentary so I won't give them away here, you'll have to watch the programme when it airs on BBC One (probably in late May). 

Coincidentally, this was also the day when we kicked off the campaign to raise funds for my "dramatic change" and sent information to the press. I'm hoping for lots of great publicity over the next few weeks that not only draws attention to the life changes I'm making but also to the importance of organ donation and how it can fundamentally change people's lives.

 If you're not already on the NHS Organ Donor Register , please sign-up today!
By Andrew Stainthorpe 12 Feb, 2016
It's amazing to think that in just four short weeks I'll be playing Francis Flute on the Northern Stage with professional  RSC  actors in A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play for the Nation ! Earlier this week there was a great segment on BBC Breakfast News, which featured my talented friend, Peter Cockerill talking about playing Bottom. Even I appeared in the background (green T-shirt) dancing the bergomask and trying desperately to remember the moves! If you missed it, there's a video on the BBC Website .

The journey to become part of the RSC Dream Team started almost one year ago (February 2015) in the Parish Hall, Barnard Castle, when I went along to an initial meeting about the project along with Peter, Harry, Graham, Ian, Ben, Jill and Sarah.  An audition weekend followed in April, which was full of voice, text and movement workshops as well as performing a scene. This whittled us down to the final three groups for another day of auditioning in late May. I cut short a holiday in Scotland to go along to the second audition and I'm glad I did because our group was chosen, along with The People's Theatre, to perform in Newcastle and then Stratford-upon-Avon.

Since last May we've been kept warm with various workshops and tasks, all designed to improve our skills and keep us excited about the project. For the last six weeks we've watched live streams of rehearsals through the Internet, been to Newcastle to work with the pros and had our own rehearsals.

It's almost time to bring that work together! The show runs at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre next week for a couple of weeks before going on tour. I'm delighted that Newcastle is the first stop on the tour and that our Barnard Castle Dream Team will perform on the opening night!

HOW TO BOOK

Northern Stage, Newcastle
  • Wednesday,  March 16th 7.15pm
  • Saturday,  March 19th 1.15pm and 7.15pm
  • Tuesday,  March 22nd 7.15pm
  • Wednesday,  March 23rd 6pm
  • Friday,  March 25th 7.15.pm
Box Office: 0191 230 5151 |  www.northernstage.co.uk

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Wednesday,  June 22nd 7.15pm
  • Thursday,  June 23rd 1.15pm and 7.15pm

Box Office: 01789 403 493 |  www.rsc.org.uk
By Andrew Stainthorpe 05 Feb, 2016
I've mentioned audition nerves in other blog posts and thought I'd talk a little bit about it in this post.

It's normal to have some nerves in auditions and the panel expects it. But there's a difference between nerves and an almost debilitating feeling of awfulness. In general I'm not a nervous person - I'm usually quite confident - but when I really want something and I'm putting everything I have on the line to try and get it, I have a tendency to fall to pieces. Once I've got it - like a part in a play for example - the nerves go away. I don't suffer from stage fright; I have a "normal" amount of adrenalin to get me through a show.

When I'm auditioning or being interviewed it's quite different: I shake or tremble quite visibly; I move around too much rather than feeling planted; I speak too quickly; and my mouth goes really dry to it's hard to get words out. No amount of deep breathing or positive thinking helps.

I knew after my first audition at Central that nerves was something I had to sort out if any of my MA Acting applications were to be successful. So what did I do? I booked a session with a hypnotherapist. 

Now, this is not something I ever thought I would do and I approached it with a reasonable degree of scepticism. Through a little research I learned that there was a hypnotherapist based close to me in Barnard Castle. His selling point was that he usually "fixed" problems in one go rather than a course of sessions over a long time.

It doesn't seem appropriate to go into lots of detail about what happened during the session but he taught me lots of ways to relax and make my unconscious more susceptible to positive suggestions, bypassing the rational brain. I had the session a couple of weeks prior to the ArtsEd audition and practiced most days. I'm still not sure how much it worked. I had some nerves at ArtsEd but they didn't seem quite as bad as when I was at Central. Whether this was down to hypnosis, another month of preparation, or the fact that everyone was so nice when I was there, I can't say. I don't think it hurt though and would be more open to things like this in the future.
By Andrew Stainthorpe 05 Feb, 2016
After making applications to five of the best drama schools in the UK, I had my first audition at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, located in Swiss Cottage, London, on December 16th.

After the train journey from Darlington, I arrived early (as I always do) and had a chance to wander around the area. It was fairly busy with a farmer's market right outside the school. However, as I had a good hour to kill, I went to the closest Costa so I could sit inside and have a coffee while reading through my speeches and other notes. We'd been told to prepare the usual monologues (one classical and one contemporary, each no more than two minutes) and the invitation suggested there would be an interview with the course tutors about why I chose my particular speeches and my reasons for applying to Central.

Just before 1.30pm I registered at the front desk and waited in a small lobby with about 10 of the other applicants before being led to a studio where we had 10 minutes to warm up - which I duly did, as I'm a huge fan of warm-ups! 

I was the first person to go into the audition room and was extremely nervous; I'm always confident during a show but I get very anxious in audition/interview situations. I did my speeches but was a little shaky and my mouth was terribly dry. Once I'd been through them my "Iago" was redirected a little bit, which I thought I coped with quite well.

And that was it. No questions about me, my choices or my reasons for applying to Central - all of which I'd prepped for. I was in and out in 10 minutes! I was in a group of three people and had to wait for the other two to complete their auditions before being shown around the building. The first person was in the room for 25 minutes and the second for about 20 minutes. I have to be honest and say I took this as a poor sign. I felt as though the audition panel had taken very little interest in me and were quite dismissive. 

I left wondering what I could do to improve my performance at my next audition and put Central out of my mind. I had a few hours to kill so I made my way to the National Theatre where I browsed the bookshop before taking the train back to Darlington.

I was confident that it would be a "no" from Central and this was confirmed in the new year however I wasn't too despondent. Central has a great reputation but was by far the most expensive of all the schools I applied (a whopping £18,000 for a one-year MA!). The course syllabus also didn't engage me particularly as it appeared to contain an awful lot of "personal reflection and research" rather than actual taught hours, which is what you're paying for at a drama school. I'd been in two minds whether to apply and it was strangely my top and bottom choice. Top because of reputation, bottom because of the cost and course content. Thankfully I didn't have to make that decision and took Central off the list.

One down and five more to go!
By Andrew Stainthorpe 05 Feb, 2016
A month after the disappointing visit to Central, I was ready for my second audition, this time at ArtsEd in Chiswick, London. I was ready with a positive frame of mind and went down there with the attitude, "This is mine, I've already got this!"

I'd been reading up on ArtsEd and really liked what I'd been learning: There was recent investment in the facilities; it had been awarded Drama School of the Year by The Stage; there was positive news about graduate employment; and the course sounded really useful. In fact the course was particularly appealing as it sounded very practical, covered theatre, film, TV and radio, and seemed to really prepare students for working in the industry.

Again, I arrived very early so wandered around Chiswick for a bit - nice and leafy, lots of little shops, cafes and restaurants, open green spaces. I bought a sandwich and ate it outside as it was a sunny day but I still had a little time to kill so I went to a pub a couple of doors away from ArtsEd and had a coffee. Then it was 1.30pm and time to register.

We waited for about 30 minutes before anyone came to see us but that gave us a chance to watch a few of the current students go by, listen to rehearsals for their upcoming performance of Beauty and the Beast, and chat to other people there for the audition. Interestingly there were a few people who applied to Central, including one girl who'd been there the same time as me. "Let's not talk about that horrible time!" she said...

At 2pm the course leader came and said hello and took time to personally speak to each one of us, asking our name and about your journey. I thought this was really good and put me more at ease. If they take the effort to do that it suggests that they care about their students and want to have positive relationships with them.

After that there was a group vocal warm up led by the voice tutor, which was fun and really helped me get ready for the audition. So I was feeling pretty confident when I went into the room to do my speeches in front of the voice tutor himself. They went ok and I felt much less nervous then the last audition. I'd done a little more work on them, which seemed to do the trick. When I was done I was asked a couple of questions about what I was currently doing with myself and why I'd chosen one of the speeches. And that was it. Again, I felt like I was only there for about 10 minutes whereas the girl before me was there longer. 

I didn't feel too confident when I was taken back downstairs to wait for further instructions. There were rumours that they might want to recall some people that day and it was made clear that it wouldn't be necessary to come back again; decisions would be made that day. I was resigned to not being recalled and again though I'd messed up or just wasn't good enough but I waited to see what would happen.

Once everyone had been in the course leader returned and said that they would recall some people but not to read anything into being recalled or not. Just because they were recalling some people didn't mean they didn't like the others; they just wanted to see something different from the people they asked to stay.

I was thrilled when they asked me to stay for a recall. I thought it was a chance to have another go and it boosted my confidence a bit knowing that I'd already been seen once. The recall was with the course leader and another tutor so that I could act with someone. I did my Iago speech again and although I was told I would probably be stopped and redirected, she let me finish and said I'd made really interesting choices! I then did do it again in a slightly different way (flirty, seductively) which she again said I did well and was really funny. 

Finally there were questions; questions about me and why I wanted to do the course. 

All in all, everything felt really positive and I felt very happy knowing that'd I'd had an enjoyable afternoon (almost three hours not 10 minutes!) and done my best.

And guess what? I had done my best and they must have liked me and what I did. They wrote to me the next day and offered me a place starting in September 2016!
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