So I’ve finally had my first drama school audition! I travelled down the day before, getting the train to London then a bus across into Oxford, and settled into the hostel for the night. Not a pleasant night’s sleep when you have three old women snoring like the grudge all night! I left bright and early the next day to catch the bus out to the school.
Not overly sure why they call it ‘Oxford’ school of drama when in fact it is a good half an hours journey on a rickety old bus that feels like its away to break down any second. The actual school is quaint, made up of several little buildings. We were moved into a bare hut with a kettle and a microwave – the schools ‘catering’ facilities – then split off into two groups.
My group went off to the theatre, again found in a little extra building, and we done a group warm up. It started off with just general movements, then we had to paint a picture using our bodies – a picture that abstractly shows a moving moment from a play you had recently seen! Next they played two pieces of music while we had to explore the room – I done this in quite an animalistic way, covering the ground low and getting a few kicks in the head! After we had been judged on this we were split into 3 groups to do our monologues.
By this point I was already feeling like I didn’t particularly like the school, its location, or the attitude of its staff, but this is all personal opinion. I was last to go in my group, and just as an extra hurdle the girl before me performed the same monologue – Kate from Taming of the Shrew. When it was my turn I made a joke about how it was the same piece but approached very differently, and the woman on the panel just said ‘It’s fine, we’ve seen it hundreds of times before’. Great attitude there then. Whether I was put off by that, or whether I had just lost the passion for that school, my Shakespeare monologue didn’t go as planned, and my unique interpretation of Kate having an in-joke with Petruchio, and dictating a letter to the other women didn’t really come across. I felt my contemporary monologue went a lot better, but it was a bit late by then. Right enough, after lunch (when a man drives a sandwich van up to the school, seriously) we were split into two groups again. Minutes later we were informed that our group was unsuccessful and would not be recalled, giving us some incredibly useless general audition feedback such as ‘wear loose clothing’. To be honest I was not that upset at not getting the callback, by this point I had realised that I would not be happy at this school, and would not want to attend here anyway.
From the feedback that I was given I was told that I was marked very highly on energy and preparation, but low on imagination (definitely the first time I’ve ever been told that!) For both my monologues I seemed a bit self-conscious of the movement (damn nerves), and I needed to commit more to the Shakespeare piece, and not rush through my contemporary. All things I kind of already knew (with the exception of imagination), and hopefully things I can work on before my next audition!
Hopefully thats been helpful to anyone applying to Oxford School of Drama 🙂