Thanks to Marcus Walters Photography for shooting our 2012 graduate’s headshots. Here they are:
Thanks to Marcus Walters Photography for shooting our 2012 graduate’s headshots. Here they are:
Here is some advice and guidance for those who are preparing their audition monologues for upcoming drama school auditions in November. There are usually many more applicants than available places so preparation and hard work is required to be successful in securing an offer. Having seen many auditions for places at Sydney Theatre School in the past eight years and also having auditioned many applicants for other drama schools and productions I have identified some problem areas and issues that often arise. Here are my top ten tips:
CHOOSE AN APPROPRIATE PIECE
• A character or role you are likely to be cast in (ask others for their opinion if they know the play)
• A character close to your age, type, gender, physicality etc.
• Avoid using accents unless specifically requested
• Read the play and identify the character’s objectives and actions
• Look up the meaning of words you don’t understand (esp. with Shakespeare)
• Check correct pronunciation of unfamiliar words (esp. with Shakespeare)
• Over-learn the lines and perform the piece for someone prior to the audition
WARM UP PROPERLY BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
• May not be time or room to warm up at the venue
• Control your breath especially if you are nervous
• Project your voice properly (by using resonance – not shouting)
TREAT THE AUDITION AS A PERFORMANCE
• Don’t stop during the audition unless asked by the panel
• Request a prompt or ask to hold the script only if you must (signifies lack of preparation/confidence)
KEEP IT SIMPLE
• Keep still unless movement is required (don’t wander aimlessly)
• Don’t lock yourself into patterns. Be flexible and in the moment
DON’T BE INFLUENCED BY OTHERS
• Don’t change anything if someone does the same piece as you in a different way.
• Trust your own instincts
DON’T APOLOGISE OR MAKE EXCUSES
• The panel is not interested in reasons why you are under-prepared (eg sickness; family issues, work; holidays etc)
• NEVER admit you were not happy with your performance (they might have liked it!)
DON’T BERATE YOURSELF IF IT DOESN’T GO WELL
• Remember there is no such thing as a perfect performance or audition
BE CONFIDENT AND POSITIVE BEFORE AND AFTER THE AUDITION
• Have confidence to be yourself
• Aim to project a friendly and professional demeanor
• Answer questions honestly and directly
LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE
• Evaluate your performance and identify what worked and what didn’t and why
Mark Matthews – Course Director
You can’t learn to act by reading a book. You can’t learn to act by enrolling in an on-line course. No-one can actually teach you how to act. Anyone who tells you they can is usually trying to sell you their book, on-line course or workshop based on their own ‘secret’ technique.
Acting talent is just like intelligence or physical beauty. What you are born with is what you have to work with and make the best of throughout your career. You can certainly learn and develop important acting-related skills, knowledge, values and attitudes by reading books or taking part in workshops and then applying what you have learnt in practice at a later time. However these things will do nothing whatsoever to help you improve or develop your natural talent as an actor. The problem is that the ‘gurus’ selling their products generally don’t make this distinction and will have you believe that by listening to them talk or watching them teach in a workshop; reading their books; or signing up for their on-line courses; you will learn their ‘secrets’ and unlock the key to success as an actor. This is most unlikely.
There is only one way to learn to act and that is to act. Just like there is only one way to learn to play soccer. Or to drive a car properly on the road. Or to play a musical instrument proficiently. No amount of reading, theorising, listening or discussing will help you as much as the actual doing of it. Regularly. In the case of acting it is also helpful to do it front of audiences and/or cameras (rather than in front of teachers and classmates) as soon as possible (just like it’s best to play competitive soccer games against strong opposition rather than to do training drills with your team-mates all the time). The audience is the greatest teacher and the greatest asset an actor has while training and while performing throughout their career. They (even the expectation of their presence at a future time) are a much better motivator for the student actor than grades or teacher/guru approval will ever be. The student actor will really start to learn their craft properly and begin to progress rapidly when they start performing in productions.
Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with knowledge and theory but major problems arise for the student actor when their focus shifts away from trust in their own instincts and creativity and onto showing how well they have understood whatever ‘technique’ is being promoted by their training institution or teacher in order get good grades and avoid failure. A good actor-training institution will do the exact opposite. They will set in place structures and procedures that allow the student actor to take risks; to make discoveries; to play; to experiment; and to create freely without fear of being expelled if they ‘fail’. This is how professional actors and directors (should) approach their work and this is the type of learning environment student actors should be allowed to experience from the very start of their training. Most students at most drama schools are simply learning how to be good drama students rather than learning how to be working actors in a professional rehearsal-room environment.
There are way too many aspiring actors who are being mis-led by ‘gurus’ and institutions that are trying to package, market and sell something as their own ‘secret’ process which is actually better learnt through practice and performance in an on-the-job, real-world environment.
There is an old adage that if something seems too good to be true then it probably is….so beware of acting gurus promising the world and learn the craft of acting properly through production-based training.
From day one at Sydney Theatre School I felt welcome and comfortable. I have had the best year of my life and learned so much not only in terms of my acting and the industry, but with myself. Taking on three completely different productions and working with professional and dedicated directors were experiences I will never forget and will take with me for the rest of my acting career. This course is absolutely perfect for anybody serious about becoming a professional actor.
Sydney Theatre School is a fantastic course. It really was a year that changed my life. Not only did I get to work with three highly experienced and brilliant directors, but I also got valuable experiences and opportunities. I would highly recommend this course to anyone wishing to enter the industry. Ten out of ten.
This is a great course for gaining experience in performance…working with three directors gives you a great variety of methods and feedback. I have grown so much as an actor this year with each term teaching me new techniques. I loved every minute, met heaps of great people and learnt a lot.
Sydney Theatre School taught me so much about myself and my capabilities as well as about the practicalities af the acting world. It will open many doors for me in the future and has been an amazing start towards an acting career. Bonding closely with professional directors and fellow students has been a highlight for me.
This course has provided me with everything I need to make a start in the acting industry. Not only have I grown and developed as an actor, I have also gained vital knowledge of the industry that will help me in launching my professional career. This course has exceeded my expectations and I have also made friendships that will last a lifetime.
I really appreciated my time at Sydney Theatre School. The skills I learnt were invaluable. The course gave me confidence and reinforced the importance and beauty of acting and theatre. The production-based training is the greatest aspect; it made me learn quickly under pressure.
STS has been an amazing experience. Being able to graduate with three productions under my belt is great. The directors have been so helpful and inspiring and the lessons learnt have been truly helpful.
The Diploma of Theatre Performance is the only part-time acting course that offers REAL opportunities in the industry: working with directing professionals who are challenging and active in, eg; the Darlinghurst and Belvoir Street theatres; performing at venues such as NIDA and the amazing incentive of securing an agent at the end of the year if my work was outstanding.
My year at Sydney Theatre School was truly an experience to remember for the rest of my life. I enjoyed learning a great deal about the craft of acting and pushed myself further than I thought imaginable.
This year has been a very challenging and positive experience, at all levels, personal, creative and professional….The commitment of all the directors involved is, as far as I am concerned, astounding.
A great opportunity to work with industry professionals in a practical environment. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone that wants to learn about drama and theatre and the skills required to be a professional actor.
This past year at Sydney Theatre School has been an excellent experience. Being able to work on three different types of productions with three very different directors has increased my skills dramatically as an actor and taught me a lot about the real world of acting.
I have learnt so much this year and my confidence has grown. As someone coming back into theatre it was a great course for polishing old skills but also learning new ones and taking things to the next level.
Sydney Theatre School has been an amazing experience that has firmly set in place the fundamentals and put me on the right path for a successful acting career. The classes have been varied and comprehensive and there is no better way to apply what we have learnt than having the opprtunity to perform at the end of each term.
I would highly recommend Sydney Theatre School to anyone looking to enter the industry. You have the opportunity to learn from three different directors who each have their own style. I was able to figure out what works best for me and where to go next. A very enjoyable year.
Sydney Theatre School has been an experience I will never forget. I gained so many skills and it did wonders for my confidence. I met so many life-long friends and it has been the most amazing year of my life.
I can’t begin to describe what a fantastic year I have had. It’s been a wonderful experience, and I have gained valuable insight into the industry by working with some of Sydney’s most talented directors. The flexible night time/Saturday classes are fantastic if you choose to study or work in between your shows.
All I have to say is that Sydney Theatre School was not only the best time of my life but it was also the most fun! You learn so much from the directors and the atmosphere makes you want to push your skills to the limit!
I learnt so much in my short amount of time at Sydney Theatre School. Not only did I gain the knowledge of what is needed to become a professional actor, I also learnt so much about myself. I now have more confidence to go out into the world and follow my acting dream.
The course was good. Very good. It has certainly changed me as a person, and for that I am eternally grateful. The production-based aspect of the course was what drew me to it, and it has made me into a more experienced performer. This wouldn’t have happened if all we’d focused on was technique.
I believe that you learn more when you are on the job and that is exactly what has happened during my time at Sydney Theatre School. Throughout the year I have been given the opportunity to work with three of the most amazing directors on three amazing plays.
Sydney Theatre School provides you with fantastic practical experience as well as invaluable information about the industry and the business of being an actor. I highly recommend it for all people considering acting as a career.
The thing I loved most about this course was being able to make mistakes, learn to act and give everything a go while at the same time being treated like a professional. It was a fantastic opportunity that allowed me to push my boundaries.
This is so true...MUST WATCH! http://t.co/3GiKdUSSJi
- Thursday Sep 18 - 11:14pm
Our second year acting students performed Shakespeare's Measure for Measure at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in... http://t.co/EbWmU97XOC
- Thursday Sep 18 - 10:28am
"To be born at all is a miracle...so what are you going to do with your life?" Sir Ken Robinson (see video below) http://t.co/J8O2nednXU
- Wednesday Sep 17 - 11:54pm
"Oh...I've never heard of that school!" :-) http://t.co/NfXgzjTgVa
- Tuesday Sep 16 - 11:40pm
As a professional and highly-regarded actor-training institute, Sydney Theatre School provides practical teaching that’s production-based by design and industry-driven by nature.
Fostered in a creative environment that’s enriched with like-minded people, we encourage and support your passion for acting because we understand the motivation behind it.
Sydney Theatre School is a Registered Training Organisation approved by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to deliver training, assessment and qualifications and a member of ACPET.