The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (most commonly known as Central) is based in Hampstead London and trained the likes of Judi Dench, Laurence Olivier and Andrew Garfield. The School has a really nice building and what was great was we had a tour of the building whilst we were there. Centrals Acting course is split into 3 pathways: Acting, MT and Collaborative Devised Theatre. Whats good about Central is that you can pay the fee and get to audition for all three courses in the same day.
Sending off your applications:
Central is one of the few courses that requires you apply through UCAS which means you have to fill out all their forms and do a dreaded personal statement. Once you have filled out all their requirements and have your reference attached you can send it off! Once it is sent it will then send off to the School.
I then got an email from the school offering me an audition and giving me a link to choose a date. Here I was also able to choose my preference of the three courses from first to last. This ended up determining who was in my group on the day.
What to prepare:
Central ask that you prepare quite a number of things due to being able to audition for all three courses.
They ask for:
2 Shakespeare Monologues from the list supplied on their website.
A Modern Monologue
One Unaccompanied Song
One Song with accompaniment.
Bring with you a passport size photo of yourself – I printed out a couple of my Headshots portrait size!
However, I didn’t use my second Shakespeare.
So I arrived at Central and we were taken into the Theatre Auditorium whilst we filled in 3 copies of the same form with the titles of our monologues and when we return them we give them our passport photo. (ADVISE: Bring a paperclip!)
There was a daunting amount of people there and more than I have ever seen at an audition. We figured out at the end of the morning there was 90 people there.
When all the paper work was handed back we went into a large rehearsal room where we were put in 9 groups. A member of the faculty gave us an introduction to the course and told us about the audition. She also a ran a warm up with us which was really helpful to shake off the nerves.
Then three groups started with the Acting Panel, three with the MT Panel and three started on the tour and we then worked in a rotation. My group was one to do it in this order.
Before we went into the panel all three groups were held in a studio to wait their turn which was quite bizarre as everyone was spreading rumours and talking about what they thought would happen in when they got in there. (Advise: Don’t listen to them)
When I was called into the audition room I was asked to do my Shakespeare monologue (just one) and I did the one I was most confident with but was a tad long. So when I went to do my modern monologue I was stopped halfway but Im pretty sure this was just a time constraint thing. They didn’t really say anything on the acting panel it was pretty in and out.
Then we went had the MT panel and we warmed up a bit with the pianist and then all sat down together in the room. We were then asked up one by one to sing our unaccompanied song, if you wanted you were able to go over to the piano and get your note, which they would sometimes stop halfway through or towards the end due to time constraints again. We were then asked to do another Shakespeare monologue, I did the same one I did that morning as I just felt more confident with that one so I never ended up doing my other monologue from the list. I don’t think doing the same one worked against me as everyone did that.
Our tour was pretty cool and it was nice to see all of Central, they have some really good performance spaces and rehearsal rooms!
Then we broke for lunch and when we came back we went back to the room we had our warm up and they read out the names of those they wanted to stay back into the afternoon.
Luckily, my name was called out! Some people were recalled for one of the pathways and some for all three! There was only 5/6 girls called back for Musical Theatre so I was pretty pleased with myself!
When I went back into the room I had my MT Panel in there was the pianist from before and the same lady who auditioned me and one other guy I hadn’t met yet. In there I was asked to sing my accompanied song once on my own and once with one of the student helpers taking on a role and acting with me. Then the pianist asked if I could sing soprano and asked me to sing ‘I could have danced all night’ from my fair lady which I had NOT prepared so THANK U VICKY CALVER FOR MAKING ME SING THAT THAT ONE TIME WHEN I WAS 12.
The panel guy I didn’t know then said that I was finding it all too easy and acting isn’t interesting without some struggle. He then spent the rest of the half an hour I was in there grilling me with all kinds of improv tasks to try and catch me out. I finished the recall with doing my modern monologue a couple times.
Overall I was super pleased with what I did and I was proud of myself for getting that far!