Drama School Audition Experience: Guildhall

So this school has two buildings, old and new. Both buildings are next to the Barbican theatre but the building I had my audition in the new building at the basement level. Guildhall is most known for its music department but its drama department has had a ton of success and is pretty prestigious. I had heard a lot about this audition before going to it that it was a great day and one of the best so I had high hopes that regardless of the outcome it would be a valuable experience.

 

Sending off Applications:

To apply for Guildhall you need to go to their website and course page and press ‘Apply Now’. From here you will be taken to their own applicant portal where they will ask you to fill in personal information and attach a personal statement and headshot. One of these questions is ‘Where else are you applying’ and a TIP from me is that if you are doing a mix of musical theatre and acting I would only write down the acting schools you are applying to. Then all you have to do is pay and send it off, the cost of this audition is £64 so the most expensive one so far.

They took a while to get back to me about when my audition date was and it was slightly unnerving so don’t freak out.

 

Preparation:

This school asks you to prepare the most of any of the other schools as they ask for:

  1. A Classical Speech – Shakespeare ect.
  2. A Modern Speech – Published after 1956 and by a British playwright
  3. A Contemporary Speech – Published in the 21st Century
  4. An Unaccompanied Song (You don’t always get asked to do this)

 

The Audition:

In the audition invite email they give you the date, time and address of your audition and ask you to enter through the stage door. I could not find the stage door so I went straight into the main reception area and was just like hey where is it. It is at the back of the school down this alley, there is a receptionist who you can sign in with and she then tells you to go to level -2 in the elevator.

There we just kind of waited about on these canteen type tables, the building was really nice but very empty and quiet and I personally didn’t feel at ease there like I did at, for example, Rose Bruford or Laban. We then were gathered up and taken upstairs to a round table where 3 alumni gave us our numbers (this is only for the warm up and what order we audition individually in) explained the process and chatted to us about the school. Here you also have to write down on a piece of paper what pieces you have brought with you.

We then went through into a small black box studio next to where the canteen chairs were led by the audition panel, also alumni. The warm up was basic exercises like the walking round the room one, light stretches and focus games. It was really interesting and quite cool to get to warm up before the audition.

When you go for your individual audition you have one of the 3 alumni with you. You will go back into the same room as the warm up and you will get to choose which of your 3 speeches you start with, you will only need to do 2 unless they choose to see 3. They then workshopped these with you. This was quite rough and they mainly wanted me to stop doing a ‘actor voice’ during Shakespeare and I redid the speech a couple times and then moved onto my modern choice before them asking to chat to me about life.

They mentioned that I was auditioning for both musical theatre and actor and said which would you choose if you got offered both and I found this really tricky to answer and I felt like what ever I said would come off like I wasn’t 100% committed to acting. Then they were like okay start your Shakespeare in the voice your talking to us now, so I was like okay and started but I was just doing it casually. MISTAKE. They were like no with the same intention so I tried my best but the whole time I was like ugh this is so frustrating because In my mind I know what they mean and I can picture how I would do it but in this moment it isn’t coming out my mouth! It was super frustrating and I felt really deflated.

I left and went back up to the table with everyone else and I sat there for about 20 minutes as I was no.4 to audition (I finished at 11)  and the results of who has a recall doesn’t get put up on the door until 2:30 so I decided to leave. I know the etiquette is to stay and wait and all gather round the piece of paper but I just felt really uncomfortable and on edge in the building and I didn’t really want to wait there for another 3 and half hours feeling weird. They said that it was 100% fine to go If you have to rush off (I said I had to rush off) and it is normal as people have to get trains home if they have travelled and said you can call after 2.30 to find out if you have a recall. I did have a wander round the building before I left and exited past the reception so I felt I got a good peek around the building.

It really is just a personal thing how you feel about a school but I completely see why everyone said that the audition was so cool because it was really involved and the workshopping gives you a chance to show off more and it just feels like more for your money I guess. I just didn’t feel comfortable there and when I rang to hear if I had a recall I was almost relieved in a way as I didn’t want to go back.

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