(Featured Image : Andrew Garfield graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2004.)
Hey Audition Hackers ! This article follows my very first one and is all about the second round audition at the Royal Central School speech or drama, specifically for the BA Acting CDT (Collaborative and Devised Theatre). I will share here my drama school audition advice.
Note: Central is widely regarded as a Top 8 Drama School in the UK, a top 5 Drama School in London and as one of the best Drama Schools in the World.
How does the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama Second Round CDT Audition starts?
This Round is very unique when you look at all the others rounds done at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Be ready for a very, very physical workshop.
You will usually start by a little run around the rehearsal room that you will be in. You will typically have 3 people observing you. To start off, they will probably ask you to run at different paces and to balance out the audition room by filling any empty space.
Once this is done, they can ask you to do a wide range of exercises. I will develop those one by one. I have done this round twice and will therefore detail what happened in 2018 and in 2019. I am willing to share both of them with you because different panels do different auditions. So what happened in 2019 will not necessarily happen in 2020! It could happen again in 2021, or not happen again. Those examples simply give you an insight on the “type of auditions” they run.
What happened in Central BA Acting CDT Second Round in 2018?
They asked us to get into a circle, and then to designate each other with a number, as part of a game. Let’s say you are 8 people. Joe becomes #1, Lucie becomes #2, Anna becomes #3 and so on. So when Joe says #2, he is calling Lucie. Lucie then says #3 to call Anna. Got it? Good, because it is going to get even more complicated. Now an invisible ball is going to be passed around the circle. In a consistent order as well, but a different one. So now, by a hand gesture, Joe gives the invisible ball to Anna, she then has to give it to Alan, and Alan gives it to someone else, up until the point where Joe gets the invisible ball again.Then Joe gives it again to Anna, she gives it to Alan…You get the idea. So you will basically be in the middle of two games and will have to be on your toes to react accordingly. For this exercise, I would simply advise you to try and be constantly aware of what is happening around you. Always have your eyes screening the whole circle. Constantly. If you do that you should be fine!
After that they asked us to follow students of the school that were walking in front of us. Progressively, we were asked to imitate their walking style. Once that was done, they asked us to exaggerate their walking style, but still while following them. Then the students left, and we had to continue to exaggerate their physicality, while still walking around the room. We were then told to push this exaggeration into a creature, a “monster”. They asked us to go at the back of the room, and one by one, we had to improvise in front of the panel using the newly found creature we built. This improvisation was, however, guided. They would be interviewing our creature to discover it, asking questions such as “Who are you? What do you do on weekends?”. We were then expected to respond in character, using our new voice and body language.
The third exercise was a group exercise. We had to create a way to cross the audition room in a way that would involve three different environments. With my group, we pretended that the first part of the room was a very muddy farm. So we crawled through that farm. The second part was an erupting volcano. So we were jumping around to avoid lava. Our last environment was a very busy city so we pushed each other around.
The last exercise was the redirection of monologues in a very similar way as the Second Round of the BA Acting.
What happened in Central BA Acting CDT Second Round in 2019?
In 2019, to my surprise, it was very different. After the warm up explained above, we had to walk around the rehearsal room and they asked us to find a partner, look at him in the eyes, and jump simultaneously. Then we had to walk around, move on to another partner, and do it again. Then, using that connection that we created, we had to find another partner and pretend that we are holding a bamboo stick, placed between your index and the index of your partner. You will then be able to push, pull, move around this imaginary bamboo stick. In that exercise, the panel is looking for flexibility, and overall connection to your partner. Don’t try to lead too much, but don’t let yourself being pushed around to much!
After that we did two exercises that included our monologues. We were asked to go to the back of the audition room and recite one of our classical monologues while moving forward and backwards, as if we were attached to a string that could go only… forward and backwards. In that exercise they are looking for fluidity and the relationship between the words and your body. For example if there is a shift in your monologue, it is the right time to move in a different direction! This is a simple but effective drama school audition advice.
Finally, they will ask you to to do one of your classical monologues using movement. For example, I was doing Ferdinand in the duchess of malfi who is without question a very tormented character. They thus asked me to stretch my body, to accentuate the tension I have in me. And then I had to speak using the physical sensation I experienced. I tried to let go and listen to what they said.
In Conclusion, I would say that the Second Round Audition of the BA Acting CDT of Central is about being playful, flexible, very open to propositions and aware of yourself, others, and the space. If you can do all that (easier said than done I know), there is no doubt that you will pass this round!!
Did you make it to the last round? If you did, congratulations!!