What happens in the LAMDA BA Hons Acting Audition ? (Round 3)

As I did not reach the final round of LAMDA myself, this post features the LAMDA Audition Experience of Ivan du Pontavice, a very talented actor that studied at LAMDA from 2017 to 2019, in the MFA Acting. I personally interviewed him and I hope that you will enjoy his insights ! His drama school audition advice is highly valuable.

Note: LAMDA is widely regarded as a Top 8 Drama School in the UK, a top 3 Drama School in London (along with RADA and Guildhall) and as one of the best Drama Schools in the World.

Hello Ivan, can you delve into the content of the final Round at LAMDA ?

Ivan : The final Round is a full day that you spend at LAMDA. It comprises workshop sessions and an audition session. Depending on the group you are in, you will start with one or the other. Let’s say that you start with the workshop session in the morning : this workshop, which is a lot about movement, will evaluate if you know how to adapt to a group, react to directions, and if you are playful. Numerous teachers of the schools are there to watch you in this workshop.

Do you have an example of an exercise they made you do ?

Ivan : Yes, I do remember clearly the movement teacher who, during twenty minutes, asked us to throw ourselves to the ground, to release any tension, to move around freely.Specifically, she asked us to act like babies, and then suddenly like elders. Other directions included staying still and then moving again, using certain body parts to focus on during movement. So it was very, very physical. In addition to that, I did some martial arts with the stage combat teacher.

So, what do you think they were looking for here ?

Ivan : Release of tensions, reactivity, students who accept redirection without resistance. Moreover, they are looking for people who are able to listen to the space, to the group and to their environment.

OK, that’s for the first session. What happens in the afternoon ?

Ivan : The second part of the day (which will be in the afternoon if you did all of the above in the morning, and vice versa), is the audition. You will have to perform again the texts that were performed in the first and in the second rounds. Alternatively, they can also ask you to do another Shakespeare or another modern monologue, in addition or in replacement of the monologues/one of the monologues that you did in the earlier rounds. Then you will have to perform a duologue from a set of three-four duologues that was sent to you earlier. A student of the school will be here to be your partner. During all of those monologues and this duologue, you are likely to be redirected. Besides, you will get a sight-reading to reassess the quality of your speaking voice.They are willing to see if you can, without having rehearsed, bring life to a piece of text with true joy. Then, you will be asked to sing for about 30 seconds. Finally, you have an interview with about a dozen jury members including the directors of the school.

What kind of questions are they asking ?

Ivan : They want to know why do you want to go to drama school, if you are ready to live in London, what did you do before, how do you feel, why this school, what do you think it will bring you..

More specifically, what were they asking in terms of redirection ?

Ivan : I am going to tell you a specific redirection that I had. I was doing a Macbeth duologue and a modern monologue. When I finished Macbeth, the teacher asked me to put the passion and energy I had in the Macbeth duologue, into my modern monologue. I did it, and something just took off, and this is the reason why I got into LAMDA. For the first time, I surpassed myself, I was in a state of total release. I trusted the teacher and it led me to do something that I did not even rehearse.

Do you know today what got you to succeed in this LAMDA BA Hons acting audition ? Any drama school audition advice for the readers ?

Ivan : Several things helped me to do that. First I was in a state of excitement and joy due to the Macbeth duologue that went well. I had some clarity regarding the character of Macbeth. This state of clarity helped me to gain confidence when I then switched to the modern monologue. Besides, the teacher gave me some really good redirection which led me to understand much better what I needed to do. So when I did my modern monologue, I did not have to think. I was just saying the words and it just made sense, all of a sudden.

Did you find a logic that helped understanding your character ?

Ivan : Yes a logic, but moreover a clarity, which is the most important thing. A renowned teacher at LAMDA was always saying that an actor who nailed his performance always has a clarity on the nature and the intention of his/her character. At LAMDA we were taught what is the function of the character in the play and his essence so that when we would play, there is a very clear intention. It is the only way to do a performance that truly pleases us and the audience.

To conclude, three words which make a good performance in your opinion ?

Ivan : Transformation, Clarity and Joy.

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