(Featured Image : Charlie Cox got into Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2002. He left the school when he got cast for the 2004 film adaptation of the Merchant of Venice).
Hey Audition Hackers ! This post will be dedicated to everything I experienced in the Round 1 of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School audition. I will share here some drama school audition advice.
Note: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is widely regarded as a Top 8 Drama School in the UK, and as one of the best Drama Schools in the World.
How does Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Audition starts ?
The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School first round audition is very straightforward. You will spend roughly 15 minutes in the audition Room. When you arrive at the school, you have to announce it to the person at the reception. They will give you your piece of sight reading. That’s why it is recommended to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your audition, so that you have time to prepare for this. Read the piece thoroughly once, picturing in you head what happens in the extract. Once you have done this, try to read it the second time, to identify shifts, changes, that will help you read the piece differently. If the character in the extract goes from a quiet place to a noisy one, maybe your reading rhythm will change, and you will also speak a bit louder, or faster for example. Wait, you have been called in the audition room ? Ok, it’s time to get ready then.
What happens in the audition room ?
The first round audition at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is quite thorough in the number of different art forms you have to perform. This will include your classical and contemporary monologue, your sight reading, and singing around 30 seconds of the song of your choice.
The Classical and Contemporary monologues
One of the members of the panel will guide you into the room, often the most “junior” one. Once you are there, they will ask you a few question about yourself, and quickly switch to what monologues and song you are going to perform for them. Once that is done, they will ask you to go in the back of the room and start with the monologue of your choice. As I said in other articles, my advice is to be ready to speak loud and clear, because this line is quite far behind. Simple but I can assure you that this is a very useful drama school audition advice.
The sight reading
Once you are done with both of your monologues, you will be asked to do the sight reading.Try to be as distant as you can from the piece of paper. Take your time to memorise the first sentence. Read it aloud with your head up, and when you come at the end of the sentence, look back at the piece of paper and try to memorise the next one or part of it. By doing that, you will always have a few words memorised which will allow you to have a more lively performance. Memorising a few words here and there will allow you to act while you read.
Once you are done with the sight reading, they will ask you to sing one couplet and the chorus of a song of your choice. Do not worry if you think that you don’t have any specific singing talent ! Pick a song that showcases your acting abilities. One that helps you tell a story or say something that matters to you ! If you do that, it should be enough to pass this part of the audition.
Redirection of one of your monologues
Once you are done with that, they will ask you to do one of your monologues with a different intention. I will say one thing : listen, and try to do it ! Do not judge what they say. Do not question it.They want to see how flexible you are. Whatever they ask you to do, try your best to do it. I’ll give you my personal example. I was doing Benedick from much Ado about nothing and I was saying how much I want to love Beatrice, a girl that recently “admitted” that she loves me. The panel told me to be aware that it was the first time I ever had someone falling in love with me. I had to be much more surprised than I was earlier when I first performed it. I did it again, trying to be more surprised than I was the first time. I just listened and try to do it. It is all they are asking for.
What happens next ?
Once you are done with all of that, you are good to go ! Smile, say good bye, and leave the room. Don’t analyse what you have done, you will waste your time and energy ! Try to simply wait for the results. Are you successful ? If you are, congratulations !