What happens in the National Youth Theatre Audition ?

Hey Audition Hackers ! Today we are going decipher the National Youth Theatre Audition Day. You will hear it from a company member who did several shows with the company, Patrick Bayele. He got into the National Theatre in 2014. Besides, he got signed to Identity School of Acting Agency, IAG, in 2018. So he has some highly interesting audition advice to share with us.

Note : The National Youth Theatre is the Leading Youth Theatre Company in the world. It has produced world class actors such as Daniel Craig, Helen Mirren and Colin Firth.

Can you run me through your National Youth Theatre Audition ?

Yes, sure, it is a three hours audition in the morning, with an hour and a half workshop. It is about doing some ensemble exercise, some connecting exercise, some improvisation and devising exercise…

What kind of games were they making you do ?

One of the exercises I did for example, was about looking into the eyes of another actor for about five minutes, having my face really close to his. This exercise was all about how to connect with a partner, without thinking about yourself. I think acting is all about the other person, all about living in the given circumstances. But all in all the games were really about how a person interacts in the room, how does the person lives in the room : are they inhibited, are they shy ? Or are they active, do they bring energy to the room, do they excite others?

On that note Patrick, I would like to hear what audition advice would you give to someone who is shy ?

I used to be quite shy you know. I thought I would bore people, that they would not understand me. But the thing with the National Youth Theatre is that, what you bring to the table is what they need. You can be yourself there, they are looking for very different people and your difference is what they are looking for. If you are shy or are afraid, the problem is that you could get into the room being afraid that people think you are weird. But if you are able to deactivate that fear in your mind, and think about your uniqueness, then the panel is definitely going to be interested in you. Don’t hide whatever you think is uncomfortable or weird about you. You will start being successful when you understand that you have to come into the room bringing all of you, without inhibitions. This NYT audition room is the one place where you can take your guard down. Be weird if you want to. That willingness to give yourself to the room has been crucial for any National Youth Theatre performance I have been doing over the least three years.

What did you have in mind while doing those games ?

To be honest, I massively underestimated how big the NYT is. So when it came to the movement and games, I was not trying to impress anyone, but instead I was just having fun. I thought the NYT was just a national theatre club. It is only when I researched it even more that I realised how big a deal it is !

It is a big deal but also, you were not wrong, it is also just a national youth theatre club isn’t it ?

It is ! If I had known the prestige of the nyt auditions, I would have tried to impress the audition panel or put on a facade which is not good. But it does not mean that one has to come uninformed or unprepared. The panel just wants to see some truth in your play and some release.

What happened next ?

After the hour and a half movement and games session, we had a break and we came back to devise a story. We devised the story of a bodyguard and I was playing the bodyguard. We did it once, and they asked us to do it again, in a different way. They wanted us to collaborate more, to put our ideas on a table and share them. So back to the story, I was a bodyguard, and there was celebrities and paparazzi around me. I decided to follow my impulses and said with authority to someone that they had to back off. I saw some smiles among the panel, and I think it is because they saw that I listened to my impulses. So my advice to everyone that is going for this audition is to let go and do whatever comes into their minds.

So then there is a lunch break I heard ?

Yes there is, and during the lunch break I met this guy that had the exact same monologue as me. I thought that I had competition but it was just a sign for me to keep doing what I was planning to do. I then told myself to be myself and to just stay in what I wanted to do. So I went on to do my monologue, and I was seeing it. I could picture the environment of my character.

What advice would you give to people when they have to wait ?

Open yourself to other people. If you are prepared, you can definitely be enjoying your downtime. You can connect to other people. You don’t want to be thinking about how you are going to say your monologue.

To Conclude, three words that make a good acting performance in your opinion ?

Thoughtful, Brave and Uncompromising !

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