(Featured Image : Daniel Craig graduated from Guildhall in 1991.)
Hey Audition Hackers ! In this post I am going to tell you everything I experienced in the BA Hons Acting Audition at Guildhall. I unfortunately did not make it to the second round so I will interview a current Guildhall BA Hons Acting student that will run you through the second and third round and give you all the tips you need to get into Guildhall! You will read some very valuable drama school audition advice.
Note : Guildhall is widely considered as a Top 3 Drama School in the UK (along with RADA and LAMDA), and is considered to to be one of the best Drama Schools in the World.
How does the Guildhall Audition start?
When you arrive at the audition venue, expect roughly 12 people with you. Some former students of the school, usually in their late twenties, will welcome you. They will make you sit down around a table and you will be given a paper to fill in. On this paper, you will be required to write down your modern monologue, your classical monologue, and your alternate classical monologue. Those students will tell you that later during the day, the panel will ask you which monologue you want to start with. They will then decide which of the other two you will perform. Once you are done with the papers, the former Guildhall students will take them back and give you stickers with numbers on it. The numbers will determine the order in which you will appear in front of the audition panel, when you go there one by one later in the day. But for now, it is time for your workshop!
What happens in Guildhall BA Hons Acting Audition workshop?
I auditioned for Guildhall twice, in 2018 and in 2019. The workshop auditions were very different from each other, so I suspect that there is a fairly important freedom for first round audition panels to decide how to lead their Guildhall Audition. I will therefore detail what happened in 2018 and then what happened in 2019, so that you can have a good idea of the different types of exercises they can make you do.
What happened in the 2018 BA Acting Guildhall Audition?
They made us walk around the room first, at different paces. We had to fill in the gaps in the room, so it was all about being aware of the space around us. Then they made us stop and close our eyes, and asked us how many windows were in the room. So again, it was pretty much about observation. After that they made us chase each other playfully. Then we stretched for a little bit. After that, they told us to walk towards the back of the room. One after the other, we had to come closer to the panel, stop, say our first name, last name, where we come from, someone that inspires us and something that we love doing. And that was all for the 2018 Guildhall Audition workshop!
What happened in the 2019 BA Acting Guildhall Audition?
The 2019 Guildhall Audition workshop was quite different from the one I did in 2018. The first thing the panel asked us to do is to go to the back of the room and imagine that we were somewhere very close to a bakery. We had to come close to the bakery and smell the aromas. The feedback from the panel on our “performance” as a group was to not fake it. To really just be there and imagine what it would feel like to smell those wonderful pastries. Most people, including me, did way too much “acting” and it was not believable. My advice is to just try being there and enjoy the moment, for yourself. Don’t try to impress the panel, they won’t buy it. Right after this exercise, we were asked to walk around the room with our eyes closed and pretend that we were in a dark forest. The exact same advice applies to the bakery exercise! Really try to feel what it is to be in total darkness. Maybe your balance is not as good? How does it make you feel? Think about that while you do it.
After those exercises we played a game similar to tag. Someone had to run and touch someone else on their upper body. If this person was touched, he would become the one running after the others unless someone else hugged them before that. We all tried the game once and were very individualistic, trying to run away from the person who tried to catch us. The panel told us to be smarter and to work as a team. When we heard that, we stopped running around and used the hugs as a tactic to protect the people of the group that were the closest to the person trying to catch people. So again, it’s all about collaboration and observation! This is a basic but efficient drama school audition advice.
Finally, we did the exact same exercise as in 2018. We had to come towards the panel one after the other and state our name, where we come from, someone that inspires us and something that fills our heart with joy. One advice that I would give here is to own the moment! They often would ask candidates to go back and start again if they did not take their time before speaking. And that was all for the 2019 Guildhall Audition workshop!
What happens just before the Guildhall individual audition?
Once you are done with the workshop, you will go back to the table you were sat at. One by one, you will be called into the audition room. Has you number being called? It is your time to get into the audition room then!
What happens in the Guildhall individual audition?
Once you get into the room, they will ask you to sit on a chair right in front of them. They will ask you basic questions such as why do you want to get into Guildhall, who is your favourite actor, why do you want to be an actor… Be prepared for those kind of questions so that you can look confident! Once you answer those, they will ask you which monologue you want to start with. On the contrary to most of the other drama school auditions I have done, I have noticed that they don’t require you to be as far back at Guildhall as they require at other schools. So no need to have a huge voice power there, or else their ears will suffer!
Once you are done with both of your monologues, they will choose which one to redirect. Below are examples of redirection I had :
- Speak to us as if you were telling a secret
- Speak to me as if we were in a bar together
- Speak to us as if this was an everyday conversation
Those re-directions are basics but not that easy to apply. Make sure that you learn your monologues many ways so that you are not “stuck” in a certain interpretation. You want to be able to shift smoothly from one way of performing it to the other!
Once you are done with your individual audition, you will have to wait for the results with the other candidates. It will come soon after the last candidate did his audition.
Did you get to the second round of the Guildhall Audition? If you did, congratulations!