SO YOU WANT TO GO TO DRAMA SCHOOL? Helen Freeman
Nick Hern Books
ISBN: 9 781848 420168
(Part of the So You Want To . . . series.)
RRP 9.99 gbp
Review: Rod Dungate 02 04 10
So here’s a neat little book.
I regularly teach undergraduate actors, see a lot of work from young people many of whom aspire to go to drama school, and, yes, sit on audition panels at a drama school. And I’m still happy to say: Here’s a neat little book.
Helen Freeman’s book is full of useful information, but before we come to that, there’s something else . . . I can’t see all of the students wishing to audition, following most of this advice. But that’s interesting in itself; students who can’t be bothered to take the auditioning process seriously are the students who are trusting to their luck, or who have an inflated sense of their own talent. The ones who don’t have a questioning enough mind. The students you don’t want at a drama school.
For those who do want to take this matter seriously there’s not a page in this book that doesn’t contain something useful and important.
Helen Freeman’s starting point, not surprisingly, is to encourage potential students to ask themselves the question: Why do you want to act? But this becomes: What do we mean by acting? and a discussion about the meanings of fame and success. She then encourages students to go through some serious self-appraisal.
Freeman gives helpful advice on Drama Degree v Drama School – a complicated one, particularly since many drama schools now offer degrees. Research, she assures the reader, is vital. Her advice on selection of audition pieces is excellent, including the wisdom of selecting pieces the young person feels a connection with. In preparing the pieces she suggests a clever process built around an imagined website ‘www.thetimeandtheplace.com’ (you’ll have to read the book for an explanation.
Dos and Don’ts are offered. As is advice on audition day, when auditionees are counselled not to wear ‘weapons of mass distraction.’ The first 30 seconds are investigated in depth.
This is an immensely practical book, no-nonsense. Young people wanting to audition for drama school – read it; teachers in schools and colleges delivering Performing Arts qualifications – make sure you have several copies in your library . . . and why not read it yourself.
(i)Here’s a link to the book on Amazon:(/i)