Auditions and why I decided to turn down my offer at Urdang

Yesterday, I was involved in helping out at my drama school’s audition process. A process, I, myself was involved in this time last year. It’s crazy to think how fast it’s all came around. I remember my auditions so clearly. Looking at the auditionees yesterday reminded me of those same feelings I was experiencing last year.

Nervous, driven and determined – I wanted to do well.

I had a few friends with me at the audition on my particular day at Laban – shoutout to Lauren Gibbon and Tara Moore.

My audition at Trinity Laban

Upon entering the audition room we proceeded to get warmed up to Vicki’s famous music mix which consisted of the Pussycat Dolls and Dreamgirls ‘One Night Only’. It involved a lot of cardio, stretching and a hands/arms movement that to this day I still get wrong. We learnt exercises from the corner and then mastered a routine, later in which we would have to perform it to the panel and the sea of people auditioning.

After completing this we went onto learning a short snippet of ‘Twenty Million People’ from My Favourite Year. In small groups we had to improvise a scene prior to the musical interlude. Next came our first choice song. I had been suffering from a persistent cold during most of my auditions and I just so happened to have chosen a Tenor’s song for my auditions despite being more of a baritone in vocal range. So when I did get up to sing I was constantly thinking – DON’T FUCK THIS UP.

My voice just wasn’t at the level I had hoped it to be on that particular day. However I proceeded on to the next half of the audition. Myself and the panel alone. This was where I got to showcase everything I had prepared. Two contrasting songs, a solo dance piece and a monologue. I started with my monologue which was about a drunk Russian on a train explaining his life. I even brought in a hipflask with me 😉 Next was my song – I was told to get angrier and my acting teacher, Helen, got up with me and work-shopped the song making me box with her. It was another one of those moments where the room was spinning and I felt free.

Then came my dance solo – a contemporary dance choreographed by myself to ‘When the tears fall’ by Tim Hughes. At this point I was majorly out of breath but the panel continued to ask me questions, I had to briefly stop, twice for water but I answered them all eventually. I just remember it being a really good day in general, I liked the atmosphere, the location and the people. so I remained optimistic. Out of all of my auditions Trinity Laban was the place that I got to workshop my material the most.

This was exactly the reactions I saw from the people auditioning yesterday. They looked like they were having an amazing time. Being on the other side this time round was crazy. It gave me an insight to how I was actually marked based on my audition and all the different factors that contribute to it being a YES or a NO. It was a great learning experience for me, I got to look at the different features within performance through others that didn’t quite work and relate them to my own performance. Physicality is a big thing and how one presents their self to a panel is another factor that can contribute to you either getting a place or not. It was eye-opening. I’m glad I helped out.


Speaking of auditions, two weeks ago I received an email from the Urdang Academy inviting me back to a funding audition this year. Last year when going through the process I decided to defer my place at the academy for financial reasons, so technically, if I wanted to, I could start at their institution either on the diploma course as they originally offered me or on the degree in September of this year. For the past two weeks I’ve been weighing up the pros and cons of going, or not, to try out the funding audition again.

My original idea was – why not, its free and it would be good to get more of an inclination as to how they feel about me? On the other hand my brain was debating like crazy analysing whether or not it would be a good idea and what I’d actually gain from it. I already have my place on my 3 year degree at Trinity Laban and I’m absolutely loving it so why would I want to jeopardise that? Urdang, like Trinity, was one of the schools that gave me a fuzzy feeling inside when auditioning there, I really did enjoy it and the glimpse of training I experienced on that day. When I received the email it got my heart feeling excited all over again  and so in order to make sense of it all I confided in my friends and past teachers on the matter.

Urdang is an exceptional school and I am by no means slating it but when thinking things through thoroughly I decided to decline the opportunity to audition there again. I’ve settled in well here at Laban and feel as though it’s the best choice for me, who I am and what I hope to achieve at the end of my 3 years. I guess you have to trust your gut and trust the information it’s giving you.

But for now though its back to my Valentines Day plans – Palentines: Sharing Valentines with your Pals. A concept thought of by a few of the second years who have invited us all round to their home for an evening of games and wine. Have an amazing evening everybody and good luck to all you auditionees out there. Shine like the stars you’re destined to be.

NOTE: The featured photo is a shot from when I was dancing at the Jellicle Ball. I felt it was appropriate for the stagey topic of this post.