Two days ago was my audition at RCS up in Glasgow and I made it to the recall stage which was such a RELEIF!!! Let me take you through the day.
So I arrived at the school around 20 minutes early feeling chilled but focussed – my audition was scheduled for 10:30am – and was asked to hang around until 10.25am. When the time came, my group (which consisted of 4 people) were taken to the audition room by one of the 1st year drama students and were asked to sit outside. Pinned to the door was a list with all 4 names on it – mine was on top so I assumed that I’d be first. After about five minutes, as predicted, they called me in. Had to take a few deep breaths to prepare myself…
Once I got inside I shook the two panelists’ hands, one man and one woman. I believe they asked me how I was feeling and I think I responded with something upbeat. The man told me to take my time and to do the audition monologues in whatever order I preferred. As I always practiced the contemporary one (Finda from ‘Liberian Girl’ by Diana Nneka Atuona) first I went ahead in that order. I had to quickly remind myself of the context of the monologue and create a sense of urgency. Once it was over the panel seemed to be pleased so that was reassuring. I also felt like I performed well, thus I was very positive at this point. Next I went straight into the Shakespeare (Titania from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’). I prefer my contemporary piece overall because I can connect to it a lot more and the character has more of a moving backstory. Anyway, after they watched both monologues they asked me to pull up a chair for the interview part. From the top of my head these are the questions I remember (though not word for word).
- Why did you choose that contemporary piece?
- How would you cope moving up to Glasgow?
- Why did you decide to apply to the RCS?
- Where else have you applied to and why?
Overall, I think they just wanted to get a sense of my personality and evaluate whether I would be ready to commit to the course if I were to be accepted. After the interview they said that the recall list would be up around 1.30pm and I was free to do whatever I liked until then. I decided to wait until the rest of my group were finished so that we could go for lunch together.
There was a bit of confusion about what time the list would go up. The rest of the applicants of the day (around 16 in total) were told by someone else that the list would go up at 2.30pm so the extra wait made everyone particularly panicky. At half past, the 1st year student took us all up to the audition room. Pinned to the door was the recall list. As I got closer and closer I called upon the Holy Spirit under my breath (not that I’m religious) to calm me down. Thankfully my name, as well as a few others’ in my group from the morning, was on the list. All three of us sighed in relief – it was a really great feeling to have made it to the second stage. All those who hadn’t made the cut were thanked and escorted to café area. Everyone else had to quickly prep for the recall audition.
All six of us who got the recall were given a few short texts to have in preparation for the sight-reading test. There were about 8 options to choose from. A few minutes later, we were asked to come back into the audition room for some improvisation exercises. Another man had joined the panel and he led it for the duration of the recall.
We started off playing about 2/3 improvisation games. This required us to be quick on our feet so that we could easily respond to whatever was thrown at us (not literally!). We then split into two groups of 3 and were asked to improvise – 3 siblings had a sick parent but none of them wanted that parent to move in with them. The panellists walked around as we were acting and observed us closely. After sometime the lead panellist stopped us and said that we would start the individual part of the recall. While this took place everyone not being auditioned would have to wait outside. I was first up again because my name came first alphabetically.
Once alone with the panel, I was asked to repeat both of my monologues but was warned that they may stop me, which they did – about half way into the Shakespeare. The woman suggested an alternative way of playing Titania and asked me to redo the monologue. (Earlier on, the lead panellist did state that they would propose a new way for us to perform one of our pieces and that they would be gauging our ability to understand and effectively carry out any new directions.) Luckily, the direction I received was very clear and precise, and that made my job much easier. After this, they asked me to preform my sight-reading piece and asked me why I chose to perform it in the way that I did. I wasn’t exactly sure what to say because the choices I made were pretty much instinctive but they seemed to appreciate the response. Anyway, once that was over the actual interview part commenced. These are the questions that I remember them asking (again not word for word).
- What are you up to now?
- Elaborate on the previous experience that I have.
- Why do you want to pursue training even though you have professional experience?
- What are your plans if you don’t get into RCS this year?
As a side note, I’ve been told many times that is always best to be truthful whenever answering questions rather than saying what you THINK they want you to say. Bearing this in mind, I think it naturally made our conversation flow because I had to think before responding as opposed to recalling a rehearsed answer.
At the end of the interview I thanked them and went outside to fill the others in (an obvious obligation in such a situation). When all the individual recall auditions were completed, the 6 of us were brought back in for a short Q&A.
To summarise, I’d say that I had a wonderful and informative day. Everyone at the school was super nice and very friendly; in general, I find that the further I am from London the nicer the people.!The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland have a lot to offer their students and have great links around the UK. I really do hope that I get to the 3th and 4th stages. Fingers crossed!
P.S. Have received a response from the school and they want me to come back on Monday 9th March for the 2nd recall. Get in there!