“I Have Dreamed A Dream….”

14 02 2012

I had a rough night last night. I couldn’t really sleep.

This is the 24 hours leading up to 3am last night.

Monday the 13th February

3:00am –
Lying awake on Pats sofa in Battersea trying to foresee ever possible scenario for the audition that afternoon. Went over my pieces again and settled on the piece I would use for singing if they wanted to see it and listened to the song on my iPhone a few times. Finally drifted off to sleep between 4 and 5am.

8:30am –
I’m shook awake by Pat whose already getting ready for work. I’m blinded by the sunlight coming in through the living room window. Forgot to close the curtains the night before. I’m feeling crap already from the lack of sleep. I can hear Pat’s landlady in the kitchen asking him why I’m actually in London. He tells her about my audition, must have forgot to mention it to her when I got there on Saturday. Spend the next few hours pottering about, relaxing. I make the decision to skip all food and drink until after my audition, would rather not have anything that could upset my stomach between now and then. Showered, went over my pieces again and watched TV for a bit before setting out towards Barbican.

1:00pm –
Arrive at Sundial Court and make my way down to the basement. The Guildhall’s SU bar area. Few people already there, most of them look younger. I’m already feeling uneasy but I put it down to nerves. I go and get changed in the mens and then come out to see a few more people have turned up. We’re lead off to a room off one side of the SU bar and are given the schedule for the afternoon. Introductions are done. Everyone here is younger than my by at least 4 years. I feel old.

1:25pm –
We’re given numbers, the order in which we’re going be auditioning. I’m 8, there’s 13 of us altogether. We’re asked to write our number, names and what pieces we’re doing on a slip of paper. We’re still waiting for one more girl to arrive before we go in to meet the judging panel and have a warm up. There’s three students who have already graduated from the BA acting course looking after us. I’m older than them too. I am the only one auditioning for the MA in this group. The last girl finally turns up and we’re taken through to another room for the warm up.

1:45pm –
In the process of the warm up we’re playing a game called the wolf and sheep. Idea is that everyone is crouched on the floor as stones. One person is nominated as the sheep, one as the wolf. Wolf chases the sheep but if the sheep jumps over one of the “stones” that person then becomes the wolf and the wolf becomes the sheep. Quite a fun game, very hectic, having to change direction very quickly in small quarters without tripping over anyone else. As the game is stopped, I’m the sheep, guy chasing me catches my leg and sends me flying, I’m heading shoulder first into a cute redhead that caught my eye in the holding room. Not wanting to subject her to the flying weight of my 13 stone body coming at her, I managed to twist body enough to land my hands the other side of her and leverage my body enough to turn the fall into a roll. She was grateful.

2:10pm –
Warm up done and introductions to the judging panel complete, we’re taken back to the first room and after 10 minutes the first person is taken in to do their audition. Everyone is chatting. I get to know that most of the kids come from theatre backgrounds already. Parents working in the industry or some other family member. Most of them have been auditioning since they were 16. I feel very out of place.

3:45pm –
Time comes for my audition, I’m led back the warm up room with Harry, one of the graduates looking after us. We talk shop outside the room for a few minutes before we’re called in. I’m asked which piece I would like to do first. So I go with my Boardwalk Empire piece as I’m the most comfortable with that. Goes fine. They then ask to see my Shakespeare piece. The weakest of my three. I do it. Got the order of the words wrong in one line and rushed the next line in panic but got through it. They tell me to pull up a chair and we chat a bit about how it’s going. I tell them about finishing uni, taking up magic, moving to London and doing extra work. They ask to see my third piece, the monologue from A Few Good Men, the play, not the film. I’m half way through the first section when they say stop. Ask me to start again and this time take a little more time with it. I get halfway through when they stop me and say that’s all they need to see. I’m not too worried about this, some of the guys that have gone before me had similar experiences and some of them didn’t even get to do their third piece. I’m starving so I nip out to go and get some food.

5:00pm –
The 2 ladies who were on the judging panel come in and tell us that we all did great and so on but on this occasion they will only be taking one person in for a recall. It’s the girl that went in first. C’est La Vie. I knew was facing some immense odds at this stage. Something like 4000 applications for 26 places. So I don’t feel terrible. I sit around for the next hour or so waiting to see where to go next. I had arranged to meet with some friends at the school after my audition.

6:00pm –
I meet with Sophie and Dagmar and we head up to the Barbican centre for a coffee. They offer their words of consolation about the audition and asked how it went. I tell them that the panel said they were looking for a something specific but they didn’t tell us what. Whatever is was I obviously didn’t fit the bill. Sophie agrees, I don’t really fit the type of actors they see walking around the school  but that’s a positive thing according to them, which gets me thinking but again I maintained that I was fine. It’s a learning process and what not. We spent the rest of the time just talking about nothing in particular until I had to leave to get my coach back to oxford.

8:00pm –
On the coach back to Oxford, it’s gonna take 2 and a half hours so I decide to get some sleep.

10:10pm –
Arrive in Oxford, I got the stop where I need to get my bus home from. No busses until ten past eleven. Fantastic. Waiting around in the cold I decide to call Nai and tell her how it went. She offers me her own words of consolation. I tell her I’m okay, just gotta think about where to go next. We talk about plans for the next year.

11:10pm –
Bus finally turns up, don’t get home till midnight. Make myself a snack and a cup of tea. Unpacking can wait till tomorrow.

Tuesday the 14th February 

3:00am –
I’ve been lying awake for almost 3 hours now. That little spark of self doubt has taken hold and is being fanned into something bigger, my initial proclamation of being fine might have been wrong. At this stage I feel anything but fine. I’m replaying the audition over and over in my head and cursing the slip up on my Shakespeare piece. I’m wondering if I should spoken more about why I wanted to come to Guildhall instead of what I’ve been up to and a million other things. I’m now in a full on silent rage mood which is being perpetuated by a 90 minute google binge on articles of how drama school is only for the privileged few and other articles of a similar vein. I curse every person who was born with the means and waste as no talent so called “celebrity personalities”. I have to get out of my head so I leave the house and go for walk to nowhere in particular.

5:00am –
My walk has taken me across town to the 24 hour Tesco and it’s petrol station. I’m smoking a Marlboro light. 6 weeks work destroyed in one night. So much for that, I walk back home and finally get to sleep.

I finally rolled out of bed earlier today at about 3 in the afternoon. The events of last night a  bit of a haze, I smell the tobacco on my fingers. Not my proudest moment. But live and learn. I’m genuinely fine now. I got it all out my system last night, now to figure out what to do next. This year was off to a good start and I maintain that hopefully it will carry on that way, the last 24 hours are a minor bump in the road. And who doesn’t have those at the best of times.

In the mean time, I’ll keep practicing my Shakespeare and keep looking for the next opportunity. :-)

Until next time

Kal x

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One response

14 02 2012
Pete Davison

Anger and disappointment at not getting something you’ve worked hard for is completely understandable. It makes the success waiting for you in the future all the sweeter if you’ve had to fight for it, though. Believe me. :)

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