National Youth Theatre | Audition Tips
We are proud to be at over 70 venues for the UK Auditions and Backstage Interviews Roadshow in 2019. You can find a full list of our partner venues here.
Applied for an Audition or Backstage Interview for our 2019 summer courses and looking for inspiration? We’re compiling a selection of #NYTAuditionTips from National Youth Theatre Alumni and Company Members to help you prepare for the day.
Looking for a top tip? Watch our videos on this page with advice from National Youth Theatre Alumni Patron and Actor Matt Smith, Designer Gareth Pugh, Channel 4 Journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy and more.
Head over to our Facebook Page for an auditions advice Q&A from National Youth Theatre Associate Anna Spearpoint.
“Practise doing your monologue loads of different ways. Keep it fresh every time. Try it whilst cleaning the house, try it whilst dancing, try it on the bus (maybe under your breath). Try out lots of possibilities for your voice, character and intention. It’ll mean that when you come to the audition, you know the piece inside out and are ready to play with it even more.”
National Youth Theatre Alumni share their thoughts on the audition day in an article with WhatsonStage.
“Use your wonderful youth and who you are. A lot of the time you can look at other actors and go ‘they’re so brilliant at doing that, why can’t I do that?’ But you are a complete individual and there’s no-one else on the planet like you. You by nature of being you will make it your own, so just believe in that and let that happen.”
“Never be afraid to ask for help. The truth is we all need a team. Run your speech with a friend, tell them why you love the play you’ve chosen, and share your thoughts on acting. Build and understand your creativity with the people that you trust.”
“As an actor, you can’t think about the end result or the fame; you just have to focus on the day you’re in. You have no control over the finished product, what people will think of it, so all you have is the experience of making it, and you have to stay focused on that.”
Get more #NYTAuditionTips from National Youth Theatre Alumni Daisy Lewis, Prasanna Puwanaraja, Matt Lucas and more here.
Are you a Company or Club Member with #NYTAuditionTips of your own? Use the hashtag on Twitter and mention us @NYTofGB.
Creating a new theatre program can be daunting. As a theatre educator working in schools, I have had the experience of a fully-formed program being handed over to me from a retiring teacher with a neat little bow. There were a lot of pros: built-in participants, a curriculum to reference and a clear understanding of expectations. There was a way things worked, relationships already built. I had a music director, choreographer, a space, a show lineup–I just had to figure out how I fit into it all. There’s some relief in that, especially for a new director.
Starting my current position was a completely different experience. I was part of building the program from the ground up, beginning something brand new. It was a little scary. There were a lot of unknowns. It was challenging figuring out all of the pieces. The payoff? Having a program built around my style, my ideas–I found it rewarding in a new way. My current program feels more authentic to me as a theatre practitioner, because I crafted it with my own goals in mind.
Knowing that not all theatre programs are connected to a specific school, I decided to reach out to a friend for reinforcements! For this blog, I sat down to run my thoughts by Samantha Gambaccini. Samantha has run many youth theatre programs in various communities, and often takes me along for the ride as her assistant with her summer workshops. Together, we’ve presented on children’s theatre at conferences, written and produced plays for kids, and run programs of varying sizes. Sam’s a pro when it comes to what it takes to make it all happen, and I have happily stolen her tactics to refine my own work.
Together, Sam and I discussed some basics of where to start…and what questions to ask yourself.
Refine the goals of your theatre program
Are you looking to make money? Provide accessible theatre training to children in your community? Craft competitive performances? Get high school actors college-ready? Focus on a specific type of repertoire or community? Think about what you really want your program to be about, and play to your strengths.
Nail down logistics: Budgets, space, capacity, staffing…
Do you need other adult workers? Do you have a space? What are the costs of that space and that staff? Where does the budget come from? Are you provided a certain amount from a school or a community organization, or do you need to start looking for grants?
When is your program, what dates and hours does it run? Is it after school, full day, half day? Do the kids get snacks? Do they bring their own? How do bathroom breaks work? Is there a nurse in the building? What paperwork do parents need to sign?
Get people in the door
Advertise. In a school, that may be sending emails to students, holding meetings, contacting parents, a newsletter, announcements, a bulletin board, a website. For theatre programs that work in the community, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. Contact local news organizations, reach out to local schools in the area. Create fliers, ask to put them up in spaces around your town. Craft a social media page or make an event. Check in with after-school spaces like YMCA’s. If your program charges, consider offering up a scholarship via raffle event or through another organization. Check out local parent organizations or websites that focus on student activities. Contact locals to get on the town calendar. Wherever you can spread the word, spread the word!
Communications to families and participants
Families want updates on the work their children are doing. They need details with important information: prices, performance dates, expectations. Just as important as the information is how clearly you communicate it. Bullet points, color code, photos for advertising. Something eye-catching and concise.
Expect some hiccups
When a program is finding itself, there’s always minutiae you’d not considered, always a child who drops out when they realize the program conflicts with their flute lesson. A parent who misread a communication, a financial burden you hadn’t yet thought of. Until your program has a history of expectations, a sea of returning faces, a precedent–you’re bound to encounter some blips. Be flexible, be gentle with yourself, plan in some wiggle room.
Prioritize learning names early. Make it a space where children feel welcomed, heard and safe. Develop relationships with and between participants. Learn the names of the parents and make time to chat with those who are available and interested. Find out about the interests of your participants outside of your time together. Once you’ve gotten kids involved, you want to keep them. Are there ways to offer scholarships or sliding scales? Is your theatre program accessible? Do people want to come back?
You need their reviews, their word of mouth and their return attendance. You can have all of the boxes checked, but if you haven’t focused on relationship-building within your community, you may find yourself starting from scratch all over again.
Beginning a theatre program requires a lot of planning, organization, time, and attention…but the ability to build something positive for kids that plays to your own strengths? It doesn’t get much more rewarding than that. Happy planning!
Generally speaking, if you are heading to a group musical theatre audition, then you are heading into what the business commonly knows as a ‘cattle call’. You’ll most likely perform in groups and the panel of creative team members decide if they want to see you in the next round, and the next, and the next. It can be gruelling at times, long days and lots of energy spent working hard.
Whether you are a dancer who can sing, a singer who can move or an all round triple threat, you are bound to find yourself in a cattle call for a big show one day, here are some tips to get you through the first one.
1. Early bird
If not just for looking professional, you’ll want to be early to find a good spot in the waiting room/studio/stage wherever they put you and claim your bag space for a few warm up stretches before you go in.
2. Packed lunch
It may be a long day and you may not get a chance to get out to the shop next door for some food. It’s a safe bet to pack your lunch and graze in your breaks as to keep the energy up.
3. All the shoes
In some dance calls you don’t know what they’ll throw at you, so if you’ve got them, bring all the shoes you have, character heels, jazz sneakers, ballet flats or point if the show requires, and tap shoes, but I’m sure you’ll be warned about that one.
4. Your music and more
If you get through the singing call, of course, you will have the music to a song you’ve been practising for this particular moment. Even better is one or two more in different styles up your sleeve, just in case.
5. Girls wear your hair back
Long hair worn out in a dance call is a definite no-no, the people casting this show want to see your face, so let them!
6. Put a face on
Treat it as if you are going to work. Show them what you’ve got and put makeup on.
7. Change of clothes
After the dance call, take a moment to change into something nicer for the singing call. Show them who you really are when you are not sweating and kicking your heels behind your head.
8. Know yourself
You may need to fill in some forms about yourself when you hand your photo and CV in, make sure you can actually fill everything out! Name, agent, age and phone number, but it may also need you to fill out how tall you are, dress size, shoe size.
9. Make friends
If you are there most of the day you’re bound to strike up a conversation or two, you may even know some faces from classes. Don’t be afraid to say hello, you’re all in this together!
10. Have fun
Cattle calls can be gruelling, but they can also be a roaring great time. The camaraderie with your fellow auditionees and the friendships you can make in between calls is a great way to meet fellow thespians. So enjoy it, even if you are cut earlier than you had hoped.
Where Every Performer Gets Top Billing
How to Choose a Youth Musical Theater Audition Song
One of the most exciting parts of musical theater is choosing your audition song! Here are some tips to help you make the right choice for you.
1) Research the Show You Are Auditioning For
Watch videos on YouTube, get a DVD from your local library, or buy the cast recording. What type of show is it? A classic Rodgers & Hammerstein, something more pop and modern like High School Musical, or a jukebox musical made up of songs from a recording artist like Mamma Mia. Choose a song in a similar style or feel, by the same composer for another show, or sung by a similar character in another show. If you are new to musical theater do a web search, for example “Rodgers & Hammerstein audition songs”, or ask a voice teacher or choir director to help you. If you are auditioning for a child in Sound of Music sing “Getting to Know You” from The King & I, for High School Musical sing “We Go Together” from Grease or “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray, for Mama Mia sing “Stand by Me” from Smokey Joe’s Café.
2) Sing a Song You Like
Especially if you do not have time to learn a new song, sing something that you really like to sing that is age appropriate for you. A song that you like will help show off your personality and will help you be more comfortable when the nerves hit. For Youth Theater, never sing a song with cuss words or content that is not appropriate for young kids. If you are choosing a new song to learn, choose one that you would like to learn, not one that you think the casting directors want to hear. Don’t worry if it is a song everyone knows. Try to choose a song from musical theater or maybe a Disney movie musical. In a pinch sing a pop song or “Happy Birthday” but try to avoid these if you are going out for a lead. If you are allowed to sing from the show for the audition, only do so if you are very familiar with the show. If you sing a song from the show well, it could clench your casting as a lead. If you don’t sing the song from the show well, your audition choice may put you in the chorus. Also unless asked to do so for the audition, avoid choosing a song normally sung by the opposite sex or that has lyrics specific to another ethnicity.
3) Choose a Song In Your Best Range
Do not try to show off if it will show the breaks and weaknesses in your voice. Sing something that showcases the best part of your voice and that is easy to remember. For new singers it should not go too high or too low in pitch. You only need to prepare about a minute long section of the song, so find the best part of the song for you. I recommend either the first pages or the last pages; they usually work the best for shorter cuts. I usually use the end of the song, because it generally has a nice long note for you to sing and an exciting piano crescendo.
4) Get Sheet Music or a Karaoke Track in the Proper Key
There are a ton of places to download sheet music online for $3 – $5 where you can also change the key and hear what the first page of the music sounds like before you buy it. I would do a web search like “Tomorrow from Annie sheet music” and see what comes up. I like Sheet Music Plus. There are also sheet music books that come with vocal demo and piano accompaniment CDs and 16 Bar Audition Books. If you need a track instead of sheet music for the audition, you can buy karaoke tracks for almost everything on Itunes or other similar mp3 sites, or even convert the tracks from YouTube.
5) Practice Your Moves
I recommend one conversational gesture per line of text. You don’t stand still when you talk, so don’t stand still when you sing. However on the same note, don’t go too ridiculous with your gestures. When in doubt see what other performers have done with the song on YouTube or ask your friends and family to watch your performance and tell you if any gesture is too big or too small. The gestures should enhance your performance and make you look like a confident and competent performer. They should not pull focus from your vocals or make you look ridiculous.
6) Five Songs I Recommend For Youth Theater Auditions
“I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story
“My Favorite Things” from Sound of Music
“Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile” from Annie
“Tomorrow” from Annie
“What I’ve Been Looking For” from High School Musical
“Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast
“Happiness” from Charlie Brown
“I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” from Lion King
“What I’ve Been Looking For” from High School Musical
“Where is Love?” from Oliver!
“Consider Yourself” from Oliver!
“Do, Re, Mi” from Sound of Music
“Getting To Know You” from King & I
“Oh The Thinks You Can Think” from Seussical
“We’re All In This Together” from High School Musical
Now that you have a song, check out my article about what to do at your audition. Also if you have a favorite audition song please leave it as a comment below!
Performances July 9 – 11
Peter and the Starcatcher, based on the best-selling novels, upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan boy becomes the legendary Peter Pan.
Auditions will be 4/3 and 4/11 from 1pm to 4pm
Rehearsals will be 6/14 – 7/8
New Albany Youth Theatre (NAYT) inspires, educates, and challenges young people in New Albany and the surrounding communities via professional theatre education initiatives designed to develop confident youth performers, entertain audiences, and enrich the performing arts in New Albany.
In our one-day intensive programs, students will learn tips, tricks and insights regarding the “business of the business” of auditions. Two sessions per academic year (Fall and Winter).
Students (ages 9-14) spend 8 consecutive Saturday mornings (9AM-11:30AM) building the skills necessary to become “triple threat” performers while learning and performing in a KIDS musical. Two sessions per academic year (Fall and Winter).
Summer Musical Intensive
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our Summer 2020 Musical intensives are virtual!
Joe Bishara (Founder/Managing Director) has worked on over 200 theatrical productions across the United States. An award-winning Actor, Director, Theatre Educator, and Producer, Joe is the Founder of New Albany Youth Theatre, the Theatre Supervisor for the City of Dublin (Abbey Theatre of Dublin) and the Theatre Instructor for Franklinton Preparatory Academy.
Joe has created and facilitated theatre initiatives in educational institutions for 20 years at the elementary, middle school, high school and college level. In New Albany, Joe taught the IMPACT Musical Theatre Creation class for the Middle School (2014 and 2015) and Produced and Directed New Albany’s summer junior musical at The McCoy Center (2018 and 2019). Joe spent 10 seasons at CATCO (Associate Artistic Director and Associate Producing Director) overseeing productions for families and young audiences (CATCO is Kids). Additional stops include The Phoenix Theatre for Children (Production Coordinator), Wayside Theatre (Assistant Artistic Director), SoReal Theatre (Artistic Director) and Act Out Productions (Associate Producer).
Joe is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, where he majored in Vocal Performance and minored in Business, Theatre, and Piano. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance (MTEA) and an associate member of The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Joe is married to Actress/Director/Choreographer Liz Wheeler and is the proud father of two daughters.
Liz Wheeler (Artistic Director) holds a BFA in Acting with an emphasis in Musical Theater from Wright State University. She has received numerous citations from The Columbus Dispatch, Theatre Roundtable and the Central Ohio Theatre Critics Circle for Excellence in Acting, Choreography and Directing. Liz is a member of Actor’s Equity Association (AEA) and has had the honor of performing at two Tony Award-winning regional theaters (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and The Human Race Theatre). She is a proud alum of Columbus School for Girls and was nominated for the Excellence in Theatre Education Tony Award by her students at CSG (where she has taught Theatre for the past seven years) in 2016.
Kirsten Upchurch ( Director – Peter and the Starcatcher) has worked in the theatre profession for over 20 years. Kirsten started her career as an apprentice with Weathervane Playhouse in Newark, and moved on to receive her BFA from Texas Christian University and her MFA from Florida Atlantic University. Kirsten worked on the national tours of Jekyll & Hyde, Godspell & Flashdance , and served as the Production Stage Manager at CATCO from 2017-2019, among other credits. Her most recent credits include serving as the Artistic Director for Weathervane Playhouse 2019-2020, and Directing their productions of Billy Elliot and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat . Kirsten is excited to be leading this amazing group of young artists for this production.
This initiative is a holistic theatre-making programme for young people. It provides them a platform to make and present theatre that speaks to and for people of their own generation.
Participants will gain first-hand experience of how to make theatre – from writing and directing to performing. At the end of the programme, participants will stage an original production under the guidance and direction of a professional creative team.
No prior acting or theatre experience is necessary. All you need to be a part of Singapore Youth Theatre is a willingness to learn and experience the magic of theatre!
DURATION: 11 months
Starts February 2021 with a performance showcase in December 2021
FREQUENCY: 10am – 1pm, every Saturday
Depending on programme requirements, the frequency of classes might increase in certain months and/or in the run-up to productions
AGE RANGE: 13 to 17 years old (in 2021)
Interested parties can book an audition slot during these times. Each audition will take approximately 15 minutes:
- 21 Dec (Mon): 2.30pm – 6.15pm
- 22 Dec (Tue): 2.30pm – 6.15pm
- 23 Dec (Wed): 2.30pm – 6.15pm
- NEW: 28 Dec (Mon): 10.30am – 5.00pm
- NEW: 29 Dec (Tue): 10.30am – 5.00pm
WHAT TO PREPARE FOR THE AUDITION
1. Interested candidates should submit the following to Priyanka Sabu at [email protected] by 12 noon on 23 Dec 2020 to book an audition slot on a first come, first served basis:
• A photo headshot,
• Your contact details, and
• A simple write-up of no more than 150 words on why you are interested to join this programme 2.
2. You are required to prepare and memorise two short monologues (one drama’c, one comedic). The monologue should be between 1-2 minutes in length and should be selected from published plays only.
3. The audition may also include a short interview.
A NOTE ON THE AUDITION
Please do not get too stressed about the audition – it is not a test. We just want the opportunity to get to know you better through hearing you read something written for the stage. This, is after all, a programme for aspiring theatre-makers to learn together.
If you need any suggestions for monologues, please let us know and we’ll be happy to suggest a few that you may be interested in.
ABOUT OUR PROGRAMME DIRECTOR: THOMAS LIM
Thomas Lim made his professional debut as a playwright and director in Grandmother Tongue, which was performed in Teochew, English and Mandarin. His sophomore work, Supervision, won the 2019 Straits Times Life! Theatre Award for Best Original Script. He has worked as a drama educator in secondary schools and junior colleges across Singapore, and is currently Wild Rice’s Associate Artistic Director for Youth & Education.
Prague’s English-language theatre for 3-18 year olds. Resources/Experiences/Tips/Reviews. www.pyt.cz
So you have an audition for drama school. Congratulations! You’ve made the plucky decision to apply, you’ve filled out the tedious forms (and quite possibly paid a hefty fee) and now you have a date in red pen in your diary for potentially the first step towards launching an exciting acting career. Attending a good drama school is a brilliant way to learn and put into practice the different aspects of ‘technique’, whether that’s your breathing, stagecraft or listening, as well as the time and space to experiment with your craft and meet the people that could prop your career up in the future such as agents, directors, writers and fellow actors.
Although training at a drama school is not necessarily the direction for all aspiring actors, the rumours are indeed true that the race for a place is a competitive one. In 2018, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London saw 2800 applicants audition for 28 places on its course. However, presuming you are passionate and dedicated young actor, there are lots of ways to make the audition journey a smooth one with plenty of resources and people out there willing to support you. You shouldn’t have to feel like you are doing it all alone.
Here are Prague Youth Theatre’s top tips to give you a head start…
Don’t worry too much about making mistakes…
Drama schools aren’t looking for the most perfect candidate who can recite their audition lines word for word (although learning you audition monologue is still very important which we will get on to). Panels are looking for individuals with potential who can be trained and so being open-minded, receptive and adaptable are important values to bring to your audition and indeed your career as an actor. If you do make a mistake, don’t let it dictate the rest of your audition. Instead, show them your ability to be resilient and pick yourself back up again.
Do your research and plan ahead…
It will definitely help your nerves to be super prepared for the audition and to have a good knowledge and understanding of what could be in store. When preparing for your audition, research the ins and outs of the school, its panel and it’s audition process. There are lots of young actors sharing their auditioning experiences on YouTube and through blogs which give insights that aren’t in the school prospectus. On the day, make sure you have planned your travel route to the audition and that you arrive in the area with plenty of time to spare.
Talk to people…
Don’t let your pride take over by doing the journey alone. Talking to fellow actors, drama teachers and those who have been through the process can put you at ease. Ask them questions about the process and what they wish they had or hadn’t done. Auditioning can be a tense time so remember to share your experience and feelings with family and friends and get a trusted friend or family member to help you with practicing your monologue.
In your audition, remember to talk to people there too and prepare some good questions to ask teachers and current students. Talking to the others in the audition will remind you that everyone is in the same boat and that they probably feel exactly the same. Asking people questions and chatting will also show the panel your confidence and ability to engage with others and therefore your willingness to work with others which is a super important quality.
Attend more than one audition…
You might have your eye on a certain school but it will be beneficial to consider other schools as well, to not only keep your options open but it’s a good opportunity to get a well-rounded idea of how auditions generally run. This will be useful for industry auditions in the future as well. Sometimes the one you hadn’t even considered might actually turn out to be the best thing for you.
Choose the right monologue…
Some auditions might require you to pick a monologue from their own list, whereas others might be more flexible. It’s important to pick something that feels true to you and that represents you well as a performer so that you can show yourself off in the best light possible.
Read the rest of the play…
Once you have chosen the right monologue, make some time to read the whole play. This will pay off if you really want to immerse yourself in that particular character as it will give a strong sense of how that character is feeling and thinking at that particular point in the script.
Practice, practice, practice…
Getting into the swing of preparing and rehearsing for your audition is something that you will have to do for the rest of your acting career. This is the time to make the big mistakes, experiment with the ways you can deliver the monologue and also get advice and feedback from others whilst getting used to performing in front of others. It might be helpful to record your monologue so that you can listen to it when you are on the go.
Use your own accent…
Auditioning with another accent- unless you are 100% confident in doing so- could deter you from focusing on your actual performance. Remember that the audition panel are looking for YOU in the performance as well as the character that you are portraying.
Believe in yourself!
Above all, it’s important to have faith in yourself. We know this can sometimes be hard when you are about to enter a competitive space, but building a good foundation for self-belief in the days, weeks and months before your audition, taking good care of yourself and telling yourself that you CAN do this should be actions at the top of your list
In your audition, keep your head up and remember to breathe. Remember that you have the same right as everyone else in the room to be there and remind yourself that lots of other people will be nervous too, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Drink plenty of water and have a good meal before to keep your energy levels up. Make sure you get a good nights sleep the night before and distract yourself from your nerves by perhaps winding down with a good book, watching your favourite TV programme, listening to an inspirational podcast or chatting to your biggest supporters.
You can do this!
More audition-related links to check out:
- Even the best actors have had lots of bad auditions! Here is a video from the folks at Backstage of some Tony Award Nominees’ sharing the not so great times.
- A Prague Youth Theatre alumnus shares her drama school audition experience
- Holly shares her experience of auditioning with dyslexia
If you’re upset and disappointed not to get the “Congratulations!” email from the National Youth Theatre on results day, then read on to see why it isn’t the end of the world.
The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain
The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYTofGB or NYT) is a UK registered charity. One of the country’s leading youth arts charities, NYT helps young people develop creative arts skills based around the theatre. It has a prestigious board of directors and benefactors. The National Youth Theatre alumni are breathtakingly impressive.
All applicants for membership attend an audition workshop to compete for a place on a summer course. Only a tiny minority get accepted. Applicants must be 14 by the time the summer course starts and must be no older than 25.
Those who complete the summer course and pay a small annual fee may become a member of the National Youth Theatre. They can compete for a place on future productions.
Because it is so difficult to win an acting place on the National Youth Theatre summer courses and productions, the industry sees membership as an indicator of genuine ability.
If you are applying for representation with an acting agency, membership of the National Youth Theatre will help you stand out from the crowd.
Over several weeks earlier this year, they auditioned more than 5,000 hopefuls for the National Youth Theatre summer courses.
Less than one in ten applicants is accepted.
So here’s a few tips to get you back on your feet for next time.
1. You Had Guts To Audition
You went into an audition knowing nine out of ten people won’t be accepted when the National Youth Theatre audition results are out. Anyone who works as a child actor or young performer knows those odds are no worse than you get with any audition with a casting director. But most people auditioning for NTY have never been through this harsh reality before. It hurts to be rejected, right? But you stood up to the plate and gave it your best shot.
Remember, you walked into a room full of people you didn’t know. You took on board instructions, worked with strangers to make a unique piece of drama, and found your voice as people looked at you from a few feet away. Most people can’t do any of that.
2. You Will Audition For NYT Again
Several people at your NYT audition told you your chances of acceptance rise every time you audition. Yes, it’s true. Very few people get in the first time.
So with nine out of ten applicants not getting a place each year, you’ll see them all again at the auditions next year, right?
A huge number of them won’t try again. Some of them lose interest or have other things to do. But most people don’t want this badly enough to try again. They thought it might look good on their university application, or just went along because their parents told them to.
So when you turn up next year, and the year after, and maybe every year for five years, the audition panel takes notice. Just turning up shows you really, really want to be there.
3. You Have Time To Get Better
When you attended your NYT audition day, you had to do the following
- Play warm-up games
- Devise an improvised scene in a group
- Deliver a 2-minute monologue
- Talk to the team about your reasons for applying
The first time you do this, it’s all new to you. When you go back next time, you know a bit more about what to expect. Furthermore, you’ll be older, a bit wiser and have more skills than you did last time.
Do you attend a youth theatre or drama classes? You do need to do this on a regular basis. We have a page listing dozens of Youth Theatres in every part of the UK.
Even if you somehow come up with an amazing monologue by watching films, improvising with a group takes practice. Some people get private tuition for their monologues. You don’t have to do this by any means, and the group working is seen as more important anyway.
Choose your monologue carefully. We highly recommend you purchase the book of National Youth Theatre Monologues. The National Youth Theatre published this book specifically to help everyone who auditions.
4. You Have Time To Save Money
There are no two ways about it. Attending a National Youth Theatre summer course is expensive. They will try to help by sending a lost of ideas for fundraising. However, if you have a small family and live in a deprived neighbourhood you won’t get far. By having another year or two before attending the course, you have time to save up yourself.
It’s always a good idea to open a bank account early and begin saving young. It will teach you valuable skills about budgeting, saving and spending responsibly. So when your grandma asks what you would like for Christmas, you’ll have a savings account ready for any donation she’d like to make for a future NYTof GB course.
Don’t forget that the National Youth Theatre does offer scholarships. There are only a limited number of them. Plus, you need to be organised with your application supporting documents if you want one.
But don’t walk away from NYTofGB auditions if the cost is the only issue stopping you attending.
5. National Youth Theatre Backstage Opportunities
All eyes are on the actors. But surrounding every stage are teams of backstage workers. Lights, sound, props, costume, wigs, set designers and builders, stage managers, licensed chaperones, front of house managers, stewards, box office staff and cleaners all play an important role in bringing a play and the audience together. Some of these areas have an industry skills shortage.
The National Youth Theatre runs summer courses for some of the backstage specialisms. They are less competitive to access because the number of applicants is lower. Yet the course tutors are experienced and enthusiastic experts in their field. You get superb, high-quality training in the drama school facilities, and visit the backstage areas of top London venues. Working with a group of NYT actors, you’ll use your new skills to stage a performance at the end of the course.
So if you aren’t sure that acting is the only way you want to be involved with theatre, or you want to be a part of NYT’s exciting programme without having to worry about the impossible odds of getting in, you definitely want to consider the backstage courses!
6. National Youth Theatre Short Courses
NYT also offers a myriad of short courses for ages 11 to 25. Some of them target groups who typically face barriers to theatre and performance participation.
You may find the access, length, cost, and focus of the short courses are better suited to your situation, resources or creative needs. Furthermore, they may even be a confidence or skills booster as you prepare for next year’s summer course audition.
Well Done – And Keep Going
You tried your best at the audition, even though you knew your chances of getting in were so slim. Furthermore, you read this article to the end so you could learn how to do better next time.
Getting into the NYT courses is never going to be easy. But the more you plan and prepare – and get your face seen in the audition room – the better your chances that one day you’ll get the email you dream of.