- Hi we're Joel and Lia
- And this video is all about our experiences at RADA.
So, you may or may not know that RADA
stands for The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
- Yeah. - And, that's where
Joel and I met. - Yeah it is.
It's one of the top drama schools in the world.
It's where people go to train as actors,
or even stage set designers, - Stage managers.
- Stage managers, anything to do with theater really,
but mainly, it's well known for acting, isn't it?
- Yeah. So, Joel and I met there back in 2011, 2012?
- Yeah. - And gosh, that feels
like ages ago now. - Doesn't it?
- And we just wanted to make a video explaining
the audition process, - Mm hmm
- What it was like getting in, our experiences
whilst we were there, - Yeah.
- and life after RADA. - Yeah, post RADA. (laughing)
- Just for anyone who's interested in that. (laughing)
- We get a lot of questions - Yeah.
- About it in the comments, so we thought
why not make a video on it. - Mm.
- Yeah it's been big part of our life,
and The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
is like quite a big British thing, so hopefully,
even if you're not interested in acting,
you might be interested in learning a bit about it.
- So lets start off with the audition process.
So, getting into RADA. - Yeah.
Yeah. - I don't know about you Joel,
but I actually auditioned for about
six or seven drama schools drama schools.
- Yeah. Yeah definitely.
- So there's loads of other ones
like some in London; LAMDA - Yeah.
- Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
- Mm hmm. I auditioned for ones outside
of London as well, - Same.
- like Royal Welsh, GSA. - Yeah.
- I even auditioned for the Bristol Old Vic.
- Oh did you? Yeah me too. - Yeah.
So, there's some amazing schools that you can go to,
luckily, we got into the best one. (laughing)
- Yeah, ca-ching (laughing) - Ca-ching. (laughing)
- It is very difficult to get in.
So, I think around five or six
thousand people audition every year.
There's only 30 places on the BA course,
30 places on the foundation course.
So there's 60 places all in all.
- Yeah. - Out of about
five or six thousand, so that's like 1% I think.
- Yeah, so there's a first round audition,
- Mm hmm. - Which you do,
and you are asked to do a... God it's so long ago now.
A contemporary monologue, - Yeah.
- and a classical monologue. - Uh huh.
- So that might be something from a Shakespeare play,
and then a contemporary monologue, anything from, I think
it's 20th century onwards. - Okay, yeah.
- We ought to check that though.
- Yeah, so some schools are different.
So some will say your contemporary monologue
has to be from a play post 1970,
but I know that some are just from
the 20th century onwards, so...
I guess my biggest tip for preparing for audition
for drama school is really, thoroughly
read what each school is after, 'cause they're all after
something slightly different. - Really.
- So I know Central, you have to pick a Shakespeare
from their list of Shakespeare speeches.
- I remember that, yeah. - And the amount of people
that turn up to that audition and are like,
"Oh, I didn't know I had to pick one from the list,
I'm just using the same one that
I'm using for every other school"
and they're just like - Yeah.
- immediately, "No, you're not getting in here
because you clearly, are an idiot". (laughing)
- Do the research, yeah. - Yeah.
- I think my tip would be in your speeches, just know
who you're speaking to. - Yeah.
- I remember like doing, I think my modern speech
and they were like, "So who's the character speaking to?"
and I was like, "Her mum?".
Got recalled, and I was like,
"re-read, re-read". (laughing) - Quick. (laughing)
- But yeah, I got really lucky and um,
my Shakespeare audition, I played
like a 40 year old woman. - Yeah.
- Which when I then got into RADA
I found out is like a big no-no,
like play your age, don't be afraid
to play Juliet, don't be afraid to like,
- Yeah. - take on a character that you
could actually be cast for in the real world,
in the working world of acting.
- Oh definitely, and they're always gonna be overdone.
So with... especially with Shakespeare like.
- Yeah. - If you're thinking,
"I can't do Romeo because that's so overdone",
all of them are overdone, these audition panelists
- Yeah. - have heard all
of the Shakespeare speeches, all of the time.
So, yeah. - Thousands of times.
- The most important thing is that you like the speech,
and that it's, like Leah said, within your casting bracket.
- Yeah, I was like, I played like someone from
The Winter's Tale who is like 40.
I'm so bad at remembering this stuff,
- because it was how long ago now?
- So it's seven years ago.
- That's insane. - Oh my gosh, seven years.
- I think I still know some of my speech,
I did Edmund, from King Lear.
I remember thinking about pentameter,
like "What studied torments tyrant hast for me",
and I was just thinking like, I did so much
work and prep into those speeches.
- That's the thing Shakespeare isn't
some like stuffy poetry, - Yeah.
- this actually means stuff, and so it's like,
- Yeah. - you just need to identify
with the words as much as you identify
with your contemporary monologue.
- Yeah, I remember my coach at the time was like,
"Right, translate that into how Leah would say it".
- Yeah. - And my words were coming out
as swear words like, "What are you gonna beeping do to me,
you beep idiot" and I did it like that and he was like,
"Great do that, but with Shakespeare's words".
So I was like, "Cool", so I did and it was full of attitude.
- Did you ever get any really weird redirection
at drama school? - Yeah at Guildhall...
If anyone is auditioning there, they just made me kinda
like go right up to them, like pull out...
Like sit like this close - Yeah.
- and just say the words. - Oh right, yeah.
- Like... - That's so Guildhall.
- "Just say it, just say it".
Like don't act, they were like - Just say it.
"just say the words to me".
- This is the thing, you get to know
what each school is like, so there I was like,
- Yeah. - "That is so Guildhall".
Just to do nothing. - That is so Guildhall.
Do nothing, no acting. - Like they get you to look
into an imaginary window full of like cakes or something and
- Or like an aquarium, mine was.
- Yeah and they're after you, just like, looking
and not doing... - Yeah.
So it's like a girl in mine who was like,
looking at all the fish like "oh my God, a shark"
- It's so funny. - And then... I think
what they were after was just, - Yeah.
- Oh just look at them. - Natural.
- Just be natural and look at the fish in the aquarium.
- But it feels like a trick question doesn't it?
Because you think, 'cause it's an acting school,
they want to see you act, but most of them don't,
they just want to see you live in the moment,
and just like, be present and....
- Sorry I'm still looking at the aquarium.
- Are you (laughing) - (laughing)
- I was just like trying to do my aquarium,
like I definitely would not get into
drama school if I auditioned again now.
I'm like a terrible actress. (laughing)
So that's a bit about the audition process.
So for RADA, there's four rounds for the BA course,
and for the foundation, I actually had three auditions,
so I had a BA recall and then a foundation recall.
So three auditions in total, and then the final round,
you spend like, quite a lot of time there.
- Yeah, you do workshops, - Workshops.
- Interviews.... - Yeah, it was full on.
- Yeah, it was really scary. - I remember my
interview question from the head of our course,
and I was just, agh, it honestly nearly gave me the ....
- I was just like, you know when someone like
digs you to the core
- Oh yeah.
- When they ask you a question
that you're so insecure about,
and I was just like, "ooohhhh"
and he got that, - He loves that.
- just from looking at my CV, I was like, "Christ".
- He loved that though, he's quite scary,
scary isn't the word, - No.
- But quite like... - Intense.
- Intense. - Yeah.
- And I remember leaving feeling like, "He hates me",
and Bridget was on the panel as well,
and I was like "She loves me, but he hates me",
and then luckily I got a phone call a few hours later
to be like, "I'd love yo have you on the course".
- Hours later? - Yeah.
- Oh well mine was not. - Was yours... oh wasn't it?
- Yeah I must not have been a top pick.
Actually I don't remember, but it definitely
was not hours later. - Oh okay.
- It must have been days. - Yeah, 'cause I remember
I went from my final recall for that,
and then I had an audition for a Play Station commercial.
- Oh. - So I like ran from RADA
all the way to the Play Station commercial,
- Exciting. - And then as I came out
of that audition, that went terribly,
I then got a phone call and it was RADA being like,
- Saying you got in. - "I want to offer you a place"
- So then you call home, and you're like,
"Good news is I got into RADA,
bad news I didn't get Play Station". (laughing)
- Yeah. (laughing) Didn't get Play Station but...
- Well I suppose it depends like they would have had to have
seen everyone before, - Yeah.
- But mine was certainly not the same day.
- That's the thing though also, don't go based on
what your friends have heard or haven't heard.
- Yeah. - Because that's so difficult,
like I heard a few hours later,
- Yeah. Days later, - Leah heard days later,
and we both still got a place.
That was the worst thing, when you've
both auditioned for a school, and your friend...
- If you know people and you're chatting.
- Yeah and they've already heard and you're like,
"Oh that means I haven't got a place".
- Yeah it mean...anything - It doesn't mean anything.
Just forget about it.
- It's just their admin. - Right, should we move on
to our time at RADA? - Yeah.
So, when we were there... I remember getting there,
and being like, "Right, where's freshers then?" (laughing)
It was just like, there's no such thing,
it's just straight into the work.
- Isn't that crazy?
It was so intense from the start.
- On the offset, yeah. - So you have so many courses,
obviously, acting classes, I think we had six hours
of acting classes a week. - Yeah.
- I had two slots of three hours.
- Six hours of like, core acting.
- Yeah. - Stanislavski based like,
method work. - Yeah Meisner...
- And then, on top of that you've got voice classes,
you've got movement classes, - Movement classes.
- You've got stage co... not stage combat, what did we have?
I dunno, things like clowning, or dancing, period dance.
- Yeah that was so cool. - Like, all sorts. (laughing)
- That was the best. (laughing)
There were so many funny classes.
- Yeah. Sight reading.
- Sight reading. - You have very specific
classes as well for sight reading.
So reading out a script, cold,
when you haven't seen it before, you're just reading
as soon as you've seen it. - Cold read.
It's nothing against like, the school,
well I guess it kind of is now,
but one thing I didn't really enjoy,
was feeling like some people were not 100% committed.
They just weren't putting in what
other people were putting in. - Yeah.
- So there was a bit of a divide,
there was like a group of people that I felt were
just like, there for the jokes.
- Definitely, I think that is a downside of RADA,
probably other schools as well, but lots of people do get in
because they have money, - Just cruising.
- or they've got contacts, and I really disagree with that.
And I don't think, not everyone gets in for those reasons,
clearly, 'cause (laughing) - Yeah.(laughing)
- We don't have either. - Contacts, or cash.
- I think one thing that I found really difficult was
that when I was at RADA, I found so much confidence in
being at RADA, and like I would walk to school everyday like
being so happy that I'd got in,
and walking through those doors being like,
"Oh my gosh I've worked so hard to get here"
and like, "I deserve this", - Yeah.
- and like, RADA was my confidence,
it was like, I am at RADA, and then as soon as I left,
suddenly I wasn't at RADA anymore,
and that was really crushing, 'cause then I was like
I found all of my confidence in the name of the school,
- Yeah. - and like what do I do now?
And so, actually my advice would be also
if you do get in to any of these schools,
don't find confidence in being at school,
or being in this little bubble.
- It's a safety net. - It is, yeah.
- From the industry. - Yeah, yeah it really is.
- Because once you're out, you're just like everyone else.
- Yeah, and no one really cares.
Like having RADA on your CV is great but ultimately,
- No one really cares. - no one really cares.
It's the work that speaks for itself,
which sounds so pretentious, but it is...
- Yeah, they'll just be like,
"Well cool, what have you done?
Let me see some of your acting,
let me see what you've done, what do you wanna do?"
No one really cares, so yeah
if you're getting anxious about
what name is gonna be on your CV...
- Yeah, then don't. - I can't remember
the last time any one said to me like,
"Where did you train?"
Life since RADA, I didn't really
take my validation from the school,
but I certainly did miss it when I wasn't there.
- Yeah. - And, I just sort of remember
just trying to keep really busy.
'Cause suddenly, if you think about it like this,
you're goin from having like ten hour days
to having nothing on, unless you immediately get a job,
or you start doing other sorts of work
that's not acting work to fill up your time.
Maybe like a year after that, this YouTube channel was born.
- Yeah. - 'Cause out of boredom.
Just because we wanted something to be doing. (laughing)
And, yeah, I guess here we are now.
But there's been so many other things as well,
Like, it's not just this channel,
so many other projects going on outside of this.
But um, yeah that's kind of, my experience.
- Yeah definitely. I think YouTube
is a good vehicle for acting as well,
I know lots of my actor friends are sort of
quite envious that we have this platform.
Because it is, in the industry now it is changing a bit,
either, y'know for the good or for worse it's like,
having an online presence is kind of...
- Essential. - essential, really.
So, I'm really pleased with what we've done.
At first I didn't feel very please with it,
I was really embarrassed of it,
and I felt like people judged us for it,
'cause they were like, "Oh, you trained at RADA
and you're an actor, but you're on YouTube.
You're filming yourself, what are you doing".
- Yeah. - But now it's sort of changed
and people are really interested in it,
and it really helps. - Yeah definitely.
At first, we were like, we though oh my God RADA, if like
the people and the teachers at out school ever found this
they'd be like, what on earth are you doing?
So I guess if you're sitting there right now watching this
and you're thinking well I haven't gotten into drama school,
and I don't really know what I'm doing with my life,
consider like, starting something.
Like, start something yourself,
write something, team up with other actors
or people that you get on with really well,
that you have really great relationships with,
and try and create something,
maybe in a theater, maybe online.
Think about what you've got available to you.
- Yeah, oh definitely.
There's no excuse anymore not to do anything.
It's so easy to put on a play,
and rent like a space above a pub
and put on a play and invite people to come and watch,
and it's so easy to just get you your iPhone,
and film a video, or a sketch to put online.
Like there isn't any excuse anymore.
So actually get out there and do something I would say.
- No one, and you hear this from commissioners all the time,
they say like, "I just want to see something,
like film something on your iPhone,
I don't care if it's not on a fancy camera,
just do something so I can see",
and then opportunities will come,
and I think that's like... what a gift, like that we exist
in this time where we've got access to the internet
and to like putting yourself on this platform.
Like 25 years ago, we would have just
left that drama school and been like,
"Right, we'll wait for the phone to ring then".
- Oh definitely. I think what made me sad
at the beginning about YouTube was
that I was like, well none of these successful actors like
started on YouTube, but that's 'cause it wasn't a thing.
And I've heard interviews since then
with a few different actors that said
if they were new actors, newly graduated now,
then they would be doing YouTube,
or they would be doing, like creating their work
and putting it online.
- That's quite a long video for you guys.
I know a lot of our subscribers
don't subscribe for drama school talk,
but some of you have asked about this,
so we wanted to give you this video
and if anyone is new to this channel,
and they've just found us through this RADA video,
please check out our other videos.
If you dig far back enough, you will find
some old comedy sketches that we used to make on here.
- Subscribe if you're interested,
we make videos about British culture,
all things British, and yeah...
- There's some accent tutorials, so you might find them.
- You might find some accent tutorials
useful for an audition.
- Yeah, so thanks for watching,
don't forget to leave your experiences below
if you've been auditioning for drama schools.
I'd love to hear any horror stories,
or just your process, where you're at
and we'll try to respond to all of them
if you've got any more questions.
- And if you want to be anonymous,
just create a fake account and write a comment
'cause we'd love to hear, honestly.
- Yeah, no definitely, we love it.
- Alright, speak soon. - See ya, bye.