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Any one have experience of D&B Academy of Performing Arts?

(4 Posts)
ridinghighinapril Sat 26-Mar-16 12:05:56

On a whim and with zero expectations we took our DD for the auditions and she got a place. Neither of us, nor our family/friends, have any performing arts background.
Is this academy a good and reputable one?
Is it very pushy (not something we want)?
Is most of the audition/work during school hours and at short notice (both DH and I work and generally can not be absent at short notice)?
Any thing else we need to be aware of?
We were thinking saying yes and giving it a go.
Thanks!

dodobookends Sat 26-Mar-16 15:03:28

Don't know anything about this particular one, but usually childrens' theatre school classes are weekly evenings and/or weekends, with occasional other times for show performances.

If there is a talent agency as well, then yes, you will need to be able to drop everything with a moment's notice to attend castings and auditions. That would be for tv, film, modelling, professional theatre contracts etc. Should you not want your dc to do that as well, or you as a family can't make that level of commitment, then just do the theatre school bit.

TheatreTaxi Sat 26-Mar-16 15:50:24

Did your DD audition for a place in the performing arts school or to get on the books of the management agency? With most recreational performing arts schools that also run a management agency, enrolling in classes doesn't automatically mean that you are taken on by agency.

If it is the agency side, then there are a few things worth checking:
- Do the agency charge a fee for representation? Reputable agencies will not ask for an up-front fee, but will take commission on earnings. Most will ask you to pay a subscription to Spotlight (the main casting website) and to pay for professional headshots.
- What sort of work do they tend to get for clients of your DD's age and skills? Is it mainly modelling and commercials, or TV/film, or theatre work? How does this fit with what your DD would like to do?
- Does your DD have to attend classes at the academy to be represented? If so, do they have particular classes for children with the agency? What sort of help do children get preparing for auditions and castings?
- Are you tied in to the agency for any period of time, or can you pull out any time if you find it isn't working for you as a family?

DS is represented by a different agency, so I can't answer your questions about this particular agency. In answer to your more general queries:
- The timing of auditions and castings can vary - some are after school hours, some are during the school day. It helps enormously if school are on-side as you need permission for absences, either for auditions/castings or if your DD were to get work and require a performing licence.
- You usually get a few weeks' notice for auditions for theatre/TV/film (though not always). Castings for commercials are often quite short notice (e.g. less than 24 hours). You will be expected to drop everything and attend, especially at the beginning. If your DD gets called for lots of auditions/castings, you may be able to start to pick and choose a little, but if you turn down too many the agency will stop putting your DD forward.
- Auditions for theatre/TV are usually fun experiences. Some are quite short (15 minutes), others are more like a workshop and go for several hours. The casting teams I have had dealings with have all been fantastic with the children and try to make the auditions a positive experience even for children who aren't successful.
- Castings for commercials are a pain in the butt. They are usually crowded and busy, you fill in a long form with all your child's measurements, your child is seen for 5 minutes, and you don't get notified of an outcome unless it is a "yes". DS doesn't do modelling but I imagine modelling castings are similar.

If your DD wants to give it a go, then I would say try it and see. We did exactly this with DS - he was spotted by an agent at a performing arts workshop and offered representation. It wasn't something we'd ever considered previously, but DS was very keen and we agreed to try. DH and I both work full time but with some careful juggling we've found that we can manage auditions/rehearsals/performances without too much impact on work and family life.

I can recommend taking a look at notapushymum.com/phpbb/index.php, a forum for parents of performing children. If you search their archive you may find comments on the particular agency your DD auditioned for.

ridinghighinapril Sat 26-Mar-16 20:29:10

An amazing amount of info - thank you for taking the time to reply!

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