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National Youth Theatre

(106 Posts)
Dancergirl Thu 05-Jan-17 17:44:19

Dd is auditioning for National Youth Theatre in a few weeks' time. She is nearly 14 so this is all new to us.

There is a group workshop in the morning and an individual audition in the afternoon. She has to prepare a speech from a play of no more than 2 minutes.

Has anyone's dc auditioned before? Grateful for any advice or tips!

EvilTwins Thu 05-Jan-17 17:49:41

I have experience of this as a drama teacher. Good for her for going for it. Best advice is to really try to enjoy it and relax - then she will be at her best for the workshop. In terms of the speech, she needs to find something that is age appropriate and then make sure she knows it really well.

They will be lovely to her, and will try very hard to make her feel at ease. Lots of kids don't get in, especially at the lower end of the age range so make sure she gets what she can from the experience. I teach two boys who first tried when they were in yr 9. One got in last year and was subsequently in their 60th anniversary show in the autumn. The other is trying again this year, though he did get into the National Youth Music Theatre last year. They're both Yr 13 now.

Dancergirl Thu 05-Jan-17 18:23:51

Thank you evil

She has some speeches from LAMDA exams she's done recently but I don't think they are from plays.... Do you know of any online resources she can use?

EvilTwins Thu 05-Jan-17 18:28:49

The best thing to do is to find something from a play so that she can get an idea of the context of the speech. National Theatre Connections is a good place to start - every year the National publishes 10 new plays for young people and you can get the scripts in anthologies by year. They have produced a book of monologues from the plays (easily available ) What's her school drama dept like? I have all the anthologies - is it likely a school drama teacher can help? There's a speech in the play After Juliet by Sherman McDonald which is good for mid-teen girls. The character is Rosalind. That'll be in the Connections monologues book.

Dancergirl Sat 07-Jan-17 14:47:22

She has some ideas now although I may get that book too. She's found a couple of things online - two Anne Frank monologues and one from the musical Gypsy. Not sure if these count as a 'published play' though...?

EvilTwins Sat 07-Jan-17 18:03:19

Don't do the one from Gypsy - they will want a play not a musical. Anne Frank would be ok but she really needs to be familiar with the whole play and not just have learned the monologue. You should be able to get hold of a copy of the script pretty easily though.

bruffin Sat 07-Jan-17 18:08:48

dd did the speach for "dance 10 looks 3" fron Chorus Line. She didnt get in but had a brilliant time

Dancergirl Sat 07-Jan-17 21:59:07

Dd is very familiar with Anne Frank, she studied her in depth a few years ago for a project. It's still not a play though is it?

EvilTwins Sat 07-Jan-17 22:15:17

Yes it is a play. When I say "familiar" I mean with the play the monologue is from. Script here

NYT is bloody difficult to get into. To give herself the best chance she needs to prepare an audition speech from a published play. In order to properly prepare, she needs to know the context of the speech - i.e. Where it fits into the play, and the plot/character. They may or may not ask her questions about it but in most cases, the audition panel will know the play - the biggest mistake young actors make is to just learn a monologue without understanding where it fits into a full play. They will still be lovely and hopefully she'll have a positive experience but if she's serious about acting then it's good to get these things straight from the outset. Thousands audition for NYT each year and only about 500 get offered places on the intake courses.

Once she's chosen her speech, get her to perform it to a few people before she goes and get feedback. Does she do youth theatre or anything like that? Tutors there will help as would school drama teachers.

Dancergirl Sat 07-Jan-17 22:48:54

Thank you for that link evil

She goes to a Saturday drama school but they don't start back till next week which is only a week before the audition. And there's very little time between classes. She has a very good teacher for LAMDA but I don't know if he'll have time to go over it with her. She could ask her drama teacher at school though, she's also very good.

Dd knows how competitive it is and isn't expecting to get in, she just wants to give herself the best chance. Think Anne Frank may be a good bet for her, she knows and understands it well and is familiar with that period of history.

EvilTwins Sat 07-Jan-17 23:03:10

Best of luck to her! The two boys I teach who have auditioned several times each have always found it a positive experience, and totally worth the effort. I went to watch the one who has got in perform in the west end in their 60th anniversary gala in September and it was amazing - definitely worth being tenacious.

Dancergirl Sun 08-Jan-17 00:02:15

Thanks smile

She's also considering something from An Inspector Calls, again she knows the play well.

EvilTwins Sun 08-Jan-17 08:07:28

Is that Sheila's speech? Honestly, I'd suggest something more age appropriate - by which I mean a character she could conceivably play at the age she is now. Sheila is in her 20s.

BertrandRussell Sun 08-Jan-17 08:14:36

My ds has auditioned twice now and no luck- but he really enjoyed the experience both times, and got some very useful feedback on the day.

Break a leg!

Devilishpyjamas Sun 08-Jan-17 20:11:31

Ds2 auditioned last year age 14 - he wasn't expecting to get in (& didn't) but he enjoyed the day. He found the interview the hardest bit as he'd never had one before. He said he felt he did his monologue as best he could and he didn't mind not getting in as he felt he'd done the best he could.

This year his voice has broken so he is trying a different sort or monologue (still a teen, but older teen). He hasn't actually started learning it yet (although has read the whole play) as he has exams this week. Monologue work pencilled in to start next week! (His audition is early February).

bruffin Sun 08-Jan-17 20:34:53

Dd said they spent most of the time discussing her chosen career and volunteer work which is not theatre.

corythatwas Mon 09-Jan-17 22:53:50

Dd has spent a lot of time auditioning in the last few years, and though she didn't make the NYT, she has just got into one of the accredited drama schools.

What she has learnt from the process (both the auditions that got her recalls and the total disasters) is that you want a monologue that suits your own personality: age range, type, somebody you can really identify with, somebody you might conceivably be cast to act.

Your dd needs to read the whole play, as EvilTwins said, and think about what the Anne of the play is like: could she be her?

So not so much what you have studied at school- you should be prepared to put that much effort into researching any monologue you are going to audition with- as who you could play. If she is interested in the theatre, she should be reading lots of plays anyway, to get an idea of what is out there.

EvilTwins Sun 22-Jan-17 17:57:57

Did your DD find something she was happy with OP?

cathyandclare Sun 22-Jan-17 23:04:17

Both Dds have done Nyt. One took a couple of tries but the other succeeded first time and I would echo the advice to do something that they could be cast in. So the right age, accent etc. Playing Lady Macbeth or demonstrating your ability to do a Texan accent may work, but in general it seems that it's better to stick to you casting type. They both loved their experience. Good luck!

Dancergirl Mon 23-Jan-17 11:36:49

Audition was yesterday!

Dd decided on Anne Frank in the end and I think it suited her.

She really enjoyed the day. She was the youngest there and they were all so nice to her. She said the workshop was challenging but enjoyable and really made her think. And she thought the audition went ok but she's hard on herself and always wants to do it again better!

She's not expecting to get in this time but you never know. A long wait now until April for the results.

errorofjudgement Tue 14-Feb-17 15:04:50

My DD auditioned for NYT this week. She too found the group workshop fun, and liked that there was a really broad age range in the audition. It was a really positive experience and she would do it again next year.

EvilTwins Tue 14-Feb-17 22:01:19

One of my students is auditioning on Sunday - it's his 4th attempt so they must be doing something right if kids want to keep going back!

errorofjudgement Wed 15-Feb-17 18:08:50

4 times! Wow, that's dedication smile

EvilTwins Wed 15-Feb-17 18:13:23

I have two students who both auditioned for the first time aged 14. The other one got in on the third time of trying. It's a funny old thing though - the one who's auditioning on Sunday is also auditioning for drama schools and has a recall for LIPA and got through to the second round for Central, so he must be pretty good... in which case it's kind of odd that NYT haven't wanted him so far.

I went to see their 60th anniversary gala in September (my other student was in it) and it was excellent, though very self-congratulatory. I can see why this boy wants to keep trying.

errorofjudgement Wed 15-Feb-17 19:52:52

It's DDs first time of trying, she's in Y11 and had some encouraging news for drama at sixth form - if she can get a scholarship she's been offered a place at a fantastic school on their 2 year acting course. So she went to NYT not at all stressed, and probably enjoyed the experience more.
Stress is next week when she has the scholarship audition!

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