Thursday, 10 January 2013

Student Snapshot: Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Paige, BA Acting, 2nd Year

“Each person is suited to a different drama school” shrugs Paige when I ask her why she chose GSMD. Her answer means I’m slightly taken aback. The typical response to this question is “that was the one I got into!” Having auditioned for eight of the top London drama schools, Paige had offers from a handful. This means Guildhall School of Music and Drama had done something to impress her.

Picture: Guildhall School of Music and Drama

“There wasn’t any bullshit” she says, remembering the GSMD auditions. “I was just completely straight with them and did my pieces.” Not so with LAMDA, she recalls. Although we came to the conclusion that the panel were probably trying to disconcert her, she remembered “It was very formal...we couldn’t even shake hands. One guy blew his nose and dropped his pen while I was auditioning.” 

So, the million dollar question: what did she do to get one of the coveted course places? “I think I had three good pieces that I felt confident about” she says.  “I did Portia’s speech to Bassanio from The Merchant of Venice, a monologue called Fried Chicken from Vital Signs (Jane Martin) and one from Laughing Wild (Christopher Durang).” I am very impressed when she admits “the way that we had to watch each other in the GSMD auditions really helped me – it makes everyone step up their game.”

Picture: Guildhall School of Music and Drama
But how do you go about selecting your crucial three audition pieces? “Ask for help from someone you trust” Paige suggests. “I had a teacher who taught me at Rose Bruford summer school and I went to him for advice. He didn’t force any monologues on me...he gave me different things to look at and I chose myself.”

Now in the second year of her intensive Acting BA, Paige says “I’m absolutely loving it, it’s the best decision I ever made.” When I asked what made GSMD so impressive she said, “the teachers are amazing. They make this school what it is...they care, they’re nice people! They’re not soft on you, though. If you need a kicking up the butt you get a kicking up the butt. But in a nice way!”


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