I studied Performing Arts here at Leeds Beckett, and before receiving my offer, I was asked to come along to an audition. My audition here was the first audition I had ever been to. Unlike other universities that I auditioned at, I was not asked to prepare anything beforehand and to just bring my best self, wear studio clothing that I would be able to move around in, and comfy shoes.
I travelled to my audition with my mum and auntie by train and then got a taxi from Leeds station to the Beckett Studios on Headingley Campus. I was one of the first to arrive and was met by Oliver Bray, the head of performing arts. There was a lounge area where we sat and waited for everyone else to arrive. It was great to get chatting to the other students auditioning, many of them had travelled from up and down the country and had various backgrounds in performance. At this point my mum and auntie left to go back in to the city and I began to feel nervous because I had no idea what I was going to be asked to do during the audition! I did begin to relax though, as everyone was in the exact same position as me and I just had to try my best to not over think it.
There were around 15 people at the audition, and Oliver Bray was leading the session. He told us that in an hours’ time we would have roughly a seven minute performance which we would show back to other members of the department and our parent and guardians if we wished. At the time I couldn’t believe that we only had an hour to create a performance in a new space, with new people I had only just met under the direction of someone completely new. I was anxious but stayed composed as I knew that I had only one hour to stand out as much as I could. Oliver gave us a set of mini tasks to perform. I won't reveal exactly what we did, but it included things such as:
- Give an improvised sequence within a box on the floor made of tape
- Tell stories one at a time, with the chance you'd be interrupted
- A text and movement sequence with chairs
Before we knew it the hour was over and Oliver directed us on the order we would perform each mini section to create the overall performance. Everyone was so friendly and I really enjoyed the audition. I loved the fast paced energy of it and this gave me the chance to experience what a lesson might be like if I came to Leeds Beckett University.
After the showing we were asked to go in one at a time to have an interview. I was the first name called up and went back into the studio to have a chat with Oliver. I had no idea what kind of questions he might ask, I had prepared some answers such as why I wanted to do a degree in performance and why I was interested in Leeds Beckett University. I was pleasantly surprised that this was much more of an informal chat than I had originally expected it to be. He asked about what performance companies and style of performance I was interested in, what I wanted to do after the degree, and my interests outside of school. Looking back at it now it was an opportunity for the lecturers to really find out what you are like and if the course would be suited to you. It was not a test as I had expected it would be. After my interview I was told to keep a check on my emails and within the next couple of weeks I received my offer to come and study here.
If I had to give advice to anyone going to a university audition it would be:
- Don’t panic. As much as you want to stand out from the crowd and perform to the best of your ability, it is not a test! It's more of a way for the lecturers to find out about you and your interests.
- Enjoy your audition. Remember that this is a great way for you to trial out the course, just think of it as a mini workshop. After my audition at Leeds Beckett I knew that this was my first choice university as I loved the teaching style and all the lecturers that I met that day.
- Bring your best self. Go into the audition with a positive mind-set and perform to the best of your ability. Speak to other students at the audition too as it’s a great way to break the ice and enjoy the audition process