Hollywood in the house!
Our final year BA (Hons) Acting for Stage & Screen students recently had an extraordinary experience, given to very few training actors. They auditioned for three high-level industry panellists, just as they will hopefully be doing when they graduate and become working actors.
Each student had one-to-one auditions with Lynette Howell Taylor who is the Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated producer of films such as A Star is Born, Captain Fantastic, The Accountant and The Place Beyond The Pines. She is also an Emmy Nominated Producer of TV shows and Tony nominated producer of Broadway plays such as POTUS.
Lynette has worked with actors such as Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Brie Larson, Anna Kendrick, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Christoph Waltz, Lady Gaga, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo and Samuel L. Jackson… and now she is working with our students!
They each prepared two scenes from movies and TV shows. Lynette redirected them and gave them feedback. This was an incredible opportunity for our training actors to be seen by a high-level Hollywood producer and to find out how they would be viewed in a real-life audition. Lynette gave honest and useful feedback to all our students, challenging them all on how they can improve whilst also celebrating their talents. She even said that one of our students is “the new Jodie Comer”!
We were also lucky enough to welcome Juliet Forster, the creative director of York Theatre Royal, and Sam Holcroft, a casting agent, into York College University Centre as Industry Panellists. Juliet took students through their paces as they auditioned for parts in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night while Sam auditioned them for a part in an advert. These were very contrasting experiences.
The students had a month to prepare their Shakespeare characters and monologues, whereas they were only given their lines for the advert audition a few hours before.
The idea behind the Industry Panel Week is to prepare students for a wide range of real-life audition situations and it really achieved that.
Students experienced contrasting styles of audition in the room too; Juliet worked alongside the students, helping them to craft their performances, refining them and discussing how to develop them, whereas Sam treated them to a traditional commercial casting, which can often last no more than 5 minutes.
Actors only have a single chance to make the right impression and book the job.
Our student, Celeste North Finocchi, said this about the experience:
“I felt very challenged by Industry Panel Week, in that expectations are extremely high, and there is so much depth, detail, and dedication to both your craft and professionalism required.
“I felt very comfortable, extremely excited and lucky to be given not just feedback, but an overview of a professional audition with lots of great advice. I learned the fundamental pillars of an audition: enactment of re-direction, flexibility, openness, maturity and being someone worth working with.
“It was incredibly useful to work in front of different professionals, and learn that different people work and communicate differently, may interpret a character differently from you, and that you always have to be the best you can and be thankful for their time.”
All in all, this was a valuable experience for a group of professionally training actors.
Industry Panel Week was completed by a talk from professional actor Mark Burghagen about starting out in the industry. Mark offered generous advice and stories from his own life, which gave our students a huge insight into what it is like to start out in the careers that they dream of succeeding in.
What a challenging, demanding, and unforgettable week!
Come along to our Higher-Education Takeover event on 18th of March. Book your place here.
For more information on our BA (Hons) Acting for Stage & Screen degree, click here.