HOW DO I JOIN?
First of all you need to fill in an application form – either directly on the website, or download and print your own. Your schools or colleges should have received them as well. Don’t forget to put a passport type photo on, it helps identify you in audition. We see everyone that applies, and it’s free to audition. The auditions are usually in Easter for 11-19 year olds and in May half term for the 7-10s.
WHAT WILL I HAVE TO DO AT AUDITIONS?
It depends on what age you are.
Years 3-5 do some games and some improvised dramas with some of the older members who will help you. There will be a tiny bit of script about 3 lines each that you’ll do and then carry it on in your own words.
Years 6-10 start off with games and then some improvised dramas with older members (sometimes well known actors) facilitating. There’ll also be a little bit of script – about 4 lines each that you develop into an improvisation.
Years 11 and above will do some impros and then perform a monologue (solo speech) from a published play that you have found.
If you get through this first audition you’ll be recalled for a shortlist audition where you will do some more improvisations and perform some script that we will have sent and you will have learnt!
IF I DON’T GET THROUGH FROM THE SHORTLIST, WHAT HAPPENS?
If you get as far as the shortlist, you will have done well. If you don’t get into the main group from the shortlist, you will be put into the reserve group that meets once a month. From the reserve group, you get the chance to move into the main group and sometimes attend casting sessions.
HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU SEE?
About a thousand a year. You will come to an audition of about 30 people of a similar age for a 2 hour session.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Natural performances. Being real is the most important thing, but you also need focus and the ability to be totally ‘in’ the drama, believing the situation and listening and responding well to the other actors. You need to have confidence and be keen without showing off!
I DIDN’T GET THROUGH LAST YEAR – CAN I APPLY AGAIN?
Yes. As long as you are under 20!
HOW MANY PEOPLE GET THROUGH EACH YEAR?
It depends how many places there are. But we usually take on about 50 each year over the whole age range.
HOW WILL WE KNOW WHETHER I HAVE GOT THROUGH?
We send out emails to everyone that comes to audition once we’ve seen all the applicants. It may take a bit of time to get through the auditions so be patient!
IF I GET IN WHEN DO I COME?
Each group is allocated a session. The Workshop year starts in September and finishes July though there are often things going on over summer.
Years 3-5 currently come on a Mon 5pm -7pm OR Sat 10am-12 midday
Years 6-10 currently come Weds 5-7pm OR Fri 5-7pm OR Sat 12.30-2.30pm
Years 11 and above currently meet on Weds 7-9.30pm, and from October-March are split into casts to stage productions. Rehearsals take place weekday evenings, typically once a week but often more frequently.
These days may change and there may be rehearsals or castings on other days. We try to get new members into a session of their choice but it depends on availabilities.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN SESSIONS?
A lot of improvisation, some scripts, rehearsing for plays, devising, filming – having a lot of fun and working hard! There’s not a lot of singing or dancing so if you are big on musical theatre you might want to supplement your Workshop sessions eleswhere.You’ll get to know a lot of very nice and talented young people from lots of different backgrounds.
HOW MUCH IS IT?
We charge £110 per term. There are three terms per year and a minimum of 10 sessions per term. However, we are able to offer FREE and half-price places to those members who are unable to pay. It is very important to us that we recruit on TALENT FIRST. Nobody is ever turned away who is unable to afford the fees.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M IN ANOTHER DRAMA GROUP?
That’s fine as long as you can juggle the commitments and avoid clashes of interest.
WILL I GET A PART ON TELEVISION?
Quite possibly! It depends on what castings there are, whether you are right for the part and how you do in the casting session. It’s important not to get hung up on casting. The most important aspect of being in the Workshop is being in the Workshop! Many talented members have to wait a while before the right part comes along. And it’ll probably be a short film shot locally that will give you your first experience of acting for camera.
IS THE WORKSHOP MY AGENT?
We act as an agent and put you up for parts and make sure that everybody is happy with the arrangements if you get a part. If you are lucky enough to get a professional paid job ( not every job is paid!) then the Workshop deducts 10% commission from your payment. This goes towards admin and, as we are a charity, is pumped directly back into the Workshop’s activities and resources for the benefit of the members.
If when you are older you are doing well in getting work, we may introduce you to a London-based agent, depending on our assesment of your potential to have a career in acting.
DOES EVERYBODY IN THE WORKSHOP WANT TO ACT PROFESSIONALLY?
Everybody wants to and enjoys acting but very few end up as professional actors. The good thing about being part of the Workshop is that it helps in lots of other jobs – some in the film and television industry, but many in lots of different professions. Ex-Workshop members are doctors, lawyers, singers, dancers, engineers, editors, directors, sports coaches, teachers, journalists, presenters as well as successful actors.
DO I NEED PREVIOUS DRAMA EXPERIENCE?
No. Some of our best young actors have not done much drama before they joined the group. On the other hand, if you have been in school plays or do drama at school you might already have developed your talents in performance. You will probably find Workshop very different from school however!
I DON’T LIVE NEAR NOTTINGHAM – CAN I STILL JOIN?
You need to be able to get into the centre of Nottingham for your session but also get there for the occasional casting or extra rehearsal after school. Any more than an hour’s travel might be too much!
ONCE I’M IN THE WORKSHOP – DO I HAVE TO REAUDITION?
You have to reaudition in Year 6 to get into the older group, then at Year 11 to get into the Over 16s. The Over 16 members have to present a monologue that they have sourced at the beginning of each Workshop year. And then we ask you to move on at 21. Some people manage to stay in the Workshop for 14 years – joining at 7 and successfully reauditioning for each step up.