If you’re wanting to go into acting or backstage then I’ll be surprised if you haven’t already heard of National Youth Theatre. If you haven’t then you can check out their website here.
I previously wrote a blog post about my experience at NYT on the Senior Summer Course last year, I absolutely loved it- you can read more about what the course entails, what I got up to and what to expect here.
Audition season is just around the corner so get your monologues out, your voices warmed up and start downward dogging.
I have nothing but positive words to say about NYT so here are 10 reasons why YOU should audition for NYT this year:
1. The audition is really fun
I’ve auditioned for NYT three times (on the third I was accepted) and I enjoyed each audition so much. NYT is all about the ensemble, so most of the audition is to see how well you work with others which is actually great because you can relax and have fun and sort of forget that you’re in an audition. You play drama games, make weird noises, roll about on the floor, devise wacky short performances and it’s great. I enjoyed my last audition the most which is probably why I was accepted because I was relaxed. After your audition you’ll feel so present and ready to take on the world. You will have a blast!
2. You will learn so much
I learnt so so so much on my 3 week course at NYT- it is definitely worth every penny; it’s also so much fun. Everyone has a different experience and learns different things on their courses due to each course director being experienced in separate areas. Your mind will be blown with some of the things they throw at you… Suzuki… Immersive theatre…
3. The National Youth Theatre network is huge
From the alumni to your course directors to your peers, there is an insane amount of talent and knowledge within the National Youth Theatre family. There is always someone creating, writing and performing so there is so much you can get involved with.
4. Opportunities as a member
So once you’re accepted onto the course you’ll be given a log in for a section on the website called ‘opportunities’, which is full of things you can get involved in all over the UK. However, most of the opportunities are based within London so it is quite frustrating being up north and not being able to attend them. There are discounted theatre tickets just for NYT members, deals on headshots with respected photographers, courses and auditions for film, TV and theatre. They’re great casting calls too with some big names thrown in the mix. Opportunities to get involved are thrown at you.
NYT is a family where everyone is supported. Once you’re a member, you will be accepted into the Facebook groups where people post what shows they’re up to, casting opportunities and questions about acting/theatre/film/anything. It’s honestly such a lovely little community to be a part of.
6. Alternative training to drama school
So if you’re someone like me who still hasn’t been accepted into drama school, National Youth Theatre offers alternative training such as the REP Company, Playing UP and individual masterclasses. You don’t even have to be a member to get involved in their masterclasses, anyone can apply. They do masterclasses on Shakespeare, audition technique and acting for screen which are all really great and really reasonably priced. NYT offers an alternate training route to being an actor- you don’t have to follow the traditional route.
You will meet the most amazing people on your course and you’ll become really good friends- you all share the same passion. The people are what makes the NYT experience so special. Sneaking alcohol back to our accommodation, eating pizza and singing Les Miserables “One Day More” at the top of our lungs with the best people will always be a highlight for me.
8. You are accepted as you
There isn’t any pretence at NYT. There is no hierarchy, everyone is equal and respected. You’re all there for the same reason and you all share one common interest: the love to act. The first few days I wore makeup and then after a few days I thought “nah fuck it, I’m going bare” because I soon realised that no one cares and no one judges you. It is a safe environment. You’ll all be smelly, sweaty and gagging for a gin and tonic by the end of the day so you’re all in the same boat.
9. You will learn from your mistakes
NYT helps you embrace your mistakes and not to be embarrassed about anything. It is such a confidence boost in yourself as an actor. I made mistakes, I loved making them.
10. You will have the BEST three weeks
I’m not exaggerating, EVERYONE always talks about how much they enjoyed their experience at NYT. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really hard work but it is the most fun I have ever had. My journey has only just begun and I’m loving every minute. Even if you don’t get accepted first time- that’s okay, it’s all a learning curve.
Audition. Audition. Audition!
The audition FAQ is here.
Disclaimer: photos are not my own, they have been pulled of the National Youth Theatre Facebook page of Course 17 (my group).