GSA's industry day
The Guildford School of Acting (GSA) runs a London industry day for its undergraduate and postgraduate students on the Acting, Actor-Musician, and Musical Theatre programmes. It's an event where our students go up to London and audition to an invited audience of agents, producers and casting directors who give us feedback on the students.
MA Acting student, Phil Akka, describes the industry day he attended.
"Our course leader let us know in advance when the industry day would be and told us very clearly how to prepare for it, even down to precisely how to introduce ourselves and leave the room, which was possibly one of the most important pieces of information I had previously been unaware of! It made a massive difference in my feedback from the agents and casting directors after the event.
He also advised me as to which pieces suited my casting, explaining the subtle differences between various performances I'd submitted to him in advance, as well as weighing-in with his knowledge of my personality and stage presence gained since the beginning of term. Without this kind of awareness and feedback in advance from someone who has watched you so closely, it would have been so much more challenging to arrive at the industry day with a clear sense of what I needed to turn up with.
Having then rehearsed the monologue (and while we were also training for a short film module), I arrived in Piccadilly Circus and walked to Her Majesty's Theatre, where we had been directed to enter through the stage door and walk up to the top floor where we would wait for a time to enter on the call sheet. The schedule was very organised and we had a two-minute slot each during which we would perform for 90 seconds max.
When I was called, I was expecting to enter a room with a few people but to my surprise I entered an old room packed full of agents, casting directors, producers and directors. Regardless, I had rehearsed my entrance and exit so well that it felt effortless and I actually enjoyed the experience. For a brief moment I realised how the training really had set me up far more than if I had entered without it, so that really boosted my confidence.
Leaving the room I saw all the other people from my year waiting and asking how it was and I told them it felt good and the room was full, and then about two hours later we all met for lunch in Leicester Square to reflect on the morning.
The following week our course leader sent us copies of the feedback sheets from each agent, casting director, producer and director, and all of it made sense and confirmed several things I had wondered about previously. The great thing about it was not only did I know how much they liked what I did, but I was now able to contact agents and casting directors directly who had provided their information on the form, giving me direct opportunity to contact them and discuss the future.
Ultimately the day prepared me well for future auditions and I had a solid reference point to build on as well as a clear understanding of my casting thanks to feedback from industry professionals."