How not to survive the ADC

One fresher’s audition odyssey.

ADC audition Cambridge Corpus Playroom Fresher Theatre Thesps

As soon as I get my hands on an actor’s list I decide to go for an audition.

In nervous preparation I changed four or five times wondering which outfit would make me seem like I actually know how to act. Maybe I could be the method actor who arrives barefoot in all black clothing and who spends their time in the waiting room doing complex breathing exercises, muttering transitive verbs to themselves in different tones of voice?

Or maybe I could be the bearded Shakesperean actor who arrives in full costume, ruff and all, and who complains about the state of modern day the-atre in perfect iambic pentameter? Perhaps I could be the avant garde actor who wears thick black eyeliner and who is more than ready to cover themselves in black paint in order to express the Lord’s Prayer through interpretive dance?

Something like this would have been great

Shit! I missed my alarm – I’m going to be late. In a rush I collect together all the things I think I need: a notepad, a pen – scratch that – a pencil, a sharpener and all the confidence I can muster. Breathing deeply I begin the trek to the ADC.

I head round the back where I’ve heard all the proper actors go through and I walk up the back door confidently as if I own the place. There’s a code. Shit. I’ve been rumbled, now they’ll know I have no bloody clue what I’m doing. The blood rushes out of my cheeks. I desperately check the Camdram page for any instructions as to how to get in and find nothing, when suddenly I hear a noise behind me.

Please don’t hurt me

In my panic not to be discovered as a fraud I dive behind a drying piece of scenery and gaze out at the approaching thesp, as he saunters up to the door, script in hand. As cool as a cucumber and with a flick of his well gelled quiff he absentmindedly punches in the code. As soon as he is out of sight, I rush from behind the furniture and sneak in as the door is closing. I’m in.

An impenetrable fortress

Now all I need to do is locate ADC Dressing Room One. Desperately, I look for any indication of an audition going on. All I see is a bench, the toilets and a bunch of doors with no clear numerical labelling occurring. Which room could it possibly be? A few people dressed as chess pieces giggle as they leave their dressing rooms. A guy in a long black coat stands by an open window and smokes while flipping through a well-thumbed, annotated copy of Robin Hood. I’m way out my depth. I give up on pretending that I know what I am doing and head towards the reception.

For the love of god save me kind sir

I exit through another door up the stairs. I realise that I had left my bag behind and watch as the door clicks shut in front of me. I try the door and realise it’s also requires a key code to open. Panicking I try all the codes that people tend to: 1066, 0000. Nothing. I run up to the first person I meet and, defeated and out of breath, splutter at him that “I left my… could you just… audition… clueless fresher … chess pieces…”. He perks up at the word audition and glances at me through squinted eyes asking what show I was auditioning for… shit.

Needless to say he didn’t give me the part.