Ana Ribeiro is a recent alumna of our Advanced group and has taken part in many productions during her time with us, including ‘Basset’, ‘The Taming of The Shrew’, and most recently as Lady Macbeth in ‘Macbeth’. Here she tells us about her journey post-PYT, pursuing her dream to study at drama school.
Last year I auditioned for drama school and didn’t get in. Whilst this didn’t fill me with joy, I can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed. During my preparation for the auditions, I was constantly reminded that it was likely that I wouldn’t be accepted the first time auditioning. So that’s the mind-set I had: I will try my best, but if I don’t make it, I can always try again.
Before I continue, let me introduce myself. My name is Ana Ribeiro, I am from Portugal, and this is my story about not giving up.
I have always loved acting, and dreamt of becoming an actress when I grew up. But it wasn’t until I got my first lead role in a school musical, that I considered doing it for real, and pursuing it after I graduated. Being on stage gave me such a rush… it was an indescribable feeling. Fast-forward 5 years, it was time to start applying for university. I applied to 5 acting schools, all in the UK, and so the prep work began.
I started working with Adam (Artistic Director of Prague Youth Theatre), to find the right monologues, and work on my performance. After weeks of preparing, I went with my family to London for my first audition. It was at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts)
LAMDA is a huge deal. My first time auditioning for drama school, and it was at one of the best! Needless to say, I was a nervous wreck. I usually handle my nerves rather well, but I remember the plane ride to London… I was shaking. What if I messed it all up? We arrived on Thursday night and my audition was Friday morning.
I woke up early on Friday, feeling rather calm – especially in comparison to the previous night – had a good breakfast and then set off to the school. Upon arrival, two students greeted me, asked me for my name, and told me to wait until a few more people arrived. A small group of us was taken upstairs and put into a waiting room. There must have been around 10 people in there already most of whom were older than I was. Many people were auditioning for their third or fourth time and were already in their 20s, meanwhile I had only met one other 17-year-old.
I arrived half an hour early, and after an hour of waiting, it was time for my audition. I waited outside the audition room and then I was called in. On one end sat a panel of 3 judges, and at the other end was the “stage”. “Start whenever you’re ready.”
After the audition, I was guided into another room for an interview. This was a relaxed and short process – conducted by LAMDA alumni – where I was asked questions about myself and about any acting projects I had done recently. After that I was free to go. I left LAMDA feeling pleased – my expectations of getting in weren’t high, but I was happy with how I had performed.
In the end, I didn’t get into LAMDA (or the other schools I had applied to). Although I didn’t want to give up acting, it would be a lie to say I didn’t feel slightly discouraged. I focused on school as I had my IB exams in May, which got me thinking about perhaps going to university to take a business degree. I applied, and had received an offer from King’s College, London.
Once I was done with exams, and studying wasn’t my only priority, I started thinking whether I was making the right decision about business. It was too late to audition for September 2018 entry, but in my mind, all I kept thinking was: “if you do this, you will regret not doing acting for the rest of your life.” My mind was set.
I emailed King’s to decline my offer (after I had received my IB results) and applied to Met Film School, for their 6 month acting-for-film course. I had talked it out with my parents and they were supportive of my decision: I was going to do this course, and then audition again for entry next year. Our deal included a few more things but I won’t bore you with them.
I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made. Although I’m not going to university this year, I am taking the year to continue working on my craft, and will be auditioning again for an Acting BA.
My advice for young actors is to keep going no matter what. If you don’t get into drama school the first time round, then keep on working on your craft and try again the next year, because it will happen. I’m a firm believer that if you want something so bad, and work really hard to achieve it then you can get it!
Prague Youth Theatre
Prague’s only English-speaking youth theatre. Empowering students aged 3-17 to connect with one another, develop confidence, and create impactful stories. www.pyt.cz.
If you would like advice, assistance and rehearsal prep to help with your own drama school or university audition or interview, please get in touch, we can help! firstname.lastname@example.org