During my life I have always loved acting and public speaking. NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) has really helped me improve these skills. Speaking in public is never easy, but becomes easier with practice. My auntie was a great actor, being on ‘A Country Practice’ for many years. She inspired me to love acting.
I have attended Drama classes since I was in Year 1 at school with my teacher Miss Patton and I have really enjoyed them. I have also participated in many NIDA courses over the last 4 years. NIDA is Australia’s most famous school of drama. Graduates of NIDA include Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving and Baz Luhrmann.
In August 2012, I auditioned for a NIDA production that I had read about. It was to experience the production process from start to finish. The production was for 10 to 12 year olds and the theme was time travel. There were 120 kids that auditioned and there were only to be 15 lucky girls selected.
To audition, we had to choose a character from a book and act out a scene for 2 minutes. I chose the book “Once” by Morris Gleitzman. The character I chose to act was Felix, a Jewish boy in World War II. The opening paragraphs of the book were the funniest and most remarkable to me, so I selected them. I learnt 2 pages and that became my script. I practiced and practiced, until I knew the script off by heart and I had made the character come to life.
On the Sunday morning of the audition, I was nervous. I did one last practice run and then my family drove me to NIDA.
When we arrived at NIDA, I expected we would begin the auditions right away. Instead, they asked us to spend some time getting to know each other. That really helped because I felt more comfortable doing my audition with my newly made friends.
Just before we started, they gave us one last piece of advice:
Nerves are just unused energy, which can be useful to turn into a great performance.
I did a great job. Actually, I felt it was better than any of my practice runs. Even so, I still had a nervous wait for 2 days. Then, my dad received the call that I had been selected!
I looked forward to rehearsals every Sunday. I had a great role and the experience really boosted my self confidence in my acting ability.
The day of the big production finally arrived. We were well rehearsed and I felt a room bursting with enthusiasm and pride. We couldn’t wait to perform this long production in front of our family and friends. Not only was my family there, two of my best friends (Sarah Moore and Scarlett Jamieson) came too and this made it extra special.
We performed the play twice on the day and both times it was so much fun.
I was in the opening scene. I know how important first impressions are. I was overjoyed when the productions were completed. The feedback was great. I had done it, we all had done it!
I might not achieve the heights that my Auntie Louise achieved on ‘A Country Practice’, but I still think my family was just as proud.
Clearly, this experience has worked in your favor–it showed in the Black Box video I watched. I too have had considerable public speaking experience but I am exceptionally nervous singing solos. While I sing fairly well in my church choir, I feel very uncomfortable singing alone. I’ll try to use your advice to recharge my courage. ;)