How I won a place at drama school  

Kent schoolgirl Alex Rye, 15, has won a scholarship at Wilkes Academy in Swindon. Here she talks about her experience of choosing to go to drama school…

‘When I was in year 9, I won a place at a drama school but the funding was way too expensive so I couldn’t go. However, from then on, all the auditions made me dead set on going when I was 16.

‘I do singing, acting, ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, street dance and Irish. I love ballet and contemporary mix but I also love Irish because it’s just such good fun.

‘Throughout year 10 I was on the Internet looking at colleges, getting prospectuses and trying to find what I thought was the best place for me. I went to eight or nine open days – you see the shows, you see classes, get all the information. I narrowed the colleges down to three – I preferred the smaller ones – they felt more close-knit.

‘For the audition my dance teacher and I prepared a dance solo – I chose a contemporary, lyrical piece. I also prepared a song with my singing teacher – With You from Ghost. We prepared quite a few in case they wanted something different. I also did a contemporary monologue.

‘At the audition we did a ballet class, a jazz class and a singing and acting class. I liked the intensity, they challenged me but gave me a real flavour of what I wanted to do. The other people were friendly and the current students gave us loads of information about the college.

‘Wilkes Academy offered me a place and a scholarship. I was so happy – not only getting in but getting funding too! That really enables me to go. ‘I would say to people thinking of going: really think about it: it’s so challenging; you have to cope with a lot, and a lot of rejection. The best way I find to cope with rejection is to have a good cry – as much as it’s nice to be tough it does hurt.

‘Make sure the pieces you choose for your audition reflect your personality – if they can see the real you they can get a flavour of who you are. Also: relax! If you don’t get in, it’s not the end of the world.

‘I am thinking about a career in musical theatre. I know it’s very difficult but I want to go for it. I would deeply regret it if I did not pursue my passion and try to make a career out of it.’