London drama school the Musical Theatre Academy has launched an initiative allowing prospective students to self-tape their auditions, in a bid to reduce the costs associated with applying.
As part of the initiative, the school has partnered with self-tape app, Shoot Me!, which was co-created by actor Cush Jumbo earlier this year to enable actors to record their own auditions.
A recent report by Labour criticised the “sky-high” cost of applying to drama schools, with colleges charging up to £100 per audition.
The report claimed this was having a restrictive effect on the range of people applying for drama school in the UK.
In 2016, Equity announced it would carry out an audit of drama school audition fees, in a bid to improve accessibility to training.
Applicants can still attend the full-day audition without first sending a taped audition, however the Audition from Home initiative is intended as a free first step to establish whether a performer’s application could be taken further.
Audition from Home allows performers to record a self-taped audition. This will then be considered by the college’s senior faculty, which will decide whether the applicant should progress to a full-day audition, costing £45.
Annemarie Lewis Thomas, principal of the MTA, said: “For some time we’ve been looking at a way to reduce costs for applicants. The industry is all about self-tapes at the moment and, as the only musical theatre college to offer a 50/50 stage/screen split, we felt that this was the perfect vehicle for our latest initiative.”
Applicants are being encouraged to use the Shoot Me! app to create their auditions, and the full details of the process are available on the MTA’s website.