Drama School Recall

So you’ve finished your audition, weeks or possibly months of preparation over in a flash, what do you do now? Spend your time keeping yourself busy and not waiting by the telephone with your fist in your mouth waiting to find out about that all-important drama school recall or rejection – truth is, it’s not as crucial to your life as you may think. Some bigger picture thinking should be applied here, there’s always next year!

But you’re probably not reading this article to hear how everything will probably turn out alright in the end, so here are my thoughts on what to do after your audition is over.

Recalls & Rejections

Sometimes you find out on the day, sometimes it’s a painful wait that’s spread over a fortnight. But opening that email or seeing that list is a heart in mouth kind of moment. If you’re recalled, its great and you should be pleased, but don’t rest on your laurels. Some drama schools have five rounds before you’re in the clear. Keep the work up, stay energized, and stay humble.  It’s good for the soul.

If it’s a no, don’t feel disheartened. As I said, it’s all luck. Stay focused and stay positive. Draw a line under it and prepare for your next audition. Don’t take that negative energy with you. It’s self-sabotage. All you can do is trust in the work you’ve done. And remember, you only need one panel to see that spark of brilliance within you, and you’ll smash it.

“Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about recalls, in my two years of auditioning for BA courses got rejected 8 times and only got recalled twice (good thing it only takes one yes). When it comes to rejection, analyse yourself and try to improve what you think your short-comings are and hone your strengths. Don’t be down about it, it’s not necessarily reflective of your ability, they might have a particular person in mind so you don’t fit the bill physically, alternatively they may have already accepted somebody who looks like you or quite simply they might just think you’re too young and need some life experience. Whatever the reason, there’s no point reading too much into it because all you’ll do is feel inept and doubt your own abilities, I know some incredible actors who’ve taken 4 years to get into drama school, it’s common to audition for a few years. Take it on the chin, learn from it and march on into the next audition with high spirits, nobody likes a nervous wreck in an audition room, it’s uncomfortable for everyone involved. Be yourself, they’re panellists but they’re people too, and be friendly, they want to know if you’re going to be cooperative over the next 3 years of all your lives”

Charlie Barker, Arts Ed


“The biggest thing that threw me at auditions was getting a recall at a school for the first time. It made me get too excited in the prospect of getting in and in the excitement all the preparation I had done for the character went out the window. Treat any recall as another audition – prepare anything they ask you to and listen to what they offer during the audition itself. Rejection is a hard thing to handle, no matter how many times you audition. It does get easier should you not get in on your first year and you find coping mechanisms. In the end, the best thing is to not wallow or feel like you have failed and that you blew your ‘one shot’. Chances are that they might not have though you had not enough experience or they had already accepted someone that had your build or your hairstyle. Have a day to feel rubbish, have wine, chat with friends. Then prepare for your next audition. Think about what you did before – how could you improve a little detail. Always keep learning and evolving your speeches. Never let them go stale.”

Max Kinder, National Youth Theatre


“Celebrate your recalls and lament your rejections, its human and we all do it. But try to be kind to yourself. What you must do either way is move on- it’s unhelpful to dwell.”

Finbar Varrall, Rose Bruford College

What Next?

That’s a big question. You’ve spent all these months working an auditioning, and one of two things will have happened. You will have gained a place at Acting School, or you won’t have. If you have, then congratulations. Now the real work begins. You’ll spend three years honing your craft and, hopefully, be doing what you love every day. Never take it for granted. Work hard, stay humble, and you’ll do fine.

If you haven’t gained a place, then congratulations. You have worked no less than anyone else, nor are you any less deserving. It was just not your time.  And it is upsetting, I know. But you must trust in your abilities and stand proud for what you have done. We, as creatives, put our egos on the line every time we walk in an audition room. We risk ruin on the way we say a line or the number of steps we take. But we do it anyway. You do it because you love it and you can’t imagine doing anything else. Remember that.

“If you don’t get in on your first time of auditioning, don’t worry! You have plenty of time. I’m currently on my fourth year and am determined to get in. Most drama school students did not get in on their first time. If you don’t get in, find something to do in the months off to broaden your horizons. Find a new hobby or travel somewhere you’ve never been before. Explore life and find a job or a skill that you’re passionate about. Then you add those experiences to your auditions next year and you already have a higher chance of getting in. Don’t miss out on what’s out there.”

Max Kinder, National Youth Theatre

Ready yourself for the next year, work just as hard. Believe in yourself.

I wish you all the luck in the world.

If you missed our other articles on How To Audition For Drama School, be sure to check out Part I and Part II here.

Elliott Reeves Giblin
Elliott is Liverpool/London based actor and director. A graduate of the Liverpool Everyman actors course, he has been a professional actor for a number of years, performing all around the country and even at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. When not acting he helps dozens of applicants gain places at the countries most prestigious drama schools, as a one-on-one monologue coach. His other hobbies include writing and playing the guitar.