LAMDA Exams - What to expect and how to prepare

Max has been acting with his theatre group Stagewise since he was 4. As he has become older, he has realised that acting and music are really a huge passion and something that he would like to pursue in the future. As part of his journey to become a little thespian, Max has begun his journey into entering LAMDA acting exams. 

Max has worked tirelessly with his drama coach to create some truly awesome monologues that he performed in his exams. As a mum sat outside waiting for him to complete it, I can definitely say that I was probably more nervous than him! Max did so well and recently got his results, that landed him with a strong distinction grade. Something that he is super proud of! 

As a mum new to this whole LAMDA exam thing, I can honestly say I didn't know what to expect, nor did I know how to fully prepare Max for these exams. Whilst I wouldn't say that I'm an expert now, I can definitely share some of those little tips that I picked up on the way. 

  • Find a coach who you get along with. Max does his LAMDA lesson's with his drama teacher and they have such a fab relationship. She knows exactly when to push him, and when to let him work it out for himself. She also isn't afraid to tell it like it is and will often tell him when he needs a push as well as when he is smashing it. 

  • Pick two contrasting pieces. You want to show the examiner exactly what you can do. Max picked one sombre, sad piece that could have made the examiner cry, and also a piece that was full of energy and could make the examiner laugh. This meant that the pieces were distinct, different and showed his range.

  • Wear non-distracting clothing. Max went into the exam in some loose shorts (as it was super hot!) and a plain black top with his jazz shoes on. This way the examiner can completely focus on the acting rather than what you look like. 

  • Practice outside. We live in a tiny flat and Max was struggling with both the space for movement and the projection for his voice. We took to the local park, to our car-park and anywhere else we could find that was large and empty to practice that vocal projection. You might look silly for a few minutes, but honestly it worked wonders for us!

  • Say hello, smile and roll your shoulders back. Allow yourself to stand tall, take a moment to breathe and remember that the examiner is just a normal person too. Max's examiner was lovely and had a good joke with Max about one of his pieces. 

  • Don't forget your paperwork! We took two copies of our script and a copy of the marking guide into the exams with us. They allowed the examiner to follow your piece and make sure you are word perfect, whilst also giving them something to mark your piece on!

  • Take time to learn your piece. Not just the script itself, that comes as standard. Have a think about the emotion, the setting, how the character is feeling and why you are playing the piece the way you are. These are all things that the examiner might ask you, so have a think and really embody the character before you start the monologue. 

  • Enjoy it! There is no use you taking all the time to practice the exam only for you to hate it once you are in there. Slow down the pace, take a moment to really enjoy the acting and remember that the results are out of your hand. No matter the result, you have done a fantastic and brave thing to even step into that examination room. 


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