Portsmouth Drama Coaching

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Simone Laraway

Royal Academy of Music – 1999-2000

Simone
 

I had auditioned to get a place on the coveted Postgraduate Music Course at the Royal Academy of Music on two occasions.

I found that my singing was fine but my choices of monologues and delivery was letting me down. I was fortunate to find James who coached me. He gave fantastic advice and guided me on my monologues and this meant I had confidence when I went to the audition.

Needless to say I got onto my course on the third attempt! The tools he provided me with gave me a fantastic grounding to take on the course with me.

 

Tim Sturton-Davies

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts - 2000

Tim
 

The one-to-one sessions with James were excellent, delivered in a relaxed environment by an experienced professional who I felt had a genuine willingness for me to succeed. James used a variety of techniques to bring the best out in my performance and the confidence and technique I gained as a result of his coaching were of huge benefit, enabling me to secure an offer of a place on my chosen acting course at Mountview.

I can thoroughly recommend his coaching whether you are looking to for guidance with audition pieces to secure a place at drama school, develop a character you are going to be playing or just want to work on a specific element of your performance.

 

Natalie Caswell

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts – 2004-2007

Natalie
 

James is a wonderful teacher and director. His coaching got me into Mountview and helped me do a good enough job to be awarded a scholarship.

One of the most important and valuable lessons you learn from James is to think. That may sound obvious, but he encourages you to develop characters on your own, to question reasoning and make your own decisions to achieve your personal best. It's exciting and you feel you've achieved something at the end of each session. This is so important, as it develops you both as a person and as an actor. He teaches you to be natural with your delivery, creating honest and believable performances that come from you, as a performer. The things I learnt with James helped me all through my training and I still use them now I'm working professionally.

James always makes you feel comfortable and safe and not afraid to ask questions no matter how silly you may think they are! He makes you feel free enough to make mistakes so you can learn from them.

With James you are in the best hands. He is one of the most remarkable and talented actor/teachers I have ever met. I feel privileged to have been taught by him and sincerely believe that I wouldn't have been able to achieve my professional acting career without his help.

 

Jamie Papanicolaou

The Arts Educational Schools (Musical Theatre) – 2008-2011

Jamie
 

James coached me for my acting audition for the Musical Theatre course at Arts Ed. I found that James not only knows an enormous amount about acting but knows what audition panels are looking for. He gave good, honest advice that I hadn't received elsewhere. I'd had some previous coaching on my Shakespearean monologue, but James's depth of understanding opened many more options in my delivery. He truly knew what my speech was about, and he knew how to get the most out of every line.

He's a good communicator and knows how to make you understand the point he's making, and he makes you feel very confident in your ability.

Working under James as a director I became aware of his passion for theatre. He knows how to get the best out of the actors he works with. He nurtures actors and everyone looks back on their work with him with fond memories.

James helped me more than I can put into words. I would highly recommend him to anyone who was serious about getting past an audition panel and into a drama school!

 

James Hume

The Central School of Speech and Drama – 2008-2011; Royal Academy of Music – 2011-2012

James
 

The first thing that I noticed when working with James on audition speeches was his level of detail when exploring the text. His ability to unpick a character was extremely inspiring and he certainly helped me with my own approach. Being unconfident with Shakespeare, James offered me a breadth of techniques to aid my understanding of the text, which were invaluable, so much so that I still use them to this day.

Secondly, his vast experience in play texts and playwrights enables him to find speeches which are perfect for the individual student. Choosing the right speech is so important, so it's a great starting point to have someone with such a wide knowledge supporting you.

And thirdly, he makes the sessions fun. Being such a genuine and witty person, he lifted any nervousness I might have felt and I was able to relax into the session comfortably with even a complimentary cup of tea!

James and I still regularly chat about new projects etc., so it's humbling to know that even after I have left the south, his support is still there and I know that I can always contact him to ask advice.

 

Paul Wilkinson

The Arts Educational Schools (Musical Theatre) – 2012-2014

Paul
 

After being directed by James, I knew straight away that I had met someone who would be able to coach me through Shakespearean, classical and post-1950 monologues for my up-and-coming drama school auditions. His extensive career in both the professional and local theatre enabled him to speak to me very knowledgeably and openly about what will be in store if I chose to pursue a career in Musical Theatre. During our sessions he was able to teach me at a speed that was not only manageable but also very challenging. Through thorough explanation and intensive tuition, he gave me the confidence that I needed to believe I was able to act my way into drama school!

I had eight weeks of tuition from James. In that time I learnt three classical pieces (including two Shakespearean) and three post-1950 monologues. As a direct result of the coaching, I achieved a re-call from the Central School of Speech Drama (to both the Acting and the Musical Theatre Courses) and also gained a place at both Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance on their Musical Theatre Course.

 

Paul Heelis

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts – 2011-2012

Paul
 

I had tried previously to audition for drama schools but had been unsuccessful so thought I would benefit from some coaching. James was incredibly supportive from the very beginning, from suggesting what monologues would suit me, to being open to me putting my creative input into the rehearsal process. He was very willing to share his knowledge and experience to work together in creating audition pieces that were interesting to watch and perform.

I feel that James is directly responsible to my success in getting a place at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. His passion and attention to detail helped me to learn new and exciting things about creating characters and in depth reading of contemporary and classical texts. Unlike most drama coaches James genuinely cares about the success of his students and that is something that comes across in his teaching methods.

 

Anneka Wass

Guildford School of Acting – 2011-2012

Anneka
 

James worked in great depth on my drama school audition speeches, asking me questions and offering thoughts and suggestions. What I found most helpful was the way in which James sparks ideas about the speeches and thought-processes without actually dictating what to do. He helped me try out my characters in different ways, and pointed out audition "do's-and-don'ts". He has a way of giving criticism that is direct yet encouraging.

I felt confident for the auditions and he gave me lots of support through the whole process. I would encourage anyone with upcoming auditions, particularly for drama school, to work with James. He greatly improved the way in which I performed my monologues and his knowledge of writers, plays, and the acting world proves extremely helpful when choosing monologues, which schools to apply for, or even which songs to sing!

I couldn't have done it without him and I know others who feel the same about their auditions. Definitely worth paying for!

 

Emily Buck

Guildford School of Acting - 2012-2013

Emily Buck
 

I am so thankful to James for helping me through my audition process.

I had always wanted to audition for drama schools but never felt confident enough to do so. A friend recommended going to see James for some coaching and from the moment I approached him to our final meeting before my audition, he was always helpful, welcoming and supportive. He has a way of teaching that isn't intimidating or strict, but is positive and constructive and I could instantly feel that what he was telling me was having an immediate effect on my performance. I always felt that I had achieved something at the end of our sessions and would come home feeling confident and ready for the auditions.

I could not have done it without James, and would recommend him to any actor seeking help and advice.

 

Sam Turrell

Central School of Speech and Drama – 2012-2013

Sam Turrell
 

I approached James to work on my audition skills and how to portray myself as an actor. I had heard a lot of positive feedback from friends so I decided to pay him a visit. From the first couple of minutes of the session I knew that the help I was going to receive would be highly important and would benefit me entirely.

James is thorough and simply a fantastic teacher and I would recommend him to anyone trying to get past the horrible barriers that guard drama schools, because James boosts your confidence whilst nailing a monologue (even helped me on my songs) and without his persistence and expertise I would not have made it into Central. I am truly thankful!

 

The Three Belles

Professional singing group

The Three Belles
 

We went to James George because we wanted to make our act a more polished performance and create a slick image.

He helped develop our characters and our ideas for our business plan, as well as tighten up choreography, and vocals on our songs. He helped us see where we could improve as well as being full of creative ideas to help us do so.

He directs in a way that is honest, yet constructive. All three of us felt creative and inspired when working with James and we each felt comfortable to voice opinions in an open environment. He is brilliant at helping performers in any genre, as he has an eye for what will work and what won't.

Anyone working as a professional/aspiring performer would benefit from training with James! He's a star!

 
 
   
 
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