Antonia Thomas on the The Year of Being Brilliant blog. The writer Zita Abila was lucky enough to meet Antonia when they both acted in a short film for the National Youth Theatre.
24 year old Antonia was a member of the National Youth Theatre before she went on to drama school at the Bristol Old Vic and says in the interview:
“I'd say I owe a huge chunk of my training to the National Youth Theatre, and the National Youth Music Theatre. Big time. I mean, drama school, I needed it so much and it was a total seminal part of my training but the thing about NYT and NYMT is that they give you a platform as a young person who isn't yet old enough to perform professionally and be paid for it, to be in the most professional productions. I mean the stuff that I did with NYT was at the Soho Theatre, in the West End, for paying audiences with full on production teams, amazing new writers. You just don't get that experience anywhere else and I don't there's any better training than just doing it, and doing it to an audience. I learnt so much and I fully, in every way, back the National Youth Theatre and what they're trying to do.”
Antonia also talks about the audition process she went through to get the part in Misfits:
“I was at drama school, and in the 3rd year of drama school it’s all about doing showcases trying to get an agent and all of that. In the 3rd term of my 3rd year I found an agent I was really pleased with whilst we were finishing our last show and they started putting me up for auditions and put me up for Misfits. And it’s so funny because the first audition was literally like a cattle-market audition. They herded ten of us in a room and we met the casting director and they were like ‘Ok, we want you to improvise this situation for the camera’. In that situation of course everyone wants to be seen so everyone is kind of acting over each other. And I kind of gave up - I gave my input every now and then but I was like,” she lets her shoulders sag with a heavy sigh and mumbles, imitating herself, ‘Oh, there's no point, I'm not gonna get anywhere.’ I felt so dejected. I remember calling my Dad and being like ‘Dad, that was the biggest waste of time and money EV-ER. There's no way in hell they're gonna want to see me again.’”
But they did. “They did!” her face lights up at the memory, “But it took them a month and a half or something. They were obviously seeing a lot of people. And then I got the call and I was like, ‘Whaaat?! Okay...’ And I was auditioning, going back and forth to London - I had like 7 auditions or something - whilst I was doing my show so school was so unhappy with me because we were rehearsing for the show. So many times I almost didn't go; I almost said to my agent ‘I can't do this.’”.
For the future Antonia has a couple of independent films in the pipeline that are waiting on funding. But a third series of Misfits has been commissioned for next year and Antonia is currently rehearsing for a production of Yerma at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
To read the full interview head on over to Being Brilliant.