How to maintain your skills after finishing your training
When you leave Drama School you are in the best acting shape possible, your body is free, your voice is strong and clear and you are sharp as a razor. It is inevitable that after leaving such an intense environment that certain things might slip, but they absolutely don't have to.
You have so many options to continue on your good work and to ensure that when your big opportunities come up you are willing and able to embrace them.
Firstly, if money is not an issue you have The Actors Centre (http://actorscentre.co.uk/). They charge a joining fee and then for each class or course that you take. They vary from a single class up to several weeks of training and cover all different areas of acting, singing, movement and camera work, audition technique etc. Similarly to the Actors centre, you have the Actors Temple (http://www.actorstemple.com/) which offers a similar training option. There are also several short courses and evening classes offered by Open Universities and colleges across London, just a Google search away which will help you stay on top of your game and also provide a networking opportunity.
If you are in the majority however who come out with debts and can't really afford to be pumping more money immediately into training then there is another great option and this is exactly what I did. There are plenty of other actors looking to keep their skills sharp and so grouping together is not difficult. You could even use the forums here at Casting Call Pro to post a shout out if you want to. So what I did was along with another actor, gathered a group of around 12 actors to meet once a week at an office which happened to have a large useable space out of work hours for us to take advantage of. You need a venue, it can be at one of your houses if you have a lounge big enough, or if you can strike a deal with a pub theatre or something similar to use their space for a couple of hours a week you are up and running. You will find a lot of business want to support the arts and are really great about it, and you can also throw in a show for their employees as a thank you and also a way to get some stage time.
Once you have the venue you need some structure to your meetings so that it doesn't become two hours of chat and no work. We set a rule that you get there early to catch up but once we started the two hours we focused on the work. For the first few weeks myself and the other founder set out the warm-ups and led scene studies and improvisation exercises but once you are up and running you can get everyone involved more equally, taking it in turns to run vocal and physical warm-ups and suggest material for the following week. We covered everything. Massages (You'll miss those), audition technique (learning from all our experiences), singing, duologues, monologues, physical theatre (we got a friend to come in and take a specialist class in this one week). It's a fantastic platform, if one of us had a big audition we would set aside some time to work through the preparation and we all learned so much from it.
It's such a cheap, flexible and effective way to keep yourself at the top of your game, exactly where you need to be. I can not recommend it enough and as a group we are all still acting, and thankfully we are all working. Anybody can set this up and it just takes somebody to get the ball rolling. Make that somebody you and reap the benefits.