Monthly Archives: January 2019

Jan 24

The Salon (weekday evening)

By Richard Sarell | Acting Classes & Workshops

The Salon (week nights)





Full Fee:



4 weeks OR 8 weeks

7pm to 9.30pm weeknights 

Richard Sarell

$250 or $500 weeknights


"The Salon"  -  a place for working professionals to practice their skills and explore techniques.

Actors bring their own scenes and determine their own focus for sessions or can choose to use scenes from The Rehearsal Room's files

Trained actors and working actors can use The Salon to keep exploring their craft. Supported by an experienced professional director they can also choose to record their scenes or exercises on video to study or analyse before their next session.

David Paterson Chopper, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Saving Mr. Banks, Frost Nixon

I have observed leading teacher directors in the US and UK and Richard shares with them that facility to guide actors through the guff to the heart of the scene.

What does The Salon provide?

1) A supportive environment to explore your chosen goal

Experienced actors know what they need to work on.  Sometimes they just want to keep working.  That's what The Salon provides - a chance to follow the creative performance path each individual wants to explore.

2) Professional advice and support

Guidance can be helpful to expand challenges or suggest solutions.  Richard Sarell's professional expertise enables him to offer encouragement or alternative options to a variety of performance processes.  Often the best guidance simply clarifies that the actor is on the right path.  Richard will support in actor in their goals.

3) Well organised and productive sessions

A professional working space makes sure that individuals are respected and that goals are clearly organised.  The Salon operates on the basis that actors are clear about their purpose so that they can assess their progress or achievements.

4) Logical and professional strategies will apply

Assessments by other actors and Richard will be logical and clearly argued.  That way they are supportive and the critique is helpful.  Statements such as "I feel that worked" or "I feel that didn't work" are not specific enough.  Debate will be based on clear reasons.

5) Opportunity to expand techniques

Richard specializes in very effective and efficient techniques that have evolved to work at the speed required for TV and screen.  One technique equips actors with between 2 - 10 minutes preparation to attend an audition with 9 options to offer. And switching between those options during an audition takes between 10 - 20 seconds.  Actors interested in exploring those and similar techniques can choose to do so.

6) Flexible use of the time and space

Actors will be supported in using the time and space in the most efficient way to make sure they gain maximum benefit from the sessions


  • You have a strong foundation to your acting process and you want to keep working
  • You have had difficulty finding a supportive professional place to work at expanding your skills
  • You know that maintaining your craft means constantly practicing
  • You are committed to your skills but have an open mind to assess the value of new techniques
  • You are confused about some aspects of acting technique and are seeking some clarification


  • Your acting process is well oiled, working beautifully and requires no further practice
  • Doubts about your choices for a scene never happen and you are always confident of your preparation for auditions
  • Working quickly for screen performances is no problem for you and you always have lots of options
  • It is too hard to find 2.5 hours a week to work on your acting in your current schedule
  • Missing out on the fun of this great experience won't bother you    🙂


Over 25 years working as a professional TV director Richard worked with actors with widely ranging skill sets.  From the trained but inexperienced to the totally untrained to the highly trained and very experienced.  He always remembers with pride that after giving notes to WAPA trained actor Niki Wendt on the second series of "Embassy" British actor Brian Marshall commented, "That direction was pure Stanislavski." 

Because some actors were not formally trained Richard had to evolve a variety of methods of dealing with them and that's the source of his range of skills to help steer an actor through a scene.  He loves discussing the nuances of acting but does so in very practical ways.  Sharing his views of acting process with actors who have wide experience and skills is very rewarding for him. 

In November 2017 The Rehearsal Room techniques were thoroughly tested in a production of Shelagh Stephenson's "The Memory of Water" which Richard directed. The response from critics and audiences was fantastic.  They loved the vibrantly fresh performances.   

One exciting aspect of  this production was that performances were different every night.  There were eleven performances and eleven different endings.  Despite the changes the actors spontaneously brought to each performance the same story was delivered in each show. The result was a rich lifelike spontaneity.  Critics comments such as ... the "performers are subtle, connected, and more truthful with a whisper than many an actor is with a holler" and "truthful to the point we forgot we were seeing a play" ... reveal the success of this approach.

 Richard often says, “When I hear actors analyzing the potential problems in a scene and sharing a range of simple solutions my spirits instantly rise."  His unwavering belief is that actors need to be in charge of their choices.



Jan 06

“THE (rehearsal) ROOM” CHALLENGE

By Richard Sarell | Online Classes


Shoot your own scene from the cult classic "THE ROOM". Some think this is the worst movie ever made.  Your challenge is to HAVE A HEAP OF FUN and re-shoot a scene from it to make it as real and believable as possible.

You will need to create a free account

"THE (rehearsal) ROOM" CHALLENGE IS ONGOING.  You can enter at any time.
There is no cost because it is all just for fun.

The Challenge for You 

The concept was started in 2018 when two actors turned up for a private coaching session at The Rehearsal Room. They brought a scene from the “The Room”. Their goal was to see if they could play it as straight drama and make it believable. They had a one-hour booking and after 45 minutes rehearsal we shot it. (They were still carrying their scripts.)


Download the script, choose your scene and shoot it.  Shoot on whatever camera or phone you like.  Submit it as a .mov or an .mp4 file to via 

If your scene for "THE (rehearsal) ROOM" CHALLENGE conforms to these simple rules (see below) it will be uploaded and added to the collection.


1.    Ideally the scene is recorded in one shot

2.    A maximum of two edits are allowed with in the scene to tighten the sequence (if required)

3.    No set is required.  You can shoot it in elaborate set if you wish or simply shoot it in a rehearsal space.

4.    Actors are not required to have learnt the script BUT as the aim is to be as believable as possible being learnt will most likely produce a better result.

5.    The actors' names can be added to the end of the scene in a 3 second caption (and the director's name - if relevant).  NO OTHER CREDITS OR LOGOS should be present.

6.    You must have fun.

7.    If you wish you can include a short one-minute video discussing what was the most fun or what premise you used for your shoot. (The publication of your work on this site will be at the discretion of The Rehearsal Room.

You will need to create a free account

Why take on the challenge?

1) It is fun

Part of The Rehearsal Room philosophy is that acting should be fun.

2) It is simple to do

The actor's job in the view of The Rehearsal Room is to tell the story and be believable.  This script provides an entertaining challenge to fulfill both those tasks.

3) To make sure you are always practising your skills

It is important that an actor keeps working at building skill.  Skill has two components - the first is knowledge and the second is experience.  This is an easy way to build experience and in taking on the task you will increase your knowledge base, too.

4) Define the issues that are important for a scene

Clearly defining the ingredients that drive the story and the relationship between the characters is the key to a good performance.  This script throws up a number of good challenges in both those areas.

5) Practice working at the fast pace required for television

The original exercise was learnt, rehearsed, shot and reviewed within 60 minutes.  Kyahl and Daniel had read the scene a couple of times but hadn't actively started learning it until they arrived at the class.  A key ingredient of the acting skills taught at The Rehearsal Room is making effective decisions quickly.  You don't have to work that way for this exercise but it is important to keep in mind that on a modern set rehearsal times are short and actors need to be able to quickly make big changes to their preparation if they are going to be able to take direction effectively

THIS IS A FUN EXERCISE to challenge your acting skills and keep you working.  Enjoy!!

So ... get going.  Record your scene and submit it to to become part of cinema history

For some more information about "The Room" click on these links ...

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