All Posts by Richard Sarell

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Jan 30

SD Cards for Classes

By Richard Sarell | News

for classes

Buying an SD Card

​Canon recommendations for The Rehearsal Room's Camera are -

The camera has been tested on Panasonic, Toshiba and Sans Disk cards.   SD of 64 MB or smaller cannot be used to record video.   Canon recommend using cards with a Speed Class of 4.6 or 10.  Canon recommend the card size you use be 128MB or larger.​

​The Rehearsal Room is using ... San Disk Extreme  90MB/s  32GB   (Rating 10)

​At Officeworks it cost $39.oo (on 30 Jan 2018).  There is also a 16GB Extreme at $22 and a 16GB Ultra that will probably do the job at $12.99.

​Are you on The Rehearsal Room email list? ​
Sign up here ...

Ann Truong Hard Target 2, Hunters, Schapelle, Neighbours

"Something clicks in every class. It’s an amazing feeling - knowing that you are going to learn something profound but you are yet to have any idea of what that is until it happens. I return each week excited knowing that I am about to experience this." 

Learn the key foundation skills for a professional acting career in this Melbourne acting class. It is a modern approach that has all the best elements of traditional processes plus many gems of its own. It’s an acting process for our times.


Richard first discovered the core values of this technique when he was directing drama at the ABC in Melbourne in 1984. In an actor/director workshop run by the marvelous teacher Murray Hutchinson a simple, clear and common sense approach to Constantine Stanislavski’s theories was explained. Richard was captivated by the wonderful practicality of this approach and immediately started exploring it. He also began using it as the foundation of his directing techniques.

After watching Richard direct an actor on the ABC series “Embassy”, experienced British actor Brian Marshall commented, “That was pure Stanislavski!!” Other actors began to notice the difference and soon some began asking Richard to teach them the techniques he was using. Those requests generated what has now become The Rehearsal Room acting school in Melbourne. Over thirty-two years those common sense concepts have continued to develop and evolve.

This is a practical, professional approach focused on delivering the performance outcomes that directors and casting directors are looking for. Unlike any other acting process before it the main focus of this approach is on engaging and entertaining an audience. Actors who can do that are a sought after commodity. Richard loves teaching it. You will love learning it.

Karla Hillam as the Ugly Duckling
Sep 19

An Outstanding Level of Skill

By Richard Sarell | News

“Mesmerising!” was the comment from one audience member.
“I couldn’t take my eyes off her,” was another comment.

This was a performance that was great fun. We laughed and were moved. The time flew by. And at the end we understood.

KARLA HILLAM’S stage presence was captivating, powerful and very entertaining. She had assembled a great team for her first solo cabaret performance. The direction was excellent, the musical arrangement impeccable, the costumes wonderful and her own performance was outstanding.

What are the ingredients that make such a performance a success?

They are …

  • a clear and purposeful communication with the audience,
  • an actor who is totally comfortable and having fun,
  • elements of comedy, drama, irony and pathos in excellent balance
  • and an actor whose technique is so refined all you can see is the character.

The actor’s job is really simple, isn’t it? It is to engage an audience and entertain them by taking them on a journey through the story. That’s what KARLA HILLAM succeeded in doing, in spades, on the opening night of her cabaret show, “Ugly Duckling” at the Butterfly Club (check here for times).

The last time I saw a Rehearsal Room actor on stage with such a strong presence was watching GLENN QUINN as an understudy in “Jersey Boys” at the Princess Theatre. GLENN went on to play a lead in that show 300 times. In a similar way KARLA delivered the same stage presence that demanded you watch her. When those qualities are present the hopes for a bright future are strong.

Congratulations, KARLA HILLAM!!

[Written & directed by Spanky; Musical Direction by Andrew Kroenert; Choreography by Brett Fisher; Sound and Lighting by Dan Barca; Costumes by June Robertson and Tristan Seebohm] 

Successes of the Month
Jul 31

On the Job

By Richard Sarell | News

DANIEL Di GIOVANNI has been on air as a core cast member in the ABC’s “Ronny Chieng: International Student” comedy series. Daniel also shot a Coles commercial in which he was cast without auditioning. His previous auditions were obviously strong enough to get him this gig.

YASMIN BUSHBY is on a roll. She has recently completed 3 big projects.  Yasmin has been writing, producing and presenting a series of 26 sustainability-focussed videos for the City of Melbourne. All completed in time for Al Gore arriving in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago. She was also the featured role in a recent Coles commercial. And she is currently presenting an eight video series in Sydney and Melbourne for a big-name company. This shoot is underway at this moment.

DARREN MORT will shortly be making a return to Neighbours to reprise a guest character he has played before (no audition required).

ANTE KRESO appeared in “Offspring” with very positive feedback from the production about his work.

BRUNO STEPNELL has just completed a 2-day shoot for Neighbours.

ANDREA McCANNON and SIMONE BALL appeared in the same episode of True Story with Hamish & Andy.

MAXWELL SIMON after a great finish to his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Music Theatre) at the VCA has just finished his first professional gig – one of the lead roles in the new Australian musical ‘Between Worlds’. Well done Max.
Check this out …

Congratulations to all. It has been a busy month.

Jul 24

Totally Truthful and Compelling to Watch

By Richard Sarell | News

Every so often, something so outstanding happens that its importance needs to be recorded. Last week ANDREA McCANNON’S performance in Wednesday evening’s ‘Eclat’ MASTER CLASS was such an occasion. ANDREA delivered a fabulous 6 minute 45 second blemish free performance recorded in one take.

At The Rehearsal Room, as actors progress through the various levels of the classes they work on longer and longer scenes. That’s because the challenge for the actor to keep a scene engaging for the audience increases considerably as the length of the scene grows. This scene was nearly seven minutes long! That’s unusually long for a TV script.  There were plenty of challenges here, yet ANDREA made it look easy.

This exceptional performance was totally engaging, compellingly real, charming and thoroughly entertaining. Fine work.

ANDREA’S association with The Rehearsal Room began in 2005. She started in the Intermediate Sunday Workshop and has continued to return over the years.

The next Sunday Intermediate Workshop commences on Sunday 6 August at 2pm.  Enrol here.

20week ACCELERATOR with Glenn Quinn, Richard Sarell & Kyahl Anderson
Jun 18

A Workshop That Raises the Bar

By Richard Sarell | News

It has been in the planning stages for 7 months but as we now have a FANTASTIC new venue we can announce it!!!    …
“The 20week ACCELERATOR starts July 19th.”  Cue the fanfare!!!   Trumpets sound!

It is a course that will lift actors skills to a new level.  Click here for details.

Auditions start next Saturday 24th June (to book a time ring Richard 0407 226 620 or email It is short notice but if you can’t prepare a simple audition in that time you really DO need this course – so, find a way.

The total focus of the 20week ACCELERATOR will be on training actors to work at professional speed with professional results. It will be powerfully effective.  This course will raise the level of acting tuition to a new high.

For more details go here.

Explosive afternoon
Jun 05

A Taste of Our New Home

By Richard Sarell | News

The Rehearsal Room tested out its new home at the Dream Factory in Footscray with a 3-hour workshop “Freedom for the Actor” on Sunday 4 June.  The results were outstanding with moving and powerful performances resulting from the exercises.

GLENN QUINN and KYAHL ANDERSON did a superb job in bringing their perspective to the session. “Incredible content in an explosive afternoon,” was how KELLY CUPO experienced the day. “What a pleasure to work with three professionals,” she said. The strength of the teaching team at The Rehearsal Room is growing and growing. It is already at an impressive standard.

“Three minds with three different approaches combined together, really created a powerful approach to the conversation,” commented CIGDEN HONEY.

It was an exciting afternoon.

The first SUNDAY WORKSHOPS at the DREAM FACTORY start this Sunday 11 June.
Click here to enroll for the Introductory Workshop and here for the Intermediate Workshop.

Jun 03

Castlemaine Acting Workshop

By Richard Sarell | Acting Classes & Workshops

6-Week Acting Intensive





Full Fee:


Sunday 10 June – 15 July

6 weeks

2.00pm to 6.00pm

Richard Sarell



You can pay in instalments online or if you wish to save $25 by paying the full amount up front, email

Acquire skills through this innovative acting process that you will use throughout your career.  Totally applicable to screen or stage.  Learn to be real, to be versatile, to be a great listener and to engage an audience with a compelling story.

Video replays and analysis of every exercise you do.   Final exercise - shoot an audition scene that you could add to your profile.                                                       (for actors 18 and over)

Shane Porteous A Country Practice [Lead actor]

For an actor a scene must do more than further the plot - it must explore the relationship between the characters. Richard has a gift for making this process clear and simple. His direction gives me confidence to trust my own intuition, thus allowing the character room to breathe...

What will be covered in this course?

1) Build real and effective listening skills

Listening is a core foundation skill that many actors find hard to manage. The key is to actually listen. Often the default choice for an actor is to ‘act’ listening – that never works. The focus of this workshop is on building real listening skills

2) Train with powerfully effective exercises that update old techniques

Learn an adaptation of Meisner process that is enormously effective at building listening skills. These challenging exercises develop a number of practical skills that you will use in many different ways throughout your career.

3) Gain practical skills to find your place in a scene

Clearly understanding and controlling your character’s place in a scene is an essential skill for an actor. Those choices are crucial to delivering the unfolding story. These are the skills that drive the story forward and engage the audience. Nowhere else are these techniques taught so effectively. 

4) Be able to make big changes to character and story outcomes

How to change the nature of the character and balance that against the drama of the story is a skill that is not commonly taught. You will learn to make powerful choices that are dramatically engaging. With practice these skills are easy to manage.  They generate a powerful professional presence.

5) Learn to trust your actor’s impulses

Impulses are an instinctive part of daily interactions. But many actors take their importance for granted. The key to being real and believable is understanding what drives the impulses in a conversation. That understanding enables the actor to control a path to realistic but highly dramatic performances.

6) Learn how to trust your own instincts

When performing it is the actor that MUST be in charge of the impulses and the choices that come from those impulses.  Each actor MUST trust their own unique individuality in performance because that's what makes their performance unlike any other.


  • Casting Directors and Directors say that you aren’t listening authentically
  • You can’t make quick and effective decisions in auditions or in rehearsal
  • Have tried other techniques but still want to know more
  • Have tried other techniques but found them confusing
  • Want to be able to use character to push the story
  • You want to learn about acting from a director


  • you will ‘act’ rather than listen and respond
  • you will make vague intuitive choices rather than logical professional ones
  • you will have inconsistent performance outcomes
  • be seen to be ‘acting’ rather than be real and ‘inter-acting’
  • be rigid in your choices rather than relaxed, flexible and professional


Over his twenty-five year directing career Richard found that many actors he auditioned didn’t actually listen. They acted listening to pre-planned choices they had intelligently worked out as a result of their preparation. That pathway plainly didn’t work – it was fake. Even actors who had emerged from the major teaching institutions often couldn’t listen for real.

As a result a major focus of his work with actors both on the set and in the classroom has been to build techniques that develop ‘active listening’ skills. To be able to actively listen in a real and lifelike way is the foundation on which great performances are built. This workshop has a deep and powerful understanding of how our listening actually works and builds techniques that you will use in a variety of different ways throughout your career.

Richard believes this common sense and practical approach to this most basic of acting skills is unique to classes at The Rehearsal Room. It not only trains actors to make practical choices that will drive their listening in an active way but it will also enable them to monitor how their listening skills are working throughout their career.

Listening is the bedrock on which acting skill is built.

THIS COURSE STARTS - Sunday 10th June 2018
in Castlemaine

Learn skills you will use throughout your career. Learn to be real, to be versatile, to be a great listener and to be skilled in auditions. This workshop will make you the director’s best friend.
Great techniques for screen or stage.

Two actors, who had never experienced The Rehearsal Room Acting Process until they were cast in Shelagh Stephenson's "The Memory of Water", share their experience.  

Directed by Richard Sarell "The Memory of Water" opened at Chapel Off Chapel in November 2017.  This video has expanded explanations of these actor's views on these techniques.

Joshua Hodge gets gig on Wentworth
May 24

Another Step Forward

By Richard Sarell | News

“You have got the role,” are the words every actor wants to hear their agent say.  JOSHUA HODGE has just heard those words because he’s got a gig on “Wentworth”.

It is another step forward in expanding his experience and it also helps in building a professional network with Casting Directors and Directors.

Although an actor is always hoping for the BIG BREAK, for most it is a question of building a reputation one step at a time. Each gig is an opportunity to gain more experience and each class is the opportunity to build more skill. JOSHUA recently completed the Advanced Workshop (for experienced actors) where in 10 weeks he explored over 15 techniques to manage character and advance the drama of the story. Those skills are aimed at generating a performance that will standing out from the crowd in the audition room.  Well done, Josh!!

May 05

TV Presenting Workshop

By Richard Sarell | Intensives

TV Presenting Workshop





Full Fee:

May 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9 & 16

29 hours over 6 weeks

2pm - 6pm

Richard Sarell


NOTE:  9 & 16 June may be full days - Final Review 30 June.                     Pay the full amount up front and save $30 or pay in instalments.

You will learn more in the first session than you normally get from a whole course on TV Presenting. These techniques will have you relating to the camera and your audience in a natural engaging way so that you sell your story.

Learn the keys to a professional performance so that you can feel at home on any style of shoot.

In the final session shoot a 4-minute story that includes a reporting piece to camera,  an interview and a voice over.

(Pay the full fee up front and save $30 or pay in 3 instalments)

What will be covered in this course?

1) Essential performance skills when working to a camera

It is important to be able to relate to the camera in a way that engages the audience - an essential starting point

2) Keeping an open and spotaneous approach to charm your audience

Often the techniques that are taught are artificial.  Here you will learn simple practical skills that utilize the strengths of your personality

3) How to cope with stresses and distractions so you stay relaxed and real

Managing nerves and understanding what generates them is a fast track to success.

4) Understanding the production process and how a presenter fits into it

You will be working with a director who has experience directing current affairs and documentary.  You will learn a professional approach to dealing with time constraints and other distractions.

5) Interviewing skills that give polished engaging results

Understanding the interviewers job is the key to doing engaging, spontaneous and entertaining interviews.  

6) Performing promos, coping with voice overs and autocue

Some specific areas require specific skills.  This course introduces a practical approach to these issues.

Adam Ford3 series of 'Tour the World' 

The thing that I like about The Rehearsal Room is that it gives you a process ... it gives you a formula that you can rely on.


  • You have always wanted to be a TV Presenter but didn't know where to start
  • You have already done a presenting course but feel you didn't learn clear techniques
  • You want to be able to speak comfortably in public but lack the confidence
  • You generally don't feel confident in groups and want to find a way of boosting your confidence
  • You have done a tertiary degree in journalism but don't feel comfortable in front of the camera
  • You believe you have the skills to be a presenter and want to learn more about how the industry works


  • you will always misunderstand the presenters job because you believe the myths
  • you will never find out how good you can be
  • you will remain confused about issues that should be really clear
  • you will make naive mistakes because you don't have a practical understanding
  • you will make the presenters job much harder than it really is


This course evolved because The Rehearsal Room acting process was so useful to Jules Lund in establishing a career as a TV Presenter at a very young age.  Jules did all the acting classes and then found it was those skills that quickly had him working on Channel 9's "Get Away".

On the basis of Jules success Richard decided to run this TV Presenters course and it was an instant success.  The techniques that presenters learn are an adaptation of the fundamental processes taught to actors at The Rehearsal Room.  They have all the same clear, practical, efficient and common sense qualities that produce performers who are in charge of their choices in a very professional way.

Many have found these techniques make them comfortable and proficient on a professional set because they totally understand the realities of the job.  The end result has been a professional career.

And everyone has found that they learn the skills quickly because it is such a practical and supportive learning environment.​

This video promotion was made for 2015 classes

Learn skills you will use throughout your career. 

THIS COURSE - Saturdays 12 May to
16 June 2018

(There IS a class on the Queen's Birthday Weekend)

May 01

Hollywood Excitement

By Richard Sarell | News

Actor/Producer DARREN MORT and Lead Actor WESLEY FORKE were in Los Angeles last week to see their film “Degree of Separation” screened in the opening session of 17th Beverly Hills Film Festival. “It was very exciting for the film to be accepted into the festival but to then be scheduled to open the festival was a huge honour,” DARREN MORT said from LA. Seeing the distinctive image of the film’s poster adorning the festival’s foyer generated a real sense of how significant this achievement is.

“Degree of Separation” was directed by KYAHL ANDERSON and DALE MASTIN. It was written by PHILIP CLAASSEN. Congratulations to everyone concerned.