23rd April 2008

3 Year ‘Home and Away’ Contract

When ESTHER ANDERSON got a call back for a three-year contract on Home and Away she came to The Rehearsal Room to prepare for this big audition. ESTHER had previously attended Rehearsal Room Workshops and had a clear understanding of the practicalities of this view of process. So, when the big opportunity arrived she came back to polish up her skills.

The First Step
Perhaps a contributing factor in ESTER’s success was that she went to the first audition not expecting to get it. Her plan was to be seen and get the practice in the hope that she might get another opportunity later. How often does it happen to actors that the audition they don’t see as important is the one they get!

The Second Step
The Rehearsal Room approach to preparing an audition is not to settle on a definitive way of doing the scene. The meaning and context of the story is thoroughly explored; active listening is expanded; factors that add to the complexity of the character are tested and the ability to change all these ingredients swiftly and efficiently is practiced. After two sessions ESTHER was equipped to make her own choice as to which one of the variety of versions of her two audition scenes she would first present.

The aim in preparing is not to have a perfect version of the scene but to have an open and flexible process based on truthful active listening so that the producers can see the actor’s skill. Esther stopped short of ‘nailing it’. She was quite happy with feeling that the choices were effective. There is no point in the best performance of an audition scene being the one the actor gave two days before the audition while practicing. The aim is to complete the journey at the audition itself. The actor should go to the audition confident in the belief that they have covered a wide range of possibilities and that they are ready to comfortably adapt to any new suggestions that they hadn’t previously considered. They should also go to the audition with the intention of enjoying it and having fun.

Two days later the following text message was received at The Rehearsal Room. “Hello, Richard. The audition went well … I had fun! Thanks very much for your help. Have to wait and see now. Esther.”
“That felt like a very satisfactory outcome,” Richard said to the class he was giving that evening. “After that it is in the ‘lap of the Gods.’”

Getting the Gig
On the evening of Monday 25th February in the middle of the Advanced Workshop The Rehearsal Room phone rang. A breathless ESTHER ANDERSON said, “Richard, I’m in shock. I got it. I got the gig. I can’t believe it.” Richard explained to her that she was about to enter a very different world. She had just spent a number of days preparing her scene including 2 hours of rehearsal. From now on she’ll be getting about 10 minutes to rehearse a scene and that time would be shared with a number of other actors. That’s the world of fast-turn-around tv production.

Congratulations and good luck, ESTHER.


Hobson’s Choice
The Rehearsal Room/3 Big Men Production of ‘Hobson’s Choice’ is now cast and rehearsals have commenced.

The cast is –
Henry Hobson - IAN ROONEY;
Vickey Hobson - KATE DROUGAS;
Albert Prosser - EZRA BIX;
Ada Figgins - KARLA HILLAM
Jim Heeler - SEAN SCULLY
Doctor McFarlane - IAN SMITH

Assistant Director - CHRISTINE DIXON

IAN SMITH (Harold in Neighbours) is playing Doctor McFarlane. “All the cast are very excited about IAN playing this cameo role in the production. And audiences will really enjoy seeing IAN in a uniquely different role,” Producer, Darren Mort said.

Hobson’s Choice Auditions

Director Richard Sarell promised the 92 actors who auditioned that he would give them individual feedback about their audition. This process is taking longer than expected due to the large number of actors involved. So, far about half the actors have received feedback. Richard is still working his way through the list .

The qualities he was searching for were actors who could “Listen actively, move story forward because they were always listening for difficulties the character was experiencing and actors who played real surprises,” Richard said.

The season opens on 29th May 2008 and tickets are now on sale but Thursday 29th, Friday 30th and Saturday 31st May are SOLD OUT. The first show that tickets are currently available for is Sunday 1st June at 5pm. Bookings can be made at 8290 7000. Prices are $25, $18 (concession) and $20pp (groups of 10+).

Audition Workshop Round 2
The next Round of Audition Workshops is on Sunday afternoons commencing on Sunday 27th April. This change is to accommodate the Hobson’s Choice Rehearsals which will happen on Saturdays. The Casting Directors Lou Mitchell and Jo Rippon will be here on Sunday 18th and 25th May.

The Round 3 Workshop will be back to Saturday morning sessions and Jan Russ (Neighbours) will be one of the casting directors. (For details)

TV Presenters Queue
The next TV Presenters Workshop which starts on 31st May was booked out halfway through March. The popularity of this workshop has grown steadily because of its very practical qualities and because it is a good fun experience.

The next TV Presenter’s Workshop is already filling. It is scheduled to start on Saturday July 26th. For more...

Exciting work in the MASTER CLASS

The standard of work in Rehearsal Room workshops is going up and up. It is very exciting to see actors making huge gains in performance skill and confidence as a result of the effort they have put into the classes. The significant difference about Rehearsal Room workshops is the clear progress actors make because of the practical nature of this unique view of process.

MATT PAINE - a break through performance night.

Keeping Head Shots Current.
On a fairly regular basis Casting Directors, Producers and Directors approach The Rehearsal Room to see if we know an actor who might be suitable for their needs. On the last occasion this happened three of the actors Richard Sarell wanted to recommend didn’t have headshots on The Rehearsal Room file. These actors still had their names put forward, however, it is probable that actors who had a headshot included would have attracted more attention. If you are an actor or TV Presenter who has done classes at The Rehearsal Room it would be very sensible to make sure your headshot is on file. Jpeg files are the most flexible. Send or update your file NOW.

The Rehearsal Room now has a new bulletin board and you can publish details of your new show on it, for FREE. A number of Theatre Companies and Co-op Productions have enquired about such a possibility and it is now available.

New Audition Bulletin Board
A new bulletin board for auditions is now also available. The old board had received over 1000 auditions for Victorian shows but was also experiencing difficulties with spammers. The new board should be relatively trouble free. If you are in search of actors with a good skill level then The Rehearsal Room is a great place to start. Advertise your auditions here.

If you are a young actor and want to announce your availability then there is also a special bulletin board for you.


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