What does The Rehearsal Room do best?
Ask the people who know ...
Read the testimonials below or click here for a summary.


I just wanted to thank you for your great piece of advice that led me directly to getting a national TV commercial.

I was in the master class with you and you had watched the rehearsal for a scene. The character I was playing was a University Professor.  Subconsciously I had thought I need to somehow convey I am a university professor. After the rehearsal you had said - I can understand what you are doing in the scene but I don't see any Dave Kenyon in there. We did the scene again and this time you said you saw a dramatic difference. I actually felt more comfortable too. I just asked myself 'what if this was me in this situation?'

The next week I went to a casting for a commercial. This time though I came as myself.  I really put myself in the situation. We had to do a little impro to camera about a big idea we were presenting to the board. I spoke about stuff I know and am enthusiastic about, 'web video marketing', and got great feedback.  Next day I got a callback. The callback I did the same thing and was cast in the TVC which will air from 1st Feb 2015 for 12 months. 

So a big thankyou to you mate. I am taking that piece of advice into everything I do. For too long I have tried to be someone else in a casting. For now its always going to be 'me' doing that particular job handling that particular situtation as I would handle it.  

Merry Christmas!!

- Dave Kenyon, December '14

Wesley Forke

"Hey Rich,

Things at this end have been going really well. I had an audition at Lou Michell's for the 'Molly' bio drama telemovie a couple of weeks ago. I felt it was my strongest audition yet. Lou was great! I have had another few short film auditions all which went really well. 2 Divas have me on hold for a Metricon TVC ... filming in a fortnight for 2 or 3 days.  

I have a 'Winners and Losers' audition on Tuesday with Andrew Thompson. This is a fantastic opportunity and I'm super excited. Been working very hard on it. I've been going to all these auditions feeling very confident, relaxed and able to push things much further than I ever dreamed possible. I can 'do bold' now. All the things that you and The Rehearsal Room have shown me have enabled me to get to this point. It's a bloody amazing feeling. Thank you for helping me get there. Couldn't have done it without you."

- Wes Forke, December '14

P.S. I booked the Metricon gig.

"Hey Richard,  

I'm just standing in wardrobe after finding out yesterday I've got a bit part in an American mini-series being shot in Melbourne for the next three months. It's three days work playing the main character's mother. All very exciting and full of opportunity. Just wanted to say thank you, for your trechniques and your positiveness. While I haven't been around much this year, your techniques and teaching are what keep me going and got me this far. Even at 40 it's not too old to give up on your dreams.  

Looking forward to engaging in more classes in 2015. Have a great Christmas. "

- Belinda Wilson, December '14

Belinda Wilson

Mardi Edge

"Hi Richard,

I've been meaning to write and thank you for all my Rehearsal Room knowledge that has helped me at various auditions. I had two directors see me this week for roles that were auditioning later. Both went well using Rehearsal Room technique and both were entirely different. Both directors seemed pleased.  

I've just completed a 5-day government TV shoot and I'm up for another audition next week when I return. On every occasion the roles are entirely different and I never feel nervous ... and I can change delivery easily as directed. 

So, thanks Richard for giving me a new beginning in a new career that never seems like work."

- Mardi Edge, November '14

"Bye the way my audition on Saturday went well. I think I delivered a character they hadn't seen to that point - at least that is what they said. They re-directed me to a sterner character, which is what they had in mind which went well, too. I actually feel I did one of my best auditions ever. I developed a character that was different to what they had asked for and took a bit of a risk. I had a clear Conversation Goal ... and didn't start in the same way on my second take. So ALL GOOD even if I don't get the role. "

- Katrina Gow, November '14

Katrina Gow

Carissa McAllen

Hi Rich,

Is it already Monday night?  I wanted to send a big thank you for a wonderful day on Saturday ... it was such a lovely energy with a great bunch of people, and a highlight to share lunch together after.  Thanks so much for bringing us all together ... and to have access to one of the top Casting Directors in Melbourne was pretty awesome.

FYI, I've received my first audition with Andrew Thompson for Winners and Losers this week ... that's a nice payoff from our recent workshop don't you think?

I hope you're having a good week ... catch up soon.

- Carissa McAllen, August '14

"When I come to The Rehearsal Room I'm always so impressed with how the actors who train here respond to direction. They are very open, flexible and able to make significant changes in an audition environment. You would be surprised how many experienced actors are completely thrown by being asked to change what they have originally prepared.”

- Melanie Mackintosh (Casting Director), August '13

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Ann Truong

" Thanks, Richard.

I'm certainly enjoying the ride as my understanding of the craft deepens.

Something clicks in every class. It's an amazing feeling - knowing that you are going to learn something profound ... yet you have no idea what that is until it happens. I return each week excited knowing that I am about to experience this. "

- Ann Truong, March '13


"I still remember coming to see you and the very useful tips that you taught me, that I still apply today. Thank you."

- Kelly Landry, March '13

Kelly Landry


Lianne Collinson

Hi Richard

Thanks for you're help.  The Rehearsal Room not only gave me presenting skills and built my confidence but also gave me valuable life skills.

I learnt more about creating a story in this six week course than I did in a three year English language and Media degree.  

Many thanks and Merry Christmas 


- Lianne Collinson, December '12

I got the web ad with Ash.  I think my Presenter's Reel nailed it for me.  My agent thinks I am  ace.

- Tim Clarke, October '12

Tim Clarke

Darren Mort

Hey Rich, 

Hope you are having a well deserved break! 

Two of your Master Classes back to back this year and I have learned so much from each. For me the biggest hurdle always is to trust the text and I think finally I am beginning to turn the corner. 

You have been enlightening as always and your process scores results. I can say now that I am a working actor and Love It. Much of my developed insight is due to your ability to instruct well and communicate efficiently in terms of what an actor needs to do to tell a story. 

Thanks again mate. 

Daz :)

- Darren Mort, July '12


"There was a consistently high level of good performances today. I was particularly encouraged by everyone's willingness to adapt to changes in direction. When I get to do a workshop, there are often only one or two people that really stand out but today I’ll walk away feeling really impressed."

- Melanie Mackintosh (Casting Director), May '12

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Esther Anderson

Richard...It was great to catch up and have a refresher on those simple practicalities that made so much sense to me when I first came to your classes.  It was also exciting to see that The Rehearsal Room process is continuing to grow.  More practical and useful tools for me to use!!!  

I’ll read through your notes again and get back to you with any questions, but i just wanted to let you know I found your audition coaching sessions so helpful.  You gave me simple things to prepare that were easy to do and really practical. I loved your commonsense approach and felt really confident and prepared for my audition so THANKYOU!!!

I'll keep in touch. 

- Esther Anderson, April '12


Hi Rich,

I'm emailing you to say thank you so far! We're at the beginning of a hopefully long friendship.  I’m write to you because I was offered a small speaking role in ‘Neighbours’ filming next week.

This role has come about due to your continual tutelage and the processes I have learnt at The Rehearsal Room.

Albeit a small part, it is a start and very exciting for me that my work has been noticed.  So I look forward to incrementally building on the foundations we have laid thus far, with you at The Rehearsal Room. 

Kind Regards 

- Nic Romney, March '12
Nic Romney




After watching back my Thursday night scene, I have decided that ‘yes’, it was actually a good run. Yes, I do think I stayed ‘on the story’ and the characters difficulty was very evident :) ... That was something I really wanted to focus on this week - allowing myself to dive deeper into & explore character difficulty. 

So, I’ve gone from squirming to feeling quite proud of last week...  As you said 'win win win'. 

I’m looking forward to seeing where this takes me.

I heard back from Mackintosh casting:

SHE WROTE:  Thank you so much for coming in to test for the Solo TVC. It was a very intensive test and we were really impressed with the calibre of your performance!  We would love to keep you on file for other projects. Thanks again.. Mackintosh casting team. X

None of this possible with out your amazing teaching, guidence and support. 

Richard, I’m extremely grateful for all that you have given me.

Thank you :)

- Wez Forke, November '12


Just to let you know, I just finished 10 days on an ABC Docudrama, playing Jules Archibald (of Archibald Prize fame) that I scored in great part to the basics of The Rehearsal Room technique I learned in class!  The Rehearsal Room method of identifying story is something I will use for the rest of my acting life. It’s the quickest and most efficient I have found.

- Nicholas Dubberley, July '11



Just to let you know, I just finished 10 days on an ABC Docudrama, playing Jules Archibald (of Archibald Prize fame) that I scored in great part to the basics of The Rehearsal Room technique I learned in class!  The rehearsal room method of identifying story is something I will use for the rest of my acting life. It’s the quickest and most efficient I have found.

Just to let you know, I just finished 10 days on an ABC Docudrama, playing Jules Archibald (of Archibald Prize fame) that I scored in great part to the basics of The Rehearsal Room technique I learned in class!  The rehearsal room method of identifying story is something I will use for the rest of my acting life. It’s the quickest and most efficient I have found.



Thank you for opening my mind up to a process that I am beginning to really trust! 

I wanted to share my excitement about using The Rehearsal Room process.  I auditioned for a 'bit part' on Neighbours to play a Teacher.  Thea McLeod called my agent afterwards and said they were so impressed with my audition that they decided to put me in another, more substantial 'guest role', and would also like to keep me in mind for something else down the track.  It was great to put my learnings into action and have this kind of feedback and outcome.


And now I have just landed my second guest role after auditioning for a new TV series 'Conspiracy 365'.  That makes two out of two.  It’s obviously working really well for me.  I just keep making sure I have Rehearsal Room process in place and then trust my listening.”  

- Carissa McAllen, July '11

Carissa McAllen


Karla Francisco

Hi Rich, 

My Neighbours shoot was fantastic.  I had a ball.  And suddenly those years absorbing your guidance and methodology made complete sense.  I could do it.  I wasn't even very nervous.   

Right from the beginning you put us in front of the camera and that ultimately instills a confidence and familiarity with the TV setting.  So, when I was on the set for the first time - I expected the pressures.  The industry based nature of The Rehearsal Room method from Introductory through to MASTER CLASS has built in me a proficiency that I didn't realise I had acquired until I stepped onto a professional set.  In all honesty I would never have developed the full confidence to deal with a professional setting without them. 

The Audition Workshops have been a great learning experience, too.  It was as a result of taking part in one that Thea McLeod invited me to do a guest role on Neighbours.  The workshops enabled me to build my confidence and then provided a great opportunity to showcase my skills.

It was incredibly exciting to be offered the part.  D-day came quickly, and after dealing with some anxiety as to my ability to deal with the shoot. I was pleasantly surprised by how peaceful a state of mind I experienced. And in all fairness, the whole crew had a lot to do with that since right from the beginning everyone were extremely friendly, the Clothing Designers, Make up Artist, Hairdresser, Cast and Crew and Director made me feel at home.

  Once the Shoot began, I must say, the years of experience at the Rehearsal Room came to surface and provided me with a strong sense of self and unquestionable confidence that I had everything necessary to fulfil the Director’s artistic vision and ultimately that is what happened, I had a good performance, receiving positive feedback from all involved at the end of the shoot. 

I am confident and looking forward to what the years ahead may bring my way but the realization now is stronger than ever that continued growth is necessary, attending to as many classes as possible and taking part in Audition Workshops, doing all within my power to put myself at the right place and hopefully at the right time is undoubtedly the only way forward.

- Karla Francisco, June '11

"I learnt more in the first lesson than I did out of three complete

workshops at other places” –

Anna Manatakis, April 2011




Dave Thornton

“I was never taught any formal acting or presenting skills and felt I needed to know the mechanics of it better.  The Rehearsal Room's technique is a practical and easy method for me to consciously make my performance malleable.


It was that and the cake Rich made that really made the experience worthwhile” - Dave Thornton February '11


" Hi Richard,

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading the article you wrote on "the Pursuit of Truth... being Bold and Believable", I feel it had such relevance to me as an actor, especially considering in the past I have often felt that my performances are dull because I've spent too much time worrying about being 'natural' and 'truthful'. I could really relate to the line "the actor whose focus is prioritized on being truthful is inevitably working on how the character feels about the events that are unfolding". This certainly rang true for me, as did the disadvantages of this approach that you wrote about. In the past I have definitely been guilty of this (using the 'truth meter') and during any scene where I have taken that approach, I have definitely not made listening the priority and end up feeling like a bit of a fraud. For me, in my experience, I've had that fear of being 'bold' (although countless other acting coaches of mine have always said, "Be bold in your choices") and I end up playing safe, worrying that I'm being "too big" or "overacting". And your right, this fear has held me back from ever taking risks and even completely abandoning my gut instinct. When I think of Hollywood actors who I consider 'big and bold', like Jim Carrey for instance, during his performances, I still 100% believe him and often will be waiting with anticipation for what he'll do next.

I'm so glad you wrote this article! I feel it's so appropriate and it's something I think about all the time as an actor and have always wondered how to incorporate risk taking and being bold into my scenes. You've just described the process beautifully and I realize more and more just how much fear has held me back and destroyed a lot of great moments in my previous work. This article is now hanging on my bedroom wall :)

I also want to take this opportunity to let you know how much I am enjoying the classes. I really love learning The Rehearsal Room process because I respond much better to a programme that is simple. I don't walk into class with that feeling in the pit of my stomach that only comes from putting too much pressure on myself to 'get it right', (which is a nice change for me). I think you are a wonderful teacher and incredibly insightful and that goes for all the articles you have written.  

See you Wednesday night.


- Genevieve Brock, August '10

To read the article CLICK HERE


Hi Richard,
I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for last term.

I walked away feeling very proud last night - not just because I did my best in the scenes and felt I showed good progress - but because I found this amazing process which has given me great confidence as an actor. And I agree with your comment about my clear improvement over the last 4 weeks - that's because 5 weeks before that we had that chat about me actually USING the Rehearsal Room process. I wasn't very open to it at the beginning and was still sticking to what I had been previously taught (which obviously made me a pain in the arse student!) but I really tried to make it work from that point and I'm glad that my efforts could be seen in class.

I love the atmosphere at The Rehearsal Room and the confidence you gave us as actors - it has made me work harder and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself.

BUT it's only the beginning ... I can't wait for my next class!

I'll be in touch and thanks again :-)

All the best,


- Rebbeca Lavindi, June '10

Hi Richard,
I scored my first voiceover gig this week which I could not have done without training with John Higginson. It was Jetstar, no less, as the lead voiceover on the TVC for the launch of its Asian services.

The two of you make a dymamic team.

- Selene Ng, July '09

Hi Richard,
I just wanted to thank you for your Sunday class. Your teaching methods are to be commended as I have often left classes feeling less confident than when I started. Yet after my time at the Rehearsal Room I not only feel as though I have improved but I can identify a problem and confidently know there is a way to fix it. I look forward to exploring these methods further and now can't wait to do an audition rather than dreading it. I would love to take another class in the future.
Thanks again!

- Nicole O'Meara, July '09

Gday Rich!
Just got back from a few days in Sydney and also got engaged! I also won a Green card in the lottery can you believe? (Hence the trip to Sydney for the interview with the Consulate)

I always find that I take a lot away from every Master class term as it's a great environment to practice with other skilled actors. I like the Rehearsal Room methods as they give me solid and specific tasks to focus on and explore definite paths for generating effective performances, no matter what the script.

Thanks for your kind words too Richard, very much appreciated. I'm feeling more and more that I'm getting an element of (dare I say it) control over what I'm doing. I think the thing that I keep (re)discovering lately is to put faith in my own presence, which I think isn't too bad when I'm relaxed and drop my centre of gravity, and not feel that I have to give something extra in a performance.

Anyway Rich, thanks again and hopefully see you soon!!

- John King, July '09

"I had a good read of your actor's process notes before an audition the other day, and I really got a lot out of the audition, it felt really good. "

- Vivienne Gorman, June '09

TO READ THE NOTES on Rehearsal Room process (click here)

I cannot thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to do the Rehearsal Room Summer Intensive workshop. I learnt so many valuable skills. Techniques I can really use. Richard is an incredible teacher with an amazing view on acting. So open and supportive. I was with some truly amazing people in the workshop as well. People I learnt so much from so quickly. And on top of the experience as an actress I also had a quite life changing experience personally through the others in the class. Which just goes to show that you really 'never know who you will meet'. And you should grab hold of every moment.

These kinds of workshops can be so much more than just a class. You will meet other people who can help you in so many different ways. Everyone knows something that you and others don't, and all this information can be shared. Actors are amazing people, because we are competing against each other in our field, yet we all support each other and push one another to succeed. I have stuttered my whole life, yet all I want to do is act. Through Richards class he and the others in the workshop made me so much more comfortable with the voice I have. They have told me I have a gift, not a burden. And I have come out of this workshop with a whole new energy.

Thank you so so much.

- Hayley Brown January '09

Hayley won a place in the Summer Intensive through the Dare2Audition website.

Hi Richard,

How are you? It's been a while since I took one of your classes, and I thought I'd drop you a note to say hello, let you know what's been happening with my acting & presenting and also to make an introduction. I have been travelling a lot too.

I have done about 5 TVCs now, and 2 corporate videos (1 for a Japanese company and 1 for an American company). I have not had any meaty roles yet on TV or film, although I have had many screentests, including an audition for a recurring role on Neighbours (Jan Russ is lovely!). I can never thank you enough for all the skills you have given me in your classes. I have attended many workshops over the past few years, and yours are still the best & most memorable. I also believe your presenting course is the best one going around.

- Selene Ng January '08

I loved the fast pace of Summer Intensive Workshop. Having not been exposed to The Rehearsal Room process previously, it pushed me to explore my boundaries & learn quickly. Having a small class size meant I got a lot of individual attention, and it was a fantastic way to start the year. I also loved Richards no-nonsense approach.

It has changed everything about my performance. It gave me a simple direct way to prepare a scene, any time, and it also gave me the tools to be able to instantly alter the tone, intensity & story of the scene.

My understanding improved a lot. Learning the whole process has changed my entire outlook & perspective on performing as I now have the tools to not only create believable, interesting & brave scenes as an actor, but a way to translate a directors wishes into the scene & a way to evaluate other work (films etc.)

- Rachael Blackwood January '08

"Just saying 'hi.' I've been busy with my Fringe show and now filming the feature film over the next 3 months and was offered a small guest role on Bed of Roses via Alison Telford since doing the last audition workshop with her at Rehearsal Room. Given the fringe show was on the same night of filming I had to decline and honour my first commitment but just wanted you to know that this year's audition workshops have been really fantastic in terms of re-establishing rapport with various casting directors and securing auditions. A few casting directors came to my fringe show also which was such a lovely surprise.

I hope you are well and once the music stops I'll be back at an audition workshop in the near future. I've have spread the word to so many people and there's a fair bit of talk out there about how great your classes/courses are - not that there wasn't already!

I just really wanted to say 'thank you.' It is sometimes difficult to find a teacher/mentor who puts their students' interests ahead of their own and offers purely objective feedback. I've formed some great friendships with people I've met through your workshops and always feel totally satisfied that I have had your full undivided attention when you are reviewing my work. It's just so helpful - you've given me a different way of looking at my work.

Take care, Elks"

- Elke Osadnik , October '07


What a simple process! With this simplified acting process, I can make incremental changes in my performance. I'm finding I can turn the intensity up or down just a few notches when needed. I now know exactly what ingredients to change to create the desired effect on camera. What a great feeling.

Recently I have acted in a number of short films. I have found the story identification process incredibly useful for interpreting directors choices. Centre of gravity is also immensely useful. If a director says to me I am to be really scared then I will ask specifically How scared? They might reply with a 5 or perhaps a 10 (depending on what they envisage) and I set my centre of gravity accordingly. If that turns out not to be correct I found I can make easy adjustments up or down depending on the directors requirements.

Adjusting need I can make subtle changes to the character or the colour of the drama. It is very exciting. I now feel I can quickly and effectively deliver what the director is asking for. Rehearsal Room process has brought together all the things I had been taught in all the other classes I have done over the years.

I have so much more confidence now - THANK YOU!

- Jennifer Sheahan, May '07

"I've been meeting many aspiring actors at a few other places. Many seem to know your name, despite not having attended you classes. They all have heard great things (which of course were confirmed by me) and quite a few are meaning to come by in the near future. So yay, for Rehearsal Room! Seriously, the more I attend other classes the more I'm convinced that The Rehearsal Room is the place to be to work on one's acting skills. Of course people could say that is my biased opinion... but that person obviously wouldn't been to Rehearsal Room classes.

Also had a class the other day with director David Cameron - very interesting day. Had a chance to practice my director interpreting skill.

Anyways, I'll see you soon no doubt and we'll chat some more!"

- Liana Kreimer, April '07

Just wanted to send you a massive thank you ...... I received an email for the feature film I auditioned for and they'd like to see me again for a callback (yay!!)

They were very impressed at how well I knew the character (s) at such early stages and that I had made some clear story identifications that helped them out and basically that I did a fantastic job.

I can directly attribute this to your version of process. It has taught me a couple of things, the major being that you only get out what you put in, hard work and practice on story identification and articulation is paramount, it's what keeps people watching!!

In relation to the audition and the Rehearsal Room, it was really quite simple,
Identify story, pick a need, build a world with prehistory and relationships
to other key characters, lock it in, listen and enjoy, whilst delivering

Since it is a big big world out there, not everyone has the same version of process, it works for some and might not for others, that's ok!! It would be silly to say that it is perfect for everybody, I can say that I can rely on it, it gives me the confidence to make choices, and ask questions and go after what I want.

And for that and your endless support Richard I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

- Paul Cousins, March '07

"I just wanted to let you know that last night was fantastic! I have participated in various actor training programs, and I found our session last night to be very unique.

I appreciate the simplicity of the process we're using. It helps me identify the story in a scene so quickly. The character's need becomes very clear, changes are easier to make, and the results we produced in just a few hours were remarkable. (If I do say so myself!) I especially enjoyed working in a small group. We were able to thoroughly explore issues as they arose - and you stepped in to steer us in the right direction when needed. I am really looking forward to the rest of the term. Should be really interesting!"

- Jennifer Sheahan, January '07 (after 1st MASTER CLASS)

" I came back from Tuesday night on a high and really feeling like I learned something. What I found, was that there are so many things to remember as an actor but if it can be distilled into a purpose (fight for control/challenge/test) - not only does the performance become real but it actually helps with nerves, because you become so focused."

- Susan Strafford, January 07 (after 1st MASTER CLASS)


" I had a great time participating in the summer workshop. Not having done any of your classes before I was a little nervous, but you created a very supportive and nurturing environment (And great catering)!

The Rehearsal Room process is simple and gives results and I found it compatible with other acting philosophies and technique's, but somehow this one made sense in a very practical way. I had some wonderful revelatory moments during the week, one big thing I'll take away was the ratio between story and need. It was apparant and demonstrated time and time again that story is key, it is the reason why we're doing what we're doing! There were many oppportunites to practice this approach and I like the mix of observing examples, then trying things out for ourselves. I have gained a new insight into myself as an actor that I am certain will give me more consistency in my work."

- Linda Keys-McCormack, January '07

"The Summer intensive course is the first course I had done with the Rehearsal Room. I found it to be informative and valuable. The introduction to the Rehearsal Room process, although new hearing it this way, was fitting really well into what I thought acting for screen should be. It gave a practical overview of how to present a scene without having to worry about all the airy fairy stuff. Sometimes those feelings aren't there which makes it hard to give a true performance, but presenting the story, with a need in place is such a simple concept but one that seems to work.

Richard is a wonderful teacher who is at the same time encouraging but also able to give constructive criticism. He is very flexible in his approach to what discussion needs to take place according to students interest and also ensures to cover the content which he has said he will deliver.

Thank you Richard, for a wonderful course. It was great and although I need to practise what I've learned to make it consistently work for me, it will hold me in good stead for my future performances."

- Kristen May, January '07

I want to thank you for the Monologue Workshop I did with you. I had an audition last Thursday, I used your techniques and the casting agent was moved by my work. I haven't got the job, well I haven't heard from them, nonetheless, I did a good audition, and that is all that matters. He was really touched by what I did and the feedback he gave me was very positive, so thank you. I hope to do another one of your workshops soon.

- Nicole Sarweh, September '06

"At THE REHEARSAL ROOM I found an acting technique that was both clear and easily applicable to the job of telling a story.

By substituting my usual approach to acting - a very clunky, worrisome and mind based form of demonstration - for a few simple points of focus, I was able to quickly overcome my long held misconceptions about what acting is and was ushered into a place of freedom, spontaneity and connection within the scene.

Acting techniques I have encountered in the past tended to be quite vague and metaphysical, and seemed to rely, for their usefulness, on the constant presence and maintenance of the teacher. The Rehearsal Room, however, empowers the student by providing an easy to manage set of tools that not only make sense and consistently work but are also easily recallable in the professional arena."

- Glen Quinn (Mamma Mia - national tour), August '06


"The Rehearsal Room process is very portable. Apart from camera performance, I have been able to employ the process in musical theatre with positive results. Being able to shift mediums is part of an actor's expected flexibilty and being armed with the Rehearsal Room tools of trade at all times, gives me the confidence that I need to do the job right.

Audition coaching and the audition workshops via the Rehearsal Room have also been really great. Richard's acting coaching has always given me the confidence to front up to any audition knowing I have the character in the bag. The audition workshops have given me fantastic exposure to casting agents and the feedback that I have received gives me the assurance that the Rehearsal Room process works every time."

- Darren Mort, August 2006


"I first took a course of Richard's classes around ten years ago, when I was just starting out in the industry. At the time I loved them because they were practical, understandable and hands on and we got to see ourselves on camera time and again - not so bad for the ego! Looking back now I can see it was also very good for the learning process, and some of the basics I learned at the time have provided a structure for me to make better sense of the information/ideas I have gleaned from the multitude of other classes I have done since.

Since then I have returned to Richards classes because I have felt the need to learn a process - a plan of attack for when I receive a scene for auditions or a part in a production. I learnt where to start, what to look for, how to make it interesting and believable, how to find things to play with and ways to change. And certainly over the years Richards process has both refined and extended. He is always open to ideas and input and up for a thoughtful discussion.

I now find that the Rehearsal Room "language" gives me as an actor, a really good basis for communication across the board and a way of interpreting what other directors/ actors are trying to say (and that can be anything from "she's not so eager to please" - try changing her need to 'to dominate' to "I need this scene to be more yellow" - OoooooK, lets go brighter colours, more cheerfully/happily/cheekily). It's a really practical way of avoiding confusion and uncertainty when I'm working with someone whose way of working is unfamiliar.

Initially I guess I found The Rehearsal Room process a great introduction to TV/film acting. I then went through a phase when I needed it to bring me back to a more natural/believable style after doing a lot of theatre, and now I am relishing it as a springboard to make bolder, more exciting choices and challenging myself to make more of a scene.

Richard Sarell is a wonderful teacher - kind, perceptive, encouraging and with a passion for his work that makes every class a joy."

- Caroline Lloyd, July '06


"The monologue workshop is a winner. I had an audition the next week and got the role! First big role in two years so I really have to say that the workshop definately contributed to the success of my audition. I left the workshop feeling like I was in good stead to really own my audition piece. It had built my confidence, skill and understanding of what a monologue is for, and how to really tell the story.

The small sized classes are great and the atmosphere at the Rehearsal Room was welcoming and unintimidating. I would tell anyone who has an interest in monologues, has an audition or an upcoming performance to definately visit Richard to get an insight into his process and how to use and develop your monologing skills."
- Charity Shaw July '06  For more on the monologue workshop...

"Richard's approach to the actor's job, firstly with the script, and then with the actual work in front of the camera, is a clear and fascinating one. He has distilled a great amount of work that has been written on the subject into a no-nonsense, can-do strategy, always serving the script and getting to the nub of the character. His years as a director have given him an extremely keen eye to problem solve for students individually. I would definitely recommend The Rehearsal Room as a very useful resource for working or budding actors."

- Felicity Soper (MDA, Neighbours, Richmond Hill), July 2006

"After many years and loads of experience as a music theatre performer I set out to learn the skills I needed for to move into TV acting.

I thought my professional theatre experience would set me in good stead but I didn't realize it was that experience and my acting process that was causing the problems for me as an actor for TV. All my performing experience was 'live' so there was no room for mistakes or second takes. That meant I was always in pursuit of perfection and I wasn't in touch with the real aspects of a scene … the story, my 'need', 'listening' and most of all 'relaxing'. I was guilty of trying to over-achieve and as a result all I was achieving was a poor performance.

Several years ago I started workshops with Richard and got the honesty and criticism I deserved. That fueled my desire to work harder, be better and 'be perfect'. Old habits are hard to break. I'd done two workshops before the on-going discussions with Richard about acting process started to have a real effect.

That is what is so invaluable about The Rehearsal Room and Richard as a teacher … the personal attention and open forum he provides to get to the root of problems, discuss them and ultimately … fix them.

Once the problem was identified, from the very next lesson with Richard I started to improve. I was now thinking as an 'actor' and not a 'performer'. I had always understood Rehearsal Room process but I needed to trust it and let it work for itself, not force it.

The more workshops and classes I have attended the more I trust the process and the more solid it becomes, which in turn provides confidence in myself and my abilities. Confidence allows you to relax and tackle any role you encounter. I can relax because I know it works.

I applied it to my last job. It was imperative as I had the challenging task of covering (understudying) four female roles in Melbourne Theatre Company's production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" with Magda Szubanski, David Campbell, Natalie Mendoza, Marina Prior and a few other well-established and talented performers. It was an enormous challenge and the task was exacerbated when I was unexpectedly thrown on mid-show when one of the actors was unwell. This was after only one week of rehearsal.

Trusting in my process and skills allowed me to get through a most terrifying experience. Thereafter I continued to play the role for three shows a week for the rest of the season. Then I played Marina Prior's role for the final 2 shows.

I still continue to work on my skills and will continue for as long as I can do so at The Rehearsal Room with Richard. The audition workshops with Casting Directors from around Australia provides a fabulous opportunity for actors to work on there process in a 'real'audition situation and the tuition and support Richard provides is wonderful.

I highly recommend all aspiring TV actors, presenters, theatre and music theatre performers attend all the courses, workshops and classes on offer at The Rehearsal Room."

- Jackie Rae Lythgo (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - MTC), June '06

"I am always grateful for the things that you've taught me.

The thing that strikes me the most would be - everybody is achieving something! Look at my fellow students. Jules,Paul etc. Three years ago I was studying with them and now we are all travelling along the path with the knowledge we've gained at the Rehearsal Room. The process obviously works and that is very inspiring to me.

I did advanced classes right through to the master classes and I felt my confidence grew through each stage - firstly I gained a guest roll for " We can be Heroes" and later on I was a core cast member for "The Wedge". It feels like I am building on, bit by bit each time.

The process became a basic foundation for me. With a solid foundation wheels don't fall too far from the wagon - as in the acting world you only get one shot at anything. The process gives me a readiness during the non-working period - and when the opportunity strikes I would face it calmly and confidently - KNOWING that I've been doing it all along.

It is important to learn from Richard, who has been a long-term director, simply because directors are the ones that we will be work with and work for. It's not only building the skills to get the work but also building the working relationships with others to do a better job in order to be competitive. TV acting was an unknown zone to me and The Rehearsal Room made it a friendly place from me to explore.

Thanks Richard."

- Frieda McKenna
(We Can Be Heros ABC-TV; The Wedge ATV-10), May '06

"The Rehearsal Room has been a huge learning ground for me. With years of radio and presenting experience, it was intially a challenge to make the switch to learn about acting, but Richard's insight as a Director is innate. Not only does he have the gift of being a good teacher but is an intuitive director. This was a big plus having a teacher that is a Director.

He prides himself on helping each student to improve with every exercise given. I have done 4 acting workshops (terms) and each time evolved to another level. The processes taught are easy to understand and they work! I was inspired to work hard as I could see the improvements on camera as we watched it as a class and gave constructive feedback. Being able to see it right after the performance was critical. Richard's dedication to teaching is obvious. He would email thoughts on how the performance could be better and sometimes even a phone call. He sincerely cares about creating outstanding actors and I am proud to say that he was my teacher."

- Andi Lew (Melbourne Women HSV-7; Shopping for Love GTV-9; Beyond The Boundary Channel 10), May '06

"The Rehearsal room classes taught me the value of 'story' and the discipline of structure. The thing that's useful about this is that once I've got my vision and I understand it, I don't go off track too much. The sense of story keeps me on track.

I use heaps of The Rehearsal Room stuff … having basic performance skills in place is really important. Using your centre of gravity is really helpful because you can still be relaxed but it keeps you actively engaged … listening … alive. For me putting a 'need' in place is really helpful - that's fundamental. My need is 'to share', that's the one I always use. It helps a lot. It helps make it a story I can tell. There can be a trap if I don't take ownership of the story and make it mine to tell. I still use the 5 point checklist … make sure I am externally focused … all that stuff we learnt about in the Rehearsal Room. I do it because it works."

- Jules Lund (Getaway; Dancing on Ice), May '04

"Richard, I had a lovely night with your Rehearsal Room actors. The classes obviously provide an invaluable kitbag of tools for actors, regardless of whether they are emerging talents or seasoned professionals. You are really developing the actor's essential skills, including process and listening. The performer's work was anchored to a foundation of truth.

In my own work as a director I have found these core craft skills frequently to be in need of improvement in actors. In an audition they are often the essential ingredients that lead to success, and on set they carry the scene. Having worked with a number of your students now I have been extremely impressed by the improvement in their craft. Without reservation I can heartily recommend The Rehearsal Room classes."

- Richard Jasek (Director: MacLeod's Daughters, Secret Life of Us, Blue Heelers, Horace and Tina, Heart Break High), April 2004

"I have learnt more in a few weeks at The Rehearsal Room than I did in a 3 year Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre performance.

Using The Rehearsal Room process has helped me to simplify my job as an actor and has taught me how to get the job done! It has taught me that an actor's job is in fact a simple one. It's to tell the story and at the same time to be believable.

I now see that acting is simple it's only we actors who make it complicated. It's all about listening actively. Really listening because that is the key to being believable. No one in real life knows what is about to happen in the future until it happens, so why shouldn't your characters be the same?

I learnt about having a need in place that is opposite to the text so that my characters can come to life and be complex. And I have also learnt simple techniques which really help generate drama in a scene. Such simple practical devices are not taught in other schools.

These classes are suitable for anyone, people with no experience to people with plenty, you can always teach an old dog new tricks and believe me it makes life so much simpler."

- Christine Dixon, May 2006

"Bless you, Teacher Richard,

Just got home after a really long day, and your e-mail has made me feel great - thank you for your words! I can't begin to tell you what a momentous change I feel the Rehearsal Room (ie: you) has made to me as an actor. Am very grateful to have your guidance as a teacher, and your friendship - as the simply sterling person that you are!

Would very much love to catch up with you again - will try for that afternoon tea drop-in some time in the next week.

Love and thanks again,"

- Tuilyn Lim, November 2004


"Dear Richard,

It was our absolute pleasure.

As a class I think the dynamics were fantastic and as you pointed out last night it was great to see everyone's individual progress.

What really struck a chord with me is something you said last night....about the importance of just being ourselves....and not trying to deliberately achieve or adopt a different persona. We are all unique and when we go into an audition, us being ourselves is what makes it. As simple as it is I think I always felt like I HAD to be different...rather than just being me. These classes have helped me on the journey both professionally and probably even more so personally. They have in fact been a
saving grace I would go as far as saying. It is all about trusting and knowing oneself.....and I guess that is what life is all about as well. When we have ourselves, we have essentially everything.

I really appreciate your emails as well.....this sort of encouragement really adds another dimension to our studies.

I will definitely be continuing on this journey and look forward to studying with you again in a month or so. Am going to sign up soon."

- Katrina

"Wanted to let you know that I have been accepted by the Actors Center in New York to study, and they were very effusive about our monologue. Thank you very much for your help, and, as I think I told you, I used the take where you pushed me to go further with the changes which I said at the time felt 'wrong'! Director knew best.

As you would know, there's a bit of production/casting going on in Melbourne over the next couple of months, so I've decided to wait until January next year, but I'm definitely going and am very excited.

Thanks again,"

- Kat Stewart, August 2003

"I wanted you to know the things I have learnt in this workshop and the one before.

First and foremost learning a structure and having a process I can actually access myself when there's no one there to tell me what to do, has been really helpful. Relaxation has been a big issue for me and learning to do that in a situation where I am usually self-critical and self-conscious has been a great help. And learning not to set my expectations to high has also been a great help.

The clarity with which you present your workshop has been wonderful - because a lot of this information is out there but not clearly said and not communicated very well - so it's one thing to be able to direct or to be able to act but to be able to teach that is another thing and you do it really well. So, thank you so much for that.

Thank you for your skills in improving our skills.

See you soon."

- Sue-Ellen Shook, April 2002

"Richard … understands that 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..."

- Shane Porteous (Lead Actor in A Country Practice - Australia's longest running T.V. drama), February 2002

"For someone finding their way back into acting I found the workshops wonderfully simple in concept....I felt that I was allowed to tap into what was in me...free to achieve...so everything became pregnant with possibilities."

- Josie Vendramini


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