The Actors Centre - A Guide

Located in the heart of the West End with quality instructors (sometimes high profile) from all areas of the industry, The Actors Centre an ideal place for learning new skills or brushing up old ones. They offer a wide variety of classes and while it’s nice to have options, it can be difficult to decide which to take. They range in subject matter, depth, duration and price - from a 1 hour tap class (£6) to an eight-day workshop concluding with a public showcase (£135). Many classes are repeated every 3 months, some are offered but once. Where to begin?

Below are some recommendations: I have taken most of these classes and found them to be very useful. In some cases I haven’t yet taken the class (indicated with a *), but it comes highly recommended by others. Details about classes can be found online here or in their tri-monthly brochure.

Recommended Instructors / Classes:

  • Chrys SaltI Was Brilliant in the Bedroom: Workshop & Showcase
    One of the most useful classes I’ve taken. When I was a newcomer to the London market, Chrys offered me insight on every aspect of the business here. She also has a vast collection of monologues from which to choose. Ends with a public showcase to which agents and casting directors are invited. A great "first class" to take. Fills up quickly. Check out Books by Chrys Salt.
  • Sarah HughesCasting Advice Session, Audition Surgery*
    Sarah is a casting director and it's great to hear advice straight from the horse's mouth.
  • Terry BessonAccent Clinic*
Musical Theatre
  • Stuart BarrCoaching
Recorded Voice
  • Kelly HunterShakespeare Project
    Kelly offers a weekly drop-in class. Great for preparing for a Shakespeare audition or just sharpening your verse skills.
  • Rachel Kavanaugh*
  • Stephen Wisker
Sightreading (aka "Cold Reading")
  • Nina FinburghSightreading & Presenting
    Excellent technique for sightreading a script at an audition, mostly for stage work (not musicals). Fills up quickly. Published book: Hot Tips for Cold Readings.
  • Jacqueline PertTap
TV & Film
  • John MelaineyPractice Makes Perfect, Improve Your Chances
    Reading technique is almost identical to Nina Finburgh’s but specifically targets on-camera auditions. When done correctly, it doesn’t even look like you’re reading a script. Great skill to perfect.
  • Chrys Salt - How to Make a Showreel
    Everything you want to know about a showreel, good and bad examples shown, useful names and numbers, advice on all aspects.


Unknown said…
1) What dialects does Terry Besson specialize in?

2) What are the main differences in American reels and British reels? I'm still trying to gather all my footage, so I haven't yet made one...figure I'd have it done for use over there.

3) What are the possibilities of someone (err, *me*) teaching a class at The Actors Centre? I was taught a fantastic memorization technique that would be incredibly useful (and necessary) for all actors and speakers. I'd love to see about getting it there. Thought I'd get your thoughts before even trying to contact them. :)

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