PROGRAMS

Our Full-Time and Part-Time Screen Acting Programs are dedicated courses designed to give you the tools you need to work professionally as an actor. You will study in a range of areas aimed at helping you understand the film industry in depth and prepare you to work at the level of a professional screen actor.

 

PART-TIME PROGRAM

CONTENT STRUCTURE

CLASS TIMES: 6:30pm - 9:30pm

 

CLASS DAYS: Tuesdays & Thursdays*

*Some variation depending on teacher availability

MELBOURNE 2020

Orientation: 3rd February 2020
First Class: 4th February 2020

Last Class: 26th November 2020

SYDNEY 2020

Orientation: 3rd February 2020
First Class: 4th February 2020

Last Class: TBC

MELBOURNE

 

TERM 1: BEGINNERS #1 & VOICE

 

BEGINNERS #1

with Mick Preston

This module deals with the all of the foundation elements of screen acting, giving you a clear understanding of the screen. The emphasis is not only on the visual concepts of performance but will include techniques for listening, sensing, reacting and the subsequent releasing of emotional responses. This element will teach the screen actor about working the frame, using their body and facial expression to maximise presence on screen. These elements are crucial for all actors to understand and apply to their screen performance. 
 

VOICE

with John Preston

The screen requires an even greater vocal range and more subtle technique than the stage. You will learn about tone, resonance, strength and range and that mastering these is as necessary on screen as they are on stage. This is a crucial foundational element to a great on-screen performance. Adapting the voice to the frame size can be critical. These days we need more than just GenAm and so we’ve now introduced some RP (Received Pronunciation) skills as well.

 

 

TERM 2: EMOTIONS #1 & ON SET

 

ON SET

with Kym Valentine

On Set will prepare you for the reality of what’s involved and what it takes for an actor to produce a successful appearance and increase your chances of being hired again for future work. This will help you:

 

  • Build a professional working “on set” reputation

  • Be relied upon to uphold a professional standard

  • Be dependable talent that is “easy to work with” and proudly represents the association with the network, program or agency they are working with

  • Be respected among industry professionals

  • Be prepared to deliver under pressure


Covering:

 

  • On-set technique

  • Essential, practical on-set knowledge & skills

  • Specifically created terminology guide and vocabulary

  • Outline of different departments roles and responsibilities and how an actor relates to them when working on a professional film or TV set

  • What to expect on set and how to prepare as a guest, semi-regular, regular, on-going high turn over television soap or serial drama.

  • Understanding the on set process.

 

 

EMOTIONS #1

with John Orcsik

Expression of the emotions at will is one of the most powerful and important tools an actor can possess. You will be given exercises to help you with the expression of emotion; simply, sincerely, where you are entirely in control. This module is designed to help you understand the various emotions and what stimulates them, to find the keys to their expression. Our physiological technique at TAFTA is unique and not taught anywhere else and shuns the approach taken by the “method” and other pseudo-Stanislavskian exponents which can be psychologically damaging.

 

 

TERM 3: U.S. ACCENT & EMOTIONS #2

 

US ACCENT

with Matt Furlani

For those hoping to work in the US market, mastering the General American accent is vital. You will have specialist coaching from a US accent teacher to help perfect it, from the basic structural elements of language in the mouth to encompassing some cultural characteristics that will authenticate the accent. Culture both general and locally specific are great influences on behaviour. These will be included in your Accent study.

 

EMOTIONS #2

with John Orcsik

Emotions 2 is the essential next step to Emotions 1. After learning the key to all the basic emotions, Emotions 2 will take you through exploration and combination of the emotions in a scene. This will allow you to find differentiating elements through interesting and unusual combinations of the basic emotions. 

 

 

TERM 4: FINDING YOUR TRUTH & FRAME BY FRAME

 

FRAME BY FRAME

with Colin Budds

This module compels the actor to discover and implement the performance within the given frames, driven by the possibilities offered by the space and understand the limitations and possibilities of performance within that frame. Students will tackle performance from the Director's perspective regarding the emotions, character traits and behaviours as indicated by the Director’s interpretation of the text. In Frame by Frame the actors and director work together to produce what might be the final performance in either a single or multi-cam shoot.

 

FINDING YOUR TRUTH ON SCREEN

with Paul Parker

Once you've covered the basics of understanding acting for screen, Scene study will begin to take you through the necessities of deconstructing a scene and how you individually work on screen. Scene study will take you through some extended elements of performing a scene including: improvising on camera, analysing a script, working with wants and opinions and attitudes, extended character work, finding truth within the scene, scene preparation, clearing bad habits on screen, and developing a list of skills to work on in front of the camera.

 

 

WHAT ELSE?

 

SELF-TAPE REEL

The final block of your program will be focused on providing you with content to share with agents and the industry post-study. This will be your showreel. TAFTA's professional teachers who are working screenwriters, producers and directors will guide you through each step of this process to make sure that you create a piece of film work that you are proud of, and that you can expand upon after you graduate. Knowing how to create your own content will ensure that you will never be without acting work regardless of the climate of the film industry. This process will also provide you with an authentic ‘on set’ experience. Each student will be required to be a member of the crew for each film to experience the technical aspects of being on set and working in film and TV, you will learn about the roles required to put a production together directed by a respected, working film & TV director. 

 


You will be provided with appropriate formats of your tape reel that can be uploaded to Vimeo, Casting Networks &Showcast or your own website.

 

OUR MELBOURNE TEACHERS

MICK PRESTON

ACTOR | Screen Understanding & Character 

Mick Preston trained as an actor in New York, where he studied with the late Uta Hagen, including being personally invited by Ms Hagen to be one of only a handful of students to perform in her documentary. Check out Mick's extensive list of credits on IMDB, including Neighbours, City Homicide, Satisfaction, The Legend of Ben Hall, Godzilla and many more.

JOHN PRESTON

VOICE COACH | Voice

John Preston is a NIDA graduate who built a successful acting career in Australia and overseas, before becoming a director and teacher. For the past 20 years, he has been a tenured member of the theatre arts staff at Swinburne University. He was a member of the original advisory panel at WAAPA, where he also taught, and also a member of the staff at the VCA School of Opera. John has worked with outstanding actors such as Judi Dench, Michael Williams, Lauren Bacall and Leo McKern. 

KYM VALENTINE

ACTOR | Get Set

Kym Valentine has been working as an actor on Australian TV since she was 4-years old. With over 1000 episodes of Neighbours under her belt, across 20-years as Ramsay Street's beloved Libby Kennedy. When it comes to fast turn-around TV, Kym is an undeniable wealth of knowledge and industry know-how that any actor would be privileged to learn from. She teaches workshops, short-courses and offers private coaching at TAFTA Melbourne.

JOHN ORCSIK

VARIOUS | Emotions 1 & 2

John Orcsik is one of Australia's highest profile actors, writers and directors with a professional career spanning over 40 years in film & T.V. He has written, directed, and taught, sharing his insights into the film and television industry with students across Australia for over 20 years. John possesses an enviable wealth of practical experience that he is keen to share with his students.

MATT FURLANI

VOICE COACH | US Accent

Matt Furlani is a Voice and Dialect coach, holding a Post Grad Diploma in Voice Studies and Bachelor of Dramatic Art (VCA). His work encompasses voice and dialect training for performers, corporate coaching and accent reduction work with international students at the University of Melbourne. He has facilitated dialect workshops at the Melbourne Actor's Lab, 16th Street and Screen Actors Australia, as well as ongoing private tuition.

PAUL PARKER

ACTING COACH | Scene Study

Paul Parker is an international acting coach, offering courses and workshops each year in Los Angeles, New York and Japan. Paul has been teaching since 1990 and his students consistently gain acting roles in local and international productions. Paul's extensive resume can also be seen on his website: http://www.paulparkerpc.com.au.

COLIN BUDDS

DIRECTOR | Frame By Frame

Colin Budds has directed film and television at the highest level for over 25 years locally and internationally. His career has encompassed many genres and classifications from award-winning television to Paramount movies. Along the way he has worked with many established actors from here to Hollywood and discovered many of today's rising stars on the set of shows like Home and Away, H2O Just Add Water, The Elephant Princess, The Saddle Club, Lightning Point, Neighbours and Prisoner.

SYDNEY

 

CASTING DIRECTORS

TERM TO TERM

The final session of every term will be taken by a seasoned Casting Director as a means of assessing your progress and as a means of creating relationships with working Casting Directors in the industry.

 

TERM 1: BEGINNERS, CHARACTER & VOICE

 

BEGINNERS

This module deals with all of the foundation elements of screen acting, giving you a clear understanding of the screen. The emphasis is not only on the visual concepts of performance but will include techniques for listening, sensing, reacting and the subsequent releasing of emotional responses. This element will teach the screen actor about working the frame, using their body and facial expression to maximise presence on screen. These elements are crucial for all actors to understand and apply to their screen performance.

 

CHARACTER

with Monette Lee

Character for Screen covers the detail involved in creating and developing a character for the scene. This can be essential in creating reality on scene and setting ourselves apart when the time comes for us to delve into the minute details of representing a person.

 

VOICE

with Natasha McNamara

The screen requires an even greater vocal range and more subtle technique than the stage. You will learn about tone, resonance, strength and range and that mastering these is as necessary on screen as they are on stage. This is a crucial foundational element to a great on-screen performance. Adapting the voice to the frame size can be critical. These days we need more than just GenAm and so we’ve now introduced some RP (Received Pronunciation) skills as well.

 

 

TERM 2: EMOTIONS #1, AUDITION IMPACT & BRANDING

 

EMOTIONS #1

with John Orcsik

Expression of the emotions at will is one of the most powerful and important tools an actor can possess. You will be given exercises to help you with the expression of emotion; simply, sincerely, where you are entirely in control. This module is designed to help you understand the various emotions and what stimulates them, to find the keys to their expression. Our physiological technique at TAFTA is unique and not taught anywhere else and shuns the approach taken by the “method” and other pseudo-Stanislavskian exponents which can be psychologically damaging.

 

AUDITION IMPACT

with Nadia Townsend/Tony Bonner

The audition performance can differ vastly from what might be the final performance once you’ve got the role when you are working with a director and other actors involved. This module is about making an impact, making you the only choice for the job. The choices you make impact on every single moment of the scene. We will consider approaches through intensity, pace, emotion, truth and character. We will also focus on cold reads – the problems they pose, how to solve them and how to reach performance level in a very short time.

 

 

BRANDING

Branding addresses your castability in the industry. This can help you find your niche in the market and help you decide which industry/market you need/want to be in. This also helps you access the business side of acting, in viewing your "look" as part of your product and something that is in your control.

 

 

TERM 3: U.S. ACCENT & EMOTIONS #2

 

EMOTIONS #2

with John Orcsik

Emotions 2 is the essential next step to Emotions 1. After learning the key to all the basic emotions, Emotions 2 will take you through exploration and combination of the emotions in a scene. This will allow you to find differentiating elements through interesting and unusual combinations of the basic emotions. 

 

US ACCENT

with Paige Walker

For those hoping to work in the US market, mastering the General American accent is vital. You will have specialist coaching from a US accent teacher to help perfect it, from the basic structural elements of language in the mouth to encompassing some cultural characteristics that will authenticate the accent. Culture both general and locally specific are great influences on behaviour. These will be included in your Accent study.

 

SELF-TAPE

Learning to self-tape will be essential to your journey as an actor in this day and age. With more and more casting directors requesting tapes instead of go-sees, this module will help you self-tape more effectively and find your sweet spot standing for a scene. 

 

TERM 4: FINDING YOUR TRUTH & FRAME BY FRAME

 

ADVANCED SCREENWORK

with David Field

Once you've covered the basics of understanding acting for screen, Scene study will begin to take you through the necessities of deconstructing a scene and how you individually work on screen. Scene study will take you through some extended elements of performing a scene including: improvising on camera, analysing a script, working with wants and opinions and attitudes, extended character work, finding truth within the scene, scene preparation, clearing bad habits on screen, and developing a list of skills to work on in front of the camera.

 

TAKING DIRECTION 

with Ian Watson

This module compels the actor to discover and implement the performance within the given frames, driven by the possibilities offered by the space and understand the limitations and possibilities of performance within that frame. Students will tackle performance from the Director's perspective regarding the emotions, character traits and behaviours as indicated by the Director’s interpretation of the text. In Taking Direction the actors and director work together to produce what might be the final performance in either a single or multi-cam shoot.

 

 

WHAT ELSE?

 

SELF-TAPE REEL

The final block of your program will be focused on providing you with content to share with agents and the industry post-study. This will be your showreel. TAFTA's professional teachers who are working screenwriters, producers and directors will guide you through each step of this process to make sure that you create a piece of film work that you are proud of, and that you can expand upon after you graduate. Knowing how to create your own content will ensure that you will never be without acting work regardless of the climate of the film industry. This process will also provide you with an authentic ‘on set’ experience. Each student will be required to be a member of the crew for each film to experience the technical aspects of being on set and working in film and TV, you will learn about the roles required to put a production together directed by a respected, working film & TV director. 

 


You will be provided with appropriate formats of your tape reel that can be uploaded to Vimeo, Casting Networks &Showcast or your own website.

 

OUR SYDNEY TEACHERS

MONETTE LEE

ACTOR | Character 

Monette won a best actress award for her role in Happy Jack in the UK and has been nominated twice for 2 roles in short and sweet theatre festivals in QLD. Film and TV work includes – Mabo, Heartbeat, Sea Patrol, Serenades, Wildside; All Saints, Medivac, Waterats, Texas Rising (US,) Hoges and Starter Wife (US).

NATASHA MCNAMARA

VOICE COACH | Voice 

Natasha McNamara is a vocal expert with over ten years experience as a voice coach. As a voice coach, Natasha has a versatile teaching style. She has been both a professional actor and voice teacher and thus has a unique understanding of the student experience and industry expectations. Her teachings cater to discovering the individual student’s unique voice and empowering them to use that voice. 

JOHN ORCSIK

ACTOR/TEACHER | Emotions #1 & #2 

John Orcsik is one of Australia's highest profile actors, writers and directors with a professional career spanning over 40 years in film & T.V. He has written, directed, and taught, sharing his insights into the film and television industry with students across Australia for over 20 years. John possesses an enviable wealth of practical experience that he is keen to share with his students.

NADIA TOWNSEND

ACTOR/TEACHER | Audition Impact

Nadia has been working as an actress in Australia and internationally for the last 17 years and more recently has become a much in demand dramaturg for film and television projects.  Nadia first trained with Atlantic Theatre Co in NYC then set up her own theatre company, producing independent theatre in Sydney. Nadia is a co-founder of Turtle Lab a Melbourne based performance laboratory.

TONY BONNER

ACTOR/TEACHER | Audition Impact

Tony Bonner is one of Australia's most beloved actors and acting coaches, with his 50 year career as an actor, Tony is a wealth of knowledge and has guided many actors throughout their career. Tony recently received and Order of Australia Medal (AM) for services to the arts, and gained a lifetime achievement award at the Warner Brothers Studio on the Gold Coast in 2016.

PAIGE WALKER

ACCENT COACH | US Accent

With double Helpmann award-winning and critically acclaimed plays under her belt, Paige is currently turning her attention back to the screen. After working with actors such as Stef Dawson (Hunger Games), Delta Goodrem, Logie award winner Hugh Sheridan, Andy Whitfield and Jessica Mauboy, Paige has become the go-to source for American Dialect. 

DAVID FIELD

ACTOR | Advanced Screenwork

With credits such as Sons & Daughters, Blue Heelers, Rake, City Homicide, The Secret Daughter and over 30 years industry experience, David Field is a wealth of knowledge and experience. He displays some of the most versatile and exciting acting in the Australian industry, that he has been sharing and teaching for many years.

IAN WATSON

DIRECTOR | Taking Direction

Ian has over 30 years working as a director and three AFI nominations, Ian has directed over 200 hours of television, including some of Australia’s most successful series including, Heartbreak High, The Secret Life of Us, Seachange, WildsideLove My Way, Packed To The Rafters, Dance Academy, Underbelly Badness, Janet King and more recently Home and Away and House Husbands.

CONTACT US
Ph         1300 949 570
Email    enquiries@tafta.com.au
COPYRIGHT © 2019 THE AUSTRALIAN FILM & TELEVISION ACADEMY
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