Pro Actors Lab

Class Descriptions


The Professional Actors Lab teaches David Rotenberg's unique approaches to acting through scene study on camera.  Acceptance into any class will be at the instructor's discretion.  Scroll down to read basic class descriptions (and prices) that are taught at The Professional Actors Lab.  If you have any questions about applying or about our classes, please email the instructor directly.  Please apply to the class that you wish to attend, with the understanding that a pre-requisite class may be recommended.  For instance, at times it will be advisable to take Bruce Clayton's class before applying to David's classes. Everyone who studies with David - beginners and big stars alike - takes the New Students Class.

Mr. Rotenberg does not teach beginning acting. All of his classes are designed for professionals and those entering the profession. All classes are primarily on-camera scene study.  Classes cover: hits, actions, image, keying, beats - volitional, interlocked and reactive - swings, crie de coeur, drone notes, states of being, icons, playing firsts, playing seconds, modulators, modifiers, etc.  Audition work is broached as actors bring in pieces for which they are auditioning.  Acting problems are addressed as they arise in scenes.  

  David Rotenberg - davidcrotenberg@gmail.com

Master Class  -   ($470 for 6-week class)   

The Master Class is for actors who have already had, or are presently cast in large roles in television and film. On the whole the master class is for students who have studied with David for some time. Some accomplished actors join the Master Class without having worked with David but take the New Students Class at the same time.  {Audit fee: $20} Lautrec image - comic actor

Advanced Class [A & B]   -  ($490  for 6-week class)

The Advanced Class is for actors who have completed the New Students class and are progressing well in the profession. It is an especially effective class for actors who have done much theatre work but little television or film.  {Audit fee: $20}

Intermediate Acting Class  - ($525 for 6-week class)

This class is specifically designed for those who have already taken the NEW STUDENTS CLASS with David or have studied with David before. Some students might be taken into the class who are presently taking or auditing the New Students Class. Some of the class time will be devoted to highly structured improvisational work designed to help the actor use the Lab's unique acting system, with an emphasis on Getting Present. The rest of the time will be used for the performance of scenes on camera. As an afternoon class it is understood that students may need to arrive late or leave early due to the demands of auditioning. We expect the actors at the Lab to audition. Auditions are good, auditions are good, auditions are good.  {Audit fee: $20}

NEW STUDENTS CLASS -   David Rotenberg  ($620 for 3-week class)

The New Students Class is a place where David lays out the technical foundations for this unique and highly successful approach to acting. It is basically a prerequisite for getting into the Master and Advanced Classes. It is not a class for beginning actors, but rather for those actors who are anxious to find a way to work on camera or just make their acting more rewarding.  {Audit fee: $225 for all three classes required}

  Bruce Clayton - bruceclayton@westernproactorslab.com
On-Camera Class - ($460 for 6-week class)   

This is not a class for beginner actors. These classes explore a specific method of acting for the camera. The classes will focus on contemporary scene study for the camera, methods of self-direction, analysis for the actor, cold readings and the realities of preparing and auditioning for casting directors. Terminology and technique will be studied as problems arise in particular scenes. Bruce uses the technique and terminology developed by David Rotenberg.

Advanced On-Camera Class -  ($460 for 6-week class)

This is a class for actors with professional training and experience and/or film/TV experience. These classes explore a specific method of acting for the camera. The classes will focus on contemporary scene study for the camera, methods of self-direction, analysis for the actor, cold readings and the realities of preparing and auditioning for casting directors. Terminology and technique will be studied as problems arise in particular scenes. Bruce uses the technique and terminology developed by David Rotenberg.

  Marvin Hinz - marvin@proactorslab.com

Introduction to On-Camera Acting - ($380 for 6-week class)     

This is a class for actors who have made the choice to pursue acting professionally. Focusing primarily on scene study, these classes will reveal a specific method of acting for the camera created by David Rotenberg.  Students will be asked to work on the following: achieving Present Tense in front of the camera; working moment-to-moment; using primary emotional states of being rather than secondary emotional states; clarifying actions (or objectives); and using scene icons "to get you in" at the top of a scene.

On-Camera Acting (II & III)  - ($380 for 6-week class) 

A stronger focus on actions and tactical play (relationships), but otherwise a  continuation of the process and technique established in Introduction to On-Camera Acting.  We will also spend more time on scene analysis and on how to continue to make salient, compelling choices specific to your work.

Interpreting Sides for Film and TV - ($240 for 3-week class)

Don't Get Suckered by the Script!   This class was created in response to numerous requests from students who are "stuck" when confronted with the task of auditioning with thin, minimal or poorly-written sides or breakdowns. Students will be encouraged to bring in "real-life" examples to analyze whenever possible. Part of the class time will be spent on-camera.
      A considerable amount of table work will be required, as we examine scripts and scenes ("good" and "bad"), looking at how to define icons, beats, and "moments before", looking at how to make stronger and more effective choices with whatever we are given.  How to approach an audition will also be covered.  For one class, students will be sent sides to prepare the day before, to simulate the process and as a way of addressing problems that occur.  Time permitting, we will also practice cold readings using the "short-hand" terminology developed by David Rotenberg.
      This class will be offered once or twice per year, depending on availability.

  Andrea Runge  andrea@proactorslab.com

Meisner Foundations -  ($380 for 6-week class)

This course will focus on the concepts of Practical Aesthetics, an acting technique conceived by David Mamet and William H. Macy, based on the teachings of Stanislavski and Sanford Meisner. This work is about the actor getting out of their head – by putting the attention onto the other person, and adapting to the changing truth of each moment. Working off-camera, the class will begin with a focus on Meisner-based exercises that will lead into improvised and scripted scene work. The aim of which always is to get present, be active, and tell the truth.
 

Audition Preparation -  ($380 for 6-week class)

This is a class to practice the process of auditioning. Exploring effective and efficient ways to prepare sides in a short period of time, the actor will practice analyzing, learning and understanding the style of each script, and ultimately committing to their choices on the first take.
 

Acting for Teens -  ($380 for 6-week class) or as posted

This class is designed for actors aged 14-18, who have some acting experience, or are beginning to pursue acting professionally. Most time will be spent on camera, using exercises and scene work to deepen the understanding of what is required of the actor. Through contemporary scripts for partnered scene work and audition technique, the class will explore and practice "getting present," as well as active listening, pursuing objectives, defining relationship, playing moment to moment, script analysis, and the technical demands of being on camera. The exercises and scene work will help the actor activate their impulses, behave truthfully with an acting partner, and connect to the given circumstances.
  Jeff Clarke    jeff@proactorslab.com

Preparing On-Camera Auditions & the Business of Acting ($225 for 3-week class/$80 drop-in)

Actors are shown practical and effective approach to auditioning on-camera. Students are encouraged to bring in current audition material. Drop-ins are welcome; however, please email the day before or by noon the day of (evening class) to ensure a spot.
Please contact jeff@proactorslab.com for more information.

  Rae Ellen Bodie   reb@proactorslab.com   
  Voice for Actors -  ($355-$385 for 6-week class)

Learn what it means to be “grounded”, “centred” and “connected” when you are acting. This class focuses on physical awareness and sensation and the relationship between breath, body, sound and text. We also explore the actor’s imaginative inner life and how it can be accessed and more freely and fully embodied in the work. A warm-up will be developed, and various modern texts will be explored.

Class (A) is a Beginner class, suited to those actors who are new to Voice work, or those who are new to auditioning/working in the profession. 
This is a three-hour class, priced at $355 inclusive.
 
Class (B) is an Intermediate/Advanced class, and is suited to those actors who have received some prior Voice training, or the more advanced professional actor. As in Class(A), monologues will be explored in Class(B), in addition to scenes, with an emphasis on truly integrating the voice work explored at the beginning of class directly into text, playing off a partner.   This is a four-hour class, priced at $385 inclusive.

General American Accent Workshop - offered twice per year, or as posted.
Many talented Canadian actors don’t get cast because they sound 'too Canadian.' Being able to work in a General American dialect is a vital tool for any actor working in Film and TV, and can mean the difference between you booking a job or not. This intensive workshop will help you to identify the differences between the Canadian and American English dialects: general characteristics, specific vowel and consonant changes, melody, and word pronunciations. You will also learn how to practice these sounds and integrate them into your work.
This workshop is priced at $360 inclusive.

  Adam Seybold   adam@proactorslab.com 

WRITING FOR ACTORS    ($380 for 6-week class)

This will be a six-week course that will take students from idea/premise to the first 20-30 pages of their script. Utilizing the foundational methods created by David Rotenberg, the basic building block of the course will be the scene. We’ll be using archetypes, states of being, swings, etc. to create compelling characters that demand compelling narratives. There are no magical structural dogmas here, no cats that need saving, no 22 plot-points that every script MUST have. Basically, the same way that actors embody compelling characters in our ProActorsLab classes, students will be creating compelling characters on the page.

Each week students will be responsible for a new scene. From that we’ll begin to build the story. We’ll read the scenes aloud, break them apart, and put them back together again. We’ll let each scene tell us what the next scene should be.

At the end of the course, the students will have a solid beginning of a script that they can either finish on their own, or, can continue in an intermediate (Second Act) course.

NOTE: auditors are allowed, depending on the session, and must be approved by the instructor in advance.

  Cindy Block   cindy@proactorslab.com   

Movement for Actors: Embodied Practices™    ($250 for 6-week class) - works privately

This class in Embodied Practices™ is designed to bring confidence, enlivened presence and fullness of sensation to physical action; for actors at any point in their career, with any level of movement ability.
        Through precise acknowledgment and investigation of the anatomy, the practice explores Ease and Range in movement, Liberation of the Breath, Alignment, Responsiveness and the development of dynamic Support (grounding) through the physical structure while playing. It encourages "attunement" to the whole self and what it is to fully "be there" with your scene partner. The actor is assisted in recognizing and altering compensations, tensions or habits which may be getting in the way or holding them back from full response and easeful presence. Participants will be encouraged to articulate their individual experiences on camera or in auditions so that the work can be directly applied and practiced. It is encouraged, but not necessary, to bring some memorized text to class.
        This class is also designed to support and augment the actor’s work in Voice class. Each class is two hours long.

NOTE: movement classes are closed (no drop-ins allowed) and enrollment numbers are limited to ten students per class.

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