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 -

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 is$20.}

Intermediate Acting Class   - ($400 for 4-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 is$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 -

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 -

Introduction to On-Camera Acting - ($390 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)-   ($390 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 - ($300 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 -

Meisner Foundations - ($390 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 - ($390 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 - ($390 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.
  Rae Ellen Bodie -

  Voice for Actors - ($370 to $400 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 $370 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 $400 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 $375 inclusive.