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Screenwise calls it ‘show business’ for a reason

Jasmeet Sahi

Mixing a strong academic element with a hard-nosed professionalism, equips actors to get the one thing that’s the most elusive in their line of work: a job.
Screenwise calls it ‘show business’ for a reason

Acting students at Screenwise, image courtesy of Screenwise

Tucked away amongst the café-lined streets and street-art lined laneways of inner city Sydney is Screenwise. The boutique-style school is buzzing. The 2015 Diploma of Screen Acting applications are open for auditions, and a previous graduate, Stef Dawson, is starring in the new release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1 & 2.

‘We’re a smaller school and we foster a very close-knit creative community with our Diploma of Screen Acting students,’ said CEO Denise Roberts. ‘We have an extremely high success rate with our graduate students. Part of this success can be attributed to our tutors who are all leading Australian actors, directors and casting agents who currently work in the industry.'

Screenwise recently celebrated tutor, John Jarratt from Django Unchained and Wolf Creek 1& 2, when he earned the title of ‘Quentin Tarantino’s favourite Aussie actor’. Roberts said learning from tutors of this calibre enabled students to develop insights and personal contacts in the industry.

‘Our students begin their acting career when they start their studies - not after they graduate,’ said Roberts. ‘Screenwise Diploma students are encouraged to audition and attend call outs alongside their studies.’

‘When we are auditioning students for the full-time Diploma, we are looking for talent. We’re also looking for passion, perseverance, patience and persistence. It’s not just about how well you did in your HSC. Our Diploma of Screen Acting is not just about learning how to act. It’s also knowing how to conduct yourself, learning about the industry and how it operates, marketing yourself and networking. After all, it’s called Show Business for a reason.’

Screenwise, established 14 years ago, was the first acting school in Australia to offer an accredited two year full time Diploma of Screen Acting course. VET Fee-Help is available for Diploma students.

Recognisable Screenwise alumni include Stef Dawson (Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1 & 2) Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Rush), Todd Lasance (Spartacus), Isabel Lucas (Transformers), Ashleigh Cummings (Puberty Blues, Gallipoli), George Houvardas (Packed To the Rafters), Tabrett Bethell (Legend of the Seeker), Yvonne Strahovski (Dexter), and Andy Whitfield (Spartacus).

‘Our students also learn live performance and theatre skills. However, it’s important to remember that 85% of an actor’s career long income comes from TV. Without a film or TV profile, it is hard for an actor to progress in any facet of acting.’

Screenwise also offers a variety of short courses, master classes, dialect courses, presenting workshops and audition workshops.


First round applications for the 2015 Diploma of Screen Acting close on 15 November 2014.

To apply and for more information visit Screenwise.

About the author

Jasmeet Sahi is a freelance writer and editor based in Melbourne.