In service to the performing arts and practice of acting

In tandem with his new book, Dean Carey, the founder of Actors Centre Australia (ACA), will present his philosophy and craft on teaching acting in a series of online workshops.

‘The moment I began my first class in 1982 I felt connected to teaching. As an actor I knew what I needed and what I craved as a creative artist, so to take that awareness and focus that into my teaching was instinctive for me,’ says Dean Carey, founder of Actors Centre Australia (ACA). 

‘My teaching was and still is always guided by questions such as what would make sense to me, what would help me, what would empower me, what would bring me fully into the scene and help bring the action to life? For me it’s always practical, never conceptual. What needs to happen now in the scene and how can we service and reveal that? What can we give to ensure the story and the meaning can be completely realised?’ Carey tells ArtsHub.

Now, the fruits of this actor-educator’s wisdom can be seen in his new book, The Art of Teaching Acting. To coincide with its publication, ACA is inviting drama teachers to attend the online ‘The Art of Teaching Acting Introductory Workshop’ on Monday 13 May 2024. Further workshops are in the offing in the series, which will take place during June. Sydney-based schools can also take advantage of the ‘Acting Unplugged’ on-campus workshops.

Carey explains, ‘There are four online sessions, one per week of the course. Each week will focus on and explore various elements that make up the most effective teaching environment. I’ll be bringing in ACA graduates to show how my exercises can unlock students’ confidence and release their unique creative instincts. Every session is practical and will give teachers great tips and tools to take their teaching to a new level. That’s the plan! I’m very excited. This is my fifth book, but the first one I’ve written specifically for teachers. As I love teaching so much, to pass on what I have learned and come to know as essential for success in the drama studio is very exciting indeed.’

With 42 years’ experience in training more than 250,000 students both locally and internationally, Carey is well-qualified to speak about his extensive foray into the performing arts and practice of live performance.

‘I’m going to take teachers on a deep dive into what creates the most exciting and instinctive creative connections to a scene,’ he says. ‘I’m going to share the most effective feedback mechanism. I want to support teachers in every way I can and give them fresh information to revitalise their engagement with their students,’ he continues, eager to expand on the philosophy and practical approach he has designed and developed in the ACA.

Despite decades plying his craft in the sector, Carey remains dedicated to the joys and challenges of the performance arts, and brims with palpable enthusiasm. ‘I’ve worked with actors across nine countries. Nothing changes. We all have to find what releases meaning and significance. I just love every actor’s complete contribution to every moment. That’s what inspires me – what they give to realise the scene’s truth.

‘Recognisable human behaviour is the goal. The audience has to go, “Yes! I get that. I connect to that. I understand that. I see what’s happening here.” So, actors have to let go of any obligation to be seen as real, credible, believable, and step into a detailed relationship with the characters around them.’

Introduction to The Art of Teaching Acting Online Workshop
Monday, 13 May 2024
$40 Tickets for the Public
$10 for Drama teachers

The Art of Teaching Acting Four-Part Online Workshop Series
3, 10, 17, 24 June 2024
$495 for four-part series
$395 for attendees of Introduction to The Art of Teaching Acting (code will be provided)

Acting Unplugged – On-Campus Student Workshops
Location: your high school (NSW only and within 30 kilometres of Sydney City)
Normally $495. Free for first five schools to register.

Thuy On is the Reviews and Literary Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her debut, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was released by University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). Her second collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Her third book, Essence, will be published in 2025. Twitter: @thuy_on Instagram: poemsbythuy