Instructors and Staff
Founder and Instructor – Michelle Meyrink
I founded Actorium with the purpose of creating an environment where people can discover and immerse themselves in the art of acting; a place to grow and develop creatively through this beautiful, fun, interesting, and life-changing art form.
I think of Actorium as a place for people to inspire and to get inspired and grow, not only as an actor but personally – as I think the two go together. It is not only an actor’s training centre but also a community with a strong culture for daring authenticity, humour, warmth, and openness.
What I have learned through acting and have used as a core principle of Actorium is to never lose sight of the truthful basis of your art and the reason you started in the first place.
Filming and Editing – Rebecca Dumbrille
I’ve always been drawn to the arts. I studied visual arts at the University of Emily Carr and towards the end of my undergrad, I started working at Actorium, an acting school with a strong focus on the art of acting and a culture of diversity and inclusion.
When I was younger, I never saw myself reflected in the media and so this was deeply satisfying, and it was there that I really fell in love with film as a format. I have spent the past three years honing my skills in camera, editing, and colour grading.
My interest is in capturing the human experience through colour and movement, and my goal is to make stories that show the true diversity of our world so that other young people can have the experience of seeing themselves reflected in media.
Graphic Designer – Liz Wurzinger
Liz Wurzinger BA studied Graphic and Media Design in her homeland Austria before relocating to Vancouver in 2011. She enjoys the brain-wrecking concept and idea-finding process of each project as much as the obsessive crafting of fine layouts. Liz has recently been helping to refine Actorium’s visual language.
Advisory Board Members
Academy Award-winning Producer Fred Roos (IMDb) has worked with some of Hollywood’s most gifted filmmakers and actors over the last four decades, producing some of the most unique films of our time. Roos’ long-term collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola includes producing the Academy Award-winning Best Picture The Godfather Part II and the Academy Award-nominated Best Pictures Apocalypse Now, The Godfather, Part III, and The Conversation (winner of the Palm d’Or at Cannes).
Other films Roos has produced with Coppola include One From the Heart, The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, The Cotton Club, Gardens of Stone, New York Stories, and Tucker: The Man and His Dream. He has also worked as Executive Producer on Youth Without Youth, Tetro, and Twixt. Among Roos’ other producing credits are… more on Mr. Roos.
Illuminating her films with inspired performances from actors is a hallmark of Martha Coolidge’s IMDb work – from her documentaries to her remarkable pioneering achievements in features, television, and the internet.
A consummate filmmaker, she is known as an “Actor’s Director”. From Robert Duvall and Halle Berry to Geena Davis and James Gandolfini, her actors give some of their best performances. Her cornerstone hit comedies Valley Girl and Real Genius put her on the map and launched the careers of Nicholas Cage and Val Kilmer. Coolidge also exceeds genre and is known for her powerful dramas: notably Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, which was nominated for eleven Emmy nominations, winning five, including Halle Berry, who also won a Golden Globe, the SAG Award, and two NAACP Awards; Rambling Rose, nominated for two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and won three, out of five; and the IFP Spirit Awards for Best Director and Best Picture.
Coolidge’s TV movies and episodic include CSI, Sex and the City, The Glades, and If These Walls Could Talk which earned her a second DGA nomination for Best Director. Coolidge continues to serve on the boards of the DGA, the Academy of Motion Pictures, the AFI, and Women in Film and was elected as the first woman President of the Director’s Guild of America in 2001.
Mr. Kemeny (IMDb) is a Vancouver-based businessman who has worked as Executive Producer on several feature films. His credits include Saving Lincoln, Return to Byzantium: The Art and Life of Lilian Broca, and When Do We Eat?
Earlier in his career, Horatio was a software development manager and entrepreneur. He is still involved in the industry, directing a number of technology companies. He brings his diverse and substantial business background as well as a considerable interest and support of the arts to Actorium.
Helped me to connect with my voice and truthful expression. I took this course after attending the Supernaturally Shy webinar. I discovered how to use my fears in my work and embrace the comfort and discomfort of opening up to myself. I am grateful; it allowed me to further explore my joy for acting! Thank you so much for creating such a welcoming course and offering such encouraging feedback. It has helped me to accept my failures and grow from them. I am very excited to take more courses in the future and continue my acting journey.
Role Immersion was my opportunity to free myself from the restraints set by my preconceptions of ‘how to be an actor’. I learned to push and stretch beyond my limits–and to build the skills, confidence, and trust in myself to go forward and be the actor that only I can be. Michelle fosters this incredible learning environment–which means making mistakes, accepting them, taking the time to analyze and improve, and experience real quantifiable growth. Role Immersion is a test of endurance that allowed me to break through my fear of losing spontaneity by ‘working on something too much’. I discovered that doing it more allowed my work to evolve so that I could see my choices more clearly, and then focus on and explore the strongest choices. At the completion of the 8 months, I assessed my progress from beginning to end and saw that I had achieved all of my goals.
Acting is my dream. And Michelle is the guide who has led me to the runway from which I take flight.
In acting our preparation is in our imagination. How do we get it out of our head into our body to share with an audience? There are tools to pull you into the body and they are taught in depth in this course.
Our body is our instrument. We are training it to be present and to connect with the physical sensations of our feelings in our bodies.
Feelings are real, not just an idea. They come up in response to people, places, time of day and they express themselves in our bodies.
My experience of feelings has been overwhelm and confusion leading to extreme anxiety and isolation. I have hated my body which so shamefully betrays my inner life. I have sought, most unsuccessfully, to control, deny or hide them.
Through this course I have come to physically understand how to get out of my head and go into my body.I am investigating my feelings. Owning them, not denying them. Learning to allow their expression and to be curious .
The body is not just some sort of vehicle attached to our head. It is intelligent, separate from the mind and always communicating our experience like it or not.
I had felt that every lesson had an impact on my life. I could see how there is no separation between acting skills and interpersonal skills. I enjoyed the way that every lesson had a opportunity to explore making experiments in everyday life.
I really liked that all the different types of script analysis are covered by the exercises. It methodically takes you through them step by step and if you do them fully you will have all the raw material you need to work with to develop a role. It will enrich your understanding of the story, help you investigate and make discoveries about your character, and help clarify how you can relate to the characters and themes. And it will give you the tools to approach individual scenes, dialogue and subtext. A good thorough program you can put to direct use.
The big draw and the big worry for joining role immersion was the show at the end. I really wanted to experience performing in front of a friendly audience but at the same time dreaded it. However, the way the program is designed and the excellent work that Michelle does with all her students made the process feel organic and seamless. Also when I joined the course I really had no idea what I had signed up for. But I can say that coming to class was the highlight of my week. You connect with other students, you learn about yourself and you have a teacher who gives her heart and soul to her class and students. It is a great community and I feel very lucky to have found it.
This was such a great experience in pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone in a supportive, encouraging and validating environment. I learned a lot about stretching myself while feeling the feelings of discomfort and appreciated the complete acceptance of my authentic self and the attuned feedback.
Olson Wells said that an actor may put on makeup but what he is really doing is undressing himself. I often say I want the truth no matter how much it hurts. I REALLY understood by the end of this course that I am STUCK with myself. There are no other options in the experience of my life.But, and this is important, we are not fixed unless we choose to be. We are evolving. That evolution is within a range and that range does have limitations. However since “ I” is my only option, getting to know myself through method acting is becoming a sort of obsession. Getting to the root of who I am. This course guides you through opening up to yourself. Bringing your attention toward the experience of being yourself and expressing that experience. There is a focus on learning to be authentic, not acting “on top of ourselves”. Learning to let go of control and find out what blocks us from expressing and experiencing in our lives. We are going into what we hate, our fears and blocks, working with them, integrating them. Allowing ourselves to be the human we are. ALL OF IT. As I watch myself through this process, struggling with my self loathing, I increasingly find NOT self hatred but empathy laced with sadness, humour and curiosity. I am opening inwardly so that I may open outwardly. Thank you for the guidance.
I found it an amazing experience that allowed you to really investigate a character and grow as an actor. The time spent on one role really allows you time to digest all the little nuances and gives you opportunity to physicalize those traits as you really find yourself within the character. I found it extremely beneficial.
I am impressed with this course. I was very skeptical but now I even think it can be more powerful than I thought.
I thought the explanation of sense memory and imaginary circumstances was really thorough. I am really enjoying using sense memory and can see a lot of value to it.
Very informative and relevant.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started at Actorium. I knew I wanted to head back into acting after a long hiatus of having 3 kids and taking a different path in life. Until I was half way through Expression I didn’t quite realize how many thick walls I had built up around me. How normal it was to constantly be pleasing others while forgetting myself and my own needs. And how much I watched myself through other peoples lenses to make sure I fit in. Doing Expression allowed me to clue into the habits I held onto and I was able to just switch them off. This in itself has been revolutionary to me. As a 40 year old woman, I feel like I’m living life with a new found freedom. Up until this point, I’d allowed myself to feel strangled with confines of ‘how I’m supposed to be’, and I no longer have that. People around me notice too. They often say, wow you seem like you’re doing so well, you look great, what have you been up to? I love to tell everyone how much Actorium has changed my life. I really have Michelle to thank for creating such an amazing course. The way it’s been put together, and the way she’s such a patient, knowledgeable and creative human herself, she’s just so incredibly inspiring to me. The best thing that Michelle does, is she’s mindful of her own needs, and allows her imperfections to be seen, so this allows her students to bring their own authentic selves to class. It allows us to come as we are.
This course helped me with getting out of my head and experiencing freedom!! The environment is very supportive and feedback is provided on every assignment.
I’m writing to extend to you my deep gratitude for the work that you do. I admire your ability to see each of us in the class and speak so directly and clearly to something in us that we can’t articulate ourselves. The space and intimacy that you create is really beautiful, unlike anything I have experienced before.
In a world inundated with tips and tools for personal development, it’s so nice to be part of a community where failure and humiliation is encouraged. It’s liberating. It encourages you to stop running towards goals and instead start connecting with your self. A place to start pivoting towards what matters.
I signed up for Actorium because I was tired of managing my own fear. The classes encourage you to open up to that fear and step into it. It’s a really great way to get to know the parts of yourself that you have disowned, and have fun with it. A values-driven platform that attracts amazing and loving people who support and challenge each other. The online class was a great way to immerse yourself in character development from home and get courageous and creative in front of a camera. A good tool for self critique and awareness.
Michelle adapted very quickly to this shift towards online classes and it feels like their team has done it long before. Classes were pertinent and well constructed. Michelle is as good a teacher online as she is in person!
I have been taking classes at Actorium on and off for a few years now. Every time, I learn something new and go deeper into the creative process. It is not always easy, in fact, it can be really painful at times. But Michelle and Rebecca have created a very safe and supportive place to do this exploration and growth. And it translated very well to a virtual space. If you are someone for whom acting is an important expression of your creative being, you absolutely cannot go wrong with these classes.
I started off from the Supernaturally Shy class but due to Covid-19, my class was reformed into one of the online classes. The idea was definitely a little uncomfortable (like jumping into the deep end). I’m glad I was open minded though because I learned a lot and felt a genuine connection, and felt supported and encouraged throughout the lessons.
I highly recommend the online workshops at Actorium. There is helpful take-home content as well as fun practical exercises. It helped me understand more about performing in front of a camera and how to bring out more complexity and depth in my expression of characters. It’s also great to connect with other actors in this format. It feels a lot more intimate.
Since I started attending Actorium, my social anxiety levels dropped significantly. My initial goal in attending classes had nothing to do with acting, but self discovery. Thanks to Michelle’s work, I’m now emotionally more open and generally a more alive human being.
As a shy and self-conscious person, this class not only helped me get more used to acting, but also to observing and accepting myself.
The programs at Actorium always make me uncomfortable in the best way possible. Learning to push past that discomfort to see what lies beyond it has been a tremendously gratifying experience and I’m excited to keep exploring it.
I’m learning a lot in your classes – on many levels.