Specialty Workshops

Actorium monthly specialty workshops are generally held on the first Sunday of the month and are available to Actorium students. Cost is $50 + GST.
Workshops are open to non-Actorium students two weeks before the scheduled date.

If you have any questions about the workshops email info@actorium.ca

Upcoming Workshops:


OCTOBER WORKSHOP: Musical Improv with Jennifer Pielak and Music Director Peter Abando

Musical improv is one of the scariest but most fun and rewarding experiences you’ll have in your life. A rapidly growing art form and is exactly as it sounds – creating a musical on the spot. This means – scenes, songs, dance, music – all created spontaneously in the moment. It requires emotional expression, collaboration, and a willingness to jump in. Through a series of exercises, musical improv games, and improvised musical scene work you will get a beautiful introduction into the world of musical improvisation.
You’ll discover the skills that are so useful in many areas in the performing arts.


I’m terrified. Is this workshop for me?
Yes. Jennifer and music director Peter create an extremely safe environment to work in. We won’t make you do anything you don’t want to do, and understand that using your voice and musical improv can be a very vulnerable experience.

I’m not a singer. Is this workshop for me?
Yes. Jennifer and Peter work on an “everyone can sing” philosophy, and will challenge you on your belief on being “not a singer”.

Is it actually possible to improvise a musical?
Yes. Take the workshop and you will see!

About Jennifer: Jennifer Pielak is an actor, musical improviser and coach who has been performing all her life and has been teaching and directing for 9 years. She has trained as a performer in Vancouver and Chicago and has her BA in Psychology and Philosophy from UBC. Jennifer is becoming known as one of the top musical improvisers in Canada and teaches classes in Vancouver.
She co-founded, performed with and was Artistic Director of local musical improv group – Off Key Improv – for 4 years.
Jennifer jumps into her classes with energy, focus and a drive to help inspire her students move beyond what they think is possible.

When: Sunday October 1, 2017
Time: 10am – 3pm
Max #: 14 students
Email: admin@actorium.ca with questions
Class Full – to go on the waitlist email admin@actorium.ca


NOVEMBER WORKSHOP: Audition Prep with Julie Howgate

This intensive one day workshop will take you through the steps of the audition process.
The workshop will include:
-Commonly used modern film and television scripts for auditions
-Improv during an audition
-On-camera practice
You will develop skills an actor needs in order to book an audition for film or theatre. You will become more comfortable booking auditions and gain more trust in yourself.
Take your audition to the next level: booking it!

About Julie: Julie Howgate has been teaching acting for over 18 years to over a 1000 students and is an expert at introducing people to the craft of acting with Scene study, Film & TV and Auditioning. She has studied extensively in Canada, London UK, New York & LA. and uses her experience and her processes to help actors reduce anxiety and improve presence to act with clarity and integrity. As a coach, she inspires you to work with passion and conviction and to be a more effective and powerful actor.

When: Sunday November 5, 2017
Time: 10am – 3pm
Max #: 12 students
Email: admin@actorium.ca for inquiries
Registration opens Oct 1, 2017


DECEMBER WORKSHOP: Accent Reduction with Lynn Whyte

The workshop will begin with a simple review of the familiar, by focusing on sounds and individual words, by taking apart the whole. As the workshop progress, students will move from words to sentences, and from sentences to full dialogue. By the end of the workshop, students will integrate the whole with the part.
The 3 Areas of Focus will be: Vowel Sounds, Intonation, Articulation (Other individual issues such as faulty consonants will be addressed as issues arise). The workshop will also go over on the main sound differences between Canadian and a Standard American accent with students listening to recordings and practicing the Standard American accent.

About Lynn:
Lynn Whyte is a BC Certified and TESL Canada Certified teacher. She has been teaching for 16 years, and specializes in the field of pronunciation of the English language. It is through this particular field of study that Lynn has developed her Accent Reduction program, to help students perfect the North American sound.
Lynn is also a language skills specialist, and has been hired to analyse the English speaking language skills of those seeking Canadian Citizenship. Other endeavours include the performing arts. Lynn spent 13 years in the field of Broadcasting, and was an On-Air Personality for a variety of radio stations throughout western Canada. She has voiced countless radio and TV commercials, and is currently doing voice-over work for various Corporate Training Videos.
Language has been a long-held focus of study for Lynn. Her second language is French, one that she learned as an adult, thus giving her perspective into the struggles and challenges encountered in the realm of pronunciation.
“We use the habits and patterns from our first language, and apply it to the second. And of course, why not? It’s using what we know! However, THIS is where our accent comes from. In order to reduce the accent, we have to relinquish these old habits, and imitate a new sound until it gets into your blood.”
Lynn is excited and looks forward to sharing her applied approach to accent reduction, as well as her passion for teaching in general.

When: Sunday December 3, 2017
Time: 10am – 3pm
Max #: 12 students
Email: admin@actorium.ca for inquiries
Registration opens November 1, 2017


JANUARY WORKSHOP: Improv with  with Aaron Read

This workshop will cover a variety of introductory elements of improvised comedy. The focus of the workshop will be split into three parts:

– Playing characters real: Wether it’s playing an augmented version of yourself or playing a character that is far from who you are we will focus on playing with specificity, conviction, and empathy.

– Improvising impulsively: Often times improvisors get in their heads. How do I start a scene? How do I let my scene partner know I’m an old sailor? Often times you just have to make a choice and run with it. We’ll use a few exercises that focus on coming into a scene loaded while being flexible in how the scene progresses.

– Being a supportive scene partner: Through a series of exercises and scene study we’ll explore how to support our scene partner while playing ourselves as a neutral character, and how to identify and capitalize on the “what” of the scene.

About Aaron:
Aaron Read is a Vancouver based Improvisor and comedian. He has been improvising for thirteen years, ten of which have been spent with Canadian-Comedy-Award-winning improv troupe “The Sunday Service”. Aaron has shared the Stage with comedy icons like Bob Odenkirk and David Cross and done comedy across North America – Del Close Marathon, Stumptown Improv fest, and Edmonton’s Improvaganza to name a few.You can hear him in action on Paul F Thompkins’ “Spontaneanation” or Matt Bessers’ “Improv for Humans”. He has been teaching Improv for four years and is a founder of one of Vancouver’s top Comedy schools “Blind Tiger Comedy”. Aaron is always eager to meet and work with new people as he learns as much from them as they do from him!

When: Sunday January 7, 2018
Time: 10am – 3pm
Max #: 12 students
Email: admin@actorium.ca for inquiries
Registration opens Dec 1, 2017


FEBRUARY WORKSHOP: Alexander Technique with Mark Vasak




Info on this Workshop will be Updated

About Mark: Mark is an Instructor on faculty in the Capilano University Acting for Stage and Screen Program. He was the Canadian representative for Alexander Technique Affiliated Societies 2016-17 and Co-director of the Canadian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique . He holds his Master in Occupational Therapy from the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine as well as Bachelor of Music and has performed numerous performances in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival

When: Sunday February 4, 2018
Time: 10am – 3pm
Max #: 12 students
Email: admin@actorium.ca for inquiries
Registration opens Jan 1, 2017


MARCH WORKSHOP: Voice with  Maryse Schembri



Info on this Workshop will be Updated

About Maryse: Born in Malta, a small history-rich island located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Maryse Schembri has since lived in Canada and Europe. She subsequently developed her multifaceted talents in a wide variety of musical settings. Holding degrees in Music and Drama from the Universities of Guelph and Toronto, Maryse deepened her expertise with acclaimed artists and teachers in Europe and Canada, such as Bill Vincent, Marjorie Purvey, Anton Kuerti, Anya Lawrence and Michelle George. Her repertoire today encompasses classical, pop and jazz which she performs in lounges, restaurants, clubs as well as solo dates in many community and educational institutions. She has composed and performed music for many stage productions along with some independent film work. An avid student of holistic healing arts, she has endeavoured to incorporate these skills into her unique method of teaching.

When: Sunday March 4, 2017
Time: 10am – 3pm
Max #: 12 students
Email: admin@actorium.ca for inquiries
Registration opens Feb 1, 2017