Get better at SELF TAPING!

with SAC founder Chum Ehelepola and McGregors Casting Director Stevie Ray

Who can get better at SELF TAPING??? EVERYONE!!

Self Taping is becoming the new normal. It is the way the industry is heading.

Self Taping is a skill unto itself, which many actors have not mastered. It is a skill which you have to work out and then be able to deliver when the test is sent you way. What are your tapes like? 

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International boundaries now non existent which means many Australian actors are putting tapes down for lucrative US projects…and booking!

Self Taping is a skill unto itself, which many actors have not mastered. It is a skill which you have to work out and then be able to deliver when the test is sent you way. What are your tapes like? 

SAC is holding an ONLINE SELF TAPE course to help you with master the self tape. The course will be run by SAC founder and LA based actor Chum Ehelepola and Stevie Ray from McGregor Casting. Between them, they have vast knowledge and experience in Self Taping. Stevie from watching them all day, and Chum from putting them down all day. Stevie has cast form them and Chum has booked form them. This is a great chance to be directed by Chum and Stevie who will give you great insight into your tapes.

So how does it work?..

The course will be a 5 week course. 

  • The first 4 weeks will be with me. You will receive a scene week 1 and have one week to shoot it and then upload online. I will view each tape and offer notes via MP3. 
  • You will then have another week to re-shoot the scene and try and incorporate my notes and any new discoveries you get after having watched the tape and heard my notes. 
  • Week 3 and 4 will be the same format but with a different scene.
  • Week 5 is game week! You will test your skills with Stevie Ray from McGregors Casting, who watches and puts down tapes for a living. Stevie is one of the top Casting Directors in Australia and will be able to offer valuable feedback about your work. I am very excited to have Stevie on board. 

There will be a private Facebook group where all the tapes will be uploaded for everyone to watch and learn from. This  will be very helpful as watching self tapes and learning from them is crucial to your mastering this art.

This whole course is ONLINE. You do not have to attend a class. It can all be done from your bedroom! All you need is a camera (phone cameras are fine), a well lit quiet room and a reader. If you have that then you are good to go!

We will begin this course May 16th. The course will be $295 for non enrolled SAC students and $250 for current enrolled SAC students. Places are strictly limited.

This is a fantastic opportunity to work deeply on self taping. It is the future and nailing this fine art is crucial to an actors success.

If you are interested please email 

Hope to see you online!!

“The guys at SAC are full of knowledge and will help any actor achieve their goals”

-James Tobin (Channel 7 Sunrise presenter)

“Acting with Chum on The Straits was great. This man knows acting!”

-Firass-Dirani (Logi winning actor: House Husbands, The Straits, Underbelly)

“I have worked with Chum as an actor and director. As a director he knew how to bring out the best performance in me. He cares!”

-Andy-Whitfield (Actor: Sparticus Starz TV USA)

"They will take your acting magic to the next level."

-Nash Edgerton (Film Director)

Congrats to BRIDIE CONNELL for her role on new ABC show

Congrats to BRIDIE CONNELL for her role on new ABC show

Bridie Connell is KILLING IT! She is starring in ABC’s new comedy show TONIGHTLY WITH TOM BALLARD.

She is fast becoming a comedy go to girl in Australia

Check her out here.

An Actual Crocodile | Tonightly with Tom Ballard

Bob Katter said some pretty weird things today. An actual crocodile responds to his comments.

Posted by ABC COMEDY on Thursday, 7 December 2017

Jonny Pasvolksy from Picnic at Hanging Rock and Mortdecai on BUILDING A CHARACTER

Jonny Pasvolksy from Picnic at Hanging Rock and Mortdecai on BUILDING A CHARACTER

PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK star Jonny Pasvolsky offers his tips for BUILDING A CHARACTER.

Jonny has worked alongside JOHNNY DEPP, THANDIE NEWTOWN, OLIVIA MUNN and is now starring in Australia’s much anticipated PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK.

Building a character with JONNY PASVOLSKY

Read and enjoy…

A note for a bit of context:

This may be controversial but it’s my opinion: you as the actor are not responsible for telling the story. You are not the story teller you are in the story. The director gets to tell the story. You are responsible for living the story by engaging in the relationships your character has with the people he/she comes into contact with. Your job is to experience the world that has been created around you whether it be a set built in a studio or on location in the actual environment. Your job is to fill each moment that you step into with absolute commitment to the circumstances dictated by the script so that when the director gets into the edit room he/she can put the pieces of that story together. You are an undeniably important part of the story but you are not the whole story. Don’t burden yourself with the weight of the whole story. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know the story inside out, it means know what your part in it is and do the best job you can.

You’ve been cast and now the hard work to find the fun begins. If you are not having fun relishing how evil or good, messed up or beautifully put together your character is then you must explore further. If the word “explore” short-circuits you or you find it intimidating then do one thing and one thing only: start asking questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question – at least that’s what my dad told me – which is bullshit because you’ll know when you’ve asked a stupid question because you will laugh at yourself in recognising its stupidity. If you’re laughing at yourself, you’ve started having fun.

Jonny Pas and Johnny Depp in action



  • THE OBVIOUS – read the script as many times as possible.


  • THE DICTIONARY – use any form of dictionary AND thesaurus to look up definitions of words. Even the words you think you know the meaning of – sometimes as you go down the rabbit hole of a word’s meaning, derivation, synonyms, antonyms etc. you will find a more accurate and visceral understanding of what your character might be feeling or how they might see themselves or other’s. Never trust someone who says trust me but TRUST ME – use your dictionary!!! WRITE THESE DEEPER DEFINITIONS BESIDE WHERE THESE WORDS APPEAR IN THE SCRIPT – they’re good triggers and reminders.


  • THE BIGGEST TRAP in creating a character is getting stuck on the job he or she has been given in the script. Even if it’s a cop show and you are a cop remember they were a person a long time before they became a cop. Who is this person regardless of their occupation? If you focus on the occupation you will become a stereotype. Note: The occupation will tell you a lot about a character – no doubt – but not everything!


  • THE MOUNTAIN AND THE RIVER – you can begin from within or without when building a character. If you think the outside is where you should start great! This is –


  • THE MOUNTAIN. What’s this character’s external attributes? It’s structure? This could mean their physicality, how they move, their literal shape, size, fluidity or rigidity. Are they viscous or brittle? Are they pleasant to look at or repulsive? Smooth skin or rough? Most importantly what is the exterior they present? How do other’s see them? (Hint – many if not all the answers to these questions are in the script). What does this character show to others and does it change depending on who they are interacting with? What does EVEREST show from the outside? There are so many pictures of Mount Everest and each one has a distinct feeling about it even though this is just an inanimate mountain, recognised the world over. BUT the weather is never the same one day to the next and so once you’ve found the mountain of your character you’re going to go looking for;


  • THE RIVER What flows through this mountain? Does it run cold? Is it a river of water? Or does it run hot and so it’s a river of molten lava? Does this river run close to the mountain’s surface or deep down? How much of this river can others see, hear, smell, taste, touch when we are close to them? Is the river so faint or slow that it’s going to take a monumental effort to find it? Or is it rushing so hard that hiding it is your Mountain’s biggest obstacle? How much of our river do we allow others to experience?

The MOUNTAIN and the RIVER sometimes run with each other and sometimes against each other – but always at the same time. Does the Mountain dictate how the river is flowing or is it the other way around? Have fun deciding your Mountain and River in each scene and/or each moment.


  • THE WEATHER The weather is anyone and everything around you. The weather will determine if your Mountain changes or holds fast. The weather will determine what your river is doing too. Just be aware. Use all your senses. How malleable is your character? How well does your character control what’s running through them at any given moment? Depends on the weather!


  • THE SENSES The Sound and the Silence. The Light and the Shadow. The Movement and the Stillness.


This is one of my favourite things to do to understand how my character lives in the world. At any given moment, anywhere at anytime, with your eyes open or closed – how does this person you are trying to understand react to the SOUND and the SILENCE. The LIGHT and the SHADOW. The MOVEMENT and the STILLNESS. Do this everywhere, all the time when approaching a character. You’ll either learn a lot about your character or a lot about yourself.


  • STAPLES Common approaches that I know many people use: What animal is my character? What is the rhythm that dictates this person? Does this person have a particular voice and is it in the pace of how he/she speaks or in the pitch or in the clarity? (mumbling never stopped Marlin Brando from articulating…)


  • YOUR SHIT Probably the most fulfilling part of acting, I think, is that we get to take the shit that’s going on in our life and layer it into our work. So, my last tip is: recognise attributes, moments, things, experiences in the script that you may be closer to than you think. Find YOURSELF in the character you are building. Take all that shit and place it into a moment, a gesture, a sound, and turn it into gold!


My favourite example of turning things into gold: My daughter was having problems with another kid at school. It was eating her up. She was coming home from school really angry and stressed. I took her to her dance class a few weeks ago and watched her improv a dance. There was something particularly beautiful about a certain gesture she did as she rolled her arm out sideways and the movement seemed to go all the way through her fingers and beyond. I told her afterwards that I thought that movement was beautiful. She said to me: “That was Diego”. I said “What was Diego?”. She said “remember you told me to turn my worries into gold?” (Yes, I blended an acting lesson with parental advice…) She went on: “I turned Diego into a flower at the end of my hand and I let him go”. Suffice to say I was in tears. She not only incorporated it into her solo dance routine but she’s been happier ever since. If my 8 year old daughter can do it…