Devastated to hear that four competant and out of work actors are going to be “doing a course” with a 40-something year old TV actor and paying him $1000 for the priviledge I was outraged and depressed. This actor has not made it big, is difficult to research and is scarcely in work, yet, he is a good talker and full of anecdotes. Needless to say, I think he is a hack and a parasite looking for vulnerable actors to pay him ($70 and hour for a “private lesson”) in which he chats about the industry from his “successful standpoint”. Here’s my advice for actors who are in between jobs, looking for inspiration and just needing to get back on the stage/ or in front of a camera.
Do NOT waste your money on weekend courses with failed actors who are “giving you a course in their lounge room”. You shouldn’t pay them to be your mentor. Find a real mentor, or do a course, one that has a qualification attached like stage combat, singing lessons, dance lessons or perhaps an accountacy course even: do not give money to soap stars so they can tell you how they “made it.” If they had “made it”they wouldn’t have to have you around to pay them for their anecdotes about al pacino and De Niro they read from a biography, or other such wannabe book.
Do not pay $250, and convince 4 of your friends to do a course = $1000. Especially if you don’t know the venue or what you want out of it. Where will this course lead you? What is the growth/development opportunity?

I recommend you do this:
The 3 others you have convinced to do something should find/research a director they have admired, who’s work they have seen, who they want to work with. Approach that director with a script, (or not) and ask them to workshop it with you one day (maybe a 6 hour day).
Hang out with your peers and make work you enjoy… people you trust. people you have trained with.Hire a hall or community hall for $20 an hour, set yourself some readings and go for it.
Share plays, do play readings, work with people that you know for free.. that you want to work with.
Do NOT give your money to someone you don’t admire and who doesn’t admire you: but who only admires your money.
Do NOT use a course to make you “feel better” about your career: Do a course to skill up, to challenge and engage yourself.
Do a course to meet more,and new people.
Do NOT do a course which could happen in a pub or a lounge room.
Research the person who is holding this course: who needs who more?
Do NOT do a “course” which sounds a little bit better than conversations you have had in a pub with the same person.

Many directors use these opportunities to further their skills, widen their network for future projects. What is a mediocre actor who has been on lots of Aussie TV, but not much else, going to do with your money? Mount work for you to do, recommend you to his agent? Suggest you to a TV director for a guesty on Home and Away or buy a nice bottle of red?

Mainly , actors: DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY OR TIME on charletons, hacks or soap star actors who are happy to dispense advice to you because you are willing to pay. Invest in yourself, not other people’s lifestyles, by developing a show, a character or a career path. If you want a list of courses or people to approach: I can help you: and I’ll do it for free!.. and these opportunities won’t be such a dead-end!