A question and answer discussion with the Agent/Instructor
No. Great West Canadian Talent has never required actors to take its training or classes to qualify for representation.
What do you consider as professional training?
I consider top notch programs like the University of Alberta BFA program, The National Theatre School of Canada, and locally Grant MacEwan Performing Arts program. However, these schools currently do not offer enough on camera training to ensure a consistant transition to film acting, so graduates are best advised to take additional on camera audition and acting training.
What do you not consider as professional training?
Well definately the acting classes taught at the Citadel Theatre. The adult courses are completely inadequate for professional theatre. Everyone in professional theatre knows that for adults it is a minimum of three years of training with supplemental training in movement and voice, at a top notch school to have a career in theatre. The advertisement on the Citadel web page that they have the most thorough training is completely false, and tantamount to a fraudulent claim. The only professional part of the training offered there is the Banff professional artist training. That program is for actors who already have full time training and often professional experience who are looking to upgrade themselves. It is not for people who take the amateur adult classes they offer which train people basically for amateur and community theatre.
Definately not the training offered by another Edmonton agent Elizabeth Ebbels. I suspected these were not professional and had it confirmed when they posted videos of the classes. The monologue I knew from students that came to me for training who had taken them, was not good training as she doesn’t promote the student studying the full script which is what you have to do for role preparation. Then I saw the sample and is was all one note, some short monologue from Star Wars, and the student was looking down the whole time and it was filmed with some ridiculous plastic thing hanging in front of them and some cheezy music from Star Wars. Totally amateur. The scene sample I saw was awful, just bad acting of a scene that should never have been attempted by new students. Comments from industry professionals I asked to view them were everything from “What the ____ is that”, to “looks like it was filmed in somebody’s basement”, to amateurish high school”. That person has for years been hiding behind the idea she is a former Actra and Equity member, without ever disclosing her credits in those areas, which I strongly suspect are very few. She even alledgedly said in class that her and her former partner or two of only four reputable agents in Canada. Completely false and ridiculous and tantamount to fraud.