Sarah-Jane Casey

I came to Sande in April 2005 looking for some sort of miracle. Honestly.

I had gotten the point where my auditions were unpredictable, and everything felt out of control, from my preparation, to the lead-up, to the audition itself.

I had so many ideas about how I thought a character should be, but I had no idea how to get there: “Why does it matter?” “I’m obviously not right for this character anyway”, etc, etc,etc. I didn’t know who I was in this whole process or how to even show ‘me’. That’s where Sande came in.

I remember my first class with Sande. I was reluctant to start up a new technique after years of training in New Zealand, Australia, and  New York City. However I threw myself into the mix, hoping that Sande’s class would help give me the confidence I still needed. I began to understand the importance of how characters become a part of you. It was Sande firmly calling me for “pushing” my acting that led to a wonderful place of stillness – a stillness I had never known, where being in the moment, and listening and answering, all come naturally and easily. Sande was the first person that I have taken classes with who was able to help me bring myself to the material honestly and rapidly. She helps you find your way in. She doesn’t miss a beat! That’s why she is amazing. I have gained confidence and grown as an actor and person, and as a result, have more faith in myself and my abilities than ever before.

Professionally, I have seen a vast improvement in booking work and in callbacks for film, stage and television. When I walk into an audition, I don’t hit that panic button anymore. I am able to go in prepared, get off the page quickly, while remaining emotionally available, which frees me up when delivering my lines. Finally, I can sincerely say that I enjoy auditioning. I see it as a creative space where I perform and the writers see their work.

My confidence is real, and I owe much of it to Sande Shurin – a wonderful, dynamic, and insightful woman.  I miss Sande’s classes when I am not able to attend, each class offers another tool and gift to use when acting, tools that make sense, tools you can use at a moments notice to bring you into the present and be there, my emotional states come much quicker and I am able to produce over and over without over doing it.

I have just had a film crew follow me around the last couple of weeks, documenting my life as an actress in NYC!