Everything acting. Everything Melbourne.
If you are a freshly graduated actor or returning after a hiatus, maintaining the freshness and precision of your skills can be lonely, challenging and costly. Between weekly acting and voice classes, physical conditioning, scene work, auditions and networking, the expenses in time, energy and money can make creating or landing a role daunting and exhausting.
That’s why we've streamlined the process. Our story began in 2020 with online classes, and by 2022, the Melbourne Actors Guild had evolved into a vibrant physical studio on Acland Street in St Kilda, Melbourne's peninsula. Our space is purpose-built for performing artists, featuring a sprung floor, mirrored walls, a boutique gym, self-tape and recording studio, a library and open communal area. Plus, we're just a short walk from St Kilda Botanical Gardens and the foreshore.
Here in South Melbourne, we're at the heart of a thriving acting community, surrounded by leading players like Theatre Works, 16th Street, Chapel off Chapel, and Mackintosh Casting. The Guild is the central point for actors, creators and practitioners to meet, train, collaborate, and bring their craft to life in this melting pot of expertise and opportunity.
The bridge between your training and that perfect role, Melbourne Actors Guild is creating a strong, connected and dedicated acting community in Melbourne.
From our Founder...
There is such a magical sensation that occurs when one is in a state of creativity. Its openness and weirdness allow for an invitation like none other. It provokes, "Please enter my world for a moment". Entering other people's worlds is the most powerful and rewarding experience I've come across.
Acting takes this a step further.
We create a world and live in the creation by using our own body, voice, emotions, memories, and identity in acting. We learn and transform every time we explore the art of performance.
My appreciation for theatre grows every year I step deeper into this craft. It began (as most) from a love of making my family laugh and the urge to bring some magic to everyday life through the fun of singing and dancing. It took me to uni, where I created a solo work unpacking violence in media with a giant pile of bleeding meat. It took me to the UK, where I discovered a performer's relationship with the audience during training in clowning and physical theatre. Then to study the art of script writing, directing, and learning how story is experiential.
One truth continues to surface throughout my endeavours: that the strongest acting comes from artists. These artists weave their lives and personal experiences into their creations, offering delicate and unique details that can take universal forms.
Strong artists work best when connected to an active community where they can discuss, challenge, provoke, test and support each other. A sanctuary that stands outside regular life for the actors' craft to be fostered, honed, pushed and nourished.
And so came the Guild.
About Emma Gough
Emma is an educator, actor, and director hailing from Melbourne. She graduated from Monash University's Centre for Theatre and Performance with a First Class Honours Degree in Performing Arts. Where she had the valuable opportunity to shadow Anne-Louise Sarks during her directing internship at the Malthouse Theatre, on the production of Sarah Kane's "Blasted."
While on exchange in the UK, Emma co-founded "The Festival Of Stories" in collaboration with Gabriel House, a program that empowered at-risk adults to create and perform their own narratives. While in the UK, she also completed training at RADA and Exeter University.
Emma further honed her skills by studying a directing short course at NIDA. Emma also completed the full-time music theatre program, “Showfit” at Centrestage Performing Arts School.
Some credits include Assistant Director for Pursued By Bear's "Bright Star," Director/ Designer/ Audio Design for two seasons of "Fran and Leni" with Seemingly Wholesome Productions. Her Direction and Design work for "Ember" by Isabella Perversi garnered acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, earning four-star reviews, two Green Room award nominations and ‘Best In Theatre’ at Melbourne Fringe. Additionally, Emma directed Isabella Perversi's second show, "Canary," which was selected for presentation during the limited season at the Melbourne Fringe Rebound Festival.
Elise Pascoe - Actor, Comedian
I love working with Emma because she creates a safe space for an artist to step into, and proceed confidently on their journey to creating something authentic and special.
Emma brings energy and encouragement to help drive the work forward - all the while remaining flexible, and intuitive in her approach.
I could see her guiding any artist to develop their craft in a way that best suits the art and the artist's needs. She's also really funny (which helps when you're in the artistic trenches).