Acting Classes 2018-11-09T01:22:11+00:00
haven studio

Top working actors from Canada, the US and abroad train with Benjamin Ratner at Haven Studio.
On-camera and scene study classes for beginners and up-and-comers are also available.
We keep our standards high, our class sizes small, and our prices fair.

“Ben – you have kept the integrity of my work brilliantly — and I love you for it.”

Ivana Chubbuck, Internationally acclaimed acting teacher, coach to Academy Award winning and nominated actors such as Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, Brad Pitt and Elizabeth Shue.

“Ben is a treasure – a rare combination of instinct, intelligence and compassion…”

Brian J. Smith, star of Netflix series Sense8, Tony Award/Olivier Award/Drama Desk Award nominee for The Glass Menagerie

[Ben]’s a remarkable teacher and man. Seriously take his class.

Ali Liebert, Ten Days in the Valley, Strange Empire, Bomb Girls

“I credit many of my ‘breakthroughs’ to Ben’s insight, support, and trust, and highly recommend him to any actors seeking to go deeper into the work…”

Erin Karpluk, Rookie Blue, Saving Hope, Being Erica

“Ben Ratner is an amazing teacher and mentor…and an inspiring talent.”

Ryan Robbins, Pure, Van Helsing, Falling Skies

“After too many years of lazy television acting, Ben reminded me what my tools are, provided an environment where I felt safe to take risks and gave me permission to jump!”

Sonja Bennett, Ghost Wars, Mistresses, Preggoland

“Working with Ben is an incredibly deep experience for me as an actor. I feel challenged to ground my work and find truth.”

Gabrielle Miller, Good Witch, Call Me Fitz, Corner Gas

“Thank you Ben for instilling the habits of professionalism, commitment, belief, and discipline – teachings which have not only influenced my approach to the craft, but what I believe has also contributed to me having a career in acting.”

Jadyn Wong, Scorpion, Rookie Blue, Spun Out

“Ben’s class is an artistic sanctuary. He cultivates an atmosphere based on kindness, professionalism, and integrity where actors feel inspired to offer their craft the focused discipline that will bring out their best.”

Leah Gibson, Jessica Jones, The Returned, iZombie

“Ben’s the real deal who sees each student as a potential world class contender in the boxing ring of our industry.”

Olivia Cheng, Warrior, Marco Polo, Arrow

“I can draw a straight line between Ben’s class and the next few jobs that I was cast in…I’m having a ball, I feel more empowered in my work and that journey was kick-started at Haven.”

Nicholas Lea, Continuum, The X Files, international tour of Helen Lawrence

“Ben Ratner has guided me through years of training, he’s enabled me to break through many barriers and enabled me to fly with confidence and vulnerability.”

Damon Runyan, Star Trek: Discovery, Gangland Undercover, Prisoner X

“He is, without a doubt, one of the finest teachers I’ve worked with.”

Stephen Lobo, Travelers, Continuum, Arctic Air

” I can’t recommend Ben’s classes at Haven Studio highly enough.”

Brian Markinson, Mad Men, Fargo, The Romeo Section, Down River, Charlie Wilson’s War

Classes

Scene Study
with Benjamin Ratner

PREREQUISITE:
Ben works with actors with previous training and professional experience.

DESCRIPTION:
Students are assigned scenes from stage plays, and are expected to be off-book and rehearse with their scene partners between classes. There are 5 classes per session. There are 5 scenes per night, and each class is 5 hours long, so each scene works approximately 1 hour per class. Every scene works every week.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Ben before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

MONDAY NIGHT SCENE STUDY:
Oct 29 – Nov 26 | 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Total $420 including gst for 5 weeks of class

NEXT SESSION:
Jan 7 – Feb 4 | 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Total $420 including gst for 5 weeks of class

WEDNESDAY NIGHT SCENE STUDY:
Oct 24 – Nov 21 | 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Total $420 including gst for 5 weeks of class

NEXT SESSIONS:
Nov 28 – Dec 19 | 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Total $336 including gst for 4 weeks of class

Jan 9 – Feb 6 | 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Total $420 including gst for 5 weeks of class

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the class and day in which you are interested. Include the start date.

If you are new to Haven Studio, or you haven’t attended in a long while, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“I wish I had known Ben Ratner when I first decided to become a professional actor. Such a relationship then would have spared me a lot of heartbreak and a lot of money… Ben is a treasure – a rare combination of instinct, intelligence and compassion…”

~ Brian J. Smith
Tony Award, Olivier Award & Drama Desk Award nominee for The Glass Menagerie, and star of Netflix series Sense8

“The combination of the demanding material, the commitment and talent of my classmates and Ben’s forceful yet passionate direction and guidance made me into the actor I am today – a confident and working one! He’s a remarkable teacher and man. Seriously take his class.”

~ Ali Liebert
Strange Empire, Lost Girl, series lead Bomb Girls,
Canadian Screen Award & Leo Award-winning actor

“BEFORE I met Ben, I didn’t feel or consider myself to be an actor. AFTER I met Ben, I jumped and took the plunge. Thank you Ben for instilling the habits of professionalism, commitment, belief, and discipline – teachings which have not only influenced my approach to the craft, but what I believe has also contributed to me having a career in acting.”

~ Jadyn Wong
series lead Scorpion, Rookie Blue, Spun Out

Raising the Bar
with Benjamin Ratner

PREREQUISITE:
This is an advanced class by invitation only.

DESCRIPTION:
Raising the Bar is a scene study class for actors with considerable training and/or professional experience, especially those who have worked extensively with Ben in his on-going scene study classes. It is by invitation only. Students are assigned scenes from stage plays, and are expected to be off-book and rehearse with their scene partners between classes. There are 5 classes per session. There are 5 scenes per night, and each class is 5 hours long, so each scene works approximately 1 hour per class. Every scene works every week.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Ben before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

SUNDAY NIGHT RAISING THE BAR:
Oct 28 – Nov 25 | 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Total $420 including gst for 5 weeks of class

NEXT SESSION:
Jan 6 – Feb 3 | 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Total $420 including gst for 5 weeks of class

“I wish I had known Ben Ratner when I first decided to become a professional actor. Such a relationship then would have spared me a lot of heartbreak and a lot of money… Ben is a treasure – a rare combination of instinct, intelligence and compassion…”

~ Brian J. Smith
Tony Award, Olivier Award & Drama Desk Award nominee for The Glass Menagerie, and star of Netflix series Sense8

“The combination of the demanding material, the commitment and talent of my classmates and Ben’s forceful yet passionate direction and guidance made me into the actor I am today – a confident and working one! He’s a remarkable teacher and man. Seriously take his class.”

~ Ali Liebert
Strange Empire, Lost Girl, series lead Bomb Girls,
Canadian Screen Award & Leo Award-winning actor

“BEFORE I met Ben, I didn’t feel or consider myself to be an actor. AFTER I met Ben, I jumped and took the plunge. Thank you Ben for instilling the habits of professionalism, commitment, belief, and discipline – teachings which have not only influenced my approach to the craft, but what I believe has also contributed to me having a career in acting.”

~ Jadyn Wong
series lead Scorpion, Rookie Blue, Spun Out

Scene Study
With Loretta Walsh

PREREQUISITE:
These classes are geared towards actors newer to Haven Studio looking to get a solid foundation before joining Ben’s scene study classes.

DESCRIPTION:
Students are assigned scenes from stage plays, and are expected to be off-book and rehearse with their scene partners between classes. There are 4 classes per session. There are 4-5 scenes per night, and each class is 4-5 hours long, so each scene works approximately 1 hour per class. Every scene works every week.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Loretta before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

TUESDAY NIGHT SCENE STUDY: 
Sep 11 – Oct 9 | 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Total: $350 including gst for 5 WEEKS of class
*class may run to 11:00 pm depending on number of participants

UPCOMING:
Nov 13 – Dec 11 | 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Total: $350 including gst for 5 WEEKS of class
*class may run to 11:00 pm depending on number of participants

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the class and day in which you are interested. Include the start date.

If you are new to Haven Studio, or you haven’t attended in a long while, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“Working with Loretta has been a wonderful experience. She is constantly pushing you to strive for honesty and challenging you to push limits in your craft. Her passion for acting has inspired me to pour 110% into my work. Loretta creates a safe and open environment to explore aspects of yourself as well as characters. She creates a feeling that you are among friends, while guiding you to step outside of your comfort zone. I felt like I really learned what it means to jump into things without hesitation and to let go of my fear of judgement with her. Her support and encouragement have given me so much confidence!”

~ Melissa Roxburgh
Star Trek Beyond, Valor, In God I Trust, Travelers

“Loretta is such an exceptional teacher and no wonder, she was taught by the best, Ben Ratner. I am grateful to have the pleasure of studying with Loretta in her Actors’ Cross-Training and Scene Study classes. She is such a talented and lovely human being that is so nurturing and caring to the point of guiding you until you get what is needed to fulfill your objective as an actor. She is so supportive and encouraging in a way that guarantees to bring out your best in any circumtances in a very safe environment. Loretta’s classes are invalualbe to any actor. Much Respect. Highly recommended!”

~ Jerry Trimble
Supernatural, The Flash, iZombie, Heat,
Green Hornet, Charlie’s Angels, The Package

“Loretta is uncompromisingly passionate about taking herself and the actors she works with to new heights. I am totally confident that anyone who studies with her will be well-prepared to take on the challenges of my scene study class and the realities of what’s required to compete as a professional actor.”

~ Benjamin Ratner

Audition Breakthrough
with Nelson Wong

PREREQUISITE:
Nelson works with actors with previous scene study training.

DESCRIPTION:
In this fast-paced on-camera audition workout led by seasoned actor Nelson Wong, you will learn and refine the vital skills necessary to deliver unique, confident, well-prepared auditions that will help you break through your fears and enjoy the casting process.

This weekly workout seeks to demystify the audition process and help actors own their creative space. Each class will resemble the casting process and actors will be asked to participate in the various roles within the audition room as well as work from assigned sides and tape their audition reads in a working environment. Actors will receive feedback and practice while exploring camera technique, genre, character choices, and personal stakes with the goal of being able to create a confident and creatively dynamic process for every audition.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Nelson before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

THURSDAY NIGHT AUDITION BREAKTHROUGH (On-Camera):
Oct 11 – Nov 1 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Total $265 including gst for 4 weeks of class

UPCOMING:
Nov 15 – Dec 6 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Total $265 including gst for 4 weeks of class

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the class and day in which you are interested. Include the start date.

For all Audition Breakthrough registrations, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“Nelson’s class exceeded my expectations in every way. He creates a comftoralbe and welcoming space for everyone to come in and do the work in a relaxed but focused environment. He offers an absolute wealth of knowledge, and really opened my eyes to numerous tips and techniques that weren’t even on my radar prior to learning from him! I thoroughly enjoyed the material every week, and his unique approach to recreating the audition process creates a very fun overall class dynamic that keeps everyone engaged and involved.”

~ Lauren Maynard
SIX, Man in The High Castle

“Auditions have always been a bit out of focus for me. Nelson has acted like a perfectly crafted pair of prescription glasses, opening my eyes to the audition process and presenting all of the wonderful possibilities a scene can offer in a clear, creative, and fun way. Nelson challenges you to take risks, dares you to bring your true, authentic self to the audition, and gives you the confidence to handle the many curve balls your auditors will likely throw at you. Since studying with Nelson, I walk into the room with complete confidence in my preparation, and my call back ratio has leaped to over 70%! Nelson gives you the tools to create a lasting impression that will get you seen over and over again.”

~ Jesse Carroll
Travelers, Untold Stories of the ER, Morning Show Murders

“Nelson books a lot of acting jobs. He’s clearly doing something right in those audition rooms, and he’s eager to share his experience, passion and insight with his Audition Breakthrough students. I respect and trust Nelson completely and I’m very glad to have him teaching this class at Haven Studio.”

~ Benjamin Ratner

Workshops

3-Day On-Camera Scene Study Workshop
with Brian Markinson and Benjamin Ratner

BENJAMIN RATNER
BENJAMIN RATNER
Benjamin Ratner has earned a reputation as an excellent “actors’ director.” All the lead actors in his 2013 feature film Down River, which he wrote and directed, either won or were nominated for acting awards. (Including Brian Markinson, who was nominated for a 2014 UBCP/ACTRA Best Actor award for his performance in that film!) A recipient of 12 acting awards with 7 nominations, Benjamin more recently directed himself in the short film Ganjy, and was nominated for a UBCP/ACTRA Best Actor award for that performance in 2017. With several new projects for film and TV in development, Benjamin continues to work with top-notch collaborators in Canada and the US for future productions.
BRIAN MARKINSON
BRIAN MARKINSON
Among the busiest, most versatile actors in the business, Brian Markinson started his career in the New York theatre, performing on Broadway in Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Lost in Yonkers and Off-Broadway in Elliot Loves, directed by Mike Nichols. Brian went on to work with Nichols in 5 films, including Angels in America and Primary Colors. Brian has worked extensively with Woody Allen, appearing in 3 of his films, most notably Sweet and Lowdown opposite Sean Penn. He has also gone toe-to-toe on screen with such legends as Al Pacino, Tom Hanks, Kathy Bates and Michelle Pfeiffer. Locally, Brian has worked in many theatre projects, most recently performing in Angels in America at the Stanley and directing The Motherfucker with the Hat at The Firehall. He is currently shooting numerous projects, and we are very pleased he has made time to join the teaching faculty at Haven Studio.

The best actors relax, stay connected, and keep discovering in front of the camera; they don’t freeze up and merely try to get through the scene without flubbing their lines or missing their marks. This workshop is about building confidence, taking chances, and ultimately, “nailing it” when action is called.

For 3 five-hour days in a row, Brian and Benjamin will support, guide, and challenge you as you learn how you truly occur in front of the camera. Using complex, challenging scenes, you’ll work on relaxation, proper preparation, and refining your vocal and physical technique to deliver your best work under the fast-moving, high-pressure demands of the film and television world.

PREREQUISITE:
Actors with previous training and professional experience.

FORMAT:
Scenes will be assigned in advance, and all actors are expected to come in off-book and ready to work. A partner will be assigned to read off-camera.

DAY 1 Taught by Benjamin, the first day is focused on simply being present, relaxed and authentic in the front of the camera. It’s a chance to connect personally to the material, and gain confidence in your instincts and intuition.

DAY 2 Taught by Brian, the second day is about text analysis, working with direction, and making adjustments on the fly. It’s an opportunity to rehearse in front of the camera while zeroing in on what will make your choices truthful, unique and memorable.

DAY 3 Taught by Brian, the third day is focused on staying confident while delivering multiple takes with little or no direction, under the pressure of a ticking clock. No hand holding on day three!

All scenes will be recorded, downloaded, and sent to you by Dropbox.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Ben before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

3-Day On-Camera Scene Study Workshop with Brian Markinson and Ben Ratner:
Nov 30 – Dec 2 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Total $325 including gst for a 3-day intensive

**Maximum 10 students**

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the class and day in which you are interested. Include the start date.

If you are new to Haven Studio, or you haven’t attended in a long while, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“I wish I had known Ben Ratner when I first decided to become a professional actor. Such a relationship then would have spared me a lot of heartbreak and a lot of money… Ben is a treasure – a rare combination of instinct, intelligence and compassion…”

~ Brian J. Smith
Tony Award, Olivier Award & Drama Desk Award nominee for The Glass Menagerie, and star of Netflix series Sense8

“The combination of the demanding material, the commitment and talent of my classmates and Ben’s forceful yet passionate direction and guidance made me into the actor I am today – a confident and working one! He’s a remarkable teacher and man. Seriously take his class.”

~ Ali Liebert
Strange Empire, Lost Girl, series lead Bomb Girls,
Canadian Screen Award & Leo Award-winning actor

“BEFORE I met Ben, I didn’t feel or consider myself to be an actor. AFTER I met Ben, I jumped and took the plunge. Thank you Ben for instilling the habits of professionalism, commitment, belief, and discipline – teachings which have not only influenced my approach to the craft, but what I believe has also contributed to me having a career in acting.”

~ Jadyn Wong
series lead Scorpion, Rookie Blue, Spun Out

Actors’ Cross-Training
with Loretta Walsh

PREREQUISITE:
This 2-day intensive is designed for students new to Haven studio and for those existing students looking for an extra challenge

DESCRIPTION:
Actors’ Cross-Training will have you on your feet, participating for most of the class, pushing past technical and emotional boundaries. You will leave the class refreshed, invigorated, and ultimately more empowered and confident in your craft.

Designed for new students to Haven studio and for those existing students looking for an extra challenge, Actors’ Cross-Training is a place where you can build your ‘acting muscles’ with exercises to develop voice, listening, physicality, imagination, personalization, and above all, fearless commitment to your instincts. By strengthening your foundation, you’ll feel authentically prepared to bring your true creativity to your next scene study class, audition, or acting job. The class will also include condensed scene study work, making it perfect preparation for any newer actors who aspire to work in Ben’s or Loretta’s scene study classes.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Loretta before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

Actors’ Cross-Training:
Next dates TBD | 10:00 am – 4:00 pm*
Total: $250 including gst for 2-day intensive
*Class may run to 5:00 pm depending on number of participants

**Maximum 12 students**

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the class and day in which you are interested. Include the start date.

If you are new to Haven Studio, or you haven’t attended in a long while, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“Working with Loretta has been a wonderful experience. She is constantly pushing you to strive for honesty and challenging you to push limits in your craft. Her passion for acting has inspired me to pour 110% into my work. Loretta creates a safe and open environment to explore aspects of yourself as well as characters. She creates a feeling that you are among friends, while guiding you to step outside of your comfort zone. I felt like I really learned what it means to jump into things without hesitation and to let go of my fear of judgement with her. Her support and encouragement have given me so much confidence!”

~ Melissa Roxburgh
Star Trek Beyond, Valor, In God I Trust, Travelers

“Loretta is such an exceptional teacher and no wonder, she was taught by the best, Ben Ratner. I am grateful to have the pleasure of studying with Loretta in her Actors’ Cross-Training and Scene Study classes. She is such a talented and lovely human being that is so nurturing and caring to the point of guiding you until you get what is needed to fulfill your objective as an actor. She is so supportive and encouraging in a way that guarantees to bring out your best in any circumtances in a very safe environment. Loretta’s classes are invalualbe to any actor. Much Respect. Highly recommended!”

~ Jerry Trimble
Supernatural, The Flash, iZombie, Heat,
Green Hornet, Charlie’s Angels, The Package

“Loretta is uncompromisingly passionate about taking herself and the actors she works with to new heights. I am totally confident that anyone who studies with her will be well-prepared to take on the challenges of my scene study class and the realities of what’s required to compete as a professional actor.”

~ Benjamin Ratner

Benjamin Ratner
Benjamin Ratner
With over 100 film and TV credits, multiple award-winning actor/writer/director/producer Ben Ratner has starred in numerous feature films that have played at top international festivals, including Sundance, Berlin and Toronto, and has had series regular, recurring and guest starring roles on TV shows in both the US and Canada. Up next is a supporting role in Wonder, a feature film starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay.

As a writer-director, Ratner has helmed two award-winning, theatrically released feature films: Down River (9 wins and 12 nominations, including Best World Feature at the 2014 Soho International Film Festival, NYC) and Moving Malcolm (4 wins and 1 nomination, including Best Feature Film at the 2003 Washington D.C. Independent Film Festival). His latest film is Ganjy, a hard-hitting short drama, starring, written by, and directed by Ratner. Now being developed into a feature, Ganjy premiered at The 2016 Vancouver International Film festival and will next be seen at The Kerry International Film Festival in Ireland, and on CBC television in Canada.

A committed acting teacher for over 20 years, Ratner offers scene study classes to a great many of Canada’s top actors, as well as up-and-comers, at his Haven Studio in Vancouver.

Loretta Walsh
Loretta Walsh
Loretta Walsh is a classically trained actor and graduate of the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. She has worked professionally as an actor and producer in theatre (White Hot, Dinner with Friends, Lobby Hero, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking, Othello, Black Comedy), television (The Whispers, Bates Motel, Psych, When Calls the Heart, Life Unexpected, Chaos, The Troop, 7 Things to Do before I’m 30, Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story), films (The Master Cleanse, Down River, Focus, OMG, Plan B, The Sandbox) and voice-overs.

Loretta formerly taught acting at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre and for Arts Express in Toronto before moving to Vancouver 8 years ago where she began studying with Ben Ratner. She teaches scene study and Actors Cross Training at Haven Studio.

www.kindredentertainment.com

Nelson Wong
Nelson Wong
Having worked for over 15 years on stage, TV and film, and amassing over 80 IMDb credits, including recurring roles on Riverdale (CW), Lucifer (FOX), and The Romeo Section (CBC), as well as roles in the feature films Bigger Fatter Liar (Universal) and American Mary (Twisted Twins Productions), Haven Studio alumnus Nelson Wong is ready to share his care and insight informed by his vast experience in the industry, to guide actors in gaining confidence and enjoyment throughout the casting process.

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