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Kelly O.
I have not had acting classes or auditioned since I was young, and
I can’t afford acting classes currently, what should I do? Is that what you meant with figuring it out yourself? Do I need an up to date, stacked “resume experience” to be able to get auditions and gigs? Like I do not have an acting resume at all currently. I have my dance that I could apply to a resume. Can I do these things at first, gain the experience, without a resume to be able to begin building my resume? Thank you so so so much !!!!!!
A-list Mentor Ashley J.
Hi Kelly!

That’s why being a pa is vital for you right now. When you are a PA, you get to learn on set. You talk to people who are in your industry and you get to ask questions.

Since your goal is acting, make it a priority to talk with other actors on set.

Go on set as a background actor. While you are on set as background, talk to other background actors about their experience.

Just because you can’t afford classes right now doesn’t mean you can’t learn the industry or the craft. I’d highly recommend going on YouTube and find your favorite actors talk about their experience for inspiration.

More than anything, I highly recommend getting on set and talking to other actors (as I’ve stated before). When you talk to other actors, they’ll let you know their favorite acting coaches, classes, agents, etc.

Right now, your main focus is to get on set and build those relationships. That’s how I built my resume.

Hope that helps!

P.S. I follow this YouTube account called film courage. You should check it out!

Ryan S.
Hi Kelly,
In Toronto, we have a meetup group called The Actors Place. It is organized by an actor for actors. I liken it to being an acting gym. The meetups are weekly consistent classes that get people up and working on monologues, scenes and making shorts together. In the 3 years I’ve been a part of it, I have seen newbies become union actors, web series created and even some people becoming life partners. Pretty phenomenal. Resumes don’t have to be long. A good picture and some acting experience is all you need to get into some student or non union audition rooms, once there you can access other opportunities. Set up an account on, with this you will have a draft resume built automatically just by entering your relevant experience and training. As someone who hasn’t been active for a long time you might want to brush up your old credits and use them until you have more current and relevant credits.
Rachael S.
Hi, lovelies

How does one seek Acting gigs in LA to begin creating an Actor’s film reel/resume? Same way we look for PA work? I’m sure people always need free talent, lol! What are your favorite platforms to seek Acting (Paid and Non-paid) work!? Thanks!

Love you,

A-list Mentor Ashley J.
Wonderful question Rachael!

For me, it’s no different from looking for PA work!

If you are just starting out, create another magic list specifically for acting.

Find casting directors, acting websites, acting coaches, teachers, classes…

Then you want to find events! Go to film festivals, writing groups, acting conferences…anything related to that field.

Then you need headshots, acting clips and reel, acting profiles from actors access, casting frontier, casting networks, backstage, etc.

Bonus tip: As a PA, make sure you get to know everyone really well and build trust with them by doing your job well. Naturally, they will ask you what your passion is, THATS when you tell them you’re an actress.

You have to build trust with your production team so they can see how you work.

I’m definitely willing to share more with you if you’d like.
Feel free to hit me up if you have additional questions!

Love and power,

A-list Mentor Lera V.
Totally agree with Ashley, all the points are on POINT!😜😂

The easiest way can be get those student films, also if you need ASAP they have productions to create your reel, here in NYC, it reelarc and reproduction, I’d prefer reproduction because they have whole class for a couple weeks, that they will help you to choose scenes and CD who works with them will teach you how to work on it, you can also try to find out how you can PA for them and then instead of payment maybe get that class for free.

Do you have any DP friends or ACs who wants to be a DP with equipment ask them if you both can practice your skills together! 😜

How to access GRIEF as an actor

Malin F.
Got another question for you regarding emotions. Throw everything at me! Let’s start a disucssion! Here are some of the questions I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, without coming up with final answers. Would love to hear what you think!

1. Do you think you have to really feel it so the audience can feel it?

2. What if you can’t feel it? If your truth in the moment is something else than what your character ‘is supposed to feel’?

3. How about crying and accessing grief without affecting your own mental health?

4. How about crying or getting angry for a role when you’re on set and you don’t have time to get into it?

5. Little off topic but: how do you scream and shout in anger without hurting your voice? I know, technique, technique, but again, what if you’re on set and don’t have time for a vocal warm-up and the scene needs a few re-takes?


A-list Mentor Ashley J.
Hi Malin!

I’ll answer your questions in order.

1. Yes, you absolutely have to create the experience for yourself in order for the audience to believe you and take the journey with you.

2. For me, there is no excuse about if you are feeling it or not. That’s where technique comes in. What I do is use an event that happened in my life and go back to that moment where I felt hurt, angry, scared, elated, etc. I hone in on how my body felt, how my voice felt leaving my throat. I create the experience according to what is happening in the scene. Yes, there will be days where you are not as aligned in the scene, but its still the actor’s responsibility to create the dynamic. Finding a great acting teacher will help you find tools to make that happen.

3. Crying and accessing grief is the same answer as number 2. Those days where you have to go there, to the deepest parts of sadness, make sure to communicate with everyone on set before that day just to let them know you are preparing for that role. Also, if you need to take breaks because of your work, because those scenes are really tiring, please let your director know. Also, having someone like either a friend or a therapist close by (by phone or in person) is great too just so you can have that comfort.

4. Same as number 2. Also, you as an actor can request to take the time. The time you prepare for those charged scenes are when you are in your home getting ready for work. You can let your director know that you need a couple of minutes as well. Trust me, your team will understand. You just have to communicate.

5. Same as the previous answers.

Overall, you have the power to ask for what you want. It’s all about communicating with your director about what you need. If you need some time, then let them know you need more time. Remember, making time to prepare is your responsibility as an actor. With that said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with communicating with your director about what you need in order to create the performance.

Audition Process broken down for you!

Malin F.
Hello all my dear fellow actors!

I was a bit absent from Yammer recently, but I did a lot of research and learned a lot that I would like to share with you.

The casting process has been very mysterious to me until recently when I decided to read all sorts of articles about it. In a way I had heard it all before, but it only started to really click now. Here’s my major findings:

1. Casting Directors scroll through endless headshots (in thumpnail size!) and only click on those that stand out. -> When you choose your headshots, scroll through them in thumbnail size too and see which ones stand out even when they are that tiny? Of course there go like one million other things into headshots but this is one thing that has been helpful for me really, because CDs will look at tiny tiny headshots too).

2. Then, they will take a look at your other headshots (4-6 with some variety here is great) and your CV.

3. If you are invited to audition, they invited you because they got a certain impression of you. They base this impression on your headshot. That means, if you show up and the energy, vibe, or your look don’t match with your headshot, you do yourself a disservice. Instead, be that person on the headshot. The headshot made them call you in.

4. Interestingly, and this was a huge deal for me, they want to see CONFIDENCE. One of the most successful casting directors (can’t remember which one, I believe Amy Hubbard? But I watched so so many interviews…) says in an interview, that confidence comes first, then talent, and then, look. Huh.

5. Casting also involves weather or not you fit in with the other talent. That is completely out of your control, but good to know -> casting is NOT PERSONAL and yet it is: They also want to see if they can work with you for a very long time.

6. In showreels, they DO NOT want to see how you move to music -> no montage. Keep it very very simple and make sure there is absolutely no doubt about who they are looking at. Put your strongest moments first and cut the not so strong moments. Make sure you include a headshot and your contact information, either in the email or somewhere so they know who you are and can write you back.

7. In the US, there are no casting agents. There are talent agents who work for the actor, and there are casting directors who work for the production and close with the producers and directors. In the UK, the term casting agent refers to background and extra casting only. The worst thing to say to a CD is to confuse them with an agent. They do not represent talent. They cast productions.

8. When reaching out to a casting director, the best compliment you can give them is ‘Hey, I saw actor X in film Y and that was such an amazing choice, because… (be specific!)’ or ‘I’m really impressed with actor X career’ if they discovered someone first.

9. If they like you, they will fight for you. They want you to be the solution and they want you to be amazing.

10. For auditions: be prepared. They look for that.

11. Be ready to take directions.

12. Don’t ask for permission, don’t apologize. Show up and make bold choices. Be confident. Make the room yours.

13. Casting is extremly important for the success of a film, and casting is a very creative and complicated craft. It takes a lot because they need to be able to spot talent and find the best actor for every role. Just good to keep that in mind :)

14. There are no small roles (only small actors). Let’s say there’s a multi million dollar production with a few roles that only have one line each. The film went thru X stages in pre-production. The line producer checked the script and tried to cut costs. When a role gets cast, no matter how big or small, everybody involved in pre-production (producers, executive producers, writers etc) agreed that this role is neccessary for the film and deserves remaining in the script and being played by someone. If there is a tiny role out there, it is a big big deal.
And one CD said in an interview, that those are actually her favourite roles, because the actors have to be extremely talented, since they only have this one moment in the movie and still have to make us believe that we’re in a hospital now (a nurse saying ‘She’ll be fine’ in a 2 hour feature film perhaps).

I think that’s it for now… hope this helps some of you :) Understanding what the CD wants is so important for me and the interviews I watched were eye-opening. I never ever would have thought that they are so big on confidence, but they all really look for that.


Act away

Sue M.
I feel kind of dumb for asking this… but nontheless I need help cause I am not tech savy. I need to submit a video audition ( I don’t have a reel just yet) and I was wondering is there an app you use to shoot and edit the video? Can I use my camera phone to do this? And edit from it normally?

Any pointers or place I can find a video to learn how to do this from my phone bc I have no video camera.

Also should I just read my part alone as I have no one else to read while I record.
Although if there is anyone in the Orlando, FL area who is available and can help in person and would like to meet I would really appreciate it. 😊

Thanks much FIFers. Have a great day!

A-list Mentor Lera V.
Hey Sue,

You definitely can do it on your phone, just forget to set it up landscape mode not portrait!

Self-tapes shouldn’t be edited, it is you doing your stuff in front of the camera, just do not look straight in it, slightly off. Also you definitely do need the reader, you can’t do it just by yourself, CDs don’t like it, because you will loose the story, so find any actor friend who can help you, don’t do it yourself please! Do the slate first and then go straight to the scene!😜

Michael Caine on Acting for Film

And now some basic acting techniques to learn or re-learn. Even if you’re not an actor, WATCH THIS. It’ll teach you how storytelling translates into film… and if you’re a filmmaker, you’ll know what the actors are doing and better frame the emotions they’re projecting.

60 min