How to ACT in an Acting Class

How to ACT in an Acting Class

Most actors, both new and working, take acting classes periodically to improve their abilities.

They learn new techniques, perform monologues they've prepared, pair with a partner, break down their scenes and often make beautiful and smart choices during their performance.

They do this because they are actors, it isn't just what they do, it's who they are. They've chosen this as their career. When you choose this as your career, every time to perform or 'become', whether it's in a class or a paid gig, you are professional at all times because YOU ARE WORKING.

That being said, I sit in on about 3 acting classes a week and a few days ago I sat in on one with new teachers and a host of new actors I had never seen before. I was like a kid in a candy store!...Only to find out that I wasn't in an 'Advanced Acting Class' at all, but instead had traveled back in time to 1995 and was back in my Drama 101 class, stuck in a room filled with grown men and women behaving like children with an advanced case of A.D.D.

So 'actors', let's have a refresher course on how you should behave in an acting class:

BE QUIET! If the instructor is not talking directly to
you about your performance, SHUT UP. I'm not an actor, but if I was and I was paying $40 - $100 a week and had to hear you cracking jokes every five minutes for three hours, we would have a problem. So shut up and listen, you may learn something!

PREPARE AND STUDY: Breakdown your scene/monologue line by line. Know your character's backstory, their objective in the scene and what ultimately happens to your character in the end.

BE PROFESSIONAL: Steer clear of other actors that want to joke and chat with you during class. Don't listen to their meaningless chatter, in fact, don't even look in their direction! Stay focused, be quiet and learn!!!!

Remember, your acting class is not just a place you go to practice acting, it's the place you go to become a Professional Actor.



I love, love, love actress Tasha Smith ("Why Did I Get Married", HBO's "The Corner"). She's strong, charming, funny, intense, sexy, relatable, welcoming and intimidating...sometimes all at the same time. A true talent. I say all that to say that this amazing actress also shares her wisdom, techniques and acting secrets with fellow actors in Los Angeles. The Tasha Smith Acting Workshop or TSAW, is based in Los Angeles (Santa Monica & Wilcox to be exact) and meets every Monday -Wednesday. She also periodically has workshops in other major cities, so check out TSAW.com for a workshop near you.

If you are an Industry Professional looking for multi-ethnic talent of all ages, you can contact Tasha and her other instructors to arrange an audit:

E-mail: info@tsaw.com
Phone: 818.725.2902
Fax: 818.474.7678

Have you taken Tasha's class? Share your stories with us!




I've received tons of e-mails asking what prompted me to start my main site, TalentOverstock.com. I was inspired to create a website dedicated to a small group of people (high level studio & network executives, top agents, managers and even some casting directors), in an effort to dispel the notion that there's no fresh talent in Entertainment....and to create a platform for every actor out there who deserves recognition (recognize that spiel from my site?).

In a nutshell, I think that becoming a successful actor is one part talent, and 99 parts 'who you know'. It's an insider's game. The 'powers that be' and/or Casting Directors often bring in the same actors for all their projects, actors that they're already familiar with and their abilities. Which is why you see the same recycled actors over and over and over again.....some of which even play college students but are well over 30 in real life (shout out to the cast of Stomp the Yard).

So not only is it monotonous to see the same 45 actors over and over it again, it's also frustrating because most of them suck. And to make matters worse, isn't it depressing and quite scary knowing that Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Dustin Hoffman, Angela Bassett, Sally Field, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey and Martin Lawrence are all up there in age and there's no new generation worthy of replacing them? I mean we have rappers playing action hereos now and Flava Flav has a new sitcom. C'mon. Remember Malcolm X? Die Hard? Indiana Jones (puleese pass that franchise down to Shia Lebeouf, Mr. Spielberg, please)? Shawshank Redemption? Rain Man? What's Love Got to Do With It?, Steel Magnolias? Kramer vs Kramer? Fatal Attraction? Coming to America? and Ace Ventura? ....um did Martin ever have a classic movie? ......uh, well, remember the show Martin?

So Hollywood you mean to tell me, that the only replacements we've found so far are for Julia Roberts and the Wayans Family? Don't get me wrong, I'm more than willing to swap out Julia for Rachel McAdams and Marlon and Shawn for Damon Wayans Jr. but two is NOT enough!

ACTOR RECYCLING is going to completely ruin television and film. It's frightening when I go to the movies now and watch the trailers for new movies. Remember when going to the movies was an event? Remember when there was a time you could sit through a whole movie completely entertained and never once think: "If I leave now, I might be able to get my money back"?

So I say all this to say, that I started this site because I'm tired of seeing the same recycled actors over and over again. Yes, it is an insider's game to make it in Hollywood. And yes, Casting Directors primarily do bring in actors they're used to....So I've decided to show my cards . I'm posting one new actor a day and I'm saying: "This person is good, add them to your rotation. This is what they look like, this is what they've done before, they've trained with this person or this company and these are the roles they can play". Success does take a long time, but I'm trying to speed the process up.

Wish me luck!

-Amber Bickham


ACTOR'S TIP - Picking The Right Photographer

ACTOR'S TIP - Picking The Right Photographer

Okay so you're ready to pursue an acting career...The first thing you need to have before you can begin auditioning, is a headshot. Picking the right (and affordable) photographer is no easy task. There are literally hundreds of photographers at your disposal in every major city. But how do you find the right one?

RESEARCH - View as many photographers' portfolios as you can find, to get an idea of their level of expertise, style, use of color, lighting, etc.

BARGAIN SHOP - Photographers can range anywhere from $100 to $1000 per shoot. So shop around and find a photographer that's both affordable and has an impressive portfolio.

Personally, I highly recommend MIKE QUAIN. He's affordable and, in my opinion, the best in the business. Here are some photos from Mike's website:


What do you think of the photos?

Have you shot with Mike?

Send your photos to me at TalentOverstock@gmail.com!!