At this very moment there are hundreds (if not thousands) of aspiring actors and actresses waking up to begin their ritualistic processes of navigating Hollywood. Cloaked in determination and driven by the sheer passion to succeed, they relentlessly relinquish themselves to the day-to-day tasks of submitting to castings, finding agents and managers, getting the right headshots, attending workshops, (hopefully) going on auditions, and finding the right class.
Yes. The right class - the one that will ensure preparation meets opportunity. This is where we (yes, I too am a fellow thespian!) face a major conundrum.
Recently, I had a major audition and as a 7-year veteran in the game. I didn't feel the need to pay (honest moment.. I was broke!) for a private coaching session to prepare. Can you imagine my humiliation when at the end of my read, instead of hearing the ceremonial 'Thank You' I was asked, " Myiea, are you taking any classes?".
My mind immediately reverted to "Wait. What?? Classes?? I'm off book, I sucked.. I hate this. I knew I should have paid for a coaching session. I am SUCH a loser!"
As I sat in my humiliation for a moment I realized she was awaiting an answer , so I mustered up a " Well no, not right now." Feeling defeated and depressed I headed to my car. The moment I fastened in my seatbelt I received this text: 'Free Orientation Saturday at the "I AM" Marcia Tillman Actors Studio'. Kismet, it was the universe agreeing with the casting director that I needed to enroll in classes stat!
That Saturday felt like it arrived at the speed of light and with my somewhat marred self-confidence in tow, I headed off to orientation. Arriving a little early, I was greeted by the ever harmonious Marcia Tillman herself. I grabbed a seat in the third row ( I am not a front seater....that's just too much pressure), pulled out my trusty pen and black book and was ready to be inspired. As the room began to fill, 3 women took the stage; Marcia Tillman (a 20-year veteran, production company owner, and wife of the esteemed Director/Producer George Tillman Jr.), Emmy award-winning actress Tamara Braun, and seasoned actress Khanya Mkhize. After extending a gracious and hearty welcome to the class, Marcia jumped right into what the course would offer.
"The 'I AM' Actors Studio will be offering an 8-week course where you'll learn everything from properly walking in to the audition room to the business of acting, right down to scene breakdowns and positioning. You will also be working out your instruments (bodies) with scenes hand picked and specially tailored for you. There will be special guests to include Casting Directors, Producers, Actors and Directors. Speaking of which - my lovely husband George is here today. (insert love moment, as they are the cutest couple ever!). We want you all to progress and grow as actors and I am personally committed to that growth."
Permit me to pause for a moment. This sounds like your average run-of-the-mill acting class,right? Allow me to highlight the aspects you may have missed:
- You're being taught by 3 veterans, one of which co-owns a major production company with movies currently in production (opportunities anyone??) , an Emmy award-winning actress (umm.... WHO wants an Emmy?) and another whose resume would make any aspiring actress swoon.
- Their offer to walk you through the process of scene breakdown is PRICELESS!!
- Who needs workshops when these types of special guests are coming by your class? So you're basically saving money.
- The opportunity to have scenes selected for you.
- You get to work with and perform for INDUSTRY professionals every week!
At the risk of sounding like an infomercial let me just say I expected this class to be expensive. Can you imagine my surprise when Marcia said the class would cost $300 for 4 weeks? If you know me, you know I L-O-V-E actors!
So, if you're reading this post and you are in the LA area, please accept this humble invitation to join me in the right class. "I AM" looking forward to seeing you there!
For more information check out the website www.mtas.info