Backstage Successful Commercial Actor

Everything You Need to Be a Successful Commercial Actor

Everything You Need to Be a Successful Commercial Actor By Amie Farrell | Posted July 10, 2017, 10 a.m. It was 9:45 am. and I was sweaty from just finishing my p90x workout, about to take a nice long shower and run errands before picking up my son from school. My iPhone dinged. Email from LA CASTING,…

Amie Farrell Testimonial

Q&A With Leonard Roberts

Leonard Roberts recently joined the cast of TNT’s drama series Major Crimes in a recurring role. He is known for his roles in American Sniper, Drumline, and American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson. He has appeared in numerous television shows, films and theater productions. Leonard is also a fellow graduate of the DePaul Theater School. Roberts took a…

Backstage Successful Commercial Actor

5 Reasons to Consider the Summer Intensive

By Rob Adler | Posted March 23, 2017, 10 a.m. While many actors find solace in the community of an acting studio, theater company, or class, each can suffer from the perils of routine over the years, forming habits and disconnecting the actor from their sense of passion and purpose. So if you’re up for…

Backstage Successful Commercial Actor

How Improv Can Enhance Every Audition

By Rob Adler | Posted March 17, 2017, 3 p.m. A lot of actors hate auditions. The room is “cold.” The reader doesn’t “give you anything.” It’s “not like being on set.” Admittedly, it’s superficial—the role exists in X world, yet the audition is usually in a small room in an office building with beige…

Acting Teacher Ric Murphy

Q&A with Legendary Acting Teacher Ric Murphy

Ric Murphy has taught acting for nearly four decades. His pupils include some all-star actors: John C. Reilly, Gillian Anderson, and Judy Greer. Ric first introduced me to the magic of improvisational acting techniques at the DePaul Theater School, where he is Professor Emeritus. We are thrilled to have Ric teach at the studio to support our commitment to…

Create Your Own Content

Create Your Own Content

Considering smart phones shoot 4K video, HD cameras are relatively accessible, either for purchase or for rental, social media provides distribution channels and direct audience engagement, and film festivals across the world are interested in finding the next Spielberg, there’s no reason not to showcase your talent and shoot your own content today. In 2015,…

Booking Commercials Weekend Intensive

Booking Commercials Weekend Intensive

Amie Farrell is a commercial booking machine. She shot three national commercials in the last six months alone and has an extensive commercial resume. Ask her about the raccoon. This past weekend, she shared tips and tricks for booking more commercials with studio members during a booking commercials weekend intensive. Most actors have a hate hate relationship…

Improvisation for Actors

How to eat French fries without getting fat

By Rob Adler | Posted Nov. 9, 2015, 3 p.m. When I was young, I’d often stay up late and watch a movie on TV. In the wee hours past my bedtime, I watched “Jaws,” “Superman II,” “Star Wars,” and everything I could find on cable TV after my parents had gone to bed. I…

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Assist the Scene

By Rob Adler | Posted Oct. 1, 2015, 3 p.m. Most people remember Michael Jordan for his high-flying dunks or his game-winning shots. I was recently reminded of his ability to pass the ball while watching the 1989 documentary “Michael Jordan: Come Fly With Me.” In basketball terms, a pass that sets up a teammate…

Come Fly With Me

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Acting With Purpose

By Rob Adler | Posted Sept. 2, 2015, 10 a.m. I saw something extraordinary last weekend. Roger Guenveur Smith and Mark Broyard’s “Inside the Creole Mafia” is a hilarious and thought-provoking examination of Louisiana culture and identity through the lens of a man doomed to an eternity of “making a living as a Hollywood actor…

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Ask Yourself This Question After Acting

By Rob Adler | Posted July 27, 2015, 3 p.m. Last night, a very talented female actor presented a monologue in class. The acting was simple, clear, direct, and active—the hallmarks of proficiency. “How did it go?” I asked. “Fine,” she squeezed. “Did you do what you wanted to do?” I probed. “No, it wasn’t…

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Improve Your Commercial Technique

By Rob Adler | Posted June 25, 2015, 3 p.m. Kevin McCorkle has appeared in more than 300 commercials from Gatorade and Taco Bell to Blue Cross and Lipitor. He also has worked in big-budget films, indie films, had recurring roles on television series, and has been in dozens of plays, short films, and Web…

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Playing Formidable Foes

By Rob Adler | Posted May 19, 2015, 3 p.m. I was recently coaching an actor for a new role on a hit cable series when he ran into a common actor challenge. As he was researching the role, he found it difficult to identify with and personify a character some presidents might describe as…

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Use Your Whole Self!

By Rob Adler | Posted April 22, 2015, 3 p.m. Everyone who performs at a high level understands there are critical differences between training and performing. Boxers don’t jog because they’ll jog in a fight. They do it because it builds stamina. Ballet dancers stretch so their bodies move fluidly and land safely on the…

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3 Differences Between Acting on Stage and Screen

By Rob Adler | Posted March 26, 2015, 3 p.m. When the cast of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” first saw the film, many of them were shocked. In post-production, Director John Hughes and Editor Paul Hirsch decided to tell a very different story than what was filmed in production. The original Ferris was a darker…

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Backstage Experts Answer: Tips for Creating Your Demo Reel

By Rebecca Strassberg | Posted March 25, 2015, 2 p.m. This week, our Backstage Expert answers a question many readers wanted addressed: How should I approach the creation of a demo reel (particularly when I’m from a theater background and don’t have as many film credits under my belt)? Rob Adler, L.A.-based acting teacher Three…

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Tips for Starting a Career Later in Life

Backstage: How possible is it for someone in the second half of their life to start/have an acting career (40+)? Rob Adler, L.A.-based acting teacher Is it possible? Absolutely. Anyone can have a career at any stage of their life. The best actors I know don’t measure success by their bank accounts, but by their…

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On Living Truthfully in Imaginary Circumstances

By Rob Adler | Posted Feb. 23, 2015, 10 a.m. When my nephew was 5, I caught him running on top of the furniture in my parent’s living room, with my jacket over his shoulders. When he saw me, he suddenly stopped. Caught in the act, I thought. Then, with arms extended, belly down, he…

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Rob Adler Interview

Rob Adler on Accessing Emotional Range Through Improv By Rebecca Strassberg | Posted Feb. 3, 2015, 1 p.m. From the time he was 5 years old, Rob Adler has wanted to work in the acting industry. “I was sitting on the couch with my brother watching ‘Superman 2’ for the 500th time, and I asked…

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5 Tips for a First-Class Pilot Season

By Rob Adler | Posted Jan. 16, 2015, 10 a.m. The holiday season is behind us, which means Hollywood is moving on to the next magical season: Pilot Season. And a new year means new opportunities for actors as new television shows are created and cast. Here are some tips to help your pilot season take flight….

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Lights, Camera, Relationship!

3 Tips for Developing Character Relationships By Rob Adler | Posted Dec. 3, 2014, 10 a.m. Sometimes actors show up to set, are introduced to their co-star and have to hop into bed together like they have been lovers for years. In the fast-paced world of film and television, especially during auditions, chemistry reads and…

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The Difference Between Acting and Being an Actor

Every year, hundreds of trained actors move to Los Angeles from various cities around the country after finishing their BFA or MFA Training. Brimming with talent honed in the world’s foremost drama schools, many dive into Hollywood and belly flop. Actor training programs are providing their actors with a strong foundation of tools, but aren’t…

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Play

“Play touches and stimulates vitality, awakening the whole person – mind, body, intelligence and creativity”– Viola Spolin There is a great difference between being childlike and childish. Games have a problem to solve and agreed upon (imaginary) rules (circumstances) in which the player (actor) must spontaneously (in the moment) improvise how (actions) to get the…

Making choices

“There is no good or bad but thinking makes it so.” –William Shakespeare Choice takes place in the head. Acting takes place in the space where all can see.  A strong choice is one that can be seen.  Why? Because this is a collaborative art form: the director, costumer, grip, DP, and (most importantly) the audience…

Life is Improvised

AdlerImprov provides a counterpoint to digital connection, interactive social play. I use the games developed by Viola Spolin to demystify and train the intuition. Film Quarterly wrote “The exercises are artifices against artificiality, structures designed to almost fool spontaneity into being–or perhaps a frame carefully built to keep out interferences in which the player waits….

Viola Spolin

Why Ayn Rand…..

FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST Mike Bonifer.Mike Bonifer is the author of Gamechangers — Improvisation for Business in the Networked World Posted April 1, 2009 | 03:38 PM (EST) Yesterday, an acquaintance of mine sent me a Nasty-gram for participating in Earth Hour. Now, I’m not exactly the greenest guy on the planet, and I think…

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Great Acting Looks Improvised

Improvisation is the essential skill for professional actors in film and television.  If a performance appears rehearsed or anticipated, if an actor is in their head, trying to recreate a previous ‘perfect’ performance, or recalling an emotional or sense memory, then they are not entirely present in the moment and the take or audition is…

Paul Sills

Striving for Excellence

Pedagogy is the study of being a teacher or the process of teaching.   It seems to me that pedagogy is a lost art.  Instead, teaching is thought of as simply the sharing of knowledge, this however misses the point.  To share is not enough if one is to teach.  The call of the teacher is…

Second City Not for Actors Anymore

Review Essay Amnesia and the Laugh Track: Mike Thomas, The Second City Unscripted Villard, New York, 2010 Reviewed by Warren Leming It now seems indecent, given the almost total amnesia enveloping this celebrated enterprise, to pose any tart questions about what actually happened at Second City; something that might stumble beyond the booster reviews, cozy…

Improv in Business

The Following 3 articles about the importance of Improvisation in Business appeared in the New York Times-RA   Can Executives Learn to Ignore the Script? By JANET RAE-DUPREE Published: March 2, 2008 MANAGERS striving to foster creativity often use the time-worn phrase “thinking outside the box” to encourage workers to come up with something nobody…

I could tell you how, but then what have you learned?

I despise it when people associate actors with liars. Lying is the opposite of our craft.  Revealing truth is our calling. Acting truthfully in imaginary circumstances presents a real problem.   One reason that playing games is an effective method for teaching actors, is that it is up to the actor to discover how to solve…

The Power of Play

Having fun is no trivial pursuit. A look at the value of play and the state of leisure time. By Hara Estroff Marano, first published in Psychology Today on July 01, 1999 – Most of us think of adult play as respite or indulgence, but having fun is no trivial pursuit. In fact, it’s crucial…

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan on Truth and Acting

Bill Flanagan: Getting back to This Dream of You , the character sings, “How long can I stay in this nowhere café?” Where is that café? Bob Dylan: It sounds like it’s south of the border or close to the border. BF: You’re not saying? BD: Well, no, it’s not like I’m not saying. But…

Great Interview with Paul Sills

“The thing is, the spirit is possible…there is a reality of spirit.  We’ve all seen it, the magic moment when there is a spark.   It’s why you are in the theater–men wait for that moment to happen, and look for it, and I say it can happen at all times.  You have to get to…

Directing Philosophy

The director is the eyes and ears of the audience to come and must serve as a catalytic agent, seeking to channel the energies of many people into one unified action. I aim to inspire those I work with to realize a vision and tell great stories that move the audience. My job as a…

Improv: born of a woman

Check out this great blog i found by Jill Eickmann __ As an improv teacher, I have been greatly inspired by Viola Spolin, a woman that is often deemed “The grandmother of improvisation.” For new improvisors, and/or those who need some education on their lineage, here’s our history: Viola Spolin (1906-1994) initially trained to be…

Training Is Not Acting

Training is not acting. The actor’s primary instrument is his body. Lectures do not train the body. Good training provides preparation for the event. Boxers jog, not because they’ll jog in a fight, but because it trains them for the fight. Dancers stretch not because they stretch in a dance, but so they are able…

Meryl Streep

Tennessee Williams on Meryl Streep

“The remarkable thing about her work–one of the remarkable things about her work–is that she honored the text to an almost penitential degree, but then allowed it to marinate within her, at which point she expelled it and it was if I had never read it–much less written it. She imprints her intelligence and humor…

Your Brain on Improvisation

Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during improvisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds.  Click the link to watch his ted talk! http://www.ted.com/talks/charles_limb_your_brain_on_improv.htm Researchers Use MRI…