The Missing Link: An Introduction, a Story and an Epiphany

“Sing from the diaphragm!” yelled the teacher! You looked around you and everyone else seemed to understand what she meant. So you did your best to sing louder as your face got red and your veins popped out on the sides of your neck. But you lacked a couple of pieces of essential information – where the heck IS your diaphragm and how do you “sing” from it? Read more

Career Tips for Actors: Seven Reasons Why You Won’t Get the Theatre Job

Executive/Artistic Director of the Creede Repertory Theatre, Maurice LaMee gives actors a crash course in the basics!

These tips will help you avoid common auditioning pitfalls. Follow these basics and you will be on your way to nailing the gig!

#7 – You Aren’t Right for the Role

Dear actors, as you probably know, this is the main reason you didn’t get the job. It is perhaps obvious, but it’s important to be compassionate towards your self in a business where rejection is the rule and getting the job is the exception. There is so much that you cannot control in the casting process. The competition is so fierce and the casting process is so subjective! At my company, the Creede Repertory Theatre, I generally only add one to four new company members a season and I generally audition over 1000 people for those several spots. In addition, I might receive an additional 1000 to 1500 unsolicited resumes via mail or email from actors. I’m looking for very specific types to fill those few spots. If you aren’t that type it’s unlikely you will even be considered. Zelda Fichandler wrote an intriguing article about non-traditional casting in American Theatre Magazine several years ago – but most producers aren’t there yet. Be kind to yourself, especially if you gave a really good audition. But also do your homework about what a theatre company or producer is looking for in its casting call. The following six items are things over which you do have control.

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In the Moment: Interview with Working Teen Actress Shelbie Bruce

In an age of truly terrific young actresses, Shelbie Bruce emerges with a body of work that is specific and commanding. Today, at 17 years of age, she gives riveting performances, much like she did in the blockbuster hit film “Spanglish.” At 10 years old, she joined Adam Sandler in her break out role as Christina Moreno in a bi-lingual, emotionally charged tour de force that earned her the coveted ‘Best Actress’ statue at the Young Artists Awards, as well as a Heritage Award.

Master Talent Teacher for kids and teens, and Shelbie’s Acting Coach, Diane Christiansen, interviews Shelbie and goes directly inside this very accessible young talent to find out what makes her tick. This “In the Moment” in depth interview helps us understand the process and the path of Hollywood’s young talent. Read more

Hosting Reels

Having a good reel is crucial to your hosting career. Good headshots and a strong resume will only get you so far. It’s your reel that Casting Directors use to determine whether or not they want to bring you in for an audition, or even better, a “general” meeting. I’ve cast several shows where I never held auditions – I only looked thru hosting reels to determine who I would then call in as a “callback.” Your reel is your calling card. If you don’t have one, make one!

Casting Directors have so much on their plates that they’ll determine in the first 15 – 30 seconds whether you’re right for their project or network. Yes, seconds! As a former Casting Executive at E! Entertainment Television and the Style Network, we’d receive hundreds of submissions, both in the mail and online. We’d devote time each week, ideally each day, to viewing the reels that came in so we could find the next Brooke Burke or Greg Kinnear. Thankfully we found Joel McHale.

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7 Steps to Goal Setting for Filmmakers and Actors – Part 1

Why don’t we do it?  Why don’t we set goals for ourselves?  Is it because we think it’s only for businesses.   After all, we’re creative.  Surely goal setting doesn’t apply to us.  Right?

That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  You are a business.  It’s imperative that you set goals for yourself.

When I was leading seminars in the entertainment industry I would start by asking “how many of you have set goals for yourselves?”  Never more than two people out of a hundred would raise their hands.  In every other industry in the world, it would have been the reverse.  Ninety-eight people out of a hundred would have raised their hands.  Just because we’re in a creative industry, doesn’t let us off the hook.  It’s still a business.  And you’re a business.  In fact, you’re the president and CEO of your company… called YOU.  You have to take responsibility for your company and create a strategic plan for your career. Read more

Joe Tremaine Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

On Monday, August 1, 2011, at the DanceLife Teacher Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, Joe Tremaine was honored with the Dance Studio Life “Lifetime Achievement Award”

Congratulations Joe!
See more here: sweeps Readers’ Choice Awards

August 2011- In a never-before-seen Backstage Magazine Annual Readers’ Poll Result, The Master Talent Teachers have won a prodigious 6 out of 9 possible categories including:


Favorite Commercial Teacher and On-Camera: Carolyne Barry

Favorite Comedy Teacher: Gerry Katzman

Favorite Hosting Teacher: Maureen Browne

Favorite Acting Class for Kids & Teens: Diane Christiansen

Favorite Audition Technique Teacher: Holly Powell

Favorite Scene-Study Teacher (Runner-Up):  Kimberly Jentzen

Favorite Cold Reading Teacher (Runner-Up): Holly Powell

Favorite On-Camera Teacher: Carolyne Barry

In addition to the Backstage Awards (many of which have been won by the teachers before- including Kimberly Jentzen’s multi-year wins for Scene Study, Cold Reading, and Acting Coach) it has been award-winning season for all of the Master Talent Teachers with:

Maurice LaMee winning the Denver Post Readers’ Choice Award for Best Season by a Theater Company (an honor that the Livingston Fellow he has won 5 years in a row)

Suzanne Lyons being selected by Women In Film’s Development Incubator Program

And dance-legend Joe Tremaine receiving a lifetime achievement award at DanceLifeStudio’s Annual Conference in Scottsdale, AZ and the President’s Award from Dance Masters of America.

Never before have a collective of so many award-winning coaches and teachers come together to unlock the secrets of successful careers in entertainment for free.