Wednesday, June 9, 2010


In February, I auditioned for South Coast Repertory's Professional Acting Intensive and, a week later, I got a letter in the mail saying that I was accepted. I promptly freaked out.

So I am very excited to be spending the next two months at the theatre every day, and because I convinced USD to give me some units for this endeavor, I will be blogging every day as my journal to later go back and write a massive paper about the experience. But, in the mean time, I will be sharing my daily experiences and my favorite tips and tidbits from the fabulous instructors that I am learning from every day.

My first morning, I was incredibly nervous, which is not a feeling I experience often, but the potential for my career after doing this program (hire me SCR! give me my Equity card!) is really intimidating. There are about 26 other actors this summer, with varying degrees of experience, training, and age. We took a tour of the theatre (I get a key!) and it's like starting school all over again: The building is a huge labyrinth of staircases, classrooms, offices, and of course the main stages, and I have no idea where any of my classrooms are. At one point I stepped away from the group to go to the bathroom in between classes and got thoroughly lost.

Our first class, with program director Karen Hensel, was a blast. We all came to class prepared with a monologue, and she put us on stage in pairs, gave us some given circumstances ("You're picking up a girl at a bar", "You're at your uncle's funeral"), and instructed us to do the scene using the text from our monologue. The result was sometimes hilarious and sometimes worked out weirdly well. Her entire point was that as an actor, "You control the words. The words do not control you." You need to be able to change the delivery of the words to fit what you're trying to communicate, because, especially in an audition situation, you need to be able to change at the drop of a hat if the casting people have something else in mind. She also made us solemnly swear to never leave an audition without asking the casting director: "Would you like to see it another way? Is there something you'd like to see that I didn't give you?"

Our next class of the day was with Hal Landon (he plays Scrooge every year in a Christmas Carol) and is called "Advanced Techniques." It is essentially a Michael Chekhov class, which is great because I recently took a class with Liz Shipman at USD that is very similar, so I've already gotten over the awkwardness of "move like you're surrounded by clay" or "radiate light toward this wall." (What?) This type of work was really strange for me before I took Liz's class, so I'm glad I'm a little bit more prepared for this one.

I left exhausted and excited for the next day. More to come!


  1. hi callie,

    i am a foreigner who has the passion to act and to become a professional actress, I am concern as i do not have a degree for acting. I always wanted to become a actress but due to lack of support from family, i never got the chance to pursue this dream that i have had since i was a child. My father was a local actor in Malaysia and i wasn't given the encouragement due to the experienced my father had during his struggle of being an actor. I am born to do this and i can see myself grow if i was given the opportunity. I am willing to use my saving to move to California to pursue this dream. I however would like to find out more about this training for foreign students who are lack of a degree in the performing arts. I am able to visit the training center based in Singapore which i search up on the google search engine. I would need some guidance on how to get to be a professional actress. I hope to hear from you to make my dream come true. Please do kindly email me at

  2. Hello Callie,

    Would it be possible for you to explain a little about the interview and audition process?

    Thank you.

    Esmeralda Heras

  3. Nothing more i could say looking at the school acting curriculum amazing to me.