January 22, 2019

In my weekly classes at Screen Actors System, we focus on five major emotions, all of which are played honestly and as obstacles to reflect real life. Emotions are almost never convenient for us in real life so we try to hide them. When an actor simulates this process...

January 8, 2019

Homework is boring. That’s why you went into the arts! But you’ll soon find out—if you haven’t already—that as a professional working actor, homework will follow you for your entire life courtesy of memorizing lines. Luckily, you can learn your lines without ever strug...

December 17, 2018

“Just bring it down for film."

Have you ever heard an acting teacher say that old chestnut? A simple enough sentiment, but the process of translating theatrical technique over to film is far more involved than that line makes it seem. It’s not something that will magica...

March 12, 2018

This is straight up advice from me, Ryan R. Williams, acting coach to multiple Academy Award Winners and a guy voted LA’s Favorite on-camera acting teacher by Backstage Magazine

Most of you reading this are too damn lazy and ill informed to hear me.  I’m going to say i...

December 18, 2017

In this day and age, your first audition takes place digitally so consider your reel to be your best and possibly only chance to get in the room. If you want to be called in for film and television work, the reel better be great and editing is a big part of that.

To hel...

October 17, 2017

Imagine landing a role in a new Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Lee, or Martin Scorsese film (like several students I’ve known and taught).  Film directors, myself included, are known for letting their actors improvise on certain takes. I cast out of my scene study classes...

June 22, 2016

I have taught actors in their 20s and actors in their 80s—from Academy Award winners to novices. I’ve noticed some patterns with the under 25 crowd that are cause for concern, and some of these habits need to be broken before they rob you of your moment.

1. Notice what...

February 24, 2016

How do you keep your takes fresh enough for you and your scene partners, and yet consistent enough to avoid the wrath of script supervisors?

1. Use the same clear objective every take, just alternate tactics. Scenes in movies are often not more than two minutes, so just...

November 18, 2015

It may shock you to learn that even the best teachers in the world have steered you wrong on this thing. You know that goal and action goes back to the Greeks, but how do you actually use objective based acting? I have drawn on my extensive background as a screenwriter...

November 2, 2015

My students will not like that I am sharing this with Backstage readers. Occasionally, I dish them the exclusive networking and industry party opportunities I have access to as a producer and director (and as someone with a publicist). But this opportunity is more publ...

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