What is “IT” Factor in Actors

What is “IT” Factor in Actors?

What is “IT” Factor in Actors?

They’ve got it.

They’re successful.

They have that “je ne sais quoi.”

The room changes when they walk in.

I can’t take my eyes off of them.

We’ve heard or even said these phrases about talented actors before… but no one quite pinpoints exactly what that feeling is.

Well I’m here to tell you— It’s Energy.

Now I don’t mean energy so much as in bouncing off the walls, 3 coffees deep type of energy. I mean internal vibrational energy made up of two primary things… CONFIDENCE and POSITIVITY.

The energy of someone who walks into an audition with training, experience and a positive self-affirming outlook is measurably different than someone who walks in with the energy of desperation for a booking. That desperation has usually eroded confidence, EVEN if the person is well trained and talented. Both desperation and lack of confidence are also indicators of a negative and self-destroying outlook– and this energy will lose you the job before you even open your mouth.

Casting Directors are experts in matching the energy of the actor, to the energy of the opportunity. They have spent thousands of hours assessing the “fit” of a person for a role and a project and they weigh everything from the ability to handle the character with craft and ease to the ability to work seamlessly with the on-set production team. These questions have always transcended look and resume to include the ENERGY of the performer.

So you need to FEEL like the right choice so you can give off the RIGHT energy in order to book the job.

Well how do you do that?

Here’s a few tips:

1. FULLY PREPARE. Do ALL of your actor homework. Get as off-book as humanly possible. Know your backstory, intentions and immerse yourself in WHO this character is.

2. BRING YOURSELF TO THE WORK. They want YOUR take, not a second hand version of what you think someone ELSE would do/ Find a way to personalize the work and bring your own sense of uniqueness to it.

3. MEDITATE that day. Get yourself in the zone. Clear your mind and center yourself so you can stay crystal clear and focused

4. VISUALIZE your success. Have fun imagining what a great audition looks and FEELS like. Rehearse the FEELINGS. This does WONDERS for your energy

5.DON’T RUSH. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive and plenty of time to perform.

6. STAY POSITIVE. Keep holding onto the joy that brought you here in the first place and stay committed to thinking positive thoughts about yourself and your abilities!

Need help training while you do the important work of building up your IT factor energy? Check out our many classes and events at to help build your confidence and skill level in this competitive field.

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Untraditional Improv Practice for this Holiday Season

Untraditional Improv Practice for this Holiday Season

Untraditional Improv Practice for this Holiday Season

As we head into the holiday season, people may be seeing family– including those adorable younger members– the kids! I know, you’ve already graduated from the children’s table long ago and you look forward to connecting with older family members you haven’t seen— but don’t underestimate what time with the younger ones can do for you AND for your creativity. This holiday season, I challenge you to take some time away from watching the holiday specials and sipping your favorite seasonal cocktails to get down on the floor —- and work on your acting career. How? Practice your improvisation skills!

Children are naturally brilliant improv artists. When you watch a child play, you’ll see them effortlessly create characters, scenarios and voices— making them the perfect holiday scene partner! Little kids can turn anything into a character and any amount of random items into a game using a bit of imagination. Help them create powerful memories and feel great about their own creativity by participating in a little creative play yourself!

Little kids will giggle at the creative voices you are working on in your voiceover class and will love the characters you create using skills from your dialects class. They’ll enjoy your ability to build a story and have a great time as their contributions help or hinder the character of your creation. They will delight in your comedic timing (or help you fine tune it) and they will give you great insight as to what is important to them thru their own impulses and choices. You’ll both learn as you test your ability to create stories on-the-spot without the pressure of a teacher, audition or comparison to a classmate.

These cute little peeps understand LOVE thru TIME and ATTENTION. Give them both of those things this season and give yourself the gift of remembering the joy that exists in this craft for yourself.

Don’t have young family members? Explore ways you can connect with kids in your local area by volunteering at a children’s hospital or getting involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters. There are many kids out there craving a positive role model– why not help your career AND be a great human!

Looking for classes to finetune your skillset in the meantime? Check out and learn from ANYWHERE with our large selection of online classes. Explore voiceover, improv, commercials, working on camera and much more in one of our many offerings you can explore from the comfort of your home! For a full listing of programs, visit:

Share your favorite moments of Untraditional Improv Practice this Holiday Season with us on our Facebook page:

Photo Kindly by Andi Chatfield.

Should You Move to Los Angeles? Or New York? Or Atlanta?

Should You Move to Los Angeles? Or New York? Or Atlanta?

Should You Move to Los Angeles? Or New York? Or Atlanta?

So often we run into actors who are considering a move to another major market. Right now, our biggest entertainment hubs are located in NY, LA and ATL and deciding which location is right for you is VERY important. Here are the most important questions you need to ask yourself when determining if a move to another market is right for you.

Have you grown out of your current market?

Have you already explored everything your home market has to offer? Maybe you are in a city like Chicago, Philly or DC where there are lots of opportunities in entertainment that can be explored BEFORE a big move. Have you hit a plateau in your city, or are you still building your resume and learning everyday? Do you feel like you have done everything you could have done to grow in your city but you aren’t getting to the next level?

Are you looking to build initial credits or build upon recent success?

Some markets are harder to build initial credits than others. Are you having a hard time getting initial credits in a larger market? Maybe a smaller market will help you beef up your resume before focusing on a larger one. Have you been crushing it in your city? Maybe you NEED a move to be able to go in more consistently for bigger projects and reach the next level.

Where are your “best fit” shows filming now?

What shows can you see yourself on? Where are THEY casting? What directors/writers are stylistically complimentary to the styles YOU are drawn to as a storyteller? What cities are THEY based in? The movies, series and shorts you are loving— where did THEY film?

Where are your support systems?

This is a tough career and support is IMPORTANT. Where do you know people who can help you along your path? Where are the training centers and teachers you trust located? Where do you have family and friends who can keep you positive and motivated? Identifying support systems where you live (or where you WILL LIVE) is KEY to success.

What kind of life do you want OUTSIDE of your career?

Think about the work/life balance that would make you happiest and explore the financial blueprint you need to get there. Now explore living expenses in the city of your choice. What do you need to do to obtain that lifestyle in that city? Where do you need to work? How many hours? Do you need a roommate? What type of living situation suits you the most? Do you want a dog? A car? A yard? Access to public transportation? Access to restaurants and shops? Which city can you fully visualize yourself in?

These questions are intended to focus you on which city is your best fit for you— and keep it mind, during your career, your answer may CHANGE!  There are many opportunities to build a successful career– and finding the best path for unique you deserves research, observation and careful consideration.  Good luck as you make your decision!

Photo Kindly by Joey Kyber on Unsplash.

From Hobby Actor to Professional: Here's 5 Tips to Help you Get There

From Hobby Actor to Professional: 5 Tips to Help you Get There

From Hobby Actor to Professional: Here’s 5 Tips to Help you Get There

So many people begin their love of the industry thru school or community theatre and it just blossoms from there… but making the jump from hobbyist to professional is not an easy step for many actors. Enjoy these 5 helpful tips when making the leap into paid performance opportunities as an actor.



The work of an actor is NEVER done. You need to constantly expand your skills and practice what you have learned time and time again. A series of community theatre or school productions does not equivalent real training with experienced educators. Find a teacher who is passionate about the craft that challenges you to be better. And don’t be the best person in your acting class… aggressive learning and training doesn’t happen when things are easy. Allow yourself to be in a classroom where it feels HARD!



Professional actors spend hours each day working on moving their career forward. I suggest protecting hours each day to do this. During this time, you should be researching industry trends, opportunities, potential partners, learning new materials, marketing yourself, tending to emails and more. You need to be an expert in what types of opportunities are out there for you, who you need to know to get them, and how to start building those relationships. This requires a daily commitment.



In order to be seen as a professional and get paid for your work, you’ll need to get REALLY picky on what work you decide to do for free. You can’t expect others to value your work if you don’t. Giving things away constantly does not create a sense of value. I’ve seen this be a hard step for actors– but it is very important. Only take on free projects that could have MAJOR impact on your career thru connections or big resume credits— and even then— be really really picky. Do you need another role like this on your resume? Or does your resume already show you can do that type of part? Will the time you put in be worth what YOU receive for doing the project? Draw a line for yourself and hold yourself to valuing your contributions and performances. If YOU don’t do this for yourself, NO ONE ELSE WILL.



Maybe your sister-in-law is a good photographer and does a fabulous job at your family photos– but that doesn’t always make her a good choice for a headshot photographer. It is very worthwhile to select a photographer who is experienced in this area. Notable headshot photographers have an understanding of what types of shots help actors get work and how to creatively obtain an organic shot from you. You should have a photographer who understands characters and storytelling so they can help you achieve pictures that clearly broadcast the emotions of the most common characters you can play. Headshot photographers also know the difference between a good picture of you and a good HEADSHOT of you. Just because a picture is flattering doesn’t make it a good headshot. You need to look just like you on a good day– not an over airbrushed magazine cover model.



There are tons of information on how to go about the path of becoming a working actor and it can feel overwhelming at times. I strongly suggest that all actors find a mentor in the business; someone who is working professionally who has learned the ropes and can help you avoid mistakes and missteps along the way. As you go about your journey you’ll have questions about unions, contracts, pay rates and representation. It is enormously helpful to have a go-to person (or people) to help you learn professional protocols and standards along the way.


Looking for more help getting started along your career path from hobby actor to professional actor? Actors Connection is here to help you access the training and information you need to get to the next level. Sign-up here for a completely FREE program consultation to learn more about what we suggest as your personal next steps.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and learn how to take yourself from from hobby actor to professional, by watching our InterAct Q&A Webinars series with industry professionals. 

Acting Career | 5 Important Questions Every Actor Should Ask Themselves Right Now

5 Important Questions Every Actor Should Ask Themselves

5 Important Questions Every Actor Should Ask Themselves Right Now

Staying focused and positive during this pandemic can make a big difference when you get back in the running for great acting opportunities.  Fall also has this special way of inspiring us to get back to work and back to the goals we have in our heart– So if you have been craving a RE-FOCUS sorta Fall— then this blog is for you!

When it comes to your acting career, I find that there are some BIG questions that you can answer for yourself that can help you get clearer on the type of work and opportunities you should be focused on.  There is a lot of information out there in the inter-webs on things you should be doing as an actor, and without a few guiding principles, it is REALLY EASY to work yourself into the ground.  Don’t be busy for the sake of being busy– get busy doing the RIGHT THINGS FOR YOU– which newsflash… may be different RIGHT things for someone else.

To help actors get focused on who they are meant to be in this industry, I have a few guiding questions that they can answer themselves to help set the stage for tasks and priorities for Fall 2020.  Check them out and answer them for yourself below.  I hope they help you hone in on the type of artist you want to be this year.

What three words describe your career right now?

Think 3 descriptive words and be honest with yourself on how you would describe the current state of your career.  Don’t over edit, go with your instincts.  You need to really understand where you are at right now.

What three words describe the career you want to have?

When you imagine yourself having the acting career that fulfills you, what descriptive words come to mind?  Let these words be varied and joyous.  Compare your answers from question 1 and question 2.  Think about what steps you need to take and thoughts you need to think to start feeling the energy of your question two answers in your everyday life in your NOW moments.

What are the types of stories you feel most inspired to tell?

Surprisingly, so many actors don’t have an answer ready for this one.  You should ALWAYS have an answer here.  What are the stories and the character types that you feel attracted to?  Do you like portraying young women who can go against the odds and win?  Do you love stories about men discovering a deeply hidden softer side?  Do you like stories that depict a battle of good and evil?  Or stories that prove the importance of love?  Do you particularly enjoy historical pieces?  Sci-fi that challenges human perception?  Note all your tastes as a storyteller.  Explore what makes your most desired characters the ones you most like to play.  Understand those reoccurring themes.

Who is producing work surrounding those types of stories?

Now that you understand the work that you LOVE on a deeper level, you need to find EVERYONE in the industry who also LOVES that type of work.  Who writes those stories?  Produces them?  Casts them?  Finances them?  What types of audiences support them?  Learn the entire ins and outs of that type of work.  Compile bios and begin understanding how the most successful people making those stories started their careers.  Notice certain things show up more than once.  Use this research to make a list of people you should network with, places you should train, festivals or conferences you should attend and more.  The more you can find ways to surround yourself with this network, the better.

What can you be doing to have more JOY in your career right now?

Bad energy can repel new relationships and opportunities from developing in your life.  How do you stay away from that career-killing vibe?  One word- JOY.  Bring as much JOY into your acting career as possible.  There are so many ways to do this.  Surround yourself with joyful artists and create opportunities for you to joyfully play in the craft (do mini readings, have an online improv night with friends– get creative).  Find an online acting class that makes your heart feel powerful.  Protect time to discover non-acting related activities that give you joy.  Think you don’t have any?.. ALERT ALERT– make this a PRIORITY.  Don’t be an actor/robot…. You are a human being.  Discover hiking, painting, learning about marine life, tae kwon do– whatever.  The more you enjoy and learn about your world, the more FULL your craft becomes.  Other ways to find joy?  Audit your inner circle.  Spend time with people who ENERGIZE you and not those that leave you feeling exhausted.  Make a HAPPY list of things that make you smile each morning.  Find your inner kid and give them a chance to PLAY within the world in a small way everyday.  By doing these things, you are tending to your energy– and that energy is the IT FACTOR that opens you up to greater success and happiness.

I hope these questions have helped you get some clarity on some changes you should make in order to be the type of actor you WANT to be this Fall and beyond.  Feel free to revisit them anytime you feel stuck in your career.  We change, and sometimes some fresh answers will be all we need to make sure our sails are taking us in the right direction.

Want to do more learning about what can help you in your career right now?  Check us out at  Our varied classes and free program consultations are designed with YOU in mind.  We are ready to support you as you discover the career path that was always meant for you!

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online acting school

Zooming in on the Pivot to Online Acting

Pivot to Online Acting?

Many actors are drawn to performing because of their love of people and the thrill of an audience.  There is a kinetic creative energy that hovers in a room of artists that can be addictive to those who enjoy the craft.  Being in the same room of a beautiful performance changes you.  It alters the energetic state of full groups of people– eliciting emotions and reactions both expected and unexpected.  These delicate moments are unique, memorable and beautiful.

So How’s That Going on Zoom?

As an in-person school that made the online acting school pivot, we have to admit, we had our concerns about taking these unique in-class experiences and shifting them into the cloud.  Will the energy be the same?  How will the value be perceived?  Will the same amount of learning occur?  Can actors achieve the same amount of success in a virtual classroom?

With great relief, we can honestly say that online learning has worked even better than we have hoped.

To move forward with online acting classes and events, it required everyone (teachers/students staff) to focus on several pillars highly important in both acting and in business:  QUALITY, SPECIFICITY and GENEROSITY.

Communication has to be clear in online settings and that requires QUALITY.  Instructions need to be bulletproof to help those of all backgrounds provide their own at-home tech support to successfully access their sessions with ease and clarity.  Foibles in tech can lead to a lack in confidence for those on the sending AND receiving end of material.

This time gave everyone a crash course in how to optimize their virtual capacities and we saw an unprecedented amount of learning in lighting, sound and video quality among students.  For years we have heard casting director concerns about self-tape standards and I am certain that these months have allowed many actors to upgrade and correct their previous issues without the stress of looming taping deadlines and everyday life.  The ways in which this will serve these performers is limitless.

Clearer quality gives SPECIFICITY a front row seat during this pandemic.  It is vital for clear character to character communication and to successfully tell a story within frame.  There are things that are lost in person but are under a spotlight when you are face to face with a camera lens.

Every reaction is seen.  And every MISSING reaction is seen.  Every accidental facial movement is under a microscope.  Details are naturally encouraged in this environment and that magnifying glass is helping actors go deeper into their stories than ever before.

They are regularly realizing new levels of specificity in their performances from the constant practice.  It is specificity that is the hero of noteworthy performing and this forced focus for both on-camera and stage actors is serving everyone at this time.  Actors Connection has personally witnessed how this has accelerated learning for many students.

Rounding out our list is GENEROSITY.  When things get tough and EVERYONE is feeling the squeeze, there is a human instinct to hoard and protect what you have at all costs.  The entertainment industry decided to handle it differently.  Actors Connection and many of our partners and colleagues have used this time to focus on FREE programming.  With normal deadlines being halted in their tracks, it allowed our whole industry to hold a space of generosity that so many have craved for years.

This time has led to numerous free learning, training and networking opportunities that have never taken place at this level EVER before.  These free programs also allowed us all to get some risk-free practice in online platforms, helping to make our industry’s online pivot to be as comfortable as possible for both staff and students.  We are even happy to report that Actors Connection’s FREE at THREE series even led to several actors finding the right representation and signing contracts– even in the middle of a pandemic!

Red CarpetCovid-19 may have closed downs movie sets and long running theatrical performances, but it NEVER closed down the work of an active actor.  It set the craft on FIRE.  We expect that actors that used this time to practice effective online communication quality, get more specific in their craft approaches, and benefit from the generosity the industry embraced during this time, will soar to more successful experiences as projects open up and more online auditions begin.

When I look back to Spring, I remember the pit in my stomach as everything related to our beloved livelihood shut down.  Sitting here now, I recognize these months as an exercise in resilience and creativity and am grateful for the opportunity to totally focus on the love we have for our actors.

And just wait until you see them now.  They are going to knock your socks off with their new arsenal of abilities… and this next year of theatre and tv is bound to be pretty freakin’ impressive.

Check out our YouTube channel to learn why people love Actors Connection!