How to Start a Career in Film and TV Acting

Hosted by Taylor Nichols

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Taylor Nichols

Webinar hosted by: Taylor Nichols

Actor (HBO's PERRY MASON, Hulu's PEN15, THE WALKING DEAD)

Taylor Nichols is an award winning filmmaker, theater director and actor with over one hundred credits to his name. He is currently on the Emmy-nominated Hulu show PEN15 and the HBO smash-hit PERRY MASON. Taylor has also appeared on shows such as Emmy and Golden Globe nominated THE WALKING DEAD and PRISON BREAK, the cultural hit DIRTY JOHN, Emmy-winning MODERN FAMILY, 24 Golden Globe nominated THE MENTALIST and many more. In addition to acting, Taylor is an award winning short filmmaker and an experienced producer with feature credits including THE NEXT STEP and CASE 219. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

It’s the dream of many to have a career as a working actor, and it’s easy to see why. The ability to support yourself through performing, creating characters and telling stories is incredibly exciting and rewarding. The good news is this is not beyond your reach. Even during COVID, more productions are coming together for more and more networks, studios and platforms, and with them, more opportunities for actors looking to break in. If you’re dedicated, talented, and have a working knowledge of how the entertainment industry works and how you can work within it, you can absolutely find opportunities and ultimately career as a working TV and film actor. First it’s important you learn everything you need to so you can find success.

It’s common for new actors to believe that the craft alone will lead them to work and a comfortable career, but there’s a lot more that goes along with this profession. Honing your skill as a performer is paramount, but it needs to be accompanied by strategy, initiative, and an understanding of the industry. So what do you actually need to do in order get a jump start on your acting career? What materials do you need to have ready, who do you need in your corner and how can you make sure you stand out from others? Let’s take a look at what it really takes to get into acting.

Taylor Nichols is an award winning filmmaker, theater director and actor with over one hundred credits to his name. He is currently on the Emmy-nominated Hulu show PEN15 and the HBO smash-hit PERRY MASON. Taylor has also appeared on shows such as Emmy and Golden Globe nominated THE WALKING DEAD and PRISON BREAK, the cultural hit DIRTY JOHN, Emmy-winning MODERN FAMILY, 24, Golden Globe nominated THE MENTALIST and many more. In addition to acting, Taylor is an award winning short filmmaker and an experienced producer with feature credits including THE NEXT STEP and CASE 219. Taylor brings to Stage 32 more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and continues to mentor and champion new actors beginning their careers. He’s excited to share with the Stage 32 community the skills and lessons he’s developed throughout his career.

Taylor will lay out a realistic and soup-to-nuts approach to how you can start a career as a film and TV actor and pave the way for success. He’ll go into what it actually looks like to be a career actor and what the path to success realistically looks like.  He’ll delve into building the prerequisites any actor needs to start, including pictures, a resume, a demo reel and the right attitude. He will discuss where and how to get started and how to take advantage of the right acting classes and theater companies. Next Taylor will share with you the tools you will need for your acting toolkit and will then teach you about acting representation and how to get it for your own career. He’ll delve into the casting process for both TV and film and give you advice on how you can stand out by creating your own content and using social media to your advantage. Finally Taylor will teach you how to treat your career like a business to stay afloat, smart, and successful.

Through the lessons Taylor is laying out, you’ll have a comprehensive blueprint you can use to start your career in acting with your eyes open.

 

 

Praise for Taylor's Past Stage 32 Webinar

 

"Wonderful job on all counts. Taylor was very informative and ever so likable."

-Jody F.

 

"I really loved the webinar - Taylor gave a really useful and inspiring presentation, which felt genuinely rooted in the love of acting and the respect for the craft of it."

-Rowen B.

 

"Taylor was great and very helpful."

-Martin B.

 

"Taylor was great! I thoroughly enjoyed Taylor's class & will be re-visiting it through the on-demand option."

-Laurka L.

What You'll Learn

  • What Does It Mean to Be a Career Actor – A Peek Inside
    • What does a day in the life look like?
    • Setting goals and expectations:
    • What does a realistic path look like?
  • Understanding the Business and How It Is Changing:
    • Where do actors fit in?
  • How to Build the Prerequisites to Start Your Career
    • Passion, desire and commitment.
    • Pictures
    • Resumes
    • Demo reel
  • Where and How to Get Started
    • Does one need to be in Los Angeles? Absolutely not!
    • Acting classes
      • Where to look
      • Where to avoid
    • Theater Companies
  • The Tools All Actors Need In Their Toolkit
    • A monologue
    • A scene
    • Self-Taping equipment
    • Casting Sites
    • Industry information
  • Getting Representation
    • Agents, managers, or agents AND managers?
    • Tips to find representation
  • Understanding the casting process
    • Type casting
    • Type of roles,
      • Guest star, co-star, and more
    • Union membership
    • Pilot season and seasonal work
  • Creating Your Own Content to Stand Out
  • Using Social Media to your Advantage Without Getting Trapped.
  • Treating Your Career Like a Business
    • Money- how it's spent, earned, and taxed
    • Tracking auditions and progress
    • Building your contacts
    • Finding the date
  • Q&A with Taylor

About Your Instructor

Taylor Nichols is an award winning filmmaker, theater director and actor with over one hundred credits to his name. He is currently on the Emmy-nominated Hulu show PEN15 and the HBO smash-hit PERRY MASON. Taylor has also appeared on shows such as Emmy and Golden Globe nominated THE WALKING DEAD and PRISON BREAK, the cultural hit DIRTY JOHN, Emmy-winning MODERN FAMILY, 24 Golden Globe nominated THE MENTALIST and many more. In addition to acting, Taylor is an award winning short filmmaker and an experienced producer with feature credits including THE NEXT STEP and CASE 219.

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Actors: How to Break Down Your Script to Prepare for a Role or Audition-with Live Interactive Workshop

The most significant aspect of any actor’s career is securing work, but with overwhelming competition, roles are scare and difficult to come by, which can make this task incredibly tough. Yet in the end, acting careers are built on the work and honing your skills as a performer. Every actor knows that work begets work. This is because as we expand our experiences and circle of connections, more doors open with opportunities for more work. It’s great to have an agent, to make those connections, to develop strategies to become more marketable, but more important than all of that is becoming the best actor you can possibly be. Ultimately, producers want to hire the right performer for the role, and putting yourself in a position to get that role is less complicated than others might have you believe.  Whether you are preparing for an audition or a performance for a role you are already cast in, your main tool and blueprint before you even get on set or in that audition room is likely going to be the script, and any practiced actor will tell you there’s a lot more to a script than just your character’s dialogue. If you’re simply going through the script to highlight your lines, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of information that will lend itself to you finding the character and giving your best possible performance. An experienced actor is able to fully break down any written scene to internalize not just the dialogue, but the beats, the context, the elements that are unwritten but still very present. Knowing how to analyze a script and glean from it all of its information and clues will allow you to more fully inhabit your role and make you a better and more cast-able actor. Taylor Nichols is an award winning filmmaker, theater director and actor with over one hundred credits to his name. He is currently on the Emmy-nominated Hulu show PEN15 and the HBO smash-hit PERRY MASON. Taylor has also appeared on shows such as Emmy and Golden Globe nominated THE WALKING DEAD and PRISON BREAK, the cultural hit DIRTY JOHN, Emmy-winning MODERN FAMILY, 24, Golden Globe nominated THE MENTALIST and many more.  In addition to acting, Taylor is an award winning short filmmaker and an experienced producer with feature credits including THE NEXT STEP and CASE 219. Taylor brings to Stage 32 more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and is ready to share with the community the skills and lessons he’s developed throughout his career. Taylor will lay out how to break down a script as an actor and develop the techniques needed for characterization and emotional depth to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances”. Taylor will begin by teaching you what an actor should do as soon as they get the script, including what to focus on during your first read through and how you should be marking it up. He will give you the tools to zero in on a specific scene’s theme and will then delve into determining your character’s objective, both in the scene and in the story as a whole. He’ll talk about how and where you should place dramatic beats by finding the scene’s shape and creating and feeding into the flow. He’ll go into what makes beats and pauses feel natural and honest and when they feel put on and will also outline how you can use your beats as a tool for line memorization. Taylor will then go over how to define your character’s obstacles while reading the script and how you should create your own honest actions in the scene. He will also explain how these actions can successfully interact with both beats and objectives. Next he will explain what “givens” are in a script and how you can find the givens of your character. He will also teach you the difference between naturalism and honesty when giving a performance and explain why honesty is always what an actor should be working towards. Taylor will also lead a live, interactive acting workshop to illustrate the strategies he has taught and show how to use the written scene to define the characters. Taylor will break down down a scene of a script in real time and will bring up students to perform these role based on this breakdown. Through his lesson and workshop, Taylor will give you invaluable tools to help hone your craft and better prepare you for any future auditions or performances.   Praise for Taylor's Stage 32 Webinar   "Wonderful job on all counts. Taylor was very informative and ever so likable." -Jody F.   "I really loved the webinar - Taylor gave a really useful and inspiring presentation, which felt genuinely rooted in the love of acting and the respect for the craft of it. I found both the teaching and the workshopping aspect of it very informative and really gave us as actors clear examples of how to up-level our work." -Rowen B.   "Taylor was great and very helpful." -Martin B.   "Taylor was great! I thoroughly enjoyed Taylor's class & will be re-visiting it through the on-demand option." -Laurka L.    

Stage 32 Acting Lab: Perform and Master Your Monologue + Mock Audition with a Casting Director

**Only 12 Spots Available- 6 Spots Remain** If you're an actor, no matter what level you're at or how much success you've already found, it's crucial to continue to work on your craft and build your skills as an artist. Selecting and mastering a monologue is an important exercise to not only hone your craft but to shape your voice and brand, and now Stage 32 is giving you an opportunity to get your monologue ready under the guidance of celebrated actor and teacher Taylor Nichols. Taylor Nichols is an award winning filmmaker, theater director and actor with over one hundred credits to his name. He is currently on the Emmy-nominated Hulu show PEN15 and the HBO smash-hit PERRY MASON. Taylor has also appeared on shows such as Emmy and Golden Globe nominated THE WALKING DEAD and PRISON BREAK, the cultural hit DIRTY JOHN, Emmy-winning MODERN FAMILY, 24, Golden Globe nominated THE MENTALIST and many more. In addition to acting, Taylor is an award winning short filmmaker and an experienced producer with feature credits including THE NEXT STEP and CASE 219. Taylor brings to Stage 32 more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and is ready to share with the community the skills and lessons he’s developed throughout his career. Over the course of four weeks, Taylor will work closely with you in selecting, performing, and mastering your own monologue, all from the comfort of your home. As part of this collaborative and safe class setting, you will also get the chance to participate in your fellow students’ working on their own monologues and provide your feedback, a practice that is incredibly valuable for any serious actor. The class will conclude with an opportunity to present your work in a real world mock casting session with an actual casting director. You will receive feedback from the casting director and have the chance to ask questions regarding the work and the process. Through Taylor’s mentorship, you will walk away with deeper confidence in your craft as an actor and a polished monologue that you can take with you through your career.     WHAT TO EXPECT This lab is designed for actors of all levels interested in improving their craft This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with one-on-one time with the instructor and significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***Only 12 Spots Available-6 Spots Remain*** This class will consist of four weekly sessions. There will be an additional session on the fourth week where you can perform your monologue for a casting director, receive feedback and ask questions. Mock audition is strictly for education purposes and not for any employment opportunities Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the TV project development process. To see the full acting lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".   PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 12 students and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. Only 6 spots remain. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with an award winning and nationally recognized actor is an incredibly valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at edu@stage32.com for more information     Praise for Taylor's Previous Stage 32 Webinar   "The session was at a higher level of script breakdown than I ever had before. Attests to Taylor’s understanding of the process an actor must go through to understand the scene. Superb!" -Vee K.   "This webinar with Taylor was such a pleasure; his transparency, honesty, and the clarity of his approach were invaluable, and he left the class with a real, step by step process to help actors dive deeper into a script and challenge the artist within." -Carolyn V.   "Wonderful job on all counts. Taylor was very informative and ever so likable." -Jody F.   "This webinar far exceeded my expectations. I was so inspired by Taylor's approach to acting. So many other webinars on other platforms can end up being an up-sell with very little focus on tools that will be useful. Stage 32 webinars are not like that at all. This was a workshop with a true purpose - to help actors up-level from naturalism to honesty in a scene. Taylor broke down the process of achieving that very clearly and had actors demonstrate it in the workshop. I was honored to be a part of that. I'm so grateful to Taylor for giving me the time to take a risk and develop my work." -Rowen V.  

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Mastering "Setiquette" - How to Stand Out on a Film or Television Set

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Ask Me Anything: with Stage 32's Richard 'RB' Botto

Let's rock and roll, Creative Army. We've been well overdue to get together live. I've got just the solution. Let's hang AMA (Ask Me Anything) style.   Since the last AMA in May, I've been running all over the globe fulfilling Stage 32 partnership responsibilities, conducting business, exploring creative writing/filming/producing opportunities, and mentoring in such places as Cannes, Budapest, Majorca, Paris, Dordogne, Trinidad and Tobago, London, Munich, Hamburg and, of course, right here in Los Angeles. To say there's been much going on would be the understatement of the century. I have much to share! And I know you all have questions!   So let's chill together for a couple of inspiring, motivating, and brutally honest 2 hours of craft and industry talk. Remember, no matter what your discipline, skill level, geographical location, etc, this AMA is for ALL! Bring your questions and the energy and I'll handle the rest.   As always, registering for my AMA is completely FREE! And the more the merrier, so do invite any of your fellow creative peers to join us as well.   Cheers!   RB

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