Wesam Keesh is an actor best known for his role as Jay Simmons on ABC's hit show For the People. He is also the creator and host of the popular Actors Anonymous Podcast, a weekly podcast for actors to improve and evolve not only their acting careers but also their personal lives. Wesam has had a great career so far, working on hit shows such as Awkward, NCIS, The Mentalist, NCIS:LA, Touch and many more. He’s trained from many teachers and acting styles such as: Hagen, Stanislavsky, Meisner, Rodenburg, Cohen, Barton , Audition technique classes from Margie Haber, and many more. His favorite advice about acting is, “There is no handbook on how to succeed in this business. You have to find out what works for you and when.” He has compiled from hundreds of talks, discussions and personal experiences the best mindset, advice and techniques for bringing out the best of YOU in an audition and is thrilled to be teaching with Stage 32! Full Bio »
Whether they are experienced or new to the business, many actors find the audition process to be a great burden. From the moment you get that breakdown, you find yourself in an influx of emotions. You become stiff, un-balanced, frustrated, and by the time you’re driving home from the audition, you feel disheartened and demoralized. What is the secret to bringing your best performance to the table every time you audition? What can you do pre, during, and post audition to make the process seamless, enjoyable and help you book the role? How can you avoid the ‘post-mortem’ feeling after leaving an audition?
It’s time to find the balance needed to execute a superb performance, bringing out the best of YOU in the room.
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Wesam will teach you how to bring out the best version of yourself in your audition, helping you nail your performance and confidently tackle any audition that comes your way. In this webinar, Wesam will break down the audition process into 3 phases: Pre-Audition, Audition and Post-Audition. You will go through the mindset of the actor as they get the breakdown, read the script and scenes, driving to the audition and waiting in the room to go in so you can learn how to focus during your audition and let yourself shine through. Wesam will address the feelings you have after every audition and will teach you how to “let go” – one of the hardest thing to embrace for most actors.
Drawing from his own experience, as well as the experiences of many actors he’s worked with and interviewed on his podcast, Wesam will talk about tips and stories from his own career and share the best advice and secrets of the trade for prep. He will teach you key things to remember during the entire process, what directors/casting directors/producers look for when you come in and his most crucial piece of advice for any artist. You will leave this webinar knowing how to make every audition your best audition!
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“I sincerely appreciate his honest and concise feedback. He never beats around the bush, but instead is able to swiftly locate what needs to be worked on. He has a great eye for that. I have never felt "wrong", exploited, or insecure, but rather inspired and excited to try some new things. And I believe this healthy response is what makes his work so effective and enjoyable. Thanks to Wesam I received a full ride to NYU for acting, as well as many big bookings including one of my most recent, a recurring guest star role as "Victor" on NBC's new show The Player." – Isiah Adams
One of the most critical and underappreciated roles necessary to make a film work is the script supervisor. This person is vital to helping a director achieve his or her vision and is one of the most important positions a director must choose for his or her team. A good script supervisor not only keeps track of script progress and continuity, but serves as the director’s trusted confidante. They save time, money, and are instrumental in helping a director achieve his or her creative goals. But for this to work, the relationship between these two roles needs to be solid. A director and script supervisor have an interesting and complex relationship. You can have a great script, a spectacular cast, the most talented cinematographer, production designer, and gorgeous costumes, but if your film doesn’t edit well, it will be a disappointment. A good, experienced script supervisor helps a director avoid missteps, gives them cinematic choices in the editing room, and becomes their narrative storytelling accomplice. A bad script supervisor can be a real nuisance, interrupt the creativity on a set, and fail to protect a director’s vision. It all comes down to understanding and communication. Forming the vital and promising relationship between a director and the right script supervisor will have a lasting, positive impact on the film. No matter the size of your film, mastering this complex relationship can make all the difference. Let’s explore how to make this work. Brenda Wachel is an accomplished and sought after script supervisor with over 30 years of experience and credits on some of the biggest films of all time, including JURASSIC PARK 3, OCTOBER SKY, BRIGHT, COLLATERAL, FURIOUS 7, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. She has worked with countless directors like Paul Haggis, Joe Johnston, Michael Mann, David Ayer, Tim Robbins, and Terry Gilliam and continues to serve as script supervisor for upcoming projects like Netflix’s just released mockumentary feature DEATH TO 2020, written and directed by BLACK MIRROR’s Charlie Brooker and starring Hugh Grant, Samuel L. Jackson, and Lisa Kudrow. No one knows the role of script supervisor and how to find success through this position better than Brenda, and she’s prepared to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Brenda will break down the importance of a script supervisor throughout the process of making a film and demonstrate how to make the vital relationship between a director and script supervisor work. She will begin by delving into the job of a script supervisor and why they’re especially important to directors. She’ll also explain their duties during prep, filming, and post production. She’ll also explain why a script supervisor is necessary for films of all levels, from low budget features and shorts to big budget blockbusters. She’ll give tips on how to find the right script supervisor for your project as well. Next, Brenda will look at how to shape the relationship between a director and script supervisor including how to establish one and how to grow and maintain it. She will then teach you how best to communicate between these two roles and then go into how a script supervisor can help with the relationship between directors and actors. Finally Brenda will share the biggest lessons she’s learned in her storied career as a script supervisor. If you are a director preparing to start a new project in the new year, no matter the size, it’s imperative you have a good script supervisor on your side and a good relationship with them. Brenda will show you how to do this. “The role of a Script Supervisor is vital for any film production, but also often a misunderstood, under-utilized, and underappreciated one. Doing it well sometimes means being invisible. I’ve been on enough films and worked with enough different directors to know how much a good relationship between a director and script supervisor can elevate a film, and how much a film suffers when the relationship isn’t there. I am very excited to share my experiences with you and teach you what I know about being an invaluable script supervisor.” -Brenda Wachel
Being an actor means constantly evolving. It means being open to new ideas. It's realizing that to be the best, as perfect as one can be, one must pay attention and learn from those who keep landing roles. The goal is not only to do the best work, but to have that work recognized in a way that brings longevity to your career. Ron Marasco has had that kind of career. Ron has been making his name in film and TV for over 25 years appearing in successful films and television shows such as The 40 Year Old Virgin, Entourage, Lost and Bones. As if that wasn't enough, Ron has a Ph.D in Theater and teaches acting at prestigious Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. His book Notes for an Actor, has become a bible for many. In short, the man knows acting inside and out. The secret to Ron's success? Well, it's his 9 secrets to getting your best performance. And they're a secret no longer. Right here, exclusively for Stage 32, Ron shares all the information that has led to his massive success. Ron’s approach is not so much a “method” as it is “tool-kit” of tricks that provide fast-fixes to an actor’s work, doable techniques that quickly increase an actor’s on-stage/on-screen command, and gems meant to spark an actor’s inspiration. This webinar will be what Ron calls “shop-talk,” just one actor talking to other actors about the “secrets” he’s learned that are the base-work of every good performance. “This is the stuff,” Ron says, “they don’t tell you in acting classes." So settle in, let your guard down, open your mind, and let Ron's techniques sink in. Here's to better auditions and more jobs! "All I can say is, wow. I'm rewatching tomorrow and the next day and the next." - Angela Z. (Note: webinar is visuals only, not webcam)
Learn directly from Managing Attorney of the immigration firm D'Alessio Law Group, Lorraine D’Alessio! For freelance creatives like actors, directors, writers and producers, Hollywood is probably your Mecca. However, if you don’t already live there, or are not even a US citizen, how do you get there- and work there- legally? Unfortunately, the artistic community is often the target of immigration scams. It’s hard to know what information is valid and what is not. Many people spend hours researching work visas only to end up with the wrong type of visa for a creative career. Stage 32 is here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you! The more educated you are on the subject, the more empowered you will be in your career and in your life. Knowing how to find and secure the right work visa for you will get you one step closer to living your dream. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Lorraine D'Alessio, managing attorney of the immigration firm D'Alessio Law Group, will walk you through how to live and work legally in the US as a creative. She will educate you on the different visas that exist, go step-by-step through the O-1 "person of extraordinary ability" visa, suggest ways to build your career portfolio in order to strengthen your visa petition, alert you to the dos and don'ts at the border and most importantly, dispel the many myths and misinformation that exist on US visas. Lorraine D’Alessio’ combines her unique knowledge of the entertainment industry and immigration law to assist foreign nationals who wish to come to the United States and work in entertainment and entertainment related fields. Her practice is limited to immigration and nationality law and concentrates on temporary and permanent business and employment related visas for investors, artists, entertainers, musicians, actors, directors, producers and essential technical and creative personnel in the motion picture and television industries. Ms. D’Alessio routinely gives lectures throughout Canada on entertainment and investment immigration.
The UK has a booming screen sector with world-class production facilities that have recently been home to film and TV behemoths like STAR WARS, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and GAME OF THRONES, as well as a thriving independent sector that has supported filmmakers like Steve McQueen, Andrea Arnold, Ken Loach, Joanna Hogg, Clio Barnard, Mike Leigh and Lynne Ramsay. The UK and US industries are closely aligned due to a common language, frequent co-productions and an increasing cross-pollination of talent. But what sets the UK market apart from its US counterpart is a strong public funding system, which supports the independent sector and nurtures new talent. So how do you access this support and what kind of projects are eligible? And what about commercial financing options? How does TV fit into this? And what about Brexit and its impact on co-productions? Whether you’re a UK native or an international filmmaker, producer, it’s high time to gain a comprehensive understanding of the UK’s role in the global film and television industry. In many ways, with so many creatives focused on the American market, this is open yet unexplored territory that can be explored and mined for your gain. Over the last 15 years Rowan Woods has worked across almost every sector of the UK film industry, from development to journalism, via distribution, festivals, exhibition and a long stint at the BBC. She currently splits her time between the British Council, where she acts as the specialist liaison between the UK production sector and the international festival circuit, and the London Film Festival, where she programs episodic work and industry panels. Over the years she has worked with BAFTA, BFI, EIFF, LSFF, BFI NETWORK, Curzon and Radio4. She also works as a freelance development and acquisitions consultant and is frequently found moderating industry panels and talent Q&As, including for BFI, BAFTA, IFFR and SXSW. Rowan’s work has given her a deep and comprehensive understanding of the UK film and television industry and is excited to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Rowan will give you an in-depth overview of the UK sector, outlining the key players, the opportunities and challenges, and providing you with the knowledge and confidence to navigate it successfully. She’ll begin with a general introduction of the UK market including what makes it unique, key facts and figures you should know, and how to understand the overall structure. She’ll then teach you about their main sources of funding, both public and private, and how funding works with international co-productions. She’ll also discuss the funding opportunities available for new talent. Rowan will then outline the key film institutions of the area and what they do. She’ll then discuss the support structures in place for producers and will delve into the key players in the sales agent space and how to determine which sales agent is right for your project. Rowan will go over the key distributors in the region and what the exhibition landscape looks like in general. She will also talk about the role of online platforms today and how the UK box office operates. She will then discuss the role of critics in this ecosystem and the key critical voices. Rowan will teach you about the major film festivals in the UK and how to determine which is right for your project, whether your project is a feature, short, narrative, or documentary. She’ll also talk about good marketplaces and forums in the area. She’ll go over the most important people in the UK industry right now and will then delve into the landscape of UK television, including both public service broadcasting and streaming services and key TV production companies. Rowan will outline for you the key opportunities in the UK marketplace, as well as the key challenges that go along with them. Praise for Rowan's Stage 32 Webinar "It was great information and an amazing overview of how the UK industry works. Thank you so much." Marisé S. I was vague about how things get into production in the UK, but have a much better idea now. Between the seminar and the resources to fill in the gaps, I feel a lot more equipped. -Jonathan H. I was very impressed by the comprehensive overview of the UK industry and how well Rowan presented it. I'd love to hear more from her in the future. -Carolyn K. Comprehensive survey. Rowan knows her stuff, and has walked the walk. She is a confident and fluent presenter: she can talk the talk -Stephen P.
Hello Creative Army! Read any of the trades right now and our industry is in a rapid state of change. From streamers in the race for original content, to companies making acquisitions and, of course, the Great Content Gold Rush still in full force, it's a lot to keep up with. The entire Stage 32 team is on the phone every day to keep their fingers on the pulse of what's happening. It's exciting time for you as a content creator - whether you work in film, television or digital - and it's equally exciting for content makers because the world has opened wide to international voices traveling beyond borders. We are seeing more and more diverse voices represented in the shows and films we watch and it's only the beginning. Since 2011, the Stage 32 team has been working tirelessly to help you stay connected, creative, motivated, and informed. As always, we are committed to bringing you networking opportunities, education and mentoring from top-level industry executives and professionals, and access to decision-makers around the globe all from the comfort of your own home. Now, with a successful first quarter of 2022 behind us, I am thrilled to have hosted an "Ask Me Anything": The State of the Industry & Where We are Headed. ALL creatives and professionals are welcome. Looking to further your craft? Now's the time. Looking to learn more about the business? We'll get into that. Want to find out what I'm hearing from our roster of execs what's going to be happening industry wide throughout the rest of 2022? It's in here. All you have to do is register and I'll provide a couple of hours of no-holds-barred shop talk to get you ready to conquer your entertainment career. Again, all creatives and pros are welcome to join no matter your profession(s), skill level, or geographical location. As always, registering for my AMA is completely FREE! And the more the merrier, so do invite any of your fellow creative friends and peers on your social media channels, your email lists, and through your online groups to join us as well. Should any of your contacts not be members of Stage 32 already, you can send them an invite here! If you missed my last few AMA's, you can view them here! Cheers! RB
THIS 4-PART CLASS IS AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! As a director, one of your most important jobs is eliciting great performances from actors. Fail at that, and your film or series could crumble under the weight of bad acting. Although the best directors shape performances with a deftness that may seem effortless, it is not. In fact, becoming a great director of actors is hard work and takes years of disciplined practice. Like playing a violin, it is a skill that must be nurtured. Yet if you can achieve this crucial skill and relationship, you’ll be able to greatly elevate your films and projects and champion your actors at the same time. The film director’s working relationship with an actor starts in the first casting session, continues through the various rehearsal stages, onto the set and ends in the ADR session. Most trained actors begin by trusting the director, but if you can’t direct actors in a language they understand, you may have a difficult time getting actors to trust you. And if actors don’t trust you, you will have a difficult time blocking them on set and getting layered performances from them. It’s important to meet actors where they are, and we’ve brought in the perfect person to explain how to do this. Peter Marshall is a director and film directing coach with over 40 years of experience including 12 features, 16 TV movies, 8 TV series, over 30 episodes of TV drama, 50 hours of documentary and educational programming, and over 20 commercials. Through his career, Peter has worked with and helped elevate the performances of actors such as Peter O'Toole, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Kathy Bates, Michelle Pfiefer, Marcia Gaye Harden, Madeleine Stowe, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher, Goldie Hawn, Judy Davis and Adam Sandler. He has also had the opportunity to work alongside and learn from other directors like John Woo, Phillip Noyce, Ed Zwick, John Badham, Roger Vadim, Dennis Dugan, Anne Wheeler and Zack Snyder. Peter’s long and impressive history has given him a deep understanding of how to work with actors of all sizes and levels and understands what he needs to do as a director to elicit great performances. Over the course of four sessions, Peter will dive deep into the relationship between the director and actors and teach you how directors can build a relationship built on trust with actors by creating a safe place for them to perform. Peter will first explore how to understand human behavior and emotions and use this to better support your cast. He will then explore the main strategies of proper script analysis you can use to help actors achieve the performance you desire, including his “9 Part Scene Breakdown Process”. In the next session he will delve into how to work with actors in prep and finally will break down the process of working with actors and getting the performance on set, including his “10 Step Actor/Director Blocking Process”. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Peter is no longer distributing or reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate! Praise for Peter’s Stage 32 Class “I really enjoyed the webinar. I liked the fact that the density of material was rich enough I was always busy taking notes. Thanks for covering the artistic and the logistic side of directing.” - Brad L. “Hey Stage 32, I wanted to thank you and Peter Marshall for such an enlightening class. I have so many notes and as a new Director I have to say I feel a bit more relaxed, knowing what steps I need to take to be more prepared for a shoot. Peter is so generous with his knowledge. I have his Directors class downloaded and I'm excited to view it” Diane L. "Very helpful, in depth and extremely well-structured." -Memi K.