Wednesday, January 18, 2017

5 Tips for Acting from Todd Bruno of Film Riot

Film Riot has a lot of great filmmaking tips which I watch on a regular basis and they had an acting video I wanted to share with you featuring one of their actors named Todd Bruno.

Todd says that the overall goal of an actor is to help the director get the shot they want. How do you do that? Check out the tips below:

  1. Know your lines!
  2. Manage time on set - always prepare during scene/set changes (socializing should not be the focus).
  3. Fill every scene (awesome examples in video). Think how can you make your one line count. You can add meaning behind doing nothing which will improve your screen time. A line can be performed many different ways by putting different thoughts behind what you're doing.
  4. Help with continuity. This will make sure you keep your scene in the movie. Keep track of props, when you drink, eat, etc. Don’t mess with makeup, hair or props during the filming of a scene.
  5. Translate what a director tells you. If the director wants you to be angry think of something that makes you angry to have it come across. Don't pretend to be angry or force it. Feel it. Find the honesty or truth in your performance by connecting to real emotions.

Check out this video for details, examples and even more tips:

New to acting? Check out our Free Online Acting School for new actors:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Starting out in Acting - Tips from Professional Actors

There is a lot of wonderful advice for new actors in the video below. Here are some highlights of my favorite comments:

David Furr (Broadway actor) says to do good work and be kind because then people will want to work with you again.

Zachary Levi (TV and Broadway star) suggests finding a great acting class or workshop that gets you in front of people in the industry with high profile showcases with real casting directors.

Jeff Daniels (Hollywood and Broadway Star) has three tips:
  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Find people who believe in you - build a team one person at a time
  3. Be in the right place at the right time AND be able to deliver!

Check out this video now:

Also check out our Free Online Acting School for new actors:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Today's Moment of Crazy Acting Exercise

Here is a random exercise to try for fun called "Today's Moment of Crazy." For this exercise, go totally crazy over something very ordinary.

I was inspired by our turkey hotdogs expiring on January 20, 2017 which happens to be the presidential inauguration day.

Make a video of your crazy and post the links below or email them to me via Google Drive and I might feature them on our YouTube channel. I'd love to see your results.

Or join in one of our contests below:

Actors! Enter for a chance to win $50 with three different contests.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Acting Contest Update Top Entries So Far - Seeking Actors Deadline April 1, 2017

For the headshot contest, here is an early favorite. It captures what I'm looking for. I am seeking pictures that can help teach new actors the right way to make their own headshot on the cheap.

Melissa Geddes - The Good
Melissa Geddes - The Bad

And here are the top 4 videos so far from the Super Short Mini Monologue Contest:


There is still time to enter. The deadline is April 1, 2017.

Actors! Enter for a chance to win $50 with three different contests on

Super Short Mini Monologues

Voice Acting Contest

Homemade Headshot Contest

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Free Online Acting School for New Actors menu of lessons for classes


LESSON 1 - Why do you want to be an actor?

LESSON 2 - Learning from other actors

LESSON 3 - Who are your favorite actors?

LESSON 4 - Humorous comedy acting

LESSON 5 - Serious dramatic acting

LESSON 6 - Selecting monologues

LESSON 7 - Developing characters

LESSON 8 - Monologue performing tips

LESSON 9 - Recording your monologue

LESSON 10 - Acting goals

If you have completed the Freedrama Acting School in the past, then you complete in all three contests below and earn an official Freedrama Acting School shirt. Email for details.


Deadline April 1, 2017


Super Short Mini Monologues


Voice Acting Contest


Homemade Headshot Contest

*** is brought to you by - a free stage play script and monologue website

Acting Contest Super Short Mini Monologues Win $50 - Free Help for Actors

Enter our Super Short Mini Monologue Acting Contest and win $50!

Have fun with this. Be as wacky, weird and overdramatic as possible or be as serious and dramatic as you want.

Perform one or more of these selections from mini-script selections:


From "A Breaking Heart" 

Sure!  I'd love to be friends.  That's the natural evolution of most relationships.  Have a fling and then boom... friends.  I'm sure some of the best friendships started that way. 


From "I Need Detention" 

She can harm me any time she wants. And she has too. A couple of times. But I deserved it... 


From "A Thing for Nerds"

You get a nerdy guy's full attention. The rest of the world slips away and you're his entire universe, because no Death Star, Tardis or warp drive is more exciting than a girl who gives him the time of day. 


I know none of this means anything to you but I simply need your handprint.  It says you agree to the GCC and your planet and all the resources here will belong to us.  In return, we give you this shiny new GCC badge!  


From "How to be a Pirate" 

Pirates are always grumpy and if something good happens, they growl and get angry. It might look like they are excited but they're not. They're angry that it wasn't better. 


From "The Not So Perfect Child" 

You are so perfect... Everyone around me is so perfect... And there was nothing left over for me... I am the leftover failures... I am the fatty waste you toss to the dogs. 


From "Only Children Believe in Butterflies" 

And I don't want to talk anymore - can I please be by myself? That's all you've done here - poke, prod, and pry - I've never felt so violated before - I just want to be left alone.


Another from "A Breaking Heart" 

I don't want to hear any more lies!  I don't want you to make something up so you can get out of this.  I want it all laid out on the table. I want to know the truth! I want to know why you are breaking my heart.


Another from "I Need Detention" 

How about giving the principal a wedgie? That would do it... A good old up the back over the head mega wedgie. Let's do this.

To be eligible to win the $50 prize, upload your video to Google Drive and share with my private email

Your videos will be uploaded to the Freedrama YouTube channel. Please do NOT post on other YouTube channels (or you will be disqualified from winning)

The video from this contest with the most thumbs on the Freedrama YouTube channel up will win.

Deadline to submit videos is April 1, 2017. 

We will have 2 winners!  The first $50 prize will go to the actor with the most thumbs up by end of the day April 30. The thumbs up count starts as soon as you submit, so submit early and often! (You may submit more than one super short mini monologue). A second $50 prize will be awarded to a different video (not the thumbs up winner) that will be selected by our judges based on the performance and overall presentation (costumes, props, setting, etc.).

As a bonus, all actors who submit can provide links to their acting websites, online portfolios, official YouTube and other social media.  We want to help new actors!

Post any questions below.

If you're a new actor, try our Free Online Acting School!

Acting Contest Super Short Mini Monologues Win $50 - Free Help for Actors
Art by Shiela Larson


Voice Acting Contest


Homemade Headshot Contest

*** is brought to you by - a free stage play script and monologue website

Voice Acting Contest for New Actors - Radio Show Project

This contest has been ended due to no entries.

Check out one of our other contests:


Super Short Mini Monologues


Homemade Headshot Contest

Voice Acting Contest for New Actors - Radio Show Project

If you're a new actor, try our Free Online Acting School!

*** is brought to you by - a free stage play script and monologue website

Homemade Headshot Contest Good vs Bad Win $50

Enter the and Homemade Headshot Contest and win $50!

This is a contest for new actors who do not have professional headshots.  Professional actors may enter but do NOT submit professional headshot photos.

The goal of this contest is to show how to do good acting headshots at home and how NOT to do your own headshots.  You will submit 2 pictures - one good and one bad.

For the bad headshot, do things wrong. Here are common problems I see on self-made headshots.  Wear sunglasses and a hat. Take the picture in your car (be sure to have on your seatbelt for added badness) or take a picture in the bathroom mirror (be sure to have your phone in the shot). Or you can do the poorly cropped group photo where you cut the rest of the people out of the picture (but you still have their arms and legs on the sides for some wonderful badness).  

The take the best possible home headshot.  Use a plain background that has nothing distracting behind you. Be sure there is good lighting especially on your face.  Frame your head so the top of your head is near the top of the picture and just include the shoulders up. Have someone else take the picture or use a selfie stick. 

The top photos will be shared on and the Freedrama YouTube channel.

We love to help new actors, so you may include links to your own websites, portfolios, channels and social media.

Winner will receive $50!

Upload the photos to Google Drive and share with my private email

Deadline is April 1, 2017

Your good vs bad headshots will be use in the acting school and you will get credit every time the photos are used - so be sure to get those online acting links up to date and ready.

More tips for making homemade headshots:

Post your questions below.

If you're a new actor, try our Free Online Acting School!

Homemade Headshot Contest Good vs Bad
A most unusual headshot?
(Art by Shiela Larson)


Super Short Mini Monologues


Voice Acting Contest

*** is brought to you by - a free stage play script and monologue website

Lesson 10 Free Online Acting School Help for Actors 2017 Edition

On the final part of this class, reflect on being an actor again. What are some ways you'll continue to practice your acting? Set some goals for yourself.

Here are some possible goals:

1. School plays are great experience. Casting directors like actors with theatre/stage experience.

2. Community theatre plays are another way to train yourself and work with adult actors who can teach you a lot and maybe even help make connections.

3. Make your own short films. Even if you make bad short films, you still learn a lot of acting and then watching yourself. Have fun with it and don't worry about being good. But watch the finished film and think about how you can do better.

4. Start a YouTube channel. You can even make a little money by monetizing the video. And if you're lucky, you'll have a viral hit and make your mark early. Here is my Freedrama YouTube channel:

5. Start going to Auditions. Here is a great source for auditions:

6. Try Freelance Websites such as where you can offer to making acting videos or record voice overs for marketing and advertising - if you sign up for Fiverr, there is a good chance I will hire you.  So if you do sign up for, send me an email at and let me know.  I might feature you on my blog as a way to help you promote this.  :)

Agents: It's better to wait until you have some experience before going to an agent. Agents want to see that you can get paid work with your acting. Once you get a paid acting job, that's when you can go to an agent and ask to be represented.

TIP: Avoid agents you charge you money up front. A good agent will only charge you a percentage when you get a paid acting job. They only get paid if you get paid work.

Check the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) website for approved acting agents. Here is a list of SAG approved agents. The best agents will be on this list:

Going Hollywood: The best way to go to Los Angeles or New York City is to be a college student. USC, UCLA and NYU are great schools with connections to the film and theatre industry. At these universities, you create a network of people who will help you get jobs in the future. Plus a degree gives you other options to make money in the future. Acting rarely pays the bills so it's good to have something to fall back on, especially when you get started.

There are other cities such as Austin, Texas or Orlando, Florida that have a lower cost of living and have active film industries. You can consider these places as well.

Final Post!

Write about your acting plans and goals for the future.

Students who complete all lessons including recording two monologues (and making corrections from the instructor) will get a Acting School Certificate.  Be sure to email about your certificate to see if you met all the requirements.  

When you've earned a certificate, you are eligible to receive a Freedrama Acting School shirt as well.  Email for details.


Go to a list of all lessons for the Free Acting School

Free Acting School - Goals as an Actor
Watch out for people like this!

Lesson 9 Free Online Acting School Help for Actors 2017 Edition

Lesson 9 of Free Acting School - Recording Your Monologues

You will now record the two monologues you selected from this link:

Try to find two contrasting monologues - one serious and one funny (or with two very different characters).

I prefer that you do a video for this project of yourself acting.  Record the video and upload to somewhere like Google Drive (my preferred option).  If you wish to keep the video private, please share the video with my private email

If you do not have a way to video (camera or webcam or cell phone camera) and need to do audio only, then you may use cell phone recorders and apps as well as free audio recording programs for computers like Audacity.

Email a link to your video or email the audio file to your instructor Doug Larson at (IMPORTANT: please be sure to put in the subject line that this is for the Online Acting School Lesson 9).

After your instructor listens to the two monologues, he will provide feedback for changes on one or both monologues. You must then make the changes to your monologue, re-record it and send it again.

NOTE: Please allow a week for feedback.  If you do not get a reply after a week, you have permission to send a reminder email and you may do so weekly.  Doug's schedule is very busy right now so extra time and email reminders are appreciated.

Important tips on recording: Try to find a quiet place to do the recording. Before you record, close your eyes and listen. Are there any sounds that might make your recording hard to hear? A tv in the next room or loud outside noises? Close windows, close doors, turn off these noises devices to try and get things as quiet as possible. If you're doing a video, look at your background. A plain wall is better than a background with a lot of things that will distract the viewer. Hang up a plain colored sheet (no patterns or designs) if needed. You want the focus on you, not the background. Finally make sure that the top of your head is near the top of the frame of the video.  You don't want a lot of empty space above your head. I would like these videos to be as professional as possible so you can use them later to promote yourself as an actor.

Top of head near the top of the frame on videos


Or go to a list of all lessons for the Free Acting School

*** is brought to you by - a free stage play script and monologue website

Lesson 8 Free Online Acting School Help for Actors 2017 Edition

You will now memorize and practice your two monologues.  Here are some tips on preparing.

After you practice and memorize the monologue, you can act it for friends or family or video yourself doing it and watch it on your own for ideas to improve. If a part is boring or hard to watch, then think of ways to make that part more interesting. Do the monologue over until you feel like you'd be proud to show someone else. When you do show your video monologue to someone else (or even a small group of family and friends), watch how they react rather than watching the video with them. Are there parts that they have good reactions to? Make a note of the good parts and then think of ways to improve the other parts.

Question from new actor 1: Do actors feel emotions when they act or just pretend? For example, if they are meant to appear sad and possibly cry, do they internally make themselves sad like their character (by pretending to be that character) or do they just fake what it is supposed to look like?

Answer: There are two different types of actors: method and technical. Technical have techniques for showing emotions but don't really feel them. Method actors actually feel the part and become the character in their own minds. Method actors do some amazing performances but can be overwhelmed by the parts (i. e. Heath Ledger). Technical actors can be good and popular as well (i. e. Harrison Ford) but they often seem like they are always the same person in many roles.

Question from new actor 2: "How to work on facial expression for acting? i cant convey my emotions when i act. do you have any tips and examples for each emotions like sad, frightened, nervous, etc. is squinting a bad thing. how do i move my eyebrows downward"

Answer: Rather than trying to create the emotions on your face, work on feeling the emotions. Pick something that makes you feel a certain way (scared) and try to really feel that way.

Here is a great monologue with a variety of emotions:

Try to think of times in your own life where you have felt like the character and then remember these emotions while doing the monologue. Record yourself and forget about the camera while you do it. Focus on the emotions and really feeling them.

Question from new actor 3: Any tips on voice enunciation because I sound the same throughout the recording?

Answer: First, when you go through a script, think of different emotions the character might be feeling.

In this monologue: At first he is excited, then in the middle he is sad or worried. Then he starts to get excited again, but then at the end he is confused and disappointed. You'd want to reflect that in your voice and acting. Show each of those emotions for each part.

Next, look at each sentence. Pick out a word or two in each sentence that you'd want to put the most emphasis on. In the line "I've always dreamed of being a hero." You might pick "dreamed" or "hero" or both to the be the words you say a little more clearly or forcefully.

Memorizing lines:
A quick way to learn lines is to record all the lines and play them back and say them along with the recording. You can record with your computer, phone, etc. Play it over and over and say your lines along with the recording. Then when you know it better, pause the recording after each line and try to say your line. Listen to the line and see if you got it right and try again.

Other ways that people learn lines include reading the script and covering your lines up. Read the line before and then try to say your line while it is covered up. Another common way is to have someone read the cue lines and you try to say them. I have even seen people type all their lines as a way to memorize. Look at the previous line and then try typing your next line without looking at the script. Everyone memorizes differently so it is good to try different techniques to see what works best.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Post what tips worked the best for preparing your monologue and any questions you have.

You must then respond to another actor in this discussion.  Give words of encouragement. Share your experiences. Or discuss acting.  Your interactions MUST be positive or you will be disqualified from taking the class and you will NOT be considered for a paid position as an online monologue performer for Freedrama.


Or go to a list of all lessons for the Free Acting School is brought to you by - a free stage play script and monologue website

Free Acting School - Do you need some acting tips to help you prepare for your performance?