Student Highlight: Sam Salary

Student Highlight: Sam Salary

Get to know TAS student, Sam Salary, of Stranger Things (Netflix) and Preaching Lies (Tubi) !

Periodically The Actor’s Scene likes to reach out to students and chronicle their success in the industry. Case and point: Sam Salary. Here’s what Sam has to say…

Hey Sam! We are so excited to speak with you! Let's start at the beginning, tell us what made you want to become an actor?

I was in my 7th grade English class when I was given the opportunity to audition for my first play, “Melanie and the Trash Can Troll”, and I was the troll! After that, I was bitten by the acting bug.

What drives you to stick with acting?

Acting is where I first felt acceptance. Specifically, I love the discovery process. I feel like a detective trying to solve the case of who my character is.

LOVE the detective analogy! What are some ways you go about discovering your character when preparing for an audition or a day on set?

One way I go about discovering my character is to examine the relationships he has, and how other people feel about him. I like taking a deeper look at the world around him.

Sam playing the Stern Orderly in Season 4 of Stranger Things.

What is something that surprised you about working on a set?

This may sound weird, but I love watching my peers work. I love watching the DP (Director of Photography) or AD (Assistant Director) or other actors work hard trying to get the perfect shot to tell the best story possible.

What are some of your favorite acting moments?

Working on the Stranger Things set was an absolutely amazing experience. The people were so nice and the on-set environment was a pleasure to be a part of.

I'm sure that working on Stranger Things was a blast! Who is your favorite character in the show?

My favorite character on the show is Dustin. I feel like he was me when I was a kid. But behind the scenes I truly enjoyed talking about life and the game of acting with Jamie Bower. Those days and memories I will cherish for the rest of my life.

"The process gives me confidence. Discovering a character is a journey. And I have learned to trust it even when my emotions are not exactly matching."

Tell us Sam, what is the best acting advice you've been given?

That my character, who I am, all the things that make me- and most importantly, how I treat others- is more important than any character I will play. (This is a quote from my mom!).

Has it become easier to trust yourself and your process as you've gotten more experienced? What advice would you have for actors learning how to deal with rejection or doubting themselves?

Yes, though it was a difficult journey, I can say that I know myself. And when you know yourself there’s a good chance you know your worth.  Knowing my worth is how I deal with the rejection. I refuse to place my self-worth in someone saying yes to me or booking a job, when I can just say yes to myself. My advice is to take the time to know your worth.

Great advice! So, do you have any acting projects coming up?

Yes, I do. I’m shooting a movie next month. And I also have 2 projects coming out in 2023!!!

What would be your dream project?

As a kid I was obsessed with the movie Ghostbusters. So yes, I have always wanted to play a Ghostbuster! There is a story behind this, but to make it short, when I was a kid my mother would drive me past the mechanic shop in Kansas City, MO, that had the replica of the Ghostbusters car. And I would go crazy every time I was able to see it just imagining what it would be like to be behind the wheel!

What advice do you have for new actors who are just getting started?

Don’t take yourself too seriously. In my opinion, storytelling is a team process. Do your best to be giving and to serve both the story and your fellow coworkers. Do your best to ask yourself, ‘In what way can I positively add to the environment?’ Free yourself from judgment and know that you are enough.

You can follow Sam!

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GA’s Film Industry is Thriving

GA’s Film Industry is Thriving

August 2022

Have you heard the news?

GA just set a record breaking year with $4.4 Billion spent on film and television productions! This is great for Georgia actors because it shows that our market is NOT slowing down. Right now, film opportunities abound all over the state! Even through the pandemic, GA saw record breaking numbers in terms of productions and revenue. According to WALB, this year’s figures are up from last year’s record breaking total of $4 billion. They go on to say that, “The state had a total of 412 productions. There were 32 feature films, 36 independent films, 269 television and episodic productions, 42 commercials, and 33 music videos. It’s definitely not uncommon to see (Georgia)’s squares or neighborhoods transformed into sets for TV shows and movies. And anytime projects come into town, it translates into millions of dollars getting pumped into the local economy.” (article HERE)

So, how did we get here? How did we go from pulling just $93 million in 2007 to becoming known as Hollywood’s toughest competitor? It all started in 2008, when then-governor, Sonny Perdue, granted a generous tax incentive for productions of $500,000 or more (this was based on a deal made in 2002, but strengthened in ’08). When you take into consideration the recession that was ravaging America at the time, 20% off was a pretty sweet deal! Not only did we offer great rates, but GA has always shown that it has plenty of other legs to stand on. For one thing, GA officials proved that they were not only on board, but willing to help production companies with their projects.  For instance, the mayor of Senoia who famously allowed the Walking Dead team to shut down streets and entire bridges to make for an authentic product.

Other brag-worthy features that make GA an attractive filming location is our dynamic landscapes, thriving International airport, and communities that span various time periods (which is a big reason why Stranger Things made it’s home here- where else can you find neighborhoods straight out of the 80’s?). Since 2008, Georgia has seen multiple movie and film franchise credits; Hunger Games, Fast and Furious, Ozark and the Marvel Universe, just to name a few. And with each one, we have more firmly established ourselves as “The Hollywood of the South”.

And not to mention, GA is home to some major film studios; Trillith Studios (formerly Pinewood), Turner Studios, Tyler Perry Studios, Blackhall Studios, and more! 

“The last fiscal year was another record-setter for the film industry in Georgia.

Film and television productions spent $4.4 billion in the Peach State in fiscal 2022, which ended June 30, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday. That’s up from the previous record of $4 billion set in fiscal 2021.

Georgia hosted 412 productions in the last fiscal year, including 32 feature films, 36 independent films, 269 television and episodic productions, 42 commercials, and 33 music videos, according to the Georgia Film Office, which promotes and markets the industry in the state.  

“When the pandemic struck, we worked hard in Georgia to communicate with our partners in the Georgia film, TV, and streaming industries,” Kemp said.

“Together, we forged a safe and appropriate path to allow the film industry to return to operations and deliver Georgia Made productions to eager consumers all around the world – even when some states continued to stay shut down and stifle the industry’s return to normalcy.”

Credit: Reporters Newspapers

“Because Georgia was the first state in the country to re-open our economy and worked with film productions across the state to ensure they could safely continue operations, the Peach State’s film industry is leading the nation,”

Here's what is filming in GA right now!

  • Idea of You. Starring Anne Hathaway
  • Megalopolis. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Adam Driver, Jon Voight and more!
  • Blade, a Disney production. Stars Mahershala Ali
  • Pain Hustlers. Starring Emily Blunt
  • The Electric State. Starring Millie Bobby Brown
  • The Color Purple: The Musical. Produced by Oprah Winfrey. Starring Ciara, Fantasia Taylor, and more! 

Have you spotted any filming around Atlanta? 

So, how can you be a part of the excitement?

Ready to jump into the action? Now is the perfect time. Zig Ziglar famously said, “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation” So what are you doing to prepare?

Now is the time to jump into classes. Acting students spend their time:

  • Learning about the latest news and expectations of the film industry.
  • Find out what casting looks for in an audition, and how to stand out from the crowd. 
  • How to get an agent and maintain good agent relations.
  • How to be proactive in your acting career to build your resume and skills.
  • On-set etiquette

And much, much more! You do not have to go on this journey alone. Make sure that you partner with a team that will provide you with knowledge, training and ongoing feedback to help you identify and achieve your dreams.

Face it, there has never been a better time to be an actor in GA. The whole world is coming to us to make the most talked-about productions. Don’t get left behind!

Ready to get started? Reach out today!



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About The Author

Elizabeth Alcaraz

Elizabeth has been a member of the TAS family since 2004. She is honored to have served in many roles at TAS; including: Acting Coach, Marketing Director, Syllabus Coordinator, and now TAS Operations Director. She has a passion for building confidence and purpose through the arts, and is grateful to be a part of a team of Confidence Makers. Elizabeth finds her greatest joy in her faith, her husband, and her daughter (and to be honest- a bowl of creamy mac and cheese). She lives by a simple motto which has served her well over the years: Aim for Excellence, Work with Flexibility, Reflect with Grace. 

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