Get to know TAS Coach: Maurie Speed

Get to know TAS Coach: Maurie Speed

All of our acting coaches are highly qualified working actors who participate in the Film/TV industry in a variety of ways, in addition to coaching acting classes. But we want to give you a more in-depth look at who they are as people
This month we are sharing some insights that will help answer the question, 
“Who Is Maurie Speed?” Read on to find out!

What Makes You Feel Confident?

My family and friends make me feel confident! I also find confidence from knowing that I did my very best, even if it wasn’t perfect. Showing up for yourself is so important in this life! Even if it isn’t perfect (a myth by the way), show up anyway. Keep the promises you make to yourself, always.

How did you first get into acting?

I got into acting the way that a lot of kids raised in the South do: through church! We were pentecostals and I was in the choir, then I started doing plays and never really stopped…my first official “role” was in the Easter play as the girl that Jesus raises back from the dead!

Maurie at the Ovation Awards

What has been your biggest struggle in the industry?

My biggest struggle has always been putting myself out there. It’s so vulnerable! I am okay with rejection from projects or parts, but being rejected as a person? That stings!

Rejection is such a sore topic for many actors.. how do you mentally get through the fear of rejection so you can put yourself out there?

I try to think of it as more “what are some skills out there that I do not have and how can I work alongside people who can teach me what I want to learn?”. Then I come at it from a place of curiosity, and often I have found that people like to work with you and teach you what they know!

Keep the promises you make to yourself, always.

Besides acting, do you pursue any other interests in the entertainment industry?

I have been REALLY focused on writing lately. I wrote a web series years ago and had a blast, so I would love to get back into that! I am also working on a pilot and feature script. Directing is fun but HARD! I am curious to try it again but also intimidated, haha.

Why did you get into coaching?

Coaching has always been a way to explore the art form in a new way for me. When you have to explain something you know about to someone who is trying to learn it, you really have to get back to basics. I think it is important as actors and performers to remember why we love this so much in the first place and pass that on!

What is one important bit of advice you always give the students in your class?

The most important thing you can do as an actor is tell the truth. The willingness to be vulnerable is the key to unlocking things in yourself you didn’t even know you had inside of you! When you can access that, there’s nothing you can’t do (that’s in acting and also in life!).

What is your proudest coaching moment?

As a coach, when a student “gets it”, and that light comes on in their eyes and then they know exactly what to do and they nail it! That is the most exciting thing and the proudest moment a coach can have. As an actor, it’s when someone comes up to me after they’ve seen me perform and tell me that my performance touched them in some way. There’s no better feeling.

Maurie in the web series:  Soccer Moms! 

Who inspires you?

Someone who really inspires me as a performer is Carol Burnett. I adore her and have read all of her biographies and my main takeaway was that as talented as she is, what people love most about her is how she makes them FEEL. That’s the power of humor and good will for your fellow humans! As a person who is getting older and experiencing transformation myself, I have found several teachers that I often look to for guidance, and one of them is Mary Oliver, the poet/writer. (I even got a tattoo inspired by her!) I often return to her work when I feel lost…

What do you hope that your coaching legacy will be?

I hope that the students I work with will come away with a renewed sense of self and less fear! I hope to leave a legacy of truth and love, both in my acting work and in my personal life. I really believe in the power of transformation, that nothing is wasted and all things can be made new if that is the desire.

Maurie Speed Bio:

Hi! My name is Maurie Speed (she/her) and I have been an actor and performer ever since I was a kid and wanted to be as glamorous as our pastor’s wife up onstage singing in the choir!

I have been fortunate enough to go from my small town to train at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and from there to Los Angeles, where I received my BFA in Theater and Film from Azusa Pacific University. I spent the next few years training in comedy writing and performing at the Groundlings School and at UCB, where I honed my comedic voice. I then started a production company with some of my fellow APU grads and produced a web series, a play and a short film. I also became a company member of the LA-based professional theater company, the Actor’s Co-op, where I was in numerous Ovation award-winning productions.

I moved back to the east coast to be closer to family and continue my career here in Atlanta, where I have booked several projects ranging from commercials for companies like Hoover and Wells Fargo, to my first feature film, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”.

I am thrilled to be a part of the community of artists here in the amazing and creative city of Atlanta!

Would you like to work with Coach Maurie?

Coach Maurie works with both new and working actors and is excited to be coaching at TAS this fall! 

To sign up for a private lesson with Coach Maurie, give our Front Desk a call at 770-904-6646.

Would you like to check out the web series that Coach Maurie wrote and produced with her friends? 

Click HERE to see Split Check on Youtube.

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Actors, It’s Time To Build Your Personal Brand

Actors, It’s Time To Build Your Personal Brand

What goes into building your brand? Read on to find out…

Spring is here and this author couldn’t be any more excited! The weather gets nicer, flowers are blooming, and the sense of renewal is in the air. This sense of renewal is what motivates me most to focus on spring cleaning.

Of course you can’t think of anything cleaning and organizing without mentioning Martha Stewart. A quick glance at her “Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist” shows how a good spring cleaning will make a world of difference.

She breaks it down to what needs done in every room: “Clean Baseboards” to “Reseal Grout Lines” and finishes with the specifics: “Dust refrigerator coils” in the kitchen to “Replace or wash shower liner” in the bathroom. Her list is simple, but it hits all the necessary items to ensure a refreshed house.

You had better believe that if it is this important to clean out and declutter our living space it is equally important to do so in our acting lives. The life of an actor is different every day. It also tends to be full of auditions, shows, networking, and working side gigs and that makes it easy forget to keep up on key parts of our career. Here is a basic breakdown of categories and questions to ask yourself in order to spring clean your actor life.

The Brand. As Casey Mink of Backstage perfectly puts it: “As an actor, your personal brand is your story, the thing that casting directors and producers remember about you after you’ve left the audition room”. What does casting see when they see you? This may feel like a daunting question so let’s break it down.

Look at your age: have you aged out of what you’ve been booking? Is it possible you’re no longer passing as a teen and look more like a young adult? Look at your style. A new hair-do or discovery with makeup and clothes could give you a new edge. Have you learned a new skill? Maybe you’ve gotten into Pickleball and therefore added to your new athletic brand.

Asking and being honest with yourself about these questions will help you know what to get rid of or refresh in the next few categories.

The Closet. Does your closet fit your brand? What do you need to get rid of? The closet is also a time to be real and honest with yourself. There’s no need to try and squeeze into pants you looked great in two years ago or pretend that the shirt you like but never end up wearing because it sits strangely on your body
will work one day. Your body right now is a wonderful thing and will look fabulous
in pants that fit its current size. Getting rid of your ill-fitting clothes and updating
your wardrobe with articles that are brand appropriate and that fit your body
correctly will give you effortless confidence in auditions, when networking, and out in your daily life.

The Media. You know your brand. You have confidence built from a well-fit
wardrobe. Now it’s time to look at your media. Do your headshots fit this new
style you have? Maybe you just need to add one new look in your headshots. Are
there clips in your demo reel that need to be edited out to make way for new ones? Media also includes social media. Is that up to brand? Is there anything that you need to get rid of from your social media that doesn’t represent you anymore? Does your résumé reflect this new spring me? Or do credits also need to be cut or added?

Actor Profiles. Once we have all of these things done it’s time to look at whether your online actor profiles are up to date or weighing you down. These include your Actors Access profile, Casting Networks profile, Backstage profile, etc. Look at your headshots, resume, size cards, and clips on these sites. Do you need to change any of these things? Do you need to add to them or take them down? Does your agent have updated versions of all of them? Make sure to update your personal website and social media platforms accordingly.

The Audition. One area that often needs cleaned up or updated is your audition set up. Do you need to practice with lighting your new styles and new colors with
your backdrop? What about your reader? Are they reliable? Do you need to find new ones or backups? Do you need new audio equipment to up your sound? Perhaps you simply need to streamline your audition process. Looking at things like how you memorize, what outfits you have ready for different character types, and how you will tape your audition can completely change your audition process for the better!

Reminder: all of this is just a starting point. Here at TAS we know this industrycan be very overwhelming so if you are needing more “you” specific guidance we would love to get you set up with a Career Coaching or Private Coaching session.

These half hour or hour long sessions with one of our industry trained coaches will help you clear out the unnecessary so you can focus on your acting career journey with a confident plan. Check out our Audition Taping and Private Coaching section of the website to get started with a one-on-one coaching session today!

Ready to get started? Reach out today!



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About The Author

Kirsten Krehbiel

Kirsten Krehbiel is an Atlanta based actress, director, and writer who enjoys bringing people new truths through the art of storytelling. She has a love of acting both on camera and on stage, having been lucky enough to be a part of incredible productions in both worlds. Kirsten joined the TAS team in 2020 as a coach, a job she loves because it lets her watch first hand as students grow and gain self confidence as actors. When she is not creating or coaching, you can find Kirsten hanging out with her grumpy cat on their back porch. 

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