Get to know TAS Coach: Kate Leek

Get to know TAS Coach: Kate Leek

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 Kate Leek?” Read on to find out!

What Makes You Feel Confident?

I feel most confident when I learn something new. I get embarrassingly excited about knowledge and being able to share that makes me feel empowered. That, and high heels.

How did you first get into acting?

My mother always had a passion for musical theater and she passed this passion onto me. I soon fell in love with movies and would insert my own dialogue into films so I could pretend I was a character. I was absolutely obsessed with Lord of the Rings as a kid and I wanted to be a character in that world more than anything. When my parents asked me what I wanted for my eighth birthday I replied, “an agent”. I started lessons at The Actor’s Scene soon after and the rest was history.

Kate with family

What has been your biggest struggle in the industry?

When I was younger and living in Los Angeles with my mom, I missed my family terribly. As a kid, it was difficult to choose between chasing my dream and being apart from them. There was no video chat at the time so it was easy to feel disconnected. As I got older and decided that my true passion was coaching, it was a little tricky to make the shift into a new position. Having to explain my preferred role in the industry to all of those who supported me through my acting career was a bit of a struggle, but ultimately, my loved ones and representation supported it. It was the best decision I ever made. I love coaching actors so much and although I love performing for myself, I find true happiness
in being a coach.

How did you tackle the inner struggle?

It is important to always stay true to yourself. As a kid, I decided to come home to the Atlanta market. It simply wasn’t worth being away from my family. As for the professional shift, I studied the works of many successful acting coaches and used my knowledge as a performer to become excellent at what I do. Even today, I am always continuing to educate myself so I can best benefit the actors I work with. I feel validated by the progress I see in my students every day and that just confirms that I made the right move.

Acting is the ultimate exercise in empathy. As actors, we have the honor of recreating life. I always encourage my students to tap into the details that make us human so they can do their characters justice. Empathetic practice yields genuine performance and in doing so, we exercise self-discovery.

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

I have dabbled in producing with some of my friends who are filmmakers and I have published a research thesis through Georgia State University entitled “Drama Therapy: A Character Analysis of the Self”. I am very proud of the year-long research that went into my written experience as a coach and the emotional healing I witnessed in my students through their acting journeys.

Why did you get into coaching?

When I was sixteen and I had just started college. I was working in admin for a talent development company. I would travel for work and there was this one weekend where our acting coach missed their flight and because of my performance background, I was asked to fill in. I was nervous. I was young and I had a serious case of imposter
syndrome. When I taught that first class, I felt invigorated. I was so proud of each performer and they improved so much in such a short amount of time. I remember thinking, “Wow, I think I am pretty great at this”. Based on the feedback from the students, the company hired me on as a coach. I traveled for three more years with the company and coached thousands of actors all across the United States before taking a full time position at a local Atlanta studio.

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

Acting is the ultimate exercise in empathy. As actors, we have the honor of recreating life. I always encourage my students to tap into the details that make us human so they can do their characters justice. Empathetic practice yields genuine performance and in doing so, we exercise self-discovery.

What is your proudest coaching moment?

It is hard to pick just one because over the years, I have been blessed with truly magical moments in my classes. That said, there is a student that has always had a special place in my heart. When she was a teenager, she was going through a really tough time. She almost quit and I am so glad she didn’t. We spoke together and I gave her a script that was almost identical to what she was going through. At first, she didn’t want to do the scene so I told her we could pick another one, and we did. She came back to class the next week and said she decided to do the original script. She gave the most raw and honest performance I have seen to this day. I cried, which, if you know me, you know is a rare occurrence. I will never forget what she said next. She said, “feeling someone else’s pain allowed me to heal from my own”. That is probably one of my proudest moments as a coach.

Kate in a Spotify Commercial

What do you hope that your coaching legacy will be?

I just hope that my students feel a fraction of the pride I feel when I see them succeed. I am a huge advocate for drama therapy. I have seen the performing arts function as a platform for healing, confidence, self-actualization, and flat out fun. I aspire to be a coach that caters to the individual needs of each student I cross paths with.

Kate Leek Bio:

Kate Leek has been working in the entertainment industry for nearly twenty years. She has worked and trained as an actor, singer and dancer in the Southeast, Los Angeles, and New York markets. Kate began her performance journey at the Actor’s Scene when she was eight years old and her endeavor as a performer led her to her true passion for coaching. She has been coaching actors, singers, and dancers for twelve years. Kate feels such pride and joy from her client’s successes. Some notable projects her clients have appeared in include, “Stranger Things”, “The Vampire Diaries”, “Dear Evan Hanson”, “The Summer I Turned Pretty”, “Salem”, “XO, Kitty”, as well as starring as Simba in the Broadway to urof “The Lion King”.


Kate has her BA in Anthropology from Georgia State University where she
conducted a research project and published a thesis about Drama Therapy, particularly in adolescents. It is her belief that the performing arts not only serve as an artistic outlet, but as a form of healing and growth that nourishes our minds. Her passion for educating actors is evident in her detailed approach that specifically caters to each individual performer.


In addition to this, she is a mother to a three-year-old boy and is currently obtaining her degree as a registered respiratory therapist.

Would you like to work with Coach Kate?

Kate is currently offering private lessons for both acting and singing.

To sign up for a private lesson with Coach Kate, click HERE

You can also give our Front Desk a call at 770-904-6646.

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We’re not (just) playin’ around

We’re not (just) playin’ around

We make acting classes fun, but let’s talk about the Why behind the fun.

“What did you do in acting class today?” 

“We played games.” 

“Games? That’s it?!”

If you are the parent of a child actor, chances are at some point you have had this conversation with your child. You helped your kid memorize the homework for the class all week on top of getting them to regular school, housework, and your own job. Now all they do is play games? 

Or perhaps you are the student it’s happened to in an adult acting class. You work all week navigating the ins and outs of life and prepping your homework only to get to class to play “Zip, Zap, Zop”.

So what gives? Why do acting classes involve so many games and not just, well, acting?

Fortunately I’m here to tell you there is simply more to it!

Here at TAS we not only know acting games are critical for actors, but we know how important it is to know why they are critical.  To do this, we need to break down the types of games that can be played in class. 

The first type of game that students encounter in class is an “Introduction Game” or “Ice-Breaker Game”. These are games specifically designed to get students to open up about themselves in a way that’s fun and not daunting. They are typically only played in the first class or two so the students can get more comfortable with each other. 

The next and most common type of game is the “Warm-up Game”.  If you take any class at TAS you will know it is important for an actor to warm up their voice, face, body, and imagination. The easiest way to do that? A game!

“For an actor, a good warmup will help them relax, will help get rid of any anxieties, and will make an actor more limber up in preparation for the physical demands of a performance. [sic] Drama games and acting exercises also help actors train their voice for performance…Warmups are an essential part of any drama class and actors’ pre-performance routines”

-MasterClass

Another benefit we have found when it comes to playing warmup games at the start of class is that it helps to ‘sync’ everyone in the room. Doesn’t matter what kind of (various) environments the students come from, playing a warmup game at the very beginning gets everyone working on the same frequency to approach the day’s lesson.

Okay, we’ve covered the games we play at the very beginning, and our strategy for warmup games… but what else? 

Well sometimes- especially with  young creatives- students get a bit squirrelly in class or find it hard to concentrate on lines when the camera is pointed at them. That’s when “Focus Games” come in handy. These games help students learn how to stay focused on different things like their lines or their scene partner while the distractions of “being on set” are happening. One of the first things our new actors learn is the importance of awareness and intentional focus. These skills are needed on a real film set, and so we practice them in class- and we teach these skills through games! 

But we haven’t even scratched the surface…

There are games like “One Word At a Time Story” that get students listening to each other and thinking quickly in order to create a sentence together.

Games like “Approach the Chair” get students moving and thinking like their characters just by having them walk to a chair and sit in it.

Games like “Create a Scene” get all the students working together and using their imaginations to create a full and detailed picture for their audience. 

Starting to understand? A game is not just playtime; when a student is ‘playing a game’ they are actually working on real acting skills, skills that our coaches are then trained to apply to their lesson and help them grow as actors.

There are so many ways games are useful to actors that The Drama Teacher compiled an article of 100 reasons students should play games. Instead of listing though I asked one of TAS’s newest coaches, Nyah Bass, what she thought about it all and I must say she gave probably one of the BEST reasons to participate in games as actors.

Coach Nyah Bass

-Before I ask you about games Nyah, let’s learn a bit more about you. What drew you to acting?

● “Ever since I was little, I was always fascinated by the framework of the entertainment industry. I was enamored with the “in front of camera” work, but once I got to high school, I started to branch off into the “behind the camera” work. I truly believe getting this perspective made me appreciate my love for acting a lot more.”

-That is an awesome perspective! So how long you have been with TAS?

● “I’ve been with The Actors Scene since 2017. I actually took my first acting class at TAS! After that, I started interning around Summer 2018; I loved it so much that I continued interning while completing my training during the years. Last year, I got the opportunity to become a coach and I’ve enjoyed my experience so far!”

-I’m so glad you stayed with us! What classes do you coach?

● My current classes are Working Actor: Taped Auditions and On-Camera Foundations

-What is your favorite thing about being a coach?

● One of my favorite things about coaching is the in-class discussions that my students and I will have; especially if a student needs more clarification or if one is really passionate about the lesson of the day. As an actor, talking to other actors, we are able to connect and I love to see when my students are eager to learn, as well as asking questions!

-What is your favorite acting/improv game and why? 

● One of my favorite acting games is Channel Surfing (where students act out various tv programs in rapid succession through different characters and genres). This is one that I just recently introduced to my students and they all have the best time! This is a great improv game and I love to see where their creativity takes them throughout.

-What is the value of actors playing/participating in games?

● The value of actors participating in these games is creating a certain sense of trust between everyone. For example, warm up games set the mood and get everyone on the same wavelength for the rest of the class time. Also, I love to explain the significance of the game even before we play it; this answers the “why?” in students’ heads, but also lets everyone be on the same page about the game’s goal.

-Sometimes people can come to class with a single frame of mind. They can feel blindsided by our focus on games. What would you say to someone who thinks it’s “a waste of time” playing these games?

● To someone who would think in-class games are a “waste of time”, as I said earlier, it creates not only trust but encourages teamwork among students. Most, if not all, of these weekly games require multiple students at a time to work effectively. I will always give students time to collaborate and exchange ideas while playing games. 

-Do you have a “go to” game in class if there is extra time and why?

One of my “go to” games in class is Alien/ Gibberish Translator Interview. This is one of my favorite improv games because it requires quick thinking and big creativity from all parties!

Trust. There are lots of great reasons for actors to play games, but trust is one of the most important ones. If you can’t trust the people you are working with, creating with, and on set with then all of your talent is kind of worthless. Acting games teach actors to confidently trust themselves and their team. 

If you want to dive into more games that will build skills while having fun, check out TAS’s Improv classes available to students young and old. Or to learn more about the awesome classes Nyah teaches, visit our website that gives you an in depth look at the class details. Start learning to trust at TAS! 

Ready to get started? Reach out today!

TASFRONTDESK@GMAIL.COM

770-904-6646

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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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Student Highlight: Chadrick Whitmire

Student Highlight: Chadrick Whitmire

Get to know Writer, Filmmaker, and TAS Alumni: Chadrick Whitmire

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

Hi Chadrick! We would love to hear more about what you do:

I’m Chadrick Whitmire! I am a writer and filmmaker based in Flowery Branch, Georgia. 

The story goes all the way back to when I was three years old. I had always wanted to be an actor. As I grew up, I started doing theater in middle school. I did years of school plays, as well as community theater plays, once I started high school. I pretty much quit after graduation. Life took over and I thought it was a distant memory. However, after years of low self esteem and thinking I wasn’t good enough, I decided to make a change. I scheduled a class audit with The Actor’s Scene and took the beginner class, Acting Foundations. I really needed this in my life- to possibly prove something to myself. I took the class with Coach Kristi Taylor. I enjoyed every minute and appreciated the individual time she gave us in our classes.

What is a memory that you have from your time taking classes with Coach Kristi?

My biggest memory would have to be…the time I did one of my last monologues. She said I did amazing, and that was an awesome moment for me! She said I did great and had no notes for me.

So what made you decide to pursue filmmaking?

Once going out into the world of acting, I realized that it wasn’t for me. However, the classes took me back to what I loved. I learned that what I wanted to do was be behind the camera. In 2021, I began my journey into filmmaking. I wrote a short called Barnes Funeral Home and then decided it was time to take this seriously. I began casting the roles, and once everyone was onboard I took all of the cast and crew to Warm Springs. The drive was three hours, but the location was amazing. I had issues with it being my first film, but the experience was worth it. I had successfully made a 12 minute short film and completed it. I gained a lot of knowledge on that film set. 

I would say that it wasn’t too long after that I wrote another short film called Changing Malcolm. Changing Malcolm was a hit, so I went on to make more episodes. I couldn’t believe the response from everyone. People I didn’t even know wanted to be in my series. A while went by, and after making seven episodes we decided that we would just edit it as a feature and get it out that way. We ended up getting, Malcolm, our feature onto five different platforms. The top two we were happy to get were Tubi and Amazon. I can’t believe I pulled it off, and it’s actually a great movie!

Congratulations on the streaming releases! That’s awesome! What’s something that you learned about filmmaking from that experience, and what advice would you give to any aspiring filmmakers out there?

Honestly, I’d probably tell them to stay true to themselves. If you want it, go for it. One more thing: do something that has to do with your dream EVERYDAY. It’s a lifestyle and it’s NONSTOP!

Throughout the process I had doubts, of course. I wouldn’t say it was hard, but dealing with my own mental health put me in check. I write all of my films surrounding mental illness. Malcolm is a movie about a man struggling with his mental health. His name is Michael Russo, but when he kills he has turned into Malcolm. We were going to do a part 2, but decided to make just one and move onto something else. I can say I still don’t believe I have a feature film under my belt. If it weren’t for Coach Kristi Taylor giving me the boost of confidence I needed, none of this would have happened. I just want to thank her for believing in me. I remember taking her a brochure from Barnes Funeral Home. Coach Kristi Taylor never stopped believing that I could accomplish these goals I had set for myself. Even after the class, we stayed in contact and chat from time to time. 

That is amazing! So what is next for you? Do you have other projects in the works?

Now it’s 2024, and I have written a feature, made a feature, and have two more in the works. My next project is called Lattimore. It begins filming January 2024, and my other project will film late 2024. That film is untitled at the moment, but is in development. Even though it didn’t work out with being an actor, I found my passion in writing. I have been in this for 3 years now, and want to continue entertaining people. The biggest thing I got out of those acting classes was a sense of self worth. I am now part of something, and I will continue to do my work until my time here is done. I want to thank Coach Kristi once more and thank you all for reading.

Before we end, what would you say to someone who is doubting themselves in the early processes of filmmaking (or struggling to take a step towards their dream)?

I would tell them that you get what you put into it. Like before…you should be doing something focusing on your dream/career everyday. You just need to do what you can. I know this can be very overwhelming, but if it works, do something. Network, write, edit, write a story and make it into a short film. There are many things that can be done to make progress with your dream/career. I have heard so many excuses from people. Don’t make excuses, be a doer.

Mental health means a lot to me. I am a NAMI facilitator for support groups. I am also certified to do training as well. NAMI, NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS, has taught me to keep going in everything I want to do in life.

You can follow Chadrick!

Check out his:

IMDb

Instagram

Facebook

 

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New Year… New Goals

New Year… New Goals

Launch your acting career into 2024!

The new year has begun which means it’s time for new year’s resolutions, a daunting word that tends to leave most people overwhelmed or disappointed in themselves. “What’s the point of making a resolution if I’m just going to give it up in a week or two?” you might tell yourself or “There are too many resolutions to keep up with, it’s overwhelming.” I hear you.

This author has found herself asking those very questions in the past…

Setting goals can be even more difficult when you have chosen the life of a creative. As creatives it is our responsibility to keep ourselves organized and driven.  Oftentimes we creatives will work on more than one project simultaneously and have several different jobs to juggle meaning goal setting is actually an incredibly helpful activity for us. That’s why I could think of no one better to talk to about this than TAS’s own Media Director, Molly Pass, a creative who tackles multiple jobs/projects at once with an unending positive attitude.

TAS is a big part of your life, but it’s not all you do. What exactly are all of your jobs and titles within those jobs? 

I am an acting and vocal coach at The Actor’s Scene as well as the Media Director for the school, managing all of our social media accounts! In addition to that I am an actor, as well as the CEO of Moon Trip Productions LLC; an independent video production company. I will also take odd jobs on occasion, like holiday pet-sitting or random short-term gigs like that.

-Wowza! You are a busy bee! What other activities do you engage in when you aren’t working?

I LOVE reading, watching movies or TV shows (my favorite show right now is Reservation Dogs on Hulu), working out, and spending time in nature!

-So what does an average day and/or week look like for you?

Every day is a little different, but I generally wake up, make the bed, and start getting ready for the day with a coffee or juice. I like to get my at-home workout out of the way first thing in the morning so I often start with my social media work/emails/random remote working tasks. In the middle of the day I grab lunch and will often have my “me time” in the early afternoon, since I’m usually coaching or editing videos in the evenings. A few times a week I may be shooting content days or events, which look a little different every time! But whether it’s posting on Instagram from my home office, doing an on-site content day, or working at the school, I genuinely love my many jobs.

-With all that going on, what are things you do to keep yourself organized and/or sane?

Google Calendar is my best friend ever. I’ve got a color-coded system for each job as well as my appointments which helps with time management as well as invoicing when the time comes. I even have a color for hanging out with my friends. Using Google Keep for taking digital notes and making lists is really helpful too! I also love using physical planners and to-do lists. My favorite productive stationary is actually from a small business called All Things Lilly Ann. I use their hourly notepads all the time to help me with time-blocking and staying on track! (All Things Lilly Ann)

Amazing! I’ve started using Google Calendar more as well and my how it has helped me stay more organized which is one of my goals for the year. Speaking of goals how important/helpful is goal setting to you?

Goal setting is SO important! I think we always need to be aware of where we presently are and where that is in relation to what we want for our future. By setting goals and creating tangible steps to achieve them we are investing in ourselves and our futures!

-I totally agree! However, I think we both can agree it isn’t that simple. What struggles do you face when it comes to completing goals? 

Procrastination is a BEAST especially when it comes to editing. I do find that my personal projects tend to fall on the back burner when I’m in a particularly busy season which happens to the best of us! In addition to that I think that every artist (whether they want to admit it or not) has some level of imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is where you feel like you’re faking your skills and that you’re less talented than the other people you encounter in your field. This is a LIE (and a common feeling in every field)! You’re in your profession or hobby for a reason, and when we beat ourselves up, our work actually does suffer for it. Imposter syndrome gets better the more you do and overcome, but it can be an inhibitor of getting goals accomplished. 

-Woof, do I feel that. So what are things you do to help you stick to your goals?

I’m a super visual person and I LOVE vision boards because of that. I make vision boards on Pinterest/Google Docs and print them out! I’ve got work-related mood boards in my office and fashion/makeup/personal life mood boards in my bedroom and bathroom. I also think having an accountability partner and not being afraid to delegate tasks are super important tips. We weren’t created to go through life alone, and I believe that you have people who care about you and want to help you succeed… Let them in!

Yes! I love a good accountability partner! Such a helpful tool to have. Okay, final question: what goals do you have for 2024?

Some of my goals for 2024 include:

– Launching some exciting Moon Trip offerings… (Stay tuned on www.moontrip.space)

– Growing my hair out! I am very impatient so shoutout to my amazing stylist Chloe who is keeping me to my hair goals!

– Creating one personal project a month. Even if it’s just a short-form video or a self portrait photoshoot. I’d love to create something just for the sake of creating at least once a month

These are amazing! Thank you so much Molly for sharing with us! If you need some help narrowing your goals for the year check out our Career Coaching page HERE.

Get in touch with TAS Front Desk today to be paired with a professional coach to talk about your next moves as an actor, singer, or creator. We would love to get you on track today! 

The deadline to sign up for Spring Classes is January 27th. If you want to sign up for our main classes, without having to wait until August, make sure you register or sign up for your FREE Audit today! 

Ready to get started? Reach out today!

TASFRONTDESK@GMAIL.COM

770-904-6646

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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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A Look at TAS: 2023

A Look at TAS: 2023

2023…What a year! 
 
We want to thank all of our students, their families, our staff, and our partners for making 2023 such a fantastic year. 
 
Check out our our 2023 news and highlights below.

-20th ANNIVERSARY SPECIALS-

Our 20th anniversary was a year of specials, discounts and giveaways. Each month was carefully crafted and the year was strategically laid out to benefit our coaches, students, and the community!

Here is a brief overview of our year long specials…

The moment our coaches were gifted a company cruise!

-TAS NEW COACHES and CLASSES-

At TAS we have the BEST team of coaches, and this year we were honored to have 3 new coaches join us: Coach Maurie Speed, Coach Nyah Bass, and Coach Adam Breazeale. They bring knowledge, experience, and passion to their teaching and our students have flooded us with praise of their success! 

In addition to the new coaches, we also began teaching new classes this year! Improv students were excited to hear that we are now offering an advanced improv course, Improv Two, and after years of requests, we began The On Set Experience (led by husband/wife team, Adam and Leah Breazeale). The On Set Experience gives students the opportunity to learn film making- both behind and in front of the camera! 

Coach Maurie Speed
Coach Nyah Bass
Coach Adam Breazeale
TAS Coaches 23-24

-TAS NEWS-

This year we promoted two of our own family; Coach Leah Merritt to the role of Office Manager and Coach Molly Pass to the role of Media Director.

These two amazing women have done so much to maximize our school and benefit our students! We are grateful for them.

-TAS CHARITY CHATS-

This year we launched Charity Chats; a program that benefits both actors and the local community! 

Check out the list of VIP’s that we hosted this year.

To sign up for our Charity Chat Interest List and hear about upcoming Charity Chats in 2024, click below. 

-TAS GIVING-

-THE CHARITIES WE SUPPORTED WITH CHARITY CHATS-

GIVING TOTALS FOR FIRST SEASON OF CHARITY CHATS *SECOND SEASON IS STILL BEING TALLIED.

-OTHER CHARITIES WE SUPPORTED THIS YEAR-

Thanks to your generosity, we were able to continue our annual support for the following charities:

Spring: The Joy House (with food needs and toiletries)!

Summer: Compassion International. Summer campers raised $328.26! We used that money to purchase a disaster relief kit for 2 families, a vegetable seed bundle, and a variety of fruit trees for low income families in poverty stricken regions around the world!

Christmas: We sponsored Christmas gifts and needs for 5 local children and 2 seniors this year!

-TAS GALLERY-

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Giving the Perfect Gift- A Conversation with Nicolle Campbell

The holidays are in full swing and the feeling of giving is in the air. This author could think of no better person to sit down and chat with about the art of giving than founder and owner of The Actor’s Scene, as well as legendary gift-giver, Nicolle Campbell. 

TAS Owner, Nicolle Campbell

Nicolle, You are the queen of gifts! I learned that quite quickly when starting at TAS. Not only do you love giving gifts, but it is always clear that you put a lot of thought into each one you give. Has that always been a big part of who you are? 

My love language is gifts. I’ve always been a big gifts person; giving and receiving. It’s how I show love, trying to give the right gift to the right person. It’s not about material things. To me love means putting a lot of thought into the gift you give a person. It means that you know that person, that you are thinking about them, and want to invest time in that person. It’s making that person a priority in your life. I want people to understand they are important to me, and I show that not just by getting them things, but things they are going to value. Things that show them that I am listening to them and care about them. 

Before we dive into the work you’ve done through TAS let’s remind our readers how it all got started. This year marks 20 years! First off, congratulations. That is incredible! How does it feel?

Thank you! It’s a huge milestone to be sure. Obviously I hoped I’d get here one day (giggles). In starting out you hope to survive the first year, then you hope to get to five years. To be at 20 and still going strong it’s really amazing to me. Plus we have weathered a lot of crises in the business world. The recession in 2009, a strike after that in the industry, then Covid, and now with the Writer/Actor strike just ending… well, it hasn’t always been smooth in those 20 years.

What was the inspiration that started TAS, how did it come about? 

I was the training director for a different acting school and our philosophies didn’t match. They wanted quantity over quality and I didn’t agree with that. So I decided to open my own studio. I focused on quality over quantity. I wanted there to be value in what people were paying for and I didn’t want to give false promises. I wanted people to learn, grow, and feel confident. It’s tough out there and there is a lot of misinformation so I made sure education about this career was a big part, both for the students and their parents. To be open and honest with them about this industry. That was my whole philosophy around starting the studio.

TAS Owner, Nicolle Campbell

We are all so glad you made the move to start TAS! It’s not only a place about giving actors the knowledge and confidence they need, but there is a huge focus on giving here. Whether it be Give Back drives, partnerships with charities like The Joy House, or through Charity Chats, like the upcoming one with Jordan Blair Brown (See graphic for details).

Was working with charities part of starting the school or something that was born out of the school’s success? 

It started pretty early on. We have always done some sort of charity work. Even in the early years we always did “TAS Gives Back”. Maybe not to the extent we are able to now, but we’ve always done it in some way shape or form. Charity drives, shoe boxes, going out to different organizations and helping out.

I’m a big believer of giving back to the community that has given to us. They have allowed us to be in business so we want to give back to that community. As the company has grown we’ve been able to do more charity work to reflect the success we’ve had. 

That’s wonderful that charity has been at the forefront of this company. Do you have some memorable moments from these partnerships?

One memorable moment was the big Texas flood in 2015. We organized a huge drive through the studio. All of us at TAS and our students brought mounds and mounds of stuff. The whole Red Room [the largest classroom at TAS] was piled full of it. Somebody with a truck volunteered to load it all up and drive it all down. That was a big memorable moment to see us all come together to give and help out through a disaster.

Another memory was when we first started doing the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. We had a TON of shoeboxes. All the students came and dropped off shoeboxes and supplies. We had coaches come in and pack loads of boxes. We ended up with a tower of Shoeboxes in the Red Room. That was a really cool moment. 

Amazing! What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever given? 

My favorite one was when I gave the cruise to the staff for the 20th year. Just seeing everybody’s reactions, they were all so different and huge. It was so powerful. It was by far my most favorite gift given. 

That was an incredible gift for sure. We can’t thank you enough!

What’s the best gift someone has given you?

Several years ago the staff all chipped in and got me bookshelves to go with my desk in my office. It was something that was valuable to me. I was redecorating my office and had just gotten rid of some old furniture that was falling apart. The bookshelves were a very thoughtful gift. 

As far as my personal life goes my mom and grandmother were the best gift givers. My mom always gave me cool clothes I’d get to wear throughout the year. My grandmother always gave me toys. So one of my favorite gifts she gave me was stilts that I loved and would walk all over the neighborhood with. The other gift from her was a stuffed teddy bear, and I still have him. 

As an adult my favorite gift my husband gave me was an Emmitt Smith Jersey. I love football and Emmitt Smith is my favorite player! He was really thinking of me and what I like, and it wasn’t anything I had thought of myself so it’s my favorite. I wear it every year for football.

What gift giving advice do you have for our readers?

My advice is to sit down and think about the person you are planning to give the gift to. Think about who they are and what they like. Does that person like to paint? Do they like sports? Fashion? What are the things they spend their time doing outside of work. If you can pinpoint that you can develop some ideas around getting them something they spend their time doing. From there you can start looking up online “Good gifts for people who _____”

You know a lot of people say that Christmastime has become too commercialized and materialistic.

When you look at the start of it all- wisemen bringing Jesus gifts to honor him and show him love- that’s what it’s all about: love and honor. That’s how you take the commercialism out of it. Focusing not on the volume of gifts, but giving to show your love to that person. That’s what it’s about.

Want to get involved in giving back with us? Or just want to take a look at all the partnerships TAS is involved in? Head to our website and visit the TAS Giveback page for all the ways you can help! 

Ready to get started? Reach out today!

TASFRONTDESK@GMAIL.COM

770-904-6646

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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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Get to know TAS Coach: Kristi Taylor

Get to know TAS Coach: Kristi Taylor

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 Kristi Taylor?” Read on to find out!

How did you first get into acting?

I decided to stop taking band class in high school and was given two choices for replacement courses-Jazz Band or Drama.  I chose Drama.  As soon as I walked in the door and met the teacher and students, I quickly realized they were my kind of people.  I was bit by the acting/theatre bug.  I simply could not get enough time in the day to perform, learn, sing and so forth.  Each role and production created more opportunities for me to advance and learn.  It has been this way all these years…I don’t see it changing ever. 

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

I have directed numerous productions, as well as produced a few. I’m a professional singer and composer; recording and writing songs for tv/film. Besides acting, directing is my favorite position in the film industry.

Coach Kristi's latest album, Untangled, and her latest single, Strength Be Glorified are now available on Apple Music! You can check them out here: 

What has been your biggest struggle in the industry?

Sometimes this industry has a plethora of castings that can be tempting to jump into because of the love for your craft.  However, not all of those fit into your morals or boundaries.  Meeting peeps in the industry who are like-minded can also be challenging.  But, I’ve found that doing my research before just accepting any ol’ role thrown my way ends up being for the better.

So, what helps you overcome the feeling of negativity in the industry?

You need not compromise your beliefs or morals to do good work.  Stick with what is appropriate and comfortable.  Don’t ever let someone make you do anything which violates these boundaries.  I find that being positive and having great communication is key to success.

"I find that being positive and having great communication is key to success."

Why did you get into coaching?

My agent Tonya Hensley with TDH Talent referred me to TAS and I couldn’t be more grateful!  I knew that if she thought so highly of TAS, I’d be in great hands and be able to make a difference of some kind.  #thanksTonya #bestagentever

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

Be diligent about your craft. I will always say that I truly believe Improv is the most important skill an actor needs to have.  In all my 30+ years in the industry, there has NEVER been a production in which I have not used improv.  But, I also say to rehearse daily, memorize verbatim, and work in front of a mirror to see that your facial expressions and movements are appropriate to your character. Accept criticism humbly and grow from it. A class mantra of mine is “You can’t do better, or be better, until you know better.”  Where better to achieve these than at TAS?

What is your proudest coaching moment?

Any success that I hear from my students is a proud moment for me.  Especially seeing the excitement they have for auditions they’ve requested tapes for and knowing that they are going to apply the skills learned in my class is such a great feeling.

What do you hope that your legacy will be as an acting coach?

I hope that people will remember me for my loving heart and talent to teach others to be an inspiration. And also that I am a huge advocate for those in the industry.  I truly do encourage my students and fellow industry peeps all the time! 

Coach Krist's beloved cat, Mr Pickles, has his own claim to fame!

Lastly, tell us what makes you feel confident?

All the time I’ve spent building up my skills through classes and workshops throughout the years has constantly helped me gain confidence.  I know going into an audition that if I’ve applied all the knowledge and skills I’ve learned, I have done the best I can and that makes me confident in knowing that if I received an offer for a role, I’ve fully earned it.

Kristi Taylor Bio:

Kristi graduated with high honors from Texas Wesleyan University with a BA in Theatre, Minor in English. Her emphasis were Performance, Directing, Playwriting, and Dialects. 

Throughout the years, she has been a part of over 200 Theatrical productions, including two performances in Off Broadway productions, as well as 85-ish Film/TV productions throughout the country.  

Would you like to take classes or private lessons with Coach Kristi?

Coach Kristi currently teaches Foundations classes, as well as Improv One and Improv Two. For more information on our classes, click HERE.

You can also give our Front Desk a call at 770-904-6646.

To sign up for a private lesson with Coach Kristi, including vocal lessons, click HERE

Would you like to follow Coach Kristi? Check out her:

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Being Thankful In Every Season

Being Thankful In Every Season

Take some time this Thanksgiving season to focus on what you’re thankful for…

Let’s be honest with each other, this industry is tough. We face a lot of rejection, hours of hard work that seems to go unnoticed, and expenses that come with necessary things like headshots and classes. Now with the strike continuing on, things can feel even bleaker than ever. 

In these moments it’s often hard to find motivation or joy.  When that happens, what do we do? We know giving up is not the answer. Let’s look at what one of the hardest working people in the industry, Oprah Winfrey, has to say about finding joy:

The key is gratitude. Oprah goes on to say that “When you don’t have anything…go back to your breath”. (Credit: Oprah.com) It’s that simple. If we are here, alive, we have something to be grateful for.  Focusing on what you have amidst moments of bleakness can help stabilize you and remind you of all the joy in your life as it is. 

I realize that’s easier said than done. So I reached out to some of The Actor’s Scene’s awesome staff members and coaches to see what they are grateful for in this wild career we have chosen to follow. Let’s take a look at what they have to say.

In the end, even when things are bleak, there is still so much to be grateful for in this industry. Find that and you will find the hope and drive to keep going. 

We want to feature an article from Backstage.com, “3 Ways To Be a Gracious and Grateful Actor”

“Gratitude. Manners. Generosity. These words matter, though it’s a challenge for each of us, in all aspects of the arts, to try and put them into practice. Daily life is an ongoing “audition” and is usually rushed and fraught with “shoulds.” A steady barrage of commitments, emails and phone calls can leave us feeling overwhelmed and constantly behind schedule. Here are three key suggestions on how to refresh one’s own spirit while reaching out to others in our business in a respectful and generous manner.

1. Thank your mentors and professional colleagues at every opportunity. I believe it is necessary to express gratitude to those who have nurtured us, extended professional courtesies and opportunities to us, and inspired us. A verbal or an e-mailed “thank-you” is always appreciated, but a hand-written note is especially lovely. Younger actors who grew up on computers may view a handwritten note as somewhat antiquated, but for those of us of a certain age (smile), it implies more care and thought. Invest in inexpensive notecards, and if you are so inclined, write a brief thank-you to people you’ve met on a general audition or for whom you have recently auditioned. You don’t need to say “Keep me in mind for future projects”—just thank the person for time spent and wish them well…” Keep reading HERE.

You’ve heard it said, The industry is smaller than you think. Isn’t that the truth? So while things are slow, take some time to check your heart and your head. Start each day with an attitude of gratitude, and be the person who is known for being gracious and grateful. Reach out to check on your acting friends and tell them how thankful you are for your community, reach out to your agent/manager with a heartfelt Thank You this Thanksgiving, reach out to your coach to share how grateful you are for their wisdom and guidance.

Spread some joy and bask in the warm feelings that come from a grateful perspective.

If you’re struggling to find your hope in this industry or even simply figuring out what direction to go, there are plenty of coaches here at TAS that would love to work with you in a private coaching session or a career coaching session. Give our front desk a call, you will be grateful you did!

Ready to get started? Reach out today!

TASFRONTDESK@GMAIL.COM

770-904-6646

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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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Get to know TAS Coach: Nyah Bass

Get to know TAS Coach: Nyah Bass

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 Nyah Bass?” Read on to find out!

How did you first get into acting?

In high school, I took a Technical Theatre class, which opened my eyes to the entertainment industry. I loved the production element of theatre, but I always knew that I wanted to try acting as well. Flash forward to watching a popular Netflix show, this was the true catalyst for me. I saw these child actors, the exact same age as me, doing the thing I wanted to do and absolutely loving it. After searching the internet for acting classes, that’s when I found The Actor’s Scene. I still remember my first class and how excited and motivated I was because it honestly felt like the perfect decision for me.

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

When I’m not acting, I love production work. Going to a film school definitely helped me spend time appreciating various areas within the industry. For example, my most memorable moments were in either my Screenwriting or Production Audio class.

What has been your biggest struggle in the industry?

My biggest struggle within the industry was comparing myself to others. I was constantly comparing others’ success, skills, etc. to my journey. This hit an all-time high during the lockdown in 2020. When everyone was stuck at home, people were still auditioning and training, but in a whole new way. I would go to workshops and industry Q&As, and at times, I would get auditions, but the slower parts were the most challenging for me. I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough for my career and/or I was always doing the wrong thing. This created a lot of self-doubt and “imposter syndrome” within myself.

So, what helps you overcome self doubt and comparison?

A lot of self/ inner work had to be done to combat those emotions of not feeling like I belong, I wasn’t good enough, etc. I had to think all the way to the beginning; before acting classes, the Netflix show, etc. I had to remind myself of why I was doing this. It was for the little girl who would put on plays with my sister in our living room for our family. It was for the little girl who always wanted to be “on the TV”. I also had to re-learn that no one’s timeline is the same, nor should it be. This was the hardest but most important thing that I had to teach myself. This gave me so much of my confidence back and helped me believe in myself and my skills.

"We as actors always should and need to be our biggest advocates"

Why did you get into coaching?

I actually didn’t realize that I would be interested in coaching until after interning with TAS. This gave me a whole new perspective on acting in many ways. After being the student, and being blessed with some really impactful coaches, this inspired me; I wanted to do the same for future actors. When I got into interning, this helped me value the importance of the “student & coach” dynamic. Interning helped me gain skills that I could take into my coaching; for example, effective communication with actors, from an actor. This was very important for me because I believe there are more productive ways to get a stronger performance from actors than just “being really sad or really happy” within a scene.

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

The one thing that I always try to express to my students is the importance of one’s voice. As actors, our voice is one of our superpowers, and we need to be able to use it effectively on and off-set. Whether that is through networking opportunities, collaborations, or even setting certain personal boundaries. 

What is your proudest coaching moment?

One of my proudest moments during my time with TAS was when I was interning various summer camps a few years ago. Seeing the evolution of all the students during those weeks is something that I still think about. I saw students of all ages find their own confidence in many ways; whether it was going through with their creative decisions, effective collaborations, or just using their voices to express their opinions. Knowing that I was a part of that is very rewarding to me.

What do you hope that your legacy will be as an acting coach?

I hope everyone will remember and recognize my passion and dedication to the industry. This field is ever-changing and there are always learning opportunities; I want to become multifaceted within the industry and hope that inspires others to do the same.

Lastly, tell us what makes you feel confident?

Planning and preparation make me confident. Whenever I am uncertain about my decisions or the future, I like to reflect on the work done beforehand that got me to where I am now. I always like to consider that everyone’s journey is different and there’s not one “right” way to go through life and achieve your dreams.

Nyah Bass Bio:

Nyah’s love for the entertainment industry sparked when she was a little girl. That little girl’s confidence and determination lead her to stop at nothing in order to achieve her dreams. Her acting journey started right here at TAS, and she hasn’t looked back since!

From climbing the ladder of student, intern, to coach, Nyah gives The Actor’s Scene immense gratitude for the extraordinary time she has spent here growing not only as a person but as an actress.

Nyah is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film & Television at Savannah College of Art and Design. She is also represented by Carol Shaginaw Talent Agency & The Actor’s Scene Management.

When Nyah is not working, she has a couple of hobbies she always comes back to including movie nights, listening to one of her many playlists, or taking a drive.

Would you like to take classes or private lessons with Coach Nyah?

Coach Nyah currently teaches Foundations classes and Working Actor: Taped Audition JR. For more information on our classes, click HERE.

You can also give our Front Desk a call at 770-904-6646.

To sign up for a private lesson with Coach Nyah, click HERE

Would you like to follow Coach Nyah? Check out her:

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Actors, It’s Halloween Time!

Actors, It’s Halloween Time!

Use these acting tips to create the best character ever! 

The weather in Georgia has finally cooled off. All around us shorts give way to pants, sandals to boots, and tank tops to chunky sweaters. Giant skeletons are now seen hovering over yards, and pumpkins can be found as decorations and in coffee alike. That’s right, autumn is here and Halloween is just around the corner. Kids wait in anticipation to collect enough candy to last them a year while adults make plans for haunted houses and themed parties. No matter your age, one thing that everyone who participates in Halloween needs is a good costume. 

Join us this month as we dive into the essentials of building a scarily creative character to impress your friends this Halloween. 

Dressing up for Halloween is a tradition as old as the holiday itself. The earliest beginnings of Halloween came from the Celts dating back over 2,000 years. Back then, it was more of a celebration for the coming New Year on November first and included sacred bonfires, crop sacrifices, and hopes of renewal.  Costumes looked a bit different as well usually consisting of animal heads or skins. Thankfully costumes options grew as the years went on. 

In America Halloween as we know it really gained popularity between the years 1920-1950. Costumes got an upgrade from what the Celtics wore to handmade masks, beings like witches or mummies, and more domesticated animals like cats. Store-bought costumes were also becoming more popular by the 50s so people could go out and just buy their desired outfit instead of hoping their DIY skills would do the trick. 

While some of these classic Halloween costumes are still used or seen in this modern era, most current costume inspirations come from characters of our favorite TV shows and movies.  A quick Google search for popular Halloween costumes this year will show you ideas for characters from “Barbie”, “Wednesday”, and “The Super Mario Bros.” Some sites will give you a list of where you can buy each item, others will show you how to make it yourself. 

 

As I dove into this year’s top Halloween costumes, I couldn’t help but think about the importance of details. Of course someone could don themselves in all black add a pointed hat and call themselves a witch, but to make it really believable you’d need:

Stockings 

Some witchy makeup

Nails to match.

Perhaps even a wand or a broom to really sell the look…

Add in the details of a witch’s cackle and some memorized spells to spout, and now you’ve really become a witch that will scare all who come across you! But what if a scary witch is not your thing? There are so many ways to portray a character, and the way that we bring our vision to life is through the details! 

This is also the same for actors. Since our October theme here at TAS is “Transformative”, this author could think of no better topic than COSTUMES. As actors it is incredibly important that we know the characters we play inside and out. When we are cast in a role it is up to us to discover all the facts about the character found within the script and then make decisions about our character based upon those given truths.

Who is this character?

Where do they come from?

What has lead them to the point where we meet them in the script?

What is their purpose in this script?

Answering questions like this will help us know our character and therefore build details to help us play the character with CONFIDENCE.

This internal work is so incredibly key, but does nothing for an actor if they aren’t able to add the external work: posture, movements, and most importantly… look.

Take Jenna Ortega’s performance as Wednesday Addams in Netflix’s “Wednesday”. It is clear she took the time to dig into who the character is and answer all the necessary questions; resulting in a perfect performance as a serious, torture-loving, determined Wednesday. But what if we took away the physical details added to her character: her dark braids, black dress, and serious expression? What if they had put her in something bright, gave her colorful hair, and had her smile constantly? The character would no longer work and Wednesday Addams would cease to exist. 

Costuming also plays a huge part in world building. A great example of this is Effie Trinket, played by Elizabeth Banks, in “The Hunger Games”.  Effie come from The Capital, high society and lots of money. In her very first scene, before she even says a single line, one can already tell that she does not fit into District 12 (a destitute coal-mining community) simply from what she is wearing. Her outfits are brilliantly tailored, dyed in bright colors, and accessorized with embellished jewelry and hats. This against the plain, drab, simplistic style of the people in District 12 shows the complete separation between their world and Effie’s. Through the details on costuming alone, the audience is able to see the divide between those who live in Districts and those who live in the Capital. 

Wednesday Addams
Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games
Oppenheimer

Costuming becomes extra essential when doing a biopic. Oppenheimer came out this year with a bang. With an incredible script, a list of talented A-list actors, and of course Christopher Nolan’s vision, Oppenheimer has had positive reviews since it’s first preview. A huge part of the positive response goes to costume designer Ellen Mirojnick. In an interview with IndieWire she speaks to her work: “Oppenheimer never changed his silhouette from the time he began at Berkeley through the decades. That was a very, very important note to zero in on”. And zero in on it she did! Instead of changing his look drastically as the years when by, she kept him in the same style and the same silhouettes following his real life style choices. Capturing these small, but specific details is what brings the reality of the character to the screen. 

This year as you dress up for Halloween think about how the costume you put on transforms you into your character. What details are you adding to truly portray the character? If you find that you love dressing up and playing a part, check out some of our classes here at TAS. We can guide you to finding how to make your internal character match your external character.

And from all of us at TAS, have a Happy and safe Halloween!

Ready to get started? Reach out today!

TASFRONTDESK@GMAIL.COM

770-904-6646

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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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