Yes, it really does. Find out some of the reasons and benefits of having an acting mentor.
Mentorship; it’s one of our core values at The Actor’s Scene. When students walk into the studio to get to their class, they are greeted by this awesome quote from John C. Maxwell:
“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”
-John C. Maxwell
So... what is a mentor, really?
Merriam-Webster defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide, a tutor or coach”. Basically, your mentor is someone that is helping to guide your path, hearing where you currently are and helping you pinpoint the next steps to getting where you want to be. Mentors work alongside you to hone in on your strengths and help you to work on your weaknesses! Mentorship can be beneficial in every industry and at every stage in life. It is by no means a new concept; rather, it’s one that we’ve seen crop up in our stories through the ages. Where would Harry Potter be without Dumbledore? Or Luke Skywalker without Yoda? Or Daniel LaRusso without Mr. Miyagi? I could keep going, but you get the point. To have someone that can listen, guide, caution, and cheer you on your journey is not just a blessing, but an important element to cultivate in your acting journey.
If I’m an actor, what is the benefit of having a mentor?
That’s a great question! Actors, especially those new to the industry, can definitely benefit from hearing about others’ experiences and soaking in advice from those who have been working in the industry! For seasoned actors, mentorship can help figure out what your blind spots are, assess where you are in your craft and what your areas for improvement might be! Mentorship for actors can be in the form of goal-setting, learning a new acting skill, or even leveling up your tangible materials such as your resume, headshots, and reels or clips. Having a mentor as an actor means having a go-to person to come to with all of your questions, concerns, and dreams!
Check out this quote from TAS Coach Sanna Erica on mentorship:
“Sometimes mentorship can happen in unconventional ways. For instance, a few years ago I decided to read books by women in filmmaking, business, and comedy who were inspirational to me. I learned so much from these incredible people — without actually meeting them in person. Never doubt the power of how you can learn from those who went before you — even if you may not have the chance to meet them (yet)!”
Mentorship is helpful for your career as an actor, but also for your personal life!
When I was a child, I was PAINFULLY shy. I mean, I couldn’t order at a restaurant by myself. I barely made eye contact with strangers. And new environments, especially crowded ones, made me super nervous. The first time I sang in front of a group of people, I actually ran out of the room crying! Despite my shyness, I knew from the moment that I was a little tot (probably about 2 or so) that I desperately wanted to be an actor. I just needed some help coming out of my shell, and developing the confidence necessary to work and thrive in the industry! Thankfully, when I was seven years old, I started taking classes at The Actor’s Scene, and I found my first mentor: Coach Aimee Peters.
Coach Aimee worked with me and my mom to help me develop public speaking skills, learn how to think quickly and creatively on my feet, and grow the confidence in myself that I needed to start actually pursuing my dream of becoming an actor. She did this simply by showing up for me in our weekly private lessons! We used our time together to talk about and solidify my goals, and made small steps weekly towards them. We leveled up my tangible industry tools like my online profiles, had question and answer times for the things I was wondering about the industry and the art of acting, and worked on different techniques to improve my performance skills. Lessons with her were the first time that I felt like I could actually accomplish my dreams of performing in front of others and bringing characters to life. I will forever be grateful to her for taking that time to invest in me, both personally and professionally, because without it, I absolutely wouldn’t be where I am (or who I am) today!
We got in touch with former TAS Coach, Aimee Peters to hear her take on mentorship. As one of our first coaches, going back to 2003, Aimee had the opportunity to mentor many actors and walk through their journey to success. We asked Aimee to share her thoughts on being an acting coach:
“For years, I had served as an acting coach in any way the doors opened up. Then gradually my students began asking if I would teach them privately. The reason a coach thrives on those private lessons is that we finally get to hone in and really work on an area in ONE actor’s development, that we don’t have time for in a group class. When you see an area for growth in a person, you want to help them get there! I believe that anyone who truly wants to grow, must shake themselves out of the routine of what comes naturally, and SEEK OUT the expertise and greatness that you see in someone you admire. Mentors or coaches don’t have time to go find folks to follow them; they’re already running in their purpose. However, if you see an attribute or a skill that you can learn from, then you gotta go find those who will take the time to populate that into you. The hunger to learn from others never stops.
What I did not expect, is that as I privately coached hundreds of students, their stories became embedded into my heart, and each face became someone I learned from. Their passion to learn, the affection and appreciation of me when I taught, seeing them progress in excellence and determination…it all inspired me to be on my game, and to come with more and more so they would feel they were getting what they needed.
These students & their families became friends. They were there when I walked through infertility for 4 years. They laughed with me through the nausea of pregnancies. They all came out to celebrate that first miracle baby and showered us with nursery decor for that little girl we didn’t think would ever come. One of my most prized possessions is that after helping Molly Pass develop Spokesperson script for an AMTC competition in FL, her mother took her costume and converted it into a exquisite “Jack & Jill” baby blanket for our 2nd miracle baby.
When we open up to one another to connect through acting, sometimes we get SO much more.”
My mentoring journey didn’t end after working with Coach Aimee. I continued taking classes at the studio and furthering my craft. Through a TAS Showcase, I signed with my agent and started auditioning! When I got to my teenage years, I realized that soon I would be responsible for my own career instead of leaning so heavily on my parents to help me out, so I restarted private lessons, this time with Coach Sanna! Coach Sanna helped me figure out how to navigate the more administrative tasks that I was confused about, like self-submitting for projects, resume-building, and communicating with my agent. She also taught me acting techniques that I still use to this day, like Alexander, Meisner, and Hagen. I knew that whenever I had a question, I had a designated person and safe space to share my confusion. And of course, Sanna’s expertise and kindness meant that all my questions were answered easily and without judgment, which gave me the clarity and confidence to move forward in my journey! I remember working specifically with her on my audition for the spring musical in my senior year of high school, and how we got to celebrate together when I got to tell her that I got the part! She was even able to make it to the first play I ever directed, Charlie Brown Christmas, that same year!
Since my time with TAS Coaches Aimee Peters and Sanna Erica, I can now order my own food at a restaurant. I often make eye contact with strangers. And new environments, especially crowded ones, are so exciting to me! As far as singing goes, I actually now teach vocal lessons to other shy kiddos and help them find confidence in their voice. Mentorship for actors is about more than learning how to act, it’s about finding and perfecting the tools you need to succeed, in your career as well as in your day to day life! Working privately with a coach is an opportunity to connect with someone who wants to see you thrive. If you’ve been thinking about what the next right thing for you is, or you just know that you could benefit from someone who has more industry experience helping to guide you as you navigate it all, check out our private and career coaching options!
Another TAS Mentor that we want to spotlight, is none other than Nicolle Campbell; TAS Founder, Owner, and Manager of TASM. Nicolle has been a ‘rock’ to many in the industry-both in TAS and beyond. We asked her to share her take on Mentorship.
“I don’t consider myself a “mentor”. I don’t intentionally set out to mentor a person.
Ready to get started? Reach out today!
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About The Author
Molly Pass is an Atlanta-local actress, acting coach, and wedding videographer who loves to help new and seasoned actors alike find their purpose and passion through performance. She holds her bachelor’s degree in Film and Media Studies from Georgia State University and enjoys discussing movies, shows, and all things new media. Her favorite part of working at The Actor’s Scene is being able to inspire folks to pursue their dreams and helping them to gain confidence in themselves along the way. When she is not acting or working in the digital media realm, she enjoys reading murder mysteries and desperately trying to keep a garden alive.
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