The Importance of Your Online Presence!

What do you need to have a successful online presence – one that works for you – wherever you are?

A website (your  – which is absolutely necessary, but only the starting point.  You must have online media.

Because of many factors – a shaky economy, low budget productions and time crunches, many producers and  casting directors are no longer holding in-person auditions for first reads. Instead they pre-screen actors by going online without you even knowing it – often in this order:

A breakdown service utilized by talent agents and casting

Google—which should lead to your website

YouTube or Vimeo

Every actor absolutely must have digital media of their acting work available online as audition opportunities can arise for roles they haven’t submitted for!

How is this possible?  On occasion, audition slots remain open after a casting director has chosen all the actors they personally know who would be right for the role – those empty slots have to filled somehow – and this is where the online detective work comes in.

The casting director will go through headshots of actors they have received but don’t know and then go looking online to look at their digital media to see if it matches what they were looking for.

What if you don’t have easily accessible online media?  You are automatically out of consideration.    Having a profile on a breakdown site (actors access, la casting, etc)  a headshot and resume – and a website – are not enough!  You must have a reel, or at least some footage of you acting on-screen, that can be easily located through a google search of your name.


Having this media presence works for you not only in getting a first audition but can be helpful in the callback process as well as  the audition team goes online to find other footage to compare against the in-person audition.

But be certain that the media is high quality!  In my upcoming blog, I will give you guidelines for putting together an excellent online-reel.

To summarize:

Make sure you have a current profile with one of the breakdown services (I recommend Actors Access) which includes headshot, resume and media or go with IMDb pro

Have a website which is your name (even if you have to use your middle name or initial because that domain is taken)  Your website should of course include headshot, resume and media (reel)

Post your reel to You Tube

Then let your online presence get to work for you!


48 Hour Film Festival Preparations

This will be our third year participating in San Diego’s 48 hour film festival!  I added this to the advanced class curriculum to give advanced students the opportunity to experience “guerrilla filmmaking” at its finest and to receive IMDb credit.  I’m happy to say that both 48 hour entries, “Baited Breath” (2011) and just recently “Wedding Hi-Jinx (2012) have received IMDb credit!  This is not an automatic credit as 48 hour films are considered part of a contest and therefore not eligible for IMDb.

In order to receive IMDb credit, it is necessary to be considered for – or accepted into – a film festival.


This year we have the largest team so far – nearly 30 team members – split pretty evenly between cast and crew!  Having worked the previous two years with a skeleton crew, I’m excited to see what results having a larger crew will deliver!  We are busy with meetings and scouting locations, leading up to the big weekend July 12 – 14.  We receive our genre (from 14 possible) around 7:30 on Friday night, giving us 48 hours to write, film, edit, score and add credits to our 4- 7 minute film.  It’s a crazy weekend with no sleep but plenty of energy and creativity – and miraculously, at the end, a finished movie!!

Kids and Teens Casting Workshop with Sid Franklin


SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013

Kids:  11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Teens:  1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Sidney Franklin has been a frequent guest instructor at Acting Professionally, both in classes and for the Summer Camps!  We are pleased that Sidney will be returning to teach a casting workshop on Sunday, July 14!


Sidney just completed “Dumb Girls”, with Sandra Vergara of “Fright Night” and Josh Kelly of “Transformers”.  His film credits also include lead roles in “Pass Out”, “Boy from the Bronx” and “Undercover Kids; he has had a recurring role on Fox’s “Watch Over Me” and has appeared as a co-star on “Hank, “The Ex-List and “Sons of Anarchy”  and others.


He has assisted San Diego casting director, D.Candis Paule and will bringing his unique perspective on the business from the point of view of actor, director and casting.


Cost of workshop:  $20.00 (in addition to regular class tuition)

The workshop will take the place of our regular Sunday class on July 14 during the regularly scheduled class time.




SUNDAY, JULY 14 – 4 – 7 P.M.


COST $20.00 (plus regular class price)


Finding your brand and why you should – with Sandi Buehner!


This workshop introduces the idea of branding yourself as an actor. For years you are told, “Don’t brand yourself or you will be typecast.” While this is true for A-list actors, it is not true for actors just starting out. In fact, just the opposite is true. Unless you know what your brand is, how can you expect to sell it? And let’s face it, you, the actor, are the product and you definitely want buyers. This workshop teaches you how to recognize your niche by various means through breakdowns, interviews, and bookings. It teaches you what to do with that knowledge. With examples of how to promote your brand via headshots, you will leave this workshop with a better idea of what is needed in your headshots, how many headshots looks you will need and what those shots can do for you.



With experience across the board, Sandi Buehner brings experience and credits as executive producer for Opening Door Productions and Elusive Dream Productions, as a casting assistant for several commercials, a pilot, a union film, and a casting director for two short films. For a brief time, she had a glimpse into life as a voice over, commercial and theatrical agent. As owner of Actor Insight, Sandi helped several non-actors get their start into the acting business and helped several actors move forward in their careers. While not an acting coach or a manager, Sandi teaches the business side of the acting business.

Other experience includes: serving on the board of the San Diego Film Commission Foundation and co-owner of Actors For Reel, an audition technique class.

Getting Your Child Started in Acting!

What do you do if your child comes to you and says, “I want to be an actor! Do you try and talk them out of it? Warn them of the risks and the pitfalls and how hard it is to make it?  Dismiss the comment as something that will pass?

In my 20 years of teaching child actors, I have rarely encountered a student with the desire to act who did not also possess the talent to act.  That does not mean that every talented student will end up on a Disney channel show, but through classes – and auditions and roles – these students are able to express their talent and explore their passion.

And how fortunate to have a passion when many children feel lost because they haven’t found their “special something”.  Most young actors do not continue acting into adulthood, but there are so ways in which acting is beneficial in a child’s development – and continues to benefit them throughout their life – in building self esteem and confidence, public speaking, social interaction, risk-taking, listening, learning to take responsibility, enhanced reading and comprehension skills, and thinking on your feet, working collaboratively, learning how to take rejection,  and building empathy.

So, if your child approaches you with a desire to act, encourage that desire – in small steps.  Have them take an acting class and explore their creativity – to see if it is really something they want to pursue.  Let the child guide the course of action to decide if this is something to pursue further – in getting an agent, going on auditions, perhaps even driving to LA.

Before you and your child embark on this exciting journey, I encourage you to do some research – this is an excellent website for parents with children in the business or looking to get into the business: or please feel free to post any questions you have!


Mike McCafferty Commercial Workshop May 19!

We’re excited to welcome back Mike McCafferty and his dynamic commercial workshop to our studio on May 19!  Mike will be teaching four classes – kids from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., teens from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., introductory from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and advanced from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Each class is limited to 12 students.  There are just a few remaining spots in each session and the cost is $60.00 Please email if you would like to reserve your spot!

Mike McCafferty .In addition to his successful career in commercials, Mike as appeared in “Austin and Ally,” “Raising Hope”, “Luck”, “Community” and “Raising Hope”. Mike’s dynamic workshop will give you the tools you need for auditioning for commercials!

Production Week (Jan 18 – 26)

Production week is always an exciting time for Acting Professionally students! Over 50 actors and crew members participated in filming for our annual showcase (Jan 18 – 26) – shooting scenes from “Waking the Dead”, “Murder by Numbers”, “Garden State”, “Mrs. Doubtfire”, “The Rainmaker” and “Chronicles of Narnia” to name a few. We shot all over San Diego County with locations at Swami’s Beach, Kit Carson Park, 10th Avenue Theatre, and more.

Production week is the culmination of months of hard work, beginning in October 2012, when scenes are individually selected for students, and then rehearsed, blocked, shot and critiqued in preparation for final filming. These scenes are edited while students prepare for the live portion of the showcase at the Lyceum Theatre on March 12, 2013.

The filmed scenes are presented in conjunction with live performances to give potential agents, managers, casting directors and independent filmmakers the opportunity to see actors on both stage and screen. For more information:, or (760) 454-0382.