Now accepting enrollment for showcase and intro adult class until October 15!

Open enrollment for our annual showcase is available in the following classes:




INTRODUCTORY TEEN – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

INTERMEDIATE TEEN – 1 pm to 3 pm












AP’s 13th Annual Actor Showcase March 13 at Horton Grand Theatre!

Acting Professionally’s unique actor showcase will occur on March 13 at 8:00 p.m. at the Horton Grand Theatre.  Featuring 55 actors on stage and film, this year’s theme is “And the Nominees Are….”  with scenes from film and television which have been nominated by the Academy, Golden Globes, SAGEmmys and more.

Industry professionals including agents, casting directors, managers and independent filmmakers will be in attendance at this popular “standing room only” evening with a meet and greet following the event at the Horton Grand lobby bar.

Meet the Cast and Crew of Carving A Life


Press Release for Carving A Life

Independent Feature Film Carving a Life Will Begin Production in San Diego in October

In spite of complications created by the closing of San Diego’s Film Commission, a newly created woman-based production company, Life In Reels, is forging ahead with plans to make their first feature film, “Carving a Life”.

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San Diego, CA (PRWEB) September 11, 2013

Lisa Bruhn, Screenwriter, Terry Ross, Director, and Sandy Orsmond, Associate Producer, are networking throughout the San Diego film community to raise funds and gain permits to produce this independent film, expected for release to film festivals in February 2014. Local independent theaters will be premiering “Carving A Life” in Spring of 2014.

Terry Ross is the owner and director of Acting Professionally, a film and television acting studio, and has been in front of or behind the camera for over 20 years. Terry has a M.F.A. degree in directing and has directed several short films and showcases. Lisa Bruhn, screenwriter of Carving A Life, is an electronics sales executive for 20+ years. This is Lisa’s first script, written to showcase the talents of her actor son Tyler Bruhn. Sandy Orsmond-Holmes, Associate Producer, has worked as Stage Manager for San Diego Danceworks, Thunder River Theatre Company, Rocky Mountain Institute, and the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.

The story is a relatable and heartfelt drama, with a love story woven about 25 year old Mitch who, after experiencing a shattering tragedy as a child, falls prey to addiction and a life out of control. The film chronicles his struggle to overcome haunting memories in his past and creating a life for himself and his family in the present.

Terry, Lisa, and Sandy, are working closely with San Diego Film Consortium’s Jodi Cilley, who, in the wake of the San Diego Film Commission closing, is helping San Diego filmmakers obtain permits.

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help raise funds to make this independent film: and a Meet the Cast and Crew event is planned for Saturday, September 14, from 7 to 10 pm at Latitude 33 Brewery in Vista, CA. Entrance to the event is free with any amount pledged to the Kickstarter campaign or $10.00 at the door. Exclusive movie posters will be handed out, 5 free beer tastes available to each guest (if over 21), a BBQ dinner, and surprise entertainment!

About us:

Life in Reels Productions, LLC is a San Diego independent film company producing Carving a Life.

Terry Ross has been a faculty member of the M.F.A. Professional Actor Training Program at the Old Globe and theater departments at University of San Diego, San Diego State University, and University of California, Davis and received her acting training from San Francisco’s renowned American Conservatory Theater. She holds an M.A. in Education from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in directing from the University of California, Davis.

Lisa Bruhn works full time as a sales and marketing executive in the electronics industry and sparked an interest in screenwriting several years ago. Lisa also has a travel blog,, and has written travel articles for the San Diego Reader, an independent newspaper in San Diego.

Sandy Orsmond-Holmes, Associate Producer has worked as a Stage or Production Manager for San Diego Danceworks, Thunder River Theatre Company, Rocky Mountain Institute, the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, and has worked with the Royal Brunei family. Sandy also studied Electronic Engineering in South Africa.

Tyler Bruhn began his acting career at 13, inspired by the Harry Potter films. Tyler took a break from acting to focus on high school studies and athletics and was in Carlsbad High School Broadcasting program led by Doug Green, where he learned a variety of skills on camera and behind the scenes.

Tyler’s IMDB Page:

For more information contact:
Terry Ross, 415-690-0887
Lisa Bruhn, 760-583-7081

Follow the film at
Twitter: @CarvingALife

Carving A Life – The Movie

Pre-production on the feature film, “Carving A Life” is a in full swing!  Much of the film has been cast with Acting Professionally students including Tyler Bruhn, as the lead “Mitch”, Sandi Todorovic as “Eric” his best friend, Lisa Winans as “Rebecca”, Mitch’s stepmom, Max Baroudi, as “Young Mitch”, Jay Jee as “Dr Johnson” and many more.

Fundraising for the film is already in place and a kickstarter video will be filmed at the Acting Professionally studio in Media Arts Center on August 25, with a public release the first week in September.  A fundraising party will be held at Latitude 33 on September 14.  Funds raised will go to pay cast and crew under the SAG-Indie Ultra Low Budget contract, equipment, insurance and food.

Many locations have already been secured including an art studio, a woodcarving shop, and several schools and restaurants.

The script has undergone three re-writes and will be reviewed on August 29 by Jen Grisanti, a writers consultant, formerly with Spelling Television, CBS/Paramount.

The Story:

The film follows young artist, Mitch Martindale, whose life seems to be on the rise.  He is a wood carver whose work is drawing recognition and he has a beautiful wife and a child on the way.  Although his life seems to be coming together, he is haunted by his past – an accident which killed his mother when he was ten.  To avoid painful memories and emotions, he turns to alcohol.  The film explores whether or not love for his art, wife, and unborn child will be enough to turn his life around.

From BlueCat Screenplay Competition Analysis:

“Mitch is a very emotionally broken, yet sympathetic individual. A motherless teen who grows up to become an alcoholic. His journey towards fatherhood is a bumpy one, “filled with pot holes.”

“The story has classic elements, including a boy losing his mother, a neglectful father, early problems with alcohol, a loving wife, an enabling best friend, a young hospital roommate who overdoses, entering rehab, and becoming a father.”

The film’s message is positive – that with determination and commitment – love and proper treatment can change lives.  It is our hope that it will touch – and perhaps alter – the lives of young people affected by addiction.

Stay tuned for updates on the progress of the film!Carving A Life Poster


Reflections on the 48 Hour

With the red carpet screening of our 48 hour film only 24 hours away, it’s hard to believe what we were able to accomplish over the weekend of July 12 – 14!  At 7:00 pm on July 12, the writing team of Lisa Bruhn, Giovanni Tejada , Aaron Bornstein and myself received our genre “Horror!”  At 7:30 p.m. we received the elements that had to be included the film:  a garden hose, the character, Margaret McCarthy, Interpreter, and the line “You know what I mean?”

Fortified by a quick meal of chicken and coleslaw, we went to work!  By 2:30 a.m. we had come up with our script – A director of a steampunk acting troupe currently performing “Faust” – a play about a man who sells his sole to the devil – “awakens” to discover he is already dead and in hell, haunted by the sins of his past!

We delivered the script via our private facebook page to the actors and director of photography, Paul Mathew Giret, who at 4:00 a.m. began his shot list.  At 7:00 a.m., actors, crew and make-up artists arrived.  While make-up was being applied, we went about our first shot around 9:00 a.m. – and started a full cast shoot around 11:00 a.m.

Shooting went well into the wee hours of Sunday morning, wrapping at 4:00 a.m.  For many, this had been more than a 24 hour day without sleep!  Actors went home to recover and several us of stayed overnight at the shooting location.

Editing was completed at 6:50, leaving us less than 40 minutes to get to the drop off location (which normally would be over 40 minutes away).  Our film was turned in, on time, at 7:28 leaving two minutes to spare!!

Despite little sleep, long days, the time constraint – and pressure, the 48 hour is a fun and valuable experience for all involved!  Perhaps most importantly, a film actually gets completed!  And there is great satisfaction in what can be accomplished in so little time!  For some actors, it is the first time they have ever been on set and that is an invaluable learning experience!  The 48 pushes ones creative boundaries and it is a revelation what can do in such a short period of time

Enjoy our poster and trailer!

48 Hour Film Fest Only a Day Away!

Final Preparations are being made to kickoff our 3rd Annual 48 Hour Film Festival!  We’ve secured the location, equipment, actors and crew, food, writing team and are ready to receive our genre at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow when team members will pick it up at the kickoff!  Then the writing begins, and once finished, is distributed to the cast, (if history is any indication it’s around 2:30 a.m.) and we’re on set at 7:00 a.m. for make-up, set dressing, rehearsal and an approximate lst shot at 9:00 a.m.!  Last year we shot until fbcoverphotomidnight and with 15 actors and approximately the same number of crew members this year, we may go that late again!  We will be editing throughout and then need to get our completed film in by 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 14.  Not alot of sleep, but alot of creativity ahead!

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.