Michele Marinace is an actress focused on the fact that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. She’s been in the acting world for about 10 years but continues to learn. Michele’s background includes five years in regional theatre and five years in New York theatre.
Following the path of actors at every level is a good way to learn and understand the various things you can do in your acting quest.
Michele hasn’t done this alone. In fact, she’s been perfecting her craft with guidance from some knowledgeable people in the acting world.
“It was five years ago that I started taking on-camera classes with Antonia Badon, my good friend, who still coaches me from time to time,” she commented. “She got me started in New York Theatre. I also took a class with Gwen Gillis about four years ago. I took a comedy class with Beverly Bonner after doing an ongoing play with her, Gloria Glitter at The Broadway Comedy Club. That's where I still do stand-up. Last spring I took some commercial classes with Amy Gossels and I learned Shakespeare with Roger Simon and Improv at the PIT.”
Lately Michele has been doing a few things. She took the time to outline in detail what is involved with the things she is doing.
“If I had the chance to study acting all over again at an earlier age, I would definitely get financial aid and go to an acting school. Not having that as an option, I have benefited from taking classes and going to meet and greets through Paul Michael's The Network, joining Bobby Holder's TAP-NYC and also taking classes and going to forums at Scott Powers Studios. All three offer opportunities to learn and perfect your craft as well as meet casting directors and agents directly.
“I am impressed with TAP-NYC's approach to perfecting your monologue. You are given a monologue, written by Bobby Holder or another TAP-NYC writer, at the beginning of a four month period and do a cold read with it the first time. Then each actor has to learn and perform the same monologue five more times in front of your troupe members. It is critiqued by one of the troupe members and the troupe leader.
“Since we are all in the same troupe, we are all supportive of each other. Each time we improve and watch each other evolve into a better actor. We learn from each other as we listen to how to improve each skit while it is critiqued.
“It is in the fourth month that if we make it through the six troupe meetings without messing up or being late or leaving early we get cast and finally perform in a showcase with agents, managers and casting directors watching.
“TAP-NYC although extremely strict with their policies also tries to be flexible because there is a lot of time to make up a meeting or you can go to as many as you want. You are allowed to go to another troupe meeting as long as those in the assigned troupe get to do their monologue and time allows. There is also coaching available.
“There are also two combined headshot and resume workshops required before the casting. You have to get the headshot and resume approved before the casting. It can be tedious going to each combined workshop but know that when you hand your headshot and resume to an agent it will be in the best form possible.
“After the showcases we have the opportunity to meet the industry people who attend. What could be better than meeting agents after they see you perform? After the showcase many of the actors go out and socialize.
“I met many interesting actors, agents, casting directors and managers at these showcases and other plays and monologue specials. It was at one of these showcases that I met Scott Powers and went on to take many classes at his studio.
“The classes are taught by agents and managers and I have found them to be extremely valuable. I'm presently taking classes with Susanne Scheel and Jenevieve Brewer. Each class is taped and put on a CD for you to keep and watch.
“When you see your own performance on the DVD, it’s a wonderful way to learn and improve your skills. You hear the notes again and again. I've taken Scott Power's Commercial Print class as well. This has to be one of the most informative classes I have ever taken.
“Once a month he has a forum where up to 24 actors do their one minute monologue or scene in front of the invited industry and have two minutes to sit with each one of them. Afterwards you are given something like a report card by each one. The opportunities abound.
“I am so grateful to Bobby Holder, Ann Bonner, my troupe leader, and Scott Powers,” concluded Michele.
Michele has offered some great detailed information, now how about you. Feel free to pass along your comments or send me your detailed outline of events, courses or networking opportunities you want to share.
My next column will be focused on your best acting tip - so take the time to pass that on to me.