|TH 4130 -
|TH 4130 - ACTING PROFESSIONALLY Fall Semester 2017
MWF 3-4:50, T131 CA
Instructor: Bruce Cromer
Office Hours: MWTH 12-1 (other times available by appt.); T148K CA
Phone (Messages): 775-3072
Course Objectives: To enable BFA acting majors to make informed goals, plans, and first steps toward their future
acting careers. Marketing tools (headshots, resumes, cover letters, postcards, audition packages, reels, web-sites, etc.),
marketing strategies, and relocation plans will be discussed, researched, and prepared. Significant aspects of the
profession will also be discussed and/or researched, including primary market areas, unions, contracts, agents,
combined auditions, stage work, film and t.v. work, industrials, etc. A major emphasis of the course is making students
aware of helpful information sources regarding the profession — especially the “inter-network” of PATP alumni across
the country. Guest alumni, actors and directors will supplement our discussions with personal advice and experiences.
Tentative Course Outline (read the Acting Professionally chapters before the week they’re discussed):
Week One (August 28, 30, Sept. 1) The Way It Is; Typing
Week Two (September 6, 8) Professional Objectives, Obstacles, and Tactics
Week Three (September 11, 13, 15) What You Will Need
Week Four (September 18, 20, 22) What You Will Need
Week Five (September 25, 27, 29) Your First Decisions
Week Six (October 2, 4, 6) Establishing Yourself; Audition Package 1 (Classical)
Week Seven (October 9, 11, 13) Establishing Yourself; Research Project #1 due
Week Eight (October 16, 18, 20) Presentations Week Nine (October 23, 25, 27) The Casting Room; Audition Package 2
Week Ten (Oct. 30, November 1, 3) Other Opportunities
Week Eleven (November 6, 8, 10) Unemployment, Taxes, Civilian Jobs (Jen Joplin teaches WF)
Week Twelve (Nov. 13, 15, 17) Additional Training; Audition Package 3 (Jen Joplin teaches WF)
Week Thirteen (November 20, 22) Research Paper #2 due; Presentations (Jen Joplin teaches MW)
Week Fourteen (Nov. 27, 29, Dec. 1) Research Presentations (Jen Joplin teaches WF)
Week Fifteen (Dec. 4, 6, 8) Showcase Scenes, Personal Considerations (Jen Joplin teaches WF) Grading Criteria:
Professional Skills (Attendance and Attitude) - There are 43 classes in this semester; missing 9 will earn you an F for
the course. If you miss four classes, regardless of other grading criteria, you cannot receive a course grade higher than
a B; if you miss six classes, you cannot get a course grade higher than a C. There are no excused absences for this
course. Two lates constitute one absence. You are expected to be prompt, prepared, and professional in attitude: active
in discussions and exercises, open-minded, quick to take notes and to give opinions, considerate of the instructor and
your peers. Criticism should be constructive and specific, rather than negative and general. All electronic devices should
be turned off and put away during this course, unless requested by the instructor. You will assemble appropriate
audition clothing for presentations; this will serve you in interviews, organized auditions, future markets and/or the
Written Work - Aside from written assignments you will do in class, you are expected to turn in typed copies of your
acting and non-theatrical resumes, your general cover letter, and ---
Research Project #1 (due Oct. 13) - This will contain collected research regarding the area of theatre you'd like to
pursue. These should be contemporary research sources, about American acting/performance work done in the past
two years. The more specific the topic for the paper, the more valuable it will be to you in the future. (Children's Theatre,
Chicago Theater, Children's Theatre in Chicago, Stand-Up Comedy in New York, the Renaissance Faire circuit,
Industrial Films in Los Angeles, Improv in San Francisco, Gay Theatre in Seattle, Film Production in Atlanta, the Voice-
Over Market in Minneapolis, etc.) A four-page summary (typed, double-spaced, 12 point font), including a bibliography
of your sources, must preface your collected materials. These materials should be organized in a binder, indexed, and
at least forty pages in length.
Research Project #2 (due November 22) - This will contain collected research regarding the area where you plan to
relocate to pursue your professional career. You should research the current cost of living (rent, utilities, groceries, etc.)
there, the desirable neighborhoods, professional districts, driver's license laws, theatres, film production companies,
talent agencies, etc. You should obtain a map of the city, perhaps get a copy of the major newspaper there, browse
through regional magazines in the library, and perhaps purchase a tourist's guide. A four-page summary (typed, double-
spaced, 12 point font), including a bibliography of your sources, must preface your collected materials. These materials
should be organized in a binder, indexed, and at least forty pages in length.
Audition Packages/Showcase Material – You will prepare three new audition packages, tailored to your type, and to
the organized auditions or the market for which they’re intended. By the end of the semester, you will have two classical
monologues (one comic, one dramatic) and two contemporary monologues (one comic, one dramatic), appropriate to
your current type and fully analyzed and staged. These should be 45 seconds to 1 minute long.
For the third package, select either additional contemporary monologues (two contrasting) or two brief, contrasting song
cuttings. (You must bring in recorded accompaniment for musical material.) Or if you intend to do the Showcase, you
need to select an appropriate partnered scene or duet that you will refine during the Spring Semester.
ACTING PROFESSIONALLY, by Robert Cohen and James Calleri (2017 Edition).
Backstage Call Sheet, published twice a year by Backstage.
CHOICES, by Shad Helmstetter.
CREATIVE VISUALIZATION, by Shakti Gawain.
THE ARTIST'S WAY, by Julia Cameron.
THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE, by Robert Fritz.
BACKSTAGE and AMERICAN THEATRE --- publications available in the Theatre Dept. office.
THE ACTOR’S HANDBOOK TO NEW YORK, by Silverberg.
AN ACTOR PREPARES TO LIVE IN NYC, by Craig Wroe.
The Life of an Actor---
BEING AN ACTOR, by Simon Callow.
CAUGHT IN THE ACT, by Don Shewey.
ACTORS’ LIVES, by Holly Hill.
MAKING IT ON BROADWAY, by David Wienir and Jodie Langel.
General Acting Biz Books---
THE ACTOR'S BUSINESS, by Reilly.
BACKSTAGE HANDBOOK FOR THE PERFORMING ARTIST, edited by Sherry Eaker.
THE ACTOR: PRACTICAL GUIDE TO A PROFESSIONAL CAREER, by Eve Brandstein.
ACTING AS A BUSINESS, by O’Neil.
NEW TAX GUIDE FOR WRITERS, PERFORMERS, AND OTHER CREATIVE PEOPLE, by Peter
HOW TO AUDITION FOR TV, FILM, AND COMMERCIALS, by Hunt.
THE CAMERA SMART ACTOR, by Brestoff.
THE ART OF VOICE ACTING, by Alburger.
BACKSTAGE GUIDE TO WORKING IN REGIONAL THEATRE, by Jim Volz.
Actors' Equity Association
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
Theatre Communications Group
Screen Actors' Guild
Society of American Fight Directors
WSU Professional Actor Training Program