|TH 4130 -
Instructor: Bruce Cromer
MWF 1-2:50, T131 CA Office Hours: MWTH 12-1 (other times available by appt.); T148K CA
Office Phone (Messages): 775-2430
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, 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 (SETCs, OTAs, MWTAs, URTAs, etc.),
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.
Tentative Course Outline:
Week One - The Way It Is
Week Two - Professional Objectives, Obstacles, and Tactics
Week Three - What You Will Need (Ryan Gilreath visits on Friday)
Week Four - What You Will Need (Julia Pace-Hightower visits on Monday, Greg Mallios visits on Friday)
Week Five - Your First Decisions (Michael Haney visits on Monday; Travis McElroy visits on Friday)
Week Six - Establishing Yourself; Audition Package 1
Week Seven - Establishing Yourself; Research Project #1 due
Week Eight - Presentations
Week Nine - The Casting Room; Audition Package 2 (Charlie Cromer and Zach Schute possibly visit on Monday)
Week Ten - Other Opportunities
Week Eleven - Unemployment, Taxes, Civilian Jobs
Week Twelve - Additional Training; Audition Package 3
Week Thirteen - Research Project #2 due; Presentations
Week Fourteen - Presentations
Week Fifteen - Personal Considerations
Professional Skills (Attendance and Attitude) - There are 41 classes this semester; missing 6 will earn
you an F for the course. Missing 7 = D, 5 = C, 3 = B, and 1 = A. 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.
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, text-work for three audition
packages (two contrasting one-minute pieces in each), and two research projects:
Research Project #1 (due Oct. 11) - 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, Feminist Theatre 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), which includes your foot-noted sources,
must preface your collected materials. These materials should be organized in a binder, indexed, and at
least forty pages in length. Salary information must be a primary emphasis of your research.
Research Project #2 (due November 18) - This will contain collected research regarding the
metropolitan 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, perhaps purchase a tourist's guide... A four-page summary (typed, double-spaced,
12 point font), which includes your foot-noted sources, must preface your collected materials.
These materials should be organized in a binder, indexed, and at least forty pages in length.
ACTING PROFESSIONALLY, by Robert Cohen and James Calleri (7th Edition).
NEW TAX GUIDE FOR WRITERS, PERFORMERS, AND OTHER CREATIVE PEOPLE, by Peter
*ACTORS’ LIVES, by Holly Hill ---- or ---- MAKING IT ON BROADWAY, by David Wienir and Jodie Langel.
Recommended Reading (some are in bookstore):
REGIONAL THEATRE DIRECTORY, by Tumielewicz.
DIRECTORY OF THEATRE TRAINING PROGRAMS.
SUMMER THEATRE DIRECTORY.
THEATRE DIRECTORY, edited by Theatre Communications Group.
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.
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.
*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
Combined Auditions (SETCs, OTAs, Straw Hats, etc.)
Theatre Communications Group
Screen Actors' Guild
Society of American Fight Directors