What the On-Camera Training Program Did for Me

Cristin is an actor, improviser and writer living in L.A. She is also the admin extraordinaire for The Green Room.

When I first graduated from college with my degree in theatre I thought I was prepared for my future life as a professional actor. And in a way, I was. I auditioned for and was cast in plays. It was fun and I got to do the thing I loved. But then I started auditioning for commercials, TV shows and films and I wasn’t getting bookings like I thought I should. I knew I was a good actor but for some reason no one else seemed to agree. So I took one on-camera class and called it a day. It helped, but I still wasn’t booking.

It wasn’t until I came to The Green Room TEN years ago in 2009 that things really started to click. I’d never had anyone break down all the aspects of on-camera acting in a way that felt manageable and helpful the way The Green Room did. All of a sudden, I understood what a commercial casting director was looking for and how I fit into the story they were trying to tell.

I felt so empowered I continued through the program to find out more about what I’d been missing. The main thought that kept running through my head during those classes was: “I wish I had taken these sooner.” I worked on scripts for TV shows and in front of casting directors in a comfortable learning environment. I watched myself on tape. I started to recognize facial tics I have that I was totally unaware of. I learned to critique my performance – not as an insecure actor – but as an objective viewer.

And I started BOOKING. It took almost two years of working in class, but I did it. I broke through whatever invisible shield there was and started booking commercials and then TV shows and occasionally a film. If I hadn’t done that work, I don’t think I’d have the career I have today.

Now I work for The Green Room. So I know I’m biased. I get it. So I say this – you don’t have to take classes at The Green Room. But take classes. Take classes ANYWHERE. Get in front of the camera as often as you can. If you don’t have the funds to take classes right now, put yourself on camera with your phone. Get some friends together and work stuff out. Start putting aside some money to enroll in a class one day. Chicago has a lot of great acting schools. The Green Room is one of them. It worked for me. Find the one that works for you.

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