Owner and Artistic Director of Class Act Studios, Lauren O’Quinn Burns, is a successful working actor, an acting coach and a former talent agent. She says her goal as a teacher and studio is to create the most professional WORKING actors around. “In my opinion,” says O’Quinn Burns, it does no good to study acting for years at a time, but have no idea how to implement your craft into the business. The business side is just as important.”
Class Act students have booked roles in film and television show like Banshee, Vampire Diaries, Nashville, Constantine, Halt and Catch Fire and many more! Not to mention many commercial bookings with companies like Publix, WaWa, Choice Hotels, and Disney!
Specializing in beginner, intermediate, and advanced acting classes lead by Lauren and Advanced Teaching assistant, Landon Price (both with loads of credits on their resumes), ClassAct also offers taping services for actors looking to put auditions on tape to submit for roles outside of the Orlando area.
For those actors to make waves in entertainment, Lauren offers her top 5 tips for aspiring actors:
1. Know your type.
Ask strangers what age range they perceive you to be (and no – you do not have a 15 year age range for film and television. If you’re 37, you’re not going to be booked as a high schooler no matter how young you look. You just aren’t.) Are you the nerdy college student or the cocky frat boy? Make sure your headshots reflect the different types of roles that you play.
2. Headshots are your calling card.
They’re both your first AND last impression. For film and tv, your headshots are submitted and a casting director invites – or doesn’t invite – you to audition. If you don’t have PROFESSIONAL headshots from a PROFESSIONAL headshot photographer, you’ll always be perceived as an amateur. Just because your friend has a great digital camera doesn’t make him a headshot photographer. On that note…your headshots should look like you. You on a good day…sure. But YOU. Though we’d all love to look like a model on the cover of a magazine, most of us don’t. Don’t allow your pictures to be touched up past the point of recognition. If everyone says “WOW!” when they see your shots, you’re probably unrecognizable. You need to look like your headshot when you walk in the room!
3. You should NEVER be without a headshot/resume.
Never. Keep 5 in your car at all times. Never, ever utter the words, “I didn’t know you needed one today…” You’ll just look stupid. And always make sure your resume is ATTACHED to the headshot. Headshots and resumes are married. They’re like salt and pepper. One should never be without the other.
4. Your agency relationship should be mutually beneficial.
Your agent doesn’t work for you and you don’t work for your agent. You work TOGETHER. Though multi-listing is allowed in some southeastern markets, it’s usually not the best idea. The majority of agents get the same auditions, so multi-listing just leads to confusion and frustration. I’ve never understood how actors can expect an agent to call them for every single audition, but then feel that they can take an audition from any agent. Shouldn’t it work both ways? Think of it like a dating relationship. Loyalty breeds loyalty. The goal is to be your agent’s go-to talent in your type…not a filler talent on every agent’s back up list.
5. If you want to be a working actor, spending money on good acting classes and workshops is a necessity, not a luxury.
If you’re not working on a weekly television show or booked for months at a time on a film, you need to be in classes. Just like a professional athlete works out every day, a professional actor needs to constantly sharpen their skills and keep their muscles warm. If you’re not constantly improving, you’re sliding downhill. There are so many things we can’t control in this business…but being READY when the opportunities present themselves is one we can!
Looking for a great Taping Service in Orlando or a place to Take Acting Classes that prepare you for the BUSINESS of acting? Check our Class Act Studios
Do you need to update your headshots? We have been serving the entertainment community in Orlando for 10 years, fill out our contact form and tell us what you need.