A Self-Tape That Landed This Actor a Top Agent

Heidi Marshall Studio alumni actor Adelina Santana acting in a self-tape

This is the self-tape scene that landed Adelina a top-level agent.


If you are wondering if you should go for it in a self-tape, this will immediately dispel your hesitation.

Pause right now. Watch Adelina’s clip.


Your jaw will drop.



Right????? Every time I share this clip with actors, they can’t believe it.


Really? Adelina dared to do this? Yes, she did. Let me tell you how this came about and what you can learn from this dynamic example.


Adelina studied with me for about a year—she took Part 1, Part 2, Genre Class, and is a member of The Acting Collective. So we are in constant workout mode together! Like so many of you, she is an actor who embraces growth and loves reaching for the things that stretch her talent.


Are you ready to go for it?


Let’s dig into how you can rethink your approach and make some dynamic choices in your acting.


In Part 1 class, Adelina learned that she is in control of her “type” and to loosen up the work and not be so attached to perfection.

In Part 2 class, she focused on her online acting materials reflecting her range, and in particular creating a Self-Tape Channel.

In Genre, Tone & Style: Delivering Nuanced Auditions class, she learned how to commit to the physical and nuanced dynamics of a high concept drama. And, how to work that frame!

In all of the classes, we focus on the visual and how much is said without words (you don’t even need to speak Spanish to understand the scene!). When you understand how the camera loves all the in-between moments, you will earn those close ups!

On her own, inspired by an agent’s suggestion and our conversations about including her bilingual talent into her pitch, Adelina made this Spanish-speaking scene clip.


Here’s how committed she is to the work:


This actor picked a high emotional intensity scene and did not back off of it—she was all in 1,000%—and she thought outside of the box and translated a scene into Spanish! Finally, she filmed it with her father (he is the reader and drags her from under the bed!), her sister (moved the camera when she hides!), and her mom (held the flash light for additional lighting under the bed!). Wow. It’s amazing who will play with you if you are super committed to making it happen!


Are you getting fresh ideas about which risks to take?


Are you getting inspiration about how intentional you can be with your career?


Consider these tips to revitalize your excitement for acting (and uplevel your career).


  • Lure reps and casting directors to you by putting together a pitch that actually matters in the hiring process. Get my free mini e-book: How to Lure Reps & Casting Directors to You!
  • Assess what is missing in your portfolio. What types of roles do you know you can do but are not included in your acting sample portfolio? Add it! Make it! – Join Part 2 Class
  • Create a Self-Tape Channel (including clips from professional gigs, self-tape auditions, class scenes, or samples like this that you want to work up!) – Join Part 2 Class to develop self-tape channel
  • Do you have any special skills or talents that should be featured in a clip? Accents, Dialects, Languages, Combat skills, Physical comedy, Singing, Clowning, I dunno! Whadda ya got? Thanks to an agent’s feedback, we knew that Adelina needed to feature her bilingual skill and that turned out to be a huge selling point for her. And after working with her, we knew high stakes scenario would be great for her too. Bingo. The perfect combo in this scene that Adelina found. – Join Part 1 Class
  • Is there a genre that you know you know you can rock and want to prove you are perfect for it? Make a clip! Mockumentary your style? Action films? Rom com? Maybe it’s more than just one genre… explore your range! Show us. Join Genre, Tone & Style: Delivering Nuanced Auditions
  • Feeling rusty as an actor? Or, just uninspired? Surround yourself with other artists who are not holding back, who believe in supporting each other to take risks, and get weekly direction and feedback from me and my guest artist teachers. Join The Acting Collective


Truly. As soon as the agent saw this one clip, they wanted to sign her. Immediately. It can happen that fast.

What work are you putting forward? Is it your best work? Is it your best casting possibilities?

Just because you aren’t hired, doesn’t mean you aren’t a working actor.

So, work it. Work it hard, and playfully. Do the work and I promise that you will grow and discover your potential more and more each time you walk in front of that camera.



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