For more opportunities to work with guest teachers curated by Heidi, check out the Acting Collective.
Learn to own the character, all the way from audition to set.
Practice techniques to make each audition rich with specificity. You’ll get equipped with tools and learn how to transfer and use these tools on set in higher stakes scenarios.
SPECIAL NOTE: This class is especially strong for building self-tape skills.
The biggest battle for an actor is always going to be confidence. Even when you’re thinking, “I got this,” let’s be honest: do you actually got it?
It’s so easy to get sideswiped and second-guess your instincts in the audition lobby, inside the audition room, or on the set. So many interruptions along the way can knock you off your game and make you feel that what you prepped isn’t good enough. But it is! In fact, it’s stellar and you should be shining.
Let’s build your confidence. Let’s build your tools. Let’s build your ownership of the role from preparation to audition to self-tapes to… set!
Be the indomitable and inspired actor that you are when you’re listening deeply to your own instincts and trusting that you absolutely know what to do when the opportunity arises.
In every class, you will receive individualized coaching and filming of your scenes.
Anyone who wants to learn new tools for playing roles that are genuine and not merely indicated. This class is good for actors who want to strengthen their understanding of what it’s like to work on set in the real world.
You will need to plan for homework time to research your assignment and prepare your materials. All studio classes are designed to stretch and support your complete prep process as an actor for self-tapes and in-person auditions. The more you put into the class, the more you get out of it!
WORKING WITH GUEST TEACHERS
Artists teaching artists is the inspiration for bringing Guest Teachers to the studio. This class is intended to expand your process as an actor and to reinforce your skills, confidence, and natural talent.
Athena Colón is a bilingual, native New York actress, teaching artist, and acting coach.
Athena Colón is a bilingual, native New York actress, teaching artist and acting Coach. Athena has worked as an independent teacher and coach in New York City for 10+ years. She has trained with former Telsey + Company casting director Heidi Marshall as a coach and joyfully prepares actors for screen tests and auditions. She is the recipient of the BRIO Grant from the Bronx Council of the Arts. While earning her BFA in Theatre from Long Island University–C.W. Post, she co-created a Suzuki-based performance, Third Child, which toured Italy, the Czech Republic, and New York City. Her recent TV credits include: THE GIRL ON THE BUS, NEW AMSTERDAM, BULL, Martin Scorsese’s VINYL, JESSICA JONES, and LAW & ORDER: SVU. When she’s not acting on stage or film, Athena facilitates acting classes and conducts theatre workshops in NYC. She proudly collaborates with Heidi Marshall Studio and DreamYard.
Athena is a tremendous coach who will draw out your confidence and (re)energize your work. She has a loving, magic touch with actors. I often partner with Athena in the prep process for actors in screen tests and role prep (e.g., Hallie Bailey is starring as Disney’s live-action Little Mermaid after we walked her through all her intense screen tests!) Actors just adore Athena’s laser-focused, energetic coaching! Her classes are totally invigorating. They’re also super fun and incredibly informative—she brings ALL the insider, behind-the-scenes knowledge from actor to actor…things you’ll really want to know when you head to set! Athena has been around the block on so many TV sets. I really, really love for working artists to teach each other.
What was a difficult challenge for you as an actor?
Trusting my instincts on camera.
What was a crazy or silly moment on set?
My knee pads story! This was when I realized an actor can always ask for what they need on set to get the work done.
What is the most important quality or skill for an actor in the audition room?
Authenticity. Be yourself! Everyone else is taken.
What is the main thing you wish you knew then but that you only understand now?
There is no right way to do a scene.
What frustrates you as an actor in the current climate of filmmaking or of the business at large? How has this affected you directly?
Not enough roles for actors of color. We need diverse characters of different abilities, genders, orientations, and nationalities. The lack of opportunity has often discouraged me and kept me “small.”
What moment or experience as an artist do you feel most proud of?
The ah-ha moments! Like every time I help an actor break through a scene, or every time I work and can see a genuine connection to the character and circumstances.
Who do you really look up to in your field and why?
I look up to my resilient friends in the business. They are the people you’ll sit next to on the subway, and you don’t know their names, but they are incredibly gifted storytellers who never give up. They’re the artists who decide to keep going despite the odds.
Athena is SO GOOD at meeting you where you are. She is super intuitive and just knows what you need to help you in the moment. She is exceedingly patient and encouraging and a boundless ball of energy. I can be introverted but it was very easy in this class to let go and just play! Also notable: this was the first class I’ve ever taken that was entirely comprised of actors of color. Clearly the Heidi Marshall studio is doing something right to make so many POC feel welcome!
It was super helpful when Athena talked about the different shots and their importance. I knew about the technicality of them but I never thought about (physicality and inner monologue)
Excellent. Perfect sized class for individual attention/guidance. Athena is a great teacher; creates a safe environment to explore, make adjustments, and learn from one another.
Athena’s buoyant energy was inspiring.
It was an amazing space to grow, take risks, push yourself, and explore ways of using what you have learned to develop your own personal way to work. It was a space that was perfect for reconnecting to your own power.
Wow. The class was tremendous. I took away so many things. Inner monologue might be the biggest take away. Maintaining buoyancy and resilience in comedy was the one quality I never thought about that I’ll take away. Mainly I’m walking away with just more confidence in front of the camera.
You are a wonderful coach and I loved every bit of it. A lot of great technique and insight about building a character/foundation. Also, your fun-loving, always-smiling energy […] made the education seem like playtime!
Athena—I wanted to thank you again for a beautiful, inspiring class last fall!
I don’t think I ever took the time to really hot seat myself and improv an inner monologue before an audition, I’d always work on what was on the page and then ‘wing’ it in the room, so honestly this has changed EVERYTHING for me.
I did a short film in LA right after, and for the first time, I played the lead. I literally felt so different in my confidence and choices! So thank you!!
Athena is such a loving and hard working teacher. She knows how to let loose and when to tighten the reigns. She made the studio a space where we could all feel comfortable really digging into some deep inner work in the last class.
Athena is a Wonder Womyn and has the skills to share. I LOVED learning with and from her. I LOVED that she began the sessions with getting together in a circle, warming-up and making mistakes together. She has a brilliant way of making us feel comfortable and challenging us at the same time. I feel the entire group expanded in our practice. From each session giving us time to do the Round-About with new ways to approach the scene, to the work On-Camera, to the “”Real Talk”” advice about the work. I LOVED every moment and would take the class over and over again.
THANK YOU ATHENA! THANK YOU HEIDI!
I got to know how terrific a coach Athena is when she helped me work on a pilot audition. She partners with you to find the truth and nuances of the scene and character, while also making sure the best of you is captured. Her work is rich and nuanced and fully supports the individual process.
I walked out of my audition feeling whole and happy and confident that I brought my best! Thank you for your coaching! It was SO valuable. In one short hour, you were able to break down the scene and help me fortify a strong emotional prep for a major audition.
Athena was brilliant at helping break down the moments in the scene and bring in more sides in the character along with the circumstances and reality of the world of the film. I felt confident and ready to work in the room, and trusted the work we’d done. The audition went great and I was able to do my best work.
It is so important to walk into a room feeling so prepared that you can deliver in any situation. Athena gets to the bottom of a text quickly. She recognizes your strengths to bring out a variety of colors and tactics to tell the story. I felt free working with her and really allowed myself to take risks in the audition room.
Full disclosure — please note that we do not guarantee that actors in these classes or workshops will be hired for any project that we might direct, produce, or cast. We teach and coach because we enjoy supporting and nurturing actors as you develop your personal process for auditioning, working and creating your own work.