For more opportunities to work with guest teachers curated by Heidi, check out the Acting Collective.
Learn what it takes for actors to go from audition to screen tests to filming.
Develop your love of auditioning by learning from someone who’s gone through it all: background, co-stars, guest stars, series regulars. Work on scenes in class and pick up more ways of viewing your choices and coloring your work as an actor.
This class is good for alumni actors who want to a cultivate a love of auditioning and get nonjudgmental feedback about their strengths, their type, and what they reveal about themselves in the audition room. If you’re seasoned, this is an honest assessment of how to get you playing harder. If you’re newer, it’s going to light a fire!
You will need to plan for homework time to research your assignment, prepare your materials, and practice your self-tape set-ups. 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.
Michelle Hurd is an actor known for her prolific work in TV.
Michelle Hurd can currently be seen starring opposite Patrick Stewart in CBS All Access’ smash hit series Star Trek: Picard.
Hurd can soon be seen in Justin Simien’s Bad Hair, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
In addition to her explosive performance as Shepherd on NBC’s hit drama, Blindspot, Hurd is also known for and her recurring role on Hawaii Five-O, Starz’s hit horror comedy Ash Vs. Evil Dead, the Marvel Universe series Daredevil and Jessica Jones (as DA Samantha Reyes), and the A&E summer series The Glades ( as Colleen Manus). Other television credits include: Younger, Devious Maids, 90210, Witches of East End, How To Get Away With Murder, Bosc, Mysteries of Laura, Pretty Little Liars, Raising Hope, The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU (as Det. Jeffries), Gossip Girl, ER, Bones, According To Jim, Law & Order, Smith, Skin, Leap Years, Charmed, The O.C., Kevin Hill, The Practice and Another World.
Other film credits include Being Frank opposite Jim Gaffigan, Be Afraid, We Don’t Belong Here (alongside Catherine Keener and Maya Rudolph), Search Engines, Within The Dark, Girl Most Likely (with Kristen Wiig), Random Hearts, Personals, Double Parked, Wolf, and King of New York.
Hurd is a proud alumnus of NYC’s premiere artist community at Westbeth.
I’ve known Michelle for years and never fallen short of feeling energized and completely inspired in her presence. She cares deeply for the success of the actor, and knows that the secret is linked to inner confidence. She is so honest and freely shares her professional experiences as she teaches. Michelle is a very passionate and vocal advocate for actors, from auditions to sets to SAG-AFTRA advocacy. Oh yes, and she LOVES auditioning. Really!
Note from Michelle:
I LOVE AUDITIONING.
Because I’m 100 years old, I’ve gone through it all. I’ve done background, co-stars, guest stars, series regulars. I’ve been replaced, and I’ve been the actor that replaced someone.
Every time I audition, I do something afterwards that gives me more art in my life. Go to a museum, go to the movies, watch a great series, etc. I ask, what can I do to absorb more ways of viewing my choices, to color my work as an actor?
The process is just a learning a curve—you just didn’t get that one thing, but there will be another one. And maybe that one role wouldn’t have been good for me anyway, or I would have missed the chance to go for another one that I will thrive in.
I don’t need to teach you how to act. I’m here to support you getting the jobs you want and owning the space and time in auditions so you can do the work you know you can do.
I really loved this class! Learning and working with Michelle was so invaluable. And it was so cool that throughout our four weeks of class, she was going through the same stages as how our classes were set up (audition, call back, first day on set) and she was telling us all about it! Not only did I learn a lot, but Michelle’s energy and love of acting was really inspiring. And it was so uplifting and supportive — like we all cheered when Lorna got a callback and when she popped into class after she was on set. I also remember so much laughter each class 🙂 Thank you Michelle and Heidi!
Michelle is pure magic! Inspirational, positive, amazing energy and great feedback!
It was just such a treat and a delight to get to work with a working actress during these pandemic times. Michelle’s willingness and generosity to offer direction and guidance to each of us was invaluable.
It made me feel more active, and reminded me that there’s joy and a responsibility to liberate myself in each scene. I won’t just do the scene to prove I can act and that I’m competent; I will strive to have a personal and intimate experience of each scene.
I think it was great to get such insight from a working actor. She’s so warm and lovely!
Michelle is terrific! So sharp – funny- insightful – great comments and seems to instantly know how to help with adjustments/ direction. Excellent class!
Michelle generously shared so many of her own experiences about how she negotiated various situations that she encountered- fascinating to hear from an actress with her stature in the business. (She is a role model in being brave!!) I was so impressed with Michelle’s ability to quickly analyze a scene and offer adjustments.
I’m really enjoying the class – particularly the business and “conduct” advice Michelle gives. She talks a lot about how to make herself feel empowered in auditions and on set, and her ability to do that is clearly something that has opened doors for her.
Full disclosure—please note that we do not guarantee that actors in these workshops will be hired for any project that we might direct or cast. We do guarantee my supportive honesty and my open sharing of knowledge. We teach and coach because we enjoy supporting actors as they develop their process of working within the audition room. We seek to build their knowledge about the business of auditioning.