STUDIO TEACHER | 1-on-1 Personal Coaching Series: Make on-camera acting choices that reinforce the story.
This private 3-session sequence guides you towards using the camera to your advantage! Learn physicality for the camera, work the beats, bring the internal monologue to life, and practice self-tape techniques. Customized to each actor, where you are at.
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 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 me for several years as a coach, and when I prepare actors for screen tests, I frequently add her to the process—including for coaching sessions with Halle Bailey (The Little Mermaid) and Jakhara Smith (Nos4A2).
While earning her BFA in Theater 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: Tracy Morgan’s The Last O.G., CBS’s Bull, Martin Scorsese’s Vinyl, New Amsterdam, Jessica Jones, and Law & Order: SVU. When she’s not acting on stage or film, Athena teaches acting and conducts theater workshops in NYC to over five hundred youth annually. She proudly collaborates with the Theater Development Fund, Family Life Theater, and DreamYard.
Athena is a super strong coach who will draw out your confidence and (re)energize your work. Heidi includes Athena in the prep process for actors in screen tests and role prep (i.e.Hallie Bailey is starring as Disney’s live-action Little Mermaid!) Actors just adore her laser-focused, energetic coaching! Athena‘s classes are totally invigorating. They’re also super fun and incredibly informative—she gives ALL the insider, behind-the-scenes knowledge 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.
This series is for actors of all experience levels who want to express their authenticity on camera using technique and instinct. No matter where you are in your process, this coaching series is designed to uplevel your work, strengthen your self-tapes, and tackle your personal challenges. Sometimes, it’s easier to address unique hurdles one-on-one instead of in a class setting.
Athena’s coaching is good for:
Acting on camera is fun! Athena takes a high-energy approach and encourages actors to embrace a sense of play because that’s where freedom lies. Develop your technical self-tape skills as well as your acting choices.
Get 3 specially designed coaching sessions with Athena and hone in on:
Go beyond what you think you can do on camera.
This session focuses on marrying instinct to technique. Take who you are and bring it to the character to find the beats of the scene. You’ll work on an assigned scene that you receive ahead of time.
You’ll work on a scene of your choice. Find the behavior, physicality, and natural rhythm of the character. Bring the inner monologue to life—everything the character is thinking but not saying. Athena will guide you through how to shift between wide shots and close-ups.
Complete a self-tape scene and get Athena’s feedback from the perspective of a casting director. Then, work through your scene again in a callback scenario as well as an on-set performance scenario.
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 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.