For actors who want to take charge.
This is an era in which actors inspire the creation of TV series, films, web series, and more. Your career is in your hands. All you need to do is unlock your creativity and purpose so that your passion and motivation can flow. Next dates TBD—in the meantime, please join the Acting Collective + Creators Circle!
Everyone has a creative spirit to be unlocked! As you start creating projects, you’ll need to commit to your artistic voice. How do you find your purpose in your work and really believe in your vision?
Here is where you start. You claim it.
As a Creator, you help bring a whole world of characters, circumstances and stories to life. You and your idea are one. Expand your approach as an artist—beyond the limits of being only an actor-for-hire—and start to contribute to a project’s big vision by bringing your ideas to life.
Finding the Creator in you is the first step towards developing projects to act in.
This workshop will bring forth your uniqueness, unearth your personal inherent creator, and anchor you in your purpose.
Dear actors, no more waiting for someone else to hire you. It’s your time to create too.
What quirkiness, specialness, coolness, silliness, scariness, brassiness, boldness, dangerousness, oddness, etc. are you ready to share with the world?
The most unique projects with unique characters—produced by actors themselves—have launched entire careers!
Lena Dunham, Issa Rae, Dennis Hopper, Sebastian Silva, Mindy Kaling, Brit Marling, Kristen Wiig, Emma Thompson—who wrote the screenplay for Sense & Sensibility because she wanted better roles!—Nia Vardalos, Barbra Streisand, Vin Diesel, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Tina Fey, and Greta Gerwig. The list keeps growing.
Embracing who you are and what you want to say in the world is the first crucial step to creating your own films, your own TV pilots, your own web series, you name it. You can create it.
Once you’re aligned with your artistic voice, get into motion.
Today is the day you step into the shoes of being the visionary—a leader.
No longer do actors simply get hired to star in projects. In fact, even actors with big names are producing their own work. You can find so much freedom, inspiration, and empowerment by leading the way.
Actors at all levels are generating their own creative vehicles in film and television to prove their casting potential to the industry at large.
There are several scales of projects to inspire the industry—short films, web series, feature films, TV pilots—as well as sample demo scenes that are posted on your Actors Access accounts, Vimeo/YouTube, and personal websites. You don’t have to start out doing a feature film or Netflix series…but that’s possible too! In fact, anything is possible.
Producing does take lots of work, but it may not be in the ways you are expecting. Filmmaking is one of the most collaborative art forms out there—you just need to be reminded to collaborate with others.
To inspire collaborators to join you, you will need to articulate the vision.
This day will be spent working on honing in on your idea and practicing your pitch to potential collaborators, investors, and allies. You will be able to build and inspire a team, and then take action.
Here’s the bottom line: actors, you can change your careers and contribute to the world by creating work.
Heidi and Johnny
This workshop is for actors who…
Can I bring an idea for a stage play, podcast, or cabaret act into the workshop?
A: Yes. Johnny and Heidi have extensive theater backgrounds—from regional to Off-Broadway to Broadway. However, in this workshop, we will reference film, TV, and web series examples. We are currently in the filmmaking mindset. You can adapt our film/TV/web examples to your non-film/TV project. All Actor-Creators are welcome since the exercises are designed to use your project idea as a segue to open up your creativity.
ACTING COACH: Heidi’s career has spanned over 25 years and includes time as the lead Casting Director at Telsey+CO for the Broadway musical RENT, as well as for 70+ projects in theater, film, television, commercial, and voiceover. She’s coached countless actors into roles for Film, TV, and Theater. Most recently, she coached and prepped Halle Bailey for her audition and screen test for Disney’s upcoming The Little Mermaid. Heidi’s active filmmaker career informs her director’s eye and influences her aesthetic for working with actors.
Johnny Sánchez is an actor/writer/producer. His acting career spans 36 films and 14 TV episodes. Acting highlights include OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE (Bette Midler), THE HARD WAY (Michael J. Fox), ER (George Clooney), THE LIMEY (Steven Soderbergh), BOWFINGER (Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy), TRANSFORMERS (Michael Bay), SIDE EFFECTS (Soderbergh), SAINT X (Dee Rees), THE EQUALIZER (Queen Latifah), Showtime’s RAY DONOVAN, HBO’s AND JUST LIKE THAT… (Michael Patrick King) and THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL (director Daniel Palladino). Directors have included Frank Oz, John Badham, Sidney Lumet, Steven Soderbergh, Dee Rees and Michael Bay.
As a producer, he co-produced FIND ME GUILTY, directed by Sydney Lumet, starring Vin Diesel and Peter Dinklage. He also co-produced EVEN MONEY, starring Academy Award winners Kim Basinger and Forest Whitaker. Johnny also produced SPIC, MUSCLE, and A THROUGH M — all directed by Heidi Miami Marshall. Johnny also produced the short NOISE.
As a writer, Johnny wrote A Through M – winner of Best Short Script at Intl. Horror & Sci-Fi Film Fest. Johnny also wrote the short SPIC. During SPIC’s development process, the script won Semifinalist at ScreenCraft Film Fund Script Competition 2017, Second Rounder at Austin Film Festival Script Competition 2018, Finalist at Blue Cat Screenplay Competition 2019, Third Place at Vail Film Festival Screenplay Contest 2020, First Place at Diverse Voices, We Screenplay Competition 2020, and Quarter-Finalist at PAGE International Screenwriting Awards Competition 2021.
SPIC was completed in 2022 and is currently making its rounds in film festivals. So far SPIC garnered the LOLA AWARD NOMINATION at Philadelphia Latino Film Festival and BEST FILMMAKER WINNER at Bare Bones International Film Festival 2023, with Entertainment Oxygen.
Johnny’s feature screenplay (AMERICAN BUBBLE) received many evaluations of the highly coveted “8” on the prestigious Black List. The script was also semi-finalist at Austin Film Festival and Vail Film Festival.
Heidi’s studio alumni have been busy creating and acting in their own projects. Watch a collection of their project trailers below!
The work of alum Victor Albaum (showrunner/actor) is featured on Digital Journal: Victor Albaum talks about ‘FabUless’ comedy series, digital age
“FabUless came about after an agent recommended that I create my own content and get in touch with Heidi Marshall, a former casting director and currently a film/tv actor coach, on how to do it. Heidi and her husband, Johnny Sanchez, offer a course called ‘Actors As Creators’ where artists learn about what it takes to create their own work. I had thought about creating a series based on my experience as a brand ambassador, but I never followed through with it. Once I completed their course, I knew I had to make this idea a reality,” he said.
Johnny and I were invited to speak at the SAG Foundation about actors producing their own work.
You are big reason I’m a writer/ director to begin with. You definitely emboldened me to follow those instincts.
I have submitted [my short film] to several festivals and have been selected, received honorable Mention, and the latest we won for best original musical. It would have never crossed my mind to create my own work for film, let alone, write, produce, and star in it, if it weren’t for your workshop Artist As Creators.
All of this coming to life is thanks to Actors as Creators and what we did that weekend. It truly rejuvenated me in a way that I desperately needed, so ITS ALL YOUR FAULT, and thank you.
[My] head [was] spinning almost off my body. Lots of inspiration and now a roadmap. Thank you & Johnny for that.
What I started exploring last summer in Actors As Creators has evolved into a book. That class was really really powerful for me, thank you again.
Thank you for creating a safe space for actors to dive into exploring ourselves and our work. We are good because our teachers and mentors help us to trust ourselves. You are no exception.
For someone who has never written their own series before, the Creator’s Circle was super helpful. I’ve LOVED that you gave us deadlines, and that you always pushed against taking on more than you can chew. I felt like I learned something from every single person in our circle. I often found that the challenges that they were facing were similar to the ones I was facing. You give ample time to each creator to hash out their project and figure out what will work best to get to the next level with our projects.
I had such an inspirational time. Understanding the process of film making made me see how my project can go from inception to completion. While I had done a few video things before this, the class made it so much more clearer and easier. Seeing other actors’ ideas and how they are developing them was so inspirational and motivational. Both of you were amazing. Inspiring us and nudging us in the right direction. And creating an environment for creative flow.
You gave us what we needed as step one towards the next phase of creating and thinking of ourselves as Creators.
I just need you to know how inspirational, supportive and real you are! How much you help the lost souls! THANK YOU HEIDI AND JOHNNY!
You and Johnny brought magic dust to me and other fellow actors! It is a magic that you gave so much knowledge, tools , real stories from creative world and still keep the ease and fresh air in the class!
I arrived as an Actor, and left as a Creator.
For the longest time, I wanted to pursue acting, but kept telling myself that I could not get through an audition and that I did not have what it took. I would drive in my car and just think about how much time was passing and I wasn’t doing anything about it. Finally, one day I told myself that I was good enough and I could do it. So, I signed up for some acting lessons and absolutely fell in love. So being around you guys and your passion just solidified my decision.
I am feeling inspired and empowered to explore the role of creator.
There were a lot of things I learned and hadn’t considered before, and your stories definitely opened my eyes to what I can do to further my career- not just in acting but in other fields!
This workshop really left me inspired and helped me to rediscover my love for acting and my purpose, which is to celebrate and tell the story of humanity-especially the stories of those that had to overcome great obstacles just to survive. I signed up for the workshop Friday afternoon not really knowing what to expect but I knew it was something I had to do and I’m so grateful that I did. What you do is important, it’s a gift, it’s necessary… and it’s more then just a workshop.
I almost backed out because I really have had any desire to make my own projects (other than a musical) and didn’t want to focus my energy on something other than honing/improving my acting skills to help me become more versatile and hireable. However, something in my gut was screaming at me to go, so I took the leap of faith, and my brain has kind of exploded now. Lol. I learned more than I dreamed I would, and it was so refreshing to step outside of the box I was limiting myself in. What an incredible and educational time. I can’t thank you both enough! I am completely inspired and looking forward to seeing what is to come.
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.