Take the time to prep—it will show if you don’t. Spontaneity is actually freed through preparation, and together we’ll work through detailed and nuanced preparation of your scene. Coaching for upcoming audition/performance prep is available with me or my team of amazing coaches.
Online coaching includes audition/performance preparation, as well as optional filming for your self-tapes.
WHAT YOU GET:
You may choose to add self-taping to a scheduled coaching session at no extra cost.
Schedule an online coaching, and we’ll walk you through the filming! We’ll work on your material over Zoom. Then, your coach can record you via Zoom and give you clips ASAP after the session.
Alternatively, you can tape yourself with a separate camera or smartphone while your coach remains on Zoom as your reader. We’ll show you how to set this up during our session, and you’ll get detailed prep instructions beforehand.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The quality of filming over Zoom can be sharpened by adding appropriate lighting to your set-up and making sure wi-fi is functioning at top speed. Get more tips here.
Schedule a coaching so we can work on the preparation together. Then, read up on my blog tips for doing self-tape auditions at home so you can film yourself at a later time. You can do it!
Take the time to prepare your auditions. It shows when you don’t. The competition is too great to be unprepared or lack confidence when you walk into the audition room.
Spontaneity is freed through preparation. Use each audition as a marker of your growth as an actor. Build confidence in your instincts and choices by preparing.
All the great stars have their private coaches to help them develop their dream careers and their sense of self within their work. Walk onto set or into a rehearsal room having thought through your role.
I’ve specifically taken an interest in revitalizing the work of seasoned actors. If you’re burnt out, frustrated, or battling your current marketable type and age range, then you will find renewed inspiration after working with me on your next audition or performance. I have a sincere passion for supporting longevity in an actor’s career. Private sessions offer an opportunity for all artists to grow and be challenged. Each actor is unique and deserves the space to find and develop his or her voice.
It’s crucial that actors develop comfort and familiarity with technology in the modern age of auditioning.
Today, actors are asked to self-tape before—or even in lieu of—auditioning in person. Self-tapes provide an opportunity to move forward to the next round of hiring or to get hired immediately. I’ve seen both! Therefore, it’s necessary to capture your best performance on camera and have solid production value when you self-tape. Beat out the self-tape competition by looking like a pro and acting with confidence and ease.
Due to limited coaching time, I’ll prioritize filming sessions for callbacks, significant roles, series recurring, and screen test prep. However, don’t hesitate to reach out for all needs for self-tapes, and I will do my best to support.
After holding over 40,000 auditions for RENT—plus countless other theater, film, TV, and commercial projects—I’ve built up tips for how to make fast adjustments in your auditions.
Together, we’ll work through detailed and nuanced preparation of your scenes. I support your instincts on the material and apply my skilled Casting Director + Director’s eye as well. I offer an outside perspective that you can trust, and you come away with reinforced confidence to kick ass in the audition or performance. I have familiarity and expertise in all genres and mediums: film, TV, web, theater, and musical theater.
I’m positive that the deeper you go in your work, the more irresistible you become. I believe that any audition frustrations can be traced back to how you prepared. Building audition and on-set confidence through preparation is crucial.
Working on film requires honesty in every moment. I work to unearth the nuances in the text by noting your instincts and giving insight into the possible range of text interpretation. My casting director experience and director’s eye are keenly aware of truth, text analysis, and what works on camera.
In generals, I will provide guidance on what works in front of the camera, and I’m confident that you’ll be able to translate our findings to your audition or performance. In audition prep, we will mine the scenes for nuance of behavior and thoughts.
My actors audition for networks, cable, feature films, sitcoms, dramas, and new media. I’m well versed in all dramatic mediums.
Actors who get ongoing coaching during film/TV jobs are equipped with higher confidence, more flexibility in receiving redirection, a developed character backstory, and multiple acting choices. Your level of preparedness increases exponentially. You also receive my support as you navigate the sometimes tricky professional circumstances that come with the territory of working as a series regular, recurring, or lead.
I offer prioritized scheduling and commitment. Submit an inquiry for more details.
The trick to auditioning with a great monologue is turning it into a dialogue between you and another person. I’ll show you how, and you’ll never feel abandoned and alone onstage (or auditions) again!
Find the nuances of your personality within a monologue. Your monologue is your own voice. My specialty is not selecting monologues—I suggest specifically seeking a monologue coach for that need.
We start with the text—we don’t need a piano or music. The first thing singers immediately notice when they work with me is how a song instantly changes without the music. I like to think of the music as an underscore, a delicate interplay between words and thoughts. Your character’s words and thoughts drive the music.
I’ve worked with singers for Broadway, opera, night clubs, American Idol, The Voice—I’ve even coached the Rolling Stones’ soloist! I don’t sing, but I speak the singer’s language.
If you prefer coaching with accompaniment, I please bring accompaniment recordings to play off your phone.
Musical Theater prep can be done over Skype as well.
I’m originally a lady of the theater. Theater is the heart and soul of the acting business, and it’s a brilliant place to practice being truthful.
From the audition room to Broadway, for over 25 years, I’ve walked through every step of creating roles to maintaining them in long-running Broadway shows.
Together, we can generate or refresh your work.
Athena has been my trusted tag-team coach for many years! Athena is a tremendously skilled 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—including Halle Bailey (The Little Mermaid). Actors just adore Athena’s laser-focused, energetic coaching! Athena also has expertise in coaching teens.
Superpowers: specificity, improvisation, physicality, energizing character, comedy
It’s really about your process and what you need.
From my experience, coachings work best when the actor is prepped. Who are you? What is your relationship to the other person? What do you want? What’s in the way? Where are you? What’s your overall arc in the scene? And the list goes on!
I personally enjoy getting coached when I am prepped. I also like a little cushion time before the deadline in case I want some time to review my takes. I’m a fan of having fun and getting the work done with ease.
“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.”
— Reece Vernier Santos
“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.”
— Chris Russell
“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 just wanted to share that I finally booked (and yesterday filmed!) my first costar role in an episodic. Thank you so much for your insights and guidance over the last year. It was definitely a team effort to get to this point and you have been very much a part of my growth!”
“Athena, I’m sitting at my desk, holding back tears, just thinking about all the work and auditions we put in…”
—Natasha Murray, after booking a role on THE BLACKLIST
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: 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.
Russell is a seasoned actor who has a lifetime of audition experience, works constantly in film, TV, and theater, and has tons of on-set wisdom, including experience as a Series Regular. He is so incredibly wise in his feedback and understanding of how to shape an audition so that actors can confidently bring out their natural powers into the roles. He understands exactly how to reinforce the actor, encourage instinctual choices, and to catch the tone of the piece. His seasoned eye is invaluable to the journey of becoming a masterful actor.
Superpowers: developing character, analysis, theater, craftsman, TV dramas
“Russell is excellent. He helped me find all those hidden things I don’t always see on the page.”
— Will Adams
“[My coaching with Russell] was wonderful! I can’t wait to work with him again.”
“Russell, I’m convinced it was your statement that made the tape: ‘How would you react if you felt this person really saw you?’
Russell G. Jones is an Auldeco, Obie and SAG Award-winning actor. A fixture on New York City stages since the 90’s Russell is proud to have originated roles in Lynn Nottage’s “Ruined”, Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Father Comes Home From The Wars Parts 1, 2 & 3”, Tanya Barfield’s “The Call”, Fernanda Coppel’s “King Liz” and two by Stephen Adly Guirgis “Our Lady of 121st Street” and “In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings”. Some film highlights include Motherless Brooklyn, Detroit, Side Effects, Traffic & Robert Patton Spruill’s Squeeze. Recent TV includes Tommy, Orange Is The New Black, The Last OG, Godless, and The Americans.
Mr. Jones has been a member of The Labyrinth Theater Co. since 1995 where he has worn many theater-maker hats including actor, director, producer, writer, facilitator, moderator, and teacher in the Master Class, Ensemble Workshop, and Intensive Ensemble. He is an Equity Consultant for Be The Change Consulting and is the founder and Chief of Pedagogy at BLIND SPOT EXPERIENCE a campaign that facilitates cross-cultural dialogue and critical thinking by providing context and tools for perceiving racial inequity. In addition to serving on HB Studio’s Artistic Advisory Council, the Advisory Council for Developing Artists Theater Co., and being a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s board, he is happily a partner to Elz Jones and a father to Bolden and Kekoa.
Bring back the fun! Based on the West Coast, Jasmine brings such joy towards acting and problem-solving to every scene. Her optimism makes the actor feel positive and open to trying new things. Her sessions are fun and feel collaborative so that you can figure out the character together. Feedback from Jasmine includes attention to detail in the script and the idea that there are many possibilities. A fun and uplifting environment is important to her coaching, as well as helping actors discover the story and character.
Superpowers: self-tape tech set-up, fun, collaborative process, confidence-building, trying new ideas, musical theater
Jasmine was born in the United Kingdom, but grew up in the United States as a Green Card holder. Currently in LA, she first trained in NYC as an actor with a passion for music. She graduated from the musical theatre program at NYFA studying under phenomenal teachers such as Bobby Cronin and Kristy Cates. While studying theatre, Jasmine developed a deep passion for film and TV and after signing with Talent Manager Jean-Louis Diamonika from Invictus Entertainment, She has been pursuing the world of on-camera ever since. With the love for music still inside her, she hopes to help bring music and dance to the media for the ultimate story telling experience. Some of her recent credits include the play PROCESSING with THEATRE EAST COMPANY and the short film AMERICAN DREAMIN’ by Director T.J. MANNIX. Jasmine also has a passion for mentoring other actors on their unique journey towards success. This tough and “scary” business has only pushed Jasmine harder for her dreams. With no need for a plan B career, she is shooting for the stars and never looking back.
Megan is a clever detective with audition material! She is whip-smart, straight to the point, moves fast and confidently in breaking down a scene, and helps you put it all into active choices. She can get a scene rolling fast so that you can then excavate the many layers in each take, always going deeper on each one. Her laser focus will get you in alignment with your scene quickly. She also specializes in coaching and teaching teens from her many years of experience working with young artists.
Superpowers: straight-up analysis, Theater, TV polish, efficiency with multiple scenes, coaching teens
Megan is a New York-based actor, originally from Northern New Jersey. She attended Montclair State University, where she received her B.A. in Theatre Studies, and she also completed the professional actor training program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. She has worked in theatre, film, TV, pilots, commercials, and several web series. She’s been lucky to be a frequent collaborator with a few artistic homes throughout her career, with the likes of Hamlet Isn’t Dead, StrangeDog Theatre Co., Playful Substance, Heidi Marshall Studios (of course!), and others.
With over 10 years of teaching experience under her belt, Megan specializes in one-on-one coaching and audition prep for both working professionals, and students who are striving to study acting at a university level. Megan loves working with other actors, and loves nothing more than to tailor the work to the individual. She is also program director and a teaching artist for Developing Artists Theatre Company, as well as a certified RYS 300 yoga teacher with continuing credits.
For actors who are looking for private sessions in order to work towards general acting goals, we recommend working with my fantastic coach Athena Colón through her 3-Part Private Training Series. It’s a sequence of three sessions designed to address your unique hurdles one-on-one. The series is specifically designed as building blocks for your growth as an actor on camera.
You’ll work with Athena to topple those personal stumbling blocks so that you see a noticeable up-level in your skills in the audition room and on set.
Athena gives customized training tailored to your individual needs and strengths. This one-on-one sequence covers it all: improve the way you move on camera, figure out how to work the beats, bring the internal monologue to life, and whip your self-tape technique into shape.
We offer a private coaching series on the Business of Acting with my wonderful coach Mathia Vargas! This is a series of three private sessions to “take the temperature” of your career and help you create a customized business plan.
You’ll get the opportunity to schedule three 1:1 sessions with Mathia to take a deep dive into how you’re running your business. You and Mathia will assess your goals, current business plan, and marketing materials. You’ll learn to take inventory of your network, track your auditions, and research your markets. You’ll finish with a sense of control and a customized plan to make sure you always stay on track.
How will we work over Zoom?
We’ve been coaching online for years, and in fact, when we work via the computer screen, it demands even more honesty. It’s very easy to spot when it’s not. Yes, we can film you over Zoom. You will receive specific directions, and you can also read this blog post: How to Self-Tape on Zoom
What are my payment options?
When you schedule a coaching, you’ll have the option to pay via Venmo or PayPal. Your appointment is finalized when payment is confirmed.
What is the cancellation policy?
Once you book a session, it will be added to your coach’s calendar. Bookings made in error should be canceled immediately in order to allow other actors to find a time on the calendar. If you need to cancel your appointment, please do so at least 12 hours before your appointment time in order to be refunded. Otherwise, you will be charged the balance of your booking.
Athena, I’m sitting at my desk, holding back tears, just thinking about all the work and auditions we put in…
Russell, I’m convinced it was your statement that made the tape: “How would you react if you felt this person really saw you?”
Heidi, thanks for a great team! It takes a village!
You are a wonderful coach and your insights are so spot on and delivered with such kindness and encouragement. Thank you.
Just by observing class, I learned things—and honestly, it was better than therapy.
Thank you for all your help last week on the FBI audition. Your guidance was so appreciated- I seriously could not have navigated through that scene without you!
On another note, I wanted share a story… I applied your “Would you like to see anything else” tip after another audition I had last week, and I was surprised how helpful it was. She replied, “No, do it again just like you did…” and then proceeded to give me a bit more info on my relationship to the other character in the scene- which was extremely helpful because I didn’t get much from the breakdown. So me putting myself out there actually opened her up to give me more info. I don’t know that she would have shared that had I not asked. I ended up getting a callback and am going to producers on Tuesday. So THANK YOU!
It always feels like it’s an artistic expanding moment with you, Heidi!
I just wanted to thank you for all your insights in our coaching session. I feel flexible and ready for whatever they need me to do on the day.
I just wanted to say thank you so much for the coaching this week! I was so pleased with my submission!!!
I finally just got back to my home base in LA and you came across my mind. I just want to say thank you so much for these few months in supporting me in the filming process and being so available to me as a coach.
I just want to say that I am so, so thankful for you for helping me through the first big shoot of my career. 🙂 It’s been a week now I am back in my tiny, lovely Brooklyn apartment that I could fathom… It. Actually. Happened. It was unreal and exciting, and an amazing experience that I will remember for a very very long time.
I am so grateful for the sessions that we had and all the preparations, clarifying the relationships, and even the sessions of just going through the lines. Because when we were on set, all of this became a sort of muscle memory that I had no time to contemplate on. Because we were shooting at a restricted-access open air seaport, with hundreds of crews, and it was SO COLD. Between getting the blockings right for the camera, the stunt car, the cranes lifting shipping containers, and the lead actors, I had to spit out lines faster than my brain could process. All the preparation we did was put to use, nothing was spared!
I had my taping today. I played and stayed loose enough to make different choices on each take. It was the most fun I ever had doing a self-tape! You really got me fired up in our coaching; when I got home last night, I couldn’t stop digging and playing. It felt so good.
I am typically always confident in my vocals, but I left that room feeling extremely confident in my work as an actor. THANK YOU!
Today on set was magic. Thanks for helping a brotha out.
Wow the change take to take is STARTLING!!! Thank you. I’m so excited to get working in this way!
“Heidi is the lady to go to!! I use her convenient skype sessions to make sure I’m super ready for auditions and I went to her AFTER I booked Red Oaks to make sure I would show up on set guns-a-blazin.
[American Idol Winner] Fantasia unleashes with a feeling of connection to the dramatic moment.
Thank you so much for today, it helped me so much, not just in regards to the audition. Feeling very powerful today regardless of what happens! So thank you thank you thank you.
The coaching that you gave me made me feel like a rockstar when I got in the room so thank you so much for that.
You made that performance possible, quite frankly. I was really intimidated and riddled with doubt. As embarrassed as I was to be lost when I entered your space, you did a terrific job of being compassionate, specific and clear.
I think that was my best audition for a Broadway show. There’s no question that I was in control of my own audition. I knew from CD’s response that she had received what I shared. I’m excited to work a little differently and more healthfully in future audition situations.
Your blogs are always so perfectly in tune what one wants and needs to hear. (You are the actor/all beings empowerment whisperer!)
I wanted to say thank you again for taking the time to meet with me on Sunday! I just had my audition and I really genuinely felt like it went very well. I employed all of your tips (including getting a blow out before!) and it made me so confident going in to the audition.
You are an amazing teacher and I’ve learned and gained so much about myself as an actor as well as a business. I know this is truly the beginning for me. I have so much more to do and so much further to go but for once I feel excited and equipped for the journey [when I graduate]. There’s a sense of feeling more grounded and in anticipation of exploring ME in this journey rather than living for the outcome. Thank you for that!!!
Coaching ’twas very helpful and all went well. Even when I half-forgot my second line, I was able to just breathe and roll with it since we prepped so nicely!
I genuinely feel I learned so many tips and techniques from just working with you in that one session. I felt like I had a mini acting crash course. It’s so important to stay fresh, and I can’t thank you enough! You’ve definitely changed the way I will look at sides from now on, as well as cold reading.
Thank you for making auditioning fun and not terrifying!
Thanks SO much for your help with this audition. I’m really happy with my takes.
I wanted to thank you for everything you taught me. So much clicked in with this audition that I just booked. I can't really put into words what clicked, but it sure did.
Audition went incredibly well. It was a very necessary and joyous win for me. I left the room swimming in tears of joy and relief; I felt like I had finally returned to that creative lovely place I was in during school and had missed since graduating.
And, may I say, thank you so much!!! I can’t tell you how grateful I am for you helping me get through that block that I have had for years. I really communicated with my singing today – and it was such a huge breakthrough for me. I look forward to carrying that connection with me into all of my auditions. So, thank you a million times.
A heart-felt thanks for your wonder-full bedside manner in yesterday’s coaching. I left renewed in my commitment to be part of the solution, etc. Took some bold actions today as a direct result of our talk/coaching.
Once again in a short hour you inspired and change my life for the better! You rock! Being motivated to finally be the artist I’ve dreamed of is amazing!
Guess who booked the movie!? ME!! All thanks to YOU!!! Best coach ever! I’m a lucky gal!
I don’t think I have ever auditioned so well. Thank you for all of your help! There really is nothing better than feeling prepared. Then your nervousness has the chance to turn into excitement (which makes this fun- and that’s why we do it, right?!) instead of morphing into worry
Heidi embraces each entity of the audition process with careful directness, providing an atmosphere which encourages the Actor, Writer, Camera and, yes, even Casting Director, to 'do their own thing' to the max!
Full disclosure—please note that we do not guarantee that actors who receive coaching 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.
All coaching sessions are confidential.