Biz of the Biz  (2.5-3 hrs.)

Monday April 21 at 7:00 p.m.

Leaving academic life for the harsh realities and infinite options of a career in theatre can be overwhelming.  This session will give students an overview of how to treat your acting career as the small business it is.

Topics covered may include:

A mock audition:

–  Managing expectations – From “what do they want from me?” to dealing with the messy aftermath of Actor Mind Taffy

–  Advice on material, presentation and wardrobe

–  Finding the auditions – Backstage,, Actors Access

Headshots 101

– What is a headshot’s one and only job?

– Pop or Flop? What gets their attention?

– Type, Type, Type! Cast yourself first.

– Compare and Contrast: the Good, the Bad and the Great!


– Standard formatting for different genres

– How to make white space look good without LYING!

Which market is right for you?

– NYC – America’s theatre hub

– Other major markets: Chicago and LA

– The regional market boom! Arts careers across the country

Marketing Tools

– Social Media

– Facebook and Twitter traps!

– Email Etiquette

– Snail Mail – Yes, that’s still a thing.

– It’s a whole new Domain – why you need a web site NOW

Online Casting Communities

– Actors Access & Breakdown Services

– Casting Networks, Casting Frontiers

Pick yourself FIRST – creating your own work

– Invaluable experience

– Calling card of an true artist

– DOUBLE the resume power!!

Look for the Union label!

– What a performers’ union does (and DOESN’T) do for you

– AEA, SAG-AFTRA, AGMA, AGVA – acronyms explained

– How to join? WHEN to join?

– What are your obligations?

– Access – the Equity difference: the EPA and ECC explained

Agents and Managers

– Legit vs. Commercial vs. Print

– NEVER pay to play

Grad School

– Is it worth it?

– Is it for you?

– Prestige vs training vs debt – the balancing act


Brian Myers Cooper is a professional New York actor of 20+ years, as well as a writer, director, acting teacher and career coach. His performing career has ranged from the lowest to the pinnacle of Equity contracts, with performances in all fifty states. He has coached his clients to jobs on Broadway, Off-Broadway, national tours, major regional theaters, and the recent NY Philharmonic production of Sweeney Todd starring Emma Thomson, soon to be aired on PBS. For the past decade he has served as an elected member of the National Council and Eastern Regional Board of Actor’s Equity Association where he is a veteran of seven contract negotiations, including chairing three of the teams. In addition, he serves as a trustee of the Equity-League Pension & Health Trust Funds. Over the years, Mr. Cooper has studied extensively with notable NYC teachers in Meisner, On-camera technique, Commercial technique, Alexander, Linklater Voice, multiple stints with Shakespeare & Co, and a bevy of singing teachers and coaches. He is the proud holder of a BA in Music Education (vocal and instrumental) from WLSC (’88).