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Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia


Hi Tony!
Most people don’t even take the time to tell a person how to reach their goal. I want to thank you for everything and for responding to my messages. Sometimes I just test people to see if they really care about my career and you do. You can continue to send me some tips on how I can accomplish my goals, because you inspire me a lot. Thank you for caring.
Jeffrey, Dallas, TX


Hi Tony!
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada


I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
I am a frequent visitor and have signed up for the newsletter, plus I think it's so good I have recommended it to all my acting friends! Thank you for creating such a wonderful website!
Mischa, UK


Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
First of all, any questions I have are answered extremely fast, and not only that, you give me a very helpful answer every time. Also, by reading your newsletters, I obtain just the right information that I need to succeed in the acting business. I am so happy I discovered your site, and I hope you know how much we actors appreciate you. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your next newsletter!
Laura Doukas, Actress


I did what you said and…I got two interviews with two agents! Thank you! Sorry but can I ask you…how do I prepare to go meet the agent? What do I have to do?
Marsha P., New York, NY, USA


This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA

Acting Terms
D - M

Acting Terms D - M As is a one-stop web resource for new and aspiring actors, a place where you can find anything and everything to help you start or further your acting career, we have put together this glossary of acting terminology for you. It will help familiarize you with vocabulary that you will inevitably be confronted with when you pursue your acting career.

The screening of the footage that has been shot that day before it goes off to be edited.

Someone who is hired on a day-to-day basis rather than on longer term contracts.

A performer (actor or voice over artist) has a reel that has snippets of their previous performances on it so that a casting director or agent may get a sense of how they look/sound on screen/on radio and so that they may see their ability and what their range is.

A regional accent that may be used by an actor to help create the character they are playing.

The verbal exchange between two or more actors.

The person who oversees all of the artistic and technical components of a production.

Acting Terms cont.

Supervises the camera crew and makes decisions with the director regarding lighting, camera lenses, color and filters, camera angle set-ups, camera crew and film processing.

A piece of equipment that the camera sits on to allow it to be mobile.

The crewmember that is in charge of moving the dolly around.

A different person who stands in the place of an actor- for example, a stunt double or body double.

Adding items to add to the set- things like furniture and props.

When an actor forgets their line, says the wrong line or waits to long to deliver a line.

Acting Terms cont.

The person responsible for placing lighting instruments as well as focusing the lights, and placing any gels that are needed.

Person who provides funding for the production.

EXT. (short for exterior)
Often used term in screenplays. A scene that is shot outside.

A non-principal, non-speaking role- this person generally is a part of the background or atmosphere.

A full-length feature film.

Acting Terms cont.

Union staff member who makes sure that union standards are upheld on set.

FIRST A.D. (First Assistant Director)
This person runs the set- they give instructions such as ‘quiet on set’, ‘rehearsal’, ‘take two’ etc. They speak to both the talent and the crew.

The term used to describe the principal actors.

When the actors and crew have to start working again less that 12 hours after they finished on the day before.

FOREGROUND CROSS (sometimes called a ‘wipe’)
When an extra crosses in front of shot in between the camera and one of the principal actors.

Acting Terms cont.

The Imaginary ‘wall’ between the audience and the actors in a play, the fourth wall suspends the belief that the actors do not know the audience is there watching them. The term breaking the fourth wall is used when an actor acknowledges the audience’s presence.

Refers to the area of the theatre that is not backstage (domain of the crew and actors) or the stage where the performance will take place- it is where the audience is seated and the lobby where they come in to buy tickets and wait prior to the show starting/during intermission. The Front of House Manager is the person who is in charge of these areas and ensures that things run smoothly- seating latecomers, assisting audience members etc.

Special Effects.

The Chief Electrician.

Crewmembers who are responsible for the physical movement of all the equipment- lighting, sound and camera as well as set pieces.

Acting Terms cont.

An 8x10 photograph of an actor.

HOLDING BOOK (sometimes called ‘On Book’)
When a crewmember or a Stage Manager assists an actor or actors by being ready to give them their line if they forget it.

Means that the audience members are now being seated and traditionally means that the actors can no longer be on the stage anymore. Calls are given to actors in 5-10 minute intervals before this happens by the Stage Manager i.e. ’30 minutes til House’, ’10 minutes to House’ etc so that the actors can be prepared for this.

Note: It is theatre etiquette to respond with ‘thank you’ or ‘thank you 30/10’ (whatever the number they give is) so that the Stage Manager knows the actor has heard them.

Creating an activity, an exercise, some lines or dialogue with another actor on the spot or with very little preparation.

An area where the Extras wait before going on set.

Acting Terms cont.

A video or film that is not intended to be screened on TV or film, but instead is usually used for educational or promotional purposes.

A kind of shot (usually a close-up) that is inserted into footage in postproduction.

INT. (Interior)
A scene that is shot indoors.

The start time for a day of shooting (also called ‘Call Time’).

The person in charge of keeping the director on the time schedule and on budget.

Acting Terms cont.

A kind of camera shot which shoots more of the actor’s body, usually their whole body.

An audio technique that will repeat a piece of music by ‘looping’ it together or a post-production tool used to correct dialogue that has already been shot by matching the actor’s voice to picture.

A designated position given to an actor to stand on so that they are in the right place for the take. This is predetermined so that they will be standing in the right light, at the right angle etc.

A member of the camera crew calls ‘Marker’ so that there is a visual cue on camera along with the slate board.

A type of shot that is comprises the principal actor/actors and any background action that may be a part of the scene. It is an important shot as it is generally also used as a reference shot.

Acting Terms cont.

Refers to an actor needing to match their physical actions in a scene (eating, walking, etc) so that it will match other shots taken off the same scene.

Person in charge of the sound crew, their primary responsibility is ensuring the sound quality during shooting.

An extended speech delivered by a single actor. Often used in auditions as a way for casting directors and producers to get a sample of an actor’s ability.

Monologues for kids, girls, teens, women, men, dramatic, comedic.

MOS (Mit Out Sound/Motion Only Shot) sometimes called S.O.C (silent on camera) A shot without dialogue or sound.

Part 1 of the acting terms A - C.

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