Acting On Camera: Make Your Scenes Stand Out

Course Description: “Want to work in movies and tv-shows??  So do we! That’s why we’ve been helping train actors to master the act of auditioning for over 4 years. Auditioning is a necessary component to being a professional actor. But stepping into the audition room, preparing for a self tape, and feeling comfortable in the dreaded zoom auditions can very easily reveal challenges that are otherwise non-existent when on set. Training skills suited for the audition environment is invaluable to being an actor today.  And guess what – this kind of practice easily transfers over to real sets!  In fact, being on set is even easier! The classes will primarily focus on how to make your scenes come alive.  We will discuss how to establish scene environments and adapt audition scenes to offer more room for exploration, covering everything from eye-lines and actions to scene changes and challenging settings, as well as how to discover stakes, relationships, and needs for the character. We will also cover how to create your own professional audition space and adapt it to any environment. This will include tips on framing, lighting, sound, and equipment. Participants will also learn the changes between in-person, self tape, and zoom auditions. The format will have a somewhat rigid structure, but there will be plenty of room for Q&A. Open to beginners looking to try out film andTV acting as well as for seasoned professionals looking to brush up on skills.  We guarantee we will give you something to work on.” – Alex & Maxine

About the Instructors: 

Alex Gravenstein:

Alex (he/him) has been acting professionally since 2015, but has been on stage and quite smaller screens well before that. Originally from Virginia, he moved to Montreal to study mechanical engineering and psychology at McGill. It was during these years that he fell even more in love with theater and film. Then there was no looking back. He wanted to learn everything he could about the industry, and while he was already an editor, he learned camera work, vfx, coloring, sound, mixing, and (basic) lighting. He is a part of the ACTRA YEAA subcommittee, a team for making opportunities to help and encourage actors. He has even been working on and off in casting offices since 2016, including Kenyon-Wells and Elite casting agencies in Montreal (responsible for casting movies like X-Men and Transformers), where he was a reader, ran camera, read scripts & created sides, among many other tasks. It was through this work that he started looking at what the audition process truly was, and how actors would easily trap their own freedoms and creativity. This led him to pursue and develop workshops to help actors break out of that box and get the fun back into storytelling. At the start of the pandemic in 2020, he merged his two acting workshops (cold reading and in-person/self-taping workshops) into one, online format, with his business partner, Maxine Denis. The workshop, called isolACTION, was intended initially as an escape from the pressure of the lockdowns as well as an audition gym and social space. On top of that, it was free to join and open to the world! After half a year, it officially became a comprehensive, adaptable, yet affordable professional service and still is today. As an actor, he has been in an assortment of feature films, tv shows, video games, and more: most recently appearing in Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall and starring as Eric King in the video game House Of Ashes. Some other notable productions include Mrs. America (FX), Blood & Treasure (CBS), The Detectives (CBC), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Fox), and more. Outside of the industry… you’d probably catch him rock climbing or playing in the water. He hopes to use everything he has learned and continues to learn to give back to the acting community to make this enchanting world more accessible to others.

Maxine Denis:

Maxine Denis (she/her) is a Lebanese/Canadian actor and creative artist working in the film and television industry. She moved from Dubai, U.A.E. where she was born and raised, to Montreal to pursue higher education and a career as a professional actor. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University. Her most recent acting credits include a lead role in the feature film Polarized, directed by Shamim Sarif, and other large roles in Sony Pictures’ Party of Five, Bell Media/Crave’s Pillow Talk and more. She also recently wrapped another lead role on a feature film that has yet to be announced and was just cast as the lead in a horror film shooting in September. She speaks four languages fluently: English, Arabic, French & Spanish. Maxine is very involved in the voice-over world as well, having narrated and produced audiobooks for Amazon’s Audible platform. Her most recent credits include The Big Book of Treasures by Lunii, Try Not to Die in Brightside by Mark Tulius and Dawna Gonzales and Finding Felicity by P. Creeden. She is also venturing into the dubbing world, having recently booked a role in A Christmas Crossfire on Netflix. Her skill set also expands to the video game world, where she’s worked on the Ubisoft game Rainbow Six Siege. In between acting gigs, Maxine has dabbled as a casting assistant and a reader for auditions in order to gain insight into the behind the scenes of the casting world. She is co-founder and coach of isolACTION, an online audition workshop for actors, by actors, open internationally. The aim of this workshop is to provide actors with a safe and stimulating environment to train their self-taping and audition skills. In her spare time, Maxine enjoys improving her special skills. She focuses her time on boxing, rock-climbing, dance, stunts, accents and singing. She is working hard with other key creative artists to help realize all the projects she’s attached to. Maxine continues working in the film & television industry as a full-time actor represented by Bellini Talent.

Location: University Centre (in-person), Main Floor Flex Space

Required Materials: A notebook and your favourite writing instrument!

Required Knowledge: None!