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'Tis The Season!

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

December 2023 FMS NEWSLETTER

"There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."


It’s that time of year that you’re running around all creation getting gifts to give people.   Give yourself a gift: time!  Grab a hot chocolate, egg nog or whatever

says ‘holiday’ to you .   Give yourself a gift of your dreams and your goals.  Decide what you want in the coming year.  Don’t wait until January.  Make a list.  Starting in January, we’re gonna help keep you on track in this newsletter.   What’s important is that you make a list of WHAT YOU WANT, not what other people expect of you.    Don’t edit the list and don’t censure yourself with  what you other’s may think of as realistic.  And don’t go sharing it with anyone.    It’s your list. You don’t need permission or approval from anyone but you.  It’s YOUR list.


It was a big year for us at Foley Marra Studios.  We are all very grateful and excited here.

We released three films this year.  WINO, CUP AND A HALF, and KILLING HOPE.

WINO,  it bears repeating, has won Best Pilot.  Let this inspire you.

Our short film KILLING HOPE won 6 awards. Two awards for Best Cinematography, Best Film,  Best Actor, Critic’s Choice Award, and Best Art House Film.   If no one is giving you a role yet, create your own.  Make the movie you CAN make.   Our films did not come down from a big studio.  They came from our students and came out of our classes and workshops.  You can do too.  If you need help with this, you reach out to those you know who make films. If you still need help with this or finding your voice we do have workshops that can help.  We’ve been teaching this for years and a lot of our students are off and running on their own.  We are very proud of all of them.


Back by popular demand, Megan and I are going to teach the line learning lab

again.  Starting in the second Saturday of January  (January !3) we will teach the expanded version of that 90 minute class that we taught at The Arts  in December.  It’s three hours for three consecutive Saturdays (January 13,20, 27) and the price is $150.     You know our philosophy:  don’t memorize, LEARN.  Grow a more powerful, less fearful brain.  Click here to sign up .

Also, now that the strike is over and behind us, enough actors have asked us to coach that we are opening up an online acting class on Mondays 10-1 PST, as well as other times for private coaching.  Email us if you are interested.  We like to keep the classes small.

Did I mention the strike is over?  THE STRIKE IS OVER and that is good for

everyone!    We can all get back to work.    Megan and I just got awarded a feature film to cast,    We can’t talk about the details just yet, but it feels so good!


We think HOW TO TRASH YOUR CAREER is a great gift for anyone in the business

or wanting to get in the business.  It's getting great reviews! It’s a funny, sarcastic and short book of what

not to do in your career.


Every month, we touch on  how you can make your audition, and your acting work in general, better.  This month we are talking about the ‘WHERE’, of the 5-


Okay, in the work that we do, the WHERE is extremely important and helpful.   You behave differently at a soccer match then you would in a church, or a library, or a courtroom, or a crowded restaurant, or an empty restaurant, than you would at home.  So consider where in the play or screenplay the scene is taking place and see how that effects you.

Also, you can use the WHERE to play and create character.  Does this person always speak as if he is in a crowded stadium when he is actually in an intimate party?  Does this person speak like they are in a library when they are actually in a normal office setting?   Get the idea?  Play!  Experiment!

Also, instead of thinking how big or small you should be in your acting, consider changing up WHERE you are in your mind.

The WHERE in your scene work is very important!


Some people will try and tell you that acting or music isn’t important.   If it isn’t important, why do so many people spend so much money on streaming and music,  and entertainment in general.  Just say ‘Thanks, good to know.”  And move on.

And as the Gift of Time goes, we can’t stress enough the need for a daily practice.   Practice enhances  your  skills and develops your talents and sharpens your ability to perform under pressure.   It also grows the incredibly necessary respect for yourself as a working artist.    IF you are good now, imagine how good you will be in six months if you practice your craft and your business skills every day for just a little bit.  Then go reward yourself!

I don’t want to make this newsletter too long, so in January we’ll talk about what a daily practice might look like.   For now, just practice expanding your skill set as an actor, and aspire to be as truthful as you can as you practice.   Our students are given a very specific daily practice to work on,  but everyone is different.  If you’re not studying with us, then read everything you can on acting, take what strikes YOU as important and set up a time every day and work on it.  Give your art, your passion the attention and respect it deserves.


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