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  • Writer's pictureMichigan Actors Studio

On Collaboration

I never thought I would find myself going to Vanilla Ice for acting advice, but when you think of the opening lyric to “Ice Ice Baby” in that context, it’s some pretty stellar advice.

Collaboration is something that a lot of people pay lip service to, but not as many fully embrace.

When you google “collaboration” this is one of the first things that comes up:

“Collaboration is a joint effort between two or more people, free from hidden agendas, to produce an output in response to a common goal or shared priority. Often this output is greater than what any of the individuals could have produced working alone.”

As I’m reading this, the thing that stands out to me is “free from hidden agendas”. How often do we have a hidden agenda when we partner with someone and are attempting to create?

It’s one of the reasons that I disliked so much of the theatre I saw when I lived in Los Angeles; there was almost always the hidden agenda of being discovered. I auditioned for many small non-traditional theatre spaces when I lived there and one of the perks (because there was never ever any payment) was how many casting directors they were planning to invite.

In L.A., sometimes for some actors, the seductive pull of Hollywood can often be stronger than the truth of the story they are telling.

When we talk about script analysis in class, we talk about humility to the story.

This means that we (along with our agendas, hopes and plans) always play second fiddle to the story.

When we really lean into collaboration, the work inevitably gets better. When we release our ideas from the pressure of being the “best” or the “only” way to do things, it opens up our thinking and gives us a direct line to our creativity.

This kind of thinking pays off in more areas than just the stage or the film set. Collaboration is about connection- about being open to the ideas of others and being vulnerable to them- letting them affect us.

The process of collaboration requires a certain level of trust, and a non-judgmental attitude. And those are important skills to apply to the craft of acting as well.

How can you open yourself up to collaboration today?


Name of Project: THE KID IN THE FOREST (a DVD 20-minute story for kids loosely based on HANSEL AND GRETEL)

Union Status: Non-union

Payment info: $300 flat fee total for each actor

Shooting location: Outdoors in Farmington Hills, MI

Expected shoot dates: 2 consecutive days either in late June or early July

Expected length of shoot: 8 hours each day. Meals will be provided

Available Roles:

1. Mary, Girl aged 8 to 12: Good at telling knock-knock jokes. Will do a little running in a funny chase scene.

2. Jimmy, Boy aged 8 to 12: Good at telling knock-knock jokes. Will do a little running in a funny chase scene.

3. Wicked Witch, Woman ages 25 and up: She is not scary. She is kind of clumsy, funny and will do a little running.

Contact: Len Stone for audition scripts (specify character) or any questions at

E-mail video auditions to We will respond to all submissions.

Any Covid protocols: None

Additional Info: A parent or guardian of the actors playing Mary and Jimmy will be required to be on the set for both days.

For a good idea of the fun tone and style of this DVD, go to YouTube and search WKBD Detroit What's Up. Skip to 4:45 for the Dinosaur Segment and skip to 18:16 for the Coldfinger segment.


Summer Semester Starts Soon!

Join us for a fun semester of acting and voice over classes! Head on over to the classed menu to check out all the classes.

Are you ready for representation?

If you’re at that point in your training where you feel ready to get out there and start auditioning, SAG-franchised agency The iGroup located in Metro-Detroit is always accepting submissions.

Check out this link for explicit instructions on how to submit for representation:

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