The Professional Actor 101

Program Outline

The Professional Actor 101

Program Description

The Professional Actor 101 is a hybrid of the classic, core fundamentals used by actors for centuries with the modern, essential skills needed to work in today’s professional acting industry.

Learning Objectives

Successful graduates will be able to dissect and identify the structural elements of a script. They will be able to access variations on command through grounded performances and presence exercises. They will have greater control of their body and voice so they can create different characters and sounds through the different physical resonators and positions. Students will be able set, measure, and reset short term and long term goals to ensure ongoing creative and professional progress.

Methods of Evaluation

Students will be evaluated prior to 30% of the way into the program and again at the end of the program in each individual class. These will be a combination of written exams and performance-based evaluation. Students will receive written and oral feedback at both the first test, prior to 30%, and after the final exam.

Completion Requirements

Students must receive a minimum of 60% on their final evaluation at year end and attend a minimum of 80% of the program in order to successfully graduate.

Delivery Methods

In-class instruction

Career Occupation

The Professional Actor 101 prepares actors for careers on stage and in film and television.

Admission Requirements

To qualify for Story Institute programs applicants must have a strong work ethic and an insatiable willingness to learn. Applicants will be interviewed by a Director or member of the school’s admissions team where they will have an opportunity to exhibit their ability to take direction and showcase their preparation abilities via a prepared audition piece and written or video essay based on assigned homework for interview.

Applicants must be able to pass the IELTS test with a minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6.0 in each category for the Academic test.

Credential: Diploma

Required Text Books

  • Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder
  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Equipment Required

  • Access to a computer, a printer, and the internet
  • Notebook and pens
  • Flash Drive
  • Laptop or Smartphone with internet access

Program Duration

24 weeks

Homework Hours

Students may be required to do anywhere from 1-2 hours of homework a day, depending on their memorization abilities.

Attendance Expectations

Students must attend 80% or more of the program hours in order to graduate.

Dress Expectations

Students will be expected to dress in casual, comfortable clothing that allows for easy movement for the various physical exercises. Costumes may be necessary during certain classes and will be prescribed in advance, to be provided by the student.

Program Organization

The Professional Actor 101 consists of a total of 5 courses running over 24 weeks:

Scene Study                96 Hours

Voice-Overs                 96 Hours

Audition                       96 Hours

Career Development  96 Hours

Improv                        96 Hours


Total Hours                480 Hours


Each element of The Professional Actor 101 is essential to preparing the student for work. All of our instructors have extensive resumes in professional acting with recent credits in the current industry. 

Delivery Method(s)

In-class instruction

Program Term by TermThe Professional Actor 101

The Professional Actor 101 (Term 1)

Audition                                              48 hours

Voice-Overs                                        48 Hours

Career Development                          48 hours

Scene Study                                        48 hours

Improv                                                48 hours


The Professional Actor 101 (Term 2)

Audition                                              48 hours

Voice-Overs                                        48 Hours

Career Development                          48 hours

Scene Study                                        48hours

Improv                                                48 hours

Total Hours                                         480 Hours


Audition Class – Course Outline

The ability to interview for the job requires the same level of training and skill development as actually performing the job. Unlike job interviews in most other careers, the professional actor is often given 5 minutes or less to showcase their skills for the available job opportunity. The four key elements to every audition are be prepared, be efficient, be professional, and be capable of direction. This course will cover the technical aspects of everything from eyelines to performing multiple scenes with the organic elements of truthful emotional connection and grounded work.

Career Planning – Course Outline

A professional actor is required to put as much energy into their business as they place into their craft if they desire long-term results. The responsibility of overseeing all aspects on the actor’s business from research and development to marketing to branding, to everything in between rests with the professional actor. While the professional actor will often work with other people throughout their career in the form of agents, managers, publicists, photographers, accountants, and many more they are effectively the CEO of their company and must be accountable for all areas of their career. 

Improv – Course Outline 

The craft of improvisation has become primarily known as a performance showcase based on games and short-form handles like we’ve seen on shows like Whose Line is it Anyway? In reality, improvisation is both a showcase format as well as a explorative tool required for both preparation and performance. This skill set allows the professional actor the ability to develop an understanding of story, character, and all foundational elements to a level where they can instinctually make choices without needing rehearsal or a script.

Scene Study – Course Outline

This module explores the classic foundations of acting in the form of words, actions, emotional life, and physical life. These are the building blocks in which all other modules refer back to in their development and exploration. Starting from grounding performances to emotional accessibility, to text analysis and character study.

Voice-Over – Course Outline

This multi-faceted course has a primary focus of providing the skills needed to work in today’s lucrative animation, radio, and video game industries, and also helps the actor develop the vocal range and diversity required for stage and on-camera work.

320 - 640 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1G4, Canada