online self-tape intensive
3 weeks total
2 classes per week
2.5 hours per class
3 students per section
As we move towards some type of normalcy and auditions start coming in, there will be a spike in demand for self-tapes like we've never seen. This class immediately benefits from the online video chat platform as we are able to work scenes with self-tape logistics in mind. The final hurdle for each scene is a self-tape that can compete for the role. We'll keep doing notes and shooting takes til it's your best shot at the job.
I have a big collection of TV sides. I'll assign you material from multicam, singlecam, procedural, long-form, co-stars, guest stars, series regulars, and even film. We'll sharpen your mind's eye so your work isn't limited to reciting words but rather focused on engaging us in the world you're trying to sell. We'll maximize dynamics without sacrificing truth. You'll gain logistical tools for better self-tapes. I'll be your reader for all scene work in class. I will act with you so you might develop genuine responses to specifically helpful inputs. As you switch away from me to your reader for the self-tape assignments, can you keep your choices truthful? Everyone works on at least two scenes in the 3 weeks and at least 45 minutes every class.
I got full rides to MFA acting at Yale, NYU, and UCSD. I taught Acting I to undergrads in La Jolla. Have since coached privately for ten years. Have also taught at NYU, SUNY Binghamton, University of Minnesota, and Pace University. As an actor, I've been on Broadway, led films, and guest-starred or recurred on over 25 TV shows. My students have gotten into elite MFAs, booked series regulars. Check out this review from Vulture for my recent work at Lincoln Center Theater.
"Johnny is astute, rigorous, and caring in his work with students. His approach is highly learnable, and applicable to both auditioning and acting in general. 10/10 would recommend studying with him! He will make you a better auditioner and a better actor overall!"
— Laura Kai-Chen, Madame Secretary, Evil, NCIS: Los Angeles
"Johnny Wu is an excellent coach with a clear record of helping actors be their best—he helped me mine the text to find micro moments. I appreciated his clarity, insight, discipline and humor. In just two sessions, I was looking at my work differently."
— Mahira Kakkar, New Amsterdam, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods
"Johnny is an excellent coach! His approach is efficient, direct, and clear. I found working with him immensely helpful and informative. He really helped me get the best possible takes and pushed me in a way I couldn't have done on my own!"
— Lee Hubilla, Law & Order: SVU
"My futures looking a lot brighter thanks to Johnny! I wouldn’t be attending one of the top MFA programs this fall without him. Working with Johnny brought my pieces and my process to a higher level. His honesty, integrity, and passion for the craft are among the highest caliber that I’ve had the privilege to encounter. Whatever my career has in store, I’ll always have an appreciation for Johnny’s openness and willingness to teach and impart so much skill and wisdom in the short amount of time we had together. 10/10. I would recommend working with Johnny for whatever your acting goals are."
— Dan Ajak, Florida State University M.F.A. Class of 2022
"Working with Johnny Wu was one of the more pleasant experiences I’ve had. He has a confidence that makes any student trust whatever he says. Whenever he gave instructions, he found the right balance between keeping his students in the outline of the exercise, while simultaneously creating an environment they felt they could explore in. When I worked with Johnny, I felt respected as a fellow artist, and the feedback he gave to me was specific and encouraged growth. I think that any student would be lucky to have him as an instructor, and I hope I get to work with him again someday.”
— Nathan Noel, Guthrie/University of Minnesota B.F.A. Acting Program Class of 2022
"Whether it be in a classroom setting or one-on-one coaching, Johnny is extremely engaging and passionate about helping actors dig deeper into their full potential. He works with a laser-like focus, meeting you at the level of work you bring to the table and challenges you to continuously get more and more specific. Johnny values the duality of seeing the big picture and overall flow, as well as hitting and building upon micro moments within a scene. I appreciate how clearly and purposefully he communicates, and how willing he is to converse, work, and support to help make a breakthrough."
— Marie Preske, Pace University FTVC B.F.A. Class of 2020
"I met Johnny by chance but what a Godsend he was! My sessions with him were illuminating in helping me zero in on my objective and also to discover and retain the specificity of intent that great performances require. His notes helped me stay grounded in the multiple rounds of auditions I underwent despite my rattling nerves. His coaching style is what every actor needs: no bullshit (which means he can see through yours), direct, precise, and most importantly - I found his zest and genuine passion for the craft incredibly encouraging and uplifting for my spirit."
— Young Kim, Final Callbacks at Yale School of Drama M.F.A. 2019
Johnny has been a working actor and an audition coach for 10 years. His performing credits span from Broadway to regional theater to studio and indie films to over twenty TV shows including recurring roles on The Good Wife, Law and Order: SVU, and 24 while recent guest stars include New Amsterdam, Manifest, High Maintenance, The Code, Elementary, Blue Bloods, Kevin Can Wait. In 2006, Johnny was the only prospect of that audition season to be offered full rides at Yale, NYU, and UCSD. He decided on California and in 2009, Johnny graduated with his M.F.A. in Acting from UC San Diego and began his career in LA. He is currently on faculty at Pace University’s FTVC department and resides in NYC.
Roughly 1000 actors audition every January for BFA and MFA programs. The top schools have an acceptance rate of 3%. Back in 2005, I worked on my four monologues every single day for six months because I wanted it more than anything. IT PAID OFF.