Acting for the Screen

Full-Time Programs

Acting for the Screen at Pacific Design Academy

This program provides a comprehensive study of the essential skills required to perform and ultimately excel as an Actor in all realms of Recorded Media. The techniques, exercises, and practical applications utilized within the AFS Program are drawn from a varied spectrum of disciplines with the aim of encouraging students to develop their own individual approach to the Art of Acting. Scene Study, Character Analysis, Improvisation, Voice Development, Movement Psychology, Audition Technique, and The Business of Acting, are just some of the courses that are offered.

Students will be working in front of the camera in order to focus on the technical and artistic demands of on-screen performance. In addition, students of The AFS Program will be cast in projects written, directed, and produced by the students of the MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION Program. Some of these projects will include; TV Commercials, Corporate Video, Documentary Shorts, and Comedy & Drama for TV & Film. Acting students will graduate with a professionally formatted acting resumé, website, headshot, and demo reel to submit to talent agents, casting directors, producers, and film directors.

Contemporary actors must make their living through engaging in a variety of performance opportunities. We endeavor to provide solid training in a multiple disciplines so that each student actor will move toward launching a Successful Acting Career in this highly competitive and ever-evolving industry.

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Course descriptions

Business of Acting

Actors must learn how to manage the promotional, contractual and financial obligations of being self-employed. The course covers such topics as: tools of the trade - resumes and headshots, talent agents, casting directors, acting unions, researching work prospects, promotion and networking, managing finances, filing taxes and more. Guest speakers may include professional actors, producers, talent agents, casting directors, and film festival reps.

Acting Techniques

An Actor's primary function is to create & portray a thoroughly believable, fully realized, 3-dimensional character within any given script in order for that character to "Serve the Story". Working with a collection of Acting Guidelines, Dramatic Theory, & Practical Exercises, students will develop the instincts required to make rich choices in their creation of a character. Throughout this course the teachings of Constantin Stanislavski, Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner, & Stella Adler will be presented and discussed but ultimately our goal is to encourage actors to develop their own approach to the Art of Acting and constantly work towards presenting personal authenticity in performance.

Audition Techniques

Actors audition for a living. Students will learn to develop the skills and confidence required to perform optimally in all recorded-media audition situations. This class takes the student actor from the first audition to the call-back. Auditions are recorded for play back, in order for the students to observe their work with a critical eye. Audition sides will represent a variety of genres, many from projects currently casting in Vancouver, BC, one of the largest filming centers in North America.


An introduction to Comedic Improvisation. Through a structured series of games and exercises students will learn the techniques of short-form comedy improv. Students will gain confidence as they discover the art of play and the joy of saying yes. Improv skills are a valuable skill for actors as it is often used in auditions, as a rehearsal technique, a means of writing, and on-set in place of scripts. PFMA Acting technique classes will use dramatic improvisations to further explore spontaneity, truthfulness, and connection to character.


An actor's body is a vital instrument of creative expression. Actors must be fit, with physical presence and facility of movement in order to portray a variety of characters. In Movement class, students will take part in physical warm-up routines and Creative Movement exercises. The exploration will go on to include yoga, dance and mime as well as forms of Martial Arts, Unarmed Combat, and Weaponry.

Psychology of Movement

Students will explore the essential Movement Psychology as developed by Rudolf Laban. Concepts of Weight, Space, Time, & Flow are explored as students learn to utilize the format of Character, Circumstances, Action, Objective, & Activity. Voice is a powerful means of creating Character, accessing emotions, and establishing a strong presence. Students are given vocal warm-up exercises, learn proper breath control, discover their range of pitch, and develop optimal vocal resonance. g and constantly work towards presenting personal authenticity in performance.

Working on a Set

Students will learn to work within the confines of a tight shooting schedule, become familiar with the challenge of shooting scenes out of chronological sequence, learn to effectively gauge performance levels from the Master Shot to extreme Close-Ups while maintaining emotional and physical continuity, become proficient in hitting multiple marks within a shot set-up, familiarize themselves with the roles of all crew members and departments of a film set, and come to understand the rules of on-set etiquette and protocol.


Specialty workshops provide students with a valuable overview and understanding of other creative roles in the industry, and may open doors to other career possibilities. Introductory workshops may include Screenwriting, Producing, Directing, and Editing.