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September 9, 2020

Auditioning for the Camera with Samora Smallwood

Nandini Melwani

Who’s ready for Forest City Film Festival 2020?

To kick off the FCFF Industry Sessions this year, we’re hosting an acting workshop by award-winning actress, Co-Chair of ACTRA’s Diversity Committee, and Founder of The Actor’s Work Studio, Samora Smallwood! 

You can catch her in Star Trek Discovery, Star Trek Short Treks, The Expanse, American Gods, Coroner, The Shelter, and Shadowhunters. She’s won the Theatre Windsor Award for “Best Actress” for her portrayal of May Henning in Norm Foster’s The Affections of May, and she is nominated for a 2020 ACTRA award (Best Series Ensemble), for her work in Tokens

Samora as Lt. Amin in Star Trek Discovery (2017-)

Samora’s dedication to building the film industry and her talent for inspiring young actors, has not gone unnoticed. She was selected to participate in The Reelworld Film Festival’s “Emerging 20” Talent to Watch Program and she founded an innovative acting studio in Toronto, “The Actors Work Studio,” to fulfill this purpose.

Besides being an accomplished actress, Samora is the Co-Chair of ACTRA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is an advocate for diversity on-screen and behind the screen. Her passion for public speaking has led to her hosting panels at TIFF, The Toronto Black Film Festival, Official International Women’s Day, ACTRA Toronto, and even our own Forest City Film Festival. She moderated the FCFF 2019 Diversity and Inclusion panel with experts like Nyla Innuksuk, Dylan Mitro, Penny Eizenga, and fellow ACTRA Toronto Treasurer and Councillor, Richard Young. 

Samora at the 2019 FCFF Industry Sessions [Image: Richard Young]

This year, Samora will be a teaching FCFF’s “Auditioning for the Camera” event, an intensive, four-hour Zoom workshop that will cover everything you need to know from crafting a compelling audition to working closely with a director and writer to fulfill their vision. You will get the opportunity to break down a script, explore themes, and analyze characters in a way that allows you, the actor, to add that extra something to bring the story to life. 

The workshop includes a free Character Analysis Workbook, as well as training on how to add layers of emotional depth to a performance. Samora will also teach you unique solutions to common problems that can arise during the filming process. For example, have you ever thought about how hard it can be to remain expressive yet natural through multiple takes ? 

Whether you are a successful actor or just starting out, there are always new and innovative techniques that you can learn. The film industry is constantly evolving and as a performer, the only way to keep up is to keep acting, keep auditioning, and gain as much feedback as you can from professionals. Since COVID-19 has made this process difficult, this workshop is a great way to not only develop your skills but to just keep working and practicing your craft in a time where the job market for actors has become increasingly unpredictable. 

This opportunity is something you definitely don’t want to miss out on, so make sure you buy your tickets before they sell out! 

Event: Auditioning for the Camera: A workshop with Samora Smallwood.

Date: Saturday, the 17th of October, 2020. 

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. / 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. 

Register here. Limited spots available.