In Session: Tasha Smith’s Master Class on Acting

Smith offers ABFF attendees tips on becoming a great actor

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With a list of top film and television roles under her belt, Tasha Smith knows all about overcoming the hurdles and challenges of making it in Hollywood.

Her desire to give back and help aspiring actors fulfill their dreams led her to starting her own actors workshop where she holds weekly classes in Los Angeles and travels the country to host sessions in different cities. On Friday, Smith brought her workshop to New York for the 2015 American Black Film Festival. Speaking to a packed room about the ins and outs of having a successful career in Hollywood, Smith broke down the 12 steps to becoming a great actor based off acting coach Ivana Chubbuck’s book The Power of the Actor.

See the top five tips Smith offered below and be sure to check her website for a list of dates and locations for her workshop.

[Related: Taraji P. Henson Talks Navigating Hollywood and Being Hesitant About “Empire”]

1. Overall objective: Smith says when first reading a script, it’s important to ask the following questions about the character: What is the goal? What is the characters need throughout the script? What does the character have to have in order to fulfill the direction of the script? What does the character want from life more than anything?

2. Scene objective: Figure out what your character wants over the course of an entire scene in order to properly support the character’s overall objective.

3. Obstacle: Determine the physical, emotional and mental hurdles that make it difficult for your character to achieve his or her overall scene and objective.

4. Substitution: Substitute the other character in the scene with a person from your personal life that makes sense to your character’s overall and scene objective.

5. Inner objects: To help fully develop your character, think about the pictures you see in your mind when speaking or hearing about a person, place, thing or event.

For complete coverage of the 2015 American Black Film Festival, visit or follow along on social media using the hashtag #ABFF2015.


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