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Arming actors with the creative and technical skills they need to thrive.

Welcome actors!

I created The Actor Online as a place for actors to master all the technical skills they need to advance their careers.

It all started during the pandemic, actually. After COVID hit, my first thought was to give students a safe space to land as their entire model of training shifted online.

Thankfully, we now seem to be looking at the worst of the pandemic in the rear-view mirror.  Looking down the road however, one thing is clear: the landscape has changed! 

In reality, even before COVID hit, actors were being called to establish a presence online. It had become an expectation that actors have professional websites, social media presence and be able to self tape and submit quality acting material to be considered for local and national auditions.

And that's not all - even mainstream actor resources like Backstage have long recommended actors take things into their own hands and start producing their own content and opportunities.

Over the pandemic, I taught a series of online classes focusing on self-taping and zooming skills. The results were extraordinary. Actors with next to NO filmic experience were able to create stunning self taped monologues and scenes entirely by themselves.


Since then, I have offered a whole range of classes, from self-taping, to storyboarding and writing, to directing and filmmaking. 

Over the pandemic, I watched actors go from complete depletion to total empowerment, and it was an absolute joy.  Now, as we all march forward into this new world, embracing the technology that has enabled us to become empowered creators, I'm thrilled to still be providing the tools actors need to make that happen!


Adam Elder Montanaro is the founder of The Actor Online.  For more about him, check out

Current Offerings

Shoot Your Own Showreel!

Live, in-person class, location East Bay
Limited to 10 students! 
Sunday, July 16, 2023 9am-5pm with a break for lunch

Have you heard of the “The Actor’s Catch-22”? It’s when you can’t get serious roles because you don’t have a quality reel, but you can’t make a quality reel because you haven’t had any serious roles. 

Well, kiss those those days goodbye, because now we live in the new world - a world where any actor can access top-quality gear and learn how to create industry level showreel content on their own.


In this one-day intensive, you will join me on set with two professional actors, as we block, storyboard, rehearse, light and shoot an entire original scene.


You'll learn:

  • Blocking, storyboarding and creating shotlists

  • Cinematic lighting and getting studio quality sound using boom (shotgun) lavalier microphones,

  • Lighting human face, taking into special consideration all the different skin types (this is a BIPOC friendly space),

  • Telling a story through still, handheld and moving shots, and the concepts of motivated camera movement and camera support,

  • Insuring you're getting sufficient coverage,

  • Being strategic about composition, framing and camera angles,

  • Thinking like an editor when you’re behind the lens,

  • Slating, logging and all the other business that will make your shoot go smooth and keep your footage organized.

This class will be limited to 10 people, and the location is TBD, but will either be in the East Bay or SF.

Find out more


Self Tape
Master Class

Our flagship online class!

Self-taping auditions can be a real headache.  If you’re not getting callbacks, or landing the roles you know in your heart you were right for, it’s possible that it’s not your acting ability that’s to blame.  It could simply be your self tape!

Maybe you’re struggling with the equipment - the lights, the audio, the backdrop. Or maybe you spend so much time and energy setting your gear up that by the time it comes to film, you’re already completely frustrated and drained.  Or maybe you just don’t have a lot of confidence yet in front of the camera.

Whatever’s holding you back, you should check out my new online, on-demand class “THE SELF TAPE ON-DEMAND MASTER CLASS”.

This is the same intensive class I’ve been giving live all over the country for the past five years - in MFA programs, talent and casting agencies, theater companies, private acting schools and one-on-one.

In this class I cover every single part of the process - from setting up your gear to submitting your work, and along the way I’ll explain not just what equipment you need, but why you need it.  And also what you don’t need.  We’ll take the mystery out of subjects like lighting, audio, backdrops, and on-camera technique.  Plus I’ll show you how to clean up, edit and submit your finished product.

Subjects covered include:

  • Lighting yourself like a Hollywood cinematographer

  • Capturing crisp, full, clean audio

  • Getting DSLR-quality results from a standard smartphone

  • Demystifying the backdrop

  • Framing yourself to best effect

  • Acting on camera

  • Strategically upgrading your kit on a budget

  • Editing and sharing your finished product


In addition, you’ll get unlimited access to the Member’s Only area of - where you’ll find Q&As, cheat sheets, checklists and my Self Tape Shopping List - a continuously updated list of all the equipment I have tested and recommend in my courses.

So if you’re tired of self-taping being stressful and confusing, check out the Self-Tape On-Demand Master Class”, and start making self-tapes that get you work.

Find out more

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