Helen here! AMA!

(Helen Highfield) #1

Hey Everyone!

Helen Highfield here! I’m an actor in Los Angeles and I’m here to answer your questions! You may have seen me in… I Ship It (CW Seed), The Friendless Five (Fullscreen), Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life (FOX), Criminal Minds (CBS), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), that Yelp commercial with the octopus, and coming soon in Waking Up With Strangers (freshly listed here on Stareable!).

I’ve recently finished post production on DIVA, my first short film as both producer and actress, and am now diving into the film festival world. I also am a faculty member at Lesly Kahn & Co. here in Hollywood and spend pretty much all day everyday with actors - teaching, coaching, rehearsing, etc. You can find me on IG and Twitter at @helenhighfield, or check out my website: www.helenhighfield.com

Feel free to ask me about…
Actor training
On set communication
Recording for a musical series
Acting on different sized sets (TV, webseries, indie film)
Getting footage for your reel

(Bri Castellini) #2

Welcome, Helen! First question to get us into it… how did you get into acting and, more specifically, how did you get into acting in web series?

(Marc L) #3

Hello Helen! Congratualtions on all of your success. Are you a full time actor or is your faculty membership your “day job”?

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(Jerome Keith) #4

Hi Helen! When you were first starting out what helped you the most in finding auditions? Did you first try to get an agent/manager or look for roles on casting sites?

(Meg Carroway) #5

Welcome to the forum, Helen! I don’t know much about acting coaching but I’ve seen that mentioned before… what does that actually entail? Sorry if that’s super broad!

(Bri Castellini) #6

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(Helen Highfield) #7

Thanks! Happy to be here! Well, I started when I was in middle school I guess. I was always in the school choir and loved to sing so when it was time to audition for the school musical, I jumped right in. In high school, I joined a local acting class that taught the Meisner technique and absolutely FELL IN LOVE. From there, I decided to defer college for a year to try out acting school in NYC. I went to The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater (Meisner’s school) and decided this was it. Got asked back for the second year and started auditioning in NYC after I graduated.

(Bri Castellini) #8

And from @Sunny in another thread:

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(Joseph Steven Heath) #9

How does one get auditions?

(Anna Bateman) #10

This is probably a dumb question, but as a non-actor… what is the Meisner technique? I see that phrase so much and my brain just goes “they took fancy classes” but I know it must be more specific than that haah

(Jules Pigott) #11

Hi Helen! First of all, I wanna say I LOVE I Ship It and your performance as Ella! I’m a web series writer and director, and on multiple occasions I’ve been in situations where actors have had issues with each other. From an actor’s perspective, is there anything you’d wish a director/person running a production would do if you’re having trouble with another actor?

(Anna Bateman) #12

Also… what is it like to work with Yulin?! And more generally I suppose… do you have a lot of experience working with female directors?

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(Helen Highfield) #13

Thank you! Technically, teaching and coaching at the acting studio is my “day job” but it feels more like that work is just part of being an actor and I really love it. I’ve had plenty of “day jobs” though - admin for an electrical contractor, faerie at kids birthday parties (which technically counted as “performer” on my taxes which was nice!), babysitter, front desk at rehearsal studios, hostess, etc.

(Marc L) #14

And how did you get your agent? (I assume you have an agent, I apologize if that is not the case)

(Bri Castellini) #15


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(Jaime Lancaster) #16

Welcome, Helen!!! I would love to hear more about your experience producing! What made you decide to step into that role and what surprised you about it?

(Jules Pigott) #17

Also, just a fun question: what music are you into lately? :smiley:

(Helen Highfield) #18

Hey! I was constantly self-submitting on ActorsAccess, Backstage, LA Casting, Casting Frontier. I would attend open calls for theater. I also did a bunch of workshops with casting directors who would call me in. After a bunch of that, I signed with an agent through a workshop and got auditions through her. Now, I’m with a manager who sends me out but I still keep an eye on casting sites.

(Lessa Smith) #19

was this the same company you work for?

(Bri Castellini) #20

Can you explain the difference between an agent and a manager, for actors?

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