Our Training Philosophy

Acting Skillset Training (A.S.T)

The Online Actor's training philosophy, personally developed by coach Vas Saranga based on his years of set experience, combines On-Camera Technique, Active Script Exploration, Character Development, Audition Technique, and Dramatic Improvisation, with practical on-set skills and knowledge like Blocking, Camera Awareness, Communication, and Collaboration. The O.A. helps actors achieve their most present, playful, connected, and charismatic selves in their screen performances, through a continually evolving approach to the craft. Actors are not bogged down in traditional theory and cerebral analysis, but rather challenged from beginner to advanced level with a paradigm shift of how the craft of screen acting can be viewed more simply, and trained viscerally. Classes use original scenes and exercises, exploring 50+ unique concepts. Actors learn to put forward their best qualities on-camera that create memorable and compelling performances in the most authentic way possible. The Online Actor also boasts acting training and coaching that is affordable and accessible. Actors are invited to see for themselves by attending a free mini-workshop and observing a class for free.

As its basis, Acting Skillset Training puts the most practical artistic and technical requirements of the screen actor at the forefront. It looks at all the realities of screen acting, distills them down into required and critical skills that great screen actors need to possess, then takes an exercise-based approach to developing those skills so they can be seamlessly used by actors in performance. Spaces are elements in our approach to acting that are fluid, like gradients. They're malleable and evolving concepts that form the basis of our unique screen acting approach. Acting Skillset Training dives deep into dozens of concepts and sub-concepts (see below), however, actors are ultimately treated like artist-atheltes -- they can benefit from knowing theory, but in some cases, raw talent may actually be held back by too much theory -- so, a huge emphasis is placed on playing rather than conceptualizing.

It's important to note that this approach is not derived from traditional acting methods, but rather distilled from the years of on-set experience of head coach Vas Saranga. The actor's skillset is developed in an extraordinary number of different ways to allow them to simply and beautifully harness their authentic selves in performance, viscerally rather than cerebrally. As the approach helps develop an actors skillset, it leaves room for other forms of acting training to complement the development of those skills, rather than counteract it. Many actors that are trained in traditional methods can greatly benefit from this unique approach to the craft, as it can harness their previous training, and take their skills to the next level in terms of useability and practicality as a working screen actor.

Spaces explored:
-energy space
-physicality space
-expression space
-character space
-story space
-emotion space
-behavior space
-being space
-attention space
-want space
-tone space
-comprehension space
-interpretation space
-playful space
-pain space
-humor space
-cerebral / visceral space
-dialogue space
-direction space
-camera space
-blocking space
-relationship space
-conflict space
-perception space
-technique space
-tension space
-breathing space

Sub-spaces and other concepts:

-acting muscle memory (impulses, instincts, intuition)
-observation, listening, feeling, awareness
-dramatic improvisation (not "improv" comedy)
-scene comprehension (understanding)
-scene interpretation (not analysis)
-scene exploration (active discovery)
-concepts of emotion: awareness, intelligence, accessibility, sensitivity, control, complexity, resistance, resonance
-spatial shifts, transitions, weight, vibrato, mask
-inner dialogue & inner monologue
-sending thoughts
-heirarchy of human needs
-naturalism, authenticity, and organic performance
-modes & levels within spaces
-energy modes (kinetic, potential)
-substitution (active vs passive)
-visualization and imagination work (active vs passive)
-conflict modes (external vs internal)
-musicality in dialogue
-dialogue as lyrics, not sheet music
-creative collaboration (making "offers")
-body language
-style vs substance
-risk taking and what it actually means
-on-set communicating with directors, actors, and other creatives
-14 types of direction and how to approach taking each type
-spontaneity: playing moment-to-moment
-pre-occupation and introspection
-focus and concentration
-eyes up vs mind's eye
-owning the moment
-shape of a scene
-playing extremes
-rage and aggression
-everything / nothing theory
-thinking, feeling, doing
-stillness and movement
-eyelines and camera awareness
-scale of maturity (child to adult)
-shooting multiple takes (different, same/different, same/same)
-the realities of screen acting
-the requirements of a screen actor
-conscious and subconscious behavior
-scripted repeating
-escalation and de-escalation (upshift and downshift)
-concepts of character: history, ghost, fear, need, misbelief, point of view, arc
-the G.U.T.S. approach to simplifying how to play a scene
-auditioning with F.R.E.E.D.O.M.
-understanding dramatic story structure for actors using S.C.E.N.E.S.

Our approach introduces a great number of concepts and theory, while still allowing actors to completely play on instinct. Actors learn that most compelling performances they see can contain many elements outlined above, however actors don't necessarily need to be aware of any of the above concepts to actually convey them in performance. Many times they are simply present due to the performance being a reflection of human behavior and life. Acting Skillset Training helps identify these behavioral characteristics, distills them into concepts and exercises, and then trains actors to be able to convey them through their own instrument with minimal preparation, in environments that are relfective of the realities of auditioning and working on set.

The Style

In our classes, actors are not huddled in front of their computers reading scripts off the screen, like many classes that have temporarily adapted to an online format. Scenes are framed, blocked, and shot cinematically, empowering actors to create their own work after developing a deeper understanding of the filmmaking process.

Film and television actress on set looking into camera. Monitor showing her image, film crew present.
Film and television set. Screen actor stands on backdrop with umbrella lights and softbox lights. Large crane holding camera above him. Monitor shows his image.

Among many other concepts, you'll learn foundational acting skills, audition/self-taping technique, scene study, and other parts of the actor's skillset that translate directly to film sets. Our unique training style combines scene study with practical on-set movement and camera awareness, challenging actors to evolve their creativity and communication skills with crew members on-set. Actors learn to achieve the most organic performance possible given various technical constraints they may be faced with.

A tripod and cell phone mount setup is encouraged (but not required until our Intermediate levels) as we work with movement in the frame, using props, hitting marks, shot and frame sizes, and lighting. You'll get to play with wardrobe choices, size of performance, stillness, scene interpretation, and even more concepts that are extremely relevant for screen acting.

A film camera on film set. Setting up frame for a scene.

Our Classes and Programs

For Adults (ages 18+), we have an Acting On-Camera | Beginners Workshop, a 4-hour session for newer actors to learn the fundamentals of film/tv acting, and get lots of time working on scenes with other actors.

You'll progress through the five categories of our Acting On-Camera training program, beginning with the Foundations and Core levels. Then onto moderate Essentials levels, and moving through Intermediate, Advanced classes, which are a hybrid of On-Camera Technique, Scene Study, and Audition Technique. Each has multiple levels with 4 classes per level. Each class costs 1 credit. Advanced is intended as ongoing training for the actor looking to continually evolve their craft.

For Teens (Ages 14-18), we have Acting On-Camera for Teens! In these fully online 3-4 hour classes, teen actors at all levels will be challenged appropriately from beginner concepts to advanced level techniques, depending on their past training and experience.

The Progression of Training

There's a clear progression through these categories and levels, where you'll take on more complex material across numerous genres while finding what is uniquely you as the actor. You'll discover what is memorable and compelling on-camera that you can bring forward to help casting learn who you are and solidify your talent as someone to watch.


Acting On-Camera | Foundations introduces our organic approach and practical technique for Film & TV acting. The actor will begin working with some of our basic concepts, unique to our studio, being challenged with a variety of exercises.


Acting On-Camera | Core continues our organic approach and practical technique for Film & TV acting. The actor will begin working with some of our 25+ concepts and learn more exercises and theory.


Acting On-Camera | Essentials continues the actors training with more challenging exercises, memorization, characters, and scene partners.


Acting On-Camera | Intermediate challenges the actor to a greater degree, using longer scenes and more complex exercises. Actors in Intermediate levels will work with scene partners in the Intermediate and Advanced levels in a hybrid of On-Camera Technique, Scene Study, and Audition Technique.


Acting On-Camera | Advanced introduces a greater focus on emotional depth, as well as blocking and movement. Actors are given extensive dialogue to memorize (including monologues) as part of their exploratory on-camera work, and are challenged to evolve their communication skills and creativity through exercises that mimic an on-set experience.


Acting On-Camera | Mastery focuses on going deeper into understanding story and scenes as well as strengthening actor weaknesses. You'll work on going to those difficult places and staying there, and mining the most from your unique personality and experience to create the most truthful acting on-camera. Actors are paired together and work much more directly with ongoing partners in this category.

Why Choose Us?

Thinking about joining our classes? Here are some of the reasons our students choose us:

Try before you buy! Adults (ages 18+) can observe one of our classes for free.

Online classes mean you can learn from anywhere and connect with a global community of actors.

Our unique organic approach to screen acting (we work with 50+ concepts) gives you access to practical knowledge you can use to book the room, and constantly evolve your craft.

Our expert coaches are also working actors, so they know what it's like to be auditioning in the industry today.

Small class sizes (typically 4-7 actors) guarantee individualized instruction.

There are no "semesters" or "terms," meaning actors can jump into our ongoing classes at any time.

Flexibility with rescheduling and purchase options. Our class credit system allows you to purchase as many or as few classes at a time as you'd like.

Access to our exclusive community and private Facebook group providing industry advice, support for auditions, and more.

Discounts on our Private Coaching options.

Ongoing class discussion of industry-related topics including headshots, demo reels, agents, and more.

We also have a comprehensive free guide on how to start an acting career and become and actor with no experience.

Film set. Director of photography behind the camera setting up the shot.
Home studio. The O.A. Training Studio empowers students to create their own work after learning more about the filmmaking process in class. Home setup for a short film with a couch, umbrella lights, a softbox light.
Film fet with the director's chair and monitor in the foreground. In the shot, actors working on blocking with the director. Film crew members around.

Ready to Join The O.A.?