Congratulations on ten years to everyone at The Factory!
A forward by Chicago casting director Sarah Clark
With all the love in my heart, happy anniversary to everyone at The Factory! I am so proud of you all!
Let me start by saying that Chris Freihofer didn't want to let Darryl and I do any of this for The Factory because - for some reason - he doesn't want the recognition he deserves. It's a good thing I'm not great at following instructions because, with so many people's help, we received amazing feedback and we have to share it. Darryl did most the work, so if you're mad, blame him, Chris.
I took my first class at The Factory in 2009. When it wrapped I begged Chris to let me take out the trash and scrub the toilet in exchange for classes. He said no...until I badgered him for weeks until he caved. I'm so happy I did because it led me to the career I have now. Scrubbing toilets led to a casting internship, being a casting assistant, and eventually, a casting associate all because Freihofer took pity on the pint-sized weirdo who wanted to take out the trash. Now, as a Chicago casting director, a proud member of the Casting Society of America (thanks to him), and running my own on-camera studio, I can say that none of this would have happened without The Factory.
I managed and taught at The Factory for over three years where I watched actors come in, take classes, and get better and better. Freihofer will never grasp how much this studio has done for me and hundreds of other actors. The Factory isn't easy to run, especially getting so much content conent, but Chris kept pushing and continued to do amazing work for the Oklahoma film industry. From the safe space - seriously, you have no idea how bad some acting studios are - to the INCREDIBLE teachers that fill the classrooms, The Factory is the best possible place anyone could train - in any market.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma actors are very lucky to have The Factory. Here's to ten more years, more work, and a better acting base for Oklahoma.
Love the former toilet scrubber,
Sarah Clark, CSA
PS. Below, we asked people to tell us why The Factory was important to them and if they had any birthday wishes. Your students really showed up. Buckle up, Chris.
Hello, and welcome to The Actor Factory, a training center for actors all ages, from beginners to advanced.
I started The Factory in 2008 with a simple mission: provide quality training from industry professionals, shaping actors for the camera.
I believe the successful on-camera actor is a four-legged animal, possessing skills and training not only in acting, but also in auditioning, on-camera acting technique and improvisation. So The Actor Factory offers regular classes to hone the muscles in those four legs, led by professionals with expertise in their field of focus.
I take great pride in assembling a staff of qualified instructors that are the top of their field. They bring a wealth of knowledge as well as the rare gift of teaching to the classroom. Our regular staff of instructors have credits in over 200 feature films and network television series, hundreds and hundreds of stage plays and commercials, and much more. They are the pros and I am lucky to have them teaching within our walls.
The Factory also offers guest lectures and weekend workshops led by industry professionals from all major markets: highly respected agents, casting directors, managers and actors from Los Angeles, New York and more.
The goal is to build, refine and support actors of all ages working to appear in front of the camera.
Take a look at what we offer and you’ll see why The Factory is unique. There simply just isn’t anything else like it in Oklahoma or surrounding areas.
Every instructor at The Factory works professionally in their field; they act in, cast actors for and provide voice behind film, television, commercials and radio. For a living. Each instructor has been asked to share their expertise, their experiences, their tricks of the trade in a mentorship capacity within the walls of The Factory. Class size is small, instruction is hands-on and personal. Actors are hand-crafted.
Roll up your sleeves and clock in. It’s time to go to work at The Actor Factory.
Director & Founder
Founder & Director
aka "The Foreman"
Curious about the company name? Want to find out about discounts?
Find out Factory rules, payment information, and what happens if you dare to text in class.
A Letter From The Foreman
An April 8, 2016 article in The Hollywood Reporter exposed the sometimes questionable business practices of certain Casting Director Workshops in Los Angeles, exposing some to be merely 'pay-for-play" opportunities. In L.A., a "CD workshop" is when a casting director of a TV series or one with several film credits comes to an acting studio and lend their knowledge, insight and expertise about the audition experience. They then see actors perform prepared scenes and hopefully offer constructive feedback, provide coaching, and help develop the actor's technique. They usually happen on one night for 3 hours or so.
Some of these workshops, however, are taught by CDs that have no ability or gift for teaching. They are there just for the check. They also have a closed-door policy and will only consider actors for their casting projects if those actors have taken their workshop. 20-25, maybe as many as 30 actors, perform for this CD in a two-to-three-hour session. They might get an evaluation form scribbled with some notes, but there is little to no valuable takeaway other than just meeting that CD and showing them what you can do and hope they call you in in the future.
There are guidelines set forth by the Casting Society of America in how a workshop can be taught and what can and cannot be done. There are also laws in Los Angeles governing these workshops, making sure actors are not charged a fee to audition.
On Friday, April 15, The Casting Society of America released a statement, informing the industry of a committee formed to investigate and regulate CD workshops in Los Angeles. This press release in its entirely is included below:
Los Angeles, CA (April 15, 2016) - The Casting Society of America today announced several appointments to its Board of Directors and its Workshop Committee. The announcements were made by Richard Hicks, President of the Casting Society of America.
The newly elected members of the CSA Board of Directors are Danielle Aufiero, Leah Daniels-Butler, Amanda Lenker Doyle (associate), Whitney Horton (associate), Sara Isaacson and Marci Liroff.
The continuing members of the Board, who are at the midpoint of their two-year terms, are Kerry Barden, Russell Boast (newly appointed Vice President), Richard Hicks (President), Ivy Isenberg, Matthew Lessall (newly appointed Co-President), Charley Medigovich (associate), Rich Mento (newly appointed Secretary), Claire Simon, Mark Simon (Treasurer), Kim Marie Swanson and Bernard Telsey (New York Vice President).
The continuing members of the CSA’s New York Chapter Board include James Calleri (Treasurer), David Caparelliotis, Jessica Daniels, Joy Dewing, Rachel Hoffman, Rosalie Joseph, Stephanie Klapper, Cesar Rocha (associate), Tara Rubin, and Susanne Scheel (associate).
The CSA Board also established a Workshop Committee. The Workshop Committee members are Amanda Lenker Doyle, Richard Hicks, Matthew Lessall, Marci Liroff and Kim Marie Swanson.
The CSA Workshop Committee will seek to preserve and enhance the educational value of casting workshops taught by CSA Casting Directors and Associates in various forums. The Committee will also foster increased awareness and understanding among CSA members of the Casting Workshop Guidelines created in collaboration with Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.
“CSA Casting Directors and Associates are among the industry’s foremost authorities on the alchemic aspects of casting and acting. It’s an expertise which they generously share in various educational settings. This newly established Workshop Committee intends to ensure that all CSA members fully understand and abide by the Casting Workshop Guidelines wherever they happen to teach,” said Hicks. “We have begun to explore the creation of new, officially-sanctioned CSA programs to broaden access to casting education, while upholding the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.”
About the CSA
The Casting Society of America (CSA) was founded in February of 1982 with the intention of establishing a recognized standard of professionalism in the casting field and providing its members with a support organization to further their goals and protect their common interests. CSA currently boasts more than 700 members. CSA Casting Directors and Associates work around the world, with members based in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Africa. The CSA is a global resource for producers, directors and creative teams seeking casting professionals, while promoting the image of casting directors and associates worldwide, engaging in a number of charitable activities, and supporting its members by sharing important and helpful professional information. For more information on the Casting Society of America, please visit CastingSociety.com.
Like any industry, connections are vital. But paying a certain sum should also come with value.
If you have taken a day-long or weekend training session with one of the industry guests brought to The Actor Factory from Los Angeles or New York, you already know those guests all have a desire to help actors grow. They have the gift of teaching. They have a passion for mentorship. They hope to coach. They have insight into the casting room or on set or in the agenting business and they have a devotion of sharing that information just as someone shared with them when they were coming up. You might notice in that press statement one of those CSA board members, and a member serving on the new Workshop committee, is Marci Liroff, who will be visiting The Actor Factory next month.
Though the Los Angeles laws do not apply in Oklahoma, I like to treat The Factory as an extension of the industry, and adhere to those guidelines even that aren't applicable. As a proud member of the CSA, all training I perform at The Factory falls under the CSA guidelines. If anyone has taken my audition class, you know it's a lot more than just watching people perform and moving on.
It's also widely known that local actors do not have to take my class in order to be seen or considered for projects I am hired to cast. Freihofer Casting, a separate entity from The Actor Factory, brings in many people that have not received Actor Factory training, and even holds a giant open call once a year.
As mentioned above, the word "workshop" in L.A. means something different than what has been defined as a workshop in Oklahoma. But to save confusion from the industry at large, I have decided to disassociate with the word "workshop" in all future Actor Factory communication. A quick look at our website will reflect that. Because what we offer at The Factory are not "CD Workshops", as offered in L.A. From now on, all guest training that span a day or a weekend will be known as an "intensive." Because that's what they are: concentrated, serious, information-packed training from qualified and experienced industry professionals with the gift of teaching.
We value our guests that leave their homes and travel to far-off Oklahoma to share their experiences and offer their coaching. And we value our students looking to get to the next level with their craft.
These intensives offer our students the opportunity to get insight and real-world coaching they would never otherwise experience so far removed from "out there".
They also begin to see these professionals as people, which hopefully make future auditions or meetings a little bit easier.