Clifton Samuels offers insights that have helped him as he has worked with the Cohen brothers, on NBC’s The Blacklist, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and on Broadway.


You’d be surprised what working with kids teaches an actor.

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Clifton Samuels has been working hard as an actor in New York City. Coming from a theater background and building credits in musical theater on Broadway tours and on Broadway in Follies and Amazing Grace.  As with most actors, Clifton wanted to expand his credits to TV and Film work, and although Broadway gives you a lot of respect it can sometimes be hard to get casting to really take you seriously when you walk into an on camera casting session.

This is what Clifton and I explored in episode 71. He has taken the bumps and bruises from learning the differences between theater energy and on camera energy and the fine tuning he’s perfected and now shares that with other actors as a coach. Clifton says that while there are some true differences in the mediums, it’s more about the actor focusing their energy in the right way and getting used to the particular process of casting for theater, Film or TV.  

Additionally, one of the most useful experiences he has had as a teacher has been his work with kids. Clifton has found that kids come at the acting and even the audition process with such pure energy really there to have fun with the work and leave it at that. Taking that lesson with you into the sometimes grueling hustle of the audition process can leave you with far less stress and actually turn out better work. That’s the working actors challenge is finding the pure joy of the work and leaving all the other B.S. out of it.

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