FAQs

Curriculum

  • In what order should the SMFA Essentials be consumed?

    Most folks start wherever they’re most inspired, blocked, or excited to begin. If I were creating sequential curriculum based on SMFA Essentials, I’d follow roughly the outline of Self-Management for Actors itself. A mindset item, followed by a type one, then any of the tools modules. After that, I’d get going on targeting, and I’d do a casting-related targeting module before a representation-related one. Next, I’d get into the upper-level issues of dealing with meetings, publicity, red carpets, and pilot season. Of course, another mindset module would be great at that point (if not peppered throughout these others). You can use the TAGS at the sidebar of the store to find which SMFA Essentials module fits into each category. But, please, know there’s no “wrong” answer, here. Starting where you’re most jazzed (or most frustrated) is totally fine!

     

  • Is it too late to get in on the ongoing mentorship of SMFA Tune-Ups: All-Access?

    No way! We’re always up and running and you can dive in anytime! Our monthly SMFA Tune-Ups: All-Access calls take place on the 11th of each month and your bonus one-on-one session takes place each January, April, July, and October in conjunction with the free quarterly SMFA Tune-Up calls, and your membership renews annually. Your annual membership fee never increases as long as you stay enrolled.

  • What is the exact course structure for the online programs?

    SMFA Tune-Ups All-Access involves live participation on our monthly calls and then the MP3 from those calls are yours to keep. We also record the quarterly Tune-Up call *and* your quarterly private session and provide that MP3 for you as well. Both Six Weeks To LA and the SMFA Online programs include handy curriculum calendars upon enrollment, so you can map out, plan for, and stay on top of all vid launches and personal homework benchmarks. We treat most of our programs like grad school. We don’t take attendance, we don’t expect you to TURN IN your homework, we don’t come after you if you’re not participating on the calls or in the forums. We assume you wouldn’t commit the investment of money or time if you didn’t plan to stay engaged and on top of your own journey with the material and with your classmates and instructors.

  • I don’t want to learn about branding, targeting, content creation, and pitching. Can you just do all that for me? Like, give me my very own target list of best-fit agents, for example?

    You betcha! With our private coaching option, you can receive a customized package of sessions based on your precise goals and your best use of the resources we’ll make available to you. Of course, it’s sort of like working with a personal trainer at the gym. Coaching services are intended to be about teaching you proper form for exercises that are GOOD FOR YOU to learn how to do! But, yes, if you’re the type who prefers a customized gameplan without learning the WHY behind it and without learning how to maintain any of it after our session is over, that’s something we can do through a very specialized private coaching package.

     

  • Why do I have to apply for private coaching?

    Ooh, our application for private coaching is for both of us! For you, the questions should help you distill your goals and gain clarity on what you’ve tried thus far and what you’re hoping to get out of your SMFA coaching sessions. For me, it provides a starting point on creating a map from where you currently are and where you’d like to be, next. As soon as your application arrives, I clock in! I get to work on getting to know you and on coming up with a plan for the best use of our time together. So, please, ENJOY the application process! It’s the start of our coaching relationship! Yay!

  • I don’t live in Los Angeles. Is Skype an effective means of private coaching?

    Absolutely! It really is the next best thing to being in the room with me. We’ve got the face-to-face experience going on, and I can consult my computer for all sorts of resources as we go, just like I would during an in-person session. Think about how much of a lifesaver Skype is when you’re out of town for long stretches of time but still want to talk with your loved ones. It’s a totally effective means of getting the communication flowing!

Purchasing

  • How many times can I access the downloadable products I’ve bought?

    For SMFA Essentials modules, individual SMFA Tune-Up Calls, the SMFA Top 20, and the Self-Management for Actors audiobook, your downloads are limited to just a couple — because once you have it, you have it! We wanna give you the chance to get it more than once, but not enough to pass it around to your whole circle of friends, of course! If you attempted a download on your phone or other gadget, OOPS! Some of our products are delivered via ZIP file, and those don’t play nice outside of the physical computer environment. If you’ve accessed a download link and cannot find the product on your machine, take a look at your browser’s download history and click through to the product from that list. If you still can’t find the goods, please reach out with a text to Keith at 323.397.7576. For our long-form curriculum-based offerings, access terms vary program to program, but we are always super clear with course calendars and communication during ongoing programs about your end-date for access to any course materials.

  • What if my PayPal address is different from the address to which I want my curriculum emails delivered?

    Since the PayPal address with which you check out at the time of purchasing your goodies here at Shop SMFA is where some auto-responders will start heading, you’ll need to log in at that email account, fish out one of the emails from us, and then forward that to us, including which email address you’d prefer that we use when sending you SMFA communications. If there’s any snag whatsoever with this, please reach out with a text to Keith at 323.397.7576.

  • I bought an interactive product or service and all I got was an email about some AB 1319 thing. Where’s my product?

    Ah, well, yes. There’s this fancy California law (see Qs about Legalese, below) and we’re 100% in compliance with it. That means we cannot provide Talent Counseling Services without your e-signature for the AB 1319 contract we presented you upon registration. The faster you complete the form for e-signature as instructed in that email, the faster the goodies you bought get into your possession!

  • How do I cancel my recurring payment for SMFA Guided Masterminding or SMFA Tune-Ups: All-Access?

    • Log in to your PayPal account.
    • Click Profile near the top of the page.
    • Click My money.
    • Click Update in the My preapproved payments section.
    • Click Cancel or Cancel automatic billing and follow the instructions.

Tech Support

  • What are the minimum tech requirements for engaging in online classes?

    A computer with high-speed Internet access, a web browser, and a PDF reader of some sort. If you’re on a handheld gadget like an iPhone or an iPad, you’ll need a web browser like Puffin to be able to view our embedded vids. For any of our group phone calls, you can connect using a landline phone, a cell phone, Skype, or your web browser. For group masterminding via Skype, you’ll need to use a physical computer (not an iPad or smartphone with Skype app) in order to participate in group Skype action. For our downloadable products, any MP3 player (like iTunes) works for our audio files, and a PDF reader will get you set with our workbooks. We have handy tutorials for most tech issues right here *and* inside our SMFA Talkback site, here. If you are not yet a member of our SMFA Talkback forums, start here.

  • How do I deal with tech support issues beyond those tutorials?

    For most of our programs, your welcome kit covers most topics: forum use, login issues, teleconferencing, posting talkback vids, downloading materials, etc. If at any time you need us to walk you through any of it, please text Keith at 323.397.7576 and we’ll get you all set up! If you’re not yet enrolled in a course and you’re bumping into some sort of technical issue here at the store, you too can reach out via text at 323.397.7576 for a walk-through. Thanks!

  • Emails from Shop SMFA aren’t getting to me. What do I do?

    Email FixAh. Sometimes, your email provider is a dick. Please reference EMAIL FIX for some tips on how to be sure our correspondence ends up in the right place! ???? Also, please white-list our addresses (here’s a tutorial on that), because sometimes just clicking “not spam” is not enough.

  • How do I watch course vids from a gadget?

    f you’re on a handheld gadget like an iPhone or an iPad, you’ll need a web browser like Puffin to be able to view our embedded vids. Puffin is available on the iPhone/iPad App Store and on Google Play for Android devices.

  • How do I view unread posts at the Talkback Forum?

    Here’s a slightly rambling video on the use of a couple of “Message Management” tools that are sitting right under your nose. The people who use them, love them…

    Oh, and to make things even easier, bookmark this link: http://smfa4.com/talkback/search.php?search_id=unreadposts and all you’ll have to do is click the bookmark.

  • How do I participate at the Talkback forum on a gadget?

    If you’ve got a modern smartphone (iPhone, Droid, Galaxy… whatever) that has a web browser component, you can view and post to the Talkbacks from it.

    However, we’ve had some issues with people being required to log in every single time they try to access the site. If you have this problem, we know the cause. It’s that you have your phone’s internet browsing configuration set to not accept cookies. Our board uses a persistent cookie to keep you logged in. If want to be able to stay logged in, set your phone’s browser to always accept cookies, and you’ll be fine. If you have a specific phone you’re having trouble with, reach out to Keith.

  • How do I upload images to my Talkback Forum post?

  • How do I upload a video to my Talkback Forum post?


    Let’s say you’ve got your YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ. You need to cut out everything that is on the left of the “=” sign, which would leave you with dQw4w9WgXcQ. That’s the part you put in the Talkback shortcode: [talkback]dQw4w9WgXcQ[/talkback]

    Please be sure your video is uploaded as unlisted (not private) in order for the embed to work!

General

  • What’s your policy on in-class audits?

    Auditing is now allowed.

    Some folks want to audit. They want to “try before they buy.” I totally get that. Good news! With all the Bon-freebies out there on the Internet, just a link (or a Google) away? You know what you’re going to get, in working with Bonnie Gillespie. The vids you see out there? That’s the style of the vids you’ll see in our various vid-based programs. Very simple. Straightforward. Lo-fi. The way I talk in the free podcasts that are out there? Exactly what you can expect in the phone calls and audio downloads. Yes, I’ll create analogies. I’ll say y’all. I’ll make up words. I’ll drop the F-bomb from time to time; it’s all on-brand for me. And the recommended reading, the group and personal advice? It’s gonna be folksy and real and all about getting you to your next tier, faster. I’ve spent my whole life in this business and demystifying it is a passion. I’m very “what you see is what you get” and you can decide whether my style lines up with your career goals right now. ???? Due to all the goodness out there, already, for free, in-class auditing is not necessary.

  • Career investment isn’t lining up for me right now. How can I still access all the ninja badassery that is SMFA?

    My archived columns and blog posts remain free and searchable. My work from 2004 to present is all out there, now. My 1999 – 2003 weekly columns are in the process of being restored online, so hold tight to go way, way back in the wayback machine! There’s a free podcast on iTunes that’s yours for the taking. Just do a simple Google of *ANY* acting question plus “Bonnie Gillespie” and you will uncover loads of free resources out there! We’re currently putting together a super cool media library to organize all the various podcasts, webcasts, tele-seminars, vid interviews, and print interviews in which I’ve been involved over the years. Of course, if you’re on the mailing list at http://bonniegillespie.com, you’re going to get updates about even more freebies and bits of goodness. We’ll be sure to let you know when the media library goes live, too!

  • Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve got all that. But I need some help, personally, with my career. Can I just email you a quick question? Or take you out to coffee to pick your brain?

    If you’re willing to ask that question in public, I’d love to consider using your question in future content I create, so that actors all over the world can benefit from the discourse. But due to the volume of email I receive and out of respect for my active coaching clients — who are paying for my time and who have entered into a contract under California law AB 1319 — I simply cannot engage in “inbox coaching” or meet up for coffee so you can “pick my brain” (I don’t drink coffee… nor am I zombie food). ???? Of course, if you’re in LA, you can meet us for Thirsty Third Thursday, buy me a cocktail, and ask a question there! If you’re SMFA Alumni, please consider posting your question at our alumni message board, so that I can drop in and answer there, and we can continue to build a database of information for the future leaders of Hollywood to access forever. We also have a Facebook group you’re more than welcome to join. And don’t forget we have an amazing, free, quarterly phone call during which you can engage about the SMFA principles just by signing up here.

  • How do you define SMFA Alumni, for the purposes of gaining access to higher-tier offerings and the alumni-only message board including its exclusive Ninja Show Bible?

    • Enrolling in a long-form SMFA seminar online, in person in LA, or in person outside of LA.
    • On-going private coaching
    • Ongoing mastermind group

    Membership at the alumni message board is maintained through active participation and may be revoked at any time for any reason without notice.

  • When is the next edition of Self-Management for Actors coming out?

    The fourth edition hit the world in 2014 and there are free downloads of SMFA Hot Sheets available at our Talkback forums. Please gain access by starting here. (And if you’re having any issues with the Talkback forum, check this post for an overview.) As for a fifth edition of Self-Management for Actors? Erm… let’s chat next year about when that might get on the schedule.

  • When is the next free SMFA Tune-Up call?

    These quarterly bits of badassery are amazing! Please check our schedule and sign up to join us for our next call here.

  • When will the next [FILL IN THE BLANK] class be offered?

    As soon as we know the dates for any of our online or in-person offerings (in LA or on tour), we update the product page here at Shop SMFA, so keep poking around! Of course, the BEST way to learn about dates for all offerings is to get on the Bonnie Gillespie mailing list and check the boxes for additional information on all areas of interest (online, LA, on tour, quarterly calls). If you have any requests for specific dates for any of our offerings or if you’d like to pull together a group for a dedicated SMFA program just for you, please let us know! We’ll do what we can to accommodate you.

  • What do people dig most about getting down with Self-Management for Actors at a level beyond the freebies and what’s available in the book?

    The words that come up the most often when you ask a ninja actor what life’s like after their SMFA experience include: focused, empowered, inspired to take action, in love with my career again, and ready to conquer the next tier. If you wanna go all the way down the rabbit-hole for more detailed juiciness, just check out these glowing reviews from some truly talented and absolutely gorgeous human beings from all over the world! *blush*

  • Why is Self-Management for Actors so dang filled with ninja badassery?

    The focus is all about what YOU control. That’s why it’s SELF-Management for Actors. There is no template. There is no blueprint. There is no *one* way to navigate from one tier to the next in a creative career. The focus with SMFA — no matter what product or service you’ve chosen — is on where you are, where you’re headed, and what it is about YOU and the buyers YOU have targeted that creates an opportunity for intersection, and then how to make that happen organically so that the people who most need to know you exist can become fans of your work, since YOU are the creative solution to a storytelling problem they have. Your success is how my dreams are realized. It is an honor to work with so many future leaders of this glorious industry, helping bring clarity to an often confusing and emotionally draining creative journey.

  • Your work has changed my life. How can I ever repay you?

    Thank me when you’re holding up something gold and shiny. If you want to do something nice for me sooner than that, write a review for any of my books over at Amazon.com. Shoot a vid testimonial for me to include on my PRAISE page. More than anything, I’d like to ask that you help others too. As you learn more about the entertainment industry, become a mentor to a newbie. Answer an email from an aspiring actor who stumbled across your website and asked for advice. When SAG-AFTRA Foundation asks you to appear on a panel when you’re a name actor, say yes. Donate a copy of my books to the drama department at your old school or local library so an aspiring actor can stumble upon it and get a great start. Donate a case of my books to the freshman drama class at your alma mater. Share your toys openly and encourage others to do the same.

    We’re creating the Hollywood we WANT to be a part of, wherever we live, every day. Enjoy your part in that process, always choose to be excited about your journey as an artist, and have FUN; don’t suck.

Legal Stuff

  • Why do I have to do paperwork in order to work with you?

    So, the State of California (the state in which we are based) has a fancy law governing those whose work falls under the category of Talent Counseling Services. Hey, that’s us! ???? In order for you to receive advice about your delicious creative career under AB 1319, we require an e-signature for the contract to which you received access at the time you enrolled. If you’d like to read about all your rights under AB 1319, download any of our AB 1319 contracts, or renew your term of coverage, please visit http://cricketfeet.com/ab1319.html and poke around. If you wanna read about the evolution of this law and the history of the CD workshop issue in Los Angeles, here‘s some light (not light, it’s loooooong — but incredibly illuminating) reading for you, with follow-up and Q&A as well.

    Know your rights. Be informed. Insist upon doing business with professionals who respect your rights and the law that protects the artists we’re all here to serve. No bullshit. It’s easy to follow this law. It’s embarrassing how few professionals do.

  • What are the Terms and Conditions under which I am bound by visiting Shop SMFA?

    We’ve got ’em all spelled out, right here: http://shop.selfmanagementforactors.com/tos. Yay!