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How College Actors Thrive in Kimball Studio's Zoom On-Camera Acting Classes

Many college students come to Kimball Studio seeking on-camera acting training to supplement their mostly theatrical experience in school. We've written about the difference between screen acting versus stage acting in a previous blogpost here - but today, we wanted to talk more about how college students can balance Kimball classes with their school workload - and the benefits that can come from doing so.


To shed light on this, we spoke with Cristal Bella, a college student from Florida currently studying in LA and enrolled in Kimball Studio's online film and TV acting classes. Read our conversation below to learn more & get inspired by Cristal's journey!

Actress Cristal Bella who studies in Kimball Studio's online classes
  • Q: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Could you tell our readers a bit about yourself and your journey into the world of acting?

  • Cristal: I did competitive dance my whole life and then when I was 11, my mom put me in improv classes. So I've been kind of acting since 11. But I'm from Miami and academics were very important to me and my family. So it wasn't until during COVID that everything opened up, online acting-wise and I decided to like, really start taking acting classes and pursue acting in and out of college. And then about a year after I moved to LA, I found Kimball.


  • Q: What prompted you to enroll in Kimball Studio's Zoom classes?

  • Cristal: Well, I found management pretty quickly once I moved to LA because I did a pretty intense outreach by myself. My managers were submitting me and I was getting a lot of requests, but I kept getting my audition sent back by my managers. They were like, “can you please like focus on eyeline?” and other things like that. A lot was off with my tapes. I realized I had done a lot of theatrical or scene study work but I had no idea how to do on-camera. So my manager sent me this email and they're like, “we really want you to take on camera acting classes” and Kimball Studio was on their list of places they loved. So I audited a class with Janine Ditullio and within fifteen minutes I was like…OH. I get it. And that’s how I landed here!


  • Q: How has Kimball Studio's Zoom classes enhanced your acting journey and/or complemented your college education?

  • Cristal: In so many ways. I mean I’ve done a lot of theatre training, and I love it. I think theatre is like the foundation for acting. But then Kimball just teaches you how to take all that training you have in theatre and put it on film. And it’s hard at first. But after about a year, it gets easier. And now when I’m still in theatre classes, in my head I’m like, oh, if this was a closeup on-camera, I’d be so much smaller and more still. But right now I’m on stage, this is my “wide shot”, so I can be so much bigger. Also - a cool thing is that Kimball is so much more than just the classes. The Kimball Studio “Slack” [our online hub for homework and resources] has everything. For real. Like it makes it so easy and you've given like literally every tool to be successful and to bridge the gap between being a student and working as an actor. The workshop videos. The community support. The homework. The daily acting exercises. I do mine every day, and I think that’s the answer.


  • Q: Can you share a specific moment or lesson from your Zoom classes that has had a significant impact on your growth as an actor?

  • Cristal: Oh my God - There's so many moments. It's like every class Janine says something that blows my mind. Let’s see— I’m thinking back to the first thing Janine ever said to me in my first scene. She asked, “how do you show your environment with just your eyes?” I remember she had me like, put my chin down, my eyes up, breathe. And I was like, oh - of course! It’s such a simple way where you can tell so much story on-camera, by using your eyes to fill in for the camera your whole environment.


  • Q: Finally, what would you say to college actors who are considering joining other acting classes while in college? How do you balance taking classes at Kimball Studio in addition to your schoolwork?

  • Cristal: This might be a bit brutal, but I think my general advice is: priorities. If you wanna prioritize learning on-camera, you will make the time. I have a pretty intense university schedule, but learning on-camera acting is a priority for me. Therefore Kimball is a priority for me. Like on Friday nights, I prep for class. If you’re not yet sure that this is a priority for you — I get it. But if you want a manager, or an agent, or you wanna start booking - this studio is what gets you there. And you guys make it easy too. I can mange it with my university work because you’re so flexible. The fact that I can makeup any classes I miss with no penalty — that helps out a lot. And I mean, like, I still get the “panic” that so many actors feel about career and how to get this opportunities. But I think what relaxes me the most is just taking my consistent classes every Tuesday. It relaxes me because I know I’m getting better, I know I’m moving the needle forward…and it’s just good and fun to be in this awesome community of supportive actors.



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