Tips From NIC Acting Alumni Mike Li

TIP #1: Get involved in the crew

“It’s always difficult to fill every crew position in film, especially when lacking a budget. Those who show up and prove themselves to be helpful and competent at the less glamorous and sometimes thankless jobs can make a really awesome impression, and forge lasting connections. And in a city that’s filled to the brim with actors, working in the crew is one really positive way to make oneself stand out. I myself have gotten more indie acting opportunities from people who knew me as being dependable to work with, rather than through auditioning. People like to work with people they like. And when someone likes you already it is much easier to ask if they can keep you in mind for a future acting role.” At NIC, we give our students the opportunity to learn how to fill crew roles on set. Not only does it expand the actor’s understanding of their own role on set, it is a great way to forge new connections in the industry!

TIP #2: Make your own work

“I’m always looking for the next opportunities to act, or if I can’t then I like being helpful on sets. I’m currently acting in a web series called “Henchpeople”. Besides this, I’m always writing the next ideas to try to get me and my friends stuff to act in, between auditions. At all levels, in this funny business where mostly we have no control over our fates, it seems to always come back to making your own opportunities.” We teach our actors to make their own work, and to take control of their careers. Mike embodies this value.


When asked what he loves most about his job, Mike said “I love the acting, entertaining people. In my mind there’s not that much difference between performing a dramatic scene in a million-dollar green screen warehouse and making my closest friends laugh in a packed car on a road trip. It’s getting paid to capture that feeling that I love.”

Congratulations Mike! #OurGraduatesWork

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