Frequently Asked Questions

Can I only do some of the classes?

We encourage you to embrace the entire program as it is designed. We want to expose you to all aspects of the industry and give you the experience of what it Is to live in LA as an artist. Which can be harder than the actual acting or performance. Students must complete at least 80% of the program to benefit.

Places in our courses are limited and preference will always be given to those completing the program in its entirety.     If you are only in town for a limited time, we can arrange for you to participate for a limited time providing there is room within the course. We can offer 10 or 20 class passes only. 

If you are an LA local and would like to be put on the wait list for certain classes or teachers, we will be in touch in the event that there is illness or cancelations within the program.

Can I audition and work while in the programs?

Yes absolutely! You are encouraged to network with up and coming filmmakers or choreographers and participate in as many projects as you wish! 

Actors in "LA Experience"  program are often represented by reputable agents and engage the services of our teachers to work on their auditions and self tapes. AAFTA can be a fantastic resource for actors to get active in the industry!

Please note that unless your VISA allows, all B1/B2 students may only be involved in unpaid projects. AAFTA respects the immigration laws and subsequently can not endorse paid work unless the appropriate VISA has been issued. Any student eligible to work will have no restrictions. Projects must also not conflict with completion of the program.

Will I be guaranteed representation?

No! Don't be fooled by smooth talkers promising you the world and preying on your dreams! Representation will come with the artist is ready for it and the right representation presents itself.

What we can guarantee is that you will be exposed to some of the top agents and managers in the US. You will learn about them, their careers, how to approach them and they will get to know you and your work. Many students have gained meetings as a result of this exposure, and some have been subsequently offered representation. Each journey is different and artists need to find the representation that is right for them. 

AAFTA provides skills to make it happen for yourself, with or without representation. We offer you the opportunity to get a foot in the door, the rest is up to you!

When should I arrive and leave?

You're not required in LA until your orientation day (start date as listed) however please take into account jet lag, and the time it takes for you to set up in your accommodation and feel comfortable in a new town. Some individuals may be ok to fly in on the day, others might need a day or two prior to settle in. If sharing accommodation you may also need to discuss when the start date is and work in conjunction with that and you're roommates.

The programs can be intense and there is a lot of work involved. If you need to get some party out of your system beforehand, consider coming a week earlier to have some fun before you start! There is also always opportunities to party after the completion of your program!

We encourage all students to remain in LA a minimum of one week after the program concludes. In many cases artits have follow up meetings or opportunities and the cost of rearranging flights and accommodation can be expensive. Especially at the end of the trip. Plus you want to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. In addition its always nice to have some R&R after a hardworking and productive 3 months.

How much should I budget and what are the extra expenses?

Accomodation and transport is the biggest expence, so we encourge you to team up with classmates before you leave in order to get access to group deals on accomodation or even share a hire car. Expect to pay USD $700-$1500 / month for accomodation, and from around USD$800 per month for a hire car. There can be great deals around, so do your research. AAFTA has information booklets for you to download too.

If you are cooking your own food, budget roughly USD $50/week for groceries, and leave a little extra for socialising, you'll want to go out!

There are fantastic and iconic experieces you may want to participate in while you're here, such as Universal Studios, Warner Bros Studio Tours, Disneyland, Magic Castle (if you can score an invite!) and many more. Budget around an extra $500 for tourist activities.

You are encouraged to get headshots taken by American photographers, as the are vastly different in style to Australian headshots. These can cost anywhere from USD $200 to $750+ but are well worth it if you want to compete on the international stage. You may also want to allocate around USD $500 for any reels or portfolio material.

I've never acted before, is the "LA Experience" program for me?

Actors of all levels are welcome to apply. If the school director believes you to be mature and of a certain level of natural ability, you may be admitted into the program with no experience. Essentially the industry in LA is very different from other countries and the program is designed to advance beginners to professionals.

If you are admitted into the program and are fresh to acting, you are encouraged to enrol in acting classes and start auditioning/filming student and independent projects before you arrive, so that you can get the most out of working with experienced actors and teachers who work with professional actors. Focus on honing your craft for the American market and remember that this is a different industry. Don't come with pre existing expectations that you are "ready" for LA or you need to be "ready" for LA as with or without experience each individuals journey is a lottery. You can not predict its future. 

This is especially applicable for our Summer Teen Program. We encourage all young actors to apply. Please note that our Winter Advanced Teens is only for teens that are recommended by Agents or who have completed our Teen Program previously.

More Frequently Asked Questions

What VISA do I need? Why do I need a VISA?

B1/B2 is the minimum VISA required, which allows you to study for up to 6 months at a time. You'll experience tight security through customs, so you will be provided with an official AAFTA acceptance letter to show customs officers, proving you are here to study. Click here for VISA information.

AAFTA will also accept students on J1, E3, O1 or Greencard. AAFTA does not sponsor these other VISAS in any way.

ESTA VISA's can be applicable for short term courses only. Short Term is anything 6 weeks and under.

Where should I stay?

AAFTA has a number of recommended areas for your stay, along with a number of accommodation partners. You can download our accommodation guide on this website. AAFTA advises students to stay close to our studio partners, this will save money on transport costs and are also affordable and safe.

Should you wish to seek your own accommodation outside of our partners we advise you to look in the following areas Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood, Studio City, Burbank, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, West Hollywood and Hollywood Hills.

When do class schedules get released?

Due to the fact that AAFTA has working professionals in the Industry - schedules for classes can only be released a minimum of 1 month before commencement. AAFTA is proud to have the level of staff we do and for our students learning to adapt to impromptu schedules or schedule changes in LA is all apart of the business.

Please note for "LA Experience" classes normally run Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays. "Teen LA Experience" runs Wednesdays, Monday & Thursday evenings and Saturdays. These may vary.

What’s the best form of transportation to and from class?

There are a number of ways to get around LA. AAFTA endeavours to hold classes in a location close to our accommodation providers however transport is required to attend classes. Students are 100% responsible for this cost. Actors are advised to look into any/all of the following methods of transport. 

  • Rental Cars are the best and most economical way to get around LA. Visit for great deals.
  • Uber (very popular and safe option that requires the user to download an app and must be paid for with a credit/debit card.)
  • Public transport is also available (AAFTA recommends using safe travel practises as pubic transport can sometimes be unsafe in LA pending areas. Please refer to our student safety guide for more details)

* Please ensure you have a credit card applicable to use over in USA. Otherwise we advise setting up UBER/LYFT prior to departure.

Can I meet reps?

AAFTA has strict policies about our showcases. AAFTA's Showcases are exclusive to students enrolled in our programs only. 

We pride ourselves on training our artist to be as "Industry" ready for LA as possible. All our representation partners respect the work we do at AAFTA because of these policies. We never present anyone that isn't ready. Students spend a long time preparing the material and we believe that it's only fair that they should have the best opportunities at the end of their programs.

AAFTA will be looking to establish a local showcase for any international actors already living in LA and unrepresented at least once per year. Please contact our admin if you wish to apply.

How do I apply?



• Please submit a US Self Tape Audition (No more than 2 mins in US Accent)
• Please accompany with Headshot, Resume, Pro-Reel and/or agent referral
• Attach Application & Course Dates

Please send to

"Dance LA Experience"

Auditions to be held for 2020 across Australia in January 2020

Please email us to register for the audition. On the day we will ask you to bring with you headshot & resumes.

Applications will need to be completed prior to the auditions.

"On Broadway Experience"

Auditions to be held for 2021 across Australia in January 2021

Please email us to register for the audition. On the day we will ask you to bring with you headshot & resumes.

Applications will need to be completed prior to the auditions.

Note: Performers will need to Sing, Dance and Act.