When I returned to Albuquerque in 2009, I realized I had a responsibility to our film community to share the knowledge I had gained while in Los Angeles for 14 years. In order to be respectful of our other local acting teachers, I researched them and what they were teaching. I made sure to have integrity for their work and to come up with my own ideas, curriculum and class format — something fresh and new that could only come from within me and from my experience.
Combining all of my education, training and work, I created the Albuquerque Actors' Studio.
My goal was and is to train actors, within the entire realm of working in film and television — from the audition, to callback to filming on set.
Also, because knowing the business of acting is just as imperative as learning the art of acting, I introduced the idea of bringing our local casting directors, agents and professional directors into class to work with our actors. For five years, this has proven to be a highly-successful collaboration for all involved. Actors get to meet and learn from top industry professionals, and industry professionals get to meet and work with local actors!
As a working actor, I continue to grow and learn, which allows what I teach to grow and evolve. I will always give you my best.
Ultimately, my hope is that you will leave the Albuquerque Actors' Studio with well-rounded skills and multi-dimensional training, and, most importantly, that you walk away with a deep respect for acting and a true belief in yourself.
Lora Cunningham was born in Albuquerque and raised in its South Valley. She appears opposite Denzel Washington and Mila Kunis during two pivotal scenes in the Hughes’ Brothers’ post-apocalyptic thriller, THE BOOK OF ELI. She has also been recently cast in PASSION PLAY, LET THEM SHINE, LEMONADE MOUTH, BLESS ME ULTIMA, BARE, CENTS and SICARIO.
Recent television highlights include performing opposite Toni Collette in Steven Spielberg’s, THE UNITED STATES OF TARA, in addition to appearances on IN PLAIN SIGHT, LONGMIRE, FROM DUSK 'TILL DAWN, GRAVES and recurring roles on THE MESSENGERS, T@GGED and MIDNIGHT, TX.
Well-respected by fellow alumni from Hollywood’s prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Cunningham currently teaches courses on Film Acting and Audition Technique on the the lot of Albuquerque Studios- the top independent production facility for feature film and television in the United States.
Ever exploring and expanding her own creative ambitions, Lora has most recently established Cunningham Productions, LLC., under which she is currently producing and directing television commercials. In addition, she owns Soldancer Productions, LLC., which houses the production of a television show she wrote. With these projects, her goal is to provide hundreds of jobs to local New Mexico cast and crew for several years.
Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, American Advertising Federation
Honors & Awards
- 2014 ADDY AWARD American Advertising Award for ARCA TV Campaign
- 2014 ALBUQUERQUE 30 Award for ARCA "Holiday" TV spot
- 2013 BARRY E. WALLACE AWARD for Outstanding Service to New Mexico Film
- 2012 ADDY AWARD American Advertising Award for THAT'S MY JOB TV Campaign
- 2010 LUMINARIA AWARD for Those Who Light the Path in the New Mexico Film Industry
- 2017-current: Directors Guild of America
- 1999-current: SAG-AFTRA
- 2013-current: American Advertising Federation of New Mexico Board of Directors
- 2010-2012: New Mexico Women in Film Board of Directors
View Lora's film and television credits on the IMDb.