The actor model is a novel approach to writing concurrent software. It is based on the concept of small computational units communicating through asynchronous message passing, thus allowing concurrency and scalability while negating a lot of the problems of concurrent programming. Though the actor model got some adoption with the Erlang language and the Akka framework, it remained a rather niche approach and has not become a commonly used practice. But this may be changing now with the introduction of “Virtual Actors” - a new abstraction for writing distributed applications. This abstraction was introduced with the Orleans framework by Microsoft and adopted to Java by EA with their Orbit framework. This talk will include a short introduction to the actor model. We will then explore the Virtual Actors model, how it’s different from the classic model, and why it makes distributed application programming a lot simpler.