Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Are You Doing YOUR Part? How To Be A Better Asset

Actors you dream of being on television and in the movies. How fantastic! Now you need to train and become the best actor you can be. You also need to take acting classes that help you get auditions. Any training won't do. You should have the best. So Los Angeles actors, I am going to make choosing your acting classes very easy for you. Below is a list of the 10 Best Acting Schools in Los Angeles from Backstage Magazine. And Pittsburgh Actors and Models, im going to list your best options as well.  If you want Casting Directors to take you seriously, you need to have many of these on your resume.

    There are many things in this business that are out of your control. Whether you get called in for an audition, whether you land the part, if a series gets picked up, or cancelled. But the training you get and put on your resume is 100% within your control. A resume filled with school plays do not give Casting Directors the confidence that you have been trained well and know what you are doing. If they recognize the teacher, they can infer what kind of training you likely got. Their confidence in the teachers can bring you in the door. They need to have that confidence in order to call you in for an audition, especially if they don't know you. If you are new, only your training or demo can convince them to take a chance on you and bring you, an unknown, into an audition room with them. So choose your classes wisely and don't think you can get ahead in this business without major training classes and credits.

    Also actors with college degrees in Theater, I am sorry to tell you this, but the training you received in your college theater program is not going to be enough. Casting Directors want to see professional training, not just scholastic. So get right back into class, even if you have just graduated. And out of state Actors, again, your training in Georgia, or Colorado will show you have been consistent in your desire to act. But, it will not show you have had LA based training, which LA Casting Directors want to see if they are auditioning you for LA based films and TV shows.

    As an actor & model, your training should never stop.  There is always something to learn and something new to pick up that you haven't perfected.  Times change and with that, standards for auditions change as old Casting Directors retire and new, younger Casting Directors step into the primary roles.  There is a reason there are many different Casting Directors who are used by specific Production Companies.  Its because each one, has a different way of working, a different method of casting and a different vision.  

    1. NAILED IT!; with Alan Lee. Every month I offer a workshop called, “Nailed It" for brand new actors & models which will help you begin to understand the business and start to develop a plan of action for your success. In these classes I cover everything from the business side, to how to audition properly, runway walking, taking a good headshot and more. Often i'll bring in some of my top industry friends to teach as well.  You will learn so much information in this workshop from top people in the business who are all committed to your success! I have been acting and modeling since i was young, and I have been coaching actors & models for years, and I know new talent need a mentor and professional guidance, so if you are new to this business I highly recommend this workshop. It will give you the "inside" information you need and it will put you miles ahead of the hundreds of other newcomers that arrive in L.A. every year. Having cast major motion pictures, runway events and more, i know exactly what the Casting Directors and other agents are looking for.  At the end of this 3-hour seminar with us you will have a game plan for success. The cost is $179 and it's worth every penny. Visit my website and sign up today for the next workshop. email exelmanagement@gmail.com for more info. 805-2-GET-FAR

Additional training classes I recommend are:

    1. Acting For Film and Theatre; with Jill Wadsworth. An ideal class for beginning students or actors with no formal training. Over a 16-week period, you will work on two contrasting monologues from established playwrights and screenwriters.  Donna Belajac Casting 109 Market Street, 2nd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-488-CAST

    2. Acting for the Camera Adult Workshop; with Jillian O’Neil. This two day, intensive adult acting workshop is structured for scene study, in depth character creation, and fine tuning your craft in front of the camera. Blackbird Studios 3583 Butler Street Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (412) 621-1160

    I suggest when you get started with classes in LA you take 4 classes, one from each of the following groups.

Choose One! Commercial Class with: Judy Kain, Terry Berland or Carolyn Barry, Hey I Saw Your Commercial.
Choose One! Scene Study Class with: Larry Moss, Leslie Kahn, or Margie Haber
Choose One! Improv Class at: Groundlings, IO West or UCB
Choose One! Audition Technique Class with: Doug Warhit, Brian Reise or Scott Sedita.

You must take 1 of each. It will help casting directors see that you are well trained because they TRUST who you studied with. It will also help YOU get great training, so you can become more competitive and book more jobs!

Below other classes. I agree with every recommendation on this list and additional recommendations of my own for you.

Best Cold Reading School: Margie Haber is the Los Angeles authority on cold reading and on camera audition technique. Her book, "How to Get The Part Without Falling Apart" is one of the best books ever written on the subject, and Haber was also the winner of the 2009 Backstage West reader's choice award for best audition workshop. If you are interested in studying with Haber, she hosts a free new student orientation from 1:30 to 2:30 PM every Monday at 971 N. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069, or call 310-854-0870.

2. Best Commercial Acting School: Carolyne Barry's workshops are highly recommended by agents and casting directors, and "Backstage West" magazine awarded her the honor of best commercial workshop in 2009. Barry offers three levels of her commercial training classes. Her acting school also offers classes in various other subjects. She is also author of the comprehensive acting career guide "Hit The Ground Running." Carolyne Barry Creative may be contacted at carolyne@carolynebarry.com or by calling (323) 654-2212.

3. Best Private Coach: Judy Kerr is author of the acclaimed actor's bible, "Acting is Everything". Herself an accomplished actress, Kerr was also the dialogue coach for NBC's longtime hit, "Seinfeld." She offers one-on-one audition coaching and career coaching. Kerr may be reached through her website at www.judykerr.com.

4. Best Improvisation School: The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, usually referred to as UCB, began in New York, co-founded by SNL alum Amy Poehler. UCB was awarded "Best Improv" by Los Angeles Magazine and offers a wide variety of classes in the difficult craft of Improvisation. The company members perform nearly every evening. 5919 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028. (323) 908-8702

5. Best Youth Acting School: Gary Spatz of The Playground has been working with children and young adult performers for over 20 years. His former clients include Keri Russell, Hilary Duff and Academy Award Nominee, Maggie Gyllenhaal. Spatz not only gives young actors the tools they need to succeed, he also helps their parents understand the industry. 1801 Ave of the Stars, Suite 611, 6th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067.

6. Best Acting School with On-Camera Coaching: Doug Warhit has been coaching actors for over twenty years, and his method is geared almost exclusively for on-camera performance. All classes are videotaped, and Warhit covers a wide range of subjects including commercials, cold reading, and auditioning. Each month he holds an industry showcase for his students. 8899 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90048. (310) 479-5647

7. Best Acting School Offering Daily Classes: The Acting Corps offers a four week, intensive, hands-on acting program where students attend classes daily. The program includes two days of technique, two days of cold reading and scene study, and one day a week dedicated to voice and movement work. 5508 Cahuenga Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601.

8. Best Acting School to Study Technique: Howard Fine was named best acting teacher in Los Angeles by Backstage West in 2006, and he has been teaching his technique-based acting classes for over 25 years. Every student begins Fine's program with a foundation course and then may be invited to study in his ongoing classes. 1445 N. Las Palmas Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90028

9. Best Acting School With Multi-Subject Classes; Kimberly Jentzen. The "Jentzen Technique" teaches students to develop complex and dynamic characters and shows actors how to deliver consistently strong auditions. In her ongoing classes she also teaches cold reading, improvisation, and scene study. She has been voted Best Acting Coach by Backstage West magazine multiple times. Contact at info@kimberlyjentzen.com. (818) 779-7770

10. Best Acting School with Multi-Subject Classes; Scott Sedita. Bestselling author of the actor's career book, "Making it in Hollywood," and the internationally acclaimed comedy book, "The Eight Characters of Comedy," Sedita offers private coaching as well as classes in professional audition technique, comedy and drama. He has been voted Favorite Acting Teacher and Favorite Audition Class by the readers of Backstage West Magazine. 526 North Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90004-1300. (323) 465-6152

    I spend a lot of time getting my clients to study with the best. As a Talent Manager I only make money when my clients book so I need my clients to have a resume that is going to make Casting Directors take notice. Not only do I know that studying with the best will make them better actors, I also know that it will give them opportunities to work they may not otherwise get. When I take on a client I look at their resume and if I don't see that they are studying with the best I won't send them to agents I know until they have taken at least 2 or 3 of the classes I recommend.