As you can well imagine, there are scores of acting teachers and schools in Hollywood. For a newcomer, it’s a daunting task to try to determine which ones to consider studying with. The list that we are going to provide below is just the tip of the iceberg, but it is comprised of some of the best-known teachers, coaches and schools in town.
It’s up to you to figure out which ones will provide you with the type of class that you need most, but if you are coming from a strong stage background, or have just finished studying somewhere that doesn’t offer on-camera training, we urge you to seek out at least some classes that are geared to film and television acting. How do you find out? You ask!
Most, though not all, classes allow you to audit, so by all means take advantage of that if it’s offered. In fact, we kinda feel that it’s a mistake to just jump into any ol’ class without knowing if you’d even like the teacher. After all, unlike high school or even college, no one is forcing you to study with someone you detest, or whose methods are off-putting to your own acting instincts (which, of course, are not always correct…ahem!). And these classes cost money, which is all the more reason to look before you leap. So, again – ask!
NOTE: A little lesson WE learned recently – If you have to leave a message in order to actually speak to a teacher, DO NOT say you’re wondering if you may audit. You’re asking for a freebie and chances are you may not receive a return call for that. Wait until you’re speaking to a real, live human before you bring up the audit request.
First, the “private” teachers/coaches, for film/TV/etc.:
|DEKE ANDERSON||(310) 722-8303|
|GARY AUSTIN (“GROUNDLINGS” FOUNDER)||(800) DOG-TOES|
|SHARON CHATTEN||(213) 486-4229|
|MICHELLE DANNER & LARRY MOSS||(310) 392-0815|
|JEANIE HACKETT||(818) 763-5933|
|JOEY PAUL JENSEN||www.joeypaul.com|
|ANITA JESSE||(323) 876-2870|
|RICHARD LAWSON||(310) 855-1556, EX. 30|
|KEN LERNER||(818) 753-7444|
|BRIAN REESE||(323) 874-5593|
|LEO ROSSI & STEPHEN SNYDER||(323) 465-4241|
|CAMERON THOR||(818) 760-9426|
|CRAIG WALLACE||(323) 960-7852|
|DOUG WARHIT||(310) 479-5647|
|CARYN WEST||(818) 693-4625, (323) 876-0394|
|HARRIET GREENSPAN||(818) 266-6698, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Commercial classes:TERRY BERLAND||www.terryberlandcasting.com|
|STUART ROBINSON(310)558-4961VICKIE GOGGIN(818) 784-6500FRANCENE SELKIRK(818) 901-8606
BLANCA VALDEZ (SPANISH)
|A few acting schools:|
|BEVERLY HILLS PLAYHOUSE||www.bhplayhouse.com|
|AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DRAMATIC ARTS||www.aada.org|
|*LEE STRASBERG INSTITUTE||www.strasberg.com|
|*THEATRE OF ARTS||www.acthollywood.com|
|STELLA ADLER CONSERVATORY||www.stellaadler-la.com|
|ACTORS CERTIFIED TRAINING (A.C.T.)||www.actorscertifiedtraining.com|
|*Also has a special program for international students|
|THE SANFORD MEISNER STUDIO||www.thesanfordmeisnerstudio.com|
A COUPLE OF VOCAL (SINGING) COACHES:
COREEN SHEEHAN (323) 270-7254 www.coreensheehan.com
PER BRISTOW www.BristowVoiceMethod.com
Now, it’s up to you to contact the teachers or schools and ask as many pertinent questions as you may have. Don’t let the ones with snotty-sounding receptionists throw you off. Remind yourself (and maybe them, if they’re too obnoxious) that you are the paying customer here and as such are entitled to some polite behavior on their part. You won’t always get it, of course. This is, after all, real life as it exists in Hollywood, like it or lump it.
One other point: We urge everyone to sooner rather than later take some improv classes, in addition to all other types of acting classes. Even if you aren’t the funny type, you must learn to think on your feet and nowadays, most casting people expect to see improv training on all actors’ resumes. There are a number of excellent improv schools and classes in Hollywood; once you establish yourself here, you can easily locate them, since virtually all of your new actor friends (you know – the ones you will so happily be acquiring from your acting classes…!) will already know about them! Just (here we go again) ASK!