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!
First, the “private” teachers/coaches:
DEKE ANDERSON (310) 722-8303
GARY AUSTIN (“GROUNDLINGS” FOUNDER) (800) DOG-TOES
TERRY BERLAND www.terryberlandcasting.com
CRAIG CAMPOBASSO www.craigcampobasso.com
SHARON CHATTEN (213) 486-4229
MICHELLE DANNER & LARRY MOSS (310) 392-0815
HOWARD FINE www.howardfine.com
MARGIE HABER www.margiehaber.com
JEANIE HACKETT (818) 763-5933
JOHN HOMA www.johnhoma.com
GARY IMHOFF (323) 938-3772
JOEY PAUL JENSEN www.joeypaul.com
ANITA JESSE (323) 876-2870
KARI KURTO email@example.com
RICHARD LAWSON (310) 855-1556, EX. 30
KEN LERNER (818) 753-7444
HOLLY POWELL www.hollypowellstudios.com
BRIAN REESE (323) 874-5593
LEO ROSSI & STEPHEN SNYDER (323) 465-4241
SCOTT SEDITA www.scottseditaacting.com
CAMERON THOR (818) 760-9426
CRAIG WALLACE (323) 960-7852
DEE WALLACE-STONE (818) 635-2149
DOUG WARHIT (310) 479-5647
CARYN WEST (818) 693-4625, (323) 876-0394
A few acting schools:
BEVERLY HILLS PLAYHOUSE http://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 COMPREHENSIVE TRAINING www.actorscomprehensivetraining.com
*Also has a special program for international students
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: Unless you only want to become a standup comic, even sketch/improv people need to study…acting. The reverse is also true and we urge everyone to sooner rather than later take some improv classes, too. 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!