This year's listing of Acting Schools and Coaches is markedly different from our last one (printed in September, 2001) in one important respect: While coaches and schools come and go all the time, three of the greatest have left the classroom for good since last year's list.

We dedicate this issue to the memory of Tracy Roberts (1914-2002), Byrne Piven (1929-2002), and Avery Schreiber (1935-2002).

The angels are no doubt enjoying a few theatre games and becoming better actors as we speak.


The following schools offer two-year acting programs. Many offer other shorter programs in a variety of plans and performing-related areas.


Founded by the late Group Theatre giant, the Stella Adler Academy continues to offer a two-year program, as well as individual classes. The two-year program runs in eight sessions and includes classes on acting technique, movement, voice, dance, commercial skills, stage combat, improvisation, audition technique, dialect, scene study, comedy, script analysis, Chekhov, Shakespeare, theatre to film, directors workshop, accent reduction, and theatre styles, culminating with a play production. Also included are ongoing professional seminars with industry guests. The academy, under the direction of Irene Gilbert, also boasts two Equity 99-Seat Plan professional stages. 6773 Hollywood Blvd., 2nd Fl., Hollywood. (323) 465-4446.


The oldest acting school in the English-speaking world, the Academy was founded in 1884 on the East Coast to train actors in the basics of their craft, and the West Coast branch (founded in 1974) continues the tradition with its two-year conservatory program, culminating in an associate of arts degree in acting. Among the many areas covered in the conservatory program are instruction in acting, voice and speech, movement, theatre history and styles, fencing, makeup, musical theatre, and Shakespeare. There's also an on-camera class in the second year to teach actors to apply what they've learned to the demands of filmed media. Around 20 students are accepted into a third-year company, which produces plays. There is no auditing, and an audition is required. A six-week summer school for ages 14 and older is also offered. (323) 464-2777 or (800) 222-2867.


The revered, Bay Area-based American Conservatory Theater offers a number of distinct training programs under the direction of Melissa Smith, including its advanced training program, A.C.T.'s full-time graduate acting program, which offers a master of fine arts degree upon completion of the third year. (415) 439-2350. A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory for ages eight to 18, under the direction of Craig Slaight, offers classes in acting, musical theatre, voice, speech, audition, improv, movement, and more, taught by working theatre professionals. The New Plays Program commissions one new play each year from established playwrights, who are in residence during production. Students at the Young Conservatory are also the exclusive source for all young actors in A.C.T.'s annual production of A Christmas Carol. Class fees range from $315 to $545 per session. Financial aid is available to qualifying students. (415) 439-2444. Studio A.C.T. is the company's part-time and weekend acting program, recently expanded under the directorship of Bruce Williams, designed to provide affordable and convenient classes for beginning through professional-level students. Most classes are $300 for a 10-week session and are limited to 14 students. (415) 834-3286. Finally, the summer training congress is a nine-week session of intensive, full-time professional actor training for high school graduates 19 and older with some prior acting training and experience. Attracting more than 100 students from all over the world. (415) 439-2350. A.C.T. is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


This studio, which opened in 1992, offers a rigorous and comprehensive training program in acting, voice, movement, and performance. This is a two-year conservatory program culminating with an industry showcase at the Court Theatre directed by Laura Henry. There is also a very popular eight-week audition-technique class that runs throughout the year. The core faculty consists of Laura Henry (acting; 17 years experience), Elena Mcgee (designated Linklater teacher), Carolynne Dale Levine and Julia Caulder (Alexander teachers), Nan Friedman (choreographer; movement workshop), Jaimi Blakely (breath workshop), and Steven Hack (business marketing workshop). Guest teachers include Ben Furey and Mary Irwin (dialect intensive workshop), Frank Pisco (directing), and Kathryn Gately (seven-week Meisner). 1307 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405. (310) 399-5744.


Founded in 1987 by the late Sanford Meisner with partner Jimmy Carville, the Meisner-Carville School is headed by Martin Barter, who originally studied with Meisner at Bequia, then assisted Meisner for 14 years, at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse and on the West Coast. The technique is taught in a two-year program; students must be invited back for the second year. Four-week summer intensives are also offered, as well as graduate-level scene-study classes. Barter described his master's approach as a "reality-based technique—based on the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." The school now also offers classes in movement and screenwriting, the latter taught by James Schmere, an instructor in the professional program of screenwriting at UCLA's School of Theatre, Film, and Television. All levels are welcome, and acceptance is by interview. Auditing is not allowed. 5124 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hollywood. (818) 509-9651.


John Ruskin was Sanford Meisner's apprentice, first studying with the master at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City, continuing with him in Bequia, West Indies, then teaching with him at the Neighborhood Playhouse and privately during the 1980s. The Ruskin School is the West Coast representative of the Neighborhood Playhouse, and all teachers were trained directly by Meisner. Ruskin, who opened his school in Santa Monica in 1987, offers a two-year course of study in Meisner's technique, as well as a Master class for those who have completed the two-year program either at Ruskin's school or at the Neighborhood Playhouse. The school also teaches the technique to young adults, ages 13-18, and offers classes in Alexander Technique, voice, movement, and commedia dell' arte. The school offers six-week introductory to Meisner courses throughout the year. Currently Anthony Hopkins is teaching the Master class and working with the students on Chekhov, Shakespeare, and Pinter, as well as other contemporary plays. The school's theatre company, the Parnassus Group Theatre, offers ongoing performances and an outreach program for children's hospitals, retirement homes, and prisons. Admission to the school is by personal interview. (310) 390-4212, fax (310) 455-3821.


The longest-running acting school in Los Angeles (est. 1927), Theatre of Arts offers a complete professional actor training program for film, TV, and stage. Now a part of Campus Hollywood, TOA has joined the Musicians Institute. Classes include cold reading, audition technique, scene study, commercial audition, stage combat, voiceover, Shakespeare, comedy improv, and improvisation. Electives include dance, singing, and standup comedy. Enrollment is limited. Facilities include an 80-seat theatre, a studio theatre, a dance studio, and access to professional television broadcast studios. The academy also offers showcase opportunities throughout the year (including stage productions, showcases, guest speakers, singing recitals, and television production). 1621 N. McCadden Pl., Hollywood. (323) 463-2500.


The following individuals or companies specialize in one-on-one acting coaching. Private coaching is also available from the majority of those listed in the "Acting Schools and Classes" category. Coaches in other specialties, like musical theatre or voiceover or young performers, are listed in those categories.


Emmy-nominated character actress Applegate offers ongoing individual performance coaching to actors, singers, and business professionals. Applegate coaches her students on audition techniques, cold readings, character creation, scene study, and how to "audition and perform with power." Her monthly rate is $100. (323) 655-5167.


Linda Berry, who has a marketing management and production company, offers one-on-one training for beginning and intermediate actors, which includes monologue work, on-camera cold reading, and scene study. Actors learn two monologues and perform their scenes three ways. The work focuses on getting actors ready for auditioning, getting auditions, and getting the role. Training sessions are $35 for one and a half to two hours. Berry teaches actors from ages 6 and up. (310) 410-1836.


Carroll, an award-winning actress, offers private coaching to selected students teaching comprehensive acting techniques, based on her lifetime in the craft. Serious, dedicated actors only. (310) 459-1073.


Chaet teaches business for actors through private instruction. He focuses on goal setting and methods for organizing and advancing an acting career. (818) 547-9018.


The lead on TV's The Adventures of Superboy, with appearances on Days of Our Lives and Sunset Beach, Christopher offers coaching for beginning through advanced actors. (310) 477-9934.


Dan Chace, who has an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama and is a former instructor at the Stella Adler Academy, offers a comprehensive, custom-tailored program of private acting instruction for newer actors, with classic material and essential techniques as the basis for a concentrated professional training. He also provides audition and on-camera performance coaching for working actors at all levels, any text, by appointment. Classes are held in Hollywood. (323) 851-4949.


Cuarez has seen the industry through many angles: as an actor, producer, writer, and director. He also worked in network television for nearly five years at Paramount. He currently works as a casting director. He offers classes in cold reading, scene study, on-camera technique, character study, and script analysis breakdown. He also does private coaching. (213) 530-5790 or (818) 974-1452.


Dremann has taught the American Method for more than 10 years and served as an acting coach on the set of the show Walker, Texas Ranger for four years. She directed the independent film Cashing In and has numerous other film, theatre, and TV acting credits. She currently teaches Meisner technique for all levels, specifically incorporating how to apply the technique for auditions and on-set acting jobs. Her emphasis is guiding "students who are new on how to get started in the business" and "those who have been in the business on how to jump-start their careers in the right direction." (818) 752-7189.


A working actor since 1941, Oscar and Emmy nominee Foch offers private consulting and coaching for directors and actors. Foch is a professor at USC and a director of documentaries and MOWs. She charges $200/hour. (310) 553-5805.


Gaines teaches acting and script analysis for actors at Pasadena City College. She trained extensively with Nina Foch, and at New York University's School of the Arts she trained with Lloyd Richards, Olympia Dukakis, and Kristin Linklater. She currently offers private coaching in audition preparation and basic technique. (818) 344-7115.


A casting director for the past 20 years, with credits including features, MOWs, soaps, recently her acting coaching has expanded to encompass the personal as well as the professional lives of her students. By including career issues, relationships, money matters, and health and well-being in her coaching, Greenspan strives to help students create rewarding lives and develop the balance that is important for professional success. Free consultations; terms and arrangements are negotiable. (818) 266-6698.


At Hollywood Actors Studio, each private lesson begins by defining the student's objective, whether it's to quickly prepare for an upcoming audition or for a series of private lessons. Objectives may be to improve cold reading; to be more expressive, interesting, emotional, real, more at ease during auditions, or to develop an acting career plan. Head instructor Charley Smith has taught acting classes, seminars, and private lessons for more than a decade. (323) 465-1214.


Katzap has an M.F.A. from the Actor's Studio and a post-graduate certificate in classical training from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. She coaches adults and children. Her clients have booked roles on The Drew Carey Show, Girlfriends, Yes, Dear, Family Law, and Chicago Hope, as well as in national commercials. According to Katzap, L.A.'s burgeoning theatrical scene has grown increasingly attractive to casting directors, and her students in live theatre have benefited greatly from her theatrical background. In addition, as a multilingual coach, she helps actors to eliminate regional accents when necessary and master some foreign ones as well. Katzap's goal is not only to share the skills, techniques, and insider tips she has acquired over the years but also to instill self-confidence in every actor she coaches, no matter what their level of experience. (323) 860-8735.


Ladki, a former director of casting at MTV and independent at Carsey-Werner, is owner and operator of Audition Tape, Inc. and He offers on-site audition coaching—this is not "audition technique" but rather coaching for specific auditions. Sessions are $45/half hour, and may be taped at no extra charge. (323) 654-8703.


Lehman has been teaching for 23 years and studied under Charles Conrad. His classes are small, with a 12-person maximum. Classes cover cold reading and more. "I'm looking for spontaneity, the unexpected moment," said Lehman. Admission is by interview. (818) 845-1549.


Art Manke, founder and resident director of L.A.'s acclaimed classical theatre company A Noise Within, offers private coaching for the professional stage actor with an emphasis on the classics. An award-winning actor and director, Manke was trained at American Conservatory Theater. Audition preparation, role preparation/textual analysis, and individualized courses of study available on an hourly basis. (323) 667-1231.


Marks works one-on-one with actors to strengthen cold reading skills, sharpen audition technique, develop on-camera presence, and build their self-confidence. She has worked as a coach in both her native London, England, and in Los Angeles for many years. Marks is the L.A. casting contact for Disney's The Lion King and the former creative director of the Actors' Arena. She travels nationwide as a coach and periodically holds workshops in the L.A. area. For many years she held the position of head of talent development at Academy Management, where she coached and guided hundreds of young adults and children to success in film and television. Hour and half-hour sessions are available and appointments need to be made in advance. (818) 416 5966 or (818) 980 7584.


Massimo, also known as Rik Martino, is an acting coach who works in Italian and English. He specializes in improvisation before the camera. Massimo recently starred in the independent film La Mano Nera (The Black Hand). (323) 850-8580.


McGee, an actor/director/teacher for 20 years, offers private coaching for audition preparation and individual instruction. (310) 450-9832.


Having taught for 20 years, Menzies teaches students to "deepen their talent by connecting body, voice, emotion, and imagination to the essential elements in the writing." He offers private coaching in acting, voice, and dialects. He also holds small group classes. An interview is required. (310) 395-6616.


Moss Trenton taught Method acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute for four years. She said she produces "a very creative and supportive environment" for her students and comes from an extensive teaching background both in and out of the arts. Trained by Strasberg, John Lehne, Stella Adler, and Milton Katselas, she teaches Method techniques such as relaxation, sense memory, and scene study. She also imparts what she called a "very practical, objective dialogue on the business aspect of a career in Hollywood," with a focus on the new or beginning actor. Moss Trenton currently coaches privately only. (310) 204-4199.


Mulligan offers one-on-one coaching for TV, film, and theatre auditions. A former instructor at NYC's Riverside Shakespeare Academy and founder of NYC's Impro!, he studied acting with Uta Hagen and improvisation with Keith Johnstone. "My goal in coaching is to distill the scene into a simple, specific action, then give it an emotional punch," said Mulligan, who accepts new and experienced actors. (323) 960-2075.


Oberst, who was an Artios-winning casting director for 12 years, brings to his private coaching a keen sense of what actors need to get the job. He works with actors who want one-on-one scene study or who need to prepare for a specific audition. Said Oberst, "Because of my background as a casting director, I know the mistakes actors make, and I'm able to help an actor find what makes an audition work. So much of an actor's job is getting the role, and I can help make the actor comfortable and confident in the auditioning process." (323) 463-7785.


Jim Otis coaches actors, singers, and dancers privately. An actor for 30 years and a teacher for 15 years, he studied with Wynn Handman in New York. Otis has taught a wide range of talent, from Second City actors to Steppenwolf folk, and offers two courses: a TV/film intensive covering TV/film, commercials, and business strategy, and a monologue intensive covering contemporary and classical pieces for agents, managers, and theatre. He teaches a technique to his students to "put what's unique about themselves into the script." He has flexible scheduling and offers six private sessions for $125. (818) 543-7479.


Golda and Bill David offer private coaching to actors. Golda has taught at UCLA Extension and is also a producer—she was the first female producer to work at Disney Studios—and Bill is an actor, writer, and director. Golda described their one-on-one approach as "like a jumpstart on acting. It's getting right to the nuts and bolts of what makes an actor really effective in getting the job." (310) 826-4467.


Perry is a coach with 20 years of experience and affordable rates. (323) 667-0956.


Formerly head drama coach at MGM and lecturer on acting in London, Paris, and Rome, Provendie now coaches actors in individual scenes and for auditions, sometimes in pairs. Most of her students come from agent referrals, but she also teaches teachers and some beginners. Rate: $60 per hour. (310) 394-5009.


An experienced actor with more than 100 professional credits to his name, Rose has been teaching for more than 10 years using his "Nip it in the bud" philosophy and "Did you get it?" exercise. He uses his acting experiences to help actors win the audition. He currently is teaching privately for $30 an hour. (213) 384-2638.


Ryane, who studied with Uta Hagen for 10 years, offers private coaching—that is, when she's not coaching actors on television shows. DreamWorks, Fox Television, CBS, NBC, and PBS' American Playhouse have all relied on Ryane's expertise. She can help actors, she said, with "anything to do with preparing for auditions, for general meetings, and for technique." Her coaching employs scene work and monologues. (323) 913-0964.


"I am the only actor and I have no peer," claimed this colorfully named instructor. He lists his teachers as Herbert Berghof, Lee Strasberg, Estelle Harman, Ned Manderino—and James Dean. And he stressed to us that he teaches the "kind of acting that wins Academy Awards." His private coaching is $450 a month. johnnyshakes356@hotmail. (213) 479-9611.


Casting director Sikes (L.A. Heat, Road Ends) has taught his ongoing on-camera audition technique/cold reading class for six years now, striving to "help actors make strong, confident audition choices and to pinpoint problem areas to focus on." Classes are sold in four-week increments and are limited to eight students, with industry nights every week. No audition is required; free auditing is allowed. Private coaching is also available. (310) 652-9599.


A working actor and improv comic, Simek has more than 10 years of experience in film and television, along with an extensive improvisational background. He is founder and director of the L.A.-based comedy improv group Slow: Children at Play, as well as a regular performer. Simek offers ongoing improv workshops, as well as private coaching for both dramatic and comedic roles, including character development and audition techniques. and www.slowchildrenimprov .com. (213) 212-9921.


Smith conducts one-on-one private coaching at Tracy Roberts Actors Studio, where she is on staff, covering film and television and specializing in cold reading. A teacher for more than 20 years, she received her M.F.A. in acting from the Yale School of Drama. She served as the acting coach on Star Search and has also taught at various acting schools and universities. Her acting credits are extensive, and she is a member of the Yale Connection. An interview is required for acceptance. (323) 650-0256.


White offers an on-camera sitcom acting workshop, covering sitcom-scene study and auditioning techniques. Her approach, she said, is about "making better choices and finding the rhythm of comedy and the comedian in you." She offers private coaching in sitcom and standard acting. (310) 345-9664.


Having worked at Stella Adler's side for five years in New York City, Waxberg offers private instruction and coaching in an intense collaboration with his students. His classes are based on the final teachings of Stanislavski, stressing imagination. Every session is tailored to the performer's needs, he said. (323) 845-9588.


This, the biggest and most broadly defined listing of all, includes all kinds of class types, sizes, and approaches, from Stanislavski nuts-and-bolts to cold reading and audition prep. What unites them is that while many offer specialized classes, all offer some class or other that could simply go under the heading of "acting." Many also offer private coaching; for a list of those who offer only or primarily private acting coaching, see "Acting Coaching."


This class is for the intermediate and advanced student, designed to liberate the actor's imagination and develop confidence in his or her work. Through script analysis, in-depth scene and character study, improv, and exercises, actors learn to make strong choices, to interpret the script to convey the intentions of the characters, and to play the subtext instead of the dialogue. Class is small, informal, and dynamic. Entrance is determined by application, resume, and available space. Westside location. (310) 823-9973.


This innovative studio "does it every day" by offering a four-week actors' boot camp that includes daily morning actors' workouts, Meisner technique, scene study, improv, creating a character, acting for the camera, cold reading, voice and speech, and commercial audition technique. Classes are taught by experienced working professionals, including Stu Berg, Jan Bina, Eugene Buica, Nicolette Chaffey, Sandi Massie, Stan Roth, David Nathan Schwartz, Jon Smet, Michele Spears, and Rainn Wilson. At the two onsite theatres, actors appear in industry showcases and fully produced plays, and participate in video and film projects. 6425 Hollywood Blvd., 4th Fl. (323) 464-2228.


Multi-award-winning actor/producer/coach, and Blanche in Deaf West's A Streetcar Named Desire, Spoke has begun teaching her own acting class at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre in North Hollywood. She has been coaching privately for five years while also cultivating her own TV and film career, guest starring in more than 75 TV shows. The class is geared toward specific needs of the individual, focusing on character development, expanding one's instrument, and script analysis. Classes run in 10-week sessions, which include working seminars with casting directors, producers, and directors. Preliminary interviews are required; auditing is available. E-mail or (818) 487-1860.


McFadden shares the creative methods, techniques, and "unique life-changing concepts" he has taught for more than 20 years. "My one-on-one process has guided actors, writers, producers, directors, and hundreds of other industry professionals to realize their full potential." A small classroom setting allows individual participation and personalized instruction. $275 for 5 weeks beginning Apr. 8. Limited space available. (310) 712-7002.


The Acting Place, directed by Charlotte Gray for the past four years, has classes and workshops designed for those new to acting or just re-entering after an absence from their craft. The three-session, 16-hour workshop Acting for Non-Actors (and Bashful Beginners), designed to get actors up on their feet and acting in record time, is offered monthly. For those for whom self-consciousness and self-doubt are big obstacles, one student described the workshop as "a real fear buster." Instructors include Stephanie Fybel, Barbara Whinnery, and Debra Watson, and other classes include a six-week actor's technique bootcamp, an ongoing beginning on-camera cold reading audition technique class, and an eight-week performance class, where actors put it all together under the guidance of three coaches for "a real career jumpstart." Career nights with industry professionals are scheduled throughout the year. Professional classes for kids, "tweens," and teens are taught afterschool and on weekends. Private coaching and voice classes are also available. (310) 205-9219.


Ongoing weekly classes and private coaching are offered by Brad Heller, a longtime protege of TV director Don Richardson, who wrote Acting Without Agony: An Alternative to the Method. Heller is also a professor of acting on staff at UCLA. Paul Lauden also offers on-camera workshops. (323) 962-8077.


Lee, in her words, prepares actors to "book work." Her sessions include mock auditions and close-ups, working with current material—features to daytime to primetime to comedy. Classes are limited to 10-20 students, and everybody works every class. Evening classes. $200 per month. (323) 876-1386.


Using his extensive directing, acting, and teaching experience, Peter Henry Schroeder leads an ongoing workshop for actors of all levels. In addition to focusing on relaxation and concentration techniques, Schroeder works with actors on audition monologues, cold readings, and scene projects. The workshop meets twice a week, Monday evenings and Wednesdays. Observation is welcome. The workshop accepts new actors by recommendation or by audition only. Professional industry showcases presented every three months. (310) 226-7000 or (310) 277-2355.


The Actors Academy at Actors Co-op in Hollywood offers eight-week classes in improvisation, scene study, voice, and movement. The academy director is Marianne Savell. (323) 462-8460, ext. 107.


The Actor's Art Theatre offers classes in rehearsal and performance technique and scene-study work with instructor Jolene Adams, who studied with teachers from the Actor's Studio and the Neighborhood Playhouse, and primarily uses Stanislavski and Meisner techniques. Adams said she teaches acting "mostly on a one-to-one basis, in a personalized, step-by-step approach." She also encourages actors to write their own original character material, monologues, and scenes. She also offers a writing out loud workshop, which encourages the actor to explore technique through storytelling, improv, and writing exercises. There is also a directing workshop available for actors and directors. Ongoing technique and scene study classes are $140 per month. Private coaching is $60 a session or four sessions for $200. 6128 Wilshire Blvd., #110, Los Angeles. (323) 969-4953.


"Training is more than a matter of technique," states the website for this acting training facility, run by Michael Scott Butler. "It involves understanding among people and a creative atmosphere that gives an actor the courage to explore his or her depth and range." This Santa Monica-based school says it doesn't "employ any one type of training but discover[s] the best way of working for each individual." (310) 815-9745.


Director Clay Banks offers career counseling and personal coaching, as well as on-camera work, cold reading classes, and film classes that include two-camera, split-screen, and ECU (Extreme Close Up) film work. Banks describes the classes as "a highly refined discipline in the art of relating truthfully. It's a spirit-filled environment with a serious Hollywood edge." Working audits allowed. Clay Banks @ GodWorks Productions. (323) 656-1098.


The Actors Forum Theatre offers an ongoing acting/directing workshop conducted by Audrey Marlyn Singer; interested actors must audition. Workshop members are invited to participate in the theatre's productions. Dues are $25 for the once-a-week workshop for professional actors. There is no auditing. 10655 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hollywood. (818) 506-0600.


Created by Chris Nye, who founded the Atmospheric Party Players in New York, this fun and instructional class concentrates on monologue performance, scene study, and cold reading. Since his graduate work at Emerson College in Boston, Chris has been a dedicated actor for more than 10 years. His partner, Jimmy Boucher, is a former sketch producer of The Martin Short Show and has been actively involved in TV and film production for many years. Together they give their unique insights on the actor's performance. Beginning and advanced classes available, held at the Secret Rose Theater in North Hollywood. (818) 681-3642.


Julie Osburn, an actor with more than 20 years of professional experience, incorporates techniques and exercises gleaned from her mentors, Larry Moss and Uta Hagen. The first half of class uses exercises that help students apply acting technique to their work viscerally, as well as audition skills to get the job. During the second half of the class, students perform assigned exercises, as well as scenes, monologues, and songs. Original work is encouraged. Osburn has recently guest-starred on The Practice and ER. or (310) 989-2803.


"Incorporation of the business of acting with the craft" is how working actor/director J.D. Lewis describes his training approach, which he offers in his ongoing cold reading, scene study, and career guidance classes. He also offers private coaching and is known for coaching many well-known working actors. He teaches beginning, intermediate, and master-class levels, and the price is $175 a month. Acceptance is by interview. Said Gary Dontzig, executive producer, Murphy Brown and Suddenly Susan, "If you get the chance to study at the Actor's Lab, it will change the course of your career." 1514 N. Gardner St., Hollywood. (323) 878-2688.


"Genius is the recovery of childhood at will," said philosopher Baudelaire. Along those lines, coach David Arthur offers two adult classes, one a scene study/monologue/cold reading class and the other an all-exercise workshop dedicated to that recovery, which employs scripted material, improv, singing, dancing, drawing, and theatre games. The scene study class is geared toward film and television work. Interested students may audit the classes. Private coaching is also available. (818) 506-6194.


The Actors Showcase of Huntington Beach offers television and film workshop classes in scene study, cold reading, audition, and on-camera technique for beginning to advanced levels. All instructors are professional working SAG actors, headed by actor/director Valentino Perry and character actor Richard Lynch. Classes teach a combination of Meisner and Strasberg methods. An interview is required and auditing is allowed. Private coaching is available. There are also three major agent showcases per year, and a TV commercial class on Saturday mornings for kids ages 5-11. (714) 969-2278.


Theatre director, actor, and former Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute teacher Carmen Milito challenges actors to "stop 'acting' and start listening to your inner senses" in this vital acting workshop. This scene study and audition workshop covers the following: on-camera work (actors analyze videotaped performances in class and at home); cold reading (actors learn how to make the task of audition work for them); scene study (actors learn the right questions to ask themselves to find the driving force in a scene); sensory exercises (actors use techniques to help bring moment-to-moment truth to a performance). There are also showcase performances in front of invited industry audiences. Enrollment is limited. E-mail: (818) 769-5055.


Under program director Lisa Seagram, a full range of dramatic training is offered for all levels on the CBS Studio Center lot, including Stanislavski-based training and development of "right-brain creativity" and "eye-center focus." Areas covered in the training include cold reading and improvisation taught by Joe Reich, speech and dialects taught by Robert Easton, the fusion technique taught by John Crowther, and career management taught by Seagram. Seagram is looking for more advanced students. Showcases for the industry are frequently held; showcases are filmed and free of charge. Showcases are also sent to film festivals. (818) 655-5977.


Fran Montano, an actor for more than 20 years and a teacher for 15, specializes in "trouble-shooting actors' blocks." To that end, he said, classes are small, "very individualized, and it's very much an intense workout—everyone works every class." His classes, based on Meisner technique, cover exercises, improv, cold reading, and scene study. Montano is also the artistic director of the Actors Workout Studio, where classes regularly mount performances and industry-invited scene nights. His three ongoing weekly workshops divide into beginning and advanced, and he requires an interview and audit. 4735 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hollywood. (818) 766-2171.


Now in its 27th year, this film/television workshop began in Hollywood in the early 1970s before moving to its present Orange County location in 1980. Under the direction of TV/film actor R.J. Adams, classes are ongoing for all levels, conducted in a state-of-the-art television studio, with co-director Rob Adams and actor Brian Krause (Charmed), and are offered in audition techniques, cold reading, and on-camera scene work. The workshop also offers weekly showcases with L.A. casting directors. (949) 855-4444.


Established in 1989 the Actors Workshop Studio in San Diego provides on-camera training in film and television acting and audition techniques. The school offers weekly, ongoing classes based on the Meisner approach. "The class teaches that the seed to the craft of acting is in the reality of doing," said instructor Stephen Walters. "It focuses on the development of an actor's impulses, rather than relying on pre-planned response." Limited to 15 students each, the classes are $225 a month for the first three months, then $140 per month. An interview or audition is required. Auditing is allowed. 5703 Oberlin Dr., Ste. 210, San Diego, CA 92121. (858) 587-6666.


An award-winning director and actress, Adams teaches an intermediate/advanced class on Monday nights and a Wednesday morning beginners class. This intensive instruction focuses on developing the actor's craft. Adams employs diverse techniques that allow actors to trust their instincts and immerse themselves in an authentic expression of their work. Classes cover improvisation, sensory work, camera technique exercises, monologue, and scene study. All classes are taught by Adams herself. Students work in every class. Class size is strictly limited. Private coaching is available. (323) 851-8811.


Established in 1989 this entertainment company and resource center offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for actors, specializing in daytime/primetime television, film, and commercial audition techniques. AIA also continues to provide workshops on screenwriting, directing, and independent production. Workshops are taught by successful entertainment professionals, including writers, directors, producers, and some of L.A.'s most prominent casting directors (such as Linda Phillips-Palo, Mark Paladini, Cathy Henderson, Anya Colloff, and Patrick Pank-hurts). The versatile Jason Alexander teaches a master class, and independent filmmakers' forums have featured Kevin Costner, Billy Bob Thornton, Marshall Herskowitz, Joe Mantegna, Michael Bay, and Kevin Pollak. (818) 563-4142.


A successful New York actor who studied with Sanford Meisner, Alderson began teaching at Meisner's insistence and served as his assistant and associate director at the Neighborhood Playhouse for more than 20 years. Alderson, who came to Los Angeles in 1994 and now offers the Meisner technique in its intended two-year study period, described it as a "technical approach, teaching the actor technical tools so he can organically work out of himself. To act from the inside out is not easy, but once that is learned, it becomes like a religion to the talented actor, and he will not settle for less." Classes meet twice a week, and the price is $225 a month. Classes are limited to 16 students, and everyone works every class. There is also a graduate class, from which students are permitted to audition for shows presented at the theatre. There is auditing. 8213/4 N. Fairfax, West Hollywood. (323) 852-1816.


Alhanti and her associate Iris Klein teach a professional 20-week class that involves exercises and scene work. Alhanti also teaches a poetry class and a master class. Alhanti, who has been teaching for more than 25 years, studied with Sanford Meisner and Phillip Burton, and Klein, who also studied with Meisner, is a working actress who currently works as a coach for television and film. The two also offer private coaching. Students must be recommended. (323) 465-2348 or (213) 612-5224.


The Academy, in existence for 40 years, offers year-round classes in acting, ballet, modern jazz, tap-dancing, improv, cold reading, scene study, observation, pantomime, stage presence, and auditioning. The faculty's seven teachers are professionals in their fields who offer their services without remuneration, as the Academy is a nonprofit organization chartered by the state of California. The Academy also has a children's workshop directed by Dorothy Barrett, which is an all-day weekend session for children ages 8-18. Tuition is $75 per month. 10944 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. (818) 763-4431.


Wendy Davis-Wynne leads this lab, teaching actors to act for film and television and "how to be captivating on-camera." Enrollment is limited. (877) 772-3108.


"I'm committed to developing each actor's individual, unique process experientially as opposed to conceptually," said Anderson. A student of Gordon Hunt, Anderson has been coaching for the past 10 years. His classes do not focus on any specific technique. His biggest concern is that students come with a commitment to the work and to exploring the unknown. His weekly ongoing classes are designed to help students prepare for auditions, shape characters, and work on very specific elements of their craft. Actors write and perform original material. All levels are welcome, though an interview is required. Auditing is not allowed. Prices range from $230 to $250 per month. Anderson also helps organize a yearly eight-day outdoor summer acting retreat for groups of 50 actors or more. (310) 284-8282.


After seven years at the Howard Fine Studio, Michael Arabian now does private coaching at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood. He offers a reality-based approach in which the actors work "moment to moment" from themselves, living truthfully in any given situation. Arabian's classes use a combination of Meisner and Uta Hagen techniques, integrate scene study, on-camera critiques, audition technique, public performances, and industry guest speakers. (310) 558-1132.


Advanced and beginner classes combine scene study acting techniques with awareness work. "It's a journey to the self, expressed through creativity." A five-hour class runs $50. (310) 535-6530.


Asher, who has been teaching and directing for 30 years, offers three ongoing on-camera scene study classes ($195/month), a cold-reading class ($175/month), and an improvisation class ($150/month). Class size is limited, so everyone works in every class. "I work with actors between classes at no charge," said Asher. "There are no limits to the time you can spend learning and doing, getting help with your career, or the techniques we use to get results." Asher's Studio has produced the award-winning "Actors at Work" video series—Getting the Part, Casting Directors, and Agents—and also produces state-of-the-art demo reels for actors. "I discover something new each time," said actress Nancie Rooney. "It makes sense to have many different tools. I am so eager to get that next level." (818) 785-1551.


Facilitated by Mary Pat Gleason, Joel Brooks, and Bob Harbin, and taught at Hollywood's the Complex, this is "not another acting class," according to its organizers. They teach students how to prepare an audition scene and execute any adjustments; how to claim freedom and confidence to control the audition; how to use anxiety; how to make intentions clear, and how to handle any situation—cold reading, callbacks, or network test deals. (323) 969-4855.


John Swanbeck, director of The Big Kahuna (starring Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito), and a partner offer on-camera technique classes for film and TV. Classes are limited to six people. Private sessions are also available. (310) 652-6880.


Avcollie teaches at the Players Space. He has 28 years experience as a teacher, coach, and director in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. He is the former head of acting, head of voice, and artistic director of the Chicago Playworks at Chicago's Goodman School of Drama/The Theatre School, DePaul University. He currently teaches a four-week scene-study class for $140; a four-week improv class for $100, and a six-week voice and speech class for $225. He also does private coaching. (323) 255-6065.


Gregory Avellone, along with John Otrin, began this workshop eight years ago as a response to what Avellone refers to as "the guru syndrome," or what Otrin described as "the kind of workshop where you listen to your teacher expound on everything under the sun, watch several people work, and then go home thinking you've actually learned something." Avellone saw a disconnect between what an actor could achieve in class and what he could expect on an actual film set. Through their workshops, Avellone and Otrin strive to prepare students to be "self-contained, well prepared, and ready for anything." The workshop is divided into two sections taught on separate evenings: the Primal Workshop, led by Otrin, and the Advanced Film Acting Workshop, taught by Avellone. Otrin has acted in 160 speaking roles on stage, TV, and features and has directed numerous plays and short films. Avellone is an award-winning film director and, as the VP of Development for Kevin Costner's Tig Productions, worked on Dances With Wolves, The Bodyguard, and Wyatt Earp. Costner is an occassional guest speaker. (626) 798-4422.


Barnstable strives to offer a positive, supportive environment for the "serious newcomer, as well as a fun and practical approach to getting into the industry. She teaches techniques applicable to commercials, cold reading, improv, and scene study. She says, "My philosophy is to find your acting strengths rather than focusing on your faults." She has filmed more than 100 TV commercials, including one as a Doublemint twin, and has worked in all aspects of the acting industry. Private coaching as well as classes. (818) 501-4734.


The Baron/Brown Studio offers classes for beginners and seasoned, working professionals, as well as intensive long- and short-term study to actors, writers, directors, and producers. It also specializes in audition technique coaching. Actors such as Halle Berry have sought out the studio for preparation for film, TV, and stage. The studio also produces feature films: Perfume, which premiered at Sundance 2001, helmed by graduate Michael Rymer, was created using the technique taught at the studio. Actor/teacher Baron studied and taught with William Esper of the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City and then opened her Los Angeles studio, which has been running for more than 20 years. The current teaching staff at the studio has been trained for a minimum of five years, and all instructors participate in continuing their education throughout their tenure. Admission is based upon an interview. (310) 451-3311.


This studio specializes in professional actor development. The focus is on each actor's individual training needs—for truth, intensity, spontaneity, personal discipline, and public persona. Benne, who has been teaching professional actors since 1989, describes his as a "working actors' studio," and said that he remains as passionate about new actors as he is about established clientele. The main focus is to become improvisationally free within scenework, stimulating organic human behavior and authentic relationships. Benne writes improv situations for each student's personal breakthroughs. Classes are ongoing and audition labs are taught by other working professionals. Class size is limited to 15 students per class. Auditing is strongly encouraged. There is often a waiting list.

4930 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 386-5867.


Benton offers cold reading, film acting, and memorizing. She has 35 years' experience as a coach, director, and actor for film, TV, and stage in New York, Chicago, and L.A. She said she focuses on developing the actor's ability to work with skill and confidence. Her class is a workspace for professionals as well as "a safe place for beginners," with an "emphasis is on connecting creativity to craft." Working audit welcome. Classes are on the Westside. (310) 393-1410.


(323) 822-0152.


Better Acting Group works with the SVC system (Konstantin Stanislavski, Eugene Vakhtangov, and Michael Chekhov), developed and practiced for more than 50 years in the Vakhtangov Acting School in Russia. The course consists of various physical and psychological exercises that build strong acting skills and enable actors to develop their imagination, creativity, and body movements. Dmitri Boudrine, a graduate and an official representative of this institution, has more than 10 years of teaching and acting experience in North America. (310) 979-7700.


Under the artistic direction of veteran director/teacher Milton Katselas, a protege of Elia Kazan and Joshua Logan, this school offers beginning through advanced ongoing acting instruction based on moment-to-moment spontaneous work. The focus is on scene study, with exercises applied only as needed to address specific problems. An interview is required. 254 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 855-1556.


Blanchard, who studied with Sanford Meisner, offers a two-year Meisner program. His next session begins in July, but he will accept students with a strong background now. Classes meet twice a week and are limited to 10 students. Students must commit to a three-month session. $350 for three months. (323) 465-6001.


Having studied extensively with Michael Howard in New York, Bofshever has been teaching in Los Angeles since 1987. A working actor for 26 years, he's appeared on Chicago Hope, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Millennium, The Agency, and Six Feet Under, and is currently a series regular on The Jersey. His classes include an hour of exercise work, then move on to rehearsed scenes and exercises that address the individual actor's needs. Bofshever said he creates a "supportive, creative, and challenging atmosphere" for his students. He teaches an ongoing class and is an acting instructor at UCLA Extension. Acceptance to class is by interview. Private coaching is also available. Classes are Monday evenings, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Auditing is available the first Monday of each month. (310) 281-9580.


Book's famous workshop in Hollywood is tailored for professionals and teaches the use of improvisation while speaking scripted lines. Book was a longtime faculty member of Juilliard and USC, has taught in London and Moscow, and served as the executive director of the Spolin Theater Game Center. Students have included William Hurt, George Carlin, Maura Tierney, and Tate Donovan, who has been quoted as saying, "His work is invaluable. It helps you get out of your own way, and gives you a feeling of doing improv while using text." In the 2001-'02 TV season, nine current or former students were appearing as regulars in primetime series, three of them in title roles (including David Boreanaz, Angel, and Christopher Titus, Titus). His students have won Oscars, Tonys, and Emmys. (323) 461-4263.


Borodin, who studied with Uta Hagen at Lee Strasberg, and at NYU, teaches "intense acting"—based in the Method, sensory work, and the like—that is identifiable by its uniqueness, not its homogeneity. Tuesday night quarterly classes, offered at Beverly Hills High School, are geared toward heightening actors' individual personalities, aiming for a fruitful blend of solid training and good instincts. "You learn the technique but nurture your talent first," explained Borodin. "Learning isn't a passive thing." Borodin also offers private coaching, with a specialty in dialect and accent reduction. (323) 882-1268.


Bragg has an M.F.A. in drama from Yale, and has studied with Earle Gister and Kristin Linklater. She was a teaching assistant for Greg Wallace at American Conservatory Theater, for Mark Travis, and for Alfred Molina's Shakespeare class in Los Angeles. Bragg offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes in voice work and acting. Private tutorials and audition coaching are also available. In addition, Bragg is acting in Uncle Vanya at the Actors' Gang at the end of June. (323) 876-6702.


"Through a variety of exercises, you will be able to call upon any emotion at will for auditions and scenes," said acting instructor/coach Fitz Houston, who teaches a weekly Meisner-based class. Houston's credits include Judging Amy, Family Law, X-Files, and Seinfeld. Classes are $75 per month. No audition is required. (818) 920-6435.


This studio was founded by artists Jill Brennan and Eric Scott Gould to "fill a need in the L.A. acting training community." With an eye on the Hollywood aesthetic, they bring the "passion and integrity" of the New York stage to the work. Instruction is Stanislavski-based, predicated on the training taught at the Yale School of Drama. Both Brennan and Gould have worked extensively in theatre, film, and TV, and hold degrees in acting from Southern Methodist University and the Yale School of Drama. Credits include: Ally McBeal, Another World, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Diagnosis: Murder, The Drew Carey Show, Gilmore Girls, Judging Amy, If These Walls Could Talk, Law and Order, and When Billy Beat Bobby. The studio offers scene study, on-camera audition technique, class showcases, career counseling, and industry invites. Four hours of twice-a-week instruction is $200 a month. Free audits. Interview required. Private coaching is available. (310) 284-3639.


Brentwood Actor's Workshop and director Lucarelli, who taught Quentin Tarantino and Jerry Seinfeld, bring acting classes to the Westside. Instructors including Lia Sargent and Sal Acquisto teach evening classes Monday through Thursday featuring camera technique, cold reading, improv, and private coaching for auditions. (310) 266-7790.


Broyles offers what he describes as a combination of Meisner and Stanislavski. Its basic foundation, he explained, is to "create a free environment in which to free all your acting areas: going forward with your career, back with your hang-ups, right and left to your present problems." Class enrollment is limited to 12 students. (213) 483-5443.


Brunetti, who worked as Uta Hagen's protege for more than 15 years and is on the faculty of HB Studios in New York, now teaches an ongoing acting class and offers extensive private coaching at his studio in Hollywood (in addition to teaching regularly at the Howard Fine Studio). Brunetti teaches classes in scene study, exercises, and audition preparation for TV and film, which include top industry professionals as guest teachers. Brunetti's class is Hagen-based but also benefits from his experience in primetime casting at ABC in New York. Brunetti received an award for his teaching from the National Endowment for the Arts, and guest teaches at AFI and USC. Auditors are welcome. Brunetti is also an Ovation-nominated theatre director. (323) 883-0210.


Bua offers ongoing morning and evening classes at his Acting for Life Theatre in Burbank, specializing in deep emotional work for those who "dare to become more powerful in their art and in their lives." Bua doesn't place much stock in "techniques from the past that don't work. What I give is immediate and spontaneous, and has come from my work with actors, as a successful actor, teacher, and director." Associate instructors include Toni Bull Bua, Ruth Olaffsdottir, and Alan Feinstein. Bua is the award-winning director of the New York International Film Festival entry 348, and director/composer/co-writer of the award-winning musical Second Wind. Classes are filled mostly through industry recommendations or by interview and audition; private coaching when available. (818) 547-3810.


An award-winning film/TV/theatre writer/director (Chicago Hope, Showtime, A&E) and a member of the Actor's Studio Director's Unit, Burgos has worked on and Off-Broadway and in theatres across the country. He has taught at NYU, the Art Center, and Chapman University, and has been an on-set acting coach on numerous films. He currently offers classes and private coaching for all levels at the Hollywood Court Theatre. Classes cover basic technique, scene study, improv, theatre games, and auditioning skills. Audits are permitted. (323) 653-5947.


Burrus, the only technique teacher trained by Stella Adler, taught with her for 10 years in NYC and L.A. before opening his own studio here 18 years ago. Burrus offers a foundation-to-performance class in a six-week, four-day-a-week, three-hour-a-day intensive format, conducted daytime and/or evenings. Admission is through interviews. Advanced classes include rehearsal/performance, character scenes, and on-camera cold reading. Leonard Salazar and Laura Leyva are also on staff. Like Adler, Burrus emphasizes imagination as an actor's primary tool and the releasing of talent through understanding and actions. Said Adler herself, "He is the best example of a teacher who can give you a technique for acting." Los Feliz Playhouse, 4646 Hollywood Blvd. (at Vermont) in Los Feliz. (323) 953-2823.


Cade has appeared in films and TV but is best known for his role on the NBC series California Dreams. He offers his techniques on being a successful actor in the industry today. Classes and private sessions offered. (323) 436-0909.


Campolla has been an acting coach since 1983 and a casting associate (Beggars and Choosers, Miracle on the Mountain, The Mole, and others) since '97. She's currently an independent casting director for film and television. Campolla has coached actors for film, TV, stage, on-set, in the classroom, and privately. Currently she teaches ongoing scene-study/improv and audition workshops, drawing on her casting experience to provide unique insight into the audition process. (818) 761-4098.


Carney offers an audition class every Wednesday 1-4 p.m. She focuses on practicing four skills she believes actors need to get work: performing before an audience consistently (to cure nerves), improvising (to teach actors to believe in themselves and their "range of characters inside"), cold reading (to give actors a sense of security and trust), and drilling auditions (to "break free of a critical mind" and make creative choices). Said Carney, "Every actor who comes in and works this way gets a gift of real confidence." (323) 851-4228.


Working film director Brett Carr offers a Meisner-based scene study approach designed to "give you a shot at being a world-class actor." (310) 714-5066.


Artistic director of 2100 Square Feet, a creative space she established in 1995, Castle has been an actress nationally and internationally for 23 years, teaching and coaching actors for 15 years. Her ongoing scene study class stresses "a creative state of mind and the use of the imagination." Five classes a week are available, with four taught by Castle and one by Lora Zane; class size is limited to 24. An interview is required for admittance. Castle said her private coaching is "widely referred" by industry professionals. (323) 936-6818.


Chandler has been a working actor since childhood and has more than 25 years of teaching experience. In addition to a degree from the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts, she has studied with such legendary teachers as Milton Katselas. Chandler teaches most of her classes alongside an exceptional staff of teachers and industry experts. Her school of 16 years specializes, she said, in developing a well-rounded actor and helping actors "to launch and climb up the career ladder." On-camera classes include the 16-week Nuts and Bolts of Acting Technique, the eight-week Nuts and Bolts of Cold Reading, ongoing intermediate and advanced acting and scene study, intermediate and advanced Commercials, and Comedy Improv. There are also basic six-week on-camera workshops in commercials and actors image. Classes are held at Zydeco Casting in Studio City. Class size is limited. New acting for the theatre at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. (626) 355-4572.


Changing Perceptions: Theater by the Blind and Physically Disabled, led by Artistic director and founder Christina Kokubo, offers a free drama program for the legally blind through the Braille Institute and for the physically disabled through Media Access, a California Governors' Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons. She also directs a touring resident theatre company of visually and physically disabled performers with an annual schedule of three to seven performances. (323) 660-4607.


Studio coach Chase, along with Morgan Shepphard from the Royal Shakespeare Company, teaches around 50 classes a month for actors to choose from, including scene study, cold reading lab, improv, cold reading technique, commercials, comedy improv, speech, dialects, theory, and industry seminars. Prices are on a sliding scale, ranging from $200 a month for seven tech classes to $300 for the scene study program which includes 40 classes available per month. (323) 851-4819.


A member of the Actor's Studio and the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Chatten teaches ongoing, month-to-month classes that include relaxation, sensory work, scenes, improvs, and cold reading. The class runs $200 for four weeks. She also offers private coaching for beginners, as well as one-day audition workshops. Her high-profile clients include Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller, Keri Russell, Marg Helgenberger, and Vincent D'Onofrio, among others. (213) 486-4229.


Chauvin, an actress and TV director who taught for 10 years at USC and two at UCLA, offers an on-camera class for actors and directors, as well as a theory class. The on-camera class, which runs $275 for the first four weeks and then $225 per following four weeks, strives to create "as close to a real on-the-set environment as possible," she said. Included in the class is a three-hour videotape. The theory class is $30 a week and concentrates on scene breakdown, scene analysis, physical action, accents, cold reading, interviewing skills, and commercials. Auditing of the on-camera class is permitted for a $10 fee (donated to Children's Hospital). (323) 877-4988.


The Michael Chekhov Studio is under the artistic direction of former USC instructor Jack Colvin, a protege of the influential late actor/teacher, along with actor/director and International Michael Chekhov Association co-founder Lisa Dalton (who offers classes of her own) and the executor of Chekhov's estate, actor/lecturer Mala Powers, and Dmitri Boudrine. Classes, seminars, and intensive workshops are offered. The curriculum emphasizes balancing internal and external technique through physicalization of emotional/psychological work. Courses on psychological gesture, atmosphere, and comedy techniques are available this fall. Classes are offered in North Hollywood and Pasadena; international training programs and teacher training programs are also available. $175 a month for four classes. There is also an Actors Workout for $3 a session. (818) 220-3074.


Chess teaches an intermediate class that includes technique, improv, script analysis, sensory work, and scene study. It is ongoing and is organized in eight-week sessions. Tuition is $295 and meets Saturday mornings at the Empty Stage in West L.A. (310) 821-5014.


Christensen, a former casting director for M*A*S*H, teaches an ongoing class that mixes monologue and scene study work designed to give actors a working technique and enable them to put their own personal stamp on a role. Classes are limited to 14 students. The cost is $225 a month, with an initial eight-week commitment required. Christensen has been teaching for the past 12 years and does not allow auditing. 10440 Burbank Blvd., N. Hollywood. (818) 506-0783.


Colman says he teaches a method called "getting work." He told us that he "teaches acting from a working director's viewpoint" and emphasizes comedy. He gears his teaching toward goal-oriented actors who want one-on-one personal direction. He works with only 12 students at a time. Critiques from agents and other directors are included. (310) 454-1959.


Colomby's workshop has expanded its horizons. Originally conceived as a class geared toward the actor's personal growth within the confines of a scene study group, it has now added showcasing and production of plays. Colomby said his reasons are multifaceted: In his opinion scene study class can limit an actor's spheres of concentration to himself, while working in a class on a play, then producing it, challenges an actor to explore his role from a larger perspective. Actors who appreciate this will start to understand the arc of their characters within a piece of writing—an awareness that should open up opportunities, in Colomby's view, because actors will better appreciate the intent of the writer, director, producer, and casting director. Auditing is encouraged. (323) 650-6472.


Comey has been teaching film acting and training actors in Hollywood for the past 25 years. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to conduct a workshop for writers, directors, and actors in New Zealand. He has taught at AFI and the New York Academy of Film and guest lectured at Loyola Marymount and UCLA, and he presently teaches at his own studio in Hollywood. All classes are on-camera. He teaches his own unique approach called the Art of Film Acting. Classes are held Monday through Thursday nights. Beginning to advanced. Free audition. (818) 248-4104.


The Community Artists Guild calls itself "the best-kept secret in L.A." This nonprofit, publicly funded arts advisory agency located in the Leimert Park area provides low-cost acting training, coaching, and career guidance to professional and aspiring actors, as well as crossover opportunities to pros. Acting classes include such topics as voiceover, cold reading, film scene study, developing one-person shows, improvisations, and voice and diction. Private coaching is also available. Ninety percent of the Guild's membership is working in the industry, in acting, production, teaching, and administration. Union and non-union actors are welcome to what's described as a "positive, nurturing environment." (213) 368-6785.


Conaway has more than 40 years acting experience (Taxi, Grease!, Babylon 5), and has also directed and produced. He offers a class that covers scene study, cold reading, and audition techniques. Classes are $135 per month. Interview required. Auditing is allowed. Private coaching is available. (818) 783-9580.


(323) 654-9737.


An acting teacher and coach with more than 12 years experience, Cooper offers advanced classes (ages 3 to adult), private coaching, on-set coaching, and weekend workshops. She specializes in audition preparation. Cooper's students have appeared in film, television, theatre, soaps, and commercials, have won Emmys and have been nominated for Cable Ace and Tony awards. Cooper most recently served as acting coach on two episodes of Touched by an Angel. Cooper also coached young actors on the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Raved the film's director, Ron Howard: "Marnie is passionate, knowledgeable, and a wonderful teacher. Her integrity and enthusiasm are exemplary and, in the most positive way, infectious." (818) 760-8009.


Corey, who has been teaching actors and teachers for more than 40 years, fills his small ongoing scene study class mainly by word of mouth. (310) 457-7153 or (310) 456-2033.


(310) 396-9202.


The Coronet Theatre Actors' Lab, say its administrators, is designed for the actor who is passionate about his work, strives to be challenged, and wishes to discover ways to make "fresh, exciting, bold choices in his work." After 12 weeks of intense scene development, class members perform scenes before an invited audience of industry guests. Classes, offered at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles, are described as being "for actors who feel they are not working up to their capability and want to be." Classes are geared toward intermediate and advanced levels. (310) 652-9602.


In the Moment, a state-of-the-art, multi-camera acting studio, was specifically fashioned as a direct segue into the professional world of film and television. As Cousins explained, the marketplace is about getting the part—and while actors can do the work if they can get the work, the audition is the test. In the Moment, said Cousins, is all about learning a technique that incorporates training and skill and applying it so that the actor can compete in "the unnatural process we call the 'audition,' " thereby allowing the actor to present himself honestly with the stakes and sensitivity of a scene. Classes begin with a meditation and cover cold reading/audition technique, monologues, scenes, and the business of the business. Each month an industry professional is invited to address/team-teach the master class. Placement is based on skill level. Cousins is a working actress with a special affinity for teaching. Trained in New York and Los Angeles in various techniques and "methods" from Stanislavski to Meisner, she incorporates them all into her approach. "Actors are individuals and learn at their own pace—there's no one technique for everybody," said Cousins. Film/television actor Jad Mager is also on staff. Coaching available. (818) 728-6740.


This scene study workshop is taught by two instructors with two distinctive approaches, who between them have 50 years of working experience in film, TV, and theatre. Their shared philosophy: "The best preparation for an acting career is to know your craft." Workshops are offered Thursday nights in Studio City. (818) 953-8547.


Scott-Arthur Allen has been a working actor for 31 years, and he formed this ongoing on-camera cold reading and scene study workshop 28 years ago. He now teaches it in Canoga Park. "Students have the opportunity to perform three times in every class," he promised. The scene study class is $145 per month. The class is limited to around 20 people, but auditing is OK. Past student list provided on request. (818) 992-1030.


Judi O'Neil and Courtney Gains run the Creative Center in North Hollywood. They currently offer a cold-reading basic technique class for $160 every four weeks, an "emotional weekend" workshop to discover and create human behavior for $110/month, and a "development group night," which is a combination of scene study and the business of business, also for $160 every four weeks. Private coaching is also available for ages 10 and up. They offer discounts to members of the Creative Center, and/or to those taking more than one class. A free audit is encouraged, and acceptance is by interview. A three-month commitment is required. 1122311/2 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hollywood. (818) 763-0323.


Under the directorship of Kate Randolph, the Cunningham Conservatory is now affiliated with the International Stanislavski Institute and its master teacher, Leonid Anisimov. This program invites actors to learn the Stanislavski System as the mentor himself intended, described as "always striving, always in process, never result-oriented!" Randolph explained it as a "journey into the creative state, through exploring your own higher self and utilizing concrete methods that always work." Classes are small to maximize individual attention; every student works in each session. A nurturing ensemble environment is created in which everyone can take steps forward in their own development. Randolph has been teaching, acting, and directing in L.A. and New York for more than 25 years; her training includes work with Uta Hagen, Stella Adler, Michael Moriarty, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and, most recently, Anisimov. Classes are taught in a semester format. Auditing is allowed. Private coaching available. (323)-882-6669.


Dalton, who has been teaching and working as a professional actress for more than 20 years, combines extensive training in a variety of acting techniques with psychology, spirituality, and metaphysics to provide private coaching and small group classes that include audition/role preparation, image/headshot/marketing advice, on-camera scene study, and monologue development. Her career counseling is particularly suited for solving audition and performance anxiety, business frustrations, artistic blocks, and coping with success. She also consults with writers and directors on scripts. Currently a working actress, she is a retired stunt performer, clown, and comedienne. A renowned expert on Michael Chekhov acting techniques, Dalton has taught in Europe, Russia, and across the country. Private sessions are $70 for 90 minutes, held in NoHo/Toluca Lake. (818) 761-5404.


Warned D'Altorio: "My class is not for dabblers. I maintain high standards for truthfulness in the work, which often challenges the actor to be her or himself in a fuller, deeper way than ever before." D'Altorio, artistic director of Parallax Theatre, added: "My class is a place for actors to exercise their emotional responsiveness in the way a dancer uses class to expand his/her body—[to] amplify your talents, your ability to listen, respond, express, and feel, in a completely safe space." D'Altorio uses Meisner's repetition exercise as the "cornerstone of both improvisational work and work with a text," and the class is focused both on audition skills and "long-term growth. I want people who are serious about developing themselves, and who are also out there auditioning." Auditing is recommended. (310) 274-7347.


New York native Dano, who's been teaching for 30 years, offers a "no-nonsense" scene study class, which has produced many award-winning actors, including two of the last three Tony Awards for best actor. Most recently student Brian Stokes Mitchell won the 2000 award for Best Actor in a Musical (Ragtime). Participation is by referral only. Audits are allowed. (323) 969-2200.


"The heart of my class is based on a listening process," explained Darby, meaning "always honoring the author by learning the words, but not 'playing' the words or playing the emotion, but instead playing the action. You're not just listening to words but listening to the implication of what you hear." Darby, a three-time Golden Globe nominee and two-time Emmy nominee best known for her New York Critics Circle Award-winning role in True Grit, teaches an ongoing technique class. (818) 985-0666.


Actor/director Darling has experience ranging from Shakespeare to improv. She was also the original director for TV's Mary Hartman! Mary Hartman! Four or five times a year, she teaches a four-week scene study workshop, which is open to students at all levels from beginning to advanced. Classes meet all day Saturday and Sunday; one audit is allowed. (323) 964-3410.


D'Avanzo describes his acting class at the Tamarind Theatre as a "dynamic and thorough scene-study class where the actor works every week in a prepared scene." D'Avanzo said he seeks out "blood-and-guts actors" who want the "stamp of truth on everything they say and do." Class size is limited. Work is based on the teachings of Uta Hagen. D'Avanzo also offers a cold reading class. Auditing is free. (818) 508-0723.


De Santos said she's known for discovering and developing new talent in film, TV, and theatre. An award-winning director and casting director whose credits include Dead Poets' Society, Witness, Doogie Howser, M.D., Death of a Sales-man, and Awake and Sing, De Santos' work has been acclaimed by film directors (including Peter Weir), theatres (Odyssey Theatre, Pacific Resident Theatre, Deaf West Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and most recently Pittsburgh Public Theatre), and by theatre critics. Her coaching clients include Snoop Doggy Dogg, Thomas Jane, Stacey Dash, and Eva Longoria. Her coaching and teaching, she said, focuses on getting the job and getting rehired. (310) 664-0646.


Dunham has been a professional actor/director/teacher for more than 25 years. Prior to establishing his own workshop in 1975, he worked closely with Charles Conrad as his associate teacher and student for eight years. His on-camera workshop specializes in cold reading, film technique, monologue, improv, technical soundstage information, and business of acting consultation. Each student works in every class. Students are selected by personal interview, followed by a 12-week introductory course, after which the student continues based on mutual consent. There is no auditing. (818) 785-8355.


"To be a good actor you must first know and be yourself. Once you've achieved that, you can move on to character work, which begins with identifying your natural preference, then playing only the preference of the character," said Dusa, who spent 13 years in New York City as the artistic director of the Duality Playhouse and the Piero Dusa Acting Conservatory East and opened this West Coast counterpart six years ago in Santa Monica. Combining Adler, Meisner, Stanislavski, and his own "Seven Levels of Acting and Character Preference," Dusa offers classes for all levels in on-camera, Shakespeare, voice, and movement. Industry guests are invited to advanced classes with no charge to students. The newest courses on Dusa's schedule are the weekend workshops of his unique techniques: character preference, character expression, and character pathology. Acceptance is by industry referral, interview, and audition only. (310) 656-8070.


Dvorak has been teaching for 20 years and is a working actor with a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. in theatre. He teaches ongoing beginning, intermediate, and professional classes, which incorporate Sanford Meisner's techniques and emphasize image packaging and marketing, for $135 per month. This class, Dvorak explained, focuses on the "art of acting, as well as on becoming a business professional." An interview and free audit are required. (323) 462-5328.


Dragicevich, who performed with the Tony-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival and won critical acclaim as Richard III at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, offers what he calls "a 10-week adventure in powerful performance," using both classical and modern texts. Participants expand their range by diving into the mixed brew of Shaw, Shakespeare, Stoppard, Wilde, and Shepard. The workshop is "fun yet rigorous," said Dragicevich, and "explores the lost art of persuasive speaking (rhetoric)." (818) 383-0801.


Eastin's studio in Toluca Lake offers ongoing classes for film and television actors with an emphasis on cold reading and audition technique. Classes are taught by veteran actor Eastin, who has appeared in Austin Powers, Con Air, Field of Dreams, and the upcoming Catch Me If You Can with Leonardo DiCaprio. He boasts 20 years of teaching experience. Admission to the classes, which are $195 a month, is by interview only. (818) 980-9828.


This 12-year-old conservatory, part of the Asian-American theatre company East West Players, offers several classes, including fundamentals of acting, which is geared toward expanding one's imagination, creativity, and process. The next 10-week session runs Mondays 7:30-10:30 p.m., Apr. 8-June 17, and costs $350. Other classes include an intermediate/advanced scene study, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Apr. 13-June 15; and auditioning & marketing, Thursdays, Apr. 18-May 23. There is a $25 one-time registration fee for new students. Marilyn Tokuda directs the conservatory. 120 Judge John Iso Street, Downtown L.A. (213) 625-7000, ext. 28.


For the past 15 years Eckler-Kirby has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most popular and well-respected coaches in Los Angeles. Her weekly on-camera scene study and cold reading class works from current TV and film scripts using techniques designed to "break the emotional barriers that sabotage actors during the audition process." Various methods, such as Meisner exercises, mock interviews, and "producer reads," are used to give actors inspiration and a competitive edge. Acceptance is by personal interview, and classes are kept small. Eckler-Kirby said she also helps actors with marketing on an individual basis. Eckler-Kirby and her husband, Michael (a commercial director), teach a one-day commercial intensive each month on a Sunday, designed to empower the actor to book more commercials, and includes marketing qualified actors to the top commercial agents. She is included in Larry Silverberg's book The Actor's Guide to Qualified Acting Coaches in Los Angeles. Daytime and evening classes available in Studio City. (818) 769-9709.


Christina Kokubo offers an ongoing workshop in what she calls "a powerful one-on-one conditioning exercise, freeing actors to create dynamic performances through monologues, improvisation, and scenes. It is the actor's 'tune-up.'" The workshop is free to members of Media Access. She also offers a 36-week intensive in character analyses and script interpretation, as well as private coaching. (323) 660-4607.


Independent film director and actor Larry Eudene has taught advanced acting scene study for film at the Screen Actors Guild Conservatory in New York and Los Angeles, and now offers workshops, private coaching, and a seven-week seminar. Said Eudene, "This class is for learning how to give your best performance on a film set and how to focus your energy for the camera. "Classwork is shot on-camera and evaluated in class, and you keep the tapes. or (800) 607-4942.


This award-winning theatre company (Saved, The Berlin Circle) offers ongoing small classes in scene study for actors and directors, taught by artistic director Bart DeLorenzo, leading actor Christian Leffler, and occasionally resident director David Schweizer. Classes focus on an imaginative behavioral approach to building a character and on defining and heightening conflict within scenes of classic modern plays. Everyone works every class. (213) 381-7118.


Feinstein and Tuerpe, veteran working actors both, offer six ongoing classes, which cover scene study from beginning to advanced, fundamental and emotional exercises, and on-camera cold reading. Feinstein, who taught for two years at the Beverly Hills Playhouse before breaking out on his own in 1994, said of his teaching: "I call the classes Emotion Into Action. The classes emphasize freeing the actor's emotions for maximum creative results in a safe and supportive environment." Private coaching is available, and a working audit is permitted. The teaching duo offers classes at Gerry Cousins' In the Moment Studios. (323) 650-7766.


Producer/writer of South of Heaven, West of Hell, Wheels, and The First Real Pirate, Felix also has numerous commercials, documentaries, videos, and plays under his directing and acting belts. A teacher for 22 years, he offers ongoing cold-reading classes at Rose Alley Theatre that focus on moment-to-moment scene work. His classes are $150 per month, with a special rate for disabled performers. He teaches a film class and a commercial workshop. Auditing is permitted. Felix conducts biannual showcases hosted by celebrities and attended by producers, directors, casting directors, and agents. (310) 470-1939.


Ferrantino combines the Method with his own technique, which he has developed by working as a professional actor and teacher for 15 years. He uses his training at the Actors Studio in NYC, combined with on-camera techniques, to allow the individual to bring a unique creativity to the audition process. Ferrantino offers evening and weekend classes for adults and teens at all levels. All classes include on-camera technique, cold reading, improv, sensory work, and scene study with a focus on booking the job. Private coaching is available. (310) 358-5942.


Dawn Wells (beloved as Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island) leads this intensive one-week summer workshop held in Idaho's Teton Valley Territory, designed "to help the trained actor who is serious about a career in film and television make the transition from being an amateur to being a professional." A wide variety of skills and subjects are covered in the intensive, and students leave with a videotaped reel of scene work. Groups are small—a maximum of 20 students are accepted per session—and room and board is provided for a "true Western experience." (818) 840-6919.


Fine, who began his studio in 1985, is the former director of American Musical and Dramatic Academy's acting department, and he studied with the Moscow Art Theatre. Heidi Helen Davis, Karen Ludwig, Laura Gardner, Ted Brunetti, and Marilyn McIntyre also teach classes. The curriculum includes comprehensive technique and application to scene study, then moves on to intensive, accelerated, advanced, and master scene study. The studio also offers studies in voice production with Rowena Balos, Alexander Technique taught by Kristof Konrad and Jean-Louis Rodrigue, and a class called Personalization: Emotional and Sensory Access Workshop, taught by Marilyn McIntyre. An audit and industry referral are required. 7801 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 951-1221.


Campbell is a working actor and director, and an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award-winning actor. His partner, Fox, is artistic director of the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice and an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award-winning actress and director. The duo offers three ongoing classes: The beginning class focuses on improvisation, cold reading, and film scene study, while the intermediate class and advanced classes add the study of Shakespeare and serious plays. $120 a month, $20 to audit. (310) 820-7122.


An acting coach on film and TV sets and locations, Franklin, who also teaches at the American Film Institute, offers ongoing on-camera classes from a directorial point of view for actors and directors at all levels. She also teaches a cold-reading class focusing on the differences between situation comedy, episodic, and feature films, and on how to nail auditions in those different media. Franklin requests an interview with prospective students to discuss their needs before joining the class. (818) 762-4658.


Phil Esposito and Peter Looney preside over six ongoing classes a week. They concentrate on cold reading technique and memorized on-camera work. An interview is required. Auditing is free and encouraged. (323) 860-0887 or (323) 257-9741.


Working actor Galligan teaches an ongoing class in cold reading, auditioning, and memorization techniques, focusing on relaxation and breathing. His emphasis, he said, is "learning to act in a supportive environment," and his goal is to help actors "get the job so you can do what you love." Galligan, best known for his work in such '80s films as Gremlins and Biloxi Blues, as well as the heartbreaking MOW Surviving (in which he and Molly Ringwald played suicidal teens), has been a working actor for two decades and stars in the upcoming horror film Infested. (323) 655-0398.


Gamza said her goal is "to provide a safe environment for you to take risks, learn powerful, personal script analysis, and to know how to your work your way." In her small classes (master and mixed levels), private sessions, and on-set coaching, Gamza teaches scene study, script analysis, cold reading, and audition technique, and said she's "more interested in teaching you than teaching a general technique. You can't escape your potential when you work with me." Actors work every class. Auditing is permitted. (818) 506-7147.


Gardner trained with Carol Rosenfeld and Uta Hagen. Her acting credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, national tours, film, and TV. Gardner teaches scene study and basic techniques at the Howard Fine Studio. Every few months she offers interview/audition intensive workshops. Auditing is permitted. Private coaching is also available. (323) 957-4764.


"Actors need to make their work as specific as possible—to create what goes on before they say the line, as well as the subtext," said actress/writer/producer Gerstein, a member of the Actors Studio's actors unit and the writer/director unit. Her classes and coaching include acting technique, scene study, cold reading/auditioning, and in-depth script analysis. Her professional classes are kept small, and students work every week. Actors are encouraged to make strong choices and to take risks. Students are accepted by private interview. Gerstein also teaches a popular children's class and offers private coaching for all ages. (323) 852-0276.


Gifford shares her 16 years of experience as a teacher and 25 years as a working actor with her students. She works with actors, directors, and screenwriters. GGC offers advanced scene study, beginner ("YRO"), voice production, and cold reading classes. The company also produces six to eight showcases every year. Gifford said she offers the chance for students to "study, work, create, and take risks with other dedicated and ambitious actors in a challenging, supportive, and safe environment." (310) 535-4999.


Award-winning stage actress and coach Giosa, who trained extensively with Larry Moss, offers intermediate/advanced classes and workshops covering scene study, script analysis, emotional memory work, sensory work, improv, and advanced character work. Auditing is permitted. (310) 828-8544.


In his ongoing cold-reading class in Santa Monica, veteran actor Glover (credits include Diamonds Are Forever, Chinatown, Hard Times, Night of the Scarecrow, Ghost World) teaches what he calls "inner technique—my own technique I've developed over more than 45 years as an actor." He also teaches "external techniques such as comedy timing" and approaches to specific media, but his nemesis is "choice makers. I don't like actors to make a choice. I like them to be wide open, especially when the camera's running. That's why I teach mostly with cold reading; people can do scene study if they want, but I think it's a bad approach." But, he hastened to add, he will coach actors in scene study when it's for a "specific purpose," such as an agent meeting. He keeps his group under 10 students and charges $35 a class. He also offers private coaching and a "marathon" one-on-one orientation session. (310) 398-2539.


Maria Gobetti is a working actor, producer, and director with more than 20 years of teaching experience who, with Tom Ormeny, is co-artistic director of the Victory Theatre, which premiered Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest when Henley was Gobetti's student. Ormeny was the 2001 Ovation Awards Winner for Leadership in Theatre. Gobetti's ongoing classes include a beginning class on basic Meisner techniques, a film and theatre scene-study class for intermediate and advanced students, and an advanced character and comedy class with special attention to on-camera techniques. "The emphasis is on the ability to realize moment-to-moment relationships," Gobetti said. "I believe in actors really relating to each other, not making substitutions, so the work is simple and truthful, and grounded in reality." Classes are limited to 14 students and cost $240 per month. A free audit is required. The Victory Theatre, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. (818) 843-9253.


A casting professional for more than five years who studied acting with major New York-based teachers, Goldstein has a class incorporating technique, scene study, and audition skills for comedy and drama, as well as tips on the business of acting. She also offers private coaching (818) 316-9054.


Actor, director, and teacher Goldyn received his M.A. from NYU, and produced and directed the L.A. stage hit Stray Dog Story. He currently teaches an ongoing scene study and monologue class that incorporates a unique mixture of Method, Meisner, and Morris, leading to on-camera acting and auditioning techniques. Goldyn also sponsors regular casting director workshops to raise funds for his theatre company, 23 Goldyn Zephyr Productions. (818) 988-7278.


Guzov, a Russian acting teacher originally from St. Petersburg, said, "My intent is to make a teacher unnecessary for you—to provide you with tools to develop yourself within the profession as an independent artist, and to train you to perform on the set or stage with a strong, precise, and professional technique that consistently leads to inspired acting." Toward that end he offers one private lesson and one group class per week for $200 a month. (818) 753-0316.


Haber, who for the last 20 years has taught many of Hollywood's rising stars and working actors, offers audition technique classes from introductory to advanced levels. Each of the three levels consists of a month-long class, held twice a week, and students have the option of continuing for another month on a weekly basis. Group interviews are held every other Monday. Said Haber, "You may get three jobs a year, but you're going to have 20 or 30 auditions. Why would you just wait to enjoy the job when you can enjoy the audition? The only the way to enjoy auditioning is through confidence." Haber is the author of the book How To Get the Part Without Falling Apart. She also started a new class recently called Reel Kids for children, ages 8-17. www.margiehaber .com. (310) 854-0870. For Reel Kids call (310) 657-5218


Hackett, associate artistic director of the Antaeus Theater Company, actress and author of The Actor's Chekhov and Towards Mastery, conducts an ongoing class in scene study and audition technique Wednesdays, 7-11 p.m. at Noho Studios. Hackett says, "Why do certain actors' emotional worlds move us, and others leave us cold? Why do certain voices compel us to listen and others tune us out? I believe that the aesthetic qualities that make for great work are at their core processes as teachable, as apprehensible, as useable as the most basic technical tools. If it's not given to everyone to achieve great acting, it is at least possible to know how to attempt it." Hackett also runs the Antaeus Academy's classical theatre training program and has worked extensively as an actress on Broadway and in television and film. Class is by audition and/or interview depending on level of experience. (323) 851-8921.


Actor, writer, producer, script doctor, and former Screen Actors Guild-franchised agent Jack Hammond has been teaching for 39 years. His classes, which cost $400 for 10 sessions, cover acting for film, television, and commercials. He emphasizes scene study, preparation for cold reading, building confidence, and making the script come to life. New material is introduced at each session. There are classes for children and adults, and private coaching is available. (818) 763-0989.


Harris teaches what she terms a "totally cool, immensely fun" acting class, focusing on auditions and on-set work, cold readings, and memorized scenes, but also offering "The Tummy Technique, tae kwon do, new languages, and fashion tips—all included at no extra cost." Actors can audit a first class for free. $125 per month thereafter. Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. at the Flight Theatre at the Complex, 6472 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 876-2167.


An award-winning actress and dancer, Harris offers a six-month intensive program at her Beverly Hills studio based not only on the Meisner technique but also upon her entire body of experience in many facets of the performing arts. The program includes an ongoing audition technique class and a monologue workshop for students who have completed the six-month technique class. Harris said she teaches in a "firm yet nurturing environment that encourages and elevates the student's uniqueness." Said longtime personal manager Fonda St. Paul: "Lena is inspiring. She delivers concise and effective training for the serious beginner, as well as the working professional." (310) 226-7034.


Heins, a Juilliard-trained actor with 25 years of experience on and Off-Broadway and in TV and film, is now forming acting classes covering scene study, monologues, improv, and audition techniques. Heins, who has taught at NYU, Playwrights Horizons, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and SUNY Purchase, conceived and initiated North Hollywood's award-winning Interact Theatre Company. Private coaching is available. (818) 784-3130.


"Out of Control, In Full Command," reads the copy line in Hickman's display ad. Explaining further, he said, "Letting go of conscious thought allows the actor to access his creative imagination, which flows intuitively through the 'character,' enabling him to live the role for the first time, every time." Classes also focus on the psychology of auditioning, goal setting, and building a career. Hickman teaches his comprehensive approach to the acting process in three ongoing scene-study classes in North Hollywood. He charges $400 for 10 weeks. (818) 344-5796.


Hoffman's career began in the classical world after he helped found NYC's Riverside Shakespeare Company 25 years ago. In association with Michael Kahn's acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., he has worked there as an actor/instructor for the past decade. His teaching skills are employed by universities around the country to train a new generation of actors to "combine classical skills with modern sensitivity," as he put it. Available in Los Angeles for the first time, his acting classes are grounded in Meisner technique, which he has developed into a program to teach actors to find the truth in every moment. Class sizes are small and reasonably priced. Private coaching is available and flexible for working actors. (818) 985-7506.


Hoffman has taught acting for 16 years at numerous institutions, including the SAG Conservatory and the 92nd St. "Y" in New York City, and the Center of Contemporary Arts in St. Louis. He is an Equity/SAG actor and director and has coached privately on and off the set around the country. Having studied with Strasberg, Adler, Corey, and Morris, Hoffman has developed an eclectic technique designed to empower students to reach their full potential as performers. His students have gone on to study and/or perform at prestigious educational institutions and in theatre and film. Hoffman customizes his work in class to meet the needs of individual students, so class size is strictly limited. Separate classes are offered for beginners and intermediate/advanced. A master class for professional actors is also offered. An audit is recommended. (818) 878-0242.


Actor/director Holmes, who studied with Uta Hagen and at the Actors Studio, offers an ongoing acting and scene-study class at the Chandler Studio in North Hollywood. He also offers a Shakespeare class on Saturdays and has a theatre company that does regular productions at the Chandler space. He also offers private coaching. Among his former students is Michael Keaton. Indeed, claimed Holmes, "I can't turn on the damn television without seeing someone I taught." (818) 786-1045.


Horner worked as a stage actress in New York for 10 years and founded the Performance Studio in Minneapolis, where she taught for eight years. Her training included the Meisner technique with Kathryn Gately and intense script analyses with Robert Lewis, acting master from the Group Theatre. Horner teaches a four-month study based on Meisner and Lewis that culminates in a live industry showcase. Catering equally to beginners and intermediates, Horner said she also specializes in "gentle rust removal" for actors who have been away from the craft. (310) 231-3400.


The mother/daughter team of Lorrie and Dianne Hull offers continuous classes and short-term workshops for all levels. Lorrie has been an instructor for the American Film Institute and a senior faculty member for Lee Strasberg, and has been teaching acting for more than 40 years. Dianne is a member of the Actors Studio and a working actress in film, TV and stage, including for director Elia Kazan. Their classes together are based on Kazan's techniques, as well as Lorrie's book, Strasberg's Method: A Practical Guide for Actors, Teachers, Directors, and her two-hour Method video based on Stanislavski and Strasberg. Classes cover relaxation, concentration, improvisation, sense memory, affective memory, learning the role, motivating and justifying behavior, cold reading, and scene study. An interview is required, and auditing is allowed for a small fee, applied toward tuition. Classes are limited to 10 students. Short-term private lessons, as well as private coaching, are also available. www.actors-studio .com/hull. (310) 828-0632.


"In my 17 years as an actor, I've powerfully distinguished what works and what doesn't work, so I'm able to empower others to do the same," claimed Hunter. "I'm a working actor creating working actors. I've established a home for actors—a sort of one-stop shopping acting school where an actor can study technique, script analysis, cold reading, improv, auditioning, and have an opportunity to present and be critiqued at prepared work." Each student works in every class, she said. "My belief is: If you have a dream, you already have what it takes to achieve it," she added. (323) 960-5534.


Headed by teacher/actor/choreographer Lane Napper, this school focuses on sitcoms, episodics, soaps, and commercials, training in on-camera technique. Lane, on staff at Warner Bros. Studios, regularly invites special guest speakers ranging from top level TV producers and execs to mainstream casting directors and talent agents. $125/mo. (323) 933-8525.


A former casting director for major studios, Jackson schedules private coaching sessions for actors based on work with objects and right-brain method for film. Students are booking pilots, episodics, and roles in feature films. Jackson uses the system described in Acting Truths & Fictions and in Since Stanislavski and Vakhtangov. It's $40 per hour or $30 if two students work together. (323) 464-6280.


Teacher/director/actor James, who has worked professionally around the world, conducts ongoing workshops and private sessions offering a technique meant to "empower the actor to communicate as specifically, effectively, and as powerfully as possible." She explained, "To be instinctive is not enough. To be 'natural' is not enough. One must learn to be 'unsafe' to discover the deep places inside you that have a voice, that will inspire and surprise you, and are the dimensional, exciting 'real' you. An actor must learn, as a musician, to know and play his/her full instrument." James, whose experience embodies a wide range of training from Strasberg to Hagen to commedia dell' arte to Shakespeare, also directs and teaches at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and works on-camera with students at AFI. Limited enrollment. (818) 562-3075.


Jaress offers classes in cold reading and interview technique for film, television, and commercials, as well as scene study and improvisation, for beginning, intermediate, and advanced actors. An interview is required for beginning class. An interview and audition is required for intermediate and advanced classes. What Jaress called a "positive approach" is used to encourage creativity and rapid advancement. "My goal is to get you prepared to work as quickly as possible," she said. "If you need a tyrant, try another coach." Private classes are available. (310) 828-7814.


"Acting is living in someone else's pain and revealing it as your own. The power of the actor lies in a willingness to be authentic," says Jentzen. "I help my students find their center, inspiration, and creativity. From that comes unlimited career possibilities, whether in film, theatre, or TV." Jentzen, a former actor and award-winning writer/director who studied at American Conservatory Theater and graduated from UCLA, offers professional classes covering cold reading, scene work, monologues, on-camera training and improv, with a focus on the individual. Tuition for all levels is scaled—the longer a student is enrolled, the lower the fee. With an M.A. in spiritual psychology, she runs an essence workshop, which supports actors with tools on handling the emotional roller coaster of the profession. As a longtime teacher of musical theatre performers, many of whom have made it to Broadway, Jentzen will be offering a unique musical theatre/scene study class beginning in June. (818) 779-7770.


Jesse, who has been running her Los Angeles studio since 1978, is the author of Let the Part Play You and The Playing Is the Thing, which detail her approach to scene study, cold reading, monologues, and on-camera technique. Jesse suggests prospective students may learn more about her technique by browsing through her books, available at Samuel French Bookshops. Limited enrollment at the Studio allows the three teachers to work with actors at least twice each workout session. Admission to the six different ongoing classes, which are offered at a variety of levels and prices, requires an interview and audition. Auditing is not allowed. Classes are available four days a week. (323) 876-2870, ext. 1.


Casting director Tara-Anne Johnson teaches an ongoing sitcom workout class that focuses on seeing auditions with a casting director's eye and knowing what it takes to get the job. Her classes cover such topics as scene objectives, timing, pacing, and transitions, and include work on every type of role from series regulars to one-liners. "Every student works in every class," said Johnson. Her fee is $175 for the first month and $150 for following months. Classes are limited to 16 students each. An audition is required. (818) 616-2220.


Ongoing classes on cold readings, monologues, scene study, and on-camera technique. The Just Breathe classes use a unique process to find true emotional availability and get the actor comfortable with silence. Private coaching available (818) 763-3553 x. 2.


The Carnegie-Mellon-educated Kagen has been teaching around the world for nearly 30 years and now offers ongoing on-camera classes. His staff includes highly experienced working actors with degrees from Carnegie-Mellon, the Yale School of Drama, and New York University's Graduate School of Theatre. He also offers private coaching. Acceptance is by a paid on-camera working session. 6442 Coldwater Canyon Ave. Ste. 208, N. Hollywood. (818) 752-9678.


Norm Shannon, a working professional actor since age 2, heads this full-spectrum acting school serving Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties from Fallbrook. Adult students are accepted at all experience levels, subject to a pre-enrollment interview. The curriculum covers all phases of acting for film, TV, and commercials, with an emphasis on auditions and cold reading. Shannon helps level the playing field for actors who live beyond the borders of L.A. Private lessons are offered. No auditing. Studio: (760) 941-2556; office: (760) 451-2965.


Kaniecki conducts audition technique and cold reading classes and offers private coaching. Semesters are 10 weeks, ongoing, with entry at any time. One free introductory class/audit is offered. The initial series is $375, and discounts are available for future 10-packs of classes. (818) 753-5393, or (310) 656-7731.


Katzman has been teaching for 14 years, primarily in New York but also in Great Britain, Denmark, and Argentina. His work is founded in the techniques taught at Yale School of Drama, where he earned his M.F.A., and in his earlier studies with Stella Adler. He offers classes in groups of 12, focusing on the major plays of Anton Chekhov and other major playwrights. He also offers private coaching in Shakespeare, modern plays, preparation for auditions, and scene analysis. (888) 895-2166.


As an actress, director, and coach with more than 28 years of experience, Kent coaches from a combination of acting techniques, intuition, experience (in front of and behind the camera), and heart. Her emphasis, she said, is on "coaching the actor to understand and identify the fears that block him or her from taking the risks to make bold choices." And the objective of classes, through cold readings, and strengthening audition skills, is quite simply "to book work." Kent offers private coaching, ongoing classes, and an eight-week sitcom intensive (four times a year). All other sessions are ongoing. (818) 906-2201.


Kilton-Smith is primarily an on-set coach, but she maintains two scene study classes, nine months annually. The class, she said, is "steeped in work and heavy rehearsal." Experienced and inexperienced actors work side by side. Classes run on a monthly rotation basis; auditors with headshot and resume are allowed into the first and last class of each month. The class is offered Mondays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Wednesday evening 7-11 p.m., at a cost of $225 per month. (323) 650-4204.


As one of Hollywood's most prominent acting coaches, Kirby has shared his expertise in all media, including interviews on A&E's Biography on Cameron Diaz, HBO, USA, Entertainment Tonight, Entertainment Weekly, the Learning Annex, and ITV's Desperately Seeking Stardom. He said he has "great compassion and respect for the actor, bringing out remarkable results without destroying the actor's spirit." He offers three intensive scene study classes that are "extremely disciplined and require strong commitment," and which use Uta Hagen's fundamentals, with emphasis on exploring a character, script analysis, and finding the human condition. Classes are held at the John Kirby Studio, which give the actor a sense of working on a film set. Fees are $450 every 12 weeks (one class a week). Private coaching is available daily, as are on-camera commercials. (323) 467-7877.


The acting coach for Oscar-winning actor Al Pacino offers intensive scene study classes. Only dedicated students, serious about the craft, should apply. It's $200 a month. (213) 400-3686.


"Do his students work?" LaValle believes this is the question actors should ask when looking for a teacher. LaValle teaches an eclectic technique melded from more than 20 years of experience on stage, film, television, and commercial work. Explained LaValle, "It is important to learn specific techniques, but no one school of thought will suffice in all situations." LaValle teaches a way of "creating a character that draws from the vast experiences that each individual actor possesses." Five-hour classes of between 12 and 15 students ensure that every student works every week. New students are required to participate in a free class audit during which they will work on a monologue. (818) 788-2183.


"I'm interested in teaching actors who are open to taking risks and discovering their instruments in a safe environment," said Leslie, who studied with Lee Strasberg, Kim Stanley, and Stella Adler, worked with Elia Kazan, has taught in Paris and at the School of Visual Arts New York, and is currently teaching at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in Los Angeles and at the Actors Studio West. Her classes consist of sense memory work, improv, and scene analysis. Acceptance is by interview only. Leslie also offers private coaching and classes, and is seeking not only working actors but directors and writers, as well. The one requisite for all her students, Leslie said, is passion. Leslie is on the Board of Governors of the American Film Institute Associates. (310) 278-8113.


The author of Your Film Acting Career and a teacher for more than 25 years in the U.S. and Europe, Lewis uses his experience in film, TV, and stage to lead his ongoing Acting for the Camera class. He also offers a 12-week cold-reading course and a 10-week film-technique course to professional and mid-level performers. All classes cost $190 per month, and auditing is OK. (310) 826-8118.


"The L.A. Workshop in Orange County" Lloyd's workshop is an actors' training center focused on talent development, career coaching, and establishing connections in the entertainment industry. Casting director Richard DeLancy teaches the scene study and cold reading class for television and film, Clio Award director Richard Goldstone teaches improv-based commercial acting, director/actress Lilyan Chauvin teaches acting, Actor Cal Gibson teaches comedy improvisation, Stephanie Lloyd teaches acting and offers private coaching. Alumni include Natasha Gregson Wagner, Shannen Doherty, and Vicellous Shannon. (949) 497-8274.


In association with Los Angeles Center Studios, founders Franco Sama, Chris Berg, and Noah Blake offer acting, writing, producing, and directing classes on a live studio lot. Students from the various classes will work together to create projects such as short films, feature films, and pilot TV episodes. These will be posted on the facility and screened onsite in a state-of-the-art 400-seat theatre, and then distributed to festivals. (213) 534-3010.


Now in its 36th year, the award-winning theatrical production company behind such acclaimed productions as Assassins, Rocket to the Moon, and A Doll's House offers a changing variety of classes designed to give continuing professional training to the serious actor. Currently, there is a scene study class taught by renowned West Coast actor/director David Ellenstein (four weeks for $150), and a scene study class taught by veteran actor John Herzog ($150 for four consecutive classes). Robert Ellenstein, founding director of the company, is also teaching a Shakespeare performance class. All classes are limited to 12 students. Entry is by interview. 6560 Hollywood Blvd., 2nd floor, Hollywood. (323) 464-8542.


Lyman, who has studied with Uta Hagen and Milton Katselas, teaches a weekly class at In the Act in West L.A. The focus is on sharpening and expanding artistic skills, cold reading, audition techniques, and "learning the power of communicating with other actors." Classes are in a small group environment. Free Monday morning and Tuesday evening class audits are offered. (310) 839-8311.


Lyndon, an actress and award-winning director, writer, and producer with several television and film projects in development, teaches cold reading/booking classes at the Two Roads Theatre. "If you're ready to improve your callback/booking rate to 80 percent, then this is the class for you," said Lyndon. She has worked for nine years to continuously help actors book feature films and regular/guest-starring spots on TV (three of her students were cast as regulars on TV series) teaching from her own experience of acting in more than 40 features, 25 television shows, and 30 theatrical productions. In her Thursday and Monday night classes, she "caters to each actor as if it's a private," and teaches the actor "to get out of their heads and into their hearts." She offers private coaching for auditions and career consultation and evaluation. (818) 760-8501.


Lyons is a working actor/teacher who wants his students to "learn what to apply and how to apply with actual workable technique." Students who have studied with Lyons include Juliette Lewis, Heather Locklear, and Danny Masterson. Professional classes and private sessions offered. (818) 766-6480.


Manderino, the author of All About Method Acting and Stanislavski's Fourth Level, teaches a Method technique blending Strasberg, Adler, and Stanislavski. Each class begins with a technique exercise, followed by an improv scene to quickly experience the results of the exercise. "I believe an acting talent should first be technique-honed," Manderino said, adding, "This is of enormous value for industry workshops." He also offers private cold reading coaching based on audition technique he developed when teaching at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Classes are ongoing and audition is by audit and/or interview. (323) 860-8790.


Working actor/acting coach Marciano believes that making a living in show business is determined by finding your type, perfecting it, and selling it. He believes the actor must work on scenes in class that will help him or her perfect that type, so he offers classes in scene study and cold reading at YADA in West Hollywood, as well as monthly "work weeks" and industry nights. He says, "My job as a coach is to inspire as well as help actors find the confidence necessary to walk into a room and nail the audition." He also offers private coaching. (323) 935-7477.


Of his ongoing basic and advanced classes on scene study, Marcus says, "There are no instant ways to arrive at authentic and complex behavior. I stress soul-enriching methods to arrive at acting that takes you off the page and into the heart. Demand to work every week to get your talent on track and your career in full swing." Marcus was profiled on E! Entertainment's "Actors Who Teach" segment, and assists actors on TV, movies, and stage. His rates are $150 for every four classes. Free auditing is allowed. Private coaching is also available. (323) 965-9392.


Classes are offered on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City, where students perform monthly in a theatre before live audiences. Also featured are industry-only showcases on the lot. Classes include improvisational comedy, auditioning training, character development for sitcom, cold readings, and more. Classes are taught by guest artistic directors including John Bedard, Andy Goldberg, and Valarie Landsburg. Classes now forming. (818) 999-1956.


McGregor-Stewart said she teaches "an approach that balances mind, body, and spirit" in her ongoing acting technique and scenework classes for all levels. A well-known actress from the Broadway stage and the screen, McGregor-Stewart, who also serves as a private coach to many celebrities, including James Gandolfini, Marisa Tomei, and Oprah Winfrey, charges $240 per four classes at all levels. She also offers private coaching and intermittent workshops on such subjects as cold reading, career goal planning and empowerment, audition skills, body aliveness, emotional access, and will help choose and prepare monologues to perform for agents. (323) 939-3384.


This studio, a.k.a. EMAS, is for serious acting students at any stage of their careers who want to "invest in their craft to become a well-skilled, unique, and exciting actor," said Mestnik, an award winning stage director, actress, and teacher who has coached such renowned actors as Ed Asner, Fred Savage, and Sharif Atkins. Classes are offered in the Meisner technique, scene study, and basic technique, with weekend workshops that include on-camera technique, commercial audition, voice, and movement as well as private coaching. Mestnik calls her studio "a vibrant community" of actors, directors, writers and teachers. Class size is kept small and students work every class. Evening, daytime, and weekend classes are offered at the Elephant Theatre in Hollywood. Interview required. (323) 528-6280.


Michalski offers eight classes plus two technically supported performances for $300. Everyone works in every class. Even the trades have weighed in on his work: In 1989, Variety wrote, "Part of John Michalski's gift is his ability to develop talented actors." (310) 396-5160.


Acting and coaching veteran Miller, the author of the popular A Passion for Acting and the instructional video Auditioning, as well as the Garland award-winning director of 1998's A Perfect Ganesh, offers ongoing classes in techniques to help actors use themselves practically and creatively at his North Hollywood studio. Miller has been the teacher of many successful actors, including Barbara Streisand, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, and Peter Boyle. Enrollment is by interview only. The cost is $150 per month; Miller's private coaching runs $100 an hour. (818) 907-6262.


"Creativity is often stifled in a sea of subtext and acting rhetoric," said Miller-Bruce, an L.A. acting coach since 1982 who has received a university faculty award for excellence. She describes her teaching as a simple, effective approach to understanding the text and presenting it "with abandon and believability." Miller-Bruce offers an on-camera class and private sessions to all levels for what she calls a "reasonable tuition." (818) 990-5324.


This group, started by the MOMO Artistic Collective as a low-cost alternative to acting class, is a space where actors meet once a week to "escape the treadmill of auditioning and just think about acting," as its group's founders put it. Exercises focus primarily on improvisation (both comic and dramatic) and naturalism in acting. MOMOWorks is collectively run, and all profits go back into the workshop. Participants take turns leading the workshops, and the cost varies according to attendance. (323) 651-5464.


Morris' system is based on the Method, but, as Morris puts it, it "goes way beyond" the original Stanislavski system. Indeed, the process he teaches is of his own creation. A teacher for more than 40 years, Morris is the author of five books about acting. He teaches three classes each week; each is between four and five hours long. All classes are kept intimate and small so every actor works in each class. Cost is $250 per month. A free audit is offered. Morris also offers weekend workshops and private lessons. (323) 466-9250.


Morse, a Stanford graduate and an actress with more than 150 roles on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in repertory, and in TV and film, has been a teacher for 30 years and coaches on numerous TV series and MOWs. She offers an ongoing weekly workout for professionals to refresh and develop their craft. "This is a safe place to dare and to deepen techniques," said Morse. The cost is $120 per month, and she encourages actors to come and interview. Classes for adult beginners, and for teens and young people, are also available. She also offers private coaching. (818) 766-5424.


The Larry Moss Studio has been in L.A. for 12 years. Moss, who trained with Sanford Meisner and taught at Juilliard and Circle in the Square, teaches a professional class and an intermediate/advanced class. His partner, Michelle Danner, teaches a master scene study class, a technique breakdown class, and an on-camera cold reading class. John Cirigliano teaches several beginner and intermediate scene study classes. There is no auditing. Acceptance is by interview. In fall 2002 the studio will move to Edgemar Center for the Arts, a brand new two-theatre complex in a building designed by Frank Gehry in Santa Monica. 1242 3rd St., Santa Monica. (310) 399-3666.


Muscat has acted for 30 years and coached for 25, and his private coaching concentrates on cold reading and film acting technique. Muscat works as an on-set film coach, with credits including Terminator 2, The Client, and The Patriot. He coaches on-camera for $75 an hour and offers a money-back guarantee. (818) 904-9494.


Nadler has been an actress, teacher, casting director, and director for 18 years. For the past five years, she had been teaching, directing, and consulting on both coasts helping actors make transitions from New York and other regions to Los Angeles. "It's all you," said Nadler. "I just help you tap in deeper for a more dynamic and enhanced performance, and in this town you must stand out." Nadler holds different level classes and is available for private coaching, and consulting, as well as to direct projects. (213) 217-8226.


Nash has an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama and teaches at USC, the American Academy of Dramatic Art, as well as privately. She teaches basic acting technique, audition skills, Shakespeare, language skills, and on-camera commercial classes. As an audition coach, her focus is on "equipping the actor with a foolproof structure and timing that will support them while allowing freedom of spontaneous choices." As an acting teacher, she emphasizes the body-mind-emotion connection truthfully expressed in the present moment. (310) 395-3603.


Actor/director/producer Nelson (now executive producer of Rock and Wrestling) spends his nights teaching at Theatre Unlimited in North Hollywood, in addition to offering private coaching during the day. His four classes—basic technique (a three-month class), sensory (ongoing), and intermediate and advanced scene study (ongoing)—meet once a week and cost $165 per month. Nelson allows auditing after an interview. (818) 786-7154.


An award-winning theatrical producer/director and working TV and film actress, Nogulich has been teaching acting for 15 years. A former student of Stella Adler and David Mamet, Nogulich offers private coaching and scene study classes focusing on the Stanislavski approach to acting. Her advanced scene study class meets Tuesday nights, 6:30-10:30 p.m., costs $240 per eight-week session, and requires a preliminary audition. Audits are allowed for $20, and classes are held at the Egyptian Arena Theatre, a beautiful, fully equipped 99-Seat theatre in Hollywood. (310) 826-3865.


Noon offers an intensive workout for actors focusing on scene work, physical and vocal work, and improvisation. The class is designed, she said, for actors at all levels who want to increase their range and flexibility and to expand their "world of creative possibilities." Noon said every actor works every session and "walks away a more confident and stronger actor, able to play a greater variety of roles with ever-increasing depth." Noon, an actor and director, has taught extensively for the past 10 years in Los Angeles at California Institute of the Arts and Loyola Marymount University, as well as master classes in the U.S. and Europe. She is artistic director of the Ghost Road Company. Classes are ongoing and a 10-week session is $275. Private coaching at an hourly rate is also available. (323) 293-3729.


Seasoned actors and motivated beginners work on technique, scene study, improvisation, and audition skills. Ongoing workshops, conducted by current casting directors and working actors, are limited to 16 students. $180-300 per session of six to eight weeks. Audits allowed for a fee. Interview/audition required. (818) 789-8662.


Elizabeth Kent and Bob Edmiston teach an ongoing class designed to prepare the actor to compete on a professional level. The class covers all aspects of the acting process, including cold reading, scene study, emotional instrumental work, commercials, comedy, and improvisation, as well as career development. Edmiston has been in the industry for 45 years as a casting director and owner of First Artists Agency. Kent has worked in the industry for 25 years as an actress, casting director, and associate agent. Children's classes are now available. (949) 675-3272.


Award-winning producer/director Alan Von Kalckreuth of Hollywood Film Colony offers classes in acting for the camera, addressing script reading, camera presence, cold reading, and audition techniques. Character analysis and portrayal will be presented in the camera environment. (714) 897-4475.


Osmond teaches on-camera scene-study classes in Santa Monica. He said he doesn't limit himself to one specific technique, instead focusing on the individual and applying the appropriate technique to that person. He's been in the business for more than 30 years and is well-respected within the industry. (310) 393-6022.


Actor/director/writer Geoff Hoff teaches what he calls an "ongoing class for actors who love what actors do." Hoff studied acting for many years under Bob and Joan Welch, Matt Chait, and Harry Mastrogeorge, and in his own weekly scene study sessions he offers exercises "designed to encourage actors to access and engage their imagination, and to gain a sensual connection with the circumstances of the script." Classes are $150 a month, and Hoff also offers private coaching. (310) 839-7033.


Actor/director/producer Peretz offers intensive classes in scene study, sensory exercises, cold reading, and improvisational work. Classes range from beginning to professional levels and focus on each actor's individual work and growth process. Peretz is a moderator and member of the Actors Studio. All classes are held at Peretz's Third Street Theater, a fully equipped Equity 99-Seat Plan theatre. An interview is required for admission. Private coaching is available. (323) 852-0614.


Place, who spent years studying under Lee Strasberg and was an original Groundlings member, said that her goal is to "create a safe place for serious actors to work on their craft with small classes, reasonable prices, excellent coaching, and lots of support." She works to blend Method exercises with improv to strengthen the actor's instinct, interaction, and creativity. (323) 225-9850.


Robert Carnegie and Jeff Goldblum founded this school in 1981. The faculty takes an ensemble approach to teaching in its ongoing beginning, intermediate, advanced, and senior advanced classes. The playhouse, which has a second North Hollywood location called Playhouse West Studio Two, also regularly develops and stages plays with members of the senior advanced class. A free audit is required. 4250 Lankershim Blvd. and 10634 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hollywood. (818) 881-6520.


An Emmy Award-winning casting director and a former network executive and former studio executive, Powell is conducting six-week classes in mastering the audition process. All levels taught, limited to small groups. Powell said she wants her students to "understand what really goes on in those rooms." (818) 789-8662.


Located in the heart of Hollywood at Fairfax and Melrose, Praxis Actors Studio offers training in fundamentals, scene study, and on-camera acting. It focuses on creating an environment that is safe, supportive, and allows actors to discover and grow at their own pace. The faculty at Praxis includes two-time Academy Award-nominated actress Mary McDonnell and working actor Randle Mell. The facility includes a 45-seat theatre, a 1,200-foot soundstage, and a rehearsal studio. Admission is by interview only. (323) 653-4160.


Coach Anne Hulegard describes her workshops as "an inspiring, supportive, and safe environment in which to develop your craft, overcome fears, and follow your dreams." Actor/director/producer Hulegard has more than 20 years of experience in theatre, film, and television. Her workshops include scene study, monologue work, improvisation, theatre, film, television, and commercial techniques as well as the "business" of acting. All levels are welcome. Private coaching is available. (310) 621-6303.


(818) 648-0891.


Laura Lasky's ongoing monthly sessions are designed to help actors "find out what's holding [them] back and quit it." Her small classes and private coaching emphasize on-camera and audition training, "because the audition is the job." (818) 623-8830.


Reece, a 30-year veteran of film, TV, and theatre based in San Francisco, and a lifetime member of the Actor's Studio, teaches "progressive Method Acting," which he described as "in-depth process work on emotional availability, exposure to specific craft tools to stimulate behavior and emotional life for characters, understanding tension, inspiration, and unconscious creative process." Reece has worked with Lee Strasberg, Jonathan Demme, Clint Eastwood, Sydney Pollack, Martin Ritt, and John Sturges. $180 per month for ongoing weekly classes; private sessions are $90 per hour; weekend out-of-town workshops are $330, including food and lodging. Free audit. (415) 928-8929.


Rehfeld combines a cold reading/scene study class with a hands-on showcase in an effort to create "a supportive, intimate workshop setting." Invited guests include casting directors and producers from ER, Roswell, Felicity, Will & Grace, MTV, Buffy, The Practice, and feature films. Rehfeld said she comes "highly recommended" by casting director Kerry Barden, whose credits include Boys Don't Cry, Shakespeare in Love, and Chocolat. She also has a Pros and Kids youth division for children and teens. Private coaching is available. (323) 782-8537.


Reise's acting classes specialize in cold reading for beginners through professional levels. The focus of the classes is on the reality of the acting business, teaching actors how to develop their acting skills so they can book jobs and get agents. Scene work is geared toward film and television. Classes are ongoing and are held in the afternoons and evenings. Reise offers bi-monthly orientations for admittance into classes. (323) 874-5593.


Working actor Rich offers private coaching, as well as an ongoing class for students who have already been through his private sessions. Former students include Rene Russo, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Sharon Stone. While Rich is open to working with new students, he noted, "I don't teach anyone who's a dilettante who only wants to play. I only teach people who are serious." Rich teaches actors the same "organic technique" he uses in his own work. Rather than prospective students being required to audition for him, Rich said he auditions for them. He can be seen working in an evening of Shakespeare; call for information. Rich has recurring roles on the series C.S.I. and Judging Amy. (323) 465-4007.


Former agent and director of the Bobby Ball Agency, Richards offers acting classes for children and adults in Orange County and the Valley. (818) 324-9802.


In his ongoing classes, Roberts said he teaches "how to turn nerves into excitement—how to be up and brilliant instead of down and scared." A 36-year veteran of Broadway, theatre, film, soaps, and series, Roberts studied acting in New York with Herbert Berghof, Uta Hagen, Philip Burton, Milton Katselas, and Lee Strasberg, and on this coast with Charles Conrad and Eric Morris. His ongoing class on "actors' survival" focuses on everything from interviewing to auditioning to performing, and it's $30 a session or $100 a month. Roberts also offers powerful private coaching and audition preparation. (310) 827-9661.


Suzanne Krull and Steve Rosenbaum teach a 10-week acting intensive that culminates in an acting showcase. "We take the actors through a process as if directing them," said Rosenbaum. "We pick their material, take them through exercises, build an ensemble. It's more than just the standard, headshot-given, let's-get-an-agent showcase. But because this is L.A., we're not opposed to that." Taught at the Complex on Santa Monica Blvd., classes are limited to 20 students and cost $400. (323) 660-1369, mailbox 2.


Salazar teaches ongoing beginning/intermediate and advanced classes and will accept only those students who are "driven to become the best actors they can be." His classes focus on scene study, monologue work, improvisational skills, and audition techniques. He also offers an on-camera class. The class environment is "challenging and geared toward the individual," he said. Salazar has his own theatre and showcases. He also offers private coaching and allows auditing. (323) 882-6433.


"The greatest gift you have to offer is yourself," said Salinger. "Bring yourself to the work and become fearless." And make sure to showcase yourself: among the guests at Salinger's next industry evening will be director Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents). An award-winning actress and coach, Salinger has worked with Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, and Tim Burton, and can be seen in Ghost World, the upcoming The Debtors with Michael Caine, and improvising with Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm. She offers intensive classes in technique, scene study, improvisation, and cold reading from beginning to professional levels and encourages her actors to write and use their imagination. Private coaching for all ages is also available. (323) 654-0937.


Commercial, TV, film, and standup comedy workshops are offered here, alongside actors' marketing services. Workshops in spokesmodeling and working in trade shows are available. (310) 527-2704.


"To the actor," said Chris DeCarlo, "'class' is that special environment we create for ourselves in which we may practice the ritual of discovering our creative being." That's the kind of environment DeCarlo strives to create at the Santa Monica Playhouse (where he is co-artistic director) in this eight-week workshop that uses improv to teach actors to make powerful and immediate choices for auditions, as well as performance work, by unleashing creativity, developing exciting characters, and conquering the critic within. He is entering his 33rd year as teacher of the workshop. Acceptance to classes is by interview. He also offers private coaching. 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. (310) 394-9779, ext. 673.


Sarno conducts a scene study workshop, works with monologues and improvisation, tries to get students to focus on the objectives of character and recognize emotional beats, and covers topics such as blocking and being directed. He also holds audition workshops for TV, film, and commercials. (818) 761-3003.


The Saunderses say they help actors "change the unconscious patterns and beliefs that are holding back their careers." Whether a student has limitations in accessing authentic emotions, is "losing power" in auditions, or has fears about moving to the next level of success, the Saunders' said that their techniques "quickly get to the heart of underlying sabotages and free the actor's joy, creativity, and power." Actor and teacher Dee Wallace Stone has said of their work, "I've seen students in my studio take amazing leaps forward in their acting, start showing up 100 percent in auditions, and book work three times more quickly than before." They offer private sessions, workshops, and retreat intensives. (818) 385-1038 or (310) 663-1014.


Savage holds evening classes at Spot Studio in Silverlake that are coach-driven and technique-oriented, focusing both on the craft and on getting work. Audition material is worked on, as well as scenes and exercises. Actors work each class. Classes include no more than 10 people and are $130 per four-week session. Private coaching is also available. (323) 257-3412.


In what he calls an "extremely holistic approach to acting," actor/teacher Meindl offers ongoing classes for all levels to improve cold reading and scene study skills. His is a technique, he said, that "requires the actor to use the totality of who he or she is to first embody, then transform, into character. The actor learns how to expand his consciousness in approaching a character and simultaneously hastens his own healing through his own self-expression." Meindl has been teaching for eight years, three in New York, where he studied and worked with Circle Repertory Theatre and Sande Shurin, and for five years in Los Angeles. He offers his classes at the Third Street Theater in Hollywood. (323) 461-4792.


Sedita, a former agent and casting director, has been an acting coach for 20 years, and has worked developing the careers of such talents as Courteney Cox and Christopher Meloni. He offers classes in on-camera cold reading, on-camera film and TV acting, and scene study. Scott Tyler teaches a 10-week comprehensive acting technique workshop called "nuts and bolts," which focuses on the works of Stanislavski, Meisner, and Uta Hagen. Patrick Munoz teaches a class called "Acting Through Voice & Speech." The studio recently formed an in-house theatre group, performing one-act plays every month for invited industry. (323) 465-6152.


For this talented actor, teacher, and voice coach, it's all about "putting the thought into action." Working with texts of Chekhov, Ibsen, and Shakespeare as well as contemporary playwrights, she emphasizes "structured techniques to play a scene or monologue," honing in on imagery, breath, and analysis of the written word. Her vocal coaching, she said, uses an approach that works on the "intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual sides of the person to tap into the power, scope, and possibility of their voice." (818) 553-1722.


Shari Shaw offers a class designed to give actors "the practical tools to get the job." Shaw said it also allows actors the "chance to use the best parts of themselves and feel how it is to be on both sides of the room." (818) 766-0346.


Shayne, award-winning actress and producer, offers an acting workshop with attention to the individual at Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. One-on-one and as-a-group training are offered in sense memory, affective memory, scene study, script analysis, character development, improvisation, and auditioning techniques. Enrollment is by interview. Serious actors only. Private coaching is also available. (323) 934-0993.


A 10-year student of Roy London and a working actress with 20 years of experience, Silvers offers several main classes: a foundation tools course, a beginner/intermediate and advanced scene study with script analysis, and designing your career. Silvers, who currently works with respected directors in the industry, encourages the discovery of "truthful, high-risk choices" through an active method of analyzing the script and seeing the character based on the actor's personal emotional experience. "I help my students stop focusing on the outcome," she said, "and begin to build their own process for choosing the highest, most imaginative stakes that let their characters come alive." She also offers private coaching for auditions. (818) 755-4609.


Casting director Skoff teaches an ongoing class on cold reading and audition technique. The cost is $150 a month, and an audition is required. "I have a proven method that teaches the actors how to break down every scene and understand it, every time," claimed Skoff, who also offers private coaching. (818) 760-2058.


Slavin is proud of her ability to "recognize and connect with the individuality of each student." She said, "I work to help the actors tap into this uniqueness so that they can gain the confidence to risk their best in a highly competitive market." She is a veteran of New York theatre, television, and film, and a Cable Ace Award nominee for HBO's Sessions. Her training includes study with Uta Hagen and Roy London. She offers scene study classes, private coaching, cold reading, group and individual technique training, as well as an eight-week intensive technique course. (310) 582-3485.


"I'm not banging a drum for any one specific acting technique. All have strong points as well as significant blind spots," said director/teacher Sossi. "My approach is both eclectic and intuitive, from Stanislavski through the Europeans to Grotowski/Brook, the sole criterion being: What's working for that particular actor?" Sossi's pragmatic approach comes from his diverse background directing everything from episodic TV/film and commercial theatre to his avant-garde work, both internationally and at his 32-year-old, multiple-award-winning Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. Sossi, awarded the L.A. Drama Critics Circle's Ron Link Award for Lifetime Achievement in Directing, teaches an ongoing intensive scene study/monologue class. He looks for longterm working relationships and asks for an initial eight-week trial commitment. (323) 650-2412, or at Odyssey Theatre, (310) 477-2055.


This respected Orange County theatre has an extensive education program, including a four-year young conservatory and a neighborhood conservatory. Its Theatre Conservatory offers nine-week classes in specific areas of advanced acting technique, from performance and scene work to characterization and script analysis. The professional conservatory is an eight-week summer program with classes on audition technique, script analysis, voice, Shakespeare, and physical characterization. The director of the adult professional conservatory is actor, director, and playwright Karen Hensel, who teaches alongside seasoned instructors Martha McFarland, Hal Landon Jr., Greg Atkins, and Laurie Woolery. (714) 708-5577.


Film director/coach Speiser has coached Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Jack Wagner, the Wayans brothers, Mandy Moore, and Jeff Foxworthy. "My approach is specifically designed for professional actors, or actors who want to be professional," Speiser explained. "It's very specific and no-nonsense." His ongoing classes are divided into three levels: a beginning technique class, an intermediate scene-study technique class, and an invitation-only advanced scene-study class. Other teachers include Fred Tucker and Jay Convente. An interview is required, and one audit is allowed. Speiser also offers career counseling, cold reading classes, and private coaching for auditions. (310) 399-4567.


This studio is run by a state-credentialed teacher and specializes in the protection and education of kids, teens, young adults, and newcomers, but it also offers TV/Film/Commercial workshops and acting-career preparation for all ages at two locations: Inland Empire and Hollywood. (909) 946-8890.


After 45 years of acting and coaching, Stage 13's Bob Beecher has learned, and shed, "all the wrong ways to do things," he said. "Now my approach is to try the simplest solution rather than the most complicated." Beecher, who also served as director of the SAG Conservatory's scene program for two decades, teaches an ongoing class on commercials and scene study. The two-hour class is limited to four students, and costs $60 every four weeks. His private coaching runs $30 an hour. (818) 768-3686.


Circus Theatricals artistic director Jack Stehlin teaches an advanced scene study course that focuses on the preparation and presentation of two-character scenes from classic and modern plays. The actor learns how to explore the text, rehearse, and finally present the character while fulfilling the values and needs of the play. Classes are ongoing, Monday evenings. Stehlin is an award-winning actor/director/producer and graduate of Juilliard School. (310) 226-6144.


Stipanich did a long stint as a literary agent at Writers & Artists Agency, where he was the in-house coach for free cold reading classes provided to the agency's clients. He offers an audition workshop based on Michael Shurtleff's "guideposts," with an emphasis on humor and listening. (323) 654-0740.


Phil De Champlain's coaching is based on his own experience as an actor, writer, and coach for more than 14 years. "Students learn to look inside themselves and find out what makes them unique," said De Champlain. His ongoing classes, offered in Studio City, prepare an actor for TV and film. The focus: "on-camera" auditioning, cold reading, improvisation, and scene study. Students will learn a line-reading exercise that will take them to a professional on-camera reading level. Agent and industry showcases are offered. The cost is $125 for 5 weeks, with a one-time free audit. Private tutoring is also available. See www.stopdreamin .com for more complete details. (818) 500-0037.


Founded more than two decades ago by the famed Method teacher—a man his colleague Harold Clurman once called "the prophet of true emotion"—the institute offers classes in the Strasberg Method. The core training program is a three-year course taught in 12-week cycles, with tuition prices depending on the number of hours per week. Part-time and full-time programs are available. Subjects include acting for the camera, audition technique, scene study, improv, and voice. An acting program for ages 7-17 is also offered. The facility boasts an Equity 99-Seat Plan theatre, as well as two 49-seat Equity-approved theatres for student and professional productions. Admission is by application and interview. 7936 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 650-7777.


Street offers a weekly ongoing scene study and technique seminar at the Dorie Theatre in the Complex in Hollywood. "In an atmosphere where risk-taking at the highest level is encouraged," said Street, "my classes provide a forum for the development of craft, the discovery of the uniqueness of each individual actor, and the opportunity—through lab productions and staged readings—to showcase talent." Auditors are welcome. Classes cost $125 per month. (213) 251-9629.


Sylvan leads an ongoing "no B.S." acting workshop in which he stresses, "See the character, be the character" and "Keep it simple, make it real." The workshop meets Monday nights, and free auditing is welcome. Explained Sylvan, "I do not teach Method acting. Pretending you're a tree or a monkey or bacon has nothing to do with what happens between 'Action' and 'Cut.'" www.paulsylvan .com. (818) 990-0131.


Instructors Derik Wingo and Kipp Tribble offer beginning and intermediate courses day and evening, focusing on the development of the professional actor's career through intensive training plus a thorough examination of the business side. Different techniques, exercises, and instruction (some from different schools, some developed by the instructors) are given to each student on an individual basis. The cost is $140 per month. After the first two weeks, if the student feels that the class is not right for him or her, T&W will refund the deposit in full. E-mail (310) 899-0390.


This training and "networking" facility is run by David Man, acting teacher/coach for more than 30 years in New York and L.A and longtime casting director (for the CBS soap Search for Tomorrow), director, writer, and actor. He offers an on-camera class called "The Art of the Office" on audition/interview skills ($150/two evenings); a six-week on-camera cold reading/audition class ($250), and an ongoing scene study/technique lab ($200 a month). Said Man, "My approach is very pro-active. My main job is to teach actors to be independent and to teach themselves." Some of his former students include Mary McDonnell, Jeff Fahey, Marni Nixon, Alexander Paul, Sharon Lawrence, and Natasha Gregson-Wagner. Class sizes are limited. (310) 657-6139


Talent Academy, Inc. offers training for stage, film, and television actors in a program called "The Essence of Holistic Acting," created by the academy's president, George Djordjevic. This approach combines the original Stanislavski system with American and European acting trends, placing equal attention on the actor's mind, body, and spirit. Talent Academy will also be the major sponsor of the Los Angeles Actors Showcase, scheduled for spring of this year. E-mail: (800) 878-5070.


A dramaturg at the American Renegade Theatre Company and veteran of more than 40 plays, TV shows, MOWs, and feature films, Thompson offers a weekly ongoing technique class for beginning and intermediate students, focusing on what he calls a "Meisner hybrid" and using a teaching philosophy he calls "work your instrument." An interview/audition is not mandatory, and auditing is possible. Classes are limited to 12 students. Thompson offers an introductory fee of $80 per month. (818) 763-1834, ext. 205.


Todoroff directs classical and modern texts in an "unusually safe and supportive studio," as he describes. He also directs audition material. His teaching strives to combine the art, spirituality, and business of being an actor. He specialized in speech and voice production for many years, and believes that vocal freedom and variation is essential for authentic powerful acting. Students include Liam Neeson, Roma Downey, Jimmy Buffett, Robert Wagner, Alicia Witt, Tony Goldwyn, Sasha Alexander, Lolita Davidovich, and Bob Hoskins. He trained at Juilliard and with Stella Adler and Cicely Berry (Royal Shakespeare Company), among others. Todoroff also produces films and has made nine of them in the past six years. Classes meet Wednesday evenings in Santa Monica, and admission is by referral and/or audition. (310) 281-8688.


A member of the Actors Studio in New York who came West to work in TV, 35-year acting veteran Torrisi has been coaching fellow actors for five years and now teaches small ongoing classes in Torrance, covering cold reading, improvisation, scene work, and camera technique, for "a well-rounded approach." Classes are $100 a month or $25 per class, and audits are OK. He also offers private coaching for $25 an hour. (310) 335-2834.


With more than 31 years of experience in many facets of the business, including agenting, managing, casting, and speaking, Coral Leigh has conducted workshops at universities, competitions, and special events with individuals and small groups. Her focus is on informing aspiring performers and their families how the industry works, what they can expect, and what and what not to do. She conducts sessions using her guide and workbook How To Get In & Stay in Show Biz, plus 101 Ways to Avoid Being a Stageparent, which are for all ages. (818) 763-8063.


Traer teaches small scene-study classes on Tuesdays. His teaching emphasizes "emotional honesty," he said. He also offers some commercial classes and private audition coaching. An interview is required. Auditing is allowed. Classes are limited to 12 students and cost $195 for four weeks. (818) 761-9955.


With 12 years of experience as a film and network TV casting director in Los Angeles and 20 years as an actress in New York and San Francisco, Tunder brings a unique perspective to her teaching and coaching. She said, "Having been in those rooms and experiencing the process firsthand, I know that you can be a very talented and skilled actor, but unless you know how to present yourself, you will not get work." Tunder teaches small individualized classes "geared to refining your craft and developing a career. One can't really function without the other." Industry guests visit the class, offered in the Universal City area, and admission is by interview only. Tunder also offers private coaching by appointment. (323) 969-0795 or (213) 683-3776.


Founded in 1986, TVI Actors Studio is one of the nation's largest resource centers for actors, offering dramatic instruction, entertainment industry networking, professional career consultation, and marketing support for actors. With full-service centers in Los Angeles and New York, weekend programs conducted in many U.S. cities and abroad, TVI aims to set the standard for merging traditional actor training with the realities of the business. Classes for all levels, taught by a faculty of 35 working industry professionals, cover cold reading technique, acting in feature films, sitcoms, theatre, improv, primetime and daytime TV, voiceovers, and commercials. Auditing is permitted in some classes. A range of free member benefits—including use of studio space with cameras and lights, computer workstations with Internet access, and TVI's Workspace, an in-house theatre company—is offered. 14429 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 118, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423. (818) 784-6500 or (800) 884-2772, ext. 1.


This program offers a comprehensive acting curriculum taught by industry professionals. Workshops address all aspects of the craft and business, such as basic techniques, scene study, camera work, auditioning, standup, voiceover, career advancement, and insider insight into how the business works. Participants enroll on a course-by-course basis. Fees vary. Classes are held on the UCLA campus, at the UCLA Extension facility on Universal CityWalk, and at various theatres. (310) 825-9064.


Van Mar Academy offers a full-service curriculum, and "specializes in getting careers started" for beginners and for actors who are not working. The school proudly claims to have helped students book 450 regular and recurring roles. Audits are free and required. (323) 650-8823.


Trained at the Piven Theatre Workshop and Barbara Gaine's Shakespeare Co., Vernon has credits that include The Fugitive, Seinfeld, and others. Cold reading workshops (Tues. 7:30-9:30 p.m.) focus on problem solving and are audition-oriented. The Actor's Workshops (now enrolling) emphasize focused play, scene study, character development, and discovering the actor's unique take on the work. Audits welcomed, and everybody works every week. (323) 466-0462, ext. 3.


Acting workshops are offered weeknights, and private coaching is available on weekends. One class is described as being based on "animal exercises," while another "works with symbols to access the subconscious." (310) 587-2714.


Visone teaches an acting seminar covering such topics as word games, improv, cold reading, monologues, and the "business" of showbiz. Classes, held on Saturdays and one weeknight, include professional guest speakers and a performance night. Tuition is $20 per class, or $75 per month, with a discount given to Synthaxis Theatre Company members. Actors with disabilities are welcome. There is a suggested eight-week minimum. (818) 506-4302.


Wain, a Moscow Art Theatre graduate, was a film and stage actor in Russia, has acted and directed in the United States, and for nearly 20 years has been teaching the Stanislavski System in Los Angeles. "I worked out a way of teaching that gives my students a very strong professional foundation, and in three months they feel enough confidence to audition for stage and screen," Wain said. Master classes start on Apr. 7. (323) 850-4676 ext. 117 or (310) 551-0585.


Wallace Stone's acting career includes memorablbe roles in such films as E.T., Cujo, and 10, and work on such TV productions as Ally McBeal, Touched by an Angel, and JAG. She has been teaching acting for eight years. Her classes have limited enrollment and run $195 per month; loosely based on the techniques of Meisner and Charles Conrad, her classes focus on giving a "positive approach to fearless acting." The studio also offers special classes for beginners, advanced on-camera, and children ages 4-17. (818) 876-0386, ext. 3#.


Craig Wallace has parlayed his many years of experience as a producer, talent agent, and casting consultant into the creation of the Wallace Audition Technique, which Wallace claims is a "rock-solid technique that ensures confidence and consistency in high-pressure audition situations, and allows you to convey your distinctive energy, own the room, and book the job." The six-week class, created by agents, producers, and casting directors, takes students through the entire audition process. (323) 960-7852.


Walters has been coaching actors, producers, writers, directors, and performers at all levels for 40 years. His ongoing classes and private and semi-private lessons in theatre, television, and film acting techniques specialize in cold readings, scene study, improvisation, and audition preparation. His TheatreCraft Playhouse is located in Hollywood. Walters has been featured on such TV shows as Entertainment Tonight and in such magazines as Time and People. (323) 876-1100.


Warhit's classes are specifically designed to prepare the actor for work in film and television. All classes are videotaped and audits are welcome. Once a month an industry professional (i.e. agent, casting director, manager) is invited to observe students' work and sit for a Q&A. Classes for beginner through working professional include scene study, cold reading, technique, improvisation, and commercial preparation. In addition to group classes, a four-week one-on-one camera workshop is offered that covers cold reading, camera technique, prerequisites for a great audition, and marketing of the actor. (310) 479-5647.


Warren's audition class is based on Michael Shurtleff's "guideposts" from his book Audition. (Warren used to substitute-teach Shurtleff's class when he was still teaching). Warren teaches two levels of classes—one for advanced working actors and one for the less experienced. Each student works three times a class: first, on a script analysis to learn how to "milk each script and to show all the colors each actor is capable of," then students improvise "with the object of stretching emotionally, whether in comedies or dramas." Finally, each student does a cold reading chosen by Warren to work on his or her goals. According to Warren, her class is recommended by casting directors, agents—even by Shurtleff himself. (323) 936-0195.


Watson, a private coach for adults, teens, and kids, also teaches monthly cold reading workshops. "In a supportive and energizing environment, I teach simple cold reading techniques to help actors remove the fear from auditioning," said Watson. "I also use group improvs to help students learn how to focus quickly, become more flexible, and find truth in the moment. I recognize actors as individuals and encourage them to work toward their fullest potential." Classes are kept small so that every actor works at least four times per workshop. Each workshop is a five-hour intensive designed, Watson said, for serious actors who want to take charge of their career. She teaches separate beginning and advanced levels. Classes are held on Saturdays or Sundays from noon-5 p.m. A phone interview is required for the beginning workshop and a personal interview is required for the Intermediate to advanced workshop. Watson is also now teaching an ongoing Tuesday evening cold reading class. (310) 273-7608.


These ongoing on-camera audition technique classes are taught by William Cowart, a 23-year veteran of the industry. Class size is limited to 10 students for these two-and-a-half-hour classes. Most are working professional actors, but some beginners are accepted. "Talent is doing easily what others find difficult," said Cowart. Classes are offered in L.A. and in San Diego. or (310) 777-1447.


The first on-camera workshop in the country started as Weist/Barron 45 years ago in New York; Lyle and Andrea Hill opened the Burbank branch 25 years ago. Soap producer Lyle Hill and former commercial casting director and psychologist Andrea Hill teach an array of on-camera classes, but the centerpiece is the duo's 10-session commercial TV workshop. "We use our own cold-reading technique, devised over the years," said Andrea. The workshop culminates with an industry showcase. Lyle teaches an ongoing TV, film, and soap opera class. Other classes, including those for children, are available and auditing is fine. 4300 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. (818) 846-5595.


Agents and managers refer most of West's students. In her eight- to 12-week classes in audition skills and in her private coaching, the emphasis is on preparation, in-depth script analysis, understanding different theatre and camera genres, goal setting, professionalism, creative risk-taking, the essential uses of breath, and the "freedom to play." All students perform for a working professional in the final class. West, a working actor and director with extensive TV, Broadway, and regional theatre credits, has taught for 15 years in New York at Michael Howard Studios (and still teaches there twice a year), and formerly taught at the School for Film and Television and at the Stella Adler Academy in L.A. Her studio is in West Hollywood. Private coaching is $75 for 75 minutes. She offers classes in January, late March/early April, and late August/early September. (323) 876-0394.


Weston is the author of Directing Actors and has been teaching for 16 years. She teaches ongoing scene study classes at intermediate and advanced levels, and an advanced Actor/Director Laboratory. An interview is required. (310) 392-2444.


Whitaker brings years of practical experience as a working actor/writer/director to this workshop in Hollywood, designed, he said, to teach a "realistic and usable approach to the craft of screen acting." Whitaker has appeared in more than 30 feature films as an actor, including Pulp Fiction, Tales From the Hood, and the title role in Eddie Presley. He has also had four screenplays produced, including Together & Alone, which he also directed. (323) 856-4767.


Among the actors Wolff has directed in his many years on Broadway and in television is Sean Penn, who said of Wolff that he "has a special gift for getting the best out of an actor's talent. He has the understanding of craft to build on the talent and the generosity of spirit to encourage the confidence an actor needs to apply his craft to his talent." His former students include such celebs as Matthew Modine, and Chazz Palminteri. Most recently he coached Dakota Fanning for her performance in I Am Sam. Wolff helps actors prepare both for auditions and for roles they've already landed. Said Wolff about his approach to acting: "If you want to glow like a star, you have to walk through the fire, which means you have to work without a net. You have to work with what I call 'controlled abandon.'" (323) 227-8363.


Wollner conducts Spolin Theatre Games, created by the visionary teacher Viola Spolin. Wollner has 15 years of teaching experience and encourages each actor to access the rich potential of his own imagination. Emphasis is placed on applying improvisational techniques to text and scene work. All levels are welcome. An interview is required. (323) 257-8910


Working actors Kirk Baltz and Barry Papick teach weekend sessions in Hollywood once a month. "We focus on group and individual exercises combining relaxation and emotional recall along with music and movement," said Papick, a student of Lee Strasberg who has coached actors such as Claire Danes and Sonja Sohn. Baltz, who studied with an apprentice of Sanford Meisner, and Papick coach privately. An interview is required and auditing is not allowed. All levels are welcome. Five-day sessions are also available. The weekend fee is $300. (323) 860-9977.


This listing includes coaches and institutions that almost exclusively teach approaches to classical work, especially but not exclusively Shakespeare. Many conservatories listed above under "Acting Schools," as well as in other categories, also offer specialized classes in classical work. Check other categories for details.


Geoffrey G. Forward knows his Bard. The founder and artistic director of the L.A. Shakespeare Company, Forward is also a scholar at Huntington Library and has been published in Shakespeare Quarterly. Unsurprisingly he said he takes "the classical approach" to Shakespeare in his eight-week monologue and 12-week performance workshop. "I approach it from the Elizabethan point of view; I feel if you can do that, then you can branch out into anything else you might want to do." Forward allows only 12 people into the monologue workshop. Some acting training and experience are required; the class is for serious actors who aren't familiar with the classics or who simply want to brush up. His eight-week classes are $295, and a 12-week class is $500. His private coaching services run $100/hour and $60/half-hour. Classes are held on a full, Globe-style stage in Topanga Canyon. (310) 455-9927.


The Antaeus Academy, a project of the acclaimed Antaeus Theater Company, offers 12-week workshop sessions in classical theatre for actors age 18-35. The Tuesday night workshop features a variety of moderators who work with actors in scene study in all areas of classical technique; moderators include Alfred Molina, Dakin Matthews, Nike Doukas, Jeanie Hackett, Brian Cox, Andy Robinson, Sabin Epstein, Philip Proctor, Jeffery Nordling, John Achorn, John Vickery, and Alan Mandell, and topics include Shakespeare, Shaw, Chekhov, Style, American classics, Pinter, Beckett, Moli?re, and commedia. The intro workshop culminates in a presentation in which Academy members are evaluated for Antaeus Company membership. The advanced academy workshop, a 12-week program that meets Saturday mornings, is made up of students who have completed the Tuesday program. Participation is by audition only. The Academy also offers periodic "intensives"—eight-week programs with a master teacher on a specific play or writer. Actors of all ages with extensive professional theatre experience can participate in intensives without auditioning. 4916 Vineland Ave., N. Hollywood. (323) 851-8921.


This acclaimed classical theatre has returned to its original home, in Glendale in the former Masonic Temple Building. Classes offered include Shakespeare Textual Analysis, Shakespeare Monologues, Shakespeare Scene Study, a Voice Workshop, and a Young Peoples' workshop (ages 10-12 and 13-18), as well as a Summer with Shakespeare program (ages 10-18). All classes are taught by resident artist faculty. Private coaching is also available with artistic directors Geoff Elliot, Julia Rodriguez Elliot, and Art Manke, alumni of the American Conservatory Theatre. The Professional Intern program is a comprehensive program for emerging theatre artists that includes training and practical experience. (323) 953-7787.


An actor with extensive theatrical credits, Kate Geer is also a founding member of both the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum and the Carousel Stage. Geer recently directed Taming of the Shrew in Griffith Park, in which four of her students were cast. The production was free to the public, and the theatre group will continue to present Shakespeare free of charge to its audience. Her Shakespeare workshop includes beginning, intermediate, and advanced students, and stresses a solid technical foundation in the classics, though students leave with two contrasting monologues. Geer summed up her approach: "After you conquer the classics, the rest is easy." The workshop requires a minimum two-month commitment. Enrollment is limited. Private coaching is available. (310) 455-4295.


Begun in 1973 as a 300-seat outdoor amphitheatre by the late Will Geer and his family, the Theatricum Botanicum is also home to the Academy of the Classics, a full-service, all-ages educational program begun by Geer's daughter Ellen in 1975. There's a five-week, 90-hour intensive Shakespeare seminar for adults, as well as one for teens; an eight-week Shakespeare scene-study and monologue class; a four-week professional master class taught by Ellen Geer; and various youth classes, including a children's youth drama summer camp and a high school drama workshop. 1419 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. (310) 455-2322.


The following institutions and individuals train young people exclusively, or nearly so, but many schools and coaches in all fields, listed elsewhere in this issue, also offer programs for young people. Check other categories for details.


APA is a magnet school of the Huntington Beach Union High School district. Admission is by competitive auditions for students grades 9-12. APA offers courses in instrumental and vocal music, pop recording, dance, theatre, and media arts. Courses cover acting, acting styles, actor's repertory, orchestra, voice, film history, playwriting and directing, several dance disciplines, musical theatre, video and TV production, AP music theory, as well as technical theatre with costuming, design and construction. Most courses are approved by the UC system. Some courses are offered for college credit. Auditions are in February or March for the following school year. 1905 Main St., Huntington Beach, CA 92648. www.hbuhsd.k12 (714) 536-2514, ext. 302.


Attell's background as an actress and acting coach includes work at the American Conservatory Theater and the Los Angeles Theatre Center, as well as international tours as a mime/comic/actress, a stint as choreographer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and training with Jean-Louis Barrault and Mamako Yoenyama. She is trained in improvisation and started the Comedy Store Players at the Comedy Store. She has toured the U.S., China, and Japan with her comedy shows. She teaches an ongoing workshop called Mommie and Me and Showbiz Makes Three, a class for children ages 7-11 and their parents, as well as a teenage and adult on-camera workshop, both for $200 a month. She is also teaching improv, acting, and comedy workshops for children, teens, adults, and senior citizens; the adult members of this class form a troupe called Channel Zero and perform live the first and third Friday of each month at Jennifer's Cafe in Studio City. Hollywood and Orange County sessions are available. She also does private coaching. She is very supportive in assisting students in finding agents. Also, Attell is a licensed hypnotherapist and uses hypnosis with actors to help them succeed. (818) 787-8685 or (949) 224-2324.


Balaski has been acting since the age of 5, which gives her more than 40 years experience in the business. For the past 18 years, she has been teaching youngsters in a variety of eight-week classes: a commercial workshop for ages 4 and up; beginning (8 and up), intermediate, and advanced teen acting classes; musical theatre (8 and up); tots acting (4-8), a sitcom class (10 and up), and a new cold reading and scene study class (10 and up). Classes are limited to 10-16 students. All classes are taped, with live/taped showcases at graduation for parents and agents. Balaski said what keeps her going is "the never-ending surprise of each unique spirit and the gift of watching their individual potential rise like cream to the surface." BB's Kids has January, April, July, and October sessions, annually. (323) 650-5437.


Class Act offers coaching and training for young actors, age groups 4-17, through the basics of the Stanislavski system, teaching young actors to learn to use their own unique qualities in their acting. Available are either a full conservatory day or a choice of individual classes, including stage combat, comedy improv/voice, acting technique, and production. Students are given the opportunity to act in a variety of productions, including new original plays at the Ventura Court Theatre in Studio City. The full faculty includes Jeff Alan-Lee and Kerry Muir, who taught kids and teens at Lee Strasberg in New York and L.A. for six years. Auditing is allowed. (310) 281-7545.


A performing arts day camp in which students ages 6-15 learn skills in acting, singing, dance, and art. It culminates in a large-scale musical production at a professional theatre. (818) 735-9464.


For actors ages 6-15, this company offers acting, singing, tap dance, stage combat, movement, voice, magic, juggling, a talent show, and a final production. (818) 244-8481.


Since 1979 founder Diane Hardin has taught children, teens, and adults her own in-depth scene-study and truth-oriented improvisation. She has 22 years of industry experience and recently taught a master class at the School for Film and Television in NYC. Many of the Y.A.S. students have gone on to become high-profile actors, and Hardin is proud to have influenced such talents as Leonardo DiCaprio, Molly Ringwald, Robin Wright, Kellie Martin, and Jessica Biel, among others. Hardin and faculty offer a 13-week session with age-appropriate classes of limited size. Instructors include Nora Eckstein, Carol Locatell, Patrick Day, Bruce Ducat, and Jaime Donnelly. Private coaching is also available at 5918 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91401. (818) 785-7979.


These workshops use improv for acting training and offer the interactive, sports-based format known as Dramasports, as well as an improv-based creative writing program. Said IUG organizers: "Our training values the process and production equally." Children's and teen improv groups are now forming. The company also presents teacher-in-service and corporate team-building workshops. or (310) 493-4240 or (909) 672-1838.


Kristopher Kyer and his staff established this school in Burbank nearly 10 years ago, primarily for young actors. Kyer was the acting coach on the sets of Boy Meets World, Grace Under Fire, and Maybe This Time. Classes are four-week sessions covering on-camera commercial audition techniques, scene study for film and TV, and improvisation. Classes are grouped by age and limited in size. Advanced registration is required. Kyer is also available for private coaching. (818) 845-5578. 850 Hollywood Way, Burbank.


This acclaimed regional theatre offers classes for youth, including Creative Drama and Musical Theatre, Introduction to Acting, Acting, and Acting for Teens. Ongoing classes are taught by theatre professionals and meet for 10 weeks after school. Students learn basic acting skills while encouraged to "have fun and gain confidence" while working on scenes, poems, and literature. New classes begin soon. Auditions are held every May for the Laguna Conservatory and Repertory program, which are yearlong acting classes. Contact Donna Inglima, (949) 497-2787, ext. 202.


These are ongoing workshops and special seminars on cold reading and improvisation, but for the past 25 years the folks at Ernie Lively Studio have been especially emphasizing the business of acting for children and teens. (818) 546-2289.


"This is a place," said Dithridge, "where children can perform their creative thoughts and ideas." The class teaches the basic principles of performance, then has students collectively write an original play. "Students gain confidence in learning," she said. "They not only find but also make their own success." All this is done in a "safe environment that encourages fun." Private coaching also available. (310) 663-1280.


Since these classes began four years ago, more than 20 agencies and managers have been referring young students to Martin, she said. Some of her students have become series regulars, guest stars, and co-stars on TV, or leads and co-leads in films; some have been seen in national and regional commercials. Martin works one-on-one, she explained, "to get your child to where he or she needs to be quickly." She also offers an 8-week semi-private professional audition technique class. Same-day audition coaching is available. Classes in Toluca Lake. E-mail or (818) 752-8487.


"My motto is: Encourage your kid to act like a kid," said Maury, who started as a child actor on film, TV, and stage. He now teaches classes and offers private coaching for young talent and teens to prepare them for TV and film work. He also works with many agents in Los Angeles. "With my 33 years of experience, I know that to mix talent, hard work, and a professional attitude with fun is the recipe for success," he said, adding that kids in his classes "learn to build confidence while perfecting their professional skills." Maury currently teaches six-week sessions and allows auditing. A director of children's theatre (he recently directed Guys and Dolls and portrayed McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Palos Verdes Playhouse), Maury also offers a summer musical workshop for kids. (818) 609-0135.


Our House Studios teaches on-camera acting classes to kids and teens. Barbara Hale is the director and co-founder, teaching all her own classes. Having been an actress for many years (and the mother of actors), she knows the ins and outs of the business and is happy to share her knowledge with the students' parents, even helping with career choices. Weekend classes include on-camera commercials, film and TV for ages 3-18, as well as private coaching, career counseling and periodic talent showcases. It's reasonably priced and, according to Hale, recommended by many agents. She likes to keep classes small to allow for more personalized instruction for each student. (323) 939-7559.


Originally a performer with the Pittsburgh Playhouse and graduate of the UCLA theatre arts department, personal manager Peroutka has been teaching acting classes and managing children and teens for the past 20 years. Her eight-week sessions, offered in Fountain Valley, focus on interview techniques, improvisation, cold readings, and studying commercial copy and theatrical sides, and include a parents' workshop on business and parenting issues starting at $110 for the eight-week workshop. Peroutka coaches privately for $50 per hour. She allows auditing for $10. She also teaches a beginning adult acting class that's $165 for eight weeks. (714) 965-6771 or (714) 965-4446.


These workshops provide a "nurturing learning environment" for children, said its leaders. All workshops are offered year-round, meeting once a week for eight weeks, and culminate in two performances of the play being studied. Enrollment is limited to 22. Each student has a speaking part in an age-appropriate play based on a classic fairy tale, legend, or classic children's novel. Cost is $125. Costumes are included in the enrollment fee. (714) 957-3347, ext.3.


VPAS offers a variety of acting and musical theatre classes designed for all levels and ages, including choosing an agent, on-camera basics, and theatrical training. Industry instructors specialize in creating a "relaxed and fun atmosphere," said organizers. Students are encouraged to perform in showcases, productions, and other performances held several times a year in VPAS' own theatre. Private instruction is also available. 24460 Lyons Ave., located just off the 5 Freeway in Santa Clarita. or (661) 255-7464.


Wells, an experienced actor and instructor who studied with Wynn Handman, Peggy Feury, and Jeff Corey, shares his studios with Piper, who has worked in casting, management, and as an on-set coach for a popular daytime drama. The duo teaches a class for kids on cold reading, audition techniques, improv games, and business advice. Classes are offered at West End Studios in Studio City. Auditing is allowed, and private coaching is available. (818) 753-5393.


YADA offers instruction in acting, dance, voice, and full-scale productions. All ages and levels of talent are welcome. Said its leaders: "From the most shy to the consummate professional, YADA has something for every young performer." (323) 655-9232.


This listing includes standup comedy workshops and coaches, as well as classes and teachers who use improvisation, comedic or not, as a tool to create characters and develop material. In general we have not included those that use improvisation primarily as an acting exercise, though this distinction is often hard to make definitively. Check other categories for more details.


Acme Comedy Theatre, a state-of-the-art 99-Seat theatre designed by renowned architect John Fischer, is host to a critically acclaimed professional sketch comedy troupe managed by producer/director M.D. Sweeney. The Acme Improv & Sketch Comedy School offers classes on four levels, beginning with an introduction to the basics of improvisation, progressing through advanced sketch-comedy writing, and offering the potential of moving into Acme's professional performing company. In addition to sketch comedy, Acme also hosts a wide array of comedy shows, including improv variety and solo performance. Those who've performed on its stage include Wayne Brady, Ryan Stiles, Brad Sherwood, Fred Willard, Wil Wheaton, Adam Carolla, Alex Borstein, and the Upright Citizens Brigade. Members who developed skills at Acme include Emmy-nominated writers of Saturday Night Live, Emmy-winning writer/producers of Warner Bros. animation, writer/producers of Friends, The Simpsons, Norm, 3rd Rock From the Sun, and more. 135 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 525-0233.


Applebaum, a Chicago Second City alumnus, has more than 17 years of acting, writing, and teaching experience in film and TV. He leads an ongoing comedic-improv workshop and cold reading class using Meisner techniques for actors and writers, designed to teach students to go "beyond the obvious choices" in their imagination. Auditing is permitted. (818) 790-3413.


The studio, which houses both a conservatory and a performance space, offers a continuing, semester-based improv class, taught by Aliza and Peter Murrieta, Evan Gore, Ezra Weisz, Sabrina Hill-Weisz, Darrin Butters, and Theresa Mulligan, focusing on basics, character work, and long-form improvisation. The second half of the program is the master class, which includes a weekly class workout on Tuesdays and a performance every Friday evening for six months in bang's performance space. Aliza stressed that bang offers a "non-competitive workshop, as opposed to showcasing," and "extensive stage time to our students to learn both onstage and off." Class size is limited to 14. The first class is $250 for eight weeks, with discounts for continuing students. 457 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 653-6886.


Named "Best of L.A." in L.A. Magazine, this school offers an eight-week improv class for $250. Barnes' credits include the Second City comedy troupe, HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, a regular role on Saturday Night Live, an ensemble role on The Carol Burnett Show, writing and directing for National Lampoon, MTV, and Comedy Central, an appearance on Seinfeld (the Pez dispenser episode), and head of development for James Belushi Productions. Barnes also offers student performances and a live cabaret performance at Masquer's Theatre in Santa Monica. Two levels, intermediate and advanced, are offered. Private coaching is available for cold reading or auditions. An audit is allowed and no interview is required. (310) 393-6686.


Bolo was an original founding member of the Groundlings. "Gary Austin taught us very well, and in that tradition I like to stress the basics," she explained. Her half-day crash course in improv familiarizes actors with the rules and structure, and costs $40. The course is designed for actors at any level, and also to help writers and comics develop material. (323) 650-5968.


Brown's workshop is designed to help students learn how to turn their "natural sense of humor into a professional comedy act," as well as to showcase their performance skills. Along the way, she said, they'll learn comedy timing, delivery, and joke writing, and graduate with a comedy monologue (also suitable for auditions) that they'll perform at the Improv in Hollywood. Semi-private classes are $250 for eight sessions and are limited to three students. Brown also offers private coaching. E-mail:; (310) 396-8425.


"I tell people, 'Your life doesn't suck, your life is a joke,' " said Carter, a veteran of 55 television shows and author of Standup Comedy (Dell Books) and the new Comedy Bible (Simon & Schuster). In her eight-week workshop on standup technique, co-taught by Diane Nichols (Tonight Show, Letterman, HBO), Carter teaches performers and writers to "turn their problems into punch lines. People learn that all the problems in their life are premises for a standup act, a one-person show, sitcom writing." And, she boasted, her students have had a high success rate in comedy clubs and on writing staffs. Her class is kept small, costs $425, and culminates in a performance at the Improv. It's also available on audiotape. (310) 915-0555 or (800) 4COMICS.


This Asian Pacific American-based comedy improv group offers improv classes focusing on improv techniques and games. The beginning class is geared to help performers and non-performers learn the basic skills to gain confidence "in a fun, nurturing environment." It is dedicated to "promoting diverse images of Asian Pacific Americans through comedy and to develop multi-ethnic talent through education and performance." E-mail: coldtofu@hotmail .com; (213) 739-4142.


"Why sit when you can stand up?" ask the leaders of Comedy Playground, which offers joint standup comedy/improvisational workshops for teens. Workshops are also available for kids ages 6-9. Classes run in eight-week sessions, divided into standup and improvisation and ending in a showcase. Instructors Susanna Spies and Adam Barnhardt are also available for onsite workshops. (323) 464-8715.


This approach to improvisation organizes teams of performers in athletic-style competition. L.A.'s own 14-year-old professional team offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced improv workshops, which run in eight-week periods for $250 each and are taught by Pat Dade, James Bailey, Phil Ward, Pablo Marz, and Kurt Scholler. There is a limit on class sizes. (323) 871-1193.


This Second City-based school of comedy off Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade focuses on getting students to perform improv on their feet both in class and in live performance. The Underground is open to the public Thursday through Sunday nights, and shows consist of members, including established groups and Second City alumni. Auditing is allowed. www.improvunderground .com. (310) 451-1800.


Improv classes are three hours long and require a $25 registration fee. The basic improv class runs $240 for eight weeks. Intermediate and advanced classes are drop-in, and are $25 per lesson. Instructors are Stan Wells (former Groundlings director and improv teacher for UCLA extension courses), Chris Hutson, and Terry Hart. There are weekend performances by the groups Waterbrains, Transformers, Perks, Pop, Fortune Room, and Being Human, as well as sketch shows on Sundays featuring members of the improv classes. 2372 Veteran Ave., West L.A., CA 90064. (310) 470-3560.


This workshop for lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender actors is led by Mike Player of New York's Shock of the Funny, a graduate of the Warner Bros. Comedy Writer's Workshop. All levels are welcome. Professional and performance showcase opportunities are available. Classes are held at Theatre/Theater in Hollywood. Sketch writing instruction is also available. E-mail: (310) 815-9745.


A member of the Off the Wall improv group since 1975 and author of Improv Comedy, Goldberg has been teaching for 16 years and is currently teaching at the CBS Studio Center. He also offers an ongoing class applying improv techniques to character development. Goldberg is also author of the book Improv Comedy. (310) 479-1498.


Veteran Committee actor and Second City director, Greenberg is now a TV director, voiceover actor, and teaches acting at USC Film School. ImproWorks is dedicated to bringing a sense of play to the craft of acting. Greenberg's approach to comedy: honest reponses in bizarre circumstances rather than "jokes"; play "at the top of your brain"; "follow the fear." Beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Private coaching available. (310) 399-3654.


This 27-year-old sketch comedy institution, home of the famous Groundlings performing troupe, has a four-tiered training program in improv as a means to develop material. In an ever-shrinking pyramid, students audition for the basic level, then must be invited up to the intermediate class, to the writing lab, and finally into the ongoing advanced workshop. All except the writing lab and the advanced level are 12-week classes (or six weeks, meeting two times per week) for $395. A "pre-beginning-level" class called Introduction to Improv is also available for $200 for six weeks; auditions are not required to join Introduction to Improv, and the classes often include non-actors. 7307 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 934-4747.


Begun in Chicago 20 years ago, the Improv Olympic is best known for its long-form improvisation "The Harold" (and for such alumni as Mike Myers, Andy Dick, Chris Farley, and Andy Richter, to name a few). Artistic director James Grace describes the troupe's approach, based on the work of Del Close: "It's about the truth of the scene. That's where the humor is located. It's about making discoveries rather than trying to make inventions." Six tiered levels are offered in eight-week installations, teaching everything from the Harold to "experimental" new improv forms. $315 for Level I, and $300 for all other levels. (323) 962-7560.


Kaplan offers a 10-week intensive designed for professional actors, writers, and directors that "moves beyond intuition and guesswork" and gives artists "the tools to understand why things are funny, how to adjust when things don't work, and how to make sure that your audition or performance succeeds," said Kaplan. Kaplan created the HBO Workspace and founded New York's famed Manhattan PunchLine, has developed writers such as David Ives, Howard Korder, Peter Tolan, David Crane, Kenneth Lonergan, and Ted Tally, and has directed and coached actors like Mercedes Ruehl, Lauren Tom, and Oliver Platt. He has taught comedy at Yale, NYU, and UCLA. E-mail: (818) 728-6951.


One of the original Groundlings, King has been teaching his unique on-camera acting techniques since the 1980s. He currently holds his class at Westside Casting Studios and allows auditing but encourages participation. Fees are $350 for 10 weeks, and King has a pay-as-you-go policy that allows actors to earn one week free (pay a two-week deposit up front and stay for 11 weeks instead of 10, or pay $350 upfront and stay for 12 weeks). Returning students can enroll at a discount price. Showcases are included. King's son is comedian Chris Kattan from Saturday Night Live. (818) 784-0544.


Emmy-winning director Michael Lembeck and his sister Helaine Lembeck took over these comedy classes 20 years ago, 18 years after the late Harvey Lembeck began the workshop. Using improv as a method to teach comedy, the Lembecks offer three levels of ongoing classes, which show students how to play comedy legitimately in scenes. (310) 271-2831.


Lonow—actor, producer, writer, director, and co-owner of the Improv Comedy Clubs—teaches two 10-week courses four times a year. The master class is for seasoned standups to fine-tune their act and take it to another level. The second class is for beginning and intermediate students. Lonow's teaching philosophy: "I help the student to find that place inside themselves where more than enough talent and creativity reside. After it's found, I teach them a solid technique to give that talent shape and purpose." There is a free seminar before each session to introduce students to the classes. Taught at the Complex in Hollywood. (323) 936-9550.


Artistic director Kent Skov, who trained with the Committee and with Second City, leads this 24-year-old comedy program, with training for all ages. The program offers an adult improv repertory company that provides training and allows members to perform (with pay) before an audience on a weekly basis. It also offers training specific to pilots and recently signed a deal with Dick Clark Productions. This year the company will regularly perform sketch comedy and loop movies. An audition is required. L.A. Connection also offers weekly comedy improv training for children on Sundays, standup on Thursdays, and sketch performance groups on Fridays and Sundays. 13442 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818) 710-1320.


In performance this narrative-based comedy improv technique has teams of performers square off in improvisatory battles for audience approval, but the Theatresports training approach is about storytelling structure, not competition. Theatresports is also well known for its long-form format shows, which include Shakespeare Unscripted, Carnal Peaks, and Improvised Soap Opera. Faculty includes Tracy Burns, Tracy Connor, Lisa Fredrickson, Robert Covarrubias, Brian Lohmann, and Dan O'Connor. Foundation and Intermediate classes are available, as well as an invite-only advanced class that performs every six weeks. An eight-week intensive workshop runs $290. Classes are offered at the Bitter Truth Theatre in North Hollywood. (818) 505-6406.


Lowell has taught improv in San Diego for the last 25 years, has directed several improvisational comedy performing troupes, and now teaches creativity workshops for business and education. Classes are held in Mission Hills and San Diego, and cost $15 for the first class and $115 for a series of seven classes. www.creativeurges .com. (858) 581-0050.


Mann teaches standup comedy from writing to performing. He has been in the business for more than 40 years and has been on The Tonight Show, Seinfeld, and Merv Griffin. Classes or private training are offered. (818) 780-4457.


Joke writing and performance technique taught by working professionals fresh off the road. Weeknight private coaching and group classes available. (818) 772-6633.


Ryan said he "stretches the actor in every way to become comedically free through innovative comedy/improv situations and revolutionary comedy scene techniques," thereby helping actors to hone their craft for sitcoms and comedy roles in TV and film. Ryan has been teaching at CBS Studio Center for six years and worked as a comedy consultant and sitcom director in Europe. He performed regularly with Robin Williams and John Ritter, and his previous students include John Larroquette, Hal Sparks, and Bryan Cranston. Currently, Ryan hosts The Travel Guide With Paul Ryan in syndication and has produced 700 TV shows. He also teaches a two-day TV-hosting workshop. (323) 936-9524.


This Chicago staple has opened its newest training center in the Improv on Melrose, offering classes in beginning to advanced improv, as well as programs for television and film writing. It's $300 for an eight-week course. Second City, of course, played key roles in the careers of Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Jerry Stiller, and Shelley Long. (323) 658-8190.


Former head of both the Groundlings and the Acme Comedy Theatre schools, Szigeti teaches improv workshops and privately coaches actors and standups for $50-75 an hour. Students have included Lisa Kudrow, Conan O'Brien, Mike Hitchcock, and Julia Sweeney. Basic improv is 10 sessions for $350. Ongoing intermediate classes are $125 per month. (818) 980-7890.


The following institutions and individuals specialize in training for voiceover, vocal production, or dialect training. Many acting schools and coaches also offer training in this area; check other categories for details.


Lisa Mojsin, M.A., speaks five languages, has an acting background, and has taught at the college and university level. She said she aims to help her students learn to speak accurately and clearly, and to "gain confidence to go after the roles they really want." She teaches groups, as well as one-on-one private sessions. Instruction includes out-of-class practice, and discounts are given to students who pay for a bulk of 10 sessions. 13101 Washington Blvd., L.A. (310) 226-2996.


Formerly of voiceover agency Sutton, Barth, and Vennari, Adams teaches this commercial voiceover workshop covering audition techniques and featuring industry guest speakers. (323) 953-3617.


William Williams has been producing commercials for 20 years. His six-week classes in commercial and animation voiceover meet in a recording studio under actual performing conditions. Classes are limited to three to five students so each student gets plenty of mic time, and his voiceover demo tapes emphasize each actor's unique abilities. A free studio visit with consultation is available. (818) 954-9931.


Through her company Accent on Accent, Bizoza offers accent/dialect training and accent reduction for beginners and established professionals. She is a licensed speech therapist and an experienced dialect coach. She provides private training using a "multisensory approach" adapted to the student's learning style in order to achieve authentic, natural speech patterns. Individual classes, as well as on-set coaching, are available. (818) 783-0473.


A graduate of Northwestern University with a B.A. in music and speech, Beatrice teaches vocal production, how to increase power and range, diaphragmatic breathing and placement, and self-confidence for auditions in all styles. She has had television performances with Janet Jackson, Steve Allen, and Melissa Manchester. Private coaching is available. (310) 273-5940.


"Working legend" Bliss teaches acting, commercial, and voice acting workshops and seminars. Bliss also teaches a monthly radio-drama class. Her work focuses on career training, interpretation, mike techniques, audition procedures, and animation. In short, Bliss works to develop a "sound that sells" and gets each student to produce a voice tape. The March 1999 issue of Animation magazine named Bliss as one of the best teachers in her field. (415) 824-8188 or (323) 667-1169.


Blu—actor, director, and author of Word of Mouth—teaches voiceover workshops to all levels. Blu also does animation and voiceover demos. (818) 783-9130.


Boggs has worked as a radio personality, commercial announcer, and musical performer in the national print and broadcast media. As the spokesperson for Airtouch Cellular, Boggs, along with his guide-dog, Jake, appeared in dozens of ads. Boggs has coached voiceover, public speaking, and singing artists since 1987 and has offered classes through the Learning Annex. With degrees in music and broadcasting, Boggs incorporates multiple voice techniques into his coaching. In addition to voice coaching, he offers demo-recording services through Sound Adventures. (818) 782-7733.


Natsuko Ohama, a teacher of Kristin Linklater's approach, conducts private coaching and group classes. She uses exercises that involve breath, sound vibration, physical work, emotions, thought, and text. She said she works with actors to "undo habits and inhibitory blocks that limit them." (818) 761-8746.


Working voiceover professional Bremers offers voiceover classes in San Diego and Orange counties, and also produces voiceover demos. Bremers also offers accent reduction, singing, songwriting, and cold-reading coaching. (949) 510-6612.


Currently on the faculty of South Coast Repertory, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and Theatricum Botanicum, Brennan has been coaching for 12 years. She's been associated with David Alan Stern, Ph.D., since 1989, and students include Barry Bostwick, Neve Campbell, Brooke Shields, Shelley Long, Paul Rudd, Dennis Farina, and Farrah Fawcett. Brennan works with clients to achieve speech and vocal patterns different from their own, including accent reduction, dialect/accent coaching, and vocal coaching. She also uses techniques designed to change resonance, rhythm, stress, and pitch patterns. Private coaching is done on an hourly basis. (310) 444-9147.


Burnette teaches the Classic Skinner Method of Standard American English to actors who want to speak English without an accent or regionalism. Classes and private coaching available at reasonable rates. (310) 967-4405.


Casting director and voice director on more than 2,000 TV episodes (GI Joe, Jem, Transformers, Inspector Gadget, My Little Pony), and commercial producer/director for Kellogg's, Pillsbury, and Green Giant, Burr offers voiceover instruction and demos. (818) 845-0500.


Chamis' workshop, she said, is a place for voiceover actors "to learn, to work out, and to stretch." Students analyze copy to find out what they are selling and how best to sell it. Dialogue copy is done, as well, for timing (and for fun). "The classes are small, so there is generous mic time," said Chamis, and everything is recorded. Cartoon copy is also worked on to help students create a repertoire of various characters. Chamis discusses demo tapes, how to audition, and how to get work (she also creates demo tapes, separate from the class). Chamis has been teaching for 23 years and believes that "all things are possible." Classes are at night; she also teaches privately during the day. Children and adults are welcome. Recommended by agents. (818) 985-0130.


Veteran performer and coach Corff, author of The Bob Corff Speakers Voice Method and The Bob Corff Singers Method, offers private and group lessons on such topics as the physiology and psychology of the voice, vocal exercises for power, range, and stamina, and songs and performance breathing techniques. On the CD Achieving an American Accent, to be released this June, Corff continues teaching accents and accent reduction. www.corffvoice .com. (323) 851-9042.


Corff teaches the Bob Corff Voice Method. Instruction is offered for children through adults. (323) 969-0565.


Dearth, who has more than 20 years of experience, works privately to prepare actors for unique auditions and parts dealing with accents, dialects, and character voices. Dearth also works with improving diction, accent reduction, and accent elimination. (818) 761-1051.


Joel Goldes offers a physical approach to dialects and accent reduction that works quickly. Clients can be heard in Ali, The Agency, Death to Smoochy, and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Private coaching and telephone coaching available. (818) 879-1896.


The Juilliard-trained Drake has been coaching actors in dialect and speech for more than 20 years, with credits that include The Green Mile, L.A. Confidential, Forrest Gump, K-PAX, HBO's Band of Brothers and The Path to War, and the upcoming Catch Me If You Can. She also coaches actors for Shakespeare. (323) 662-1831.


Dunn is a certified Lessac instructor in the areas of voice development, speech, accent reduction, and body expressiveness. She has taught for 12 years, from the beginner to the professional with specific needs. Explained Dunn: "We all are capable of having a naturally creative and expressive speaking voice." (310) 306-5332.


Eagle teaches speech, diction, stage voice, cold reading, accent reduction, pitch training, and vocal protection, in addition to singing. (310) 450-5735.


Easton is best known as the "Henry Higgins of Hollywood Inc." for his extensive and highly specialized dialect coaching, which has resulted in many nominations and awards, including Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG, and Cannes Film Festival awards. In addition to his dialect workshops, however, Easton has also taught more than 2,000 students comedy improv, characterization, and cold reading classes. (818) 985-2222.


Forward, an acting and speech coach, teaches power, projection, accent reduction. He is the author of the "Power Speech" audio tapes, as well as the book and two "Pro Speech" audio tapes, and has a newly published book American Diction for Singers. (310) 455-9715.


Gangale uses techniques that are "visual as well as auditory," as she believes this helps actors learn more quickly. She brings her experience as a speech pathologist to her teaching, working on vocal enhancement, accent reduction, phrasing skills, and polishing of diction for film, theatre, broadcasting, and everyday communication. (310) 396-0602.


Gilbert provides voiceover coaching in private lessons and group classes, bringing 25 years of experience directing top voiceover talent in animation and commercials. She began as a producer, then took her advertising expertise to the agenting side of voiceover, largely contributing to the development of the voiceover department at Sutton, Barth & Vennari. She was an agent at ICM and William Morris' commercial division. Gilbert also produces demo tapes. (323) 692-5704.


With 26 years experience teaching voice, Grover offers voiceover training, accent/dialect removal, and voice therapy (medical insurance accepted). Grover presents workshops internationally on her unique, U.S.-patented voice techniques, designed to provide quick results for clients. Clients include Academy Award and Grammy winners. Grover is on the faculty of Los Angeles City College, and also serves as a guest lecturer at the USC School of Voice and School of Medicine, and at California State Northridge. (800) 787-7731.


A Second City alum, Holt is a voice caster for TV and film. Her credits include the new Disney series Scrubs, as well as Antz, Prince of Egypt, and Look Who's Talking. She teaches a weekend voiceover/looping seminar that covers how to break into looping, how to market yourself, creating different characters, and improvising dialogue. She works to sharpen audition skills, conducts an on-camera workshop, does private coaching, and produces demo tapes tailored to the actor's unique talents. (310) 271-8217.


An Australian formerly living in Melbourne, Jordan is now based in Los Angeles. She works almost exclusively with Australian, English, and Irish actors who require an authentic and natural-sounding American accent for their roles. She uses a technique designed to get actors physically speaking like true Americans. Coaching for localized dialects, such as Southern, Texan, and New York, is also available for American actors. Clients have included Jacqueline McKenzie from Australia and Rena Owen from New Zealand. (310) 428-2992.


King, formerly with Joseph Papp NY Shakespeare Festival, director of the New York School of Announcing and Speech, and founder of AMAS Repertory Theater, with 25 years of teaching experience in New York and Los Angeles, offers private coaching in speech, dialect, and acting. (310) 276-7587.


Klein has been studying Linklater for eight years, and has been teaching it for five. The Linklater progression made an impact on Klein's acting during his second year at Yale, and he has been pursuing it since. He was a student and assistant teacher at Shakespeare & Company and has studied for four years under Ruth Rootberg and Brent Blair. He is artistic director of the Firefly Theatre Company. (323) 309-6556.


Lehman offers voiceover workshops to all levels taught by casting directors from the Voicecaster, the largest voice-casting studio in the country. The workshops are recommended by voiceover and casting agents, producers, and talent. In Orange County. (714) 536-2605.


Award-winning voiceover artist Lallo has done more than 100 commercials, CD-ROMs, and feature film looping projects, and now teaches voice for animation, with an emphasis on character development work and range. Lallo also teaches commercial voiceover, as well as a course on how to create a one-person show. The classes, which are held at her recording studio, are limited to 8-10 people. Lallo is on the board of directors for the L.A. Women in Animation Voiceover Division, and directs and produces commercial and animation demo tapes. (818) 980-6576.


McGhee offers private coaching and group classes in the Linklater Voice Production method, a series of vocal and physical exercises designed to "liberate the natural speaking voice from inhibiting psycho-physical tensions that may limit the actor's potential for full expression." McGhee's goal is to "develop a voice that is in direct contact with the emotional impulse, shaped by the intellect, but not inhibited by it." (310) 289-4598.


McGregor teaches techniques in singing and speech, and combines them with acting in both private and group lessons. She spends a lot of time working to understand what each student's body does for them with respect to their voice, she said, and she works to "free the student's sound" so that they can succeed in reflecting their feeling when they are speaking or singing. (818) 762-0309.


With vocal coaching and for beginners to advanced, these sessions focus on the client's preferred area of interest only. Flexible scheduling allows clients to come once or as often as they wish. Areas of study include: vocal basics, projection and confidence, studio singing, developing stage presence, and live show. (323) 883-0819.


Voiceover veteran Nicholas Omana offers workshops at Nova Productions, as well as private coaching, in voiceovers, in addition to producing demo tapes. Instructors Leigh Gilbert and Joyce Costellanos also teach voiceovers there. (323) 969-0949.


Network writer/producer/directors Burt Harris and Jodi Gottlieb offer voiceover workshops in a recording studio, covering all types of voiceover and all areas of the field, including craft and career issues. All sessions are taped. (818) 783-9605.


George Crowell has run this coaching and training facility since 1980 under the name of Voice Bank (later changed to Original Voice Bank). Crowell is a veteran voiceover performer with more than 20 years experience with credits including Budweiser, Chrysler, Toyota, Datsun, Pream, and an NBC Movie of the Week. Crowell also managed KFRC San Francisco for RKO General. Teaching is one-on-one and proceeds on two tracks: first, the basics ("good, intelligent interpretation of the written material"), and second, characterization, which, Crowell said, is "essential to achieving voiceover acting excellence." He's also equipped with state-of-the-art studio for making voiceover digital demos. (818) 846-2002 or (800) 500-6661.


Pinajian has a M.A. in speech therapy and offers private coaching to actors, including accent and dialect work. (818) 783-3842.


Professionally Speaking offers private coaching in voice, speech, accent reduction, and voiceover. Demo tape production is available. Emphasis in training includes proper breathing techniques, articulation, projection, and interpretation, with the goal being "a fully textured voice that sells your strengths as an actor." All ages welcome. (818) 623-8960.


Standard American dialect specialist Kelly Reiter has been coaching actors in Los Angeles since 1989. Her character study approach helps give her students the tools, confidence, and professional voices they need. She works exclusively with regional and non-native speakers of English and has established a solid reputation at UCLA, where she taught for 11 years. Assessment interview required. (323) 957-4758.


Elizabeth Sabine, who has taught at the Lee Strasberg Institute for 22 years, specializes in strengthening voices for actors and singers, and emphasizes the "use of passion to create a powerful, compelling voice." Sabine has taught actors Swoosie Kurtz, Elisabeth Shue, Chuck Norris, and rock singers Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray, Dave Mustin, and Axl Rose. (818) 761-6747.


Shaterian has a Ph.D. in linguistics and phonetics, and offers private coaching in speech and dialect, foreign languages, and character preparation. He has a studio in Westwood. (310) 824-2720.


Tina D'Marco is a Spanish-dialect coach for major TV and film personalities. Her classes guide students toward proper pronunciation of generic or dialect Spanish in voiceover workshops and individual instruction. (626) 458-3795.


With 25 years of experience, Rowena Balos teaches vocal production, speech, and accent reduction, and the standard American accent, through private coaching or small group classes in West Hollywood. Her classes focus on "the connection to the voice and freeing it effortlessly." Balos also runs Shakespeare workshops. (310) 285-8489.


Stender said he enjoys working with beginner and intermediate students who are working toward making a demo tape and getting representation. Previous acting experience is helpful. $100 per hour. (310) 293-6275.


Stroll is the audio director of He specializes in voice building through breath control and singing to produce a strong vocal production for the demanding audio requirements of the new media. There is limited new enrollment by audition. (310) 821-0339.


Veteran coach Taylor offers a voice improvement program to eliminate the register break and establish breath support and control, projection, vocal power, resonance, diction, clarity, posture, tools of interpretation, health and longevity, accent correction, and special-problem resolution. Taylor also teaches voice pitch lowering. (310) 246-1743.


Tingle, a performer and voice teacher for more than 30 years, works with singers of all ages, levels, and styles. She offers private instruction, as well as performance workshops in her Santa Monica studio. She has a state of California teaching credential, and degrees in voice and music education. Emphasis is placed on the development of the voice and safe, healthy vocal production. She works with performance anxiety and audition preparation and has completed a cassette-tape teaching series. (310) 828-3100.


An expert dialectician/performer with 20-plus years of experience, trained at American Theater Wing, Vernon uses a one-on-one approach in a relaxed atmosphere in coaching actors for all authentic foreign accents and regional dialects. He has been a guest on many network TV shows, including NBC's Tonight Show. Vernon has worked with Robin Williams, Sally Field, etc. (310) 234-1904.


Arthur Samuel Joseph, M.A., uses Vocal Awareness techniques to "integrate mind/body/spirit," striving to give students a "holistic" approach to their voice and its impact on their whole person. "Your voice is your identity; it represents you to the world," said Joseph, who is also the author of Sound of the Soul: Discovering the Power of Your Voice. In his 37 years of teaching, Joseph's students have included Anne Bancroft, Sean Connery, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This fall, Joseph will add new additions to his audiotape series, Sing Your Heart Out, and videotape series, Vocal Awareness, as well as a third book. (818) 788-8508.


Vocal coach Elisabeth Howard offers instruction in breathing, support, power projection, vibrato, and the mixed voice, as well as performance workshops that include mic technique, choreography, body language, acting, and image. Five vocal power instructors offer classes in Glendale, Studio City, Santa Monica, Woodland Hills, Moorpark, and Topanga. (800) 829-7664.


Director Howard Austin is an author of vocal training courses, Born To Sing CDs, videos, audiotapes, and books sold worldwide. Serving the greater area, the Vocal Power School, established in 1980, offers singing and performance training for the beginner to the experienced professional. Training is offered in all music styles including rock, blues, country, gospel, jazz, musical theatre, and classical. Clients include 18 leads on Broadway, three Miss Saigons, Priscilla Presley, Tony Danza, Demi Moore, Stephen Dorff, Paige O'Hara (the voice of Belle in the film Beauty and the Beast), and 10 Star Search winners. Free introductory sessions and scholarships are available. (818) 895-SING.


A full-service production studio, which houses ongoing classes with several instructors, including Rick Zieff and Lauren Adams, Voice Box (billed as "the location for narration"), maintains several recording studios for top-quality demos, audio books, and voice casting, as well as a 400-square-foot rehearsal studio/classroom/casting room. (310) 854-6788.


Established more than 27 years ago, the Voicecaster offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced workshops. Classes are taught by owner Huck Liggett, who has worked in voiceover for more than 20 years, and casting director Chuck Klausmeyer, a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, who has worked on some 300 TV and radio spots. Classes are limited to 10 students. An interview is required. Auditing is not allowed. (818) 841-5300.


As the exclusive West Coast instructor of Joan Lader's Broadway Voice Technique, Osburn teaches a combination of body work (breathing exercises with Pilates and Alexander to strengthen support muscles and release tension in the body) and vocal therapy, and singing exercises that use this relaxed strength while learning how to center and focus the sound. "The contemporary sound found in pop and rock recording artists, as well as in many Broadway musicals today, demands performers be in command of their speaking/singing voices, for they are the same," said Osburn. "If a singer tries to separate the two, he loses in the long run." Osburn also teaches musical theatre performance, audition preparation, and acting technique for singers. (310) 989-2803.


Voiceover commercials, animation, narration, audiobooks, and audio drama/comedy are taught in workshops, workouts, and seminars, directed by Dolores Diehl with VO agents, casting directors, publishers, and producers. Locations include Bell Sound Hollywood & Burbank and North Hollywood Sound. Individual feedback is promised for every student from every director. Make-ups offered for sessions missed. E-mail or (213) 384-9251.


Woodhull, a working session singer for 18 years, teaches vocal projection and delivery, diction, accent reduction, rehabilitation for the injured voice, and vocal performance on mic in a recording environment. She also specializes in the singing repertoire of many languages, such as French, Spanish, and Italian. Her clients have included: Paula Abdul, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Brian McKnight, and Garrison Starr. She offers private instruction from her Studio City studio. She has produced CDs and videos on voice instruction, which are available on her website, (818) 752-0833.


Veteran voiceover artist Don Morrow and instructor Dan Balestrero teach classes that range from "the secrets of successful voiceover" to making a demo. Best known as the voice of many movie trailers—most recently Saving Private Ryan, Titanic, and The Prince of Egypt—Morrow has worked in voiceover for 50 years. Balestrero, Morrow's coach and co-instructor, has 25 years teaching experience, and has taught for Redford Sundance Institute, the San Francisco Adler fellows, and San Francisco Opera Center artists. Classes are limited to 10 students and begin at $525 for six weeks. Private vocal coaching and demo evaluations are also available for $100 an hour. (310) 575-4321.


Zieff teaches mic technique for TV and radio commercials, animation, narration, and books on tape. As a busy voiceover artist, he emphasizes the importance of character development, text analysis, and making strong creative choices at the microphone. Rick guides actors through preparing a demo tape that can be their "calling card" to the voiceover world. Group classes or private lessons are available to adults and children at Rick's studio in West Hollywood. (323) 651-1666.


The following teachers and schools offer training and coaching primarily for musical theatre. Other organizations and individuals throughout this issue also offer training that applies to musical theatre; check other categories for details.


Pianist, arranger, and Equity and ASCAP member Sartor has coached thousands of performers seeking to develop musical theatre performance skills. Sartor is a former chair of musical theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, where he developed his "Approach to a Song" technique. Students explore all aspects of performing musical theatre material by developing their skills in the areas of voice, acting, and movement. He maintains a library of musical scores and special material and helps students select and prepare a book of musical theatre songs. Sartor accepts adults, teens, and children as students for private coaching throughout the year at his Sherman Oaks Studio, and currently has students appearing in every musical on Broadway and most regional tours. E-mail (818) 981-2995.


D'Andrea's 40-year career includes the original Broadway West Side Story (also the film) and Gypsy. She has directed productions of Company, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys and Dolls, and Damn Yankees, and taught musical theatre/acting classes at New York's Carnegie Hall for 15 years. She currently teaches acting and musical theatre performance in L.A. Currently she offers a course on singing performance, as well as an acting class on scene study, cold reading, monologues, and exercises. Audits allowed. (310) 281-7116.


Two classes are offered: The first is a music theatre workshop for performers; the second is a Saturday academy for young performers, particularly in preparation for college auditions. E-mail: (323) 953-8218.


The Negri Center offers training in all areas of the performing arts, including acting, voice, and dance. Classes include monologue and scene study, musical theatre audition, vocal master classes, and instruction in various techniques of acting. Musical theatre dance is also taught. The Center will offer a musical theatre summer camp. Class series range in price from $60 to $250 depending on teachers and length of series. (310) 544-0403.


Tony Award winner for her featured role in Jelly's Last Jam, Tony nominee for Play On!, Pinkins also appeared on Broadway in The Wild Party, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and Merrily We Roll Along, as well as Off-Broadway, in films, and on TV. Pinkins works with students at all levels on singing performance. Private coaching available. (323) 874-6775.


This 11-year-old facility run by Lisa Matsko Hamilton is mainly for triple-threat musical-theatre performers, but it also offers ongoing classes on acting technique, on-camera acting, and playwriting. Auditing is allowed, but classes are kept small. Private coaching is also available from Sam Robinson and Gerard Babb. Among the school's visiting master-class instructors are Karen Morrow, Jon Engstrom, Steven Smith, and Charles Kanganis. 1321 Sartori Ave., Torrance. (310) 328-7664.


A music director, casting director, and audition pianist for major musicals such as Ragtime and Chicago, Weiss teaches a nine-week professional class on how to audition for musical theatre which, she emphasized, is "specifically geared to Los Angeles today." She accepts only 12 students, by interview, has industry guest critiques, and videotapes all work. "The class is mainly about defining the actor as a marketable quantity—what roles he's right for—and defining a repertoire that shows him in his best light." She charges $450 for the class, though two partial scholarships are available; auditing is OK. She also offers private coaching. (323) 460-6006.


The following institutions and individuals specialize in training for commercial work. Many of the larger institutions listed under "Acting Schools and Classes" and "Acting Coaching" also offer commercial training; check those listings for a complete look at training in this area.


In her 30-plus years in the commercial business, Barry has appeared in more than 400 national television commercials, and she's been an acting coach for the past 20 years. Barry and her staff of coaches teach 12 separate commercial workshops, including beginning, intermediate, and advanced acting and commercial technique, improv for coaches, improvisation workshops, an agent's showcase tape, beginning acting workshops, and a class on "creating your physical package" for commercial/theatrical auditions, and she has recently added an improv technique for commercial audition workshop. Classes are between eight and 12 weeks long; fees vary from $345 to $455. Class sizes are limited, and an interview is required. Barry also accepts private students on a very limited basis. (323) 654-2212.


"The commercial is actually the purest form of film," Berland told Back Stage West. "It tells a story and evokes an emotion in a very short time." Berland should know: She's been casting commercials for 22 years, co-authored Breaking Into Commercials (Penguin USA), and is now called on nationally to teach commercial acting. In L.A., she offers a six-week on-camera commercial workshop, limited to 14 students, for $350, as well as a one day voice-over workout for working actors limited to only eight participants. In her workshops, Berland wants actors to "learn on-camera how to create dimensions in this one-minute commercial medium." www.terryberlandcasting .com. (310) 571-4141.


With their commercial audition technique class, Colvin and Capra teach "every aspect" of the commercial process, from concept to airing. All students work on-camera every class. Students are taught what goes on behind the scenes. (818) 762-1900 or (323) 848-8285.


Busy film, television, theatre, and commercial casting director Michael Donovan teaches a three-week commercial technique class. A cold reading intensive, adult commercial class, and a kids' commercial class are available. Classes are small and taught on-camera. Donovan, whose background is as an actor/director, also offers private coaching both commercially and theatrically. (310) 657-2820.


Long has worked in casting since the mid-'70s, and has worked as an actress, agent, and teacher. Probably best known for her work with James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause and for her recurring role on Father Knows Best, she strongly believes in "being there for those she cares about." Classes are small and everyone works on-camera two to three times each week. (818) 754-6222.


Ron Michaelson, a working actor for 20 years, teaches beginning and advanced on-camera commercial classes. The school, based in Tustin, also offers an improv class, a cold-reading technique class, and scene study for film and TV. Private coaching is also available for kids and teens. Audits are allowed. (714) 832-1895.


This studio teaches commercial acting workshops for children and teens. Dinah Kessler, a former casting director and talent agent, has developed what she described as a "program geared to giving actors all the necessary tools for a long and successful commercial acting career." Kessler also emphasized that she individually tapes students' on-camera work. Classes include on-camera work, audition technique, improv, cold reading, script analysis, individual taping of each student, and marketing advice. It's $250 for five weeks. shiningstars22@aol .com. (323) 651-1131.


Stuart Stone is a casting director, primarily for union and non-union commercials, as well as voiceovers, film, print, and television. He has created a commercials workshop and a soon-to-be-published book on how to audition for commercials and how to develop an acting career. The workshop usually has a waiting list. It's four weeks, one class per week, and costs $325. It's an intensive, not an ongoing class. (323) 866-1811.


This listing includes groups who use markedly physical approaches to performance, to create material and to hone the acting instrument. You may perceive an overlap with the "Comedy and Improv" or "Combat" listings; make sure to check those, too, to be sure you find what you're looking for.


Anita de Francesco teaches a movement class that works to give artistic form to the body, voice, and imagination. (310) 471-2934.


You might think a company with this name belongs in the "Stage Combat/Stunt" category, and indeed, said artistic directors Greg Dolph and Charles Currier, the academy's instructors do specialize in theatrical and cinematic combat and weapons work. But the academy's emphasis, Dolph said, is "primarily on the physical craft of communication through movement." The academy offers ongoing workshops and classes, as well as weekend intensives, often at the Debbie Reynolds Studio in N. Hollywood. (818) 692-5571.


Rosenthal, a renowned performance artist who studied with Erwin Piscator, Merce Cunningham, and Jean-Louis Barrault, offers a 35-hour weekend intensive called Doing by Doing, as well as an eight-week performance class, which meets for five hours every Monday. The class includes exercises, processes, and improvised theatre. Students may use the class to try out ideas and concepts that will later be worked into their own public performances. (310) 839-0661.


In the only private, ongoing, weekly mime class in Los Angeles, Salm teaches actors and dancers how to "make the invisible visible," using the body to express thought and emotion, and to physicalize the actor's interaction with his environment. Salm is a three-year graduate of the Marcel Marceau Paris International School of Mimodrama and has been teaching for 12 years, including work for Disney and DreamWorks Animation Studios and for a recent Ford TV commercial. (866) 444-MIME.


Weild teaches classes in the Suzuki Actor Training Method and the Viewpoints. She has trained with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company and has worked with both methods for more than 15 years. She has performed in Europe and the U.S.A. The training is designed to "regain the perceptive, expressive abilities, and power of the human body in a theatrical context." Besides Bogart and Suzuki, she has worked with Tina Landau, Robert Wilson, George Balanchine, Andre Gregory, Paul Sills, Edward Gorey, Beatrice Lees, Mike Nichols, Abraham Pulido, Andrea Haring, and George Morrison. Suzuki/Viewpoints training is offered throughout the year with various intensives led by members of the SITI Company. (800) 348-7619.


The following programs specialize in developing one-person or solo shows for performers and writer/performers.


Write, perform, and showcase your own one-person show. Classes and private sessions available. First class is complimentary. E-mail or (818) 623-7220.


Under the guidance of writer/directors Mark Travis and Frederick Johntz, students of "the Solo Workshop" learn the skills of autobiographical storytelling. Classes are for actors, writers, directors, and performers. Shows such as A Bronx Tale, Time Flies When You're Alive, and Undressing New Jersey have emerged from the workshop. Courses offered include Solo Sunday (an introductory one-day intensive), the Solo Workshop (an ongoing weekly workshop), Solo One-on-One (private individual development), and Solo-to-Screen (adaptation from solo show to screenplay). (818) 508-4600.


The following institutions and individuals train performers in stage combat exclusively, but other schools offer combat classes, as well. Check other categories for details.


One of the nation's foremost centers for training in the art of combat, fencing, swordplay, and fight choreography for stage and screen, the Academy has ongoing classes, seminars, and private instruction. Weaponry and fencing equipment sales and rentals are available. (323) 939-7345.


The Action Actor's Academy is a company of actors learning to tell stories through physical movement and acting techniques. Classes include martial arts, T'ai Chi, European, Asian, and Filipino weapons. Robert Goodwin, sword master of the academy, has trained (or choreographed) the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Illeana Douglas, Ving Rhames, Eric Roberts, Ron Perlman, Crispin Glover, and Jennifer Tilly. Goodwin's film credits include fight coordinator and sword master for The King's Guard and just-completed tenures as stunt coordinator on the films Fast Sofa and Circuit. (310) 558-1143.


De Longis has more than 25 years of professional experience as a performer, fight director, and weapons master for feature films, television, and stage. He is the fight coordinator and sword master for the action series Queen of Swords. He trained and choreographed Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, and has taught, choreographed, and performed with Anjelica Huston, Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, Adrian Paul, Bo Derek, David Carradine, Dolph Lundgren, and Charlton Heston. He taught stage combat and character movement at UCLA for 19 years, and has staged the action for the L.A. Opera since 1986. He offers both private and group instruction, as well as two teaching videos that comprise beginning through advanced sword technique, and two more that focus on the art of the bull whip. Also, his Palpable Productions company has just released a third instructional video La Verdadera Destreza: The Art of Spanish Swordfighting. (323) 874-9698.


Lea has 26 years of martial arts experience and is a stunt and fight coordinator whose focus is on motion picture fights and choreography training. He has worked with Sly Stallone, Michael Keaton, Ashley Judd, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Tom Cruise. His classes include on-camera training, martial arts, audition preparation and routines, reactions, kickboxing, street fighting, stretching, and weaponry. Credits include Wild Wild West, Get Carter, Demolition Man, Tango & Cash, and Batman I and II. Weekend private and group classes are offered, as well as salsa dancing classes for beginners. (818) 603-9696.


Tim Weske's SwordPlay has been responsible for coordinating fight sequences in film and television for more than a dozen years. Recent projects such as The General's Daughter, The X-Files, Angel, and Disney's Cinemagique demonstrate the style of SwordPlay's swordmasters. Ongoing classes and individual lessons focus on "extreme detail while blending balance and the actor's intent to the throughline of the story." SwordPlay focuses on the safety and excitement of acted violence both on-camera and onstage. Actors such as Jeremy Piven, Luke Wilson, Martin Short, Anton Yelchie, Bruce Campbell, and Billy Campbell each have wielded a weapon under the guidance of SwordPlay. Also offered at SwordPlay's working fencing studio are Olympic-style fencing classes taught by world-class fencing coaches. (818) 566-1777.


Andrew Villaverde and David Kessler, who teach at the Thrown Gauntlet, call stage combat "a skill classical actors must acquire to complete their training." Professionals at the Thrown Gauntlet work "to give you the edge with safe and up-to-date armed and unarmed stage and screen combat techniques." The Thrown Gauntlet was recently featured on Good Day L.A.. Classes and private lessons are available. The first class is free. (818) 409-6176.


This is a brief grab bag of various performance training-related teachers and programs that didn't seem to belong squarely in any of the previous categories.


Vicki Mizel, who has been an actress and memory teacher since 1980, uses her speed memorizing techniques to teach students to remember key words and phrases through the use of visual images rather than words, allowing actors the freedom to enhance their creativity. Says Mizel, "Having these systems at your command allows for spontaneity and confidence in the scene, whether it be for film, television, or stage." Besides training and teaching, Mizel holds a master's degree in psychology. Her method is useful for more than acting; it can actually increase your neural branching and thus help longevity. For private coaching call (213) 963-1275. For her monthly "Speed Memory" group class at the Learning Annex call (310) 478-6677.


Each month the series workshops new screenplays, in which actors are cast and work closely with the writer and a moderator. Intensive work is done on scene study, dialogue, motivation, and character development. Guest directors drop in from time to time for feedback and Q&A. Spring labs are beginning. By interview and audition only. and click on the Lab, or (323) 993-5700.


The EarPrompter allows you to deliver your lines without memorizing or notes, and with minimum preparation time. Actor/consultant Brian Collins has been conducting his one-day EarPrompter seminar for actors and corporate speakers for 13 years, and he says, "The EarPrompter takes the anxiety out of auditioning, acting, and public speaking." (888) 327-7766.


Linda Schaefer, EarPrompter specialist and former TV news anchor, offers private coaching, teaching actors to audition with confidence, use full eye contact, and compete with an edge so that they won't have to memorize late scripts. Actors are also taught a "narration" technique for on-camera or trade show appearances, using a special micro-cassette. (818) 802-0497.


Four-time Emmy Award-winning Jim Henson protege Michael Earl (formerly Mr. Snuffleupagus on Sesame Street), a 25-year puppetry pro, teaches actors, dancers, and voiceover talent the on-camera skills needed to earn union wages as a TV and film puppeteer. Earl's former students are currently top professionals in the field. Audit the class for free. (323) 960-4386.


A film actors' performance lab and cold-reading workshops are offered as ongoing classes at this demo reel production and editing facility, where actors can learn to transition from stage to film. The company's 12-week on-camera workshop culminates with the students' work turning into a finished reel to submit to agents. A free working audit is also offered, and an audition is required for admission. (818) 763-7399.


Harris offers the Alexander Technique, specifically tailored for actors to help them use their bodies and voices to their fullest potential and with the least amount of tension and effort. Harris, who has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1977 in private practice, at universities, and in acting workshops, first came to it as an actor and children's drama teacher. She offers private sessions in Ventura. (805) 644-7845.


This alternative adult education organization offers short courses in a wide variety of subjects, including voiceover and entertainment industry courses such as How To Succeed in Show Business, How To Break Into Modeling, and How To Get Cast as an Extra. (310) 478-6677.


Morgana Rae coaches bright, ambitious entertainment people, helping her clients manifest their values and their visions to live boldly and stretch their limits and to enjoy success without sacrificing their humanity. Call to schedule a free half-hour sample session by phone. (310) 657-5340.


This company, created by working actors, provides a professional, on call 24/7, to run lines with actors. There is no coaching, critiquing, or judging—just line readings, for those times when your spouse or best friends are unavailable. (323) 356-0950.


Actress/writer/teacher Searle, the author of Getting the Part and The Literary Enneagram: Characters from the Inside Out, offers a workshop titled Great Movies, Great Books, and the Enneagram. This weekend workshop is geared toward writers and actors, and helps them understand the system of personality typing known as the Enneagram, which Searle claims is a powerful tool that can quickly raise actors' work to a new level. (310) 393-5372.

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