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Monday, January 21, 2013

Take The Right Acting Classes To Get More Auditions (This post has 61,552 views)


Wendy Alane Wright Talent Manager

Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood talent manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” and “Henry Danger,” as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Hot Wheels, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of five books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of schools including the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina and LA Acting Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”


Take The Right Acting Classes To Get More Auditions 


Actors you dream of being on television and in the movies. How fantastic! Now you need to train and become the best actor you can be. You also need to take acting classes that help you get auditions. Any training won't do. You should have the best.

FOR ACTORS OUTSIDE OF LOS ANGELES
If you are not in LA watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK3S2bZM9Uk
Actors outside of LA look for these 4 types of classes:
1. Acting
2. On Camera
3. Cold Reading
4. Improvisation

You need classes in all four. Take each class for at least 6 months. Then take another and another. Be sure to add them to your resume as you take them. You can take them at different it wont always be in the same place.

FOR LOS ANGELES ACTORS: I am going to make choosing your acting classes very easy for you. Below is a list of the 10 Best Acting Schools in Los Angeles from Backstage Magazine. If you want Casting Directors to take you seriously, you need to have many of these on your resume.

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

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

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

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

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

NOTE: If you don't live in LA, and you live in a smaller market, you still need these 4 kinds of Acting Classes.  Find them in your area, or in the nearest big city. You need training. Every career starts with training. As a last resort there are acting classes online. If you live out on a farm and have no access to acting classes, but you do have a computer that may be your only source of training until you can move to a bigger city. If you can't afford acting classes. Work and save money until you can.

Below are LA classes. I agree with every recommendation on this list and have added additional recommendations of my own for you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional training classes I recommend are:

Commercial Training:

Terry Berland is also a Casting Director who has taught her workshop ACTING IN TELEVISION COMMERCIALS in 50 cities throughout the country. In addition, Terry has taught similar courses as a member of the adjunct faculty of the Lee Strasberg Institute and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York. She offers a 6 Week On-Camera Commercial Workshop called "Audition To Win" which also includes meeting an agent. Terry is also the author of the best selling book "Breaking Into Commercials." I can not recommend this book highly enough. You will learn things you never knew about auditioning for commercials. Terry Berland can be reached at 310-275-0601 and www.berlandcasting.com

Killian McHugh is voted the Best Commercial Workshop and Best Workshop Instructor in Los Angeles by Backstage West Actor's Poll. Many commercial agents recommend him and often won't work with you until you have taken his class. You want to make sure his classes are on your resume.

Francine Selkirk Francene was been bestowed the Commercial Casting Director of the Year by the Talent Managers Association in 2011 and in 2012. http://www.keepitrealacting.com/adult-commercial-classes.html

Audition Training:

Helen McCready Offers and Audition Intensive to develop the skills necessary to become a working actor. It gives the actor the opportunity to gain self-confidence, and recognize their uniqueness, skills and talent. Actors from beginners to advanced will get the training that they need to audition and book the role! Cold Reading and Scene Study:

Melissa Skoff has cast over 100+ FEATURES & TV SHOWS AND THOUSANDS OF ACTORS. She offers a Cold Reading and Audition Technique Class. Melissa lent a helping hand in the early careers of some of today's biggest starts including; Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Lauren Graham, David Spade, Robert Downer Jr, George Clooney, Catherine Bell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She is teacher who knows her stuff and loves sharing. I highly recommend you study with her. Melissa Skoff can be reached at (818) 760-2058.

 Improv Training:

Groundlings is the legendary Los Angeles improv company that launched the careers of such performers as Phil Hartman, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, and Edie McClurg. The first things agents say to me when I pitch a potential new client to them is "has your actor studied at UCB or Groundlings?" If I say no, there will likely be no meeting. The Groundlings School is located at 7307 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046 and can be reached at (323) 934-4747 x23 or by email at school@groundlings.com

Comedy / SITCOM Training:
Lesly Kahn
http://www.leslykahn.com/
Lesly has been obsessed with actors and acting ever since she put on her pink tutu and fell off a stage into the arms of a waiting audience at the age of three. Years later, in spite of steady work and a terribly-impressive-but-not-all-that-useful MFA from the Yale School of Drama, she started teaching acting in NYC and discovered an approach to actor training that blew her mind (primarily because it always worked and was not all that complex). Previously panic-stricken performers were suddenly confident, consistent, working actors. Twenty-odd years later, she’s still at it.


Acting Classes:

Howard Fine
http://howardfine.com/
If you are serious about acting training in LA, this is the man. An actor training studio, offering classes for adults - from beginner through working professional. We're located in the heart of Hollywood, and have an outstanding faculty, headed by world-renowned acting coach and author of Fine On Acting: A Vision of the Craft.


Playhouse West has been training actors, writers and directors for over 30 years. The school founded by Robert Carnegie and Jeff Goldblum in 1981 is highly regarded and recommended by industry professionals as the premiere acting school in the country. It is $195 per month, 2 classes per Week and actors work every class. Advanced students also get to perform in “Scene Nights”, giving them an opportunity to present their work to agents, managers and other people in the industry. Playhouse West is located at 4250 Lankershim Blvd North Hollywood, CA 91602 and their phone number is (818) 881-6520.

Get as many of these classes on to your resume. Most classes allow you to audit the first class for free to see how you like it. Take advantage of that and audit every one of these classes so you can choose the ones that you feel right about. Take your career and training seriously and other people will take it seriously too!


If you liked this information and found it helpful leave a comment! I love to hear from new people.
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Wendy Alane Wright Smith
Talent Manager
WAW ENTERTAINMENT
wawentertainment@yahoo.com