Without a doubt, some of the best acting talent in the world resides in Los Angeles. But the question is: “who the hell is coaching all these film and TV stars?” No matter what level of success you’ve attained in your career, at one time or another, you’ll want to coach with someone. It’s especially important when preparing for a big audition, a complicated scene, or if you are testing for a pilot.
We’ve compiled our top 5 picks for you here, but please remember that there are many many great acting coaches in Los Angeles that aren’t on this list. IF you feel we’ve missed someone who deserves a mention – please write in and submit them! Ok – here are our top 5 picks for the best acting coaches in Los Angeles.
Margie Haber is one of the top acting coaches in LA. She has worked with some of the top names in Hollywood like Brad Pitt, Kelly Preston, and Heather Locklear. Additionally, Margie has written several books related to breaking into the acting business. Margie’s philosophy is really summed up in the title of her book, How to Get the Part Without Falling Apart. In her 30 years in the business she has learned that it is so easy to simply lose yourself in the process of making your way through the business. Margie has pointed out that there are 3 P’s that you want to avoid in any acting audition. She helps you to get a handle on Panic, Pain, and Performance Anxiety, and by taking these away she helps you to regain the fourth P, your POWER. Margie is focuses on teaching actors to live the life of their character so that their performances are more honest and true. Margie Haber specializes in training actors on cold readings, which is very important in the film industry. Most film auditions rely solely on cold readings, and the training that you can get at Margie’s Performing Arts Corporation can get you ready for your next audition.
Not all acting coaches are geared for all ages. In fact, Gary Spatz is one of the acting coaches in Los Angeles who gears his work toward child actors. In Los Angeles there is a great need for child actors, but that doesn’t mean that there is not stiff competition. If you, or your child, is hoping to make it as a child actor you need to find some good training, and Gary Spatz could be exactly what you have been looking for. Gary has been teaching in the industry for over 20 years. He has coached child stars for the Jeff Foxworth Show, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Super 8. He now owns The Actor’s Playground, an elite facility dedicated to providing excellent training to the stars of tomorrow. You can either take group acting courses with one of the expert instructors or you can take private coaching sessions with Gary Spatz himself.
Leslie Kahn began teaching in California in 1993. Prior to that she achieved her Bachelor’s degree in Acting from NYU, and her MFA in Acting from Yale. She is a proud member of SAG, AFTRA, and Actor’s Equity. Leslie spent a lot of time acting and directing for herself professionally before making the move to California. In fact, she even spent some time teaching at Marymount Manhattan College. Since Leslie has been teaching she has mentored many top actors. One of the best things about studying with Leslie is that she has worked professionally in the field so she knows what she is talking about. Leslie focuses on helping to enhance your natural acting talent. Rather than getting you bogged down in heavy techniques that create contrived performances. Instead, she helps you to learn how to follow your instincts so that you can create a believable and meaningful performance.
Sandy Marshall is an acting coach that works in Los Angeles as well. She has built her studio with talented actors, and has done so specifically in offering instruction in the Meisner Technique. Her coaching is very rooted in this technique, and it can be a very effective approach to acting, but it does not necessarily speak to every actor. The Meisner technique has a lot of repeated exercises that help you to hone your acting skills. Specifically the Meisner technique focuses on enhancing your listening and observation skills, and if that’s what you need then Sandy Marshall is exactly who you need to study with!
Doug studied at NYU where he achieved his bachelor’s degree, and from there he continued his studies at Antioch University where he earned his Master’s degree. Doug has worked professionally in film for many years and has appeared in pictures like Beverly Hills Cop and Clueless. For the last twenty years he has been working as a professional acting coach. Doug offers weekly classes where students can work toward a film and tv career. Everything in class is filmed so that students can see what they look like on camera. His classes focuses on cold readings, improvisation, scene study, and commercials. Additionally, Doug also offers individual coaching so if you have a big audition coming up you can get some one on one attention prior to heading in to see a casting director.
These are just a few of the top acting coaches in Los Angeles. To find the right coach for you spend some time researching each of their studios and techniques. Additionally, why not head down to their studio to observe a class? This can be one of the best ways to see if a teacher is a good fit for your needs. The most important thing for you to do when selecting a teacher is to trust your instincts. If you feel good about studying with a particular teacher chances are that you are right!