The Southland is home to the entertainment industry, and with that it is also home to world-class acting schools. These best five schools in the region have accomplished actors as instructors. Whether you’re a budding talent or just breaking into the industry, these classes offer a real start to an acting career. Many have established performers honing their skills, and when talent agents are seeking actors, these are some of the places they look. For breaking in or advancing an acting career, the is no better place than LA.
Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio
7600 Melrose Ave., Unit J
Los Angeles, CA 90046
At the Elizabeth Mestnik’s acting studio, it’s all about dedication to the craft of acting. The instructors are dedicated “working professionals” who take a personal interest in each student’s development. While the studio has high expectations, the coaching-oriented environment individualizes several class themes. The “challenging and inspiring environment” focuses on long-range learning for the serious acting student. With building a sound foundation in the craft, students learn dialogue, the entertainment industry, camera set technique, Shakespeare and much more.
Hollywood Acting Workshop
8899 W. Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
The Hollywood Acting Workshop specializes in on-camera learning, giving students a real world feel through in-class critical reviews. From advanced to beginning students, the four-week classes throughout the year focus on everything from improvisation to auditioning, and from scene study to voice over, or soap opera and commercial production. The workshops cover every aspect of the acting world, and it’s all oriented toward getting work. Successful students can look forward to showcases with the “industry’s top talent agents” who specialize in specific industry fields. Classes prepare students for auditions, and casting director events are held on site.
Wayne Dvorak Acting Studio
1949 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Spontaneity and improvisation learning combines, with increasingly complex lessons, to bring genuine emotion to acting roles. Called Meisner-based instruction, students learn to invoke genuine behavior in a fictional context – it’s called acting. Learning how to display the complex range of human emotions and actions is key to success. Professional self-promotion as a path to acting work is critical. The focused learning environment develops a unique and personal style. Instructor and owner Wayne Dvorak holds a Theatre Arts Masters Degree that is tempered by his professional work as an actor.
Aaron Speiser Acting Studio
1644 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
With to-the-point class formats, the Aaron Speiser Acting Studio covers the essential aspects of developing as an actor. Technique, three levels of scene study, voice and more solidly develops your acting “instrument.” Ongoing acting workouts sharpen acting skills by doing. Homework exercises allow students to work independently to further develop skill levels. The studio builds self-confidence as a core of the acting craft. On the practical side, classes cover casting, auditions, interviews and the entrepreneur aspect of an acting career – it’s all about booking the first job.
Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre
6773 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Stella Adler Academy is on a mission to enrich our “collective humanity through the dramatic arts.” The non-profit organization is dedicated to improving an actor’s skills as well as personal development. But it’s not all touchy-feely. Real tools, training, discipline and dedication are required to get to the cutting edge. In the 25 years since the academy’s inception as a grassroots school, then becoming a world-class acting academy has not deterred its commitment to the acting community and patrons. Free and low-cost productions draw in a wide public and students gain direct acting experience.
Robert Cuthbert is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. His work can be found on Examiner.com.