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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Acting Classes, Acting without the Drama Style!

I’ve been getting a LOT of requests lately from actors wanting me to start my acting classes back up again (thank you for that, by the way… *grin*). I was planning on starting back up in the fall, but hey, why delay? There’s acting to be done!

For those of you that don’t know me or my illustrious history, I’ve been teaching acting for a quite a while. I started teaching in 1998, at the University of San Diego. Since then, I have taught students from all over the globe, in various settings.

I was the Director of the Acting for Film Program at the New York Film Academy at Universal Studios, where I helped develop the first and only Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Acting for Film currently in existence. I have coached acting, dialects and accent reduction on film sets and for production companies. I have taught countless workshops and done private coaching for ages from 5 all the way up to 85.

When I decided to co-found a production company a couple of years ago, I took a break from teaching. I felt like the company needed my full attention as we started out. But things are now moving along nicely, largely due to the unceasing efforts of my brilliant business partner, but most of all, I JUST MISS TEACHING!!

I miss character building. I miss animal imagery. I miss monologues, for cryin’ out loud!

My approach to the craft is basically what you’ve already seen at the top of this blog: Acting without the Drama. We keep the drama onstage and in front of the camera, and out of our personal lives.

I don’t “break down” actors to later build them up.

I don’t subscribe to a dogmatic view of the craft of acting.

I take you from where you are and give you the tools that will not only help you move forward but teach you to move YOURSELF forward.

I give you a practical approach to acting that will allow you to create magic in your performances. Even when you’re not “feelin’ it”.

The internet has given us the gift that I can teach you, no matter where you are in the world. I’m going to be teaching online classes and workshops. We have the technology, people! There’s no reason that I can’t work with you, even if you live in Abu Dhabi.

Depending on what you guys need, I can form classes in accent reduction/Standard American speech, dialects, auditioning technique, on-camera acting and even… Shakespeare (Although, I’m realistic. How many people are really going to be clamoring for that one? #butaguycandream). Beyond these larger workshops, I’m also offering private or semi-private classes for any of those subjects, either in person (for anyone that lives locally in LA) or online.

So, if you’re on Twitter, DM me for the deets (@actingnodrama). You can also email me: actingwithoutthedrama (at) gmail (dot) com.

Finally, leave me your comments, letting me know what you guys need, what you thought of this blog, and how much you’re DYING for a Lady MacBeth workshop. #orawholeseriesofthem!

And just to make this interesting, I’ll be selecting one lucky commenter for a FREE ½ hour private coaching session.

So, what are you waiting for? There’s acting to be done!!


  1. Way to think creatively Ben.

    This is an amazing idea. I'll reach out to you about this in the next week or so.

    How could I not, you're online and really easy and fun to to talk to about this acting thing. =)

  2. Ain't technology grand? Ben in LA, Mercedes in Portland and yet an acting class can still be had! Thanks for spreading your knowledge to those of us not living in LA la land! Good stuff Ben!

  3. I was reading this last night, but was too tired to comment.......I think this is a great idea!

  4. What a great way to reach out to and connect with those outside the L.A.-area! I absolutely love this idea.

  5. Ben, sounds awesome! I'd love to hear any details.

  6. I am definitely interested. Loving the idea that training could happen irrespective of geography PLUS what a great way to further the sense of community already established through twitter.

    Glad you are innovating!

  7. Sounds great! Thanks for thinking of us on the other side of the ocean=) And I'd be very excited about an online Shakespeare workshop(maybe because I live within walking distance of the Globe now)...

  8. Definitely interesting. Technology is really amazing.

    Congrats on the awesome idea, Ben :)

  9. Love the idea, Ben! I was a mentor with for several years, and know how effective remote teaching can be with the right setup. I'm sure you'll make it rock!

  10. I'm acting in Austin, but would love to take a class in LA. I'd like to hear more details about how exactly this would work, but I'm definitely interested.

  11. Oh yeah, would really be interested in that. I would actually be interested in the Shakespeare specific work... but... I am also a realist.

    Aside from that, dialects is an subject in which I've always felt under-informed.

    Also, I'd say character development would be a big topic of interest for me.

    I'm definitely outside of the LA area, so glad you're working electronically on this!

  12. Great Idea! I can't wait to hear more!

  13. OK, I love this idea - and once the video logistics are figured out for each student, I think it would be a very easy and great way to expand your business and your teachings!!


  14. Ben I just got the chance to read this, but I am extremely thankful for this kind of resources you are giving us, especially when you dream about studying acting overseas and yet don't have all the financial aid you require. I think this could be a great start for me. I’ll be following :)

  15. Yeah, acting classes online is an awesome idea! Do you do them over Skype?

  16. All right, everyone! I know you thought I had forgotten all about it, but I'm announcing the winner of the 1/2 hour free session for this blog post.

    Drum roll...

    Marco Gennuso, come on down! Email me: actingwithoutthedrama (at) gmail (dot) com to set up your time. Those that weren't picked can comment on the other two blogs about classes. I will be picking from the next blog on Sunday and the final blog on Monday, so get commenting! :)