Working Artist Group

Business, Coaching & Management Services for the Working Artist

How To Pick Your Acting Coach

Krista GanoComment

Last week we shared the opening of Sandbox Actor’s Studio.  I want to make sure to talk a bit about other options we have for acting coaches/studios in Colorado.  I am not an acting coach and while I do direct, teach, and provide opportunities for our members to attend weekend workshops from top teachers from LA, I am not a substitute for on-going training.

The work I do augments your work with an acting coach.  The more you know about your business, the more you can know where to focus and grow your craft.

If you are looking for an acting coach in Denver/Colorado Springs, (and I recommend that be in ongoing coaching if you are really trying to take your craft to a new level) here some things to keep in mind.

-       Most studios in the area will let you audit a class for free.  You should audit at several different studios before picking a program.

-       All of the studios below have actors that have done well both locally and in larger markets.

-       For best results, the ideal coaching relationship is longer-term.  So, look for someone who you think will be a good fit for at least one year.

-       While you want your ongoing relationship to be steady, it is always good to take workshops from others to get a new perspective and shake things up a bit.  Consider picking someone who is supportive of that (most are).

-       A coach can be skilled, popular and transcendent for your friend....and still not be a good fit for you.  Pick the person that speaks to you, can push you, and that challenges and supports you to get uncomfortable.  Most importantly, pick someone who you are able to hear their notes and translate them into forward action. 

-       Don’t be scared to lay out your goals and ask questions.  In my experience, all of our local coaches are more than happy to help.

This is by no means a comprehensive list.  This list of studios and coaches are the ones you are most likely to come across as you inquire within the community.

AEC Studios – AEC has been a successful studio in Denver for years.  Brian McCulley and John Crockett teach the classes which are scaled for level.  If you are wanting to improve your commercial work (which is most prevalent in town), this is a great place to check out..  In addition to the workshops, there is a lovely community of actors to learn with and from.

Benjy Dobrin Studios – Benjy’s technique is rooted in his time at The Beverly Hills Playhouse.  It is a well respected methodology that Benjy has shaped through the years to reflect his encouraging style.  Benjy also has an incredible community that puts on First Friday’s, which is a public performance opportunity for students.  BDS also offers a teen program.

Colorado School of Acting – CSA’s kids/young adult program is second to none.  Elizabeth Karsell Horne and Troy Horne are at the helm and have studios throughout Denver and Colorado Springs.  If you have a kid who is serious about this work, CSA is a place to have on your radar.

Denver Center for Performing Arts – DCPA’s education department has many excellent options with a highly experienced faculty.  This is a great fit if you are looking for different classes as opposed to continuous ongoing training.  Gives you a break and allows you to diversify your learning (they do tend to be more geared towards theater).

Film Acting Academy of Denver – Patrick Sheridan teaches on-camera classes and helps you to become more aware of what you are doing on camera, break bad habits, and how to use what’s “you” about you to shine effortlessly.

The Sandbox Actor's Studio – John Campbell is the new guy on the block.  He is a working actor (one of the only coaches doing both) with his pulse on the community as a performer.  He will be focusing on on-camera, scene study, and several different methods.  He will have a teen program.

Steve Austin – If you are in Colorado Springs, Steve is an excellent coach.  He does on-camera as well as scene study.  Steve is a working actor himself (one of the only coaches doing both) and that informs his teaching.

Like I said, this is not a comprehensive list of every coach in the city.  If you don’t find your acting coach here, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t a great coach.  If you feel consistent growth with them, that’s what matters.  This is just a list of some of the local players that you’ll hear about often.  They are all respected in the community, run classes on multiple evenings per week and have students who are consistently auditioning and working.

Ultimately, you are your best resource to pick a coach.  Audit classes and pick the coach that inspires YOU to work.  If you want to take the mystery out of this business and figure out how you best fit into it, you may consider working with us at Working Artist Group.  The next Business of Acting starts on May 8.

Happy Exploring!