Audrey's Recommendations (in alphabetical order by category) :
Kevin is a fantastic acupuncturist. I've been here many times and sent many friends here. He has helped me and my fellow actors and friends in LA immensely with ailments including anxiety, panic attacks, TMJ, headaches, back pain, shoulder problems, insomnia, overactive bladder... His yelp reviews are on fire and he doesn't try to sell you on more than you need. $75 a session but about half of that is covered by SAG Plan 1 after your deductible. Many ask me if it hurts and I tell them sometimes just a little bit when the pin goes in. But other than that, it's super relaxing and the occasional prick is well worth the benefits. They also offer massages that are also excellent at $55 an hour.
See Cold Reading Class. See also On Camera Class.
Audition or Private Coaching:
I personally think most people should get out of class after a while and just do private coaching even if you don't have an audition. There are other teachers below that also coach in addition to teaching but these two private coaches are very good and get results. It really just depends on if you'd like to work something with a male of female.
Mike Horton is a long time friend of mine. I've coached with him for a while now and in the last year our collaboration earned me 4 of my last 5 guest stars. What makes him unique is that he's also a writer. I'm very well trained and fasile. I work best when a writer comes in and gives me that extra bump to make the material and the story crystal clear. He's also the nicest person on the planet. firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtney Cunningham is another long time friend. I haven't coached with her personally but I have many friends that have. She gets great results and is very collaborative. If you have walked into coaching sessions before and felt like they just threw direction on top of you and you walked out overwhelmed an robotic, Courtney is not like that. She's very organic in her approach and helps you bring yourself to the role. email@example.com
Art Cohan is a fantastic acting teacher and coach. A longtime teacher he boasts a 90% callback and booking ratio and I believe him. If you want STORY, this is what this guy does. for 25years he's taught a class that is only and exactly about breaking down a script so you can tell the story and he brings those expertise into the coaching session. He's very caring and collaborative and brings out YOU in the role. I adore him.
Ana Lilia leads some great breath classes around town. Don't forget to breathe. Breath is life and it is the start of all of our work as an actor.
If you are wondering which casting directors cast what shows and where their offices are, get on Casting About. Very affordable and very helpful. Do your part to help other actors out and join and fill it out yourself as you get auditions. Everyone wins with Casting About.
I do career coaching. Please click on the "Consulting" tab for more info. I look over your footage, reels, websites, IMDB, Actor's Access, LA casting, and your self tapes to discuss how to level up. My prices are comparable to anyone's around town. I don't pimp it out on the podcast because I don't want it tied to this service. I want the podcast clean and clear of any "please give me your money"-ness. If you listened to any of the "leveling up" episodes, that's basically what I do!
Amy is a veteran coach here in Los Angeles. She was first recommended to me by an agent I was working with. She is very busy and books well in advance. She will look over all your materials and discuss with you your casting, headshots, reels, and representation. She has worked with me on several occasions. Coaching is around $100 an hour which is pretty standard.
Cold Reading Class:
Amy offers cold reading classes that are great for actors of all ages. You can show up for one night and pay individually or you can do a month. Not everyone likes to sign up for a month and sometimes you just want to get to the gym and work your actor muscles. I really like that she offers both options. You have an hour to prepare a co-star (usually two pages). She does kids, women, and men. All the kids audition against each other. Same with the women. Same with the men. Then the class votes on who gets the part. Sometimes it's close and there are same night callbacks. The sides are always current television audition sides. Some weeks it's drama and some weeks it's comedy. If you want to learn how to get good at auditions fast, I recommend this class. Amy is one of the few coaches out there who really knows what's currently casting and what styles are on trend. Also, personally, I really like that she's a woman. Many actresses are just exhausted by the straight male dominated experience of acting teachers. Bottom line: Amy gets results. Many of my friends start booking after working with her.
Commercial Classes and Coaching:
Killian boasts a 90% booking ratio 3months after taking his callback class. I've known Killian for years and recommended his class to many. Most of whom have booked pretty soon after taking his class. That said, Killian is intense. I hear people get more out of his Foundation Workshop over his callback class. I personally have taken his Improv and Commercial class. Killian is intense. If you have a difficulty with intense teachers, he is not for you and I would recommend taking a class with his one of his teachers, Jennifer.
I took this class when I first moved out to LA. It is hands down one of the best things I've ever done. I can't recommend it more. Unlike Killian, Stuart teaches advertising in addition to commercial technique ins and outs. Stuart has worked in casting, as a commercial actor, and for a commercial agency. He is extremely upbeat, positive, and entertaining. It takes a while to get in but it's so worth it.
Fawnda is getting her masters right now but she's done a million spots and give outstanding one on one coaching for commercials. You can contact her at Fawnda McMahan firstname.lastname@example.org
Costumes, Costume Supplies, Costume Designer:
Robinson Beautilities is my favorite place on earth. If you are looking for affordable costume rentals, this place is it. I can rent a costume for usually about 40-60 bucks for a few days. They have EVERYTHING. EVERY. THING.
Western Costumes is also super happy but you can’t just walk in there. You have to know what you are doing.
Kerry Hennesy is a great friend and costume designer around town. She works on all mediums, film, television, commercials, and theater.
Counseling and Therapy at sliding scale:
Don't kill yourself. No but really. I had a friend who did. Hung himself in his closet. Get help. Please.
The Relational Center
5486 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Individual and family counseling, groups, psychiatric services – ability to pay and sliding scale
The Maple Center
9107 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Individual, couple, and family counseling – sliding scale
The Southern California Counseling Center
5615 West Pico
Los Angeles, CA 90099
Individual, couple, and family counseling, parenting and anger management groups – sliding scale
free 1.5 hour CBT sessions (drop-in, first-come-first-serve, and one Sunday per month from 2-6pm.)
Airport Marina Counseling Center
7891 La Tijera Blvd.
Westchester, CA 90045
Individual, group, family therapy as well as psychiatric evaluation. Sliding scale + weekend hours.
Valley Community Clinic
6801 Coldwater Canyon Ave
North Hollywood, CA 91605
Individual and couple counseling, anger management and tobacco cessation groups – sliding scale
The Center of Individual and Family Counseling
5445 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91607
Individuals, Couples, Families, Children & Adolescents; Sliding scale
Department of Mental Health
For free, confidential mental health information, referrals to service providers, and crisis counseling at any day or time, call their 24/7 ACCESS hotline at 1-800-854-7771
This is a fantastic dance studio that caters to people of all levels from the actor who just wants to move to a pro dancer that wants to challenge themselves. I am particularly fond of Tor, Jason, Rob, and Mike. Class prices are pretty standard to LA at around $12 a class. If you don't do dance classes, especially men, that's a mistake. You MUST move and free your body on a regular basis. It's also great for memory. Plenty of men take these classes too. I recommend.
Follow her on twitter to keep up with her class schedule. Cindera teaches movement for actors that includes a fantastic warm up and dance choreo. She's fierce and demands actors show up ready to move and express.
I haven't personally taken this class because it's far as fuck from my place but I've heard only good things. Kristi has a passion for opening up movement and expression to all people. Check her out.
These classes are all around town and everyone I know who takes them just loves them. They are fantastic. Live DJ and great workout to fun dance. Get moving and get out of your head. Many a day I have shaken off a bad audition in a Groove3 class.
Takes Sag Health. Born and raised in LA. He's the loveliest old school Hollywood Gay. I just adore him. He's also open on Saturdays!! His assistant Lauren is the sweetest. They are so great with SAG HEALTH! And even better with my teeth. He also has laser technology for mouth ulcers or cold sores and bills it to SAG health as well! Tell Jim I said HI!
WEST SIDE! Doesn't take SAG health but if you are on the west side and you are covered under your spouse's insurance, I so recommend them. Their assistant, Maria, is tops. And the dental hygienist, also Maria, is also tops!
The Actor’s Fund is a wonderful organization that offers financial assistance to working actors going through a difficult time. You have to have made around $16,000 as an actor the previous year to qualify but if you are having a hard time due to trauma or medical emergency, contact them. They also offer a ton of additional services and they are not just for actors. They are for anyone in the entertainment industry.
She is not cheap you guys but she is very good. She's often booked up months in advance. Don't call her mid January and think you're going to get your "pilot season headshots" before the end of April. Dana has a strong personality and a strong point of view. If your casting is unclear, she won't be afraid to tell you. If you're misguided about your casting, she won't be afraid to tell you. If you have a bad haircut, she won't be afraid to tell you. (I know because she told me once many moons ago.) Dana's shots are very clean, in style, and on trend but she's not a perfect fit for everyone. She will make you look fabulous and/or interesting. Not everyone's casting is fabulous and interesting. Your casting may be boring and plain. If that's true, maybe try something else.
Hair Cuts, Wigs, Extensions:
The Hair Shop on Ventura just west of the 405 is a great place to get wigs and hair extensions. There are many places in and around Los Angeles but many of them are filled with bitches who are mean to you. This place lets you try on lots of wigs without the weird pressure to buy. Bring a few dollars in cash because you must buy a wig cap in order to try them on. Wigs and hair extensions are a dirty little secret in this business. Most actresses are wearing them on set. I have a bob wig. A bang piece. Extension clip ins for volume. And a phony tail. GET REAL HAIR is my only warning. Synthetic hair can’t be styled and that will get you in trouble on set. I buy real hair pieces. I have booked with them many times. I do not get in trouble. In fact, often, they are happy about it. Real hair can also be styled and cut by your stylist too, BTW.
Carla at Salon Benjamin is amazing. Especially recommend her incredible skills with curly hair. She has the curls and she gets it. After tip, a cut at this salon will run about $200 for women, but for many actors (especially commercial) a great haircut is worth its weight in gold. She's been cutting my hair and the hair of many of my closest friends who have all been converted.
Juvencio Jeminez is a wizard. No two ways about it. He's a color expert. He's a cut expert. He's one of the best in town. He's expensive. Not the MOST expensive in town but not cheap. You definitely get what you pay for with Juvencio. He's downtown. He's crazy good.
Clippers and Mermaids is in Weho and I recommend Daniel for men for sure. He's very busy and has a couple of decades of experience under his belt. His prices are very good and he's always on time. He used to do my hair when it was shorter and I would get frequent compliments on my cut.
Ava Evans got me through some really bad anxiety. Her reviews are through the roof! She's super incredible and very reasonably priced!
Known for character work, this school has a generations-long reputation for great actors. Just know going in you're looking at a 4-5 year process to make it into the Sunday Company, which is a the student company that the main company chooses from. You must make it through three rounds of the Sunday Company to be considered for the Main Company and even if you make it, there is no guarantee that you'll ever make it into the Main Company Show. Groundlings is known for being very internally political. Also, the chance to perform in front of an audience as a student is much less frequent than in other schools. It should be noted, however, that it is the best comedy writing program in town. I recommend classes with Tony Sepulveda on Sat. mornings and afternoons.
Known for great improv performers and sketch comedians. Many prefer UCB to Groundlings as it is less political and has a reputation for a more relaxed environment. There are a lot of opinions about which school is "best" or "hottest" at any particular moment. Personally I feel both schools are filled with good old fashioned acting school drama while also churning out top comedy talent. I don't think you can go wrong with either. It's just a matter of style.
Theresa does both hair and makeup. She also does eyebrows like a Goddess. She's an esthetician and spends 30 minutes just getting my skin ready for the makeup. She's located in Silverlake and she is great at headshots, carpet, or in person makeup. I've sent her men and women and she will also give you a lesson and give you a list of what products to buy. She has also offered to do small group education type things. I love her. I trust her. She is a magnificent woman. Contact her at email@example.com or you can direct message her on Instagram.
An English transplant, she's a real artist. She doesn't do hair but does partner with someone who does. She is very skilled at both FX or beauty makeup. I highly recommend her plus she has the best dog! 310-871-1011
Ashanta does makeup, hair, and eyelash extensions. She is lovely and very talented. I've have used her for both meetings and headshots. She is located in North Hollywood. firstname.lastname@example.org
Aly (pronounced Ali) is a makeup artist and actress. Though she likes to wear a glamorous amount of makeup herself, don't be fooled, she crushes a fresh face look. I have used Aly on set and for meetings. She is extremely professional, talented, and since she's an actress, she really gets how vulnerable it can be to give your face to a stranger. Swoop her up soon though, she'll be a series regular in a mere matter of months.
OBGYN in network:
Dr. Gilbert Lenz looks up my vagina. She’s kinda fame. She’s a breast cancer survivor herself so I love having her look out for me. She’s super real. Totally chill. And she handles all of my neuroses.
Get ready with this class. This one will make you cry, question everything you've been doing, and cry again. The studio offers a variety of classes. I recommend the classes that are 8 weeks and in front of the camera. The classes I took here are "The Audition Experience" and "Audition Practice." Listen to me: TAKE THESE CLASSES. I haven't had a friend regret it yet. The studio is founded by Risa who is a long time casting director and director in this town. She's no bullshit. She gives you sides the night before. You work on them and then you come in and get one take and maybe one adjustment just like in real auditions. You must watch yourself on tape to understand your casting. If that scares you, then you extra super need to take this class. They also offer on going classes in Meisner technique. I'd rather put my dog down than take a Meisner class but many people really enjoy it. Meisner is NOT on camera. Take an on camera class. I beg you. Also, I like that many of these classes are taught by women. Remember most casting directors in this town are women. It's good to have female teachers in casting to help you with your casting and auditions.
This is the top podcast in Hollywood about Hollywood.
This podcast is a must for actors. Please get some perspective and listen to what writers have to go through before you even get into the audition room.
This podcast is about math and money. Actors need LOADS AND LOADS of help with understanding numbers. This is one of my favorite podcasts of all time.
There are several services that will shoot and edit reels for you at about $500 a scene. Unfortunately I can’t recommend any of those to you as I have tried them and they did not impress me. There is someone that charges $3000 for 3 scenes that is very good. If you want that info please contact me at email@example.com and title email “$3000 reel” or else it may get deleted. Emails get sorted every Sunday.
Unfortunately I can’t really recommend anyone here either. Nobody does work that is SO IMPRESSIVE that I think they are worth the money they charge. Usually they take too long and they do weird shit. So good luck. I recommend learning how to edit your reel yourself and watching reels on IMDB to see what people use. I can tell you casting directors want to see your work the moment they click on the reel. Don’t waste their time with a 40 second music mood intro.
I studied at the Beverly Hills Playhouse for many years when I first arrived to LA. I credit the school with many of my traits as an actor that I am very proud of. The school made me very capable and I have a very good understanding of material. The school was founded by a director, Milton Katselas, who believed actors should be able to direct themselves in film and television because directors in those mediums don't get weeks of rehearsal to get you where you need to be. Therefore, an actor has to be able to come in and deliver the goods without a bunch of special attention.
A former teacher at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, Richard Lawson is a great motivator. As you know, I believe part of the right fit is being with a teacher that balances you. If you need help being and staying motivated, I recommend Richard. Richard will kick your ass. Just check in with yourself to see what you really need.
I like the guys at Argentum. I've known Ryan and Lucas for years. They are great actors who've done a lot of work writing, producing, acting, so they can be very helpful in the room. Also they do things like upload shit for you and that's nice.
Make your own self tape kit by using what I use. Here are links to all the stuff I purchased!
I use the newest iPhone because it has 256GB of storage compared to the model before it which has only 128GB. More space means you won't have to worry about running out of room halfway through your best take. It also has iMovie on it. I can tape, edit, and add to dropbox to send in no time. WAY easier than driving someplace and feeling restricted in time. Some people say don't use your phone. What they mean is don't make it look and sound shitty on your shitty phone. So if you're going to use your phone, keep reading below. And make sure you get 256 GB. I have booked off of self tapes and those self tapes were done on my phone.
*UPDATED* I like this mic because it's cheap, it works great, and it has and extra super long chord, and it plugs right into your iPhone. Nothing is worse than being in the middle of a take and having the mic pull on you and take you out. You MUST wear a mic. Otherwise the person reading with you will be much louder than you and that sucks.
If you do nothing else, get this ring light. Some people prefer a soft box but I got a ring light because Jesse’s middle name is Lumen because his dad is a gaffer and Jesse said ring light for travel and convenience. Once you are booking a lot, you’ll likely be working out of state and will have taped audition requests while you shoot. This light is small enough to fit on a carry on. It’s also got a dimmer on it which makes it ideal for changing the mood of your audition. (Brighter for comedy. Darker for drama.) It’s also great to have a light for evening taped auditions. Before I got this light I would have to get up at 7am to tape an audition before my in-person audition at 10am. With a ring light, I can get a set tape at 6:30pm, tape it that night, and then be done with it. I tried ordering a cheaper one on amazon and smoke started coming out of it when I turned it on sooooo... shop at Samy's.
You will need an attachment mount to hold your iPhone when you self tape. I use this one. It screws into your tripod camera mount.
I recommend a super tall light stand because you never want to be shot from below unless you are TRYING to look terrible. Even if you are a tiny little lady, go tallest because you may get asked to tape for someone who is 6'4". It’s always better to have height and not need it than to need it and not have it.This is a two for one deal but to get one is two dollars more. So buy this and share, or have an extra!
!!!UPDATED!! You have to have this weird little ball attachment to attach the ring light to your iPhone camera mount so you can tilt it up and down.
One of the biggest mistakes I see actors make is with their headshots. They bring their favorite shirt and hope that because they "feel comfortable" they'll get a great shot. A headshot is an advertising tool used to sell your brand. Companies spend millions a year making sure their advertising materials match their brand. A stylist does just that. I can't tell you how many people fuck this one up. Before your headshot session, meet with Buckley. She'll even discuss with your reps and headshot photographer the best course of action giving you a better shot at getting all the looks you want. She's a lovely person. A FANTASTIC working actress. And she's great at styling for auditions, life, and headshots. She'll even go through your closet with you and help you put together some standard audition outfits like "business casual" and "Walmart mom". I couldn't recommend her more.
These guys are the go to of actor taxes. They represent a slew of actors and show business people so they know the rules, the regulations, and how to make the best choices at various points in your career. I recommend starting with an accountant as soon as possible even if you don't think it's worth it for you yet. In the long term of your career, you'll want an accountant you trust, who's been with you for a while, who specializes in what you do.
Greg gives vocal coaching to both singers and actors alike at a reasonable price. He'll help you work on your range, diction, resonance, and much, much more. I can't stress a good voice teacher enough. (Particularly for male actors who work out a lot.) An actor uses both body and voice to express themselves. Most actors in LA do some form of yoga, dance, gym, but completely neglect their voice. Your voice is your emotional pool. It is, in fact, the thing you use to communicate your text. It is my experience that many actors with limited voice training reach a limitation in their careers. If you are in a casting rut, commit yourself to one year of weekly vocal training and watch your casting expand.
These two are just fantastic. The loveliest of people and they know their shit. If you are a foreign actor looking to perfect your American accent or you're an American in need of dialect work, these two are top notch. If you have any sort of speech impediment or anything of the sort, they are very knowledgeable and helpful with all of that. They come with a long list of celebrity endorsement. I've worked with them as have many of my friends.
Do you need a professional to write or rewrite your script? Have an idea for a film or TV show that you believe will make your career pop? Jesse is not cheap, but he's very good at story. Also, he won't take 3 years to write your screenplay like you will. He mostly works with studios and production companies, but he has written for many actors of all levels helping them fulfill a vision or an idea.