Student Testimonials

Colette Shaw

sophomore at Sarah Lawrence College, 2018 winner of National Young Playwrights Festival

My 5 plus years at the young actors studio has been a great force in the trajectory of my life. It was a sanctuary from the stress of school where I could express myself and feel comfortable in ways I never really felt I could anywhere else. The young actors studio was a place where I was really allowed to feel, and it gave me the tools to channel it into my art. Our classes allowed me to speak, shout and scream my feelings through our exercises and scene work. I gained pivotal experience in all the different approaches to acting; Meisner, Stanislavsky, Adler, and more, which gave me a well rounded education necessary for every actor. Even when the scenes got intense and emotional, it felt right, because I knew Andrew and Jeff were pushing me was because they believed in me, because they actually cared. The writing lab run by Andrew brought me to my main passion, and I found I’ve learned the most about playwriting from hearing my peers work and workshopping them. This place has had an everlasting impact on my life and the way I choose to live it, and I will forever be grateful for that.”

August Kamp

series regular on Hulu series “All Night”; Disney’s “Best Friends Whenever”, now appearing on Netflix’s “No Good Nick”

My time at the Young Actors Studio has taught me countless strategies in the worlds of acting and writing alike. I have always been free to learn at my own pace, however fast or slow that may be at any given moment. There is a palpable sense of community and collaboration, as well as a spirit of creativity that permeates through any structured lessons and into the environment of the space itself.

Johanna Stone

junior at New York University (NYU), 2017 winner of National Young Playwrights Festival, play Stick and Poke adapted into film produced by Wildwell Films

When I was a younger person interested in acting, I was always too terrified of “the industry” to figure out how to get started with a serious pursuit. At the studio, I found a place where I could put my creativity first, alongside peers who were at all levels of experience in their pursuit of acting. I learned from the incredible talent that surrounded me in students and teachers alike. While the studio absolutely taught me how to establish myself as a professional actor, it is also a place of true creative freedom where I was able to study acting in a deep and personal way before presenting the work to an audience or at an audition. You truly get to experience the acting process from the outside in at a level that is unavailable at many other acting classes for younger people. The teachers respect you as a person and an artist and provide you with the tools to find and explore your inner artist. You will be constantly pushed forward and you will never have a class where you don’t make big discoveries. You will receive honest, constructive feedback focused first and foremost on your creative expression.

Jack Ventimilia

attending New York University (NYU) Fall 2020, winner of 2018 California Young Playwrights Project, play Sea of Fog produced at The Old Globe Theater, January 2019

 I’ve been taking classes at the Young Actor’s Studio for three years, and I can’t emphasize enough what a positive impact it has had on me. When took my first class, I wasn’t anticipating the supportive network of unique and thoughtful students and even today I’m always eager to perform and write with other creatives my age. There are no bounds to
what you can create at the studio, from original work to complete productions. I’ve found that when it comes to creating at the studio, if there’s a will, then there is a way. Whatever you choose to create, Jeff and Andrew will always put in the extra time to take your work to the next level.

Alexis Sanchez

currently a sophomore at University California of Los Angeles (UCLA)

During the past six years that I have been involved in the studio, I have taken both acting and writing classes. When I first started at the Young Actor’ studio, both Andrew Shafer and Jeff Allen-Lee made it clear that this was a place where young artists could express their individuality without judgment. Within this space, I am allowed to take creative risks and be artistically challenged by my coaches and peers. This is possible because the studio fosters a supportive network that gives young artists the confidence to make creative breakthroughs and expand their artistic capabilities. The writing lab has allowed me to turn a small character sketch, to a full-length play, and into a fully produced work. The acting classes allowed me to participate in fun character exercises that showed me how to bring my own unique playfulness to a scene. Overall, the instructors here highly motivate their students to continue creating work that genuinely excites them while providing the means necessary to bring their work to fruition. Now being a University student, I can confidently say that it is incredibly difficult to find a place that has this same supportive, encouraging, prolific, and talented community.

Diego Josef

series regular on Amazon’s Goliah, films include: Ballad of Lefty Brown Tiger Within, There’s Something Inside Your House, and Breckman Rodeo, Message from the King

I have gained so much from being at the Young Actors Studio. They have helped me find the confidence in myself and in my work that has been hugely beneficial to both my acting and personal life. The hands-on nature of Jeff and Andrew’s teaching means they are always involved and there for guidance. The encouragement from the Young Actors Studio to rehearse and better my acting truly helped me to grasp the feeling of diving into new characters, as well as helping me to familiarize myself with the work actors need to put in. Because of this encouragement I could understand what I needed to do to further my acting and it inspired me to do so. The classes at the studio challenge you in a fun and exciting way which makes you want to push yourself to the next level. Collaborating with your new friends/fellow artists is one of the most exhilarating and motivating aspects of the classes. Being completely immersed in all things acting just fueled my passion and desire to be an actor. The Young Actors Studio has inspired me to pursue my love of acting, to be a better actor, to work harder, and to widen my interests to plays etc. Having been to a few, I can truly say not a lot of acting schools are like this one – not a lot of them put the time and effort into each student as they do at the Young Actors Studio. What I got from this school is not just a class, I got endless support from some of the best teachers, great work to study, a better understanding of who I am, and incredible relationships and friendships with like-minded artists.

Garrett Gallego

junior at CalArts, starred in short film Hazel, and regular in Mandy Carmichael Show

 

My name is Garrett Gallego. I attended the studio for 3 and a half years and I can definitely say that the Actors Studio was some of the best training I’ve received. At the studio, you will touch on the teachings of Strasberg, Meisner, and Stanislavsky, learning to better understand the true emotional work that goes into great acting. Here, you will form the foundation for your work and you’ll hone the skills required for your craft. It won’t always be easy, and sometimes during exercises you will have to push yourself more than you ever have with your acting, but I promise you it will all be worth it, the discoveries I made at the studio have stayed with me and aided me in my continued training and work. Good luck to you all, and don’t forget to have fun with it