People usually associate acting with the glamour, the flashes, the red carpets. Nurturing the craft of acting doesn’t have anything to do with the prestige, but requires instead to get your hands in the dirt and dig deep, which isn’t always charming. The greatest thing that a school could teach is to unravel all the external layer and allow the actor to reach the most hidden point of human behavior – and this is what is taught at Strasberg.
Here, the actor is required to be absolutely honest, to have loads of courage, and to allow himself to put aside any judgement – about himself, the character, the script and other people’s craft. To learn how not to hide behind the idea of how a scene should be, but, rather, learn to trust and follow the actions of that scene.
If the actor commits to a truthful acting, he will learn, with time, to accept any aspect of his personality, to embrace anything of himself that can make him different from others and also special among them. He will eventually experience that being less perfect leads to being more real, both as an actor and as an individual.
I arrived at Strasberg Los Angeles after 18 years UK military service and a life-time dream to be an actor. Two years later I graduated from the Two-Year Conservatory having performed in the school’s Industry showcase and having worked in the invite-only acting class. It was never easy, it was often frustrating, exhausting and tearful but the opportunities and support are always there if you are dedicated and work hard.
All my teachers and the support staff (Marian Tomas-Griffin in particular) unceasingly provided apposite guidance not only when I sought it, but also when I didn’t know I needed it. Perhaps the greatest compliment I can give is, that in a town overflowing with acting classes, when I return to Los Angeles, my first stop will be Strasberg LA where I hope I can find a place in The Lee Theatre with Hedy Sonntag and Studio One with Marno. I can think of no better way, place, or people with whom I would prefer to invest my money and my time.
Charlie Chaplin once said: “We think too much, and feel too little”, well at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute we learn to be in touch with those neglected feelings. I came here thinking I knew it all about acting, indeed I’ve never felt so grateful to be so wrong. My time at the Institute was a life changing experience, a revival. The teachers just know what they do, and how to do it. Every single one of them has the passion, inspiration and experience to teach you the method in the way Lee Strasberg would have wanted his Institution to carry.
I feel honored to be part now of that heritage that I cherish as the most important training of my 15 years Theater Arts study. The environment is propitious to the growth of any actor coming with the will to become better. I believe I have become a better actress, more confident, as I leave with the determination, fearlessness to enter the industry fully. I am also convinced to depart being a better person, keeping the humility that the Method implants in you: “You can always be better, so never stops the work.” And for that, I can only say; thank you!
The experience has truly been incredible! The level of commitment and determination that the staff puts in is admirable and commendable beyond expression! Let me say with the utmost sincerity that I have never been part of a school where the staff is as relentless and passionate as Lee Strasberg was with promoting this universal and timeless method of acting.
My time here has made me reveal such incredible inner truths about myself; certain realities that I thought never existed and indeed thought I could never release. This was life changing and I have only the staff to thank!
This school has taught me to never judge a character that you are playing. Always approach a character objectively and learn to appreciate whom you are playing. Because the more you learn to appreciate that individual, the easier you’ll find it to play him and therefore portray him more sincerely.
I knew that going into this industry, it wasn’t going to be an easy path ahead. I knew there’d be many tests, trials and tribulations along the way, (as there is I am sure with any career) but I do however know that each day so far, thanks to The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, it has been worth every second of every day. The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute has tested my patience and dedication to my art, leaving me to graduate as a more determined, focused and hard-working actor. The Method has trialled my admittance of my past, faith in the present and my ability to trust my future, leaving me with more passion for my art than I could have ever imagined. The tribulations we face that can be as simple as learning lines, meeting and working with fellow actors, or simple self discovery have helped me design an incredible tool box that I will take on my forthcoming journey. Thank you for the many performance opportunities I have had at the Lee Strasberg Institute, thank you to the incredible inspiring teachers I have had the privilege to work with and most of all, thank you Lee Strasberg for installing in me the knowledge, courage and faith required to be a proud, confident and ‘ready’ Method actor.
Every artist needs a family, a home, a place which will enable him to sprout, unfold and blossom.
The entire Strasberg faculty is to be commended for never letting the profound work of Lee Strasberg to fall into oblivion and therefore always remain unique. My sincere respect goes to them for that admirable dedication.
The Lee Strasberg Institute has become my second home and it is an immense honor for me to be a part of this passionate family who gives me warmth, inspiration and encouragement in mastering and nurturing the craft of acting.
I can say that going to The Lee Strasberg Institute was one of the best things I’ve decided to do in my life! It is for sure the best place to study acting. The teachers are amazing; they treat everyone the same way and as professionals. I am proud to say that there is a ‘me’ before and after going to the school. I’ve grown so much, not just as an actress, but also as a person. I’ve made so many good friends, whom I know I’ll never forget and will cherish forever. And there are so many people from around the world, so that you get to be close to a variety of different cultures. Not to mention that New York is awesome! The only bad thing I can say is that your time in the school passes by way too fast! I’m completing my first year at the school and hope that I can return one day in the future. It has been the most important and amazing thing in my life and I recommend it to everybody!
What separates the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Institute from the usual impression one gets from a ‘conservatory,’ is its impact on the maturing artist. The Institute gives young talent the tools not only to be a great actor in the present, but to evolve and adapt until the ‘Method’ becomes second nature. When you can apply what you learned five, ten, or twenty years ago into your living craft, then you can appreciate how successful your training was. This is the type of training that The Institute offers.
As Mel Gussow wrote: “Strasberg revolutionized the art of acting and had a profound influence on performance in American Theatre and movies.” The Method drastically changed my life as a human being and actor. One of the main “rules” I have learned about this incredible technique is “You can only go out as far as you go in.” The deeper I explored and used my personal experiences, the more genuine and profound my acting becomes. The interesting aspect of this school is that you have this privileged opportunity to study with teachers who were directly taught by Lee Strasberg. Therefore, you discover the technique the way Lee Strasberg use to teach it at the Actors Studio.
The Two-Year Certificate Program is a wonderful journey for any person who wants to deepen his or her acting and be at peace with personal fears. It helped me open doors I would probably never have explored because of fear. Thank you to Irma Sandrey, Geoffrey Horne, and Paul Calderon who accompanied me to reach these places.
One word: Unforgettable!
In our modern education system we are constantly told that we are not enough. That we are not this, that we are not that. That we should be more like him or more like her and that what we feel and what we have lived through pales into insignificance compared to the others who have gone before us. Although this might be very informative and may be very “educational” and good for us it very often does not give one the confidence or inspiration to break the mold.
Fortunately this is not the case at Strasberg. All that you will be asked for at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute is that firstly you work hard and most importantly that you be truthful. A teacher of mine at the school once told us that Lee Strasberg was the first person who made him feel that he was enough and that he was all he needed to be. That same teacher made me feel the same way and thus inspired an inner confidence in me that in this fast moving, crazy, maybe ridiculous industry is worth its weight in gold, and, more importantly, is a very rare and precious thing indeed. So to the wonderful teachers and people at Strasberg – simply thank you!
Training at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute has been a transforming experience: mind, body, and soul. It is a comprehensive and challenging program, which has allowed me to learn the craft of Method Acting and cultivate that truth and honesty within myself. The Voice, Movement, and Dance classes have challenged me to explore my own voice and overall physicality, helping me get out of my own way physically and establish a realistic ease of motion with the goal of using my body and voice less to achieve more. Scene Study and Script Analysis have been instrumental in the examination of the full depth of characters, subtexts and objectives. I am now able to extract the dynamic and full essence of each character, which has drastically improved my ability to live truthfully on stage.
The instructors are fully committed to and passionate about their work and yours. The various teaching styles challenge you to think differently and never get stuck in one way of doing things. Expectations are high, but in the end the critical analysis of your work will enable you to develop and grow in ways you never expected. As with anything else: you get out what you put in. If you put in your full heart and soul, you cannot go wrong. Finally, the administration: Laura, Marian, and Jennifer are always open and responsive to questions and concerns. They are fully supportive and lend an ear and some great advice when needed. This is not just an acting school, it is a Family.
Passion – the one word that best describes the atmosphere of The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute: passion amongst students and staff alike for the craft of acting. Never before had I stepped foot into an institute that had such contagious enthusiasm for show business. The second I entered the institute, I could feel its infectious energy and decided right then and there that this was where my career would skyrocket.
During my time here, I have grown on multiple levels. Not only do I credit the Institute for the advances in my acting career, but also for my view of the performing arts and technique. My training has encouraged me to delve into the performance, supplying me with the tools to do so. It has allowed me to realize my full potential as an actor and taught me how to literally become the characters that I play. Most of all, the school has allowed me to experiment, while sharpening my strengths.
To close, I would like to stress that the institute has done the impossible job of maintaining the ideals that Lee Strasberg himself created. It is composed of educated and passionate staff and equally passionate students who come together and become a family of actors.