Marnie Cooper, Acting Coach

April 18, 2018

My guest on this podcast episode is master acting coach, and talent manager, Marnie Cooper.

Marnie has been teaching acting, and coaching clients for over 25 years, and works with kids, teens, and adults. Her clients include Mila Kunis, America Ferrera, Miley Cyrus, Syler Samuels, Olivia Holt, Jennette McCurdy, Braeden Lemasters, Danielle and Kay Panabaker, Taylor Momsen, Paul Dano, Brenda Song, Ashley Argota, Leelee Sobieski, Ella Anderson, and many more.

She teaches beginner through master classes as well as private coaching in her studio in Studio City, California. Marnie also does on-set coaching, and works with actors via Skype and Facetime all over the world. She is also the author of Teaching Kids to Act for Film and Television.

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

 

  • “Acting is one of the only professions where you don’t want your hard work to show.”
  • “If I coach you well, they should think you’re not coached.”
  • “They want you organic. And whatever you do to get organic is what they want you to do.”
  • “Even if you’re wrong for the role, I highly recommend you go in.”
  • “You can be a great actor and a bad auditioner, and never work a day in your life.”
  • “There is no great, horrific thing that is going to happen if you blow your audition.”
  • “Bring a notebook to the audition and journal from the character’s point of view in the waiting room.”
  • “Be off book. Every time you look down is a moment you’re not present.”
  • “You need to get comfortable being uncomfortable.”
  • “Acting is a wonderful experience every child should have, but not necessarily professionally.”

 

Follow Marnie Here:

 

Website:         http://marniecooperschool.com/

Facebook:       @MarnieCooperSchoolofActing

Twitter:          @howdoiact

Instagram:     @MarnieCooperSchoolofActing

 

Buy her book on Amazon here:

Teaching Kids to Act for Film and Television

 

I agree with Marnie-- Not everyone who loves to act should be a professional actor. But if your kid or teen has their heart set on it and you want to help them have their best chance at that dream, I can help you raise the odds of their success. Investing in a single consultation with me can save you years of time, thousands of dollars, and give you peace of mind.

If you're ready for some help getting started, or are already down the road but looking to get un-stuck, schedule a Skype or in-person consultation with me today. We'll cover the issues where you know you need help, as well as some issues you may not even be aware of!

Did this post help you? Share it with someone who would enjoy it! Thanks!

00:0000:00

Mackenzie Hancsicsak of This is Us

April 3, 2018

What’s it like to book a series regular role on a hit TV show at the age of 8… on your first audition ever? The show is This is Us, and that’s exactly what happened to my guest Mackenzie Hancsicsak! Mackenzie plays Young Kate on the Emmy-award-winning show, and her fabulous mom, Melinda joins us on this podcast episode.

Melinda and Mackenzie share their story, and we cover all kinds of territory, including the importance of Improv skills, the reality of parenting a kid on a TV show as well as the reality of being a kid on one (hint: you have to wake up early a LOT), how to stay grounded, how being a working actor can sharpen memorization and other academic skills… and there is even a little impromptu duet of Descendants 2’s Ways to Be Wicked-! Join us for a fun and intimate conversation.

Some of my favorite quotes from this episode:

  • “I don’t think you can really work a full-time job. Your job is to be the advocate for your kid.”
  • “I have to believe that learning her lines is helping her in school.”
  • “Someday she won’t be in the show, and I want her to learn life skis that she can take with her in life, and not just on a set.”
  • “Kids are taught to hate, and they’re taught to love.”
  • You have no idea what they’re looking for… so you can’t lose if you’re just being yourself.”

We mention the Girl Uplifters Team (GUT) whose motto is “Girls uplifting girls. Everywhere. Every one. Every single day.” This is a wonderful group that I support as well. You can find them at http://www.girlupliftersteam.com/

Follow Mackenzie at:

Twitter: @MHancsicsak

Instagram: @mackenziehancsicsak

 

(Both accounts are verified, and operated by Melinda).

 

And fan mail can be sent to:

P.O. Box 801705, Santa Clarita, California, 91380

 

Breaking into the world of professional acting can be confusing and challenging, and it’s especially important to make good choices when what’s at stake is your kid. I offer both Skype and in-person consultations for parents of young actors to help cut through the confusion, and increase your odds of success. A single session with me can save you thousands of dollars, and months—or possibly years—of wasted time. Go to my Consultations webpage and book a session today—before another season goes by. You’ll be glad you did!

00:0000:00

Raegan Revord, Actress

March 16, 2018

Raegan Revord, Actress

What’s it like to be only ten years old, and a series regular on a huge hit show? What’s it like to be the mom of a young star? Listen in and you’ll hear from my guests, Raegan and Holly Revord. Raegan is best known for her roles on Young Sheldon, Modern Family, and Grace and Frankie. And Holly is her fabulous mom!

We discuss how Raegan started in the industry, how she stays grounded, some of the challenges they face as a family, surprises along their journey, advice for young actors and their parents, and much more. Join us!

Some of my favorite quotes from this episode:

  • “I don’t ever want her to forget the journey. All the ‘no’s’ that she got. It was not easy!”
  • “Don’t be what you think they want. Be yourself.”
  • “The set really is the best classroom.”
  • “If you want it, fight for it.”
  • “We have jars that say, ‘save,’ ‘spend,’ and ‘share.’”
  • “You can actually invest the Coogan funds.”
  • “Have a team that believes in your kid. That’s so important.”
  • “I am trying tor raise a good human. I’m not trying to raise a good actor.”
  • “There’s enough sunshine at the top for everybody.”

 

Follow Raegan HERE:

Twitter: OfficialRaeganR (verified)

Instagram: @raeganrevord (verified)

Facebook: @raeganrevord (verified)

 

Raising a kid is challenging enough without adding the pressures of auditions, working, and potentially even fame to the mix! Sometimes having someone to check in with can be invaluable… especially if you get stuck or are not sure how to proceed in a sticky situation.

I offer consultations with parents of young actors at any stage, from complete beginners to families that have been on this path for a while. Book a 60 or 90 minute consultation with me over Skype or in person in Burbank, and get the help you need to support your kid as they follow their dream of being a professional actor.

 

 

00:0000:00

Michelle Danner, Acting Coach

February 28, 2018

My guest on this episode of Hometown to Hollywood is Michelle Danner.

Michelle is an award-winning acting coach, film director, and founder of the Michelle Danner Acting Studio in Los Angeles. She trained with Stella Adler and Uta Hagen, and actors she has worked with both privately and on set include Chris Rock, Gerard Butler, Seth MacFarlane, Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek, James Franco, Christian Slater, Zooey Deschanel, Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Coolidge, and many more.

The Michelle Danner Acting Studio features an extremely broad offering of classes for kids, teens, and adults, including scene study, audition for film and TV, Improv, film script analysis, private coaching, and much more. She is also founding and artistic director of the Edgemar Center for the Arts.

Join us as Michelle breaks down the basics of Meisner Technique, Lee Strasberg’s Method, Stella Adler, Stanislavski’s System, Uta Hagen, and the Chekhov technique…. and explains why she think it’s important to have more than one approach to playing a role, as well as the difference of acting for stage vs. film vs. TV, and MUCH more!

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

 

  • “If you’re doing theatre, you’re playing tennis; if you’re doing a movie, you’re playing ping pong; and if you’re doing TV you’re playing marbles.”
  • “People want to hire young actors that they feel will deliver, and not freeze up.”
  • On auditioning: “You really have to understand the music of the writing, the music of the show.”
  • The more you study, research, and do, the more you’re ahead of the game.”
  • “The most important thing is to get out of your head.”
  • “Be really interested in the ride. The ride is the joyful part of it.”
  • “For 100 NO’s, there could be a yes.”
  • “Study the actors that inspire you.”
  • “You don’t have to wait for someone to say yes to you. You can say yes to yourself.”
  • “Nothing is easy that’s worthwhile in this life.”

 

Follow Michelle here:

 

Website:         http://www.michelledanner.com/

Twitter:          @ActingAtEdgemar

Instagram:     @MichelleDannerLA

Facebook:       @MichelleDannerLosAngelesActingSchool

 

00:0000:00

Ariana Greenblatt, Actress

February 12, 2018

Today my guests on Hometown to Hollywood are Ariana and Soli Greenblatt. Ariana is best known for her roles in Stuck in the Middle, A Bad Mom’s Christmas, and Liv and Maddie. She just joined the cast of The One and Only Ivan, which is produced by Angelina Jolie and is a live-action/CG hybrid movie. And Soli Greenblatt is her fabulous mom!

This is a really fun conversation, where both the experience of a very young professional actresss (Ariana is 10 now and started in the industry just before her 7th birthday) and her mom are shared. What's it like to be living a normal life, have a couple of auditions while you're on vacation in LA and suddenly get a role that turns your life upside down? Listen in and find out!

Some of my favorite quotes:

  • "It happened so quickly that it was wild."
  • "It's just another chapter in our book, and it's an adventure of life."
  • "If you don't get it, that doesn't mean you give up!"
  • "Whenever I was nervous, my mom would have the best pep talks for me."
  • "That's how we supported her-- just by letting her kind of lead her own path."
  • "You have to just be yourself. You can't be the person that other people want you to be."
  • If it's not your door to be opened, you can't force it. Your door will open when it's time."

 

 Follow Ariana here:

 

Twitter: ArianaG_07

Instagram: Ariana_Greenblatt (verified)

Facebook: ArianaGreenblatt (verified)

 

00:0000:00

Booboo Stewart, 2018, Part 2

January 25, 2018

Hi, thanks for joining us on Hometown to Hollywood! My guest on this podcast episode is actor Booboo Stewart. Booboo has been a working actor since he was 10, and his credits include Twilight: Breaking Dawn and Eclipse, X-Men: Days of Future Past, White Frog, and Disney Descendants 1 and 2. He is currently voicing the role of Exile in Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, and has 4 projects in post production.

Booboo talks about his methods of staying grounded, dealing with overthinking, the importance of training and keeping an open mind, mentors, what he learned from his parents, and the importance of trying new things. We also look at the importance of integrity, resilience, and self-talk for success, Kenney Ortega, and many other subjects, as well as his experience filming Descendants 2 in Vancouver.

We covered so much ground in our conversation that I split the interview into two parts.

THIS IS PART TWO OF TWO.

If you missed part 1, you can catch it by going HERE: Booboo Stewart, Actor, Part 1

 

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

  • “Our flaws make us unique.”
  • “It is so important to surround yourself with good people.”
  • “It’s important to choose people who don’t always agree with you.”
  • “I think integrity’s more important than ever… because everybody knows your business.”
  • “A lot of people have great ideas, but it’s the people who go out and finish it… those are the people you hear about.”
  • “Comparing yourself to other people is probably the biggest mistake.”
  • “Having an open mind is so important.”
  • “I’m training all the time.”
  • “Trying new things is a way of training.”
  • “Take ownership of what you feel, and dive into it.”
  • “You learn so much about yourself when you’re by yourself.”
  • “I watch a lot of movies. I try to really know my craft, and the history of my craft.”
  • “I like to work with people who inspire me to be better.”

We reference an app and a book in our conversation:

Headspace APP

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

 

You can find Booboo HERE:
 

Instagram:     BoobooStewart.Art (verified)                 

Twitter:          @BoobooStewart (verified)

Website:         BoobooStewart.com

 

Navigating the path of a young actor can be challenging, and a mentor can go a long way toward helping you make the best choices along the way. Books, acting coaches, and other resources can make all the difference between success and disappointment.

I offer consultations via Skype to help young actors and their families chart their individual course, because every person and family has unique circumstances. One hour with me can save you thousands of dollars and a huge amount of time! If you want 2018 to be the year you finally get somewhere on your acting journey– or on your child’s– go to my consultations page and book a session. I look forward to talking with you!

Did you enjoy this podcast episode! Share it with a friend!

00:0000:00

Booboo Stewart 2018, Part 1

January 18, 2018

Very few actors get to be part of a huge franchise like Twilight, X-Men, or Descendants… at the age of not-quite 24, my guest has been part of all three of these iconic movie universes.

My guest on this Hometown to Hollywood podcast episode is Booboo Stewart. Booboo has been a working actor since he was 10, and his credits include Twilight: Breaking Dawn and Eclipse, X-Men: Days of Future Past, White Frog, and Disney Descendants 1 and 2. He is currently voicing the role of Exile in Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, and has 4 projects in post production.

Booboo talks about his methods of staying grounded, dealing with overthinking, the importance of training and keeping an open mind, mentors, what he learned from his parents, and the importance of trying new things. We also look at the importance of integrity, resilience, and self-talk for success, Kenney Ortega, and many other subjects, as well as his experience filming Descendants 2 in Vancouver!

We covered so much ground in our conversation that I split the interview into two parts.

THIS IS PART ONE OF TWO.

Join us again next week for the second part of our conversation.

Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:

  • “Our flaws make us unique.”
  • “It is so important to surround yourself with good people.”
  • “It’s important to choose people who don’t always agree with you.”
  • “I think integrity’s more important than ever… because everybody knows your business.”
  • “A lot of people have great ideas, but it’s the people who go out and finish it… those are the people you hear about.”
  • “Comparing yourself to other people is probably the biggest mistake.”
  • “Having an open mind is so important.”
  • “I’m training all the time.”
  • “Trying new things is a way of training.”
  • “Take ownership of what you feel, and dive into it.”
  • “You learn so much about yourself when you’re by yourself.”
  • “I watch a lot of movies. I try to really know my craft, and the history of my craft.”

We reference an app and a book in our conversation:

Headspace APP

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

 

You can find Booboo HERE:

Instagram:     BoobooStewart.Art (verified)

Twitter:          @BoobooStewart (verified)

Website:         BoobooStewart.com

 

Navigating the path of a young actor can be challenging, and a mentor can go a long way toward helping you make the best choices along the way. Books, acting coaches, and other resources can make all the difference between success and disappointment.

I offer consultations via Skype to help young actors and their families chart their individual course, because every person and family has unique circumstances. One hour with me can save you thousands of dollars and a huge amount of time! If you want 2018 to be the year you finally get somewhere on your acting journey– or on your child’s– go to my consultations page and book a session. I look forward to talking with you!

Did you enjoy this podcast episode! Share it with a friend!

00:0000:00

Zak Barnett, Acting Coach, Founder of Zak Barnett Studios

January 4, 2018

Ever wish you could sit with a gifted Hollywood acting coach for an hour—for free? You’re in luck! This week’s podcast guest is Zak Barnett, founder of the Zak Barnett Studios in mid-town Los Angeles, which is billed as “an acting studio for the whole self.” Zak Barnett Studios provides classes, intensives, and private coaching for professional actors aged 9-adult.

The list of actors that sing his praises is long and impressive: Madelaine Petsch, Danielle MacDonald, Johnny Ortiz, and Victoria Moroles are just a few.

Our conversation is filled with juicy stuff for young actors and their parents, including tips on acting, auditioning, and being an artist in the world. Some of my favorite quotes:

  • “What makes an artist unique is their curiosity.”
  • “Acting is the lifelong process of the mastery of the self, and the mastery of selflessness.”
  • “As an actor, if you judge a character, you cannot become them.”
  • “This is like a martial art… it’s about humility, consistency, and curiosity.”
  • “If you know three things you see three things… if you know a million, you see a million.”
  • “Teaching is essentially giving them the tools to evolve in their own process… coaching is, ‘I’m a director, and I’m going to get you where you need to go.’”
  • “The unconscious doesn’t know the difference between highly developed fantasy and memory.”
  • “We have to know our own pain to know our character’s.”
  • “This is not the art of pretending, it’s the art of becoming.”
  • “Find your tribe, wherever you are.”
  • “It’s not an easy life, but it’s an amazing life.”

 

Find Zak and the Zak Barnett Studio here:

Website: https://zakbarnett.com/

Twitter: @zbsactingstudio

Instagram: @zakbarnettstudios

Facebook: @zakbarnettstudios

YouTube: Zak Barnett Acting Studios

 

Zak and I mentioned two books in our conversation, The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday, and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I recommend them both highly.

Links here:

 

The Obstacle is the Way

The Artist’s Way

00:0000:00

Dove Cameron Encore Episode

December 27, 2017

Hometown to Hollywood’s final podcast of 2017 is an encore presentation of our most popular episode, an intimate conversation with actor and singer Dove Cameron.

Dove is best known for playing lead roles in Liv and Maddie, Disney Descendants and Descendants 2, Hairspray Live, Cloud Nine, Barely Lethal, and much more. She played Sophie in Mamma Mia at the Hollywood Bowl this past summer, and has a recurring role in Marvel’s Agents of Shield in 2018. Dove is also my daughter!

Listen in as Dove shares in her longest and most intimate interview:

  • Her inspirations
  • Her influences
  • Her approach to a character
  • Audition advice
  • Advice for young people who want to be in entertainment

Because this is an encore episode from 2016, you will hear a few references to things that are out of date, but this is for the most part a very timeless interview. Enjoy!

 

On training:

“Anybody can, and should, take voice lessons.”

On acting:
“The practice of getting into the mind of someone who’s not you… it makes you much more empathetic, and sympathetic, and thoughtful.”

 

Some of my favorite quotes:

  • “My biggest measure of success: when I walk away from a project and people speak well of me, and want to work with me again.”
  • “I basically sat home and watched movie after movie, and studied the people I respected.”
  • “I wanted the normalcy… but it didn’t fit in with the other life that I wanted more.”
  • “There are so many kids out there that are special and different and they get left out, and they get bullied, and they become the most incredible adults… I just want you to know… it’s going to be OK.”
  • “Don’t take yourself too seriously.”
  • “You better believe I don’t forget I’m living out my childhood dream.”
  • “Stay close to your family, know who your friends are, and trust your gut.”
  • “Just do as much as you can as best as you can for as long as you can, and you’ll succeed.”

 

You can find Dove here:

 

Twitter: @DoveCameron

Instagram: @DoveCameron

Facebook: @OfficialDoveCameron

 

The link to the ONLY legitimate Disney open Casting Calls we referenced is here:

http://disneychannel.disney.com/open-call

 

I learned so much (and continue to learn so much!) through helping my daughter Dove get her start and grow in the industry that I not only wrote a book to help other parents (The Hollywood Parents Guide is available on Amazon) but I also consult with other parents one-on-one to answer their specific questions and map out a strategy for success.

An hour with me on Skype can make an incredible difference, saving you serious time and money. If you want 2018 to be the year that your kid gets some traction toward their dream, book a session with me here! I look forward to working with you.

00:0000:00

Carol Goldwasser, Casting Director

December 21, 2017

Ever wonder what goes through a casting director’s mind when you are in the audition room?

You’re in luck, because today my guest on the Hometown to Hollywood podcast is independent casting director Carol Goldwasser.

Carol has worked in casting for over twenty years in Los Angeles and New York. She's cast actors who have received Kid's and Teen Choice Awards, Imagen Awards, Young Artist Awards, and Emmy Award nominations for their roles. Her series work includes a lot of work for Disney and Nickelodeon: "Austin & Ally, "Dog with a Blog," "I'm in the Band" and "Hannah Montana."

Carol also assembled a rotating cast for "Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays." The play won an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for Unique Theatrical Event. She has been nominated for eleven Casting Society of America Artios Awards for excellence in casting, winning the honor twice, and was a Heller Award nominee for Television Casting Director of the year. Carol is a member of the Television Academy and the Casting Society of America.

We explore how she started in casting, what she’s looking for, the differences between casting a pilot vs. casting guest stars, approaches for auditions, advice for self-tapes, the role of parents in the success of young actors, and much more.

Some of my favorite quotes from this episode:

  • “Sometimes it’s what you decide, but it’s also what fate puts in front of you.”
  • “You already have people that you want to bring in. But then you expand the process.”
  • “If I feel like someone is talented, we keep trying them.”
  • “Sometimes what you see in the room at a callback is not as good as on the self-tape…you don’t know what that whole package is until you call them into a room.”
  • “High energy, good diction, no props!”
  • “It would be great if people would come in and swing from the fences from the get-go.”
  • “Talent is great, but you also have to be able to deliver consistently.”
  • “Do your homework and realize the difference between (acting) styles.”
  • “It’s not personal. It’s about the person who can do the job the best.”
  • “Don’t ignore those stage directions… there’s a reason they’re there. It’s the architecture.”
  • “It’s so important to have the parental and emotional support.”
  • “Being well-prepared is great… equally important is being malleable.”

 

You can see more of Carol’s casting credits here on IMDb.

There is always more to success in the world of professional acting than meets the eye—this is why it’s so helpful to have some inside guidance. Start the New Year off right and book a consultation with me today! Just an hour with me can provide direction, peace of mind, and an action plan. I look forward to helping you!

00:0000:00