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:
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.