Ellen is a lifetime member and judge at The Actors Studio. A member of the Alliance of Women Directors and LA Film Team. She is privileged to be a judge for the Roy W Dean Film Grant and for The Film Consortium San Diego and SD Film Awards.
Studying acting for five years with Lee Strasberg gave me such a strong background and incredible training. I was fortunate to study script analysis with Stella Adler which really helps marry you to the material, to understand it and make specific choices. Both of these exceptional teachers helped form my platform for teaching.
To teach a person and watch them open up and grow and take chances and risks, and have fun, is such a gift – a gift to the teacher as well as the student. When I was very young I taught horseback riding. I had the ability to draw someone out, to give them the belief in themselves. Connecting people with their own will is quite rewarding. I think naturally I took these experiences and applied them to teaching acting. I love to light someone’s fire and ignite their passion. My love for acting is contagious.
In my class, there is a lot to learn, all very important. Strong choices are a must. Tell the truth. Be specific. Work through any inhibitions, and be fearless. Trusting yourself is learned, and when one can get that, it helps them connect to their power. Spontaneity is key. Relaxation is a must for actors. Relaxation makes it possible to be totally available to yourself with what is going on in the moment and your emotions. One must be fully in the moment. One must learn to let their guard down and have to BE… Like a onion skin unwrapping, there is a process of creating one’s privacy – this is key to the work.
A student must be in a safe environment so they can take risks, and not be self conscious. My classroom is not judgmental. Develop professional skills from the start; show up, on time, prepared, and work hard. I am there for each student 100%.
Some of what my classes will teach:
- script analysis
- moment before
- auditioning skills
- the art of listening
- structured improvs
- scene study
- corrective critiques