"If you are a director who is serious about getting the absolute best out of your cast, you must take this class. Don’t be like so many directors whose work suffers, because they simply don’t know how to work with actors. Gary and Sheryl will take the mystery out of it, because they have something you can’t fake: decades of experience. Use it to your advantage and get in this class and become what every director really wants to become… the actor’s director.”
-- Robert Krantz, Writer/Director/Actor (Faith, Hope, and Love; Christmas with the Karountzoses)
"So needed. Too often directors focus solely on the technical aspects of storytelling, rather than looking at behavior and the actor's process."
-- James Chressanthis, ASG, GSC, Cinematographer/Director (American Horror Story, Ghost Whisperer, Life with Judy Garland)
“Whether you’re a student, just out of film school, or working professionally, this class is a MUST for all of us filmmakers. It is THE most important aspect of filmmaking, yet no one really teaches it... on the relationship and communication between directors and actors. Where else can filmmakers feel what it’s like to be an actor? And where else can filmmakers practice their directing skills without hurting their project? Nowhere! If only Gary and Sheryl were teaching this years ago!”
-- Luke Greenfield, Writer/Director (Let's Be Cops, The Girl Next Door)
"The entire day was delightful, inspiring, creative, challenging, and a safe place to risk. It fed my hungry heart."
-- Nancy Dodd , Screenwriting Instructor, Pepperdine University, author of "The Writer's Compass"
"No bullshit, they get right to the heart of communicating with an actor and do so with the empathy and kindness that they teach you to direct with. I would highly recommend taking this class whether you are an actor, writer, director, or even producer. The insight that they have from their years of combined experience is invaluable to any creative that desires to work in the industry. "
-- Justin Chien, Writer/Director, USC School of Cinematic Arts
"Gary and Sheryl share wisdom that can only be earned the hard way - from decades of experience working with the best. Both are generous and kind as they take you through their thoughtfully-designed course."
--Kazu Takeda, Writer/Director, USC School of Cinematic Arts
"...what was unique was seeing how actors and directors work together and how they can have a better relationship with each other and break the barrier."
-- Victoria Kempf, Actor, USC School of Dramatic Arts
"I would highly recommend The Actor’s Director Workshop to any writer, director or actor at all levels of their career. Gary and Sheryl with their vast knowledge and expertise through years in the industry bring artists together in a fascinating and intimate experience for all involved unlike anything I’ve experienced before. They take the time with each attendee to address their personal growth and guide them to push beyond their boundaries..."
-- Adam Nail, Actor
"I so appreciate your passion for teaching... it's such a pleasure watching you work! What is so unique is that the same principles are applied to every scene worked on, but the approach is tailored to the specific student... I find it so refreshing that the instructors work to fit our needs..."
-- Kayla Cummings, Actor, USC School of Dramatic Arts
"In a world where being a multi-hyphenate is such a sought after thing, getting to try out those roles in a risk-free environment is such a great experience."
-- Tessa Markle, Actor/Writer/Producer
"It was truly the first "safe space" I've found as an artist and - knowing viscerally now what that feels like... is so important moving forward. I walked in Saturday morning with a lot of anxiety, but somehow left that evening with a greater sense of calm that I can remember having... you allowed me to find the calm center in my work. I am so grateful. This class feels like the stepping stone between I'm saying I'm going to make my feature film, and just making it."
-- Megan Seeley, Actor/Writer/Director, USC School of Cinematic Arts
"You guys were able to encapsulate a lot of acting concepts in very succinct ways and not only made us understand but also feel the concepts for ourselves."
-- Abhi Chandrasen, Writer/Director, USC School of Cinematic Arts
"It really helped me to get out of a results/performance mode and to understand, on a deeply visceral level how to the process of storytelling is a single creative continuum, and how many of the divisions we create between actor/writer/director are illusory. By the end of the weekend, I felt inspired and liberated spiritually, mentally, and emotionally in a way that haven't in a long time."
-- Jason W, Writer/Director, USC School of Cinematic Arts
"Thank you for being such kind, caring, inspired, and gifted teachers. You created an exceptionally warm, open, creative environment and community in which everyone - regardless of experience or background - felt safe and brave enough to dive in and take chances."
-- Julie Frank, Screenwriter, MFA, USC School of Cinematic Arts
"The flow of the workshop was absolutely gorgeous. Gary and Sheryl did a wonderful job of helping us slowly take away the layers of fear, need for control, and pride to help us to be free to be vulnerable, creative, and alive... to allow truth to unfold, and give the others the space to do so."
-- Esther Yeonju Pak, Writer/Director, USC School of Cinematic Arts
"We had an amazing time walking through our script... Our time together helped us go 10 levels deeper into this story and its characters... if you want to hone your acting, directing or writing skills we would highly recommend you check out the The Actor's Director Workshop -- it’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced."
-- Eric Gregson, Writer/Director (Dark Arrows)
"I have never met a teacher so completely involved in their students' emotional well-being, personal enrichment, and practical and personal growth. Gary's charisma and encouragement, Sheryl's passion and empathy, and their collective intelligence and comprehension of the materials AND of student needs and desires left no room for failure, or for feeling anything but total immersion and investment in the material and the other students' success. I learned more in these two days than in an embarrassing number of years in college. They create an atmosphere of total acceptance, diligence to the work, and adherence to a baseline of mutual respect between every single person in the room. I've never seen anything like it..."
-- Jill Watson, Screenwriter
You can read more about Jill's experience in the online article she wrote for 25 Years Later.
"Just a note to thank you so much for your time, generosity of spirit and wisdom yesterday. I'm still buzzing after the workshop. I walked in not sure what to expect, in my head and anxious - but I came away feeling like I had spent the day feeling safe enough to push myself and play...
I've had so many years of classes, training... my bookshelf is heaving with methods and notes, analyses and craft approaches. I was completely overwhelmed - but yesterday was the first time in a very long time that I was able to take the focus off the process and truly live in the work with the other actors - discover the love - and free fall... and it made me really remember how much I love doing this!
What I love about this workshop is that you've distilled your years of experience into a language and approach that is equally accessible for actors, directors and writers alike. I feel empowered to use the tools to communicate with my directors and to understand succinctly what it is they need from my performance. And having this playground to practice these tools together - it makes for the kind of collaboration that we all want to experience on-set.
-- Lisa Dobbyn, Actress