I was studying at the Groundlings for several terms and kept seeing postcards and fliers for the Actors Comedy Studio and would take them thinking I'll call when the time is right. It took a while, but boy am I glad I finally called! I had heard about a different comedy coach teaching a similar style and met with him first. I found him pompous, rude and it took his staff weeks to call back to schedule me into a class. Thank heavens for that because I am much happier in the presence of the exceedingly bright, straight forward-without-being-rude, freaking FUNNY Gunnar, who takes comedy very seriously. He studies it, eats, lives and breathes it...to my benefit! My husband and I were actors 15 years ago and left for the wine industry and have just recently come back. This makes me feel like I have sooo much to catch up on and do, but just not enough time. What I dig most is that with Gunnar, we have have eeked out a plan for my career. So much has changed since I was previously in it, so it might seem lame to appear that I am not doing the plan entirely on my own, but I am not too proud to say that I appreciate Gunnar's expertise and SO appreciate the help. Now, among other things, we have a production company and my husband and I wanted help with our scenes in the film. I had worked with a couple of people whom I felt were not really that helpful. I made an appt. to meet with Gunnar to see what he had to offer. We clicked! I joined the master class, filled with all sorts of inspiring talent, and my husband and I did privates with him as well. Things that just weren't clicking at read-throughs were fixed in a NY minute with Gunnar (who used to be known as Todd, just for clarification.) We fleshed out our characters, bringing them to a much deeper level. Good stuff! I love being in the presence of people who are constantly working as well. Class opens with "good news to share", and there's often a boat load! There are so many things offered such as $20 workshops, 10 week Comedy Intensives, an Industry Showcase with nothing but top-notch attendees. I very much recommend the Actor's Comedy Studio to youth and adult actors and look forward to carving out another career for me doing what I love! Thank you to Gunnar and your entire staff! (They are very efficient and good to work with)
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I've been here a few times now, and have to say that while I absolutely LOVE the ambiance and atmosphere, the attitude - of the wait staff and the general clientele - I can do without. In fact, when at a loss for where to grab a simple, hearty meal, we'll often pass on this place as we are usually "in no mood for the 'tude." But I digress. On my first visit, we were seated in the lush, green patio area where I enjoyed a cheeseburger and my companion had spaghetti and meatballs. The portions were generous and overall tasty and satisfying. However, our waiter - who we later determined must have been new - was inattentive and a bit detached, even as we continued to try to engage him by just being pleasant and polite. He warmed up in the end and was nice enough, so the evening ended well. On a subsequent visit for a late Sunday brunch, we sat in the semi-enclosed back room with a ridiculously rude and noisy group. Our waitress was aloof, also detached, and condescending when asking for my ID. Since my only child is old enough to drink legally, I'm usually quite flattered when I am carded - which is surprisingly often, and hilariously funny to my mostly younger friends who don't drink. But this chick actually "spoke down" to me and while she might have intended her gaffe to be funny, it wasn't. After our drinks finally arrived and our order was placed, I enjoyed the Garden Herb Tuna Sandwich on a French Roll which was just OK - not exactly what I expected given the tasty burger I'd enjoyed a few weeks before - but it was passable. Given the overall snarkiness of the atmosphere that day among the staff and patrons, I can't say that I enjoyed my second visit as much as the first. I will likely return to this place at some point, but will perhaps do so during an off-peak time in hopes of getting better service and a tastier dish.
I just finished taking the Sitcom Essentials 8 week course and it blew my mind how amazing the course is. First of all, the teachers who taught the different classes are all very passionate, knowledgeable, giving, encouraging and supportive. There were performers from all levels: from just starting out to seasoned professionals. And the teachers made it challenging, fresh and interesting for all above. The amount of information I was able to walk away with from the course is mind blowing. I learned about the different comedy character archetypes, how to breakdown a comedy script (so huge :) ), improv techniques to keep the scene fresh, what happens during auditions from the pre read to network testing and booking a series regular, what adjustments I need to make to create a single camera and multi-camera performance and what a casting director is looking for in pictures and in your auditions. Oh and let me not forget to mention the live performance. Each performer was paired up and given a different scene unique to what they would be cast for in the field. And we worked on the scene during the course of the time and performed it in front of an audience with three different cameras going....multi-camera sitcom style. Even though I've had previous experience of performing on multi-camera tv shows, I still learned a lot.....things I wish I learned before. I came away from this course confident about who I am as a performer and what my strengths and weaknesses are. I am so glad I took this course. Actor's Comedy Studio is creative and innovative in the way they teach their classes. They are passionate and serious about what they do. And they really know how to prepare their students for working in the professional world. Thank you so much Gunnar and Lauren, you are truly wonderful and a gift to actors.