Tales of Tinseltown: Blood, Sweat & Tears in Acting Class

First off: Happy 2011! I hope all your plans and dreams  will start coming to live! In 2010 I wrote all about the first time I went to Los Angeles on my own. And I just so happened to finish those stories before the end of the year. So in 2011 I’ll write all about the second time I went to the city of angels and, of course, about the progress in my acting career and the big move to LA this year!

I am always fearful of doing the same thing twice because if the first time was fantastic the second time is bound to disappoint. And the first time I went to Los Angeles on my own was magical. But if you want to be an actress in LA there is really no way around going to LA. Except for the fact that I could’ve stayed in a different guesthouse, which I didn’t, mostly for budget reasons. But I did take acting classes at a new place, on which more soon.

So there I was at Amsterdam airport, waving my parents and sister goodbye, walking to the gate alone with my heart constricted again. Off to LAX airport, this time turning 21 on my LA vacation and having some ideas of what to expect from la la land. I almost felt like a local, taking all the right metro’s at once (not stepping on the wrong line like the year before) and knowing exactly how to walk to my guesthouse from North Hollywood Station. The familiarity of the ridiculous heat in the LA valley, the run-down car rental and the scary neon clown on Lankershim Blvd. made me feel a little bit sad. Because all the wonderful people I had met the year before wouldn’t be at the guesthouse this time. Luckily though, the second time held many great things in store for me too…

The first thing that was the same as the year before was the state my room: like an explosion of clothes, underwear, make up, hair and lotions had taken place. Actually, this year it was worse. Because this year the cleaning lady refused to even clean our room anymore, and I couldn’t blame her. It. Was. Messy. Another thing that was the same as the year before was the presence of the ever-lovely Aussies. Besides Mr. Blue Sky Days, who I’d met the year before, I met two Australian people that are some of the most giving people I’ve ever met. I’m sure they’ll come up later.  I’m trying to stick with chronology for now.

After the first night of sleep it was time for my first acting class. I picked an acting school that was once again walking distance from the guest house (although a 45 min walk) but had a very different structure than the Acting Corps, where I took classes the year before. This time I chose David Kagen’s School of Film Acting. The classes at this place consist of 15 people max, and the beginner classes are all about cold reading, which is reading a scene without having ever looked at it before. And they’re all on camera, so you can watch yourself afterwards and learn. And believe me, you learn heaps of watching yourself. Because in acting you might feel that you’re doing something and then when you watch afterwards realize you weren’t. It’s very confronting, but very educative.

And David Kagen’s Acting school is also where I met some lovely people who where kind enough to give me rides home after class and to take me around town. One of them I’ll refer to as Mr. Coffee Bean, since we always went for coffee and tea after class and one of them I’ll name… Malibu Ken, since he was so fond of that place. Though I could have easily called him Mr. Bond or Harry Potter. Because he was in those movies, yes 😉

Who I also met at David Kagen’s School of Film Acting was Mr. David Kagen himself. He recommends that everyone takes one private class with him before enrolling and so that’s what I did. I can summarize how I did in my private class as following: I sucked. The script I got was from Death Becomes Her and instead of connecting with my scene partner and doing everything else I learned I tried to copy Meryl Streep’s exact performance. Which is never a good thing, no one beats the Meryl allright. That being said, I only got one try  and we spent the next 40 minutes talking. Or rather: Mr. Kagen was talking and I was listening. And though it was very interesting and insightful it was also quite a blow. Acting is, of course, one of the most important things in my life. I’m not usually the teary type but having just landed in LA with a jetlag and missing my LA friends from the year before I ended up bawling in that private class. And that was just day two of my second LA adventure.

And that wasn’t the end of it. Somewhere near the end of my stay in LA I got into a discussion with a teacher in class. It was very lengthy and I felt bad afterwards. Now before you start thinking I’m some mouthy rebel who thinks no one can teach me a thing, I think discussions/arguments are common at the school. And I think it’s a good thing. For example I also witnessed another lady in my class who got into a discussion/ argument with a teacher. It’s because the teachers care, they want you to do the best you can and they will push if it’s needed. And that makes you become aware of all the boundaries you built for yourself and can be quite confronting. But ever so insightful. I certainly learned a great deal about acting there and can really recommend the classes to anyone that’s ready for a reality check about acting. Unfortunately the classes are quite expensive, but then again: if you want to go to LA be prepared to rob a ban…er…work hard and make a lot of money first, because everything in Tinseltown comes at a price!

That’s it, I have exceeded the 1000 words again, so I’m leaving this as the first post for 2011. I hope you enjoyed reading and if you want to receive free e-mail updates every time I post a new story, fill in your e-mail address in the upper right corner and press I want to follow!



Filed under Los Angeles

5 responses to “Tales of Tinseltown: Blood, Sweat & Tears in Acting Class

  1. Nadi

    Lovely, as ever! xx

  2. Zarina

    I LOVE reading your blog! I also live in the Netherlands and my dream is to become an actress! Just like yours! And I like it how you do things. You just did it! While other people only think about it. Keep me updated!

  3. Pingback: Me Against the Monologues | Stars in the Eyes

  4. jaz3080


    I was interested in David’s classes. Do you remember the price?

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