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who we are

The Actor's Establishment (TAE) was developed as a space for actors to harness their work and to freely express their own creative interpretations. TAE's mission is simple, - It's All About Returning To The Work.

 

TAE creates an environment for actors’ exploration of their individual training needs through sharing knowledge and insight from master teachers in the art of acting. TAE’s focus is on the fundamental core techniques integrated with a deep understanding of script and text analysis, allowing the discovery of circumstances, relationships, and intentions. 

 

Unlike so many other instructional offerings, TAE does not teach one specific method or technique but rather offers a myriad of workshops taught by professional experts trained in a wide range of specific skills. This approach accompanied by qualified instructors allows actors to choose workshops they connect with most while giving them the opportunity to explore new disciplines and vast possibilities. TAE is continually motivated by giving each actor a platform to expand their abilities, discover new avenues of growth, and find or reconnect with the artist within.

 

TAE is breaking the barriers of arts education and training by helping actors take control of their careers through the return to drama’s classic roots and the calling to dig deeper.

 

With sessions and workshops ready for your enrollment, come see for yourself why The Actor’s Establishment was created and designed for you. It’s time to get back to the work! 

 

“To become a working actor of great skill, one must establish what it means to work first.”

-Jason James, TAE Artistic Director 

artistic director

As an accomplished Actor, Producer, Director, and Acting Coach, Jason James has garnered himself a voice for the theatrical community.  With multiple acting acknowledgements under his belt and a groundbreaking achievement at the Sturges Center for the Fine Arts, Mr. James is a true creative force to be studied. And for very good reason, some of his monumental performances include: Chicago, A Chorus Line, and My Fair Lady, not to mention his directing prominent musicals such as: Jekyll & Hyde: The Thriller Musical, Stephen Sondheim’s Company, and A Man of No Importance.

 

When it comes to cultivating his passion and love for teaching and creating artistic work, Mr. James is driven by the need for quality education that teaches aspiring artists the fundamental techniques of acting. This in turn, allows each artist and actor to build his or her skills from a solid and trustworthy foundation. 

Mr. James highlights this core value when he mentions,  

 

“Acting isn't just about technique or hitting the mark each time. It's about self: the mind, the body, and the soul. Acting is a personal endeavor; background, values, personal identity, and life circumstances all play a part when connecting a role.”

 

With more than twenty years of experience, Mr. James understands this important value along with integrating the key principle of "why" into the developing repertoire of an actor.  Asking “why” to allow the actor to probe a deeper meaning to the text and harness a rooted connection to the material. Mr. Jason James has brought this same mindset and mastery into his current creative endeavor, The Actor’s Establishment, affectionately known as TAE. TAE doesn't just teach actors technique. An open space is created so the actor can establish who he or she is as an artist. 

 

Mr. James’ past teaching and lecturing credits help give him a unique perspective with meeting each artist where they are, while giving them a safe atmosphere to guide and equip them along their acting journey. Mr. James incorporates what he’s taught at Institutions all across the country to harness the overall gifts of those working with him.  His mantra “Keep asking, Why?" coupled with his goal of assisting actors through this difficult business, all while remaining true to their authentic selves, make Jason James both L.A.’s best kept secret and a growing force to be reckoned with in teaching actors about their ever growing industry.

 

“I teach because of the passion I have for instilling quality fundamentals in the technique of acting.”

 

Mr. James holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from AMDA, College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts and is completing his MFA in Performance Pedagogy from Loyola Marymount University. 

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our training

“Your job as actors is to understand the size of what you say, to understand what's beneath the word.” 

- Stella Adler

Come learn among the best at The Actor's Establishment. No matter which workshop or masterclass you choose, you’re well on your way to exceptional training that will provide you with the tools you need in order to succeed.

“Wisdom...comes not from age, but from education and learning” 

Anton Chekhov

2021 SESSION SCHEDULE 

SPRING SESSION

February 9 - April 29

WORKSHOPS
Acting & Scene Study
Script & Text Analysis
Movement for the Actor
MASTERCLASSES
Movement & Analysis Intensive
Understanding Shakespeare
The Business of Acting 

SUMMER SESSION

July 6 - August 10

WORKSHOPS
The Audition

FALL SESSION

Sept. 13 - Dec. 6

WORKSHOPS
Acting & Scene Study
Script & Text Analysis
Movement for the Actor
MASTERCLASSES
The Business of Acting
 
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MOVEMENT & ANALYSIS INTENSIVE

Uniting body and mind is integral to the acting process. With this goal in mind, this two day intensive will explore how movement and analysis can work together to allow the actor to express their own thoughts, feelings, and actions when working on a piece of text. The work will challenge each performer to connect to their breath, activate their imagination, embody analysis, and ultimately free the actor to bring characters off of the page and into themselves.

Saturday February 13

10am - 2pm

Sunday February 14

10am - 2pm

REGISTER NOW!

This intensive is made possible by a fellowship grant from
Association of Theatre Movement Educators.

ACTING &

SCENE STUDY

Actors will focus on effective collaboration, efficient rehearsal practices, and bringing truth to each performance through analysis, by pursuing text driven, strong, specific actions and intentions, in an approach suitable for each actor. Workshop will cover multiple scenes and/or monologue. 

Registration Now Open

February 9 - March 30, 2021

SCRIPT & TEXT 

ANALYSIS

Actors will interpret and discuss analytical approaches to a given text to enhance and hone a performance on stage. Actors will identify the elements of analysis, structure and form, historical and societal conflicts, and how these analytical approaches can impact courageous and bold choices. This workshop will culminate in a reading of a full play. 

Registration Now Open

February 11 - April 1, 2021

MOVEMENT FOR THE ACTOR

This four-week course will offer experiential introductions to a selection of popular movement-for-the-actor training methods, including Laban Movement Analysis, The Viewpoints, Grotowski Technique, and Commedia dell'Arte. Through a combination of lecture, discussion, and kinesthetic exploration, learners will come away from the course with an embodied understanding of the history, theory, and potential applications in performance of each method.

Registration Now Open

April 6 - April 27, 2021

UNDERSTANDING SHAKESPEARE

A Masterclass on Heightened Text

Using Verse Structure

The Importance of Iambic Pentameter

The Art of Rhetoric

Language as Action

REGISTER NOW!

Saturday March 27, 2021
10am-1pm, PST
New York Office

The Business of Acting

Headshots & Resumes
Side Gigs
Branding
Unions
Industry Tools
Networking
Agents & Managers

REGISTER NOW!

Saturday April 10, 2021
12pm - 3pm, PST
Finances/Taxes
Auditioning
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THE AUDITION

A Musical Theatre Experience - Unlike Anything Else

6 Weeks

6 Expert Instructors

Individual One on One Coaching Time 

Covering: Audition Material, Text Work, Voice Work, Owning Your Song, In The Moment Feedback, Industry Q&A. 

REGISTER NOW!

July 6 - August 10, 2021

PRIVATE 

COACHING

Coachings are scheduled on an individual basis.

Please fill out the private coaching form. Be sure to let us know what it is you are looking for in your coaching.

guest artists

Matthew Simpson (Understanding Shakespeare)

Associate Artistic Director, Texas Shakespeare Festival

Matthew is the Associate Artistic Director for the Texas Shakespeare Festival where his directing credits include: As You Like It, Love’s Labour’s Lost,  It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, A Christmas Carol Radio Play, and assistant director to the late great Stephen Terrell on Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. For the TSF Roadshow he has directed productions of Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, and three adaptations of Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits. Other directing credits include: The Black Box Theater in Minnesota, Theatre Longview, and numerous productions at Kilgore College where he serves as a member of the Theatre Faculty. As an actor Matthew has performed in over a dozen plays for TSF as well as productions with the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Denver Center Theatre Company, Chamber Theater Productions of Boston, the Richmond Shepard Theater in NYC, and multiple seasons with the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ and the Delaware REP. Matthew serves regularly as a panelist for the Texas Commission on the Arts to evaluate projects that enhance education and economic development through the arts. He holds a M.F.A degree in acting from the University of Delaware and is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.

All Workshops, MasterClasses, and Coachings will be virtual/online until further notice. Zoom links are sent out the day before your workshop or session via email. 

 

SUBSCRIBE!

100% Private. No Spam! 
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Masterclasses

MOVEMENT & ANALYSIS

February 6 & 7, 2021 

UNDERSTANDING

SHAKESPEARE

March 27, 2021

THE BUSINESS

OF ACTING

April 10, 2021

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establish:

to found, institute, build, or bring into being on a firm or stable basis, a foundation.

to start; create 

grounded; to become recognized and accepted

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featured members

Rachel McLaughlan

Rachel McLaughlan is a triple threat performer who loves to run marathons and bake cookies. Originally from Santa Rosa, California, she has traveled the country and the world as part of two National Tours, Sesame Street Live (Six Seasons) and Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s A Christmas Carol (Two seasons). Some of Rachel’s other credits include: Man of La Mancha (McCoy Rigby Ent, directed by Glenn Casale), Man of La Mancha (Riverside Repertory Theatre), A Little House Christmas (Sierra Madre Playhouse), Oklahoma! (Cabrillo Music Theatre), The Secret Garden (The Chance Theatre), Thoroughly Modern Millie (The Norris Theatre), Curtains (Performance Riverside), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Brigadoon, and Damn Yankees (Glendale Centre Theatre), Into The Woods (Broadway at the Gardens), Hello, Dolly! (OBCT Theater), CATS (Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre), and Cinderella (Cape Fear Regional Theatre). Rachels TV/FILM credits include: The Lies We Keep, #Candidly Nicole for VH1, The Absent Mother, and was seen on The Ellen Degeneres Show as a backup singer for Paul Potts. Rachel has done commercials for GlobalVCard and the Real Estate Guys, and was a co-star on the hit web series Co-Workers.

Sarah Ayotte

Sarah Ayotte is a born and raised Southern California native who recently made her Off-Broadway Debut at The Player’s Theater (NYC) in Revelation the Musical.Singing in front of live audiences by the age of five, she spent her formative years performing on stage in over 500 shows including venues such as Disneyland and Anaheim Stadium.  Sarah has toured with More Than These Productions (Revelation, Noah with Prod. Dustin Ceithamer, 2007-2019) and most recently with Piercing Word (A Time For Christmas, Ruth, The One Story, with Prod. Caleb Hughes, 2019-2020).Favorite past credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (Dir. John Lalonde, Candlelight Pavilion) Ragtime (Dir. Bill Risinger, The Grove) and A Christmas Carol (Dir Jason James, RCP).An award winning vocalist and voice actor, Sarah’s voice is featured on many studio recordings and audio dramas, including the critically acclaimed “Hiding In Plain Sight” and “The Count of Monte Cristo.”  When she’s not performing, Sarah offers private vocal coaching and performance consulting.  She holds an undying love in her heart for Trader Joe’s, matcha lattes, and unforgettable live performances. SDG

Randy Wade Kelley

Randy Wade Kelley is an actor, singer, writer, and poet (for real) in New York City. Originally from Houston, Randy has been performing his entire life, originating the role of Baby Jesus in the Sagemont Baptist Church production of “The Christmas Play” (to RAVE reviews). Though he was double-cast, splitting performances with his twin sister, everyone knew he was the better Jesus. Other notable theatre credits include The Laramie Project (ATX), Lifelines (ATX), Jekyll & Hyde (LA), Working (LA), LOST: The Musical (LA), and One Night Stands (NYC). He toured with Game of Thrones: The Musical in Los Angeles, San Diego, and then made his Off-Broadway debut in New York City. He’s also been in a few movies (Red, Explode For Me), some TV shows (My Crazy Ex), and a number of goofy internet videos (Fun/Serious, Alley Way, Buzzfeed).
In the Old World, Randy would sometimes do standup, sing lots of karaoke, and was a Renegade Tour Guide at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the backwards year that shall not be mentioned, Randy has become a bit of a poet. It’s weird, but it’s true: @randsomnotes. He also sometimes appears on online gameshows, creates puzzles, and is one of those jerks who rides his scooter on the sidewalks of NYC.

SAnford Meisner

"Acting is the ability to live truthfully under the given imaginary circumstances." 

KONSTANTIN

STANISLAVSKY

“Your main task as an actor is technique…technique…and more technique” 

UTA HAGEN

“One cannot demand of art that it pay you in any other way than in the satisfaction of the work itself.”

what people say

 

"Jason has the ability to make you fall in love with the craft all over again. If you are looking for an environment where you are able to really delve into the character and collaborate, Jason is your guy. As an artist you want to find the tools to do the work and then let it all go when you hit that stage. With this workshop you get the opportunity to do the research, try things out and collectively and deeply ground a character in truth. It is always a pleasure to work with such a consummate and respectful colleague and teacher."

Rachel M. -Professional Actor, Singer, & Dancer
Script & Text Analysis Workshop
Diary

The Script Analysis Workshop is a fresh opportunity for actors to stretch their muscles in a practical process with quality material in a stimulating environment.  Jason is a keen instructor who brings a generous wealth of resources from his rich experience in approach, from both sides of the production table.  He establishes a safe environment where every voice is valued, and gives actors room to grow through thoughtfully challenging questions.  His insight and passion for the craft make him an effective instructor who inspires and excites the same in his participants.  I personally felt so honored, supported and refreshed in the gifts I already bring to the table, as well as exposed to other great artistic approaches and fresh revelations.  I was able to immediately apply the things I learned in our sessions and saw stronger results in my work to cultivate an authentic and effective process.  Actors will leave the sessions empowered to thrive in their individual craft and take on new material with a strong sense of self.

Sarah A. -Professional Actor
Script & Text Analysis Workshop

“Jason James thoroughly addresses the processes of script analysis with great ease and approachable professionalism. He clearly cares about the actor, the development of the characters, and the life of the story. His commitment to growing a deeper, personal connection to the author’s text and the actor’s art is inspiring and I can't wait to work with him again. This should be a required class in high schools and colleges for anyone with a desire to be on stage, on camera, or to grow in their awareness and empathy toward the human condition. Very worthwhile.”

Leigh S. -Professional Musician, Educator, & Artist
Script & Text Analysis Workshop

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"There is a great discrepancy between the perception of acting and its reality."

-Mark Riherd

"At the Actor’s Establishment, Jason James has found a way to strip down the craft to its purest form, free from any recent tricks or commercialization, to clear the actor of any self-imposed obstacles, and to bring back the true joy of creating, of making art, of storytelling."

Randy W.K.-Professional Actor
Script & Text Analysis Workshop

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