to The Actor's Establishment
I am elated to share this experience with you and offer you some insight on the makings of TAE. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be an educator. It wasn't until around the age of nineteen that I realized my yearning for education mixed with a touch of entrepreneurship was directed towards the theater. TAE is a culmination of that yearning over the past 18 years. From New York City to Los Angeles and everywhere in between, it has taken hard work, years of training and exploration, ups and downs, stresses and celebrations, and a constant passion for arts education, in making TAE become a reality.
Over the past several years I have thought a lot about this endeavor, now realized as The Actor's Establishment. What I never imagined is that our world would look the way it does in its current state. This pandemic has certainly caused added stress and tension within our families and in our country and I cannot help but think that the arts has done more than it's part to help people escape from the monotony of day to day isolation. It's because of this isolation and a need to do more, that I began working on the conceptualization for The Actor's Establishment. I was teaching an online script analysis workshop, to give my mind something positive to focus on, as well as the creative outlet I so desperately needed when one of the actors in the workshop said to me, "more people need to be doing this kind of work. We need teachers and directors in Los Angeles that ask these kinds of questions and make us actors think more." And so it began.
TAE is an exploratory idea I have had for a while now. It's a combination between an acting company and an acting studio. My goal for TAE is to build an ensemble of actors, passionate and driven by exciting and invigorating work, who are collaborative and eager to learn and train with each other, from each other and through each each other. I believe that actors have the ability to feed each other inspiration and at TAE, my hope is that together we will create an environment of learning conducive to each actor's needs. The workshops, sessions, and coaching TAE offers is open to anyone. I am a firm believer in quality and technical acting training and in creating TAE I want the training to always be at the forefront of what we do. However, with that said, in the training there must be an element of exploration, discovery, and humanity.
Starting something is never easy. It's downright frightening to be honest. Whether it's a research paper, the first lyric of a new song, memorization, a relationship, a move to a new city, or a new job, we all have those moments of fear and self doubt. I have seen the fear and doubt within actors for so many years and I think the conversation needs to be had that acting isn't just about technique or hitting the mark each time. It's about the self. The mind, the body, and the soul.
Stella Adler said "The actor has to develop his body. The actor has to work on his voice. But the most important thing the actor has to work on is his mind."
Understanding your authentic self along with a comprehension of human behavior is a strong element of TAE's mission. We absolutely teach solid fundamental technique, but what TAE integrates into their teachings is understanding the "why" within the text and our own lives, compassion for oneself, and a respect for working through the process. The Actor's Establishment doesn't just offer actors technique, we create an atmosphere for actors to establish who they are as artists and regain their connection to the work.
I look forward to working with you soon,
what we do
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!
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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.
February 9 - April 29
Movement & Analysis Intensive
The Business of Acting
July 6 - August 10
Sept. 2 - Dec. 9
Acting & Scene Study
The Business of Acting
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.
Acting & Scene Study
Script & Text Analysis
Movement for the Actor
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.
New Session Begins September 2
SCRIPT & TEXT
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.
New Session Begins September 2
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.
New Session Begins September 2
One on One Coaching
One on one coaching is a great way to effectively hone your skills and apply practical tools at your own pace. We look forward to meeting and working with you soon on becoming a more specific, honest, and authentic actor!
One on One Coaching is scheduled on an individual basis and all sessions will take place via Zoom until further notice. Please complete and submit the form below and we will contact you about setting up a day and time for your coaching.
ONE on ONE
Coachings are scheduled on an individual basis.
Please fill out the private coaching form below. Be sure to let us know what it is you are looking for in your coaching.
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.
"Acting is the ability to live truthfully under the given imaginary circumstances."
“Your main task as an actor is technique…technique…and more technique”
“One cannot demand of art that it pay you in any other way than in the satisfaction of the work itself.”
The COVID19 pandemic is not over and there are many artists and actors still struggling to get by. If you are an artist or actor caught between paying your bills and taking class, PLEASE email us! You shouldn't have to make that choice. We are here for you and don't want you to stop your training because of any financial burden.
Due to the sensitive material and mature content that may be covered during these workshops, we ask that all actors be at least 18 years of age. The Actor's Establishment respects each actor's personal boundaries and the need for a safe and brave space.
If you have any questions please send us an email,
If you are under the age of 18 and interested in an acting career and TAE workshops, please email us! We are working on workshops and classes specifically geared toward young artists and actors.
“To become a working actor of great skill, one must establish what it means to work first.”
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 in directing, 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: Broadway’s Today, Tomorrow (NYC Concert) Sister Aimee (New Musical Workshop, NYC/BMI) Amadeus, My Fair Lady, Little Women (The Chance Theater/ Stage Scene LA Award), Secret Garden, Chicago (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Nom/Directed by Ron Kellum), A Chorus Line, Cinderella, A Funny Thing…Forum (ITL Award), Sweeney Todd, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, The Boyfriend, Joseph…Dreamcoat, and The Wizard of Oz.
As a director Mr. James has been acclaimed for his creative staging and unique conceptual interpretations. His directorial credits include: Jekyll and Hyde: The Thriller Musical, A Man of No Importance (Stage Scene LA Award), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Sylvia, The Best of Everything, A Christmas Carol, Stephen Sondheim’s Company, and Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
Stage Scene LA quoted “…Under Jason James’ accomplished direction…this gave its audience more than just a taste of what New Yorkers first saw at Lincoln Center back in 2002.”
Mr. James is the former Producing Artistic Directing of The Sturges Center for Fine Arts, where he was the first person to produce a fully mounted production under the Sturges Center’s name in 88 years. He worked closely with the City of San Bernardino, producing and directing entertainment events such as: The League of Cities Annual Fundraiser and San Bernardino’s Bicentennial Celebration and Gala. Mr. James also worked in tandem with the managing producers at the historic California Theatre, where he was on the producing team for numerous productions including Michael Londra’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival and the Laugh Out Load Comedy Festival, which was filed and recorded for Comedy Central.
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 understanding "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.
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.
news & press
TAE receives Innovation Fellowship from ATME
Starting in January 2021, TAE will be releasing a series of workshops exploring the connection and relationship between text analysis and physical movement for the actor. This experimental workshop will survey how the analytical approach to text, combined with physical movement, can lead actors to successfully creating fully embodied characters on the stage. TAE will explore an actors relation to their playing space and integrate textual components, allowing the relationship between each actor and their behavioral connection to impact strong and specific choices.