Andrew Wood Acting Studio featured on Backstage

acting studio los angeles  -Andrew Wood Acting Studio profiled on Backstage.comRight here.

Great to receive some attention from such a high-profile website! Thanks to all of my students over the last ten years who have enabled to me to share the insights that I love so much!

Andrew Wood Acting Studio featured on Backstage2018-02-26T21:48:54-08:00

Andrew Wood Alumni Rock the Duchess of Malfi

Some pictures from Uranium Madhouse’s recent production of John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi. Ten of the eleven actors in the cast were Andrew Wood students! Whoever trained these actors knew what they were doing! 😉

David Bauman, Mandy Acosta and London May
David Bauman, Mandy Acosta and London May
Cris D'Annunzio and David BaumanCris D’Annunzio and David Bauman
Mandy Acosta and Michael Cho
Mandy Acosta and Michael Cho

Andrew Wood Alumni Rock the Duchess of Malfi2018-02-26T21:48:58-08:00

Best of Andrew Wood Acting Studio Blog: 2013

These are the high points, in my sometimes humble, sometimes not-so-humble opinion. 😉

Best of Andrew Wood Acting Studio Blog: 20132018-02-26T21:49:01-08:00

catching up with Annie Murphy

A couple of years ago Annie Murphy took my class. I haven’t spoken to her in a while, but the other day we chatted online for a bit. I was thrilled to learn that she had two great bookings since last we spoke: one on the show Parenthood, and the other on a show called Deadly Alibi. Way to go Annie!

catching up with Annie Murphy2018-02-26T21:49:13-08:00

CS Lee of Dexter endorses Mother of Invention

I recently reconnected with my colleague from the Yale School of Drama, CS “Charlie” Lee, who graduated from the acting program in 1998. I completed the directing program in 1997, so he was a year behind me. After we had both graduated, I directed a one act play called Nooner in New York for a theater company called Emerging Artists, and Charlie played the leading man.

Charlie went on to have an impressive acting career, appearing on Law and Order, The Sopranos, and many other TV shows, as his IMDb page reveals.

But he is best known for his work on Dexter, where he plays Dexter’s partner, Vince Masuka.

The master acting teacher we both studied with at Yale, Earle Gister, passed away in the last few years. Charlie appreciates that I am keeping Earle’s flame alive at Mother of Invention, and he graciously offered me the following endorsement:

“From working with Andrew and seeing his work, I can say that he has a deep love for the craft of acting, and he is extremely skilled at transmitting his formidable understanding to actors in ways that empower and inspire actors to do their best work.”–CS Lee of Showtime’s Dexter

If you enjoyed this post and would consider tipping with a Facebook Like or a +1 or by tweeting the post, we would be most grateful!

CS Lee of Dexter endorses Mother of Invention2018-02-26T21:49:13-08:00

how you like me now?

I decided it was time for a makeover of my bio on the Andrew Wood website. I had been adding to it in a piecemeal way and I realized it had lost the sense of a throughline. Anyway, here it is. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

My encounter with master acting teachers Earle Gister and Evan Yionoulis at the Yale School of Drama was nothing short of life-changing. I came to Yale in the thrall of the world of downtown New York experimental theater, which I had discovered through my mentor in undergraduate school, director Jody McAuliffe, herself a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. At Yale, Earle and Evan helped me to rediscover how supremely compelling great acting is, in its ability to present the bared soul of the the actor. My aesthetic as a director was radically transformed; I still appreciated dramatic literature that was challenging and provocative, but the radiant, commanding presence of the viscerally activated actor took center stage for me. At the Drama School I directed Hamlet, Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf?, and Peter Handke’s Ride Across Lake Constance, as well as new plays by Drama School Playwrights Liz Duffy Adams, Julie McKee, and Robert Curtis. I assisted directors Mark Rucker and Len Jenkin on productions at the Yale Rep.

After graduate school, I continued my association with Liz Adams after graduate school, directing her adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time at Syracuse Stage in Syracuse, New York, and a staged reading of The Train Play at the House of Candles Theater in New York. I directed CS Lee (of Dexter fame) in a one act play called Nooner for Emerging Artists Theater in New York. I assisted Doug Hughes on Tim Blake Nelson’s play Anadarko for Manhattan Class Company. I directed productions at Clark University, Fairfield University and Fordham University.

I took a break from directing in 1999 and entered the world of web devolpment and eventually worked as a software engineer. After a time I returned to school, this time as a doctoral candidate in German Studies at Stanford University.

I completed a dissertation on the Austrian playwright and novelist Thomas Bernhard, but at the same time founded the Andrew Wood Acting Studio in San Francisco. It flourished, and in 2010 I moved it to Los Angeles. For a time I taught in both cities, but stayed based in San Francisco. Then in 2012 I relocated to Los Angeles and founded a theater company, Uranium Madhouse. Its inaugural production was Conversation Storm/The House of Cards, followed by my new, authorized translation of Bertolt Brecht’s A Man’s A Man, which was produced in partnership with the Goethe Institut Los Angeles, and which was sponosored by the International Brecht Society.

My mission is to share my love for acting and for great dramatic writing, and my insight into the power of the acting technique I was fortunate enough to encounter, with passionate actors and creative people from all walks of life.

Artists and thinkers who have inspired me over the years include, in no particular order, Anton Chekhov, Belle
and Sebastian, Ludwig Wittgenstein, the Smiths, Patti Smith, John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands, Peter Handke, Thomas Bernhard,Liz LeCompte and the Wooster Group, Howard Korder, Marcel Proust, Blink-182, Miranda July, Bertolt Brecht, Mark Brokaw, Saturday Looks Good to Me, Kiki and Herb, David Armstrong, Neal Bell, Brett Bourbon, Francis Bacon, Vermeer, Sandra Bernhard, Seymour Hoffman, Henry James, Richard Gilman, Liz Duffy Adams, Klaus Michael Grueber, Georg Buechner, William Shakespeare, John Webster, Henrik Ibsen, Wallace Stevens, Robin Bennett, Joan Didion, Brian Bauman, Ming Cho Lee, Jackson Phippin and Maria Irene Fornes. There have been many others.

how you like me now?2018-02-26T21:49:14-08:00

18 reasons to take acting class at Andrew Wood

1. to get to know a piece of dramatic writing really well, even intimately
2. to enjoy the challenge of learning a craft alongside others
3. to remember how much fun it is to play
4. to work towards being more available emotionally
5. to make new, enduring friendships
6. to learn more about character and story, and what makes them resonant
7. to tap into your core vitality, and learn to tap into it at will
8. to puzzle over a scene and eventually get to the bottom of it read a whole lot of stuff about creativity and process and how it works and why
10. to benefit from the wisdom and insight of a whole lineage of teachers going back to Stanislavsky
11. to be introduced to the Alexander technique, a body-mind approach to moving through your life with greater ease and presence
12. to build skill and confidence in expressing yourself publicly
13. to develop the skill of empathy
14. to derive satisfaction from crafting a scene over 10 weeks
15. to acquire a new, experiential way of understanding motivation, yours and other people’s
16. to become a better listener
17. to experience the pleasure of sharing your work with your friends and family and those of your classmates
18. to understand the awesome power of vulnerability

Class starting February 28. Enroll now!

18 reasons to take acting class at Andrew Wood2018-02-26T21:49:15-08:00

persimmon wisdom

I recently had a Zen teacher visit my Essentials class to teach sitting meditation (zazen), and to talk about Zen and creativity. It was a great evening all around; the students really enjoyed the teacher’s insights, and he found the group to be very open and eager to learn.

The teacher presented a quotation from a Zen teacher named Kosho Uchiyama from a book called Opening the Hand of Thought which I wanted to share:

The persimmon is a strange fruit. If you eat it before it is fully ripe, it tastes just awful. Its astringency makes your mouth pucker up. Actually, you can’t eat it if it is unripe; if you tried, you would just have to spit it out and throw the whole thing away. Buddhist practice is like this too: if you don’t let it really ripen, it cannot nourish your life. That is why I hope that people will begin to practice and then continue until their practice is really ripe.

He also brought with that quotation another quotation, this one from the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, whom I have quoted more than once on this blog:

There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful: patience is everything.

So keep learning. Keep working. Keep asking for what you need.

You never know what might happen.

persimmon wisdom2018-02-26T21:49:19-08:00
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