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AN ON-CAMERA ACTING CLASS
I've got this great little acting class I teach in
Santa Monica. We work with the camera, practicing shots
(long, medium, close-up, handheld, walk & talk, etc.),
and learning to speak to the microphones (boom and lav).
We record our work so we can review it and discover
what each individual's screen strengths are. We do a
lot of non-camera stuff, too - things to do with
personality and presence, with ease and joy and
sensuality - all the stuff the camera loves. It's a
really unconventional class - more of an entertainment
class than a traditional acting class - and loads of
fun. So if you're in the market for a good on-camera
class, or you want to rediscover the joy of acting,
check it out!
For more information, contact me
BRAD'S CLASS!: A QUICK OVERVIEW
- The class is small. Enrollment is limited to 12 students.
- Every student works in every class.
- All levels accepted: beginning actors, working actors, stage actors and even non-actors.
- The class is ongoing: join when you want, leave when you must.
- We work on auditioning and shooting; film and television scenes and commercial copy;prepared and cold.
- We work on lead roles, supporting roles, guest star, co-star and those dreaded under-fives.
- Taught by a working actor with over thirty years experience.
- Guest Artists: from time to time I bring in guest artists (film directors, agents, casting people, cinematographers,
guest teachers) to further enrich and inform the process.
- We're down on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. A comfortable space in a secure area with plenty of parking.
- Actor-friendly payment terms and conditions.
- I provide a supportive working environment that is itself entertaining. A good place to learn, to pose questions, to practice.
An exciting place to succeed, a safe place to fail. You'll be challenged, certainly. And you'll have a lot of fun along the way.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE CLASS?
Making a movie (or shooting a TV episode) is basically a series of problems to be solved. In today's economic environment in
Hollywood, an actor who can work efficiently and well, and help solve the shooting problems along the way, is a viable commodity... someone to be hired again and again.
This is how careers are made and sustained. Here are a few common problems actors can help solve, if they know how:
- How can we get an effective two-shot with a single set up, rather than two over-the-shoulders requiring two separate set-ups?
- The sun is going down and we need a shot - an emotional one. How do you deliver in one take with little or no preparation?
- The director wants to cut the dialogue of a scene in half. How can you communicate the emotional content of the scene visually?
- What can you do on set to convince the editor to give you the last shot of the scene? Why is that even important?
Such problems are both internal ("I just got a rewrite ten minutes
ago and now I'm expected to shoot - how do I pull this off?") and
external ("The camera operator is asking me to pull my face towards
camera -- but if I do that, I loose eye contact with the other actor!")
Therefore, in class we work both internally (training the creative
impulses) and externally (understanding the camera, the mics, the
Internal Work: The Actor's Impulses
This part of the class is loosely
Meisner based (as opposed to text-based). We get our impulses from the
other actors rather than from the text. This involves listening to the
other actor, and allowing our own impulses to respond without filter.
We train these impulses through a series of cold reading exercises that
form the basis of our work (much like a musician's sight reading).
Through this process you'll come to rely solely on your own instincts
and, with nothing else to hold onto, your personality will come to the
fore. This in itself creates self-sufficient actors who need nothing.
You'll be able to entertain us with or without a good script, with or
without a good acting partner, whether you're tired or you've been given
a rewrite two minutes ago or even if you have no script at all. No
matter what happens, your instincts will be free, your personality will
be at the forefront, and you will be highly watchable, able to keep us
External Work: the Camera, the Microphones, the Editing Bay
to play to the camera. You'll learn how to deliver shots that the
editor will want to cut to. You'll learn what the camera likes and
doesn't like about your face, your body, your voice and personality, and
how to use your personal limitations to your advantage. You'll learn
how to speak effectively to the mics. You'll learn how to hit marks and
play an emotional scene to a piece of tape on the matte box. You'll
learn how to include the camera in the scene, to make love to the lens
and seduce the boom. These are fairly easy techniques to grasp when you
can see in action, on screen. But they take a lot of practice to
execute them without distraction!
Film Clips: Learning from the Masters
We also study film and television
scenes in class, dissecting the work of such masters as Brando, Judy
Dench, Johnny Depp, Kate Blanchette, James Stewart, Bette Davis, Cary
Grant and even Charlie Chaplin.
A good example of this is Sergio Leone's
film, "Duck You Sucker!" Watch the close-ups: James Cobern is an
excellent example of how subtle an actor can be in close-up. Contrast
that with Rod Steiger's work in the film, a great example of how huge an
actor can be in close-up. Notice, too, that both Cobern and Steiger
pull their noses to camera in close-up, always getting both eyes to the
lens... even in what look like profile shots (a Sergio Leone specialty!).
I've also found that this is a great way to introduce students to great
actors they may otherwise never discover (Maria Falconetti, anyone?).
Yes, we also address the marketing of the
product, the marketplace, and effective strategies for running your own
business. Headshots, resumes, marketing decorum, seducing
representation, booking negotiations, contracts, what to expect on the
set, union concerns... all of it. Actors tend to subliminally prepare
themselves for failure. My intention is to prepare my students for
success... the greatest success they can imagine for themselves.
IS THIS A BEGINNING CLASS, AN ADVANCED CLASS, OR WHAT?
Brad's Class! is suitable for students of all levels.
NEW ACTORS: My class will give you a solid foundation and
methodology, allowing you to get out of your own way and trust your
instincts. And you'll have a lot of fun with the camera, discovering
what works best for you and the lens. You'll discover your type and
your strengths, and learn to always play to them.
STAGE ACTORS: Ever wonder why you're not getting any camera work?
There are reasons! It takes some understanding of the medium and some
adjustments to your stage technique... and a lot of practice!... all of which
you'll get in my class.
WORKING ACTORS: You'll get plenty of practice with all those things
you are called upon to do on the set (hit marks, modulate your voice,
play to the close-up, walk & talk, etc.). The class is also a space in
which to try things, to experiment with the camera... so you can take risks
here and observe the results first hand... to try all that stuff you've
always wondered about without risking the gig.
NON-ACTORS: Often writers, directors, or merely curious persons take
my class. Why? Because it's fun! And it's terrific for everyone,
because the non-actor learns a bit about acting, and the bona fide
acting students learn a great deal from the one who doesn't take it (or
themselves) so seriously.
HOW MUCH DOES THE CLASS COST?
Brad's Class! costs $200 for every 4 weeks.
Payment is by CASH or CHECK ONLY. No credit cards.
Payment Schedule: New students must pay monthly for the first three
months ($200 for four weeks or $250 for five weeks). Thereafter
students in good standing may pay weekly ($50) if they so choose.
Regardless of how you choose to pay, you are still responsible for
paying for all classes while registered, whether you attend or not. I
reserve the right to charge any student every four weeks, should
Substitute Students: If you know ahead of time that you will miss a
class, you are free to find someone to take the class for you (a friend
or acquaintance or fellow actor. Sometimes also there are former
students who are happy to sub for regular students). This sub will
attend class in your stead, pay the $50 and participate. If you've lined
up a sub and they fail to show, you are still responsible for paying for
If you know you will be missing three or more consecutive classes, just
drop out of class and rejoin when you are able (assuming the class is
not full). If class is full when you want to rejoin, you will have to
wait until a spot opens up.
WHEN DOES THE CLASS MEET?
I currently teach two classes:
Monday evenings, 7pm - 11pm
Tuesday evenings, 7pm - 11pm
The class is ongoing, with a three-week break in summer and a
three-week break over the winter holidays. New students can join
whenever they want (provided there is space); enrolled students may drop
out whenever they must.
As class times & days are subject to change, please email me to confirm
when I'm holding classes.
WHERE IS THE CLASS LOCATED?
The Promenade Playhouse
1404 Third Street,
Santa Monica, CA 90401
The Promenade Playhouse is on the Third Street Promenade in Santa
Monica, between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd. It is on the west side
of the Promenade, two doors south of Santa Monica Blvd., next to
Anthropologie, and across the Promenade from Wetzles Pretzles. The
address on the awning is 1404 - 1408. Enter the door, walk down the
hallway. After passing the stairs, you'll see two entrances to the
theater. We are in the second entrance... the door across from the
bench... the door marked "Theater".
Park in any of the parking structures lining Fourth Street or Second Street. Parking is $3 for the evening if you enter after 6pm.
From the Valley, via the 101 to the 405:
The quickest way from the Valley at that time is to take the 101 West
to the 405 South. After driving over the mountain and past the Getty,
get off at Sunset (right exit, left on Church St., right onto Sunset).
Take Sunset west to Bundy, Kenter or Gretna Green. Turn left on any of
those, and then right on San Vicente Blvd. Stay on San Vicente until it
turns south (at the beach) onto Ocean Ave. Stay on Ocean to Santa
Monica Blvd. Turn left on Santa Monica Blvd., right on 2nd Street and
then into the first Parking Structure (on your left).
From Hollywood, via the 10:
The quickest way from Hollywood at that hour seems to be to find your
way south to the 10 freeway via surface streets (Western, or
Vine/Rossmore/Crenshaw, or La Brea, etc). Take the 10 west to Santa
Monica. Exit at the 4th St/5th St. exit. At the fork in the ramp, bear
left. Turn right onto 4th St. After crossing Broadway, turn left into
the parking structure on the west side of 4th Street.
Alternate route from Hollywood:
In Hollywood, get on the 101 south. Take it to the 110 south (toward
San Pedro). Follow the 110 south through downtown LA, then take the 10
west toward Santa Monica (and then follow directions above).
DO YOU ALLOW FREE AUDITS?
Yes. If you're interested in auditing a class, email me and let me
know. Most classes are open to audits, but not all. We'll arrange a
date for you to come in and watch the class in action. We can also talk
then, either before class or after (or both).
DO YOU EVER BRING IN GUEST ARTISTS?
Yes! From time to time I invite Guest Artists to come into class, either
to teach, or to participate in class, or for a Q&A. Here are some of
the Guest Artists we've had in the past:
- Frank Gonzales, Talent Agent (Sovereign Talent Group)
- Matthew Moriarty, cinematographer (Cold Case, He's Just Not That Into You, Spiderman, Up in the Air)
- Raynor Schein, actor (My Cousin Vinny, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Fried Green Tomatoes)
- Michaela Watkins, actress (Saturday Night Live, Gray's Anatomy, The Groundlings)
- Adrian Fulle, film director, writer, producer (Shiloh Falls, Finding
- Jeff Myers, cinematographer (Shiloh Falls, Behind Those Eyes)
- Jamison Reeves, Commercial Casting Director
- Denton Heaney, Talent Agent (The Gage Group)
- Kim Robillard, Actor & Acting Teacher (Terminator 3)
- Stephanie Silverman, Actress & Acting Teacher (Toolbox Murders)
WHAT ABOUT PRIVATE COACHING?
If you have an audition you need to work on, or a role you want help
with, or would prefer ongoing private sessions instead of attending
class, you can book me for private coaching, schedule allowing.
PRIVATE COACHING RATES FOR INDIVIDUALS:
For sessions without the camera (one hour):
Actors currently enrolled in Brad's Class!: $75.
Actors not enrolled in Brad's Class!: $100.
For on-camera recorded
sessions (one and a half hours)
The extra time is necessary for reviewing your recorded work while
transferring it to a DVD to take with you.
Actors currently enrolled in Brad's Class: $120.
Actors not enrolled in Brad's Class: $150.
If you are interested, email me and we will find a mutually acceptable
time. All sessions are conducted in a Santa Monica location.
PRODUCTION & ON-SET COACHING RATES:
Rates negotiable; email your inquiry.
DO YOUR STUDENTS BOOK WORK?
Oh yeah! Check it out!
FEATURE FILM BOOKINGS:
Shiloh Falls (Supporting)
18 Fingers of Death (Featured)
Nip/Tuck (Guest Star)
Entourage (Guest Star)
Numbers (Guest Star)
Eli Stone (Guest Star)
Bones (Guest Star)
Gilmore Girls (Recurring Co-Star)
Arrested Development (Co-Star)
SHORT FILM & STUDENT FILM BOOKINGS:
Angels in the Dark (Lead)
Who is Bobby Domino? (Lead)
Who is Bobby Domino? (Supporting)
Thrill Killers (Supporting)
LA LA LOCO Baby (Supporting)
The Memory Thief (Featured)
Untitled Spicy Mac Project (Featured)
Jack in the Box (National)
Mountain Dew (National)
Tic Tac (National)
Yes! Car Credit (England)
VH1 Pepsi Super Bowl Smash (National)
Cancer Research (PSA)
Turtle Love (one-woman show)
Death of a Salesman
A Christmas Carol
WHAT'S THE BUZZ ABOUT BRAD'S CLASS?
"Brad's classes completely changed my entire outlook on acting. I
am able to be myself again! I take risks and I'm not scared to get
'messy.' His class is a constant reminder that acting is fun! The
less serious you take yourself, the better chance you have. Since
studying with Brad, I have booked several guest star roles and over ten
national commercials. Thanks Brad!"
- Megan Paul, actress ("Entourage")
"Brad has been in the business over 30 years and has the best class
this side of the Mississippi (and other side). He understands the
strengths and weaknesses of the individual actor and brings out the very
best in every student. He understands this business inside and out and
teaches every aspect of it. So if your looking for a class that teaches
you how to work in this business, then very simply it is Brad's Class."
- Jeremy Fultz, actor ("Who is Bobby Domino?")
"I have trained as an actor in both London and Los Angeles, but I have
never encountered a teacher like Brad (although I was really looking for
one!) When you read the forewords to books by teachers like Gushkin and
Meisner from their early students who (as now established actors) look
back fondly on those early days with pioneering teachers, you often
think how lucky they were. Well, now I am one of the lucky ones! A
small class with intimate teaching that is both daring and experimental.
As a working actor Brad is bringing a wealth of experience and
understanding. He is not teaching just from the Actor's perspective,
but very focused on the director's perspective and also there is a even
a nod to what producers want. The students are encouraged to be
indulgent, to be creative, to find organically what works and what does
not. The environment is safe and encouraging, but gets challenging on a
more practical level. The class is not formulaic and each class may be
working on a new area, but you will do things in Brad's class that other
classes are not structured to do. He breaks the 'rules', but sets some
golden ones in their place....but, I cannot reveal all of his secrets!
I have studied with directors and teachers from all over the world, but
none of them are as good as Brad Greenquist. He is the only teacher
with whom I consistently study, as no one else delivers such diversity
of skills and knowledge."
- Karl Hunter, actor
"Brad's passion for acting is contagious. He has been constantly
inspiring and enlightening. Along with teaching me the
often-not-thought-of technicalities of film acting, he has helped build
confidence, gain freedom and most of all, trust my instincts. An actor
could ask for nothing more."
- Ellie Araiza, actress ("Shiloh Falls")
"In a profession where a majority of acting teachers try to get you to
improve by putting you down, Brad gets you better by encouragement. I've
personally seen over the years many, many students (including myself)
make tremendous gains simply because Brad nurtured them like a loving parent
- Greg Ross, actor
"It's clear that Brad really cares about each individual student's
progress and learning. The things I have learned from Brad continue to
serve me as an actor and will stick with me for the rest of my life."
- Sean Riblett, actor ("Gilmore Girls")
"Brad's class gives you the inner POV of a working actor. You end up
following this actor around: onto the set, into the casting office, and
even to the actor's home office. What I mean is: you are right there,
looking over this actor's shoulder as he shoots his close up; you are
inside the actor at the moment he connects to a truthful emotion and
brings it to life, putting the audience on the edge of their seats. You
see for yourself how he deals with the millions of challenges that
bombard him on the set: sound, camera, other actors and everything else.
You are inspired to emulate that actor, and by the end of Brad's Class
you feel as though you have actually become that actor. This class is
- Falk Hentschel, actor ("Arrested Development")
"I've had the pleasure of guest directing in Brad's class on several
occasions now. Each time I'm amazed at the level of dedication Brad has
toward his students and how quickly they learn from him. His approach
works. The students learn quickly and in a matter of a single class are
up on their feet taking direction and performing on camera like they
never have before. His working knowledge of the film industry and the
'tricks of the trade' are invaluable not only for actors looking to
further their careers, but also for me as a director. That kind of
teaching inspires me to work harder and give the students everything I
- Adrian Fulle, Film Director ("Shiloh Falls," "Finding Preet," "Love
"Brad's class has truly been an invaluable learning experience for me.
His unique approach to acting is simple, yet concise. I appreciate the
artistic freedom that we're given in class, and the special attention
that he gives to each individual actor's needs. I have noticeably made
changes in my acting and my career by following his instruction.
Callbacks are more regular and I have learned to handle my auditions
with ease. This is good stuff! Thanks Brad!"
- Cherie Price, actress ("Life, Love & Hollywood")
"The skills and techniques I've learned as a student of Brad Greenquist
have enabled me to become an actor who is comfortable and confident in
the audition and effective on the set. What started out as just a
mission to find a decent acting class became a pathway to my finding the
best teacher-student experience I could have hoped for. Brad's
classroom is the perfect environment to acquire the skills and
techniques needed to become a professional, working actor, period. The
on-camera work, cold reading, hitting your mark, using your voice,
movement, audition preparation, and all the little "tricks" that can
normally only come from extensive experience, are the treasures Brad
shares with his students. To put it simple, I've learned, I've learned,
I've learned! Thank you, Brad, for making your knowledge and gifts as a
teacher and professional actor available to those who seek it."
- Matt Cinquanta, actor ("In the Dark")
"My name is Kate McRae, and I am an independent director/producer, as
well as owner of bi-national production company SweDur Film. I got to
know Brad at an intensive Film Acting Workshop he taught at the Idaho
Film and Television Institute in 2006, where I was taking classes in
acting so as to improve my skills as director. Brad's classes were
exceptional as they provided not only a truly fun work environment, but
also a straightforward approach to acting that brought out the best in
his students, even getting the worst from us in the best of ways. As
much as Judith Reynolds teaches directors applicable directing skills in
her brilliant book 'Directing Actors', Brad equals from the performer's
perspective. He has an uncanny ability to get even the most defensive
and reserved person play along in a game of make-believe, watching them
access the innate truths needed for a role, and equipping his students
with the tools to practice this on their own while creating a brilliant
performance. Besides being an accomplished actor, Brad has a tremendous
gift for teaching, and an equal gift for joy. This combination makes him
the optimal acting coach, especially in the moviemaking mecca, since
ones attitude to the job is at least as important as talent."
McRae (director, "The Infinite Regress", "Avenging Roy")
"Brad's class is full of practical, real-world information that he has
discovered as a consistently working actor for over 30 years in the
business. His goal is to make each and every one of us successful
working actors as well. Brad has said "I'm teaching you what I've
learned through trial and error over the years, so you can learn from my
mistakes!" His enthusiasm is completely infectious, and we have a lot
of fun in each class. I have to say that I have never in my life taken
an acting class where I feel that I learned something new and useful
each and every week, until now. I am so grateful that I have had the
opportunity to study with Brad!"
- Kendra Munger ("Forever for Now", "Much Ado")
WHAT ARE YOUR CREDENTIALS AS A TEACHER?
My own studying over the years has been wide and varied. Therefore
I bring many techniques into the classroom (Meisner, Stanislavsky,
Grotowski, breath-based techniques, vocal techniques). I received a
BFA in acting from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983. In New
York I studied with the great actor Michael Moriarty for six years. In
Los Angeles I studied with Hollywood's best-kept secret, the brilliant
Ian Tucker, for ten years. Along the way were other marvelous teachers
and coaches (John Delancie, Patsy Rodenburg, Suzanne Celeste, Michael
Donovan) and various workshops and limited-term classes (commercial
workshops, audition workshops, voice and mime classes, writing and
cinematography classes). Most importantly I bring over thirty years of
on-set observations: of myself, of other working actors, and of some of
the greatest actors of our time (Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott, James
Earl Jones, Isabella Rosselini, Kate Burton, etc.).
I first started
teaching in 1988 at Michael Moriarty's Acting Studio in New York City.
I have since taught on-going classes or Master Classes at The Governors'
School in Virginia, the Idaho Film and Television Institute, The David
Kagen School of Film Acting and the Classical Theatre Lab in Los
Angeles. I have taught Brad's Class since it's founding in 2005.
my professional acting career: you can check out my credits
elsewhere on this website, along with film clips and commercial clips. I am a
member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and a member of
the Pacific Resident Theatre Company.
One more thing: I am a working
actor, and that is where I make my money. I don't teach for the money.
I teach because I enjoy it, and as a form of payback to all the
wonderful mentors who have given so much to me along the way. Acting
can only be passed down face to face, from individual to individual,
generation to generation. I consider myself a link in this chain, a
chain that reaches from right now back to my own teachers, and to their
teachers, and to those teachers' teachers, binding us all not only to D.W. Griffith and the first flickers of the cinema, but all the
way back to the dawn of theater, to Thespis himself. This is a very
cool thing... and this is why I teach.
MORE QUESTIONS? SEND ME A MESSAGE!