News & Updates
Meet Marcie Smolin of The Actors Circle in Culver City
June 26, 2017
Our feature in VoyageLA Read Original Article Here
Today we’d like to introduce you to Marcie Smolin.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started as a child actor and have worked in the entertainment industry my entire life. I have worked as an actress, standup comic, director, producer and writer. When was first starting out, I taught acting to children but as my professional life took off, I stopped teaching. Many years went by and I was both working on a TV series and touring the country doing standup, when I had a terrible accident. I was knocked off a 22-foot ladder and for a while I couldn’t walk at all. All of my performing work come to a standstill. I was home one day feeling sorry for myself when my phone rang. It was a wrong number but I recognized the voice. It turns out it was the man who owned the acting studio I had taught at when I was a teenager.
Long story short, as we caught up I told him what had happened and he said “Well while you’re recovering why don’t you come teach a few classes for me. You were always my best coach.” I did. I fell in love with teaching, and now was able to bring a career full of industry experience with me. But soon after going back to his studio, he decided to retire. I realized I wanted to make this my life work and that is how The Actors Circle came to be.
14 years later it is a thriving acting studio! It makes me happy every time I open the door.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Owning a small business is always a challenge. I came from an entertainment/artistic background. In my years as a performer, I really never grew up. Having people rely on me forced me to learn quickly how to be responsible. I never went to business school, and so it was all trial by error. Oh, sure I made mistakes but I hung in there.
A few years after we opened there was a strike in the industry and that was a rough time…but I refused to give up. As I always tell my students just keep walking forward.
I continue to learn and grow every day and just as I feel like I have conquered one challenge another comes up. I think my biggest lesson learned and one I would share with anyone starting a small business is never take anything for granted. You always have to keep building.
The Actors Circle – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Actors Circle provides film and television workshops for actors of all ages and abilities. Our youngest student is 4 and our oldest is 97!
We provide weekly classes in film and television technique, private coaching, taping for auditions, and semiprivate and corporate specialty workshops.
In addition, we are a small production company and have produced several award-winning shorts and web series out of our studio…many of the using our students.
Our actors have gone on to win Emmy’s Oscar’s, Tony’s, and even a Grammy!
We are proudest of the fact that even though our students have achieved big success they always consider the Actors Circle home and come back to visit and mentor.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as making a living at something that makes you happy. It is not financial as much as it is fulfillment. I will tell anybody that asks that I feel like I am the luckiest woman alive. I go to work every day and I laugh, I create, I am inspired and I inspire. I always always want to be there.
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2016 Holiday Schedule
November 1, 2016
Saturday November 5, 2016- No Class just for this date. Saturday class resumes as usual the following week and continues to the end of the year.
- WE WILL BE HAVING CLASS THANKSGIVING WEEKEND!
- Saturday November 25th-Thanksgiving weekend...THERE IS CLASS!
- Our Last Regularly scheduled class for 2016 will be on Saturday December 17th.
- Classes resume on Tuesday January 2nd 2017.
We will be having some special even classes over the holidays so please watch for Special announcements regarding those classes!
As always our class schedule is as follows:
• Monday 7-10 Adults
• Tuesday 7-10 Adults
• Wednesday 12-3 Adults
• Wednesday 6-9 Teens
• Saturday 11-1 kids (up to 10)
• Saturday 2-4:30 Tweens
Private coaching and semi private classes can be scheduled at your convenience 24/7
Audition taping, coaching and editing is also available 24/7
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Letter From Our Director
November 1, 2016
I can't believe it is already November 1st! Where did this year go? Perhaps it flew by because so many exciting things happened at the studio in 2016.
We are so proud of our actors. Not a week went by when we weren't hearing about callbacks, bookings, premieres, awards & most of all growth. I am proud of the hard work our actors put into their careers, the work ethic that I witness, and the most important thing for me...the support they have for each other. The pursuit of the dream can be scary & frustrating at times...so to find peers who support you along the way is key.
So what do you want in 2017? A pilot? A series? A film? Many films? Or simply being a stronger actor every day? How are you going to go about achieving those goals? Work, study, keep your eyes open, experience, & don't be afraid.
There are a lot of talented actors in this town. It is not enough to be good...you have to have that something extra. You have to be the one they remember. How do you become that memorable artist? Know yourself, learn your strengths, don't let your weaknesses define you, and MAKE STRONG CHOICES. Be bold. Be different. Listen to your instincts...and most of all get to class.
It is easy to grow complacent. To lull yourself into the false sense of security that you are okay just acting from audition to audition. That is not enough you need to work, to learn to grown. A great artist never thinks the painting is done!
We are staying open through the holidays. The last class of 2016 will be on Saturday December 17th. We are going to have some exciting special events and one time classes over the holidays as well...watch for your inboxes for special invites to those. Hint.... the much anticipated All Day Improv Jam...That’s right you heard it here first!
In the meantime there is still a lot of class left in 2016...so step away from your phones, look up from your computers, put down that remote...and get to class!
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The Actors Circle Has a New Website
May 2, 2016
Welcome to our beautiful new website. In this section we will keep you updated on the news and happenings at The Actors Circle. Be sure to check back frequently for all of our new and exciting happenings.
We are almost halfway through the year and already so many exciting things have happened. Well our new beautiful website for one thing! Also our actors had a very successful pilot season. We are so proud of everybody for both going to class and then going out and killing it at their auditions! We look forward to yet another TV Season with Actors Circle actors representing in so many of the new shows!
Please note there is a change in the time of the Saturday afternoon class. The class will now be meeting from 2:00-4:30.
Check in here for the date for the next improv Jam. Date TBD very soon.
Please note that in addition to classes and private coaching we also videotape for auditions. So if you get a call for a taped audition please call us to schedule a taping!