It’s hard to write a review about Clu Gulager’s film acting workshop without sounding hyperbolic. I really do think it’s the best place to study film acting in Los Angeles. I’ve taken a lot of helpful on-camera classes in LA, but none of them compared to this workshop. Few acting classes take place on location and are shot and directed by a professional, award-winning director. How awesome is that? And John has a sense of artistry that is unmatched. Diane is a lovely, brilliant actress and a perceptive coach. She will coax the best out of your performance by challenging you to find your unique voice and quality. She will demand great work from you with a soft, empathic touch. The class isn’t easy, and you will be challenged, but your craft will improve, and so will your career.
Participating in the Clu Gulager Film Acting Workshops was a pivotal decision in my career. The experiences I had were truly priceless. Having the opportunity to work with amazing, talented industry professionals was a unique and rare opportunity. Clu used to say that he couldn’t “teach” acting but he could help provide the skills required to be successful as an actor. One of the unique approaches to these workshops was having scenes filmed by a professional cinematographer. Being able to SEE what you actually did did, how you really sounded and receiving input and suggestions on how to improve your performance is SO valuable.
I took the workshops numerous times. I feel totally comfortable each time I step onto a set. Whatever is required and whatever is thrown at me was usually an exercise covered in Clu Gulager Workshop!
There are numerous alumni from these workshops that are busy, successful, working actors, screenwriters and directors with thriving careers. Many success stories! And like Clu used to say… the relationships that you develop with the other actors in these workshops will be lifelong. You WILL end up crossing paths again and again.
John Gulager and Diane Ayala Goldner (award-winning director and actress) endeavor to continue the amazing legacy that Clu Gulager left behind… providing actors with the skills they need to be successful, comfortable, innovative, creative and reactive in front of a camera.
I highly recommend the Clu Gulager Film Actor Workshops!
The Gulager acting workshop is one of the most unique acting classes I’ve ever taken. I’ve taken the class a number of times. Clu was one of the all-time great character actors whose work spanned all genres of film and television, and whose inventiveness as an actor seemed limitless. He worked professionally with some of the greatest actors and directors of many generations. He was also a unique artist through and through, who included his whole family in his art, making what he wanted how he wanted. He taught, honed, and fine-tuned this legendary class for decades along with his brilliant wife Miriam Byrd-Nethery. This class presents the unique opportunity for an amateur or pro to experience his creative process while simulating the basics of acting for film production. Clu was a marvel to watch as an actor and a teacher directing the students. Hearing him talk about acting and film was endlessly inspiring. Every time I catch a scene with him on television it feels like a great lesson. He had a well of entertaining showbiz stories that inform you of all the things that could possibly happen on a set. It is a great place to start thinking about how to blend technical skills as a film actor with your own personal artistry.
It is so wonderful that John Gulager and Diane Ayala Goldner are continuing this workshop and sharing the lessons. There are many acting classes but what’s special about this one is it's focus on the process of acting for film. John and Diane are such talented artists with a wealth of knowledge, experience, and ideas. They have been doing it their whole lives and there is a spirit of adventure behind everything. In a fun, gentle, but unpredictable way it simulates the filmmaking process for students. It also throws you into new situations that will challenge you to reach for untapped places in yourself as an artist.
Acting for film is different from acting on stage. The camera is your audience, of course, but more than that, it's your confidant and your sharpest critic. So, too, is the microphone, which allows a whisper to be more compelling than a speech.
The process of filmmaking and the craft skills required of actors are very different from acting on stage, where your work and audience feedback all happen in real time. Shooting a film means acting in small pieces, over a long time, and the pieces all have to fit together, both visually and emotionally. Sometimes scenes that will need to play seamlessly, back-to-back, have to be shot weeks apart. And very seldom is there immediate affirmation; when a shot is done, the crew is on to the next. All of this requires a set of special craft skills and work habits in addition to talent.
I've known and worked with three generations of the Gulager family. They're among the most creative people in Hollywood, with, decades-deep experience on both sides of the camera. Doing scene work with them is always an inspiration, never just an exercise. You'll use what you learn for the rest of your life, on and off camera.
I'm a novelist who has long dreamed of seeing his stories come to life as filmed entertainment. John and Diane made this happen. I put together a short scene for one of the two workshops, acted, and saw the magic of other actors stepping into the characters I know and love. The entire process was magical.
I learned more about acting in two days than I had in three years of Children's Theater! They taught me things you never learn on stage. I went from just saying lines to thinking, feeling, and living my character. I was an entirely different person, with a painful backstory masked by humor. The workshop teaches you to embrace the quiet sighs, the angry outbursts, and all the gentle moments that make us human.
The Gulager workshops are unlike any other acting intensive I’ve ever taken. The environment John and Diane create for their students is rich and engaging, leading to creative exploration and refinement. I feel fortunate to learn from people who have not only dedicated their lives to filmmaking and acting, but have found a truly inspiring way of passing on their knowledge.
I can't speak highly enough about my experience with the workshop. Clu, Diane, and John were all incredibly supportive but also safely pushed each student outside of their comfort zones to create real growth over only a few days.
Also, every scene is an original piece crafted for the individual student, based on a pre-workshop conversation. This attention made the scenes feel special and instantly caused you to be even more invested in the outcome of the work.
The workshop overall is a great way to get a crash course, gaining that same amount of knowledge that other acting schools in the area require a minimum of 8 weeks and significantly more money.
What an AMAZING workshop! The perfect balance of craftmanship and RESULTS. Much better prived and value than most other acting courses in Los Angeles tbh, Diane is an amazing instructor. Will recommend.
The real deal. You can’t get better than these seasoned professionals!