| Diakeim is AMAZING! Great energy and so much knowledge learned about real-world casting director/improv scenarios. I hope he teaches more classes at WB because I would sign up for those! - Hector Giron Jr.
Your presence was invaluable to me at the showcase last evening, Todd. I felt a friend and “big brother in the biz” come alongside and “dial me in”. Thanks much and I hope to be able to re-invest in more classes where you’ll be at least one of the teachers. You’re disarming and affirming, easy to take direction and correction from. Thanks again. - Gary L Takvorian
"I walked into Frank Licato"s (Fundamentals Of Acting) class being skeptical, but left being more confident in my career than I have ever been. He helped me analyze and dissect a script in ways I would of never thought of. What I loved most about the class is that Frank actually takes the time with everyone individually to get the best performance out of them.” — Devon Alexander.
Re Diakeim Lyles’s Commercial Improvisation Class. I don't think I have ever taken a class that was more fun. He has wonderful positive energy and I feel so much more prepared for auditions where they say, " OK, now improv". I would without reservation recommend this class. It really gives you invaluable tools while having a wonderful time. And he did call 3 of us from the class in for auditions. Can't beat that! Ann Davies
Well, after the Showcase 4 years ago, I was picked up and have been represented by Prestige ever since. I booked three commercials, one for ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos, and most recently, two online commercials for Unilever's Prego & Ragu. I have also booked an industrial with Paypal.
If it weren't for the stellar training I received from Weist Barron, I never would have had a chance in the commercial realm. Todd, Jerry, and Batt are phenomenal.
Hi Maggie, (Reed) I just wanted to say thank you for such an amazing past 8 weeks of class! It was so wonderful getting to know you and I really enjoyed every scene and activity we did. I'm definitely going to continue doing things like memorizing 3 lines a day, pretending the cameras on me, the emotions exercise, etc. You've really, honestly, helped me become a better actor. I feel like I've improved tremendously since the beginning of the summer. You've been such a role model to me, seeing how much you've been able to achieve in your career already, and I can't thank you enough.
I'll definitely keep you updated on how things are going and try to take more classes with you as soon as possible! Please let me know how things are going with you as well! (I'll be keeping an ear out for your voice in the mysterious film you're in that's coming in October ;) ) Also, good luck with sending your son off to college! Thank you again! I hope to hear from you soon! Best Regards, Michelle Lulic
I found Ellen (Parks) to be a wonderful, passionate very creative teacher who made everyone better. Too bad she isn't also a director. I learned something from her that was a real eye opener for me and will help me in the way I not only approach copy but songs. Well it's all acting isn't it.
She is a surprising person and I bet each and every one of us would have loved for the class to have gone on longer. When the class was over, none of us wanted to leave. She created an atmosphere of safety to expand which was wonderful and nurturing. Obviously, I really liked her as a teacher and as a person and hope to work with her again.- Ann Davies
"Ellen (Parks) begins the class and immediately challenges you to push through your preconceived notions of a scene and then gives you the space to create a natural and nuanced scene. If that wasn't enough Ellen helps you see how you got there and enables you to use that knowledge to develop other scenes. Her work helped me grow as an actor in a short amount of time. I wholeheartedly recommend her class to any actor who is ready for a real challenge!" Selim Tlili
I decided to register for Ellen Parks class when I found out that WB teachers were also signing up. I thought, “Clearly this is something I can’t miss out on” and I was right. Ellen is truly a remarkable, inspiring individual. Her love for her work, the art, and the entire industry is infectious, and she has an incredible ability to turn her feedback into advantageous…poetry. Every actor in the room improved tremendously after Ellen directed them one way or the other. I only wish the class were 10 weeks long instead of 3. - Meredyth Kenney
As a person who grew up in Manhattan with two parents who were actors and as a union actor myself for over 30 years as well as an acting teacher my life has always been showbiz and I can honestly say there is no one like Ellen Parks. There is no other way to say it....she is magic! This wonderful women who is a top casting director walks in with this great sense of calm and passion and proceeds to remind us who we are, what we need to do and why we are important as actors. And she does it all in a positive way with this infectious twinkle in her eyes. In a business that can be so hard she teachs in a way that makes you grow and you walk out with the joy that what we do is a craft and an art which we so often forget. Thank you Ellen - Tod Engle
Thank you so much for an amazing, on-camera learning experience last week at Weist Barron. My students are still talking about it. You created a wonderful learning environment, and inspired a great deal of creativity and confidence while imparting very specific and helpful guidance to everyone in attendance.
I attend classes each summer at WB myself, and I sincerely hope that I have the opportunity to be your student!
Very best regards, Deborah Lonon
Performing Arts Coordinator, Western Piedmont Community College
Dear Weist Barron Studios (Valerie, Don, Chuck):
This is fan mail. Recently I was a member of Johnny Heller's audio book class and I am still walking on air. Not only is he an outstanding teacher with mountains of information to impart, he is also kindhearted and gentle with his students. I assume you were hoping for a larger enrollment, but had that happened each member of the class would not have been able to read so often. Even with only four students we barely got through all the material by 5 p.m. If Mr. Heller were to teach a multi-week class I would be the first to sign up. He is top notch. His instruction was informative as well as entertaining, thorough but not overwhelming, and I cannot thank you enough for hosting his class. – Larry Daggett
I just wanted to thank you for an awesome class and to let you know that I learned so much from you. You didn't ramble you got straight to the point. I took another commercial class a while ago at another place taught by a well known commercial casting agent and didn't learn diddly squat. Sometimes I am kind of hesitant about talking to other people about the business because at times they seem to think that if they share anything with you that some how effects their meal ticket. Acting is my passion but I wasn't going to do the showcase because of money and feeling a bit like maybe I am not ready but I don't want to wait until June I want to try now. Best, Bonita Elery
Hi Valerie, I just read your tip of the week "How to Get an Agent" part 2. That really really spoke to me in many ways, thank you for that. It was just one of those things that reminded me that if I really want this to happen for myself then I'm going to have to take some steps and leaps on my own, I appreciate your knowledge:) - Gigi Gray
"When I decided to embark on an acting career the first school I contacted was Weist-Barron. Valerie answered all my questions and invited me into the school to visit. She was great, she encouraged me to give acting a try so that I would not regret not doing so in the future. She put me in John Driver's class which was "Acting for Prime Time Television".
Within weeks I received a telephone call from a casting director who was casting an episode of "The West Wing" who gave me the first right of refusal for the part that I had auditioned for a few days earlier. I had no idea how the business worked so the first person I called was Valerie who did not work as a manager or an agent but a friend and helped guide me through the process. I have went on to do other productions such as "Law And Order", "The Wire" "The Departed" just to name a few but what I am attempting to say is that Valerie will go the extra mile to help the students of her school or any other actor in need." - Cameron Steele
“Thank you for everything. You guys have been great. I really feel supported by the whole organization.” - Donald Hinson, National for AQUAFINA
"When I first came to Weist-Barron I was nervous and uneasy. I knew nothing about the entertainment industry. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to be an actor. Weist-Barron gave me the knowledge, the direction and the skill to face the industry with confidence. Only great acting instructors, supportive friends and a productive showcase can give that. I found all that at Weist-Barron, a home away from home. I’ve been working on All my Children and I have my first SAG dayplayer on the Denzel Washington film American Gangster." - Neville White
“Weist-Barron offered me excellent Commercial Training superior to any other school I’d seen. The atmosphere is friendly and supportive. WB is a perfect mix of training, exposure and opportunities.” - Jay Potter
“I’ve been taking classes off and on at Weist-Barron since I stated acting. To me and to a lot of actors, you just can’t beat the atmosphere. The staff is helpful and supportive. There’s always some interesting new coarse or instructor and you can’t beat their showcase programs. They have realistic prices, great guests, and the actors who participate are all first rate. The commercial I just booked I was submitted for through an agent I met at WB. I always feel like I’m doing something great for my career when I’m in the 6th floor at Weist-Barron.” - Tod Engle
“What a great place to have your first on-camera experience. No membership fees r hidden costs. Just experienced professional instructors and a helpful staff. I had a wonderful time and got a lot of audition confidence." - Camille Guaty, THE NINE
“A good start thanks to WB! I took the Basic TV classes this summer and got my headshots out. One agent sent me on my first audition and thanks to WB training I booked my first commercial. After the Advanced class and 3 more auditions I booked my second commercial. Thanks to WB training for getting me started the right way.” - Paul Guillfoyle
“In show business we often say you make your own breaks. It’s true a lot of the time. But it’s hard to make those breaks happen if you don’t have the training and confidence to succeed. When I started at Weist-Barron I had plenty of drive and ambition, but knew little about the skills I would need to nail an audition, or the business savvy to even get that audition. WB provided e with a supportive atmosphere, terrific instructors, the right information and plenty of opportunities to connect with agents and casting directors. It’s a tough business. Give yourself a break.” - William Duffy, THE WEST WING
"I took a voiceover class with Batt Johnson last summer. Just wanted to let you know that I recently booked my first national TV spot for ADVAIR the asthma medicine - I am featured as the father/trumpet player! At the audition the tips that Batt gave me I used them and they definitely helped!
Thanks Weist Barron and of course Batt Johnson!" - Everton Bailey "Trumpeter"
"I first started taking classes at WB back in '86' and have never regretted it. I met all kinds of great, funny, sincere, dedicated people there and of course the staff have always been so educated, friendly and giving, and the agents I met there have made my day and a few checks as well.
My wife use to say to me during those salad days, "it seems every time you take a class or do the support group you get a job", and it is/was true.
I remember meeting Doug Kesten, the agent, at a support group on Monday, he called me on Tuesday with an audition for that Wednesday and I booked the job on Friday and we shot it on the next Monday. All in a week. It was a Maxwell Coffee spot and I made some nice change.
A few years later I met Carrie Morgan there and she signed me within weeks with CED, now CESD, and I have been with them now for 13 years. But what is really special and meaningful to me is that I have an Screen Actors Guild Pension coming to me someday, we hope not for a while, but it is there and I am vested and it makes all the struggles worthwhile.
And I am so proud of that fact and it would never, ever have happen if it wasn't for Weist-Barron. I consider I have had some success in this wacky, up and down business and a great deal of it is due to WB.
Thank you from one happy actor." - Peter Sullivan
"Weist-Barron is the first place I went when I decided to go back to acting five years ago. Over the past five years, I have taken on-camera commercial and TV and film and scene study classes with all the wonderful and inspiring teachers at Weist-Barron. I feel as though the school is part of my extended family, due to the warmth and encouragement of everyone there, especially Valerie Adami, who has always been nurturing. Congratulations to everyone at Weist-Barron on your anniversary and may you all have many more years of creating a supportive environment for actors." - Eileen Lacy
“I’d like to thank Weist-Barron’s amazing teaching staff. Since I first stated taking classes I have worked on 2 commercials and have performed live with the singer Don Ho on Fox5. I am currently working on an industrial and dancing for a Polynesian entertainment company. Thank you so much.” - Abigail Pantaleon
“Many Thanks for suggesting I attend the Commercial Print Seminar. It led to a call from one of the agents. The result: I got a booking for a pharmaceutical company and received a very nice fee for a beginner. Only in my dreams would I get a call from an agent I just met and a booking on the first try! Fondly, …” - Angela D’Antuono
"Wanted to give you the good news. I just booked a commercial for Union Memorial Hospital! The shoot was great and the agency people were very pleased with my work. A big Thank You to Batt Johnson and Jerry Coyle (my Advanced Commercial instructors) for the wonderful guidance and instruction I’ve received at Weist-Barron. I took everything I learned in class and applied it at the audition and on the shoot. I’m so happy to be at WB, I’m telling everyone." - Ward Nixon
“I just wanted to thank you for everything you and the teachers have done for me. I was part of the Commercial Showcase in November. One of the agents I met has been sending me out on a lot of auditions, and I just did a commercial for Ritz Cameras. You all are great, and Weist-Barron really makes the dream become a reality. I look forward to taking more classes in the future.” - Lori D’Elia