10 Myths About Making It In LA As An Actor

Published May 2nd, 2013 in Catching The Acting Bug and Getting Trained and Marketing for Actors and Personal Advice and Self Help For Actors and The Business of Acting. By Kirsten Tretbar
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1. If I just get into, go to, find the right acting coach, or train in the right program, and become a better actor, then I’ll make it.

2. If I just look better, get skinnier, work out more, get a boob job, nose job, hair extensions, get better pics, clothes, then I’ll make it.

3. If I just meet the right people in LA, have a better agent or manager, then I’ll make it.

4. If I just have a more positive attitude, get more spiritual, say affirmations, find God, believe in myself more, then I’ll make it.

5. If I can just do the right showcase, get seen by the right people, get my showreel onto the right website, then I’ll make it.

6. If I just get out of this city I live in now, and move to LA, then I’ll make it (after all, I’ve made it HERE…)

7. If I just …

If I Can Do It So Can You!

Published February 8th, 2012 in Catching The Acting Bug and Getting Trained and Marketing for Actors and Personal Advice and Self Help For Actors and The Business of Acting and The Method. By Kirsten Tretbar
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kirstentretbarasstella.jpgWell, it’s been too long since I wrote my last Acting Room post, and I’m sorry friends!
The reason? I’ve been too busy ACTING!

As many of you know, I write this blog since I’ve taught acting for years in LA, and produced and directed several films. I also was an actress all through my 20s in LA. What many of you may NOT know is that I’m now 45, and have spent the last 20 years helping others to act, but not acting so much myself. I was in many commercials all through my late 20s, but haven’t been in a proper big play/theatrical production, since grad school.

The reason? Well, the LA theatrical/play scene is pretty much limited to stars performing at the Mark Taper Forum, or smaller 99 seat theatres that often are precast, And there is very good news. You can …

Should Actors Move To LA, New York, Chicago, Or Not?

Published April 28th, 2011 in Catching The Acting Bug and Getting Trained and Personal Advice and The Business of Acting and Uncategorized. By Kirsten Tretbar
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Hi Acting Room Family! I’ve been getting so many private emails about this question lately that I felt it was time to write a new post. Here is an example of a recent email I received from Michael, whom I will address hereafter as Mike:

So I’m a 26 year old living and working in D.C. with a really great day job. My first love is improv comedy,I keep thinking about the three big cities I would love to train in.but I’ve been getting more and more into acting. I’ve read a lot of your posts, and find your wisdom extremely enlightening.

My question for you is this. As I’m getting older…I keep thinking about the three big cities I would love to train in. Chicago because of the improv (yet with still a great theatre scene and training grounds)…New York, because it’s New York. And then of course LA…because that’s …

Who Should Go to Professional Acting Training Programs Vs Who Should Go to Smaller Group Classes

Published May 17th, 2010 in Acting Technique and Catching The Acting Bug and Getting Trained and Personal Advice and The Business of Acting and Uncategorized. By Kirsten Tretbar
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I get many emotional reactions to my post “The Seven Reasons Why Professional Acting Training Programs Simply Aren’t Worth It.” In fact, that one post alone gets about a thousand hits a month, and brings lots of traffic to this blog. That blows my mind. I never meant to be so controversial.

Heck, I have an MFA in Acting and there were many things I absolutely LOVED about my two year USC program. But after I got out of the program, I learned that I’d spent about $75,000 to go there, and I could have spent that much money putting a down payment on a house in LA, or even funded my own indie film. I could have taken ten years of private classes (on my own time and schedule) with the most famous acting coaches in the world! I’ve also received many angry comments …

To Go To College Or Not To Go To College? That Is the Question! - Part 2

Published December 2nd, 2008 in Getting Trained and Personal Advice and The Business of Acting. By Kirsten Tretbar
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saplingtreewisdom.jpgOkay, enough complaining about bigger training programs. The question you may be asking now is, “So if you don’t think I should go to a bigger program, then what should I do? I don’t want to waste my time or money! And I just don’t know if I should go to college. Shouldn’t I just start acting, and move to LA now?”

Well, getting a classic four-year college degree, from an excellent academic university is never wasting your time! In fact, when I think about it, I never ever cast an actor based on whether or not they had a degree from any kind of professional acting training program. Isn’t that sad? I also noticed that, back when I was acting professionally, no one ever cared one bit that I had both a BA degree, …

5 Things You Can Learn From America’s Next Top Model

Published March 15th, 2008 in The Business of Acting. By Kirsten Tretbar
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America’s Next Top Model Logo

Although acting and modeling aren’t exactly the same thing, they share many similarities. And even though I’ve never had much experience working in the modeling world, other than a few modely type commercials, and a few print auditions, I still find myself oddly addicted to ANTM! Why? Well, I think it’s because it reminds me so much of the whole experience of acting professionally. Also, I am constantly impressed with the dedication Tyra Banks shows to the young women in her show. She is a compassionate and supportive teacher and role model to so many young women, and she believes in helping future models understand the truth and reality of making it in the modeling world. That, and she’s so darned BRILLIANT! I’m sure many of you reading this post will agree, that if you’re …