The UN-LA Class - The Best LA Acting Class You Don't Know About


The great thing about Los Angeles is that you can get practically any kind of any thing you want, in just one town. Any kind of food, street food to gourmet cuisine. Any kind of clothing from used Out of the Closet to couture. The choices are as plentiful and diverse as the city’s inhabitants. For the performing artists of Los Angeles’ seeking to continue their education in their discipline, the choices among seminars and workshops and classes are seemingly endless. However, this week I would like to introduce you to just one unique and intriguing choice in that arena: The Un-LA Class. 

Much to my chagrin, I arrived late and missed the introductions. But I didn’t worry much because I saw my assignment as basically the same as reviewing a play: observe and report. The orientation underway was for The Un-LA Class (to some the Sacred Actor), given by director and acting coach, 15-year-veteran of page and stage, Josh Galitsky. During this free Monday night orientation (which Josh offers every month), nine perspective acting students, split into two groups, put forth in an exercise to create their own “imaginary society” together.

Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Theater from University of Massachussetts, and a Master of Arts in Theater Education and Writing from Emerson College, Galitsky's finest tool at his disposal is his compassion, his empathy and his seemingly boundless energy. I watched throughout the course of the evening as he called upon his arsenal of abilities to navigate this night's ecclectic collection of actors. 

With his technique called "The Process" Josh Galitsky's acting classes puts the focus for LA actors back on 'the work'.

The exercise was perhaps among the most basic of theater games, but it allowed each participant to engage their imaginations. The exercise required students to cooperate and work together to communicate towards a common goal. Students were called upon to problem-solve as a group. The exercise flexed all the right muscles that a good actor needs to keep strong. And all the above, under the care-filled, guiding hand of Josh Galitsky.

At a certain point in the evening, the group with four members, lost one. He just didn’t come back from the rest room. I wondered why, since I was having so much fun watching the process and trying to figure out where it was all going. Then I remember that performing spontaneous movement exercises is not for the faint of heart. And while Josh could not do more to create safe work environment for the actors, unscripted theater training is simple not for everyone. I eventually joined that group. (I ached to put my two cents worth in since the exercise began.) 

There were several things I noticed that rang extra ordinary from my own theater background. I took distinct notice of how Galitsky continued to remind each group “say AND, instead of OR”, guaranteeing that no voice in either group would be excluded. I watched the entire night how he would exude positive, reaffirming energy, unbridled enthusiasm, regardless of the direction that either group ventured in. I also reflected once the evening ended, on how the mood of the orientation gradually shifted. What started out as playful and carefree game, became a fairly intense theater workshop.

(In our One-on-One interview, Josh would later explain to me that it all has to do with the level of commitment to the game that each individual in the group makes; as well as what happens when different energies collide creatively.)

Galitsky is always engaged and enthuisastic when polishing a diamond in the rough.

I enjoyed this workshop because I believe so much of great acting is the ability to be available and spontaneous, and truthful at any given moment, be it life or performance. Josh Galitsky’s UN-LA Class is a great opportunity for acting artists to explore that aspect of their craft in a way that can be applied to scripted and photographed works. It all begins with a safe environment to explore. And Josh Galitsky is a master at creating that safe workspace for his pupils (even the perspective ones).

I admired Josh Galitsky for his approach of seeking to create something organic by putting the emphasis of the acting craft back on “the work”. While looking good and having a killer headshot are important in this town that worships the young and the beautiful, acting is about what happens organically between human beings when energies meet and how that interaction often creates art.

If you are an actor artist who is just as interested in “the work”, as you are in landing the role, you should check this class out.

A new 10-week class cycle begins Monday, May 12, 2008.

The UN-LA Class
Every Monday Night
The Theater Lounge
6201 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038

· Classes
· One-on-One Coaching
· Live Performances in front of Press and Industry
· DVD of One Live Performance



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