Acting Class’ by Milton Katselas – Books For Actors

Acting Class: “Milton Katselas is everything you need in a professional acting teacher.” –Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock, The Cooler, The Departed


Acting Class: Take a Seat brings to every reader Milton Katselas’ renowned approach to both the craft and career of acting. Katselas is the founder of the Beverly Hills Playhouse acting school in Los Angeles and for decades one of America’s foremost directors/teachers.

Acting Class is the book that has helped change the careers of George Clooney, Michelle Pfeiffer, Alec Baldwin, Kate Hudson, and thousands of actors. Katselas’ Acting Class takes the reader inside the legendary classes he has taught for over forty years. You will feel as if you have taken a seat in the theatre, as much of its material is adapted directly from actual critiques of professional actors in the classes. Down-to-earth, accessible, funny, and conversational, Acting Class is the culmination of 40 years of teaching that has helped thousands of actors achieve both the art and the careers they’ve had in their dreams.


Acting Class: Take a Seat first guides the reader through practical, relevant techniques that can be applied immediately. The Acting portion of the book delves into Katselas’ approach to the craft, which is based as much on Katselas’ early experience as a basketball player and manager of his father’s pool hall as it is on his apprenticeship with Strasberg, Kazan, Logan or Meisner. Katselas has distilled a uniquely down-to-earth look at what actors need in any given moment to be a real person as opposed to an actor. Acting Class marks the first time this approach has been available to anyone outside the Beverly Hills Playhouse.


The second part of Katselas’ Acting Class discusses the important role that Attitude plays in being an artist. While developing the artist’s talent is job number one of any good class, Katselas’ experience has taught him that the attitude of the artist acts as the aperture on a camera lens: a negative attitude, like a small aperture, allows only a small amount of the light – the talent – to come through. Conversely, a bright attitude – open, willing to learn, getting along with people – acts as a large aperture and lets all the talent of the artist come through. This is why you see the phenomenon that less talented actors can sometimes be very successful and happy, while the most talented can be bitter and seemingly stuck. Katselas delves into this area extensively and provides many examples of both sides of this important equation.


In the third and final section of Acting Class, Katselas discusses the importance of Administration, which he defines as “the choices you make regarding the enhancement of your career and your life, and seeing to it that you complete these choices, get them done.” Katselas believes that most actors fail not for lack of talent, but for lack of properly administering their careers. Katselas encourages actors to be “artistic killers” and not dilettantes with regard to their careers.


Like students in Milton’s classes, the reader will have a full understanding of how to attack a career in acting from every angle. With these techniques put to use, and a healthy dose of motivation and desire, anything is possible.