For an actor, living and trying to work in Los Angeles can be more of a nightmare than a dream come true. It's a city marketed as THE PLACE TO BE - glitz and glamour, and all that - but more often that not it's incredibly daunting, and indescribably lonely.
When I first came to LA I felt like a tiny fish in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by sharks, with no gills.
And then I started training with the Actors Collective.
Not only are Mark and Brad some of the most wonderful people and actors you'll meet in LA, they also happen to be incredibly savvy when it comes to the world of acting. With Mark, you don't just hone your craft, you learn the business of the industry and what it takes to be a smart actor, from someone who is an actual working actor, living out everything he teaches and stands by.
And then there's the training itself: within two months of starting at the Actors Collective I'd booked a lead in a feature film, a guest star role on NCIS and been pinned for another guest star role on an exciting new series - and that was after a six month dry spell.
No, they're not magical leprechauns who sprinkle fairy dust over your audition sides and then scurry on their merry way (although sometimes I wonder).
They are, above all else, two men who care deeply about every student who walks into their studio. They're so much more than coaches; they see the actors who train with them, deeply and truthfully and with the keen eye of people who are on your side and will actually fight for your career like you will. They will maximize your strengths and work with your weaknesses until even your worst audition has nuggets of gold in it, and you will walk out of their studio a better actor and a better person.
It's been the biggest relief, to wake up every morning and know that not only am I improving as an actor - and I can see the improvement, I can feel it in every audition I walk into, I can hear it in my agent's voice when I send her a self-tape that Mark and Brad helped me record and she calls me to tell me she loved it - but I'm also not alone in this big, crazy world.