Ever wish you could sit with a gifted Hollywood acting coach for an hour—for free? You’re in luck! This week’s podcast guest is Zak Barnett, founder of the Zak Barnett Studios in mid-town Los Angeles, which is billed as “an acting studio for the whole self.” Zak Barnett Studios provides classes, intensives, and private coaching for professional actors aged 9-adult.

The list of actors that sing his praises is long and impressive: Madelaine Petsch, Danielle MacDonald, Johnny Ortiz, and Victoria Moroles are just a few.

Our conversation is filled with juicy stuff for young actors and their parents, including tips on acting, auditioning, and being an artist in the world. Some of my favorite quotes:

  • “What makes an artist unique is their curiosity.”
  • “Acting is the lifelong process of the mastery of the self, and the mastery of selflessness.”
  • “As an actor, if you judge a character, you cannot become them.”
  • “This is like a martial art… it’s about humility, consistency, and curiosity.”
  • “If you know three things you see three things… if you know a million, you see a million.”
  • “Teaching is essentially giving them the tools to evolve in their own process… coaching is, ‘I’m a director, and I’m going to get you where you need to go.’”
  • “The unconscious doesn’t know the difference between highly developed fantasy and memory.”
  • “We have to know our own pain to know our character’s.”
  • “This is not the art of pretending, it’s the art of becoming.”
  • “Find your tribe, wherever you are.”
  • “It’s not an easy life, but it’s an amazing life.”


Find Zak and the Zak Barnett Studio here:

Website: https://zakbarnett.com/

Twitter: @zbsactingstudio

Instagram: @zakbarnettstudios

Facebook: @zakbarnettstudios

YouTube: Zak Barnett Acting Studios


Zak and I mentioned two books in our conversation, The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday, and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I recommend them both highly.

Links here:

The Obstacle is the Way

The Artist’s Way


Mentors are so important when you are on any kind of journey– and especially a journey like this one. Books, acting coaches, and other resources can make all the difference between success and disappointment. I offer consultations via Skype to help young actors and their families chart their individual course, because every person and family has unique circumstances. One hour with me can save you thousands of dollars and a huge amount of time! If you want 2018 to be the year you finally get somewhere on your acting journey– or on your child’s– go to my consultations page and book a session. I look forward to talking with you!