"Menu" of Classes Santa Barbara Los Angeles Acting Classes

"Menu" of Classes

Classes and Workshops

created and taught by Peter Frischat Carnegie Mellon, The Juilliard School, Harvard U., Boston U., Boston Conservatory, Cal Arts, UCLA, Actors Center International, and privately in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles.

For Actors . . .

Acting With The Camera

Exercises, monologues and scenes leading to the internalization of emotion needed for on-camera behavior. Students also learn how to act for different frame sizes, get accustomed to camera terms, direct, operate camera, and deal with realistic set conditions. Stage vs. Film, Frame Size, Stakes and the “Why” – Vulnerability,
Playing Against Emotion, Preparation, Reaction Shots, Choices, Phones, Letters, Inserts and Props, Shooting the scene, Auditions on Camera.

Actor Improvisation

The emphasis is on actor rather than performer improvisation. Organic behavior is valued over cleverness - invention must be emotionally supported. Teaches risk-taking, impulse work and a personal sense of truth. Numerous individual, two-person, and group formats motivated by both internal and external circumstance.

Auditioning On Camera

Emphasis is on compelling, on-camera behavior with exercises that reveal the special nature of acting for film and television. The many topics covered include: Stage vs. Film, Frame Size: Close-up vs. Wide Shot,Vulnerability, Internalizing Stakes, Playing Against Emotion, Reaction Shots, Camera Choices, Emotional Preparation, Shooting the Scene, Phones, Letters, Inserts and Props, Marks, Continuity, Editing, Auditions on Camera, and Camera Terms and Set Parlance. Most sessions are recorded and reviewed.


Three parts:

  1. Characters are formed from the actor's physical, vocal and emotional habits to represent portrayals of their typical habit patterns.
  2. New characters are derived from directly opposing patterns revealing rarely chosen physical, vocal and emotional possibilities.
  3. Follow-up assignments and explorations encourage the new behaviors leading to freer instrument life and wider dramatic range.

The Character Arc: Multi-Scene Study

Offers the rare opportunity to work on character progression and development, the “thruline of action,” throughout an entire play or screenplay. Actors emphasize the emotional score of the character’s arc, and make decisions about character needs, motivations, physical and vocal life, tone, beats and units, rhythmic variety, etc. as their roles progress and transition throughout the script.

Character Masks

The classic "outside-in" discipline employing a unique collection of celastic masks in the French tradition. Precise character development from the mirror leads to original scenarios with costume, props, lazzi, etc. Behind the "safety" of the mask, actors learn to work boldly and break through habitual limitations. Ends in informal scenario performance that emerges organically from the process.


Acting choices: making them, preparing them, fulfilling them. The right choice can get the job, deliver dynamic characters, guarantee that your work is consistently memorable, and offer audiences interpretations of originality and penetrating insight. In Implementing Choices, actors discover the numerous choices at their disposal, complete appropriate homework in order to test the choice fully, and learn to evaluate the results with objectivity and artistic judgment.

Classic Lab

Central periods include the Greeks, Shakespeare, and the Restoration. Each period offers unique and specific challenges for the actor, from the powerful emotional depth of the Greeks to the visceral, emotional text of Shakespeare to the bold and elegant characterization and comic timing of the Restoration. Mastery of these elements are applicable to the actor’s work in any stage of filmed format.

Digging Deep: Emorional Content For Actors

An imagination-based exploration of internal techniques designed to deepen and enliven character stakes and emotional life. By employing the tools of belief, the source of character needs and obstacles is internalized. The character’s inner life feels palpable and alive with no pushing or artifice in the moment. Exercises and monologues combine to make the organic emotional life of character more accessible and more dynamic than previously possible.

Dirty Acting

Designed to promote lively, truthful, "dangerous", moment-to-moment work. Emphasis on risk-taking, impulses, awareness, bold choices and follow-through. Eliminates actor tension, stale performance habits, personal cliches and artificial behavior.

Inside Shakespeare

Text emphasis on the connection between sound and meaning related to the Linklater approach. After a process of text awareness, students "sound" the text, putting on Shakespeare's "vocal mask" in order to discover and connect the palpable emotional life. Class progresses from exercises to monologues to scenes.
Shakespeare “translation” and the tracing of imagery are also covered.

Playing From Your Strengths: A Casting Workshop

Through an objective process, students discover three or four character types which match their "look" and presentation. Working on appropriate material, actors attempt to fulfill each character in order to market themselves as a complete, castable acting package. Applied to monologues, cold readings, videotaping, interviews, etc.


The revolutionary system of emotional homework employing the "alpha" level of consciousness to tap the deepest sources of creativity and the imagination. Vivid, emotional character "memories" are created during the meditational state of alpha. These richly detailed fantasies become the character's autobiography. Replaces "substitution" and the written character biography.

The Rehearsal Process

A working approach to the craft of stage and film rehearsal and performance featuring "the Trinity": intention, obstacle and bottom-line motivation, through-line, emotional preparation, physical/vocal characterization, beats and units, etc. An aggressive use of the rehearsal period combining thought, feeling and impulse. An essential pillar of the actor’s craft

Risky Business: Courageous Choices

This class encourages unique and meaningful, often unconventional choices that result in memorable experiences for an audience. We encompass all aspects of risky acting choices: making them, preparing them, fulfilling them. Through improvisation, exercises, monologues and scenes, actors experiment with choices that are relevant to the text, surprisingly insightful, and frequently out of that conventional box.


Actors are challenged to be physically and vocally responsive, possess a free and agile instrument, quick to react to stimuli and flexible enough to shapeshift instantly and at will. Emotional connections to an expressive and pliant body, voice and speech are mandatory. Exercises, improvisations and text work increase emotional, physical and vocal freedom and flexibility. Confidence and courage are encouraged in order to experiment with no fear!

Working Actor's Lab

An ongoing, advanced workshop where individual programs are designed to help individual students achieve maximum freedom and power in a group setting. Actors focus on agreed upon specific areas of need, anything from expanding their vocal, physical or emotional resources to acquiring aspects of craft, to developing a realistic awareness of their casting potential.

Related Classes and Workshops . . .

Acting Studies For Directors And Writers

How actors work and what they need featuring the most important 20th century teaching including Stanislavsky, St. Denis, Brecht, Strasberg, Meisner, Adler and assorted “inside-out” and “outside-in” techniques. Students experience each approach in a workshop setting.

Development Of Film/Camera Technique

Tracing the history of film through the study of seminal films, directors, directorial controls and advances in equipment. Elements include placement and movement of the camera, editing, advances in film, lenses, lighting, cranes, etc. Films are screened, lectures with numerous and specific clips delivered. Discussions follow.

Directing For Stage vs. Screen

A workshop that defines differences in staging actors for stage, single camera, and multi-camera shoots. Using a stable of volunteer actors, directors discover that the same material requires very different approaches to successfully convey meaning for a live audience versus camera coverage.
Can be held in studio or classroom.

also, extensive coaching of . . .

Auditions And Roles

Numerous formats available with prepared pieces, cold readings, classical, contemporary, musical theatre, concert singers, both classical and pop. Role coaching for film and television.

Directors And Direction

From concept to opening (or editing) for stage and/or camera. Choosing material, concept, style, tone, beats, rhythm, arc, design, casting, staging, working with the actor, etc. Classes, individual coaching and consultations (“direction doctor”) Also camera blocking, shot continuity and editing for film.

Emotional Content For Singers (private or semi-private)

Working with Opera, Pop or Broadway singers to interpret and experience emotional life derived from clues in Melody, Harmony, Rhythm, text and other stylistic musical elements. Elements of storytelling as well as moment to moment life are covered.


“Thank you for lighting a fire in me, igniting the desire to take my artistry as a singing actor to another level. Your classes were the highlight of the program for me.”
Emily Lorini, Actress