The Joanne Baron D.W. Brown Acting Studio in Santa Monica Los Angeles

About the Studio.

About the Joanne Baron / D.W. Brown Studio

The JOANNE BARON/D.W. BROWN STUDIO has been a wellspring for the theatrical casting and producing community for over twenty years. The Studio continues to produce gifted actors, writers, directors, and producers who bring their training and talent to all aspects of theater, film, and television.

The Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio is a creative artistic center from which great art and talent continue to flow. All those individuals who are inspired to train at the highest level in order that they may learn a craft intended to shed light on the truth of the human condition and at the same time experience an extraordinarily nurturing, creative environment are encouraged and welcomed to apply.

History of the Joanne Baron / D.W. Brown Studio

A REVOLUTION in American Theater began in the early 1920's after the Moscow Art Theater toured the United States. Never before had audiences seen performances of such raw power, realism, and emotional truth. By 1930 the Group Theater formed to import this revolution and the "Stanislavski System" that inspired it. The Group Theater became the most respected and influential theater company in American history, assembling such luminaries as Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Clifford Odets, Morris Carnovsky and Sanford Meisner. It also produced three of the most important and influential acting teachers of the Twentieth Century in Adler, Strasberg, and 'Sandy' Meisner.

SANDY MEISNER TAUGHT at the legendary Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City for more than 50 years. His students include Paul Newman, Robert Duvall, Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Joanne Woodward, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, and Steve McQueen. Joanne Baron studied under Sandy Meisner in his private class, having originally trained with renowned acting teacher, William Esper, the head teacher of Sanford Meisner's Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City for over 14 years. William Esper eventually formed the William Esper Studio in New York City where Ms. Baron trained with him to act and subsequently become an instructor. After several years teaching with Mr. Esper, she opened The Joanne Baron Studio in New York and sometime after, Ms. Baron created The Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio in Santa Monica, California with her husband; writer, director, and actor, D.W. Brown.

TODAY, the Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio continues this legacy and is teaching the same body of work that Meisner and Esper taught: a specific training program designed to create an emotionally alive actor of depth, imagination, and truth.

Instructors at the Joanne Baron / D.W. Brown Studio

The JOANNE BARON/D.W. BROWN STUDIO is unique! Its teachers are trained specifically to teach! They are specifically trained to keep the purity and integrity of the Meisner work. This training occurs over a minimum of a 5 YEAR PERIOD and continues on. This teacher training is additional to the training all instructors initially receive as acting students at the studio.

Outside of the JOANNE BARON/D.W. BROWN STUDIO many teachers have studied only as acting students in the classroom but never gone on to train from the clarity and objectivity of a trained teacher. They go on to instruct their students with the memory of their classroom experience as students.

The JOANNE BARON/D.W. BROWN STUDIO adheres to and strongly believes in its tradition of training teachers in the Meisner technique as it originated - The JOANNE BARON/D.W. BROWN STUDIO teachers commit to pursuing excellence in their teaching and in keeping the purity of the Meisner work which resulted in the overwhelming success of its legendary students.

Meisner students such as:


The JOANNE BARON/D.W. BROWN STUDIO attributes the extraordinary success of its students to the quality of its training and integrity and excellence of its teachers!

All instructors at The JOANNE BARON/D.W. BROWN STUDIO are trained by the artistic director, JOANNE BARON without deviation in the original Meisner material for a minimum of 5 years prior to instructing any students. After this 5 year period all teaching instructors will continue to work closely with the artistic director, JOANNE BARON in continuing to master their teaching craft. The senior teaching staff have trained for 5-7 years and participate in ongoing instructional seminars with JOANNE BARON. This unique training program separates with distinction all of the teachers and the quality of training at The JOANNE BARON/D.W. BROWN STUDIO from all other acting schools. It is rare to find such dedicated and highly skilled instructors, willing to dedicate themselves to EXCELLENCE.

Joanne Baron -   Joanne Baron on IMDb
Artistic Director, Master Class, Industry Master Class

D.W. Brown -   Joanne Baron on IMDb
Meisner Technique, Film Master Class, Private Coaching

Elaine Williams
Meisner Technique, Private Coaching

Sharon Hogg
Meisner Technique

Charley Boon
Meisner Technique

Lisa Milillo
Meisner Technique, Scene Study, Audition Technique, Private Coaching

Tom Patton
Meisner Technique, Private Coaching

Mary Riley
Meisner Technique, Private Coaching

David Stanley
Meisner Technique

Talia Sherman
Meisner Coaching

Michael Frederick
Alexander Technique

Voice and Speech
Los Angeles's Premier Speech and Voice teachers - ongoing private and class instruction- available through The Joanne Baron / D.W. Brown Studio, contact the office for information.

Office Staff at the Joanne Baron / D.W. Brown Studio

Robert Stallons - Studio Manager of Operations
Elise Pollack - Assistant Manager
Luis Limon - Consultant

Frequently Asked Questions

In a scene study class the actor enters the class and finds someone to work with and chooses a scene to do, or is given one, and they rehearse that scene and then present it in front of the class and are given notes. They then bring it back, usually after several classes of watching other people's scenes, and do it again. This would be much like learning architecture by building a specific building and then being given notes on that job and watching other students do likewise. You can learn that way, but it takes a long time.

A technique class teaches the basics for how to build any building, or in this case, any scene, starting with the most elemental steps and leading eventually to the most sophisticated performances possible.

By improving your technique, you improve yourself as an actor forever. You don�t become good by doing one specific scene, starting over and hoping you were fortunate enough to have learned something useful for your next scene. This work highlights the issues you must address with every scene, and will reveal particularly those things that you personally need to work on, which can often be masked by doing certain kinds of material. And you work every class.

The studio offers an excellent scene study class but virtually everyone who has been to the studio says: "Do the Meisner training first!" Once an actor has the foundation and the ability to operate with self-sufficiency, then they are able to understand and make use of the wonderful insights these directors have to offer.

The course of study taught at the Joanne Baron/DW Brown Studio is designed so that at its conclusion an actor is capable of meeting every situation they might encounter: whether half hour comedy, feature film or a theater piece, from "kitchen sink" to Shakespearean. Because the work is based on a consistent, simple level of truthfulness, and yet develops to include the most demanding requirements of a theatrical presentation, it can be adjusted for use in any medium, in any style.

If by "The Method" what is meant is that the technique is based upon the original precepts of Constantine Stanislavski, then the answer is yes. Unfortunately, the term "The Method" has come to be used imprecisely and is identified erroneously with several specific schools of acting. "The Method" is best used as a general term for an emphasis on "internal acting."

External acting is acting that emphasizes the representation of behavior, "to show" or to indicate behavior, and stresses the technical requirements of acting, such as speech and movement.

Internal acting emphasizes having the performer actually live through the experience, engaging their own emotional life and relating in such a way that it produces behavior consistent with the character.

External acting is associated more with the stage which requires a performance to reach to the back row of a large theater. These techniques still predominate at most university drama departments, as well as several prestigious academies.

No. While internal acting does require an actor to draw upon their own true feelings, this program is not per se psychological. The instructors know nothing of the students' private lives. It's true that many acting schools are open forums for this kind of thing, but we think our job is to train actors to function as performers, not psychoanalyze them.

At the same time, it's nearly a universal response among people who attend the training to say: "Everyone should do this. Not just people who want to act." That's because, through the process of being in the moment, getting in touch with the emotional life (even under fictional circumstances), asserting yourself and losing self-consciousness in front of an audience, there is a transformational payoff in entitlement and the tranquility of being in one's own skin. In this way the work is not "therapy," but it is highly therapeutic. Internal acting tends to be more intimate and grew out of a desire to represent average people in a naturalistic style. It became especially popular with the filming of performances where subtlety could be appreciated.

In truth, there is no such thing as a completely internal performance in that there must always be some accommodation for theatrical demands. Most successful external actors enhance their performances by engaging themselves emotionally.

We don't talk too much about talent at the studio. We teach craft. There's a lot of uninformed opinion about acting, and how it can't be taught, and you either have talent for it or you don't. That's silly. Can you think of any other pursuit in which that's true? Acting can be taught, just as anything can be taught; and anyone through hard work can achieve a certain level of competence.

Another problem with answering this question concerning whether someone has talent or not is you never know when someone might blossom. The cultivation process (if the talent is the seed, the craft is the cultivation) can be indefinite and, as long as someone is applying themselves, it's possible for that seed to germinate and a huge, fruit yielding plant to emerge. Part of the excitement of teaching is you never know when this is going to happen. A student might not excel immediately, their classmates sympathetic to their initial efforts; then suddenly something kicks in and they are among the best in class, causing envy for the tremendous power of their imaginations. You never know.

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1323 Lincoln Blvd Suite #200, Santa Monica, CA 90401 | Ph: 310.451.3311 | Fax: 310.451.1407 |