...if you're not at the top of the game, you will be because you are in this room. You have been part of this brilliant collective and you understand the concept, I think, of beauty.
I've studied with lots of different teachers, lots of different schools, lots of different cities and places in the world and you've got the best teaching that you can possibly have.
I'm here because [one of the students] asked me to speak who is a friend of mine. She has told me that this is the finest acting school and it has changed her life.
-Robert De Niro
This is a great school the teachers are serious and the students get fantastic training.
I'm here because my daughter studied at the Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio. There is a great discipline in the classes, if you want to do this for the thing itself, that's a higher purpose.
D.W. has a way of communicating complex actions with such simplicity and clarity that the heartbeat of the scene suddenly appears thrillingly within you. He guides you to the tools you are already holding, and then reminds you how exciting it can be to really use them. Under his direction I felt inspired, safe, and capable of anything.
I remember feeling a sense of security from D.W. He provided an atmosphere within which the insecure, novice actor could safely strive, explore, and even fail.
...seeing acting through [D.W. Brown's] brilliant eyes, I found myself again passionate for the nuts and bolts of craft and the simple beauty of expression he so gorgeously clarifies.
Working with Joanne was life changing.
If you're serious about being an actor, read this book ["You Can Act!" by D.W. Brown]. D.W. Brown knows what he's talking about and he communicates it with inspiration, humor and simplicity.
I think Joanne has the ability to see very clearly in people, what they don't see in themselves... One of the greatest gifts that you taught me, Joanne, is how to listen. Truly listen.
I owe D.W. Brown so many thanks for teaching me the craft of acting. The work I did with him changed my life and my career.
Thank you for having an extraordinary school here. This organization is fantastic...You do an amazing thing. The time and the skill and the care and the involvement and commitment of the school...congratulations to this school. I am here to support you.
-Paula Wagner, Producer
D.W. Brown guided me in how to work with actors. I've incorporated the basic premises he works under and he gave me a lot of tips. We've spent time talking about the character and he raises interesting questions and suggests approaches we might take in pulling off certain scenes. He has really helped me a lot.
-Sam Raimi, Director
Studying with Joanne made me a much better writer and executive. The experience has been an enormous help in my career. Maybe someday I'll even get to act!
-Ron Taylor, Vice President, Diversity Development for Fox Entertainment
Meisner Technique Testimonials
- We are so blessed to have Joanne, DW and all the wonderful teachers at the studio ... keeping the truth of the Meisner technique alive and untainted. Not only have I learned how to live more truthfully under imaginary circumstances, I have learned to live more truthfully period.
- I absolutely love the Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio: the professional atmosphere it maintains, the creative spark it generates and the warm, friendly karma it fosters. These elements are undoubtedly due to Joanne Baron and all the teachers experience, leadership and passion.
- I have to say thank you, thank you, thank you for the Joanne Baron D.W. Brown Studio, with its knowledge and inspiration. Since the end of the first day of my six weeks class, my spirit woke in realization that in this big, cold city of thousands of acting classes, how lucky I am to have started your school. I am lucky and so is every student who has passed through your doors.
- It is very easy to live a life without genuine feeling, without any real sense of connectivity to the universe around us. It takes a great conviction to the truth, and a willingness to embrace, and honor our own vulnerability, our own human condition and life circumstances, to become a truly great actor. For me, it was as if I was walking, talking, breathing, feeling, reacting, to everyone and everything around me, for the first time in my entire life. I began to live with an Honesty I had never known and I found myself feeling, for the first time in life, what it truly means to be alive... For me, coming to the Baron/Brown Studio ended my lifetime of wandering�I knew I had found HOME in the many fine actors and teachers I have had the privilege to know.
--Patricia Claire Naughton
- I would like to thank Joanne Baron for creating this nurturing environment for actors to develop their craft. Thanks to her we have the fortune of learning the brilliant Meisner technique in its intended form. Her meticulous eye for the truth of each moment opens our horizons to the endless possibilities we have in detailing the canvas of our art. Thank you for expecting us to illuminate every moment with truth and beauty; you open our eyes to the extraordinary potential of our art... D.W. communicates his teachings to us with respect and as a friend, with humor and good nature... He has endeavored to cultivate in us an unshakable artistic integrity... He is our constant reminder of the artistic heights to which we can aspire.
- Acting - the art of being human. Never has it been so clear and endlessly intriguing... Throughout the training we have been given a vocabulary for all the abstract ideas needed to discover the inner workings of a story. Whether we are writers, directors, film actors or stage performers - this language has made us natives in a formerly foreign world.
- How lucky I was to have teachers that cared and believed in me so much to push me to my best... With all the blood, sweat, and tears, it was all worth it and probably one of the best journeys of my life.
- This work has allowed us to access our talent and the part of ourselves that is bigger than our ego-- the part that is generous beyond measure, and more loving and kind than we thought possible. The best part of ourselves, the brightest light we can shine forth, is revealed in the process of doing this work. In attempting to hold a mirror up to the true human condition, we've all first had to look deeply at our own reflections... The best thing we can do with our time is to get closer to the truth, and this place has afforded us the ability to get closer to artistic and personal truth.
- We have something to offer, something of value. Between Baron/Brown and ourselves we have access to a technique that puts us in a form of expression beyond any other!
- My teachers taught me, a fiercely independent individual, that the artist who admits they need others (and sees how their behavior affects others) reaps the benefit of a powerful creative force: community. We are a community... We were serious about the work. We respected each other. We recognized we were each at different stages of artistic development. We rooted for each other�s growth with open hearts. Ours was a healthy community because we set high standards with teachers like Tom Patton, and we inspired each other with our effort to attain them. We each made contributions to one another�s success. We weren�t a perfect family, but as a proud member it was my privilege to witness how our support and respect for each other breathed life into us as artists.
- Not only do you grow as an actor, but you evolve as an individual, becoming much more self aware.
- This training has given you a firm foundation upon which to build your dreams. You have the skill, you have the commitment, and now you have the faith in yourself to realize the artist inside of you. An artist, in my book, is a hero, because artists take risks. They still have fear but they don�t allow that fear to keep them from doing what they have to do. Whenever you feel insecure and afraid of making bold choices, think back and remember that you did make the choice to be more than who you thought you ever could be and to do more than what you thought you could ever do. It is then that you will find within yourself the hero to face any situation that life throws at you. Today, you, my friends, are my heroes.
- The doors to Baron/Brown... undoubtedly led us into another world. We stepped into a world of imagination where anything was possible. Our teachers stepped into our lives... and helped us to break out of our molds... We quickly realized that we weren�t just learning how to become better actors, but better people: People who choose to engage in life instead of disconnecting; People who stand up for others; People who stand up for themselves; People who confront their deepest fears; People who are willing to make sacrifices; People who are willing to change and transform. At Baron/Brown we were all changed from the inside out. The technique, combined with the expertise of our amazing teachers, gave us profound insight into our acting and into our lives.
- We stand here now feeling a new and improved version of our truest selves. We have transformed in so many ways, not just in acting but in our confidence to step through life, fully alive and living in the moment.
- To our esteemed and incredible teachers, fear not, you have prepared us well... D.W., your infinite wisdom and mastery of the work, which personally keeps me in a state of awe, has transformed us all into knowing, caring and responsive human beings.
- I realized that I did have something to say. I did have something to offer. I had myself, my voice, and my unique experience, and I realized I wanted that voice to be heard. Even if it could not do justice to the enormity of this journey, nonetheless, it is from the heart, it is my own, personal truth... Sanford Meisner once said that before he could teach someone to act, first he had to teach them to be a human being. And this, I feel, is one of the most profound lessons that anyone, actor or otherwise, could ever learn, and we are grateful to have been given the opportunity to learn so valuable a lesson.
- To the teachers of the Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio: You have taught us a way to see ourselves as we are--and to overcome that which conceals this truth from us. You've opened many a door to a world of love and respect for ourselves, each other, and other living beings. With the magic you bring, you've helped us turn fear into strength, ego into humility, and ourselves into artists, that we may illuminate the Truth, discover the beauty, and work hard at our craft.
- Dare I say an artist never knows what they are really committing to when they begin. This is why we are trained to simply be experts of the moment. And in letting go of every other moment but the One moment, we slip into the universal consciousness and find ourselves telling the story of us all... This is an accomplishment that has altered the very make-up of our beings, and henceforth, will be with us always... We would have been long lost at sea without our captains, our teachers, the holy angels of this place... They are angels because of their love and commitment to truth... They are devotees of this powerful art who have been purified by its fire and emerged as gems of humanity. They live first by example, then by instruction. With great skill and care they gently and uncompromisingly showed us the way. And with great wisdom and humility they got out of the way so we could go ahead. I leave this school not only with a greater discipline and commitment to my purpose in life and an incomparable craft that is tried and true, I leave this school with faith in what the human soul can do when it wills itself to.
- To actually express how you feel because you are now in tune with feeling. To be in the moment, not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future but living in the now. To breakthrough the walls of protection built-up, constructed over a lifetime to prevent pain. To twirl around with freedom and and joy restoring your heart and inspiring others. Thank you for the superior instruction, loving support and the commitment to this art.
- Since attending your incredible school, my life has changed in so many amazing ways. I want to truly thank you both for all the hard work, dedication to the craft and long hours you spent in making my craft truly enjoyable and honed.
After finishing my 6th Television series and countless movies, I am in a state of reflection and constant awe at the amazing talent that has come out of your school. I remember the days well and just truly want to let you know that you all were the best part of this wonderful journey for me. The school, the late nights, repetition, the countless journals I have that chronicled it all! What a pleasure. In fact, I have to say that all the years (15 now) that I have been working as an actress, not much has brought the joy, skill and hard working satisfaction that being in your school brought me.
I have been blessed with 2 Best Actress nominations last year, for my work in my grittiest role to date. It was from the last TV series I shot in Canada and I would love to share the nominations with you.
I trust that you are all well and enjoying being so great at what you do.
- � Even though I thought I would freak out working with major stars, somehow I did not and was completely relaxed and in the moment. I have been trying to figure this out, and I think it boils down to the simple fact that I have some of the best training you can get. I also keep up to date with Lisa Milillo's cold reading classes at the Studio so I'm relaxed and confident in auditions.
- The casting director remembered me from an audition 4 years ago! I wasn't right for what they were casting then but they called me in... for this role 4 years later! The casting director said that she remembered me after all of this time and I didn't leave her mind. ...I was so thankful for what Joanne has taught and shared with us. I have never performed better than I did on that shoot. I felt so relaxed and confident even though I had never worked on a film before...
- The training I've received here has not only revolutionized my acting, but has changed me as a person. When I started all I wanted was to better myself as an actor - but in the end I not only learned how to act from my soul and my heart, I broke down the walls that were holding me back in my life. Thanks for showing me the path to truth. Thanks for the gems of knowledge we received every class. I'll always remember the lessons I learned here for the rest of my life.
- My time at this studio has been nothing short of an adventure, a wild ride. I began the studio shortly after doing the whole: pack your car move to LA thing, and I couldn't be more grateful Yes, the work I have studied, and done my best to understand and Illuminate, is invaluable, but above all else it's the relationships I have created that are most treasured. I am honored to be part of such a free, eclectic group of individuals.
- The studio has changed me from a woman who acted in sound bites to someone who really learned how to listen, appreciate silence, take the attention off myself, and keep my attention on my work. The work here has taught me how to check my ego at the door, commit fully in the moment, and to act fearlessly. The Baron Brown Studio has, in my opinion, the most disciplined, distinguished, passionate and compassionate educators of the Meisner Technique. The teachers here have enhanced the texture, faith and intentionaly of my life. We have forged profound bonds of an artistic community and friendships that will continue on. And the Baron Brown Studio will always serve as our artistic home. Now that's a solid rock to stand on.
- � I have been in your six-week intensive class for all of five classes. After three classes we reached what had taken two months in another so-called Meisner class I had taken. I look forward to see where the path will lead in this training and I thank Joanne for taking time out of her busy schedule to make a difference in my training and inevitably my future as an actress.
- I wanted to unlock the 'stops' in my stand-up comedy... I see huge improvement in that area... but I am becoming an actor and I love it.
- Someone I had met told me about this acting school down in Santa Monica and they said it was great. And I said, "Look man, I'm from New York, I'm not gonna' find a good acting school in LA." My first class: in walks this guy wearing a suit. As he started talking to us, he had this look in his eye that said 'stick around, you have no idea what you are in for.' The other thing he said was that he expected greatness, from everybody.
Master Class Testimonials
- I have had the privilege of watching you teach for the past two years, and let me just first say that I could watch you teach twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. You have an endless energy and passion for the work and life that is truly inspiring. The list of things I have learned from you is infinite, however, there is one specific lesson that has changed my work and my life. You always say, "Put the work before yourself." This allows me to completely open myself up to critique so that I can endlessly grow and best serve my art. Knowing this gives me a license to relax and have the most fun with a performance... I look forward to growing as an artist and person with you in future Master Classes.
- I left feeling inspired every day. I was continually impressed with your patience and the generous amount of time you spent with students... I thank you for maintaining such high standards with the Studio.
- I had such a great time the past two weekends!... You really care about us; that is so nice to feel in a growing experience. I can't wait for the next Master Class!
- I just wanted to thank you for such an enchanting experience with Master Class. My goodness, the time, energy, love, and wisdom you graciously share is a blessing from God and priceless... Thank you so much, Joanne, for your genius!
--Hana Mae Lee
- The Master Class changed my life and a week and a half after it I booked my first acting job; a co-staring role on Close to Home. I've also never had such a clear picture drawn of the work, or even acting, in my life.
- It is clear to me that when it comes to her acting, her teaching and her students, Joanne is one of the most passionate, committed, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, inspiring and caring people I've ever met in any field.
- A Casting Director attended our Master Class and after seeing my work decided to call me in for a project that she was casting for. A month after auditioning for the Director I booked the job. I got so much out of the Master Class and from listening to Joanne that I knew when I applied the work that it would only be a short time before I would see the results. Many actors auditioned, however when I applied the work and the notes that Joanne had given me it all fell into place.
- When Joanne began teaching again, I jumped at the chance to enroll in her Master Class...the experience somehow changed my perception of everything from script analysis to character interpretation to actions�I also found a new and powerful emotional life. It was a resounding success in learning and I was fortunate to be seen by one of the top directors in Hollywood and she called me in for an audition.
- The Master Class is an inspirational learning experience that has changed my entire understanding of acting. It truly is a great place for us all to grow as actors and human beings. Joanne has such honesty and precision in her teaching, its no wonder the work is at such a high level. Thank you very much for helping me get representation.
--David Lloyd Smith
- Thanks to Joanne, I have fallen in love with the art form of acting, found my true calling and gained a new level and dimension of respect for acting. The master class opened my eyes to seeing the true beauty of the Meisner training and I can't imagine any other way to truthfully learn this very special craft.
- You fill me with inspiration and never cease to deepen my understanding of this amazing craft. You�re a breath of fresh air in a world where so many people fail to care as much as you do. Thank you for another wonderful Master Class.
- I value like gold your every word of advice, wisdom and insight. Thank you for the chance to learn and grow under your teaching. It was a tremendous experience!
- Being part of this Master Class has been such a treat and learning experience. This school and Master Class have done so much for me. Overall, the feeling I get after doing a scene makes me remember why I am a part of the arts�.for the genuine love, passion and indescribable feeling and high I get after each performance.
- Thank you, Joanne. Your insight, lessons and teachings are being completely received by me. I am changed, personally and professionally, every time I get to work with you.
- Thank you so much for teaching such an outstanding Master Class. I really feel that God sends us just what we need and your teaching has been a gift.
- I am so delighted to have taken your Master Class, to have worked with you and learned a wealth of information that will help my artistry as an actor.
- After the Master Class, I believe I�ve had an epiphany! Never have I been a part of something so inspiring. I think I have fallen in love with acting and it�s become life changing. Thank you so much for inspiring me.
- I greatly benefited from this class as an actor --- AND director. As a director, I feel I�m now better equipped for being able to identify a range of actors� problems, articulate them, and provide specialized techniques to fix them. As an actor, I�m fortunate to be supporting a wife and two children, working full-time at this craft. However, Joanne immediately zeroed in on the one hang-up that could hold me back from breaking through to the next level, and gave me very specific steps I can take to overcome it. Unquestionably, she has an amazing command of all that is acting, and very inspired, honest, yet practical, methods for imparting her expertise. Highly recommended for the serious actor.
- Joanne Baron is so inspiring. She is so passionate about the craft and she really knows how to bring out the truth. She has me reach down into my soul. The flood-gate opened and the emotion came.
- � I've acted in all four so far and can't say enough about them, however, I'd sum my feelings up with this, "Joanne speaks a language, which seems to be foreign to most of Hollywood...Truth and Commitment!"
- I just want to let you know that I have been so inspired from the school and from your Master Class. I have never believed in myself more than I do now-and I owe it all to the Studio and your class. I am definitely planning on doing the Master Class.
You are an amazing WOMAN Joanne and an inspiration to all women. I have definitely learned more here than I did in Film School for 4 years. Thank you for your open heart and brilliant mind!
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