Re :Lee Strasberg theater and film institute destroyed me and my life in consequence.They succeeded in making me stayed there for 4 years studying mainly with 2 obnoxious-deficient"teachers" who are Michael Margotta and George Loros.
I enrolled there when i was a young man of 20 and their vanity destroyed me in all kind of ways.Margotta supported his ways and abusive personality by coming to class in many different kind of styles of wardrobes and wigs to make us beleive he was a very busy actor who was just leaving a movie set-which was completly untrue...And by telling us he was working all the time which was also untrue.George Loros's ways was to make us afraid.Like throwing chairs in the air or literally yelling insults to us;Like<< Son of a b...!!!,mother f... !!!,piece of s... !!! ...!!!>>And he used several other ways.His vanity was throwing actors out of the class on a whim...He also used to undermine us...
What is also to be known is that a big part of their résumé they post on their site is made up!
I challenge anyone to find Margotta in "9 weeks and a half",Robert Castle(another "teacher" there)in "Copland".Loros kept saying he was in front of the camera next to Robert De Niro,it is not true;One only has to check the credits of the film if not the films.The "part" he kept saying he had next to Pacino in"Serpico" releas ed 37 years ago only last seconds ...
All that come als o from the owners of the place who are Anna Mizrahi Strasberg and her son David Lee Strasberg and that was transmitted to them by Lee Strasberg.
About Lee Strasberg theater and film institute Elia Kazan the known genius film director and co-founder of the Actors Studio wrote in his autobiography that Lee Strasberg theater and film institute was built to pump money out of artists and that it was a fooling place for actresses who dreamed of being Marilyn Monroe.
Pacino said on T.V in an interview i have seen recently on the web:that the main thing Strasberg had taught him was to learn his lines.He also says in an interview that Lee Strasberg refused him several times at the Actors Studio before he let him in (suddenly Strasberg believed Pacino had talent) And built a friendly relationship with him out of the blue! Strasberg then denied Pacino' s talent (at some point).
Brando says in his autobiography that Strasberg was for him a phony opportunist with no real talent or deep concerns for the arts.
James Dean it is known wa kicked out by Strasberg of the Actors Studio after his first scene;Strasberg did denied James Dean's talent.
It is also intersting to watch what De Niro says in the T.V guest show "inside the Actors Studio " about Strasberg.
Dustin hoffman says in an interview collected in the book:"The film of Dustin Hoffman" by Douglas Brode that he always had fights with Strasberg studying with him and never got along with him.
I really wish Lee Strasberg theater and film institute close down,for all the harms they did to o many actors.
I attended LSTFI for a quarter and here's my take on it:
Teachers I liked:
Ones that had worked with Lee Strasberg in the past. They were knowledgeable.
Teachers I didn't like:
- Paul Cauldron: His class, acting for Tv/Film was a joke. I expected to learn camera angles and techniques, instead the one thing I learnt (which I could've just googled) was that for the camera, you don't need a loud voice like in theatre, so talk normally. OK, gotchya!
The guy's funny but at the same time he's pretty rude and confusing (if you say you're confused, people will say his style of teaching is very subtle. yeah not really, its just a cover up to confuse you further). I wouldn't even want to call him a teacher since it seemed like he had zero patience for students and he didn't seem to be enjoying what he was doing, it looked like he was doing it for extra money. The learning environment was very stiff with him.
If you take his class, its like sitting and drinking coffee and having conversations with him, not something I'd like to pay big bucks for, an informational interview.
Also, if you're espanol, this class is great for you because throughout class, you will enjoy the special jokes made by paul that no one else will understand but people who speak spanish. Bravo! I'm sorry but since this is an american school, shouldn't we be speaking english AT ALL TIMES?? I mean if you can't speak it for america, please just speak it for the foreigners from other parts of the world who don't understand spanish (no offence to people who speak spanish, if it were any other language, I'd be equally bothered because i felt it was rude. There were 2 spanish students in the entire class and this dude would be breaking jokes in his own language that NO one else understood which I thought was quiet unprofessional.)
-Now, I know a lot of people are afraid of him but that's not what bothered me. His insults also didn't bother me. What bothered me was that I was "forced" to be paired with a student who wanted to be at LSTFI just so he could grab a visa to NYC and check out the city. Every time I planned to have a rehearsal with him, after half an hour, he'd be like "i'm tired. So do you want to go check out the brooklyn bridge?" This was the story EVERY time I tried to rehearse with him. I reported to Loros about this but he just ignored it, saying that you won't always get people that will rehearse with you in the real field. Ok, yes I won't but RIGHT NOW, I'm in school. The main purpose one goes to school and drops big bucks is so he can get an education, and frankly, you're stifling my learning by telling me to stick with a non-serious student. A non-serious student should be paired with an equally non-serous student.
I talked to loros 3 times on 3 different occasions about this, but he refused to change me and I wasn't going to waste my time. Eventhough LSTFI says you can't change your schedule, well the secret is to directly go to the director and ask for a change. I went to the manager first who just turned everything back on me, I found her to be quiet manipulative, which actually hurts the institution. You want your students to leave the school satisfied so that one day, when they become big, they can proudly say, I studied at LSTFI. Sorry, but I won't be that person.
I'm not sure who's problem that is, if its Loros's problem, or if its the school's issue that they fail to weed out the serious/non-serious or they fail to set rules and regulations for people to be serious during "scene work". Somebody has to manage it, its shouldn't be the student's responsibility to find a suitable partner. I heard people didn't find good partners for 9 months they were there!
I mean if you really wanna teach it the way in the real world, make sure your students WORK on scene work!!
Now, the main thing that bothered me about this school was ADMINISTRATION: they are highly unorganized and unprofessional!
1. They can cancel your class ANYTIME they want. They are NOT responsible for dropping you out of your class, you just gotta pick another one. It happened to me, it happened to many others! They do it last minute too, like the first day of class, oops! your class was dropped, just pick another one!
If class is cancelled for the quarter, its the school's duty to pair you up with the "same" instructor at a different time, or let you pick your class of choice even if its full, or better yet, don't cancel classes last minute! make a schedule and stick to it!
2. You are promised 4 scenes from tv/film on dvd. Well, it was such a struggle to get 3 out of them. It took me 3 months after I left the place to obtain the dvd. Infact, the power to the front desk and staff workers is so much that they can tell people to block your calls eventhough you owe them something back. I had to contact the director to get the dvd, and STILL my best scene was missing and I will never be able to get that copy because I'm being told that they misplaced it, which is a lie because others from that day of classwork got their scenes but me.
You know that moment thats extremely important in your life. Just pick one. Thats what this scene meant to me, and it was a breaking point in my "learning acting" years. I never even got to watch it in class because that day I was rushed and the teacher promised me I'd get it later on DVD. I really am sad about that. I thought it was extremely unprofessional of them to promise 4 scenes and only deliver 3, and that also after me constantly chasing them for 3 months! They're supposed to give it to you the day before you leave the place. Oh well! *sigh*
3. Jerry the front guy will lie to you about books available in the library and everything else he can lie to you about because you know what? He controls the front desk, doesn't matter if you're paying your fees, you don't matter. Nope. Oh and he will also say mean things to you and insult you with a giant smile and expect you to smile back and giggle in return. yeah. NOT.
Even after all this, if I ever decide to go back to LSTFI for a semester more, I'll be strictly be because of a couple of teachers that were pretty good there! If you do decide to attend, go for teachers who've actually worked with Lee. Don't go for mainstream populars like Paul or Loros, well actually loros is a good teacher if you stick with him for a while and can take his insults and his forcible pairing with whoever he wants to pair you with.
I like the Strasberg technique, I like some of the teachers there, they're nice and encouraging, which helps a sensitive actor bring out his craft. But remember the key word, "SOME teachers".
What I didn't like was the administration. I felt it was extremely disorganized, not considerate of students, and unprofessional. It was exhausting dealing with them.
Oh, and when they say the names of actors that graduated from LSTFI, well they didn't. Some of them are from Actor's Studio and some of them went there very briefly. A "few" studied there for a long time and a "few" had to study there because LSTFI and NYU used to be linked, or probably still is.
I understand your opinions on LSTFI, but you don't need to post it in 4 separate threads and forum categories. If someone has a question about this school, they will most likely do a search and find your post. SOMEONE will find it, read it, and most likely post on it. Posting it so many times just presents a spam problem and doesn't really help anyone in the long run as they are not learning anything new. Just something to think about for future informational thread posts.
If you want to learn Strasberg, study with Lorrie Hull and her daughter. They both actually studied with Lee and Lorrie wrote one of the best books on the subject.
No one should have to pay money to get a role, or pay to play. You should get a role based on your audition and skill, not because you paid to have one. I'm sorry, but those who pay are fools.
I noticed several "newbies" logged on to talk trash about the Lee Strasberg Institute. It is still a recognized school despite the immigrant bashing that also tends to be attached to it by these helpful newbies who seem to have a hardon for whoever this Loros teacher is, while mentioning how 'popular' he/she is. What a contradiction! Or maybe someone who just is a sour apple and can't hack it and can't admit it to themselves. Method acting is not for everyone. Let me just put it that way. As an actor, the ego needs to be set aside or put in check as you assume another character's persona. Most people can't control their own id because no one validated them. For those sad ones in their self-constructed hell, they will try to spread their poisonous beliefs or perceptions to anywhere and anyone who will listen. Check out ALL schools, don't depend on strangers online to verify or do the research for you. If you care about acting and your career, get off your arse and GO check these schools out, read the materials, talk to other students there who are currently attending, then make up your own mind about what you want to do next. Break a leg!
Hi, I studied at Strasberg - it has its pro's and con's- - some acting teachers (e.g. Hedy Sontag) are very good - others, ok (would never take one TV acting teacher again -every 5th word of his is "fuck"...but that is not the reason, I just did not consider him to be a good acting teacher, what he can really do is getting aggresive...).
I was really glad, I went there as I have mostly had good teachers- but the administration is very bad! If you ask a special girl in the front for sth, then she often says I don't know cause she does not want to be disturbed while surfing privately in the net, ok fine.....still ok... Most of us learned: if you want to get an answer of the administrator: it is best to go to Strasberg and maybe trying to solve the problem with another one in the office then trying to send her mails or calling her, she will barely answer your questions, or way too late or unfriendly. ;( .
What is very unfair at Strasberg: as they have more international students then US-Americans, they seem to make a real big difference between them. If the foreigner already paid for tuition and the US-American not and they both want a class-guess who is getting the last seat?
The administration sucks (that is why a friend of mine went to Stella Adler!!!) - you have to survive and overcome this bad administration....and I tell you, that is the worst part of Strasberg!
no offense truth, and i agree with you most of the time, but i audited Lorrie hulls class because of it having awesome reviews on here and it was a joke. her book is actually good but she doesn't teach anything that Strasberg taught or anything in the book. if anything its just a bunch of words thrown around that you and others don't really understand, because you don't know the work of lee Strasberg.
method in the way strasberg teaches it is outdated and not realistic in todays industry. No offense but most of the work actors get will not be for the lead in a big budget movie. If your not the star of a big budget movie you will need a technique that is quicker to get where your going. If anyone has worked on a soap you know what I mean. Having worked on a day time soap and a primetime night time soap which is much slower than day time I still say the method is full of shi^ for an actor unless he/she has the time allotted to a star for a big budget film
agreed, tv is fast especially soaps. saxon or annie is a better for that sort of thing because thats about as much time as you get to work on something especially if its a soap.
The ONLY thing that I found Strasberg useful for was the relaxation exercises. Otherwise, junk!
I AM GOING NOW TO LEE STRASBERG AND I ENROOLED FOR A YEAR HOWEVER I DO NOT WANNA CONTINUE TO 2ND AND THIRD SEMESTER ANYMORE. I HAVE BEEN TOLD THEY WONT REFUND MY MONEY BACK.IT IS HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY. THIS IS NOTHING BUT BEING THIEF. I AM INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND THEY KNOW I GUESS ,THERE IS NOT MUCH I CAN DO IF I LEAVE THE COUNTRY. I DONT GET ANY BENEFIT FROM SCHOOL. I HAVE NOT LEARNED ANYTHING. i DID NOT GET EVEN A DROP OF INSPIRATION. OTHER STUDENTS ARE RUDE AND SELF CENTERED. SSOME GOOD TEACHERS BUT MOSTLY NASTY .THEY HAVE FULL OF EGO AND THEY DROP YOU LIKE A PIEACE OF SHIT. THEY DONT WANNA TALK TO YOU AND THEY DONT ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS. STUDENTS ARE AFRAID TO TALK IN CLASSROOM AND IF SOMEONE SPEAKS ,OTHERS LOOK AT THIS PERSON WITH TOTAL HORROR SOME REASON. ANYWAYS HOW CAN I GET MY MONEY BACK FROM THIS SCHOOL?ANY IDEA?
No matter where you go, there will be both "bad" and "good" teachers. LSTFI is no exception. I've noticed that most of the ppl who wrote negative posts about the school only attended the school for 1 semester or never even attended the school.
I heard the LA campus was not good, but let me tell you about some of the teachers at LSTFI - NY who I really like.
IRMA SANDREY (Advisor/head teacher) - Was taught by Lee, himself and has been teaching for 40 years. She is the only one who can teach certain sensory exercises because there were some he only taught her. She's an excellent teacher with years of experience and knows "the method" better than anyone else alive today.
MAURICIO - Also learned the "method" from Lee for many years. Like Irma, he also places a strong emphasis on sensory work but the classroom environment is totally different.Irma is a bit more serious and Mauricio is perverted/crazy/hilarious.
TIM - Also learned from Lee. What I liked about Tim's class was that he did teach the method but in a more modern way. He also allotted time in class for students to ask questions about anything. That time was very useful. His audition class on Friday nights are also great.
ROBERT ELLERMAN - Has an extremely loyal group of students who worship him. It's difficult to get into his class. He has a VERY meticulous and honest approach. He goes into a lot of detail and knows alot about theatre history.
J. ALLEN SUDDETH - (Stage combat 1 & 2) I definitely recommend this class to anyone who has any sort of interest in trying out stage combat. Allan is an amazing teacher. He shows us in detail how to make the fight look real. He is very patient and you can take the NATIONAL FIGHT SOCIETY test at the end of Stage Combat 2. Awesome/fun class.
CONCLUSION: I really enjoyed my time at LSTFI and would recommend it if you are really interested in learning the method (and have the money). Take Irma Sandrey's class. She knows the method better than anyone.
in regards to the # of foreign students.... Yes, there are a lot but many of them are very talented, nice people. Many of them have experience working professionally in their home countries, so we shouldn't look down on them for being foreign.
If anyone is thinking about going to LSTFI and wants to know about classes/teachers send me a private message.
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