Today we’d like to introduce you to Craig Wallace.
Craig, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began teaching audition technique 22 years ago. I was a talent agent at the time and had had jobs in the entertainment industry that included Director of Creative Affairs at United Artists and Head of New talent Development with Quantum Media at Universal Studios. I had also gone back to school in my early thirties and came out with a degree in psychology.
After about three years as an agent, I was asked to give a Q&A talk at UCLA. It was a two hour talk that went over four! It was the first time that I saw how much I could help artists with my experience and it was the night I realized that I was meant to be a teacher.
I knew that to do this, I was going to have to leave the security of the agency and go out on my own. It was a little scary but also thrilling. I had always been frustrated working in corporate structures – the endless talk and no action, politics and so many meetings! This was my chance to do things my way – to put up or shut up and I reveled in it.
I made the decision from day one to be a solopreneur. This was a harder route but I didn’t want any distractions and didn’t want anyone else between me and my students. I have kept it this way for all 22 years. I love hard work and consider it an honor to be doing something that I am so passionate about and feel that it makes me a better, more involved teacher to be in charge of all parts of the business.
I am often asked how I have been able to survive and thrive for so long in a highly competitive field. The answer is that I love teaching more than anything else in my life. and I work harder than anyone else does. I know that every actor that I teach is unique and needs to be addressed as an individual… I care deeply about each and every student who takes my class. The Wallace Audition Technique is not a factory and I have no interest in taking advantage of the inherent vulnerabilities of the artist. I have never taken more than nine students in a class and I never will. The art of auditioning is not the same for everyone and with a maximum of nine students, I can keep an eye on each person and teach to the needs of the individual.
I knew that if I held to this ethos that I would never be rich! But teaching has never been about the money. The feeling that I get from running a business based on generosity, compassion and professionalism is more rewarding than money can ever be. Not to mention the feeling when someone books a job – which I am happy to say has happened over 1200 times on my teaching career thus far.
Casting has changed so much in the time I’ve been teaching and it continues to evolve as the industry continues to grow and change. To that end, I am a casting consultant and set coach at a major studio. This work is a great way for me to stay current and to give my students cutting edge information and techniques.
Has it been a smooth road?
The road has been a combination of surfaces! I tell my students that a great audition is the perfect balance between preparedness and flexibility and I think it’s the same in life. I have taught through numerous strikes, fires, economic collapse and now a pandemic. These haven’t been smooth times, not a lot of money coming into the business and loads of uncertainty, but they have taught me so much about the importance of creativity and staying fluid. These times have also tested my commitment to what I do and that has never wavered. Tests can be great teachers as well as markers of personal and professional growth.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Wallace Audition Technique is one of the premier acting classes in LA. I have used my extensive industry experience and years of working with artists to create a technique that has helped actors book over 1200 professional jobs.
I am most proud of always keeping the classes small and taking care of the needs of each student. It’s a labor-intensive way to work, but I don’t think there are any shortcuts to greatness. I am proud to have done this all my way. I have had to shut out a lot of other voices – most of which were telling me how to work less and make more money. And I am proud to still be around and relevant after 22 years!
I have never wavered from teaching and running my business with compassion, empathy and professionalism and putting the individual first. I am not, and never will be a factory. This is my reputation and I couldn’t be happier that that is the case.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is a great place to start a career in acting. The community out here is deep. There is a lot of support and it’s a good place to learn the ropes and get started. Even though there are a lot of auditions happening online, when you’re starting out, casting people, producers, etc. need to meet you. That won’t change – and this is predominantly where they are.
- I will be offering a $100 discount on my 8 week Foundation Class starting 10/8. Reg. $650 – for this session only – $550.
- Address: 1148 4th St. Santa Monica CA 90403
- Website: www.wallaceauditiontechnique.com
- Phone: 424-272-1321
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @wallaceauditiontechnique
- Facebook: wallace Audition Technique
- Twitter: @craigteach