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Meet Jeff “Dock” Dockweiler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff “Dock” Dockweiler.

Jeff, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My start as an acting coach was not planned. I was still somewhat new to the entertainment industry and learning about the writing and producing side while working for Stephen J Cannell’s production company when I was asked by an agent to coach a few actors for their auditions. Not only did they get callbacks, but they all booked the jobs. From that point forward, I quickly became known as a “go to” coach. Shortly after that, I was given my first opportunity to work as an onset coach for the award winning daytime drama “All My Children”. Talk about a challenge right out of the gate as a coach! We were shooting roughly 500-600 pages each week and I was working with around 30 actors ranging in age from 5 to 65 years. By the time that show ended, there was not a project or challenge I couldn’t conquer and the results I’ve been able to help produce with my acting clients have been proof. Over the past ten years, my clients have enjoyed an 80% callback rate, booked jobs in films and tv shows of all kinds and at least one of my clients has booked a pilot every year. With regard to how I’ve succeeded, I believe the achievements are a direct result of me not asking my clients to do anything I’m not also doing. I believe acting is a skill you can develop, and the key to that development is breaking down scenes and working to understand stories and human behavior every day. I’ve now broken down well over 200,000 scenes. That hard work pays off and it’s so fun to use the skills I’ve developed to help the dreams of my clients become a reality.

Has it been a smooth road?
Succeeding in Hollywood is one of the most difficult journeys anyone could ask for, so no, it has not been a smooth ride. There are seriously too many difficult obstacles to go into great detail. As a coach, I was fortunate to get a quick start. But maintaining success is a constant struggle. Helping actors deal with the constant challenges and rejections takes its toll. You seriously have to be the part motivator, part informer, part therapist… Haha. I feel every positive and negative emotion along with my clients and that becomes quite the roller coaster ride. In addition to my coaching, I have also ventured into the world of being a writer/director. So another struggle is finding time to pursue my individual goals while still being readily available to my acting clients. The challenge of maintaining success and creating new success while keeping yourself healthy in the ultra competitive world of entertainment is a constant struggle.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I believe my job as an acting coach is to make my clients better every time I see them. It’s the constant growth as a person and storyteller that I believe allows an actor the opportunity at a successful career. When it comes to what I specialize in or what I’m known for, that’s hard to say. My greatest strength as a coach is my ability to help every client differently. I’m quite confident in my ability to breakdown a story to its finest point as well as anyone. Being able to do so, then allows me to truly help any actor apply their special point of view to make that story the best it can possibly be. That helps my clients succeed both in the audition rooms and on sets.

As for what I’m most proud of, that’s easy. I’m proud of the fact that I have made a positive impact on the lives of every actor I have worked with. Whether it’s helping them book their first job ever or helping them book a job that will be the big step that changes their career, I love to genuinely invest in them and see them succeed not only as an actor but just as much, as a person.

As for what sets me apart? I feel like that’s something you’d have to ask everyone else. I make a very conscious effort to make it about my clients, and not me. I don’t need a building with the name of my acting school on it. I want my clients to win as much as possible.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Let’s start with the negative so that we can end on a positive note! Haha. The only real negative is how expensive our town is and continues to be. But there’s a reason for that… It’s because of all of the positives! The weather, the people, the opportunity’s, all are obvious. I love how many amazing options we have every day. When I have a day I need to create, I like to drive up the PCH, turn up the music and get lost in my head. Point Dume is usually my destination on those days. But day in, and day out, I love my neighborhood of Beverly Grove because everything I need is within walking distance. I can walk up to 3rd Street for a coffee at Verve or Joan’s on Third. I can grab lunch at one of more than a dozen amazing restaurants, walk through LACMA on my way to my gym and meet friends for drinks at a cool spot like El Carmen. LA has so much to offer and every little pocket like Beverly Grove has its own distinct personality. All you have to do is find the one that fits you best.

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