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Meet Marcie Smolin of The Actors Circle in Culver City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marcie Smolin.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started as a child actor and have worked in the entertainment industry my entire life. I have worked as an actress, standup comic, director, producer and writer. When was first starting out, I taught acting to children but as my professional life took off, I stopped teaching. Many years went by and I was both working on a TV series and touring the country doing standup, when I had a terrible accident. I was knocked off a 22-foot ladder and for a while I couldn’t walk at all. All of my performing work come to a standstill. I was home one day feeling sorry for myself when my phone rang. It was a wrong number but I recognized the voice. It turns out it was the man who owned the acting studio I had taught at when I was a teenager.

Long story short, as we caught up I told him what had happened and he said “Well while you’re recovering why don’t you come teach a few classes for me. You were always my best coach.” I did. I fell in love with teaching, and now was able to bring a career full of industry experience with me. But soon after going back to his studio, he decided to retire. I realized I wanted to make this my life work and that is how The Actors Circle came to be.

14 years later it is a thriving acting studio! It makes me happy every time I open the door.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Owning a small business is always a challenge. I came from an entertainment/artistic background. In my years as a performer, I really never grew up. Having people rely on me forced me to learn quickly how to be responsible. I never went to business school, and so it was all trial by error. Oh, sure I made mistakes but I hung in there.

A few years after we opened there was a strike in the industry and that was a rough time…but I refused to give up. As I always tell my students just keep walking forward.

I continue to learn and grow every day and just as I feel like I have conquered one challenge another comes up. I think my biggest lesson learned and one I would share with anyone starting a small business is never take anything for granted. You always have to keep building.

The Actors Circle – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Actors Circle provides film and television workshops for actors of all ages and abilities. Our youngest student is 4 and our oldest is 97!

We provide weekly classes in film and television technique, private coaching, taping for auditions, and semiprivate and corporate specialty workshops.

In addition, we are a small production company and have produced several award-winning shorts and web series out of our studio…many of the using our students.

Our actors have gone on to win Emmy’s Oscar’s, Tony’s, and even a Grammy!

We are proudest of the fact that even though our students have achieved big success they always consider the Actors Circle home and come back to visit and mentor.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as making a living at something that makes you happy. It is not financial as much as it is fulfillment. I will tell anybody that asks that I feel like I am the luckiest woman alive. I go to work every day and I laugh, I create, I am inspired and I inspire. I always always want to be there.

Pricing:

  • Adult Classes- 4 weeks 194.00 8 weeks 346.00 12 weeks 454.00
  • Teen Classes-4 weeks 194.00 8 weeks 346.00 12 weeks 454.00
  • Tween Classes-4 weeks 172.00.00 8 weeks 307.00 12 weeks 403.00
  • Children’s Classes-4 weeks 144.00 8 weeks 256.00 12 weeks 336.00
  • Private Coaching and Audition Taping- 60.00 an hour

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Marcie Smolin
Cale Ferrin
Dave Corwin
Rocky Hart
Michael Scott
Lina Pachelvko

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Lois Sherman

    June 26, 2017 at 18:58

    Loved this article!

  2. Wayne Gurnick

    June 27, 2017 at 17:19

    Congratulations marcie! What a wonderful feature! you are such a special person and your work is so important. Wishing you many more years of continued success!

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