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Meet Patrick Day of Young Actors Space in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patrick Day.

Patrick, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was a working child actor from Nashville, TN, and moved to Los Angeles to attend USC, where I got my degree in theatre with an emphasis in directing. After graduation, my agency referred me to Young Actors Space, which had been run by Diane Hill-Hardin and Nora Eckstein since 1979. My first day here while watching their classes, I realized that what Diane and Nora were teaching was practical for a career actor compared to what I had been taught USC. Almost everyone I was in class with was pretty much on a series or in a film.

I’ve been teaching here since 1993, and took over as the owner and artistic director in 2008. The whole time I’ve been a working actor and director.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I never thought of myself as a businessman – I always wanted to be a hired hand because I never wanted to give up on acting. In 2008 when the economy tanked, I acquired Young Actors Space from the previous owners, and I couldn’t be a hippy anymore – all of a sudden, I was a business owner. Balancing a career as an actor/director as well as a teacher and business owner has been the biggest struggle. I’m fortunate because I love all aspects of my working life, but the balance is the challenge.

As far as business struggles, when I took over the business we didn’t have much of a website and they never had to do any advertising. We’d always been fortunate to get clients via word of mouth or through industry recommendations. By the time we caught up to the 21st century and got online, I realized that many schools for young actors had opened up across LA, and some were even using our reputation and parts of our name – unbeknownst to me. The first 6 years of owning this business, it drove me crazy. But we’ve worked hard to maintain and grow our reputation, and we’ve been able to keep our doors open for almost 40 years, which is rare for an acting school.

Young Actors Space – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Young Actors Space is the original and premier school for performers as young as age 5 to adults. Our passion and commitment to developing young talent in the craft of acting for the last 35+ years has given us the opportunity to help nurture some of the brightest stars in the industry.

Young Actors Space is one of a kind. We are a unique and exciting school for actors and have earned the respect and admiration from industry professionals since our beginnings. At YAS, we believe no two performers are the same – every actor’s talent is unique and an essential component of this diverse business. We encourage our actors to explore their creativity, build confidence as a performer, and discover and hone their craft in a warm, non-judgmental atmosphere.

Our classes are structured with half improvisation and half scene study. We used truth based improv to accentuate the uniqueness of each actor. Our goal is to make the written scene seem like an improvisation. We train our actors to make strong specific choices based on the writer’s intent. YAS is a process oriented school that encourages its actors to get out of their heads and into their hearts.

At YAS, we strictly limit our class size to fifteen students in order to give them the individual attention they require to develop into working artists. This formula is unique to the entertainment industry, but our model is proven to produce working actors sought after by directors and casting agents.

At YAS, our classes are based on attaining the balance every working actor needs to succeed on set. Our instructors work as professional directors, writers, casting directors and actors and are passionate about their work. We appreciate the unique talents and gifts of our students, and formulate our classes to encourage profound growth based on our widely respected experience.

We feel lucky to have been able to foster more successful child actors, who in turn become successful adults, than any other school in the world. One of our proudest accomplishments is when we have second generation students join our classes – kids whose parents studied at YAS.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
There are many definitions to success. Sometimes you’ll get a 6-year old who comes in and can’t look you in the eye the first week, and by week three they’re able to confidently speak to you in full sentences and share their full voice. Sometimes it’s an Emmy or Oscar nomination (or win). And there’s thousands of points in-between that can be considered success, from students become teachers, doctors, architects, etc., to kids in class together forming lifelong friendships. For me, when a former student comes back and shares their success and memories of their time here, that’s when I feel most successful.


  • 10 week Scene Study & Improv Class – $575 (2-3 hours per class, ages 8+)
  • 10 week Improv Class – $475 (1 hour class, ages 5-7)
  • 4 week On-Camera & Audition Technique Class – $280 (2 – 2.5 hours, ages 10+)
  • Private Coaching – $150 – 200 per hour

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Playbox Studios
Scott Moffitt
Rebecca Prephan
Taylor Staniforth

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.


  1. Patrick Day

    September 28, 2017 at 07:48

    Thank you!

  2. Lee Papa

    September 28, 2017 at 14:53

    I was introduced to Young Actors Space, Patrick and the YAS team this summer. I consider this one of the most significant opportunities that have come our way with respect to my (now 12 year old) son’s development (Luca Ciambra). I took the time which I rarely do to write a very long review on Yelp for them because they deserve all the accolades. Patrick is a wonderful private acting coach and their classes are top notch! Thank you Patrick and thank you YAS!

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