Today we’d like to introduce you to Rob Brownstein.
Hi Rob, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m an actor and teacher, started doing theater in NY and regionally. Moved to L.A. first in 1990 then permanently in 1997 and started doing television and film. I have an acting studio An Actor’s Space where I have been teaching for ten years (anniversary this past June) at the Hudson Theaters on Santa Monica Blvd. Amongst many things, I recently played Bernie Lewinsky on Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story – Impeachment about the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal.
I have a really interesting family history. My grandparents were big-time lefties – Emma Goldman and other historical figures were regulars in their home. I come from a mixed-race family, grew up overseas. My sister and her wife and family live in Santa Barbara, my brother and his family are in D.C. He is one of very few African-American high-ranking State Dept. officials. I was a dyed in the wool New Yorker until I moved to L.A. and discovered the cliches were all wrong. I am a total Angeleno – just like in Steve Martin’s L.A. Story. Even with GPS, I’m still the guy my friends called for the best route to get anywhere. I’ve lived in Venice, Mar Vista, Mount Washington and am happily ensconced in NW Pasadena. I’m divorced with two kids – my oldest just moved to NY with her girlfriend and my youngest is a junior in high school. My ex-wife and I are good friends; she is remarried and also lives in Pasadena. She’s a veterinarian and her business Gifts of Peace is a local fixture. L.A. is definitely where I call “home”.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Well, I don’t know that any road is smooth. Like most people in my business, I’ve worked really hard and I’ve been fortunate to have worked on some great projects with amazing people and I’ve always loved and depended on this great community of actors and artists that we have here in L.A. I love teaching. I’ve taught a lot of places and I’m really proud of how An Actor’s Space has grown these past 10 years and the terrific actors I’ve had the pleasure of working with either in classes or private coaching.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I think one of the things that hardest for an artist is finding oneself – which is a combination of so many factors. Over the course of my career as an actor and director there are so many things I’m proud of including recently playing Bernie Lewinsky on American Crime Story – Impeachment, being in important films like Argo, Straight Outta Compton, TV shows like Breaking Bad, MadMen, Mom. Plays I’ve directed – most recently Mark Rylance’s Nice Fish at Interact Theatre Co. I’ll be doing Death of a Salesman after Christmas. Finding myself as a teacher and being able to really change and affect actors’ lives and work has been especially rewarding.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
My college mentor Harry Carlson who helped me fall in love with the craft. Acting mentors Dominique Bulfair and Milton Katselas. Uta Hagen. Jolene Kay who I sometimes partner with in teaching and is a great friend. My wonderful agents Susie Schwartz, Ro Diamond and Steven Jang for sure and my terrific manager Miriam Milgrom. My students. The amazing casting directors who champion me and all of us actors. And my incredible kids Drew and Finney who teach me something new every day. I kind of feel like I’m winning an award here, thank you
Photos by Adam Hendershott