What is Crash Acting Class?


The teacher

Benjamin Mathes has been an actor for over 20 years. On film, television, and stage he has worked with artists such as Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood, Academy Award-winning actor Alan Arkin, Sam Raimi, Bradley Cooper, Andy Garcia, Chris Rock, and Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer. He received his MFA in Acting from the University of California, Irvine.

He serves as Head of Production for Seine Pictures, a film finance and production company in Hollywood, overseeing the creative development and production of each film. Recently, he Executive Produced the dark comedy Murder of a Cat (starring Greg Kinnear, JK Simmons, and Nikki Reed), and the biopic Pele (in partnership with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment).

As a teacher, he has been on faculty or taught workshops at Auburn University, Cal State Northridge, University of San Diego, University of Lima, Peru, Catholic University of Lima, Theatre of Arts in Hollywood, UC Irvine, and the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. He is a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®, and has served as vocal and dialect coach for major motion pictures, network television, and theatres around the country.

Ben is the author of two books detailing and investigating the creative process. The first, Thought Lozenges for Artists, is a daringly optimistic, “open-where-you-want” look into the creative process, and the second, CRASH {Unstuck Yourself}, is a guided journal designed to directly combat the blocks holding us from creative potential.

 

 
 

“His insight into text, his ability to guide the students and enthuse over his findings, his passion and dedication for everything he throws himself into, make Benjamin an outstanding teacher. Above all perhaps, I have come to know him as a person, and have the greatest admiration and respect for his intelligence and integrity. His understanding and compassion for human frailty is another of his great attributes, coupled with his easy and disarming sense of humor. Great acting teachers don’t get much better.” 

— James Warwick // Alias; Rocky Horror Picture Show; Former President, Theatre of Arts, Hollywood

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FAQs

What is Crash Acting Class?

Crash Acting Class is a scene study course that takes a guerilla approach to acting: head first, with no prescribed “method.” Each student’s experience is different because each student is different.

We focus most on what’s most helpful to you, right now. Our priorities are taking risks, accepting and saying “yes,” confronting our blocks, and supporting each other’s professional and personal growth.
 

How often/when/where/how much is class?

1 night a week; students choose their night to work:

Sundays from 6 to 10pm
- or -
Tuesdays from 7 to 11pm

(Note: Students have access to all 8 hours of class per week and may attend both classes; however, they only work 1 night per week.)

The Raven Playhouse
5233 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

$200/month + $200 one-time, nonrefundable deposit (applied to a student’s last month in class)
 

How many weeks/months does class last?

Crass Acting Class is an ongoing course without set start or end dates. Once a student is invited to enroll, they can start attending class immediately.

However, we always encourage students to take their work beyond the classroom. Since many students book work while attending class, we offer a leave of absence policy for working actors when the industry requires their time.
 

What is Urban Confessional?

Urban Confessional: A Free Listening Project arose directly out of the work we do at Crash Acting Class. Urban Confessional volunteers stand on the street with signs that say “Free Listening,” and we listen. We’ve found that it not only helps the people we meet feel a little less alone, it also helps us become better listeners.

Since its founding in 2012, Urban Confessional has spread to 16 countries and has been recognized by news outlets like The Huffington Post and The Atlantic’s CityLab.

 

Can you help me with my resume? My monologue? My Liverpool accent?

Nothing’s off the table. If you’ve got something specific (or very specific) you’re working on, let us know. If we can help, we will.