I was fortunate enough in my early Hollywood days a few people took some chances on me. It was Bill Condon on 'Gods and Monsters' that gave me the invite to be in his company of such greats as Ian McKellan, Lynn Redgrave and Brendan Fraser. It was the classiest, most interesting film school one could ever dream of and landed a few Oscar nominations and ruined my expectations for film sets ever on. Quickly following were great stints on 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Frasier'. A beginning trifecta to make anyone's eyes glassy with envy. The talent and professionalism of those early projects would serve me for the many productions to come over the years.
Yet, one of the strongest perceptions I had during these early years was a deep, inner notion I didn't really know what I was doing.
I came to Hollywood, like many, with various acting degrees. A BFA from Michigan State and MFA work done on scholarship at Temple University in Philadelphia. They were fine programs that taught classic techniques we've all come familiar with in Stanislavsky, Meisner and Chekhov among many other disciplines. Upon graduating these institutions one would think they were ready to start their career. In truth, my learning had just begun.
When I booked my first budgeted short film through a self-submission I was excited to show what I could do. It was on the first take of the first scene that I wandered over to the monitor and saw what I was doing and went, "Oh, no...I'm ACTING!"
What followed was a steep and fast learning curve of dashing my preconceived notions of acting ideas. It seemed all my studies until then were suddenly useless and I had to figure things out quickly or that job in the mailroom was going to become a career. As I immersed myself in film technique I wondered why no one had prepared me for this eventuality? The shocking wake-up call that all my techniques had failed to prepare me for.
I then began an immersive and at times obsessive journey into training for film acting. Exploring a variety of classes, I found myself at one of the premiere acting studios in Los Angeles that was highly respected in the industry. I went to every class and sat in the ones I wasn't in. I spent six years so devoted to study, I was then invited in 2004 to teach at the studio. After my first day, I was hooked. Soon enough I was taking not only the techniques I had learned over the years but also the hard-earned lessons from being on set after set. After several years of teaching, I finally realized my voice had become too specialized to stay under another's roof.
In 2014 I opened Babcock Studios in Los Angeles and Pasadena. An acting studio that aims to bridge the gap between acting theory and the nuts and bolts of what it is to act in the television and film industry. A place where the practicalities of technique are implemented and then tossed away in favor of what works. Acting on a set is result oriented but the art of acting is not. The studio is where actors prepare like artists and perform like professionals.
From this work I was invited to teach various workshops including the rewarding opportunity to join FACT (Family Adult and Child Therapy) for individuals on the Autism Spectrum and other disabilities. The workshop that was meant to teach these young people in turn taught me more about being human and humanity than any class I've ever taken.
In creating Babcock Studios it was my hope to create the type of environment I would want to be in. A concentrated, playful and creative studio that has the virtue of real technique and experience along with a lifelong passion to engage with willing actors.