About Us

About Us

Seydways Acting Studios is a complete, exclusive professional acting studio designed to equip the actor with the tools, technique and training required to be successful in today’s acting profession. Based on his professional experience as a director and a teacher working with thousands of actors over the last 35 years, Richard Seyd has created specific techniques to help actors overcome the most common obstacles associated with the profession of acting. Our classes are built on a foundation of four goals:

The nature of this work is very intimate, personal yet practical. Each class is taught by a small group of professional teachers hand picked by Richard. Together, these teachers carry a diverse, strong and legitimate background of working in the industry. Our instructors teach all of Richard’s techniques as well as other classes covering voice work (Fitzmaurice), film acting, commercial acting (Ted Mattison), auditioning, and acting fundamentals. 

All of the teachers at Seydways Acting Studios recognize the personal and vulnerable nature of the actor’s exploration. For this reason, we adhere to the following guidelines:

We promise to provide a safe, intimate environment in which your imagination can be inspired.

For this reason, we keep our classes small (12 maximum for ongoing classes). This intimate setting allows each actor to discover their unique voice while exploring the elements and boundaries of their craft while working each week.

We promise to increase your range.

Since the primary life journey of each actor is to increase the range of human behavior, we train actors to find the range in themselves to play a wide variety of characters in specific or imagined circumstances.

We promise to make the training process a healthy one.

The obvious challenge with acting as a profession is making it a sustainable life choice. We create a noncompetitive and safe environment in which risks can be taken without judgment or criticism. We define the lines between imagination and reality and profession and passion. The individual work of each actor is then practiced and sustainable.

We promise to be practical.

Our classes focus on equipping the profession actor with practical acting techniques as well as exceptional training with regards to creativity, choices and character. We want your work to begin in the studio and then translate into your professional work. We believe that actors need to understand the rigorous demands of the business in order to succeed. To that end, we explore acting theory but apply it to the practical application within the business of acting.

We provide a full-service professional acting studio.

We offer courses in the technical skill-sets that actors need for their professional work in theatre, film, and television. Throughout each year, we enhance our training with seminars and workshops on audition technique, commercial acting, on-camera technique, business practices, screen writing and much more. These classes are usually offered in a series of ongoing workshops in addition to our regular class schedule. We also offer private coaching on audition taping for our students.

If you have any questions, please contact us here.

About the Trigger Approach

All actors are told that “being in the moment” is important, but no one teaches the actor how to be in the moment effortlessly. The Trigger Approach is designed to give the actor a working methodology for achieving that performance state. Originally developed by Richard Seyd the approach is a way of breaking down text, thought by thought, to enable the actor to live more authentically and spontaneously in the moment during performance. This is an approach that begins the first time you see the script and continues throughout the performance. Although developed as a way of breaking down theatre scripts and live performances, among our students this technique has proven to be invaluable for film work and on-camera auditions.

To find out more about The Trigger Approach, please read this insightful article written by Richard Seyd for Backstage West: How To Be “In The Moment” Without Really Trying.

Also available for viewing is the Being in the Moment free online seminar, a series of videos in which Richard discusses how actors can be in the moment without really trying.

About Stretch Work

Ever watch a movie or audition for one with the feeling that a certain role was perfect for you? Almost as if the writer had you in mind when he wrote it? The more comfortable we feel portraying certain roles the better we do in auditions, on the set and on the stage. The larger our range as actors the larger variety of roles we feel comfortable playing.

Stretch Work focuses on expanding your range as an actor. The actor and the teacher first agree on what areas of their work the student is weak. All actors have natural strengths and weaknesses. Through very highly structured improvisational work the teacher focuses the actor on his or her own problem areas. Through this work, over time, the weaknesses themselves become strengths, enabling the actor to approach their work with more confidence and to become more fully rounded as a performer. It is a profoundly effective way to continue growing as an actor. Our classes are a safe way to explore the roles you may have shied away from without any negatives repercussions.

To find out more about Stretch Work, please read this interview with Richard Seyd featured in Backstage West: Stretch Work: An Interview with Richard Seyd.

About Auditioning

We know that in order to succeed great actors must not only be great in class, but on the set and in the audition. When working on audition skills, the classes focus on finding and preparing monologues that show your full range, cold readings, rules for how to control your own audition and be as comfortable and confident as possible. Time is given (during the ongoing classes) for students who would like to spend class time preparing for upcoming auditions. Time will also periodically be spent discussing how to behave on set and in rehearsal as well as how to develop a marketing strategy for yourself as an actor (dealing with casting directors, agents, photos, resumes, etc).

To find out more about Audition Technique, please read this article written by Richard Seyd and Bobby Weinapple for Callboard Magazine: Auditioning: Prepared Readings and Controlling the Time.

About Voicework

What is Fitzmaurice Voicework? 

Fitzmaurice Voicework combines classical voice training for the theatre with adaptations of several body-based disciplines including yoga, bioenergetics, and shiatsu. The first phase, called Destructuring, opens the breathing (the energy for voice) and reduces bodily tension, which masks and limits the full range and expressiveness of the voice. The actor becomes aware of vibration throughout the body and deepens the connection of the voice to spontaneous impulse. The second phase, called Restructuring, develops support and focus for the voice so that actors can share themselves fully, without straining with other actor and with audience large and small.

Where is Fitzmaurice Voicework taught? 

Fitzmaurice Voicework is taught in the MFA Acting programs at Yale and Harvard Universities, at the American Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre, at NYU studios and in many other training programs throughout the world.

Who is the founder of Fitzmaurice Voicework? 

Catherine Fitzmaurice studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England where she was a scholarship holder and prizewinner. During the last thirty-five years, she has adapted body-based disciplines (yoga etc.) for voice training and combined with classical techniques to form Fitzmaurice Voicework. Now based in New York, she has thought voice all over the world, including Julliard, Yale, Harvard, NYU, The Central School of Speech and Drama, and the Moscow Art Theatre. Ms. Fitzmaurice is currently writing a book about her work.

Testimonials

"Richard Seyd knows what he’s doing. Like the best of his British counterparts, his tips, approaches and directions push the actor’s character development always in the service of the script. He’s the perfect antidote to indulgence and lack of discipline while being warm, perceptive and very funny. You cannot do better."

Peter Coyote
Erin Brockovich, Jagged Edge, Brothers and Sisters


"Richard’s unique approach has changed me, changed the way I act. He’s been instrumental in the development of my film career, becoming a series-regular and booking frequent guest star roles. His audition approach is a sweet science that is actually fun to use."

Amir Talai
Bosch, Marriage Story, American Horror Story, Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Modern Family


"Working with Richard completely changed the way I approach acting. In all honesty, he made me a true actor. Through his classes and working with his Trigger Approach, Richard has helped me find my own method that allows me to listen, react and relax in the moment - simple but often elusive tasks. His insightful critiques and illuminating Stretch Work have proven invaluable to my continuing career as an actor."

Lorenzo Pisoni
The Good Wife, Last Dance (Broadway), Henry IV (Lincoln Center), Much Ado About Nothing (New York Shakespeare Festival)


"Richard knows very quickly, usually in a class or two, where you typically go in a scene and what you run from. My acting has improved greatly as well as my business sense of the industry and how things work in Hollywood. I am a current student and plan on continuing my study at Seydways Acting Studios as long as I'm acting."

Douglas Olsson
NCIS, MacGyver, L.A. Rush, Painkiller, Dam California, Blade Warrior II


"Richard's class is the best class I've had in Los Angeles in over 18 years of being a professional actor. Tailored to the individual in every aspect, Richard covers everything from auditions, to scene study, to his crucial and revelatory Stretch Work. Simply, there's no one better than Richard."

Ted Mattison
American Horror Story, Weeds, CSI


"Richard’s overriding interest as a teacher is furthering each individual student’s goals and he uses all his considerable intellect, intuition, experience, acting talent, and vast knowledge of theater in support of that purpose. There’s no frustration about working or not because everyone works every class."

Deborah Geffner
All That Jazz, A Chorus Line (Broadway), Grey’s Anatomy


"I find that what makes Richard Seyd truly great lies not only in what he does, but what he does NOT do. He doesn't talk down to you, or create an atmosphere of co-dependence - you are forced to take responsibility for your own career. He isn't there to scold you or create a parent/child relationship. He challenges you without pressuring you."

Hugo P. Martin
Glass, Westworld, I Am The Night, Real Husbands of Hollywood, Project Greenlight


"I have been studying with Richard Seyd for the last year and a half, and his techniques have revolutionized my acting. From booking more jobs to digging deeper as an actor, I've discovered a new and trustworthy way to absorb lines; I've expanded my range, and I've developed a way of approaching auditions that really works. Richard is also one of the most deeply intuitive, sensitive, and kind teachers I've met."

Christa Martin
Industrials for Cisco, Intel, Apple and more. Hotline (Short with Camryn Manheim) and 20 other independent films