Testimonials

What actors are saying about The Actors Workout:

“Raye Birk’s Actors Workout is exactly what I needed. As a professional actor I needed a space to come to keep my chops up and continue to learn my craft with the schedule flexibility to accommodate the hectic, last minute bookings that can make it difficult for me to attend a “class.” At The Workout I’m in a safe place, learning and working with my peers in the industry, asking questions, making mistakes, and taking chances.  Raye embodies the consummate actor who is curious, humble, dedicated and professional.”

-Charles Hubbell


 

“Raye’s insightful observations and timely challenges helped me identify a major block to finding joy and freedom in my acting.   Through his feedback I have begun to use my imagination and intuition much more to create grounded yet unpredictable performances.  He’s the best!”

-Kurt Schweikhardt


“Having taken The Actors Workout with Raye Birk for the past year, I can truly say that this is the most valuable acting class I have taken.  Raye works with actors in a very individual way; he was able to help me with my own personal struggle with blocking my energy and to give me concrete tools to use to work through that tendency.  I notice an improvement in my own work, and others outside the class have also commented on the improvement.  I highly recommend The Actors Workout for anyone looking to improve their acting skills”.

Billie Jo Konze


“I came to TAW not as an actor but as a writer and director. I wanted my work to have a deeper foundation in the lives of its characters.  I wanted to write from the truth of a lived, honest, human experience. I love TAW because it is a place where vagaries and generalizations don’t cut it. The standards are high, as they should be. The class pushes me to turn over every rock, to look into every corner of my character’s mind because, simply, that’s what quality demands.  Raye is a wonderfully sensitive and lucid teacher who sees deeply into your work and entices you to find a fuller understanding of the material and inevitably of yourself.  As serious as the class is, it is also a tremendously fun, supportive and welcoming environment.”

-John Cromwell


“Before taking The Actor’s Workout, I was beginning to feel like the queen-of-the-callbacks. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride…always the runner-up but never able to snag those roles that I so wanted and felt that I deserved after years of slogging it out in the chorus. I knew why. I had been a professional dancer, a professional singer, but my acting skills were sorely lacking. I felt scared, and unsure.  Zero confidence and no skills to fall back on.  Taking Raye’s class has made all the difference in how I approach those dreaded readings. Learning these skills and gaining confidence through my own scene work, as well as watching the other actors has made me realize that we must continue to study if we want to continue getting cast.  The environment is safe and non-judgmental and I can finally say…no longer the bridesmaid. Thanks to Raye. His class ROCKS!”

-Betti Battoclett


“I feel very strongly that The Actors Workout has improved my acting greatly.  By coming to class on a regular basis and putting up a number of scenes, I’ve been able, using Raye’s critique, to work more deeply and more effectively in many different aspects of my dramatic performance.   I’ll give a few examples.  1) Raye has helped me understand how the actor’s physical environment has an impact on his belief in his character, and vice versa.   I’ve begun putting more thought into details of physical environment that have helped me to more fully immerse myself in the world of the character, and thereby to strengthen my belief in my character’s actions.         2) Raye has helped me to unearth more ‘emotional rise-ability’, and thereby to more fully connect with the emotional trajectory of my characters.  I’ve also learned to be comfortable taking more time on stage in order to fully experience the fullness of particular emotions (whereas I used to have a tendency to rush).  This has been particularly helpful.  3) Perhaps most important for me is an improved ability to track the emotional contours of a scene.  I feel I now have more tools to ask the important questions about the moment-to-moment emotional interactions between characters.  This has greatly improved my confidence in exploring scenes with scene partners.”

-Corby Kelly


“I have watched Raye stretch fellow classmates from adequate performances to very touching, brilliant work. Although it is a group class, Raye continues to encourage and develop each actor’s personal growth and development, with warmth and respect.”

Chari Eckmann


“Great acting—like any art form—isn’t a static state or a height that is reached once and for all and after which no more action is required. It is a lifelong journey comprised of steps forward, wisdom gained—depth experienced.  The Actors Workout supports the actor in that journey propelling him/her upward faster and higher than thought possible.  Thanks to Raye’s experience, master’s skills, and his incredible love and compassion for the individual actor, my growth in this class has been profound.  It has been one of the greatest gifts of my life, and for the dedicated, I think you’ll find it one of the greatest of yours as well.”

-Shawn Boyd


“Why I have valued The Actors Workout:  After 25 years in the theatre I married and stopped acting to raise a child, but after eleven years hiatus from performing I wanted to find my way back to that part of my self again. Raye’s class has helped me begin to re-discover myself  and my actor’s ‘inner-looking‘ eye.  He takes time in his early scene-work critiques to discern actor problems and define goals for future work.  He has a way of bringing out extremely committed work from his actors.  The Actors Workout is a safe place for professional actors to get back to or continue to develop their work through scene-study and critique. The Actors Workout is not for beginners, but is a safe place for new beginnings.”

Mary Gearen


“The Actors Workout is a great place for me to explore characters I may not have the opportunity to play.  I can stretch my wings. What I take away is directly proportional to what I put in.  I can certainly learn by watching others work, but it’s up to me to prepare scene work for class.  This promotes excellent discipline and a meter for myself to know how much I really want to work.  Raye gives great constructive and firm criticism that pushes us.  He’s careful to build a safe environment where I feel comfortable to take risks and not always just ‘get it right’.”

Megan Kelly