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Baron Brown Studio – Our History

The Baron Brown Studio has been a wellspring for the theatrical casting and producing community for over forty years. The Studio continues to produce gifted actors, writers, directors, and producers who bring their training and talent to all aspects of theater, film, and television.

Joanne Baron studied under Sandy Meisner in his private class, having originally trained with renowned acting teacher, William Esper, the head teacher of Sanford Meisner’s Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City for over 14 years. William Esper eventually formed the William Esper Studio in New York City where Baron trained with him to act and subsequently trained to become an instructor. After several years teaching with Esper, she opened The Joanne Baron Studio in New York and several years later created the Baron Brown Studio in Santa Monica, California with her husband; writer/director, D.W. Brown.

Today, The Baron Brown Studio continues this legacy and is teaching the same body of work that Meisner and Esper taught: a specific training program designed to create an emotionally alive actor of depth, imagination, and truth.  All those individuals who are inspired to train at the highest level in order that they may learn a craft intended to shed light on the truth of the human condition and at the same time experience an extraordinarily nurturing creative environment are encouraged and welcome to apply.

Since

1975

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Meet the Baron Brown Team

At Baron Brown Studio we teach the original Meisner work, pure and unchanged, with two primary differences from any other studio claiming to teach the Meisner Technique. First, we keep the Bible of the Meisner work in its original integrity. The second difference is that we extensively and specifically train Baron Brown teachers to teach for several years after they train as actors, versus having students teach from memory of their work in previous acting classes. These two differences set us and our students apart from all others. Our results reflect our extraordinary standards and practices.

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Joanne Baron

Studio Founder

Joanne Baron is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Baron Brown Studio. Ms. Baron studied the Meisner Technique under Sanford Meisner and William Esper in New York, the latter who trained her as an actress and subsequently as a teacher. Ms. Baron was one of William Esper’s first teachers at his private Studio and later opened The Joanne Baron Studio in New York. Ms. Baron is also a highly regarded actress in theater, television, and film, whose credits include Spider-Man 2, Real Genius, “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Mad Men,” and the series “Love.” She has also produced several films including Perfume which she costarred in with Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Williams and Allie and Me where she played the title role opposite Lainie Kazan and Dyan Cannon.

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D.W. Brown

Co-Owner

D.W. Brown is the co-owner and head teacher of the Baron Brown Studio.  He is a writer, director and actor. Mr. Brown wrote and directed the feature film On The Inside with Nick Stahl & Olivia Wilde as well as directed several critically acclaimed short films, including Chloe with Peter Facinelli and One Clean Move with Harry Hamlin; he has also written and directed numerous theater productions, including his adaptation of Ibsen’s “Little Eyolf .” D.W. Brown has starred in such films as Fast Times at Ridgemont HighA Haunting in Connecticut; and the NBC series “Jo’s Cousin.”  He has written three books, You Can Act: A Complete Guide for Actors2500 Years of Wisdom, and his latest book, You Can Act: On Camera, all published by Michael Weise Productions (mwp.com).

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Elaine Williams

Instructor

Elaine Williams has worked in the entertainment industry for over 30 years in film/television production and development. She is an actress, coach and senior acting teacher at Baron Brown Studio.

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Tom Patton

Instructor

Tom Patton has taught for more than 25 years at Baron Brown Studio. As an actor he’s worked with everyone from Academy Award winning directors such as Francis Ford Coppola (The Outsiders), Hugh Hudson (Lost Angels), and Phil Alden Robinson (In the Mood). In addition to teaching acting he also is a graduate of the Master’s College and Seminary where he received his B.A. in Organizational Management and a M.Div. in theology.

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Lisa Milillo

Instructor

Lisa Milillo has taught at Baron Brown Studio since the mid 80’s.  She was an Executive Producer for CBS for 10 years, an on-set coach for NBC, ABC Family and numerous TV shows.

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Sharon Hogg

Instructor

Sharon Hogg has worked with the Baron Brown Studio since 1998.  She is also Assistant Director of the nonprofit organization, Kids In The Spotlight, and Co-founder of Celebrating Youth; organizations that inspire underserved youth to pursue their dreams through film media and live performance.

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David Stanley

Instructor

David Stanley graduated from Michigan State University and has been with the Baron Brown Studio since 1991. He has participated in the casting of major studio films and concept created the reality series “The Arrangement” on LOGO.

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Mary Riley

Instructor

Mary Riley is a senior teacher at the Baron Brown Studio who began her association with the studio over 30 years ago. Mary also is a director who annually works with over 100 children creating plays at the Wise School.

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Charley Boon

Instructor

Charley Boon has been with the Baron Brown Studio since the year 2000 and has instructed students both nationally and internationally. His acting career spans over 3 decades in theater, television and film.

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Michael Frederick

Alexander Instructor

Michael Frederick started teaching the Alexander Technique at the Baron Brown Studio in 1984. He originally trained as an actor at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the early 1970’s and then studied with Joanne Baron at her Los Angeles Studio in the 1980’s. He is a Master Teacher of the Alexander Technique with over 40 years of experience and a fully trained Meisner actor.

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Hollie Hunt

Instructor

Hollie Hunt received her MFA at Rutgers University where she studied the Meisner Technique under William Esper. She trained at Baron Brown Studio, was an actress, and after began her teacher training with artistic director Joanne Baron. She has been coaching and teaching classes for the last several years. Over the last 20 years in NYC and Los Angeles, favorite acting experiences include: recurring animated-voice in The H.P. Lovecraft series and Dark Adventure Radio Theatre, Tituba in Theatre Banshee’s 2012 production of The Crucible (LADCC Awards), Ensemble cast in The Public Theatre’s 2006 production of “Macbeth” starring Liev Schreiber and Sterling K. Brown.

The Meisner Technique

Sanford Meisner is one of the most important and influential acting teachers of the Twentieth Century. He defined acting as doing things truthfully under imaginary circumstances. By 1930, the most respected and influential theater company in American history formed called The Group Theater assembling such luminaries as Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Clifford Odets, Morris Carnovsky and Sanford Meisner. They were pioneers of what would become an American acting technique derived from the teachings of Russian actor and director Constantin Stanislavski. The “Stanislavski System” inspired audiences with performances of raw power, realism, and emotional truth.

Meisner developed his acting technique using Stanislavski’s method. He believed one could effectively summon up the character’s thoughts and feelings through the concentrated use of the imagination and belief in the given circumstances of the text. The Meisner technique is still world renowned for its depth, reliability and balanced approach.

Sandy Meisner taught his technique at the legendary Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City for more than 50 years. His students included Paul Newman, Robert Duvall, Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Joanne Woodward, Steve McQueen, Tom Cruise, and Sandra Bullock. Today, The Baron Brown Studio continues this legacy and is teaching the same body of work that Meisner taught: a specific training program designed to create an emotionally alive actor of depth, imagination, and truth.

Since

1940s
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