The Art and Business of Acting


by 
Matthew Arkin
 | Apr 22, 2019
Matthew Arkin with students

Acting Intensive Director Matthew Arkin works on a scene with students.

About Matthew Arkin

Arkin's Broadway credits include the revival of Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, as well as Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor (also national tour). He has numerous ​off-Broadway and regional credits including his Drama Desk-nominated performance as Gabe in Donald Margulies’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Dinner with Friends and he received acclaim for his portrayal of the 600-pound Charlie in ​South Coast Repertory's ​west ​coast premiere of Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale, one of his many appearances ​here. His films include indies Second Best and Raising Flagg, as well as Death to Smoochy, Liar, Liar, North and An Unmarried Woman. ​Arkin's television appearances include recurring roles on “Rescue Me,” “100 Centre Street,” “Third Watch” and “All My Children,” and guest spots on “Aquarius,” “NCIS,” and “Switched at Birth” He is an adjunct professor at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University, has taught ​technique and ​scene ​study at New York’s world-renowned HB Studio and now teaches privately in Los Angeles. He studied technique, scene study and Shakespeare with Uta Hagen and studied with Austin Pendleton and Sheldon Patinkin.

South Coast Repertory's Acting Intensive Program (AIP) is a nationally renowned seven-week summer program for serious acting students, ages 18 and over. This year, AIP takes place from June 3-July 20, ​with entry to this program by audition only. Here, Program Director Matthew Arkin writes about what students can expect in this distinctive, summer acting program.

The goal of the Acting Intensive Program is twofold: We focus on both the art and the business of acting. First, we aim to engender in the individual knowledge of themselves and their abilities that will to guide them as they build a solid identity as an actor engaged in a lifelong quest to refine and sharpen their own craft. Second, we give participants solid technique, as well as information about the realities and practicalities involved in the pursuit of a viable living as an actor.

I come to my work as an instructor from the standpoint of a working professional. My initial relationship with SCR was as an actor, 10 years ago. After performing in my second show here in 2012, I began teaching in the adult education program. Now, with six main stage productions under my belt, along with countless readings and workshops, I am entering my fifth year as program director. So, although I have been teaching acting and film for many years, my approach is to convey to students what I know works out in the real world, not theory that has gone stale from too much time in the classroom. This commitment extends to the selection of the other core faculty members as well, which is where the true strength of the AIP resides.

In addition to the core curriculum, the AIP is augmented by extraordinary guest teachers and lecturers, all of whom are currently working in the industry as actors, directors, producers or show runners. Because of this extensive experience, participants will be getting priceless insider advice. AIP students will thrive for seven weeks inside a caring, vibrant community at one of the nation’s leading breeding grounds for new play development, and leave with a toolbox full of creative knowledge and technique, revitalized and ready to take their next steps down their career path.

Learn more about the Acting Intensive Program and how to apply.