The Art of Acting since 1961


(Jean) Shelton and the Studios was responsible for much of my development as an actor.” – Danny Glover, Actor Alumni, 1970s

It had been several years after I’d written “Ghost World” where we were trying to get it “Greenlit”. I decided it might be a good idea , while waiting, to learn something about how to talk to actors (since up until then I’d only done Documentaries). Francis (Coppola) told me he’d sat in on Jean’s classes to ‘brush up’ now and then. I figured if it was good enough for Francis, it was good enough for me. So I went and asked Jean if I could sit in the back and watch some of her classes, and she was kind enough let me do so. I think that helped me quite a bit in figuring out how to direct actors for my first film.”

– Terry Zwigoff, Filmmaker Alumni, 2000s

Jean Shelton is a glorious acting teacher.”

– Harold Clurman, Guest Faculty

Jean and Bob have created a serious place for actors on the west coast.”

– Stella Adler, Guest Faculty

If you care anything about my work, go see Ms. Shelton perform.”

– Horton Foote, Author

Shelton Studios is a studio committed to the artistic development of their students, where they are taught to follow their vision with integrity and passion. In my work as a Documentary Filmmaker I feel that my experience at the studio has been not only helpful, but inspiring.”

– Lourdes Portillo, Filmmaker Alumni, 2007

I am so grateful to have discovered Shelton Studios. Unlike others, their focus is on the artistic craft of acting as a means to serve humanity through the truthful telling of its stories. Something inspires or stirs me in every class. Beginning on a whim, I’m now a dedicated student, owed largely to the passionate teachers and the effective methods they suggest. I couldn’t recommend them more highly.”

– Arif Husain, Actor Film Actor, Program 2009

Jean Shelton is one of the great teachers; she puts her heart and soul into every class, and what a big heart and soul it is.”

– Rob Epstein, Director Alumni 1980s

For eighteen months before directing my first feature film, Thousand Pieces of Gold, I studied with Jean Shelton, who wove me, the lone student director, into her classes for student actors. I learned so much from Jean and from those actors – about how to communicate with actors, how to break down a script, and most of all, how to love the process of directing actors. With Jean and her acting students, I built a foundation that I use to this day.

– Nancy Kelly, Producer Director, Alumni 1990s

I come from an artistic family – my mom is a stage director and my dad is a poet and a writer. Since I was a kid I remember being involved into one or another art’s event, music concert, choir, and other things of that nature. But, unfortunately, as it usually happens, life took a different course, and I became an engineer rather than an actor. Professional and every day “swamp” alienated me from acting and theater….

Although, the passion kept boiling in my heart it didn’t have enough courage to come out to the surface. A very well developed over years “overcoat” was too thick, sort of a Chekhov’s syndrome of a “Man in the case”….we all start living in a shell….

And, one day, through a friend of mine, an actor, I heard about Shelton Studios acting school and theater. My friend, thank God, happened to be very adamant and insisted that I sign up with a class. I was very reluctant and scared…. but, he made me do it. I am so grateful it happened!

The Shelton Studios School turned my life upside down. It returned me back to my teen and childhood years of living in arts. I met wonderful and amazing people: Jean Shelton, Matthew Shelton, Julie Dimas-Lockfeld, Luis Saguar, Luis Oropeza, Ben Galland, Ben Gilbert, Joe Graham, Felecia Faulkner, J.E. Freeman, all of who not just helped me crack the “shell of fear”, but taught me many brilliant things.

The studios philosophy follows from teachers Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman and many of the New York contemporaries during the birth of the American Method style of acting which originated from Stanislavsky. Their craft is focused on truth and an adept ability to communicate the human condition.

The classes at school are designed for different levels and skills. You are free to choose. All the teachers are extremely nice, with great positive energy. You immediately become friends with everyone, which helps a lot in the studying process…..helps breaking that first inhibition and shyness….. worst actor’s enemies….

Besides, fantastically designed classes, you can participate in various workshops: stage and film. That helps merge and solidify theory and practice.

The stage workshops are fully directed plays and run as professional projects. Same with film projects. On top of improving your acting you get to learn different nuances and importance of “behind the scene” life: sound, lighting, sets, costumes, etc.

Going to the Shelton’s will make you go back to your book reading, need to explore museums, exhibitions, going to theaters more and with different look at it, you’ll start watching movies from a different angle, with a different perspective – all these are essential sources of creativity absolutely necessary for any actor or a director.

The biggest thing that Shelton Studios taught me was self-confidence.

To me it was the biggest stumbling stone. I was terrified about even an idea of going and auditioning anywhere…. not anymore!

I am so grateful and thankful to everyone at the Studios, to all the teachers, students and audience that come to every performance and support you. I’ve met so many friends!

So, throw your iPhones away and come try Shelton Studios – you will not be disappointed! I guarantee it!

–Artem Mishin, Actor Alumni, 2008

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