Backstage award winner for favorite audition teacher, Craig Wallace created ‘The Wallace Audition Technique’ 17 years ago to give actors the skills and confidence to be at their job getting best in every audition.
Before he began teaching Craig held a variety of positions in the entertainment industry. The knowledge and experience he gained from each of these jobs became the cornerstone of The Wallace Audition Technique.
As a development executive at both United Artists and Universal Studios, Craig read and analyzed thousands of film and television scripts, developing and honing the ability to breakdown scripts and scenes quickly and creatively. During his tenure as Director of New Talent Development at Quantum Media, Craig saw again and again what separated the actors whose talent, skill and charisma made them undeniable from the rest of the pack.
It was while working at one of the top talent agencies in Los Angeles that Craig started to think about teaching. He saw how important it was for actors to have a strong and dependable technique to guide them through the entire audition process and felt that he had the hands on industry experience that could create just that technique. So, drawing on his work in script development, talent development, his time at the agency, and with additional input from his casting, producing and agent friends, The Wallace Audition Technique was born.
Chief among the guiding principles of The Wallace Audition Technique is Craig’s commitment to personal attention.
He knew from the start that in order for his technique to work for each individual, he would have to keep his classes small so he had the time to tailor his teaching to the specific needs of each student. His first class consisted of nine actors, and since then he has never taken more students than that in any of his classes.
Fifteen years later, over a thousand actors have taken Wallace Audition Technique classes and many have gone on to highly successful careers in TV, film and commercials.
The classes have grown in scope and depth over the years. There are now three different levels of classes that are offered, as well as a meditation for actor’s class. Craig has also incorporated his “Actors Emotional Survival Guide,” and “Acting 24/7” programs into the different levels of classes to address the entire life of the actor, and is using his mindfulness breathing and concentration techniques to increase focus and decrease nerves.
Craig has also recently created a text based scene study class that is revolutionizing how acting classes are taught and is finally getting L.A. actors up to speed so that they can compete in the global market.
Craig has become a sought after lecturer and has done talks and workshops at numerous universities, bookstores and actor’s organizations around the world. He has also coached people from a wide variety of professions on how to improve their public speaking and presentation skills.
He is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “The Best of You – Winning Auditions Your Way.”
“In 2015 Craig created the Dynamic Being Curriculum to ensure that today’s auditioning actor has all the tools they need book the job in the most competitive and creatively rich casting environment ever.”
Meet Craig Wallace of Wallace Audition Technique in Santa Monica
Meet Craig Wallace of Wallace Audition Technique in Santa Monica
Today we’d like to introduce you to Craig Wallace.
Craig, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
“I began teaching audition technique 22 years ago. I was a talent agent at the time and had had jobs in the entertainment industry that included Director of Creative Affairs at United Artists and Head of New talent Development with Quantum Media at Universal Studios. I had also gone back to school in my early thirties and came out with a degree in psychology.
After about three years as an agent, I was asked to give a Q&A talk at UCLA. It was a two hour talk that went over four! It was the first time that I saw how much I could help artists with my experience and it was the night I realized that I was meant to be a teacher.
I knew that to do this, I was going to have to leave the security of the agency and go out on my own. It was a little scary but also thrilling. I had always been frustrated working in corporate structures – the endless talk and no action, politics and so many meetings! This was my chance to do things my way – to put up or shut up and I reveled in it.
I made the decision from day one to be a solopreneur. This was a harder route but I didn’t want any distractions and didn’t want anyone else between me and my students. I have kept it this way for all 22 years. I love hard work and consider it an honor to be doing something that I am so passionate about and feel that it makes me a better, more involved teacher to be in charge of all parts of the business.”
I am often asked how I have been able to survive and thrive for so long in a highly competitive field. The answer is that I love teaching more than anything else in my life. and I work harder than anyone else does. I know that every actor that I teach is unique and needs to be addressed as an individual… I care deeply about each and every student who takes my class. The Wallace Audition Technique is not a factory and I have no interest in taking advantage of the inherent vulnerabilities of the artist. I have never taken more than nine students in a class and I never will. The art of auditioning is not the same for everyone and with a maximum of nine students, I can keep an eye on each person and teach to the needs of the individual.
I knew that if I held to this ethos that I would never be rich! But teaching has never been about the money. The feeling that I get from running a business based on generosity, compassion and professionalism is more rewarding than money can ever be. Not to mention the feeling when someone books a job – which I am happy to say has happened over 1200 times on my teaching career thus far.
Casting has changed so much in the time I’ve been teaching and it continues to evolve as the industry continues to grow and change. To that end, I am a casting consultant and set coach at a major studio. This work is a great way for me to stay current and to give my students cutting edge information and techniques.”
Has it been a smooth road?
“The road has been a combination of surfaces! I tell my students that a great audition is the perfect balance between preparedness and flexibility and I think it’s the same in life. I have taught through numerous strikes, fires, economic collapse and now a pandemic. These haven’t been smooth times, not a lot of money coming into the business and loads of uncertainty, but they have taught me so much about the importance of creativity and staying fluid. These times have also tested my commitment to what I do and that has never wavered. Tests can be great teachers as well as markers of personal and professional growth.”
We’d love to hear more about your business.
“The Wallace Audition Technique is one of the premier acting classes in LA. I have used my extensive industry experience and years of working with artists to create a technique that has helped actors book over 1200 professional jobs.
I am most proud of always keeping the classes small and taking care of the needs of each student. It’s a labor-intensive way to work, but I don’t think there are any shortcuts to greatness. I am proud to have done this all my way. I have had to shut out a lot of other voices – most of which were telling me how to work less and make more money. And I am proud to still be around and relevant after 22 years!
I have never wavered from teaching and running my business with compassion, empathy and professionalism and putting the individual first. I am not, and never will be a factory. This is my reputation and I couldn’t be happier that that is the case.”
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
“Los Angeles is a great place to start a career in acting. The community out here is deep. There is a lot of support and it’s a good place to learn the ropes and get started. Even though there are a lot of auditions happening online, when you’re starting out, casting people, producers, etc. need to meet you. That won’t change – and this is predominantly where they are.”
Read more at VoyageLA.com