29 Years of Coaching Actors to Success!
Diane Christiansen has been voted THE BEST acting class for Kids & best acting class for Teens in Los Angeles 2 years in a row by the Backstage West Readers’ Choice Awards.
We put the actor first.
For Diane and Tess, there is no greater joy than seeing our students succeed as actors. This is why we are dedicated to each and every student having a profound, unique, and uplifting experience at our acting school. Whether you are brand new to acting or experienced, Diane and her instructors are committed to creating a safe and inspiring environment for all…from 3 years-old and up.
About our Studio
Our school, reputation, and list of student bookings has grown immensely since Diane held her very first acting class for adults in 1992.
We know what it’s like to be in your position. . . to be an actor just starting out or moving to L.A. from your home, being the parent to a young child who has a dream, being a kid, teen, and adult going to audition after audition waiting for your opportunity to show what you can do, the joy of a booking and the disappointment of rejection.
We know because we too have personally been there – with Diane moving to Los Angeles from out-of-state and Tess beginning her professional career at a young age.
Our family business is our life’s passion and every student, new or old, is apart of that family.
Named one of the Top 3 Acting Coaches in Hollywood by the Young Presidents Organization in New York City
Actors Access voted Diane One of the Top 10 most effective Coaches in Hollywood for 3 years in a row
Diane was selected to appear as the personal Acting Coach on the Reality TV shows: “FAKING IT” and Danny Bonaduce’s “MY KID’S A STAR” on VH1
Diane Christiansen began coaching actors in 1992. Her career as an actress, coach, director, dancer and author spans four decades.
Diane has a passion for both acting and directing. She has had the pleasure of being a Guest Director at CAL ARTS where she directed the acclaimed play, PRIVATE WARS. Before that, she founded and ran her own theatre company, Rainbow Theatre Guild, for 7 years in which time she produced, directed, and starred in several plays spanning from PETER PAN to STEPPIN’ OUT.
A graduate of the Strasberg Institute; she was mentored by Academy Award nominee Sally Kirkland and the late Joseph Bernard.
She has appeared with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in NYC, danced with Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas and on NBC TV specials, she has been featured on the Merv Griffin Show and hit TV series “Vegas.” As a TV & Film actress she worked with Angelina Jolie, Adam West, Orson Welles, Corey Feldman, Stacy Keach, Pia Zadora, Ann Margaret, Jon Voight, Dom DeLouise, Robert Urich, Billy Zane, Fred Durst and Joan Rivers.
Diane is an acting coach with her finger on the pulse of the Entertainment Industry, working very closely with many of LA’s most acclaimed agents, managers, and casting directors.
A positive and hands-on teaching technique has led to 90% of our student roster booking repeatedly and consistently
Many of the actors we have trained are series regulars on TV SHOWS such as:
Liv and Maddie
Wizards of Waverley Place
Better Call Saul
Law & Order
Six Feet Under
Malcolm in the Middle
DISNEY’S Little House on the Prairie
My Name Is Earl
Phil of the Future
Cory in the House
Without A Trace
Days of Our Lives
The Young and the Restless
Our students have appeared in FEATURE FILMS such as:
Romeo and Juliet (2014)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Heartbreak Kid
Cat In The Hat
Starsky and Hutch
The Amityville Terror
Most Likely to…Die
13 Going On 30
You Got Served
was nominated for an
for her break-out role in "True Grit"
Our actors can be seen featured in 100′s of National Commercials!
They have received awards from:
Diane and Tess are committed to making a difference with every actor they coach!
“Passing on this rich tradition has brought even more joy to my life than performing.”
- Diane C.
Tess Christiansen brings more than 20 years of training, 17 years of professional credits as a child actor in Hollywood, 5 years of teaching, plus tons of heart to her classes.
Having studied at the Diane Christiansen Studios her entire life, she knows what it’s like to train, build confidence and have a lot of fun within the structure of a set, theater or class. Tess has also studied and performed Improv at the prestigious Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, which was founded by SNL alum Amy Poehler. Most recently, Tess can be seen in the lead role of Jade in the Mar Vista feature Most Likely to Die, released to theaters in May 2016. She has appeared in print campaigns for major companies such as Mattel and Harley Davidson and a multimedia campaign for Proctor and Gamble. Other credits include: Commercials for Disney and Universal Studios, over a dozen Commercial and Voiceover credits, and a recent co-star appearance on the CW’s 90210. Tess has had the privilege of working with A-List directors like Jerry Zucker and Fred Durst and celebrities such as Billy Zane, Shia LaBeouf, and Dev to name a few. She is currently one of the stars of the very popular webseries Assist Me on YouTube and is the current spokes model for BOD Men’s Fragrance.
Instructor Tess Christiansen will open up your creativity and give you the tools to deliver your best commercial auditions. Tess has appeared in dozens of commercials throughout her career as both a child and adult actor, including Disney Channel, Universal Studios, Bod Man Fragrance, Harley Davidson, iMac, MGA toys, Mattel and numerous PSA’s (to name a few). She really has her finger on the pulse of the commercial world and her student bookings are weekly.
This may be a business, but we don’t want it to feel like it.
Our commitment to actors stretches far beyond collecting tuition, it always has.
We know what it’s like to be in your position. . . to be an actor just starting out or moving to L.A. from your home, being the parent to a young child who has a dream, being a kid, teen, and adult going to audition after audition waiting for your opportunity to show what you can do, the joy of a booking and the disappointment of rejection. We know because we too have personally been there – with Diane moving to Los Angeles from out-of-state to Tess beginning her professional career at a very young age. Our family business is our life’s passion and every student, new or old, is apart of that family.
We put the actor first.
If you don’t show up for practice, you can’t win the game.
We believe that there is no “end goal” when it comes to actors training. If an actor is not in a regular class, constantly growing and practicing their craft, it is going to be very difficult to show up to auditions and expect to book. Even the biggest names in the business still work with coaches! This is why all of our scene study classes are on-going. There is no start or end date. You can join any time as long as space is available or sign up for session after session consecutively.
If your goal is to book more television, including a series pilot, set up a plan of action that will add value to your skills in that market.
1. Practice Acting skills need to be practiced every day ⇒ 15 minutes of practicing cold reading will keep you sharp. If your cold reading isn’t the best, practice for AN HOUR PER DAY until it becomes as effortless as breathing. In classes and private lessons, we give students different tips and techniques to help them with every aspect of preparation.
2. ‘Break Down’ Scripts Dissect several new scenes every week in order to understand the rhythms of the speech, subtext, jokes, etc. Finding new and relevant sides online for practice is a piece of cake.
3. Pace TV IS FAST – Speed up your speech patterns. It won’t help an Actor to practice their scenes at a SLOW pace because the shows are actually performed at a RAPID pace.
4. Workshops & Showcasing If you aren’t taking workshops every chance you get, then you aren’t building your knowledge and information base within the industry. So much of what you learn is unique to a show, a network, a production company, or a producer/writer. The more knowledge you have, the more effective you are at using your skills. Plus – WORKSHOPS keep your cold reading skills sharp when you are under the practiced eye of a BUSY Coach. Check out our monthly casting director workshop for actors of all ages, HERE
5. STAY BUSY Drop off your head shots/resumes and postcards at key casting offices so you are constantly reminding the industry of WHO YOU ARE! Mail out Postcards of your successes. Make sure you have a good reason to send a postcard… Such as a booking, a play, an airing, a new agent, a premiere, or some other relevant update that says I’M BUSY and WORKING and IN DEMAND! Postcards without a purpose are a waste of time & overlooked.
6. Do Your Research It is your job as an actor or parent of a young actor to research the Industry, agents, managers, casting directors, auditions, etc. There are many helpful websites with incredible articles, insider tips, help for parents, and much more. Also – ask questions. That’s something your coach is there for; to answer the specific questions that may arise.
That’s enough to think about for now…
See you in class! -Diane & Tess
“Diane Christiansen is a resource, a teacher, and a friend to everyone with whom she works. Her holistic techniques leave the student not only a better actor, but a better person as well. I have seen students enter her class scattered and leave focused, poised, and enthusiastic about the industry.” — Rachel Galvin, Talent Manager/The ESI Network
“Thanks for a wonderful experience that Alianna truly enjoyed. She loves sharing her passion for acting with you and feels she progresses in her craft each time she steps into your class. Alianna leaves your Next Generation class beaming with positive energy and excitement. We can’t thank you enough!” –Alicia Medlen, Parent
“I took a private lesson with you and worked on the Francis Coppola sides. I had what i considered one of my best auditions thanks to you…You brought so much clarity and excitement to the piece; I had such a wonderful time working one on one with you. I’m moving to Los Angeles in June, and cannot wait to start attending your classes!” –Lauren Analla, Actress “Diane Christiansen has been my daughter’s acting coach for many years now. I trust in Diane’s abilities and her honesty toward performers. I am frequently recommending her to people who are interested in the business from beginners to seasoned veterans. She has won many awards and has the life experiences that she brings together with her integrity and character to provide a wonderful service to actors of all ages! Whether you have Diane on your team as a permanent coach or you stop in for the occasional coaching tidbits, she will prepare you for anything you may face in your acting career!” –– Sherri Hill, Parent
“Since starting Diane’s classes a year ago, I have booked several National commercials and have gotten called back for at least 90% of my theatrical auditions. Being new to the industry, I didn’t really understand a lot of things about acting. But, Diane’s classes have me excited every week to see what the new adventure will be . . . and the on camera experience is way cool.” — Chaz James (13), “Drink Sunny D
”“Diane Christiansen is a wonderful coach. She has a masterful way of communicating with actors that makes the difference in getting both callbacks and increasing our bookings!!” — Nelson Parks, CEO/The ESI Network