Teaching Philosophy

"Richard Zavaglia's talent as an actor and teacher is only exceeded by his excellence at being a human being. Any student would be lucky to have him as a teacher."


- Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds, Godfather III)



"I have had the pleasure of working with and knowing Richard Zavaglia. I know that his experience and enthusiasm will be a benefit to anyone who chooses the path of the artist and has the opportunity to work with him"  


- Lou Diamond Phillips (Numb3rs, Longmire)


"Richard Zavaglia, who remains one of the treasured few since we met and worked together some 20 years ago, is as accomplished and distinguished a creative force as I have met in my travels."


- Ron Perlman (American Dad!, Sons of Anarchy)




Working with Richie (Zee) is like unearthing your own personal treasure trove. The exhilaration of discovering creative gems that you didn't realize were there, just waiting to be claimed.  He has crafted a wonderful life, working on Broadway, in TV and Film.  He shares all that experience with his students.  His enthusiasm for acting is infectious; work with him, and you'll catch it, but be warned... there's no antidote.


  Richie and I came from similar hard-working class backgrounds, neither of us looking like likely candidates for the limelight.  However he made a great life of it, and I am now working in commercials, on TV and recently in my first Hollywood movie, Pain and Gain, directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg, Ed Harris, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Tony Shalhoub, Bar Paly and many more.  I'm living the dream.  Thank you, Richie, from the bottom of my heart."


- Richard Haylor (Burn Notice, The Glades, Pain and Gain)



"Richie Zavaglia, a teacher and a mentor who has not only taught me the true art of acting but has taught me to discover and develop my talents as a true artist to utilize throughout my life. He brings out the best in every individual with passion, expression, motivation, positivity, grace, integrity, and compassion. His experience and ability to perform as a coach, director and producer has made a strong and positive impact in in my career to get the results needed. He has taught me to be what I choose to be and beyond."


- Michiko Ssaki  - (Broadway tour, White Collar, General Hospital)



"Richard Zavaglia loves the craft and the art of teaching it.  He inspired me to get back into acting and was instrumental in the development of my skills that helped me land national movie and TV roles."


- Peter Marzill (Burn Notice, House of Bodies)



“I worked with my good friend Richard in two plays.  He's a complete professional, and one of the best teachers in our business.  He's also a great soul.  He helped make me a more giving actor... and man.”


- George Solomon (Darkness Before Dawn, Married with Children)



“Richie was responsible for bringing me to the next level as an actor.  After years of working in community theatre, Richie’s classes gave me the skills and, most importantly, the confidence I needed to become a professional actor.  In my first year, I booked a speaking part on The Glades on A&E and two professional stage roles.  I recommend Richie Z.’s classes to anyone who wishes to pursue acting professionally.”


- Michael Beecher (The Glades, 12 Angry Men)



" When we actors venture into this crazy craft, we can only hope to find great and inspirational teachers along the path to success. For me, that instructor is Richard Zavaglia. As a world-class actor Richie knows the process well. He’s been where you’ve been and knows what it takes to get ahead. As a veteran director he can deftly digest a script and guide you through its mighty secrets in a way that makes perfect sense. As a result, his lessons take you to places that not only fill your head, but touch your heart."


- Todd Caster (10+ published plays ie: Dream a Little Dream of Me)

   I have a very simple approach to teaching acting.  Theatre and movies are not real.  They are an illusion of reality.  The actors are in the make BELIEVE business.  In order for an audience to suspend disbelief, they have to forget they are watching actors and believe that they have become the characters they are playing.  That's the actor's job.  My teaching is about how to do that with craft and passion.


   Actors take somebody else's words and thoughts, and make them their own.  It all starts with the script. Actors are interpretive creative artists.  They fulfill the writers' intentions.  I was trained to respect good writing and serve the text.  You have to know how to identify CONFLICT and it must be in every scene or you have no drama or comedy.  


   Acting is a craft and just like in any other craft you need TOOLS.  An actor's tools are a vivid imagination and courage.  You must be able to define and handle TEXT & LANGUAGE.  You need to be fearless, you need the ability to access true emotion and you need to understand that getting to a performance is a process.  I try very hard to create a space of TRUST and to get you out of your actor comfort zone where you can be brilliant or you can fail and fall on your face, and you can risk being BOLD.  


   I believe acting is an honorable profession.  You will become a better human being and you will learn a lot about yourself.  In my over 45 years in the acting profession I have helped a lot of actors get jobs and more importantly, be good people through acting.



"Richard has helped me understand and break down a script like I wasn't able to before.  His interpretation of dialogue and instincts in a script uncovers subtext.  If you know anything or nothing about acting he'll help you know more and be a better version of what you are."


- Elvire Emanuelle (HITS, Rock of Ages, Eclipsed)

broadway-sign PB068657



1 Hour Session: $75        .        2 Hour Session $125

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