Just a few of the Alumni of CSFA’s classes and coaching:

( Also see recent STUDENT and ALUMNI SUCCESSES page)

Dan MacPherson  (2019: 2 series STRIKE BACK and BAD MOTHERS, FOX seriesAPB, the feature A WRINKLE IN TIME with director Ava DuVernay, and in a lead role in the Cinemax/Sky series Strike Back)

“It was 2012 when Caryn and I met and began working together. I had just arrived from Australia and after a successful 15 year career in TV and Film back home, looking to make what I thought would be a swift and successful transition into US industry and into my glittering Hollywood career!  READ MORE…

ALYSIA REINER   (NY Audition Intensive,  star of the indie feature EQUITY  opposite Anna Gunn, also  known as Thomas Hayden Church’s fiancee and then bride in  the film “Sideways” and soon to wrap her sixth season as a regular on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, playing FIG, the assistant warden):    

” Caryn’s was the first and BEST audition intensive I ever took. She is a genius both of technique and actor psyche and cutting through habits that hinder us. I use so many of her techniques both in auditions and on set, like today!”

Caryn, you are a consummate professional and a WOMAN with years of experience under your belt so I really connect with you. You’ve been in the audition room and know exactly what I/we are feeling/experiencing as I/we navigate being an actor in 2019.  What you taught me is where I go in my head and heart before any audition and self-taping.”  RECENT ( 2018-2019):
 Since we chatted last, I  got 4 Guest Star spots onSeason 2 of AMC The Terror Infamy,Guest Star onStrange Angeland MacGyver,and am now doing 4 Guest Star turns on Netflix series Gentrified.  I am in the feature film “Clemency”, directed by Chinonye Chukwu, that just won the Sundance Grand Jury Award Feb 2. Also shot a film called Ms. Purplewhich was a Nominee for the 2019  Sundance Grand Jury Award.

JAMES TUPPER    ( Series regular or recurring: new 2018 pilot opposite Katie Holmes, HBO’s PRETTY LITTLE LIES season 1 and 2, REVENGE, MERCY, SAMANTHA WHO?, MEN IN TREES,  GREY’S ANATOMY Film: DECODING ANNIE PARKER,  ME AND ORSON WELLES,  MR. POPPERS PENGUINS,  ) “Just wanted to send out a special thanks to you, using the work you taught has basically made me a working actor.   You are really great.  Love –  James”

MICHAEL MASINI  2018 coachings: recurring on DYNASTY/the CW) shot the Untitled Mr. Rogers/Tom Hanks Project feature, and just joined Margot Robbie and Ewan McGregor in the Warner Bros. Harley Quinn spinoff film, BIRDS OF PREY
“Caryn is the best. She coached me on the last 7 auditions (in Fall 2016), called back for all!:

2 Bookings, 3 avails, currently shooting a recurring role on the drama series John Singleton’s REBEL ( 2017) , FRESH OFF THE BOAT and currently pinned for a Sitcom.”

JIMMY O. YANG  standup comic (CRAZY RICH ASIANS lead, series regular on HBO’s SILICON VALLEY, features: Mark Walhberg’s PATRIOTS DAY ( 2017), LIFE OF THE PARTY (2018) with Melissa McCarthy)

“Caryn is truly an audition expert. She has great insights on audition techniques as well as the entertainment business as a whole, and her teachings all came from her own authentic experience in the business. Beyond the technical know how’s, Caryn also stresses on how to mentally prepare as an artist and the importance of setting goals. The class gave me the skills and confidence I needed to take my auditions to the next level. Soon after the class, I booked a great role opposite Vince Vaughn in the 2013 Shawn Levy feature THE INTERNSHIP. Thank you Caryn!”

ADRIAN MARTINEZ  (NYC actor, series regular BLACKLIST : REDEMPTION, ‘sidekick to the stars’ in ‘Focus’ (Will Smith), ‘Walter Mitty’ (Ben Stiller) and ‘Casa de mi Padre’ (Will Ferrell)  

“From beginners to veterans, Caryn helps all actors with her passion for actors— she’s a great one herself— and laser sharp insights into your work, and how to help you interpret material and nail that audition. She’s simply awesome.”

SIMONE MARIANI   “I was inspired the very first time I met Caryn, and  to have her as my audition coach. All her precious advice I keep it as a gift, and I wish many more fellow actors could have chance to work with her. Thank you Caryn coaching me on 2016’s  INFERNO, directed by Ron Howard   ( all her help on Skype by the way!) and now have shot in Budapest with Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones. Caryn West,  who else?

VICTORIA SUMMER (booked her 7th feature since April 2012 coaching with Caryn – including a lead in OUT OF THE BURNING BLUE with Chris Klein, TRANSFORMERS 4, SAVING MR BANKS )

“Caryn has the ability to quickly comprehend a scene and bring it to life. She inspires ideas and actions that would have otherwise gone untapped. I wouldn’t go anywhere else with my audition material”

KEVIN KILNER ( veteran actor, lead on 3 series, currently recurring on HOUSE OF CARDS /Netflix and HAPPYISH on Showtime)

“Run to Caryn, do not walk.  I’ve been a Professional over 30 years, studied with some gifted, excellent teachers. No one is more talented, thorough, & on the edge of what is the latest in the Industry, Social Media’s use in it, script analysis, & acting craft for the cameraNIf you are looking for the Real Deal?  It’s Caryn West.”

DAVID ALAN BASCHE  (Many top of show guest spots, series regular “The Exes”, “EGG”, “Starter Wife” opposite Debra Messing ,”Lipstick Jungle”, “Three Sisters,” “Oh Grow Up,” films include “United 93”, “War of the Worlds”, “Full Frontal” ):

“Caryn’s class changed my life: I take what she taught me into every audition, and it works over and over again, and that means: so do I !”

NECAR ZADEGAN (regular on NCIS : NoLA,  HBO’s HERE AND NOW, Bravo’s GIRLFRIENDS GUIDE TO DIVORCE, Fox’s RAKE , CW’s EMILY OWENS MD, recurred on CBS’ A GIFTED MAN and THE EVENT /NBC ,  “ 24 “finale season , BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO/Broadway)   “Caryn very quickly understands scenes and characters and where the scene should go is always supported by her keen eye for specifics. Her audition technique class is singular amidst the rest…. She is clear about why auditioning is an art unto itself and not only gives actors tools to take into the room with them but also discusses the importance of being prepared long before the audition. Under Caryn’s tutelage that I really had a chance to hone the art of specificity within my acting but also entirely within my life as an artist as well.”

TOM MENDOLA   “Many friends that saw me recently in the play “The Diary of Anne Frank” asked me where I studied. There have been several people and schools I have studied acting with. The best place I have found has been right here in LA with two wonderful coaches, Caryn West and Jessica Kubzansky. I have studied with them for the past two years. The training I did with them has been crucial to me being able to pull off the past two theater roles I performed in (“Lend Me a Tenor” and “The Diary of Anne Frank”).If you are looking for an advanced scene study class, I highly recommend them. “

JOHN P CONNOLLY (former President of AFTRA &  Exec. Director Actors Equity Association)   “To Caryn and All My CSFA Colleagues:

I’ve been a professional Actor since 1971 when I was 20 years old in 1971.  Until I became CEO of Actors’ Equity in 2007 I’d never had another job. I haven’t attended an acting class of any kind since I graduated from Theater School in 1979 … In light of this background I wanted to share with you three joys I’ve been so fortunate to experience this Fall in class working with Caryn and each of you.
FIRST:  I learned that I probably stayed away from acting classes for two reasons:
One Good Reason:  I was avoiding the host of charlatans and failed megalomaniacs out there “teaching” — more often punishing other Actors; and,
One BAD Reason:  I was probably afraid to appear that I needed class work; somehow I needed to be so good as an Actor that I didn’t need class work.
I dealt with the Good Reason by studying with a person I already knew and trusted: Ms West.  GOOD SOLUTION!  I dealt with the Bad Reason by studying with a person I already knew and trusted …and who is a WONDERFUL TEACHER !  GREAT SOLUTION! And a great joy.
SECOND:  I achieved what I hoped for in our class.  I learned a lot that I just didn’t know or understand about the evolution of how our business is conducted and the extent to which we need to take responsibility for our own careers … without resentment or feelings of victimhood.  Essentially, in a safe, supportive setting I learned that while I may miss the Old School that I thrived in, I gotta get back up on a New Horse if I want to ride.  I also profited immensely and immediately from the artistic and technical insight that Caryn brought to our audition pieces.   So much to be joyful about.
THIRD:  ….  Even though we were only together for a month … a little month … I learned big things.   
Thank you Caryn, you helped me, respected me, protected me, challenged me and led me well..” (October 2013 Audition Intensive 4 week version)                                                                               
“Did an amazing workshop with Caryn West last weekend/auditioning/goal setting/marketing /learned SO MUCH!  Inspiring and exhausting, invaluable”

DUSTYN GULLEDGE (Audition Intensive and recently on Broadway with Tom Hanks in LUCKY GUY) ”Just want to say: thank you, thank you! I booked my first costar role in LA on the HBO series Deep Tech on my second audition and I have to say the tools you shared with me, no question, is what gave me the confidence to go in and deliver. When I left audition, I was happy about the work I did, but booking the job shows that the “Caryn-isms” and the technical practicalities you provide for auditioning/acting  are really effective you know, it just works!!!! Thank you again.”

ANA MERCEDES   “The results speak for themselves! After a recent “Audition Skills” refreshing weekend in Oct ( 2013): a guest star recurring role on”Arrow”, two national commercials, two other call backs, and a pin for a heavily recurring role on a new show. Thank you Caryn, your patience and  technical know-how reminded  me that I have the skills.”


PHILIP ANTHONY-RODRIGUEZ  (The Secret Life of the American Teenager, 24, JAKE 2.0 etc) OCTOBER:  “I just scored a recurring the entire season guest star on a new FOX TV series called GANG RELATED: we didn’t work on this…but again, I have to credit you for getting me in the zone mentally with strong character choices…and physically: breathing and relaxing my uptight body! You’re in my head, young lady! ;)” JULY:”I booked a guest star (possible recurring) on ABC’s MODERN FAMILY! I’m confident in the fact that I could NOT have booked this without applying all of your wonderful tools in my producer session! The biggest one? BREATHING and using it to relax my body and help me to engage better in my scene work!  thank you!”

DENNIS DANNEL (NY Audition Intensive May 2013 ,  late Oct 2013 shooting a week on DALLAS):

“Caryn knows exactly what the camera and the Casting Director wants to see – specificity and actions.  Through her technique, she teaches us to breathe life into even the most mundane and the shortest of sides. If you want to learn what it takes to book consistently in this business, run (don’t walk) to Caryn West’s class. She has got the goods!”

LORI HAMILTON  Actress, Filmmaker, Storyteller

“Caryn is a passionate advocate for actors of all kinds. She demands that you ask for what you deserve, first by creating a plan, and then by employing the very best work you can achieve. And that you do it with the right “contagion” – meaning POSITIVE energy. One of my favorite Caryn sayings “good actors do it until they get it right; great actors do it until they can’t get it wrong.” She is thorough, positive, tough (in a good way) and always on top of what’s going on in the real world. I recommend her highly to anyone wanting to take their work to the next level”

A. J. CEDENO  ( NY Actor)  

Booked an episode of ELEMENTARY!  First time meeting Mark Saks office, and apparently it went well.   Did a little butt-breathing, realized the scene wasn’t about me, delivered the info, got the hell out of there.   All Caryn West lessons.”


NAN McNAMARA     (actress, producer , voiceover artist)   “Caryn West is truly the best audition teacher around.  Period.  She understands the ins and outs of the audition room because she is an actor herself.  She breaks it down in simple terms, she gives you all the tools you need to quickly and easily do the work that is necessary to book the job.  After taking her audition class, I walk into auditions with confidence.  I have not only booked the job, I’ve been asked back to offices repeatedly.  Do yourself a favor and take her audition class.  By applying her techniques, you will stand out in the room”

DOUGLAS OWENS  (Coached for one of the  leads in the  feature A WHITE TRASH CHRISTMAS- a  2013 release)  

Caryn is a very dedicated coach whose main goal is to help actors succeed. She helps me to walk into  auditions  confident in what I have prepared.”

MISSY HARGRAVES  (actress/ producer) 

“I have to share this: This is the BEST audition class I’ve ever taken!  I took it 10 years ago and STILL use many of the things I learned. There is so much to gain from this workshop. I’ve sent many friends to Caryn. She is a working actor and knows how tough the biz is. And she’s very honest.”

MATT NOLAN  (guested on LEVERAGE/ TNT Aug  2013 and is in 3 big films, ARGO directed /starring Ben Afleck and STOLEN (starring Nicolas Cage) and:  

September 2013:  “I got cast in Clint Eastwood’s Directed, “Jersey Boys.”  Supporting role…but big credit!”

“Caryn West helped me understand my place in the story.  She taught me how to prepare, relax, and allow myself to have a real experience in an audition.”

JULIE MANN    “After a dearth of theatrical gigs, I booked 3 days on the final season of “GREY’S ANATOMY!” Not only did Caryn equip me for the audition with her spot-on coaching (via SKYPE), but she believed in me during my time of tremendous self-doubt. That priceless gift helped me over my own hurdle and I’m truly grateful to her”

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