"Marjorie has helped me enormously
... renewed in me a
passion for the work."
GARY OLDMAN

Testimonials

To see letters to Marjorie from Arthur Miller and Stella Adler, click on thumbnails.

“Marjorie, you are full of hope; full of ambition; full of courage, of the expression of your talent which wants a place without any vulgarity. You now deserve a platform for your talent.”
— Stella Adler (1988)

“For Marjorie Ballentine, with appreciation for continuing your labors in the vineyard.”
— Arthur Miller after reading Marjorie Ballentine’s script analysis breakdown of his Death of a Salesman (Summer 1995)

“Marjorie has helped me enormously … renewed in me a passion for the work. She’s honest, wise, insightful, and caring – and the closest thing to Adler out there.”
— Gary Oldman to my acting class (December 2005)

“I began coaching with Marjorie Ballentine in 2005. Thanks to Marjorie, my acting has gone to a whole new level of commitment and understanding. Marjorie’s incredible wealth of knowledge about acting and her captivating ability to teach have proved absolutely invaluable for me – in both auditioning and performance. Marjorie’s teaching is no-nonsense thespian training in the tradition of Stella Adler. Marjorie, like Stella did, teaches not only acting but also an “attitude” toward acting. She is the very best out there.”
— Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones, Listen Up Phillip, Big Eyes, Breaking Bad, Don’t Trust the B- in Apt. 23, Gravity, She’s Out of My League, Dexter, Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, Confessions of a Shophaholic…)

“Whenever an actor asks me where to study or coach, I point them toward Marjorie Ballentine.”
— Nelsan Ellis (The Stanford Experiment; Get On Up; Lafayette in True Blood; The Butler; Gods Behaving Badly; Secretariat; Talent; The Soloist …)

“When I began acting, teachers always wanted me to either tone down or eliminate my raw talent… and to ONLY use technique. Marjorie has not only helped me to better use my raw talent, she has also taught me that using raw talent AND technique can and should coincide. While working with her, I always push it to the limit and dig deeper… always!”
— Victor Rasuk (Fifty Shades of Grey, Godzilla, jOBS, How to Make It in America)

“Marjorie works quickly and precisely. She has an excellent and passionate approach to scene & script analysis, and pushes you to find an honest, sometimes-difficult inner life for the character you’re working on. She helps you find a place to begin building a character you can believe in, so you can try to make others believe in it too…”
— Gale Harold (Queer as Folk, Desperate Housewives, Fertile Ground, Deadwood, Fathers and Sons…)

Fearless. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Marjorie Ballentine.  I mean, there are other things too.  She’s a beautiful person– kind, warm, hilarious, passionate, odd (in a wonderful way) and smart.   Marjorie allows you to believe that you CAN.  There are so many things I thought I couldn’t do before I met Marjorie.  She puts me at ease when I coach with her.  She encourages me to look inward.  And she provides me with such a detailed map. She also asks the important questions. What’s the bigger picture?  What is the author trying to say?  What are the themes of the piece?

I have enjoyed many years in her master acting class.   It’s NEVER about the business in her class, she doesn’t stand for it. It is wholly and totally about the work.  That has been such valuable lesson.  Marjorie has helped me grow so much, not only an actor, but as a human being. There are no excuses. There is no ego.  If you want to be a deeper, truer, more meaningful actor, work with her.  I encourage it!  (but c’mon, don’t tell everybody, k?)

— Lindsey Kraft (Getting On, Veep, Newsroom, Wayward Pines)

“Marjorie has been like God kissing me on the forehead, rewarding me for following my heart and then blessing me with someone authentic, talented, honest, and unforgettable. I don’t want another acting coach for as long as I live.”
— Nadine Velazquez (Flight, Major Crimes, Flight, Snatch, My Name Is Earl, Entourage, CSI: NY, Las Vegas, The League, Gary Unmarried…)

“My paths crossed with Marjorie during a time in my life when I felt like I didn’t understand my talent anymore. My so-called “tricks” were dried up and left me creatively blocked and frustrated. Upon meeting and working with Marjorie I started to understand there was a whole world of technique and that there was so much more to learn. My fears began to dissolve, and my craft began to open up. I’ve never met anyone with a more intense enthusiasm for the truth of the work, and for her students. Her teaching style is fierce, raw, and extremely hands-on. She’s not there to stroke our egos, but to be honest. Truthful. There’s no room for “Hollywood” in her classroom. We come here to work, learn, to be open, and to grow as actors.
— Victor Rasuk (Fifty Shades of Grey, Godzilla, Jobs, How to Make it in America, Stop-Loss, Lords of Dogtown, Raising Victor Vargas …)

Not only is Marjorie my acting coach; I consider her a close friend and a mentor. I’m looking forward to continually deepening my experience as an actor with her by my side.”
— Chad Lindberg (Security, I Spit on Your Grave, My Big Break, October Sky, Fast and the Furious, Supernatural …)

“She remains the greatest acting teacher I ever had. Marjorie is my mentor.”
— James Hiroyuki Liao (Unforgettable, Prison Break, Battle Los Angeles, Applebaum, Song in M. Butterfly, Arena Stage; Guest star in upcoming Hard Luck with Wesley Snipes and Cybill Shepherd)

“Marjorie taught me with great passion a craft I still use. She demands effort; she inspires the best in all of us. I call her my Buddha Haagen-Dazs!”
— Mario Cantone (Anthony Marintino in Sex and the City; Love, Valour and Compassion [Broadway] …)

“Working with Marjorie is a guttural experience. She gets straight to the essence of the character/scene and helps you find images that trigger your work. She makes your mind sweat. Her passion is inspiring. I love working with her!”
— Yara Martinez (Jane the Virgin, Southland, Hollywood Heights, The Hitcher, The Apostles, The Unit, Southland, Vanished…)

“I love working with Marjorie. Sometimes I get an audition from one day to the next and I really have no time to study the script. Marjorie can analyze a scene in seconds and she helps you make specific, interesting, very real choices that casting directors always take note of.”
— Olga Merediz (Orange Is the New Black, fUGLY, The Place Beyond the Pines, Music of the Heart, Sopranos, Evita, Changing Lanes, Mamma Mia [Broadway], and Man of La Mancha [Broadway])

“Marjorie has renewed my love for acting. She inspires a high level of work and through her tough love approach, I have been pushed to work the hardest ever, which has resulted in the most gratifying experiences, as well as some of my best performances. By watching her teach others, I’ve become a more effective director, and I think my auditioning style has improved. I am constantly amazed by the work I see her pull out of people, and I aspire to be able to do the same.”
— Sunny Boling CSA

“Marjorie brings dignity to actors and creates in each individual the wish to constantly improve oneself.”
— David Varriale (Guest star in Martin Scorsese’s Casino)

“The only sin passion can commit is to be joyless. The Studio has passion, has joy and is the home I always return to. Thank you Marjorie, my friend, my teacher, my mentor.”
— Linda Perri (Featured in Martin Scorsese’s Casino and Cape Fear, and Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands)