We had the good fortune of connecting with Christinna Chauncey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christinna, what do you attribute your success to?
Wow, what a loaded question! In my experience there are so many important elements that all work together in building a successful business. But if I have to narrow it down to one key factor, one driving force behind it all, it suppose it would be this: being “purpose-driven” as opposed to “profit-driven.” Yes of course turning a profit matters greatly! But it shouldn’t be what drives a business, otherwise that lack of substance may ultimately lead to the business’s demise, or at the very least, people will feel it. For me personally, I didn’t set out to build a studio teaching actors audition technique. It all happened very organically. I was an actor out there beating the pavement like so many others trying to book work, and then out of the blue in 2000 I had the unique opportunity to work in network television casting, and that experience blew my mind. Everything I thought I knew about auditioning as an actor was turned upside down once I became that person making the decision on the other side of the table. Having taken many scene study classes, improv classes and foundational classes, I realized that something very important was missing in training resources here in Los Angeles, and certainly elsewhere. No one (at least not at that time) was teaching how to walk into a room and book the job! This was an epiphany, and all the missing ingredients were clear to me. When our office went on hiatus and curious about my new perspective, I started making the rounds again as an actor and BOOM! My booking ratio shot through the roof, and this was after an extended break from the craft while I worked in casting. As an actor, it was clear I had experienced a breakthrough! So in 2003, I decided to pay it forward and started my first class. I had never taught anything before, but I knew exactly what I wanted to say and I was on fire to say it! Just like any other amazing discovery that makes you want to run and tell everyone about it, I felt that same way with what I had discovered. A deep desire to help others break through this same barrier had been birthed inside of me, and it’s this very purpose that has guided me all these years. I believe it’s at the heart of my studio’s success.

What should our readers know about your business?
A big lesson I’ve learned in business, especially when it’s booming, is the importance of self-nourishment and maintaining balance. It’s crucial in “keeping the fires lit” with purpose. Running a successful business, even with great passion, can be taxing. So taking the time (literally scheduling it!) to self-nourish makes all the difference in the world. For me, this means a solid commitment to physical fitness, eating healthy & organic, rest, spending time with family, and carving in quiet time for prayer. Sure, finding the time can be tough, especially during the busy seasons, but it’s so important. When self-nourishment is lacking, you put everything at risk. I learned this the hard way back in March. When Covid-19 hit, my business was poised to have yet another record year with maxed-out classes, a 6-8 month waitlist, and yep you better believe I was burning the candle at both ends. When the lockdown hit and suddenly I was forced to stop everything, my body basically went into shock and I discovered I had been operating mostly on adrenaline for quite some time. Balance can be tricky. I talk about this in detail on my studio’s Youtube Channel, so if you’re curious pop on over and check out the video titled “Covid-19: Thoughts & 4 Things to Consider.” For now I’ll just say that this extended time of quiet and unprecedented challenge, ironically, has given me the opportunity to rebalance and recenter, and that has been a blessing. Which makes the days ahead seem brighter than ever.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There’s so much to see in LA! I’d probably kick off each morning early with a trip to my favorite coffee place, Romancing the Bean, in Magnolia Park. Then we’d be off to either The Getty or The Huntington to see some incredible artwork and history. For lunch, we might trek over to the eclectic worlds of Venice Beach or the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, where we’d choose from a number of patios to dine-out on, while being entertained by incredibly creative street musicians and artists. Back in the late 90’s my classes with Larry Moss were held in a building on the north end of 3rd Street Promenade, so I spent countless hours there and built some wonderfully fond memories. From there we’d perhaps go for a walk on the beach before heading up to Temescal Canyon to take in a late afternoon hike. After working up an appetite, we’d catch dinner at one of a thousand great local restaurants like “Barrel and Ashes” on Ventura Blvd for some awesome southern-style cuisine, or “La Grande Orange” cafe in historic Pasadena. Other fave spots in LA are CorePowerYoga for a great sculpt class (amazing workout), The Grove in West LA or The Americana in Glendale for some great outdoor shopping, and Lake Hollywood park, a wonderful tucked-away spot in the hills with incredible views that also has a wonderful dog park with a great view of the city. At some point during the weekend, we’d have to pop into Joe’s Falafel, near my studio for the best hummus in town!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A big shoutout goes to my father, Jim Chauncey, for not only setting a beautiful example of integrity and what it takes to build a successful business – the long hours, hard work and dedication – but for also being available 24 hours a day to lend an ear whenever I need to talk, vent or troubleshoot a problem – he’s always been there, and that has meant the world to me. I also have to thank the profoundly gifted Larry Moss, whom I consider my master teacher, who not only equipped my skillset and challenged me to go deeper than I thought possible within the craft of acting, but who also demonstrated by his own example that ego serves no purpose in teaching. In him, I observed the kind of teacher I would aspire to be – that of someone who treats their students as fellow artists in a spirit of respect, truth and love. Next, my former boss and friend, casting director Greg Orson, who by bringing me onto his team years ago helped open my eyes to the truths of auditioning, which is one of the foundational cornerstones of my business. Finally, my husband Steve, who’s a fellow business owner and a great listener, idea generator, my best friend and partner in life.

Website: www.oncameraclasses.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christinnachauncey/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cchauncey001
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cchaunceyoncamera/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/christinnachauncey

Image Credits
Studio photos: Catherine Kresge Kang, Brad Carter