We had the good fortune of connecting with Dean West and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dean, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
I am actor, but I started teaching acting about 15 years ago. What I learned, and that keeps me most interested in teaching actors is that I am really helping people get to know themselves more. Acting is really an in depth class on self exploration! I love helping people find all of the “negative” parts of themselves that they put in the closet, most likely because other people told them they didn’t like that part of them. Screw that! Every part of you is a part of you, make friends with your demons, grab a drink together, and see what makes them tick. You may find that you are a bigger and better person when you are whole instead of shutting off pieces of your soul.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been an actor since I was a kid, but I have been in the industry since I was about 15. I started with modeling and commercial work out of Houston TX. I grew up in a small town in Louisiana called Moss Bluff. My journey took me to Los Angeles when I was 19 after a nice check from a Chef Boyardee national commercial. Soon after is when I started training with my mentor and coach Aaron Speiser.
I would say most of my work makes me proud because Acting is not an industry for the masses. We get a lot of No thank you’s in our industry, and usually they leave out the, Thank you, part. I have a new movie coming out soon called A Savannah Haunting, it was a lot of fun and I think it will do well, it had it’s challenges, including COVID. The Hunt is on HBO MAX right now and its a satire that really pokes fun at our world today, but I would say one of the feature films that I also produced called END TRIP, is probably one of the ones I am most proud of. The role was challenging and we were working on a very low budget so I was wearing a few hats as well, which always makes what we do challenging. I had to keep jumping back and forth from the creative brain to the analytical brain.
As an acting coach, I would say what makes me different is that I never coach one person in the same way. My job is not to teach you to act, but to help you stop acting. My job is to help you open up and evolve as the amazing confident human being you are suppose to be in life. I help you allow the work to flow through you, but to do that we first have to get you un stuck, and most people are like a champagne bottle that needs a good shaking!
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?
I have always loved the nature that you could surprisingly get living in such a big city. I love hiking up to the Griffith Observatory and Runyon Canyon. Fryman Canyon is always a favorite of mine as well. The amazingness of living in LA is the reality of going to the mountains in the morning and ending your day at the Beach. I would love to list some of my favorite places to eat, but there are just so many spots that offer a different flavor of the world. One of my whole in the wall favorites is a place on Sunset called Los Taco’s. It is just this little whole in the wall with the best Tacos that remind me of my honey moon in Mexico.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh my God, the list of support, love, education and all around awesome human beings that have helped me in some way or the other can go on for days. I will first say without my supportive parents I would not have been able to do any of what I do. Without my wife’s love, tough and supportive, I would not have continued. Acting made a huge change in the way I look not only at myself but the world around me. I have a wonderful mentor named Aaron Speiser who is a well known acting coach all over the world. He has coached so many A listers I don’t want to even start the list, but what he did was force me to question everything. Question the world and it’s beliefs but over all to question my own beliefs and see how they served me and how it affected my every day human behavior. And now, last but not least, I have an amazing little one turning 2 years old this year, and she is why I keep it going. The journey never ends and we are all always evolving.
Instagram: @thedeanwest @dwactingstudio
Twitter: @thedeanwest @dwactingstudio