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

Hi Michael, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Honestly, I’ve never thought of myself as a business person. Generating income has never been my highest priority, nor has marketing, building clientele, or any of those things that usually motivate people to develop a business.

In my case, I think the greatest factor in my success as an instructor, author, and coach has been my genuine, passionate love of my fellow actors—my “tribe”— and the strong pull to help them better navigate not only the acting part, but also the career part and the mental health part.

This is why I’ve always kept my fees relatively low and made accommodations for those in financial hardship. My acting career is my mainstay. The other stuff I do comes more from a place of service. It’s probably a lousy business model. But business just isn’t my particular interest.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m an actor. I’ve always been an actor. I did not always have a career. In fact, I mostly DIDN’T have a career until I was in my forties. Has it been hard? Has discouragement been constant? Of course. I think that’s true for most artists. We sign on for this life in spite of that. And I think, of all things, I’m proudest to be able to, as I like to say, wear the name tag that says I’m a member of this very special tribe of humans.

There have been wonderful surprises along the way. In my early thirties, someone convinced me write. I wasn’t aware that I had any talent at that. Now, years later, I’ve written four books, worked as a columnist, created entertainment projects for Disneyland and others, and even wrote a piece for Lincoln Center.

Years later, someone insisted I teach. I was TERRIFIED, TOTALLY sure I had nothing to offer and no business teaching. Now, years later, I’ve taught Audition Psych 101 (my class on the psychology of auditioning) to thousands of actors.

I don’t have any sage advice, other than to fall in love with the PURSUIT rather than the potential results, and to be open to the twists and turns in the road.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I like to introduce visitors to experiences that are hidden gems. When people visit LA, they typically don’t know about the magical Theatricum Botanicum, a brilliant theatre company that performs Shakespeare in the woods of Topanga Canyon. Visitors also don’t always know about the magnificent Huntington Gardens, a sprawling oasis of plants and flowers that will put your soul at peace. (It’s where I proposed to my wife.) I’m particularly fond of Los Feliz and Silverlake (I always like to find the Bohemians). And one place I’d like to explore more is downtown LA, which, I’m told, has changed a lot since I was last there.

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?
This one is easy. My wife Jenny is my source of constant support. You know…it’s really not easy being married to an actor. We’re WAY too sensitive, very self-involved, and our lives are constantly taking crazy logistical turns, with ever-changing locations, ever-changing schedules, and the ever-present mystery of what’s coming next. With me, you get the added fun of bouts of depression, anxiety, self-doubt, sometimes even self-loathing. I wouldn’t wish me on anyone. Jenny, miraculously, rolls with it all. And she still seems to like me. I don’t get it, but I’m deeply grateful for her.

Website: https://www.michaelkostroff.com

Instagram: michael_kostroff

Twitter: @TheRealKostroff

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/therealkostroff

Other: https://www.auditionpsych101.com https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538160435/The-Stage-Actor’s-Handbook-Traditions-Protocols-and-Etiquette-for-the-Working-and-Aspiring-Professional https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/audition-psych-101-michael-kostroff/1131628273?ean=9781642376128

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