Testimonials

“David Bellantoni is a unique blend of casting professional and artist. His inside knowledge of how the industry works and what gets the actor hired is priceless information combined with a heartfelt teaching style. David appreciates actors, their gifts and how to best utilize them. Applying his expertise as a casting director and playwright he provides the sensitivity to dig deep into the emotional truth of the text which creates the cutting edge difference on stage or in the casting studio.”   Liz Ortiz-Mackes, Owner, Casting Solutions,  Author “Ace Your Acting Audition,” Film Producer, NYC

“David is talented, patient, kind, and very creative. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge that will inspire students. He was my right hand during all the years we worked together. I benefited so much from having him on my team, as did the actors who auditioned for us!” – Laray Mayfield, Casting Director (Fight Club, Zodiac, Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and House of Cards) Hollywood, CA

“David Bellantoni is a gifted director, teacher, writer, mentor.   His reputation within the Los Angeles casting community was so valued and established that it immediately opened the biggest doors in New York Casting.  His insights shared with performers always produces a wonderful unique collaborative performance.  He was my most valued session director for years and I relied on him completely.  I would welcome him back – come back Dave B.  Please.”  – Ava Shevitt, Casting Director/Owner Village Studios, Santa Monica, CA

“I have had the fortuitous pleasure of working first hand with David in many a casting session, as an actor. His warmth, openness and intuitive, nurturing nature is what all actors dream of when in an audition room. His genuineness and compassion, makes everyone comfortable and he has a real knack for coaxing out your best performance. I have also been able to see David’s work unfold on stage as a director. I have been a patron to a few of his original plays and his expert and delicate direction, allows the performers to melt seamlessly into the characters. You forget that you are watching a “performance” –instead, it feels like a moment in time. Or a conversation you are shamelessly eavesdropping on. Now that’s theatre! I can only hope to get an opportunity to be cast in one of his pieces. But for now, I am happy to call him an inspiring artist and colleague.” -Namakula, Actress-Producer, NYC

David Bellantoni is one of the sharpest casting directors I’ve ever worked with, with that rare ability to really direct actors in a meaningful way… so they get the callback and are remembered by directors for making smart, creative choices in their work.”  – Paul Haber, Director-Writer, NYC

“Thanks again for the awesome class. I really enjoyed your personality, teaching style and overall pointers. I only wish the class had been longer. After a successful meeting last week with Joe Thompson of Abrams, I am now freelancing with him for Commercial Print and On camera stuff too.” –Javier Kato, student in the bilingual class

“I have been wanting to tell you how much I enjoyed your recent commercial audition class at One on One. Thank you for creating such a fun, supportive and informative class. I have been recommending it to all my friends. Not only did I learn a lot, but I’m now freelancing with two agencies, DDO and Ingber and Associates! Thank you again for all of your help and I hope to see you in your office soon.” – Tammy McNeill, student in the commercial class

“David is absolutely committed to giving me the keys to open up and showcase my talent. His mastery of building the skills it takes to be successful in commercial acting is unsurpassed. As a casting director from a major company, he knows exactly what directors are looking for to help you book the job. David will teach you everything you need to know for a successful commercial audition.” – David Yudell, student in the private class

“I want to thank you for your usual great direction and care when you’re casting a session. I’m sure you know that I booked the national Spiriva spot and am now in LA shooting. I just want you to know that I always feel at ease when I walk in to find you casting the session. There is a level of confidence that you inspire with the thoughtful way you handle the actors coming in. Thank you so much for everything you do.” –Barney Fitzpatrick, Actor, NYC

“I just wanted to let you know that I recently signed with Phil Casesse at Stewart after meeting with him in your class last September!  I also booked the first thing he sent me on– an industrial for InStyle, which I shot on Wednesday. It was so much fun! Many thanks for all the great tools I gained from your class.” -Alice Winslow, student in the commercial class

“David, thank you so much for presenting another bang-up session!  I really felt the actors came away with a much better sense of what they need to do to improve their craft. Rochelle, the Director of Actors Programs, was impressed with  your presentation as well. Thanks again for all the great work you’ve done for the Casting Access Program.” –Franz Reynold, Director of the Casting Access Project (Screen Actors Guild) NY

“I learned a lot in your workshop. I’ve never been able to get into a commercial audition, and I’ve felt nervous about what it would be like if I ever faced that situation. Thanks to you, I now have a better idea of what I’m stepping into, and what will be expected of me. Thank you for being so encouraging, to me and to everyone in the workshop. I noticed that you were trying to highlight what we did well, and be positive about our abilities. I appreciated that, and I think everyone else did as well.” Angela Sauer, actress from SAG Workshop

“I had to write you to tell you what a pleasure it was to work with you last night! You were extremely encouraging and motivating. In fact, I actually felt respected as an Actor, which is such a rare experience. I read about you, and given your extensive resume and the variety of work you’ve done (on both the west and east coasts) as well as the accolades you’ve earned (like for your short film in 2005), you are surprisingly down-to-earth and compassionate with Actors. I am grateful to you and to Valencia for the experience.” Lauren Forbes, actress from private workshop with Valencia Yearwood

“I really needed something like this and now I can’t wait until my next audition. Your class changed my life.”-Joe Tedesco, student in the commercial class

“I want to thank you for such a great class. You are a fantastic teacher and I can’t tell you how much fun I had working with you. Thank  you again for your support and inspiration.” -Kim Sweet, student in the commercial class

“I want to thank you for such an awesome experience in class! Before you I knew nothing about commercial acting and those 4 weeks I learned so much…enough that this week I GOT SIGNED WITH A COMMERCIAL AGENT!!! (Phil Cassese of Stewart Talent) I have you to thank for instilling in me the confidence that David Niven would be proud of. I had to tell you the good news and thank you again for everything you taught me!” –Chelsea Niven, student in the commercial class

“I just wanted you to know that since your class at One on One I just finished shooting a “Microsoft” commercial and had a blast! Thank you so much for all your advice. I believe I booked the job and started freelancing with Jamie Baker because of all your help. Thank you for everything you’ve done.” –Lilli Wilton, student in the commercial class

“I had a such a blast in your class. You are so encouraging and thoughtful in your instruction. I felt safe yet challenged. –Allison Barton, student in the commercial class

“What a treat to work with you at the SAG foundation’s CAP workshop event. Thank you for participating. It was a wonderful reminder of how well you work with actors. And dare I thank you for challenging us with all that wall to wall copy. It was a great exercise that pushed me to make choices quickly, lift it off the page and trust my instincts. Great Stuff!”- Sara Malia Hatfield, actress from SAG Workshop

“Thank you so much for putting together a wonderful commercial workshop class. It’s been a great four weeks and I’ve learned a lot of incredibly valuable information, especially  technique for my commercial auditions. Everyone in the class has been great and it’s been a “magical” environment to be part of. -Sonia Torres, student in the commercial class

“Watching the videos from One on One, I was able to see just how much I improved by working with you. You are one of the best listeners I’ve ever had as a teacher. Thank you.” – Jon Noto, student in the commercial class

“Thank you so much for 4 weeks of greatness! Each week you gave direct constructive suggestions that only encouraged me to be more specific with my choices and to bring the best “me” to every role whatever the media or genre. Your easy demeanor and patience makes you so enjoyable to work for and with. Being your assistant was nothing short of a huge bonus for me! I would welcome the chance to work with you on any project in the future!”-Jody Lynn Flynn, student in the commercial class

“Thanks to you and your amazing class Amanda Nyman from Stewart called me in! Thanks for everything and in particular I really appreciated the honest feedback on my performances. You teach a great class! Hasta la Proxima.” – Jamie Rezanour, student in the commercial class

David Bellantoni’s class led me to sign with Stewart Talent. He approaches class with kindness yet tough love providing a realistic perspective on commercial acting which helps you grow. I remember one class I mentioned being uncomfortable with slating and right there he had us work on it. He pays attention to your needs as a student and wants to see you do well. Since his class two years ago, I’ve booked 3 spots including doing improv with Tina Fey in a commercial for Amex, a road trip to Barcelona for VW and recently being stuck in an elevator for Kayak.com. As a commercial actor you need to know what you are as a “quick get” on camera as soon as you walk in the room. What your strengths are because you don’t have time to build a character in 30 seconds. David helps you through all of this. I 100% recommend him. -Sunita Deshpande, student in the commercial class

“I just wanted to say thank you for your specific and thorough input during the Commercial Comedy intensive last weekend. These kind of seminars can be hit or miss but yours felt like a legit acting class I might have taken at a studio. Very grateful.” –Chuck McMahon, Student in Paul Michael’s Comedy Intensive

“David Bellantoni has been a commercial Casting Director and Acting Teacher with Beth Melsky Casting plus numerous other companies throughout the Los Angeles and New York areas for over 20 years. His level of professionalism, skill, creative passion and knowledge of talent for both the casting and teaching processes has always been of the highest caliber. At the same time, his social demeanor has made him a pleasure to work with and created many lasting relationships throughout the business. It is without hesitation that I would recommend him to whomever would have need of his creative services.” -Richard Reed, Managing Director, Beth Melsky Casting

“David Bellantoni has been a guest teacher at the Network for the past 10 years and always receives the strongest feedback from students across the board. Just last week, he served as a guest in my personal Scene Study class in which he gave incredibly clever and useful adjustments to scenes and pulled some amazing performances out of my actors. As a human being, he is top notch.  He challenges his students yet his warm and accessible personality creates an atmosphere where everyone in the class feels open to participate, improve and reach their highest potential.” –Paul Michael, Executive Director, The Network

“David critiques without criticizing (an art form all its own); he can breakdown a script faster than anyone I have seen and then show you how to do it just as quickly (almost);  he uses his very creative mind to broaden the actor’s horizons in how to make choices (could I really try that?); he can work with someone who is clearly head and shoulders above the rest in the class and shape her performance to perfection without ever making the next one up (like me) feel that he has any less potential or is not as important to David.   And magically, David can make a three hour class on a Saturday just breeze by.

In our increasingly querulous world, it is no small thing to say that I have never heard one single negative word said about David’s work and classes; only praises.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that earlier this year, I also sought out David for private lessons.  Enjoying his class was certainly a big factor in my decision, but my prior professional life as a lawyer and investment banker for 30+ years was also a distinguishing factor in selecting David from the pool of candidates.  David has all their attributes of a good teacher and is a “great guy” to boot, but it was the underlying layer of professionalism in everything he does that especially appealed to me.  I have grown to like David as a fellow human being, but let there be no mistake, he is still my teacher.  He is one of those people who just command respect, even when he is being his friendliest.  And if I mention his name in casual conversation with other casting directors and agents (also called boasting and name dropping), it is very clear from their responses that he enjoys the utmost admiration and respect from his peers.

As for what I personally have gotten out of David’s mentorship:  I now walk into an audition confident that I know what I should know and unconcerned about all the rest; that what the people on the other side of the camera may be thinking is not important to me right now — I‘ve got my job to do; that I have come prepared, together with choices – my choices – and haven’t tried to divine what somebody else might want; and that I have been taught by one of the best in the business who has already demonstrably improved my work and self-confidence.

And, as a final note: David’s film and commercial instruction has even showed me how to improve “breaking down” a Shakespeare monologue and to draw from a wider, “fantastical banquet” of choices to impress (and sometimes, blindside) the director.” -Jim Chamberlain, Private Client

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