"I spent five valuable and incredible years studying with Robert Zimmerman from the day his San Francisco class opened in 2009 until I made the move to Los Angeles in 2014. From the beginning, he made it clear that there would not be a cookie-cutter approach to teaching us how to become professional actors. We would each have our own paths and our own struggles and I believe that's what made it possible for what became a safe and supportive place to do bold, challenging work. In addition to providing us with the tools to fully understand the writers, the writing, and the characters of the scenes we were assigned to work on, we also regularly discussed what professionalism looks like on and off the set so that producers, directors, and their crews looked forward to hiring us again and again. We also held weekly meetings to make sure that we were each taking daily actionable steps to further the business side of our careers. Acting, Attitude, and Administration. It is because of this work and Rob constantly encouraging us to create our own content and build our own doors into the industry that I am on track to have both an acting and filmmaking career. I was also fortunate enough to have the great Peter Allas as a guest teacher throughout my years and have learned so much by watching him work and through his critique of my classmates. I am so happy to hear that they have opened classes in both SF and LA. If you are serious about having an acting career and you are looking for a place where you will be challenged to do work that scares you and where you will, no doubt, be held to a high standard, consider taking classes at Z/A Studio."
"I studied at Z/A for ~6 years under both Rob Zimmerman and Peter Allas. I started at 0, never having done high school or college plays, I could barely walk AND talk on a stage in front of people. Now, I can walk, talk, AND chew gum! I kid, I kid (I can though). It's not just a scene study class, you also study the industry (past and present) through assigned reading, assigned films, and play reading. Through the admin portion of the class, I learned all about the business end(less things to do).
Both very generous teachers - it was a joy to get Rob's intuitive notes that always resonated with me or to get a magical re-direction from Peter. Through admin, I worked to get a manager and agent in LA even before officially making the move. I started at 0 and within a few years, I earned a living in SF through acting work only. I paid my rent, bills, etc. in SF using the knowledge they gave me. They will make you surprise yourself with what you're capable of if you let them. I don't know where I'd be without Rob and Peter, but it certainly wouldn't be in LA with a career in acting"
“I studied under Robert Zimmermann , first of all Robert is absolutely brilliant , he has a flair for art and the craft and is a very supportive teacher. He will guide you gently into owning the artist you are and then challenge you to stretch your abilities. ZA studio is a safe place for actors to explore and grow, I definitely recommend it .”
"Rob and Peter are one of the most giving and passionate teachers I’ve had the pleasure to learn from. I was a beginner actor with no credits or any acting experience and they helped me become an industry professional. They share an uncompromising standard for great work and keep pushing you to be better. Every. Single. Time."
"When I first audited one of Rob & Peter's classes over 6 years ago, I had very little prior acting training. I watched the first scene go up in the class that night and was blown away by the choices, the emotions, and the openness these students used in their work. I thought it was one of the best things I have ever seen. After the applause, Rob sat the actors down and began an in depth, 30 minute critique. He addressed each actor individually, asking them questions like "what was the thinking behind this choice here," or "how does your character's past experiences inform this moment here," "why do you think the writer put this scene in the script," and "did you do any improv during rehearsals?" It was a discussion, tailored to each individual actor, about all the little details they should pay attention to in order to carve the scene into something better. After the critique he told them that, as good as it was, take the notes, work on it some more, and bring it back to class in a few weeks.
Rob and Peter hold their students to a very high standard not just in the classroom, but throughout their careers as well. Weekly "admin" groups, where you tackle the business side of an acting career, are mandatory, in addition to outside class rehearsals, regularly assigned plays to read, movies to watch, and frequent class discussions on current industry affairs. It might sound overwhelming, but the teachers have fostered a class environment and structure that keeps me continually feeling inspired, motivated, and supported by my peers.
In my years as a student here, I have seen multiple classmates who start with literally zero training and experience go on to act in feature films, national commercials, and network TV shows. This class is not a program for anyone who is just looking for a light, 6-week crash course in acting, it is a commitment. I assure you, however, that it is worth it."
"Having studied Film and Acting in college, I was surprised to find that I learned more about acting in my first 6 months working with Rob and Peter than I did in my entire college career. I highly recommend their program for anyone who wants to take their acting to the next level."
"I have been studying with Robert and Peter for one and half years. This has been one of my most challenging and rewarding experience. It has and still is changing my life for the better. They are the most passionate, knowledgeable, trustworthy and (really) pushy teacher I have ever had! :)
They are my artistic fathers. I adore them!"
"I enrolled into Z/A with little to no acting experience and a massive fear of stage and public speaking. Rob and Peter have been instrumental in my growth as an actor and I'm so grateful to call them my teachers and mentors. It's clear how much they genuinely care about their students and their journeys to become successful actors. They give insightful suggestions around scene performance, and inspiring advice to take your career to the next level. They teach you to be disciplined about the study of acting but also teach the appreciation of the craft and art of it as well. I love hearing about their experiences in Hollywood and the film/tv/theatre industries - very interesting!"
"Being fairly new to the acting scene has been pretty overwhelming for me. I have been with Rob and Peter for a year now and it has been the best investment in my career that I’ve made. I greatly appreciate Rob and Peter for all the advice that I have gotten from them. Their passion for acting and the motivation for teaching is what kept me going. I am very grateful for all of their insight into the industry as well as seeing what we can achieve as actors. They both drive you into striving for success and as the saying goes “if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”
"The first day I joined class and met Peter and Rob, I felt that they are in mission; I could feel their passion and their commitment for teaching and passing their knowledge and experience to other actors. Initially I was not fully sure of my competence, but when I came to understand that not only was I learning acting from a technical stand point I was also learning to be a human being, I immediately got immersed into acting and loved it! Peter and Rob are complementary in their teaching methods, their goal is to get you to reach your best potential and push your boundaries to be the best of yourself and ultimately the best Actor that you can be! Thank you for this opportunity!"
"I love this school. Rob and Peter's approach to acting is simple, " START ACTING." Almost immediately after you enroll in the school you will be on stage putting up work. Ready or not. Rob, Peter don't just teach acting. They teach the whole package ACTING-how to do it, ADMINISTRATION-What are you doing to market yourself?, and ATTITUDE-To always have a good attitude towards everyone you work with. Rob and Peter are very talented teachers, directors and actors who know the industry. They both have different style's of teaching but always arrive at the same destination. When it comes to teaching they see things in you that you cannot see, and then they well give you the tools you need to bring it out. I guess that is what good teachers do. The day i opened the door to that class and walked in changed my life. I'm not going to say it made me a different person, it just made me the person i always wanted to be. An ACTOR. See you in class."
Stephen L. Wilson
"Rob is a great teacher because he tells it like it is, in a way that allows students to take their work to the next level. With high standards, and an eye for finding specific details in the story, a character's pathology, and developing a strong work ethic on the career side of acting, he is a teacher truly worth listening to!
Peter is a great teacher because of the curiosity and enthusiasm he brings to accent and character work! His passion for specificity, and developing real characters, and his ability to parallel the craft of acting, with the world of sports, dance, and life helps to clarify the work in ways that might've gone unnoticed."
"It's crazy to think I met Peter almost 10 years ago in NYC and have held on to his teachings ever since. I found myself back to Z/A after studying at many different schools and there is simply nothing like this community. They way Peter and Rob deliver critiques is unparalleled. They are concise, clear, and applicable. They inspire every single student to become a true artist and complete human being. This goes beyond just acting. This is the way of the creator."
“For me, like some, acting was a ‘meh, maybe I’ll try it in the next lifetime. You know, when I’ll be able to give a speech and not sweat profusely from anxiety.’ But, thanks to Rob and Peter, who have inspired me from day 1 with encouraging spirits, guidance, passion, and forthright communication, acting has become; ‘How far can I take this? How much more of myself is there to learn? How can I inspire others?’ And Z/A's 3 A’s; Acting, Administration, and Attitude have helped me land an agent in SF and representation in LA, both of which have allowed me to quit my tech job. I’m fortunate enough to say all of this happened within 2 years of training with Rob and Peter, even though I hadn’t acted a day before in my life.”
"Rob and Peter give it to you straight - in all facets. They have a gift of dissecting a scene immediately and finding the right key to unlock it for each student. But it's more than that, they see what's holding you back and help you see your potential - through the art, the journey and the work."
"Rob and Peter have changed my life in more than one way. I stepped into the class with zero acting experience. Yes, ZERO. Two years later, I quit my steady job as an architect and moved to LA to pursue acting full time.
Acting, Attitude, and Administration are the three pillars of the school. My favorite part about this class is that the teachers read me like a book. There is no bullshit. They see right through every emotion and word. They push me to not only be better but to create new boundaries. They develop us into working actors."
"Life changed with Covid-19 and yet for me something wonderful happened! I live in a remote area and when a dear friend and student of Z/A in San Francisco alerted me to new on-line classes with Rob and Peter I was thrilled. It was such a great opportunity for me to be able to work with these respected and knowledgeable professionals. After an audit class I was ready to take the ride.
What stood out for me was the 3 A’s of acting, the quality and respect from Rob and Peter with their feedback and casting advice. Admin? What's that? Never before had any teacher prepared me for the business and marketing aspects of acting. The studio’s own Admin is run with effieciency, and everyone is welcoming and supportive! If you are new to acting or already a working actor, this is the place to be."
" I am fairly new with Z/A community (almost 6 months) and signing up for the class is one of the best investments that I did for my personal growth. Rob and Peter is helping me to stay focus on my craft by guiding me on what I need to improve on based from their feedbacks. I am thankful that I am able to approach them whenever I need career advice. I always feel motivated and inspired after attending Rob and Peter’s class. I find their insights really helpful not only for my career, but also for my well-being. I will always be grateful to them, classmates and Z/A community."
Megan Louise Thill
"After having been out of acting for over 13 years, I audited a class with Z/A Studio, incredibly intimidated and wondering if I was in the right place. It took no time at all for me to feel like I was home! And even in the first class, I found myself writing down nearly every word of Rob's critiques because they were too good not to remember.
In the time I have studied with Rob and Peter, I have learned not just how to be a better actor and to attack my craft and administration, but I have learned crazy lessons about life and how to think and feel more deeply. The care Rob and Peter show toward their students is profound, and they push us to be excellent - on stage, behind the camera, and in our personal lives. Their critiques and direction is focused, thought-provoking, specific, and speaks to each student's true potential. The atmosphere Rob and Peter create for their students is magnetic and keeps you wanting more!
I'm very proud to study with both of these fantastic teachers and would recommend their classes to anyone who wants to be a serious working actor."
"Words cannot begin to describe the kind of value I have received and continue to receive as Rob and Peter’s student. It was largely because of their encouragement, mentoring, and teachings that I can now call myself a professional working actor. Rob gave me my first break when he cast me for a play he was directing not too long ago and now, I just finished wrapping my first Equity production! If you want to become a working actor that not only continues to hone his/her craft but also manages him/herself as a business, come here. Not only will you be expected to take it to the next level, but you will be in the company of other actors, at all different stages, that also take the craft and administrative side of acting very seriously. I am truly thankful I decided to study with them and will continue to be part of this family of amazing artists! Grateful!"
"Six years ago, I audited a class because the best actor in the production I was in suggested I visit her school. I knew it was the right place for me to be – in a vibrant class with enthusiastic, motivated students, and excellent teachers. Rob and Peter walk the walk and talk the talk. More than once, Rob has covered Peter’s class because Peter was on set in New York, filming a television series episode, then Peter would cover Rob’s class because Rob would be in Los Angeles directing a play. We students get the benefits not only of what they learned from their teachers, and from skills they perfected over their decades-long careers, and from all the industry people they know personally and whom they invite as guest teachers, we also receive new hands-on lessons and valuable insights on what is going on right now in the industry. Scene critiques are detailed, informative, understandable, sometimes uplifting and emotional, but always given with love and respect, for both the craft and the student. They often quote Stella Adler, who said she did not teach people acting, she taught actors to be people. They know their stuff, and they know how to teach it so that you get it. If you do the work, listen to what they say and follow their suggestions, your career cannot help but move forward, sometimes with startling speed. There are alumni working on movies and shows you are watching right now that can tell you this. Come see!"