Program Description:

Akin to an accelerated 1-year MFA, but designed with flexibility for the working actor, this program prepares actors for the real world. There is an emphasis on the ZBS Whole Self Approach, as well as an attention to self-tape and Zoom audition, across genre, network, and role designation (Co-Star, Guest, Recurring, and Series Regular). The program is hybrid (online/in-person) and we are accepting applications both locally and globally.

program includes:
  • 3 Days/Week of Genre-Based Audition Technique Class focussed on Guest Star & Series Regular roles, including attention to self-tape and virtual callback.
  • 1 Additional Craft Class/Week.
  • 2 Weeklong Intensives.
  • $5000 in Coaching Credits for Audition and Individualized Study.
  • Ongoing Feedback and Mentorship.
  • ZBS’ Personal Development Course for Actors, “The Art of the Breakout”.
  • Valuable Q&As with Industry Professionals.
  • Career Counselors who were former Agents & Managers.
  • Access to ZBS Community comprising of actors committed to thriving in the industry & supporting one another.
program outcomes:

Actors graduate attuned to the needs of the material, and emanating an organic confidence that makes them unique, resilient, and highly castable.

Program Tuition:

$24,000 for the full 1-year program. (Payment plans available)

  • 2 Contrasting Self-Tapes from Contemporary TV & Film. Each self-tape should be 2-4 minutes long.
  • A Letter of Recommendation from an Entertainment Industry Professional (Talent Agent, Manager, Casting Director,  Acting Teacher, or other Industry Professional who is familiar with your work).
  • A 1-page Letter of Intent describing your interest in the program and what you’d like to accomplish.
Application process:

Email with the subject ‘Certificate Program Application’ and the above requirements before the application deadline.

application deadline for early admissions: Nov 20, 2023
regular application deadline: Dec 20, 2023
Program Begins: January 10, 2024
To apply or for any questions, click Here to email or call 323-746-5059
Madelaine Petsch
Series Regular Cheryl Blossom, CW Riverdale,

I’ve worked with him for four years. He’s passionate about what he does, and it makes us passionate.  We’re a family. ZBS is a community…a second home

Star of Patty Cake$, Dumplin' with Jennifer Aniston, Every Secret Thing with Dakota Fanning and Diane Lane

Whenever I get a script I always ask myself, WWZD—What would Zak Do?

Kenny Ortega
Kenny Ortega
High School Musical, Julie and the Phantoms, Descendants
Emmy and DGA Winning Director and Choreographer

During the camera tests and throughout rehearsals and filming on my Netflix series, “Julie and the Phantoms”, Zak’s work with our young actors provided them with the tools that enabled them to accomplish outstanding work.  If I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was a magician

Barnet Bain
Barnet Bain
What Dreams May Come, and Best Selling Author of "The Book of Being and Doing"
Oscar and Emmy Nominated Filmmaker

Zak speaks the language of the soul and is able to stir his actors on the deepest levels of artistic and personal transformation.

Sara Isacson
Sara Isaacson
Chicago Med and Fire, Law and Order: The Menendez Murders, The Mentalist
Casting Director

His connection to his students is unlike anything I’ve seen…the work is incredibly brave

Jonathan Daviss
Outer Banks

Zak Barnett taught me to love my craft.  Before I came to the studio I loved acting and I knew it was all I wanted to do, but I didn’t know why.  I found myself in a place where I was giving good auditions, but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled.  Going through his classes allowed me to find my own wants and meld them into one.  I learned to love the art of acting and find joy in making something special, something only I could create.