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Acting Teacher • Coach • Actor • Director • Writer

Tag: Rita Litton

Acting Coaching

Acting Coaching

Regarding his private coaching with Rita: “Thank you for all your hard work on shaping up my acting skills and giving me the tools I needed for auditioning and getting me better at my craft!”

Ralph Rodriguez (in featured photo with Rita) See: “Testimonials.”

“Hey Rita! I hope we can still do our coachings together! I have some news! Following my coaching with you for the movie ‘Miles’ I did my self tape at Innovative and received a callback with the director two weeks later! We ended up just talking about the script for 20 minutes but I was still excited to speak with him.”

Tim Boardman

(Follow Up email after Tim booked the leading role) “Rita, I am so excited and wanted to thank you so much for everything! The director said to me he loved how subtle and real my audition tapes were!”


“I am so grateful to have found Tim at your showcase and have enjoyed every minute of working with him!”

Warm regards, Lauren Singer
Lauren Singer Talent Management

“Thank you for taking the extra time helping Darnell. (He booked CBS-TV’s ‘The Good Wife.’) This would not have happened without your help and dedication and hard work with all your students. Looking forward to your working with him to the next level.“

Dale Dudley

“Good news on the agent front. Lauren sent in those tapes we did with you and Innovative now represents Jackson. Thank you for your help on that!!!! A lot has happened in the past month! We are thrilled and overwhelmed!”

Megan M (mother of JACKSON DUMONT HILL who booked Broadways’ “Finding Neverland.”)

“Rita I just wanted to thank you so much for helping me with my monologues. I also wanted to let you know that I will be going to SUNY Purchase!! I am so excited, and I can’t wait. It’s for the ACTING program, 24 out of 1200 got in, and I can’t believe I did !!!! YAY!!! Thanks so much for everything !!!!”

Sara M.

As a three-time winner of Backstage publication’s Readers’ Choice “Favorite Acting Coach” for young actors, I have coached teen and adult alumni in successfully booking jobs in TV series, sitcoms, films, and on Broadway for over thirty years. I frequently guide actors in their upcoming auditions for Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), MFA, or acting conservatory programs. I offer assistance in the selection of their monologue material (I have hundreds of monologues from both contemporary and classical plays) and in their audition presentation and performance. Younger students applying for performing arts high schools in the NYC area or elsewhere also come to me for help. See Monologues.

Overall, I believe in the benefits an actor receives working in a small group class.  Preferably these classes should involve working with other actors of a similar level, meet over several months or more, and be taught by a teacher you respect and who knows you well.  Attending class should help you develop into a technically strong and emotionally in-tune actor. With time you are capable of finding and making your own choices. I am not a teacher diva, or guru, and I would never encourage a student’s over dependency on me.

However there are times when an actor needs special help. Perhaps you are working on a set, or preparing an audition where you need an acting coach as an ‘outside eye.’ Private one-on-one acting coaching is the perfect solution.  I do this in New York, or via ZOOM, and upon request on the set. When I coach an actor for an audition I encourage them to audition with the same sense of discovery and play that I encourage in my classroom.  Imagine every audition as another chance to do what you love–act! I can reduce your stress by making sure you are properly prepared.  I’ve encountered many actors who were blocked in an audition or scene, who could not focus or concentrate clearly and who needed to find a better way to connect with the material. Once we began working together their confidence and creativity returned.

When I work with students on preparing auditions for television, film, or Broadway theater auditions, we break down the audition scenes or ‘sides’ together. I can help you pinpoint the plot or ‘arc’ to the scene and your character’s true objective and progression. My knowledge can be invaluable to an actor not yet familiar with the quantity or style of a writers’ or directors’ body of work.

I have eased the transition for many of my students from young adult, or teen roles (noting the proliferation of Nickelodeon, Disney and other family or comedic shows) to adulthood and the deepening competition they encounter for more mature and larger roles. I treat each actor as an individual, trying to find the ‘hooks’ which resonate within them, the substitutions and situations which will quickly and effectively trigger the emotional life present in the scene at hand. If it’s comedic film or situation comedy then I will also deal with the character’s physical flexibility, comedic timing, improvisational ability and clarity of language. Many directors like to cast performers with improv experience and will add a sudden improvisational adjustment at their auditions. I’m a coach who does not ‘set’ an audition in stone, but who anticipates the various ways that the director may add input.  As an actor you always want to be open and flexible at an audition, so the director feels that there is still much he can add to your performance.

I am available for private coaching in New York City, or currently via online software like ZOOM or Skype. My online coaching sessions have proven very helpful for students when they need help immediately and travel is inconvenient, whether they live in the tri-state area, the west coast, or around the globe. Actors who must tape their own auditions and email them to casting directors in Los Angeles or elsewhere (self-tapes) find it extremely helpful to hear my voice reading opposite them at their sessions. As a professional actress I can provide the give and take, action/reaction so crucial in the audition process. You can tape your own audition while you Zoom with me, recording my voice in the process. I have found this technique excellent for tape success, callbacks, and bookings.

If you are planning to audition for a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) theater or acting conservatory I have years of experience assisting actors in gaining acceptance to their ‘dream school.’ I work with middle school actors hoping to attend one of the competitive New York performing arts high schools. The selection of material is one of my specialties, and I have hundreds of choices (See Monologues) from both contemporary and classical plays. Be sure to get in touch well before your scheduled auditions to discuss requirements, deadlines, the potential need for ‘Pre-Screen” monologue submissions. I can advise you on the best course of action.  

I look forward to working with you! Please Contact me to schedule a private acting coaching appointment. My rates are extremely reasonable considering my expertise, experience, and many years as a professional coach.

Rita Litton (from the book “How to Be a Working Actor” by Mari Lynn Henry and Lynn Rogers.)

Well-trained actors of any age are never a casting risk. A well-trained actor knows how to find solutions to problems. They are flexible, easy to direct yet not afraid to make choices. They are well spoken, have ensemble skills, confidence and physical grace. I am attempting to train actors who will walk out of my classes employable; who will be cast worthy because they are responsible to the director and the other actors on the set or stage. An actor who understands the big picture, how the whole environment should come together. Youth affords many opportunities, and opens doors. But the door stays open for the wise actor with training.”

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About Rita

About Rita

Teacher, Coach, Director, Actor, Guest Artist, Lecturer.

Mari Lyn Henry (Mari Lyn Henry is a career coach, teacher, and former director of casting for ABC-TV.)

“I have known Rita Litton for many years. She is a pioneer in the area of helping young people get the best kind of acting training to prepare them for a career in film, TV and theatre. I have featured Rita in a chapter in the book I co-authored “How to Be a Working Actor.” If anyone knows how to give young people an overview of what it takes to audition and be prepared for the world of show business, Rita does. Her alums are featured in series, films, and of course on stage.”

Rita Litton began her actor training by studying Meisner technique while attending UCLA’s acting specialization program. Seeking more classical theater training she studied voice, speech and Shakespeare at both San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre and with John Fernald’s American version of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in Michigan. After graduation she moved to New York where she appeared Off and Off Off Broadway. While serving as assistant coordinator for the Playwrights Unit of The Actors Studio she had the opportunity to audit the studio’s select acting sessions taught and moderated by Lee Strasberg, Ellen Burstyn, Arthur Penn, Estelle Parsons and other greats. This exposure to diverse acting processes and tools sharpened her versatility and ability to work well with a variety directors and actors. In her work as a professional actress Rita appeared in New York and regional theaters in leading roles ranging from Shakespeare and the classics to American premieres, comedies, tours and musicals. Throughout her performing career she supplemented her theatrical work with appearances in daytime dramas (for CBS-TV and ABC-TV), feature films, and industrials. She has recorded many national and regional commercials and voice-overs, including narration for an Emmy Award–winning children’s documentary. She is a long standing member of Screen Actors Guild, The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and Actors Equity Association.

As an instructor, Ms. Litton has taught acting and audition technique for various professional theater companies, universities, the Screen Actors Guild Young Performers Conservatory, and acting schools around the country. After a casting director noticed her talent in improvisation, Rita was asked to guest teach at the Weist Barron School, the first on camera acting school for adults in the nation. Shortly thereafter Weist Barron asked her to create an acting program for teens. The success of that program prompted Ms. Litton to create ACTeen in 1978, the first on camera acting program for young adults. ACTeen grew from two courses in film/TV to over sixteen distinct courses covering all aspects of theater and on camera acting training, taught by a distinguished roster of professional instructors enriching the lives and careers of thousands of former students. Hundreds of her students have gone on to successful professional careers in acting, directing, producing, casting, or as agent/managers. She is a three-time winner of Backstage Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award (“Favorite Acting Coach & Classes.”)

“Rita Litton, Director, on the way she teaches: ‘I combine the discipline of the theatre with the immediacy and naturalness of the camera.’ Rita guides actors to test the limits of their creativity, hone their audition skills, and showcase their talents in a multi-media environment.”— Seventeen Magazine

A writer and contributor to various acting books, Ms. Litton is the author of “Acting and Auditioning for Television Commercials” (© revised 2010 R. Litton) a comprehensive teaching text on the subject for teens. She has been interviewed for the book “How to Be A Working Actor” by Lynne Rogers and Mari Lyn Henry (former head of casting for ABC-TV), “Acting for Young Actors” by Emmy winning director Mary Lou Belli and Dinah Lenney, and “The Actor’s Other Career Book” by Lisa Mulcahy. She is a contributor for ““The Young Performer’s Guide” by Simon & Padol, and “Acting Like a Pro” by Mary McTigue, and a ‘Backstage Expert” for Backstage magazine. Favorable press about Ms. Litton or ACTeen has appeared in “The New York Times,” “The New York Post,” “Variety”, “New York Magazine,” “The Chicago Tribune,” “Seventeen,” “Cosmo Girl,” “Backstage,” “The Princeton Review,” “Dramatics Magazine” (published by Educational Theater Alliance) and others. Rita was interviewed for TV Asahi in Japan, and featured on NBC’s “Wednesday’s Child” with Janice Huff. Agent & industry professionals consistently recommend Rita for their clients and prospective clients. During her many years of teaching, Ms. Litton has served as a casting consultant for such diverse studios as Nickelodeon, Fox, Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount, CBS, NBC, and ABC on projects ranging from major motion pictures to TV series, sitcoms, television pilots, & daytime dramas.

Many of Rita’s students have achieved successful careers in film, television, and the theater. For example: Emmy & Golden Globe TV series winner Jamie Lynn Sigler (‘Meadow Soprano’ in HBO’s “The Sopranos,”) Jon Seda (Emmy winning mini series, “The Pacific,”— “La Brea,” “Chicago P.D.,”) and Emmy nominee Cara Buono ( “Stranger Things,” “Person of Interest.” “Mad Men.”) Other working actors include Daniella Alonso (“Dynasty,” “Friday Night Lights,”) Sofia Black D’Elia (“Single Drunk Female,” “Your Honor,” “The Mick,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Night Of,”) Jordana Spiro (“Ozark,” “Royal Pains,” “The Good Wife,”) Danny Masterson (“That ’70s Show,”) Jordana Brewster (“Fast & Furious” franchise, “American Crime Story,” “Lethal Weapon,”) Julia Goldani Telles (“The Girlfriend Experience,” “The Affair,” “Bunheads,”) Lucca De Oliviera “Clarice,” “Seal Team,”) Davi Santos (“Good Sam,” “Tell Me a Story,” “Power Rangers,”) Daniel Puig (“Naomi,”) Imani Lewis (“First Kill,” “Hightown,” “Forty-Year- Old Version,”) Samm Levine (“Freaks and Geeks,”), Kimberly Williams Paisley (“Nashville,” “According to Jim,” “Father of the Bride.”) Rita has also taught many students on Broadway such as Caitlin Kinnunen, Tony Award nominee for ‘Lead Actress in a Musical’ for her performance in “The Prom,” Jillian Mueller lead in “Pretty Woman”, and others in “Aladdin,” “Matilda,” “The Book of Mormon,” ” The Lion King,” “Billy Elliot,” “Jersey Boys”, “Les Miserables,” “The Band’s Visit,” etc. Many acquired their first representation through her competitive industry showcases. In addition, her alumni roster includes graduates who have become successful talent agents, managers, film directors, screenwriters, and producers. See Testimonials

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