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The fabric of John Kirbys life is woven into the history of the theater and Hollywood like no one else. Although there are countless acting teachers countless gurus and countless acting books no one has entered into the underbelly of the Los Angeles acting scene quite as seamlessly as Mr. Kirby. Raised primarily in the Hells Kitchen section of New York City Kirbys childhood was a rather magical existence. Born to successful theater and television actor Bruce Kirby and Lucille Garibaldi John Kirby and his older brother the late Bruno Kirby grew up surrounded by the legendary actors of the 1950s and 60s theater scene. The theater community in New York was and is still like none other. Its a community that is a living breathing inspiring generous family of artists with traits that perhaps are slightly different than those that exemplify the Hollywood acting community as the lure of fame engenders more of a competitive fire among its artists. There is a rootedness to the art the work and the artistry of acting in NewYork City and though the same rootedness does exist in Los Angeles it can be challenging to discover - that is until you enter into John Kirbys studio. The John Kirby Acting Studio is where one encounters an artists oasis in the midst of Hollywood just off the famous Sunset Blvd. When Kirbys students enter into his space they are met with a very different experience and a very different temperament than that of other Hollywood acting studios. For those that began their acting careers in New York City it is a home coming of sorts. For those who began their careers in Los Angeles it becomes a place to settle to root and to blossom. As a boy growing up during the British music invasion Kirby was able to soak in the theater and music scene in a time far more innocent than today. The family lived in an apartment building on 51st Street between Ninth Tenth Avenues. The particular apartment building was full of community and family similar to New York itself. On the top floor of the brownstone building lived Johns childhood friend the late Tom York whose Uncle worked at the New York Times throughout the night readying the paper for the next morning. Yorks Uncle Tony generously allowed the children that populated the building to spend hours after school in his empty apartment doing homework playing and daydreaming of becoming one of the artists they admired so much. Between school work and daydreams the students would scurry out in excited wonder and into the New York City entertainment scene that was just steps away whenever they heard rumors of famous musicians nearby. The precocious John Kirby was known to talk his way into hotel rooms in order to hang with the bands and musicians themselves. A buffet of art music and culture were just footsteps away and at his fingertips. During the school year the Kirby home was filled with artists and actors including George Segal Peter Falk George Peppard Renee Taylor and countless others. The young Kirby intently observed his father and his fathers group of friends a bevy of up-and-coming actors and fellow classmates as Bruce Kirby was on scholarship with the legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg. As they chatted laughed and sang the young actors feasted on Mrs. Kirbys Italian cooking. During the mid-sixties My Story Acting Coach John Kirby By Susannah C. Hicks Bruce Kirby with his kids John Bruno with their godmother the legendary Kaye Ballard. 14 WWW.FLIPMAGAZINE.NETJUNE2015