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Susannah C. Hicks is a Los Angeles based writer. Hicks has written for numerous entertainment and non-profit companies including In 2014 Hickshour-long teleplay The Summers Sisters was filmed on location in Charlotte North Carolina. Currently Hicks is working to complete her first full length play Trite and has several other pilots and a book of essays in development. Respect for Acting a book that revolutionized acting for so many and what is largely considered to be the greatest book on acting ever written. Kirbys own private acting coach was none-other than the fantastic Mira Rostova. Both Hagen and Rostova shaped his natural talent for coaching and acting and greatly deepened his understanding of the psychology of being human. Specifically Kirby and Rostovas connection and respect for one anothers work was rich deep and genuine in a way that only other artists can truly understand. Kirbys relationship and observation of how Rostova worked alongside her actors for decades at a time shaped the longevity of Kirbys relationships with his own actors. Rostovas decades-long and very close artistic relationship with Montgomery Clift closely parallels Kirbys relationship with Jim Caviezal whom Kirby has coached for decades and since the very beginnings of Caviezals career. Rostova was responsible for illuminating Kirbys understanding of what it is to be human in all its beauty and complexities his understanding of story and his inspiring style of teaching through gentleness which furthered his own brilliance and has ensured his longevity as a coach. While Kirby was producing plays and coaching many of his private clients began begging him to start a group class a la the scene study classes that were popular in New York. Since Kirby had a track record of bringing out the best in artists and helping them book jobs it seemed that Kirby had been the missing ingredient of many of their careers. The beginnings of Kirbys acting studio The John Kirby Studio began quite organically as it was a rather natural progression. Kirby had found himself as theArtistic director of the Cast Theater in Los Angeles while he was producing and coaching private clients on his own. For over 25 years Kirbys acting studio called simple The John Kirby Studio has consistently been one of the most successful acting studios in the country. This success and longevity comes in spite of the fact that he has never advertised and has no plans to do so. His students and actors come from managers agents casting directors and industry professionals. Affectionately coined the actors guardian angel Kirby has coached and worked with hundreds of actors and Hollywood heavy weights throughout his decades in the industry including Michiel Huisman star of the highly anticipated film Age of Adeline Jeff Bridges Winona Judd Cameron Diaz Judith Light Simon Fuller Alison Stoner Jordan Sparks and Val Chmerkovisky from Dancing With The Stars the cast of Tyler Perrys Medea On the Run along with countless others. Kirby has traveled around the globe from New Zealand and Australia to the United Kingdom Ireland and Japan while working on dozens of films mini-series and television shows including The Count of Monte Cristo Frequency Peter Pan Scream 4 Stick It Narnia Deja Vu and the upcoming film Beyond the Mask. His work with directors and writers has run the gamut from pouring over script changes at table reads to shot selections in editing bays. Hes been hired to direct numerous projects as well as producing theater in both Los Angeles and New York. Today one cannot watch a television show without catching the performance of one of Kirbys students. From 10 AM until 7 PM each day he works with actors prepping for auditions dissecting roles pouring over plays to pass on to his students or working with writers and directors on scripts. However by 7 PM his studio is filled with artists and actors who are as dedicated to him as he is to them. He is a shepherd of sorts and has guided hundreds of careers. Many of his students even his most famous ones have studied under Kirby for decades. Ive had the opportunity to watch Mr. Kirby and closely work with him on numerous occasions and on numerous projects and indeed there is something magical about the man. To work with John Kirby is to be family. As I prepared for this article I was able to speak with several of his students and the sentiments seemed to be similar something about working with John Kirby not only changes your art and your acting - but it changes the individual...what takes place in those walls of his studio cant completely be described in words - it is far more transforming. John Kirby is more dedicated to his actors their hearts and their work than anyone I have ever experienced. His attention to them and to their work goes far deeper than acting. He connects to the soul of the artist and with grace tenderness and with his acute skill and brilliance he draws out what it is to be human what it is to be authentic and what it is to live in the imaginary. Jeff Bridges John on Disneys Stick It. Jim Caviezel John on the set of AMCs The Prisoner in South Africa. 16 WWW.FLIPMAGAZINE.NETJUNE2015