Aug 19, 2023
A few months ago The Cut published an article 3 years in the making. Journalist Sara Jin Li spoke to 26 ex-students of acting studio Lonsdale Smith & Company, ran by "dogmatic leader slash guru" Michèle Lonsdale-Smith; who has been running acting classes in studios acros North America, and now Europe, for 20+ years. Actors described, in detail, cult-like abuse, mistreatment and bullying exhibited under the guise of "doing the work". Since the release of the article, huge comparisons have been made online between what these actors have described, and the workings of dangerous cults..from survivors of cults themselves.
In today's episode one of those ex-students, Brooke, joins us to share her experience and the ways she is using it to retrain as an art therapist with the aim to provide person centered, trauma informed safe spaces for artists. Brooke shares her inspiring story and strength, harrowing experience, important thoughts around how actors are viewed by the profession and themselves, why person-centered training is key, and why actors shouldn't be performing monkey's jumping through hoops for those percived to be 'important' in this industry. An important listen for all.
Content Warning - this episode contains discussion around mistreatment and verbal abuse
Follow Brooke on instagram @ababblingbooke and her traum-informed safe space for artists @rise.artists
If you'd like to find out more about the acting studio, and teacher, discussed in this episode you can read the article in The Cut here: https://www.thecut.com/article/michele-lonsdale-smith-acting-class-students.html
You can also listen to a two-part episode from podcast A Little Bit Culty who chat to three ex-students, including Brooke https://open.spotify.com/episode/1EDnectgYfgtg78i6ISLpc?si=_p4AGFlWQUOJEnDaZ9_P2w
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