So, What’s New?

“So, what’s new?” Are you inquiring as to the welfare of my family, or are you asking me, da harv, the casting director, the freelance director, the guy running a school, an office, a recording studio, or just plain Harvey Kalmenson, a man who finds himself, constantly running, like many of his colleagues, trying to keep pace?

Thank you for asking!

The fact is… it doesn’t matter whom the question is being posed to. In my case, everything is tied together. Take my family (please). If you do, be prepared (we be a large one).

The Kalmensons have eleven teachers, and eight engineer / student coordinators, working regularly in our education program. Counting Cathy and myself we have a mission control staff of eight stalwart soldiers, whose responsibilities include everything short of feeding the cat.

Our colleagues come in a variety of shapes, colors and packages; all avowing to our company credo, inspiring folks to seek out excellence, twenty-four hours each and every day. We have twenty-seven members in our hand-picked and personally trained family. It’s nice to be able to choose one’s family members, don’t you think?

Seventeen years ago, when we began our long walk, we had the two of us: Cathy in the casting office and da harv going up and back to Burbank, functioning as director and talent coordinator. At the time… I believe we were teaching a total of two classes per week. Our education department consisted of the two of us. The “Kalmenson Method ®,” which had been cultivated many years earlier, began its rebirth, being firmly reestablished throughout our acting community.

Yes, we were confident in our skills as teachers, but we realized a simple fact: without actors, we didn’t have a business. From actor to actor, the word spread.

So, the question was, “What’s new?” The answer? Like many Angelinos, the Kalmensons continue to spar with the same day-to-day economic problems confronting most small business owners. It used to be, as an owner became more experienced, his or her job became easier. Today, I find, I need every drop of experience in order to stay in business. The day-to-day business problems of past years have turned into confrontations for business survival.

But with it all, our ship’s sails remain filled by the winds of the enormous creativity our acting community fosters. We have picked our neighborhood, as we have picked our trade, and our staff of players. The romance we enjoy; the creative implementation of vastness unequaled; enjoying verbiage, encountering the nature of what our life’s work presents, is reason enough to celebrate a style more than dreams are made of.

“Style and substance; substance and style.” I could easily explain to a child, we read out loud for a living. Depending on the age of the child would be the determining factor, as to whether or not my explanation would suffice. I might say to an adult, “We’re in the business of helping people.” In this case, the age of the adult I was explaining my vocation to would be of little consequence. “Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.”

For us, Cathy and da harv, what style and substance involve at our stage of the game may be summed up within the meaning of one single word: “integrity.” We are enablers. We develop excellence in others, and we get paid well to do it. We are teachers because people learn from us. If the people didn’t learn, we could not in good conscience be called teachers. And that is the credo shared by each and every one of our colleagues who will be joining us for our Christmas and Hanukkah dinner party.

“So, what’s new,” you ask?
I say, none of the most important things.
At this time of the year, our entire Kalmenson & Kalmenson team takes the opportunity to reunite, convening over a sumptuous repast,
And to toast to all who have added to our blessed welfare during the course of this year past.”

And of course… thank you for asking!

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