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Inside the Actors Studio Hosted by James Lipton in NYC

Watch Bravo's Popular TV Show Inside the Actors Studio.

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Inside the Actors Studio - Show Summary

Since September 1994, the Bravo channel's popular TV show Inside the Actors Studio has been getting some of the film and television world's brightest stars to sit down and speak in-depth about the acting process and their life experiences. Inside the Actors Studio has also branched out to include musicians, comedians, writers, directors and other distinguished arts professionals. The show has taped over 300 shows since its inception and has become an oft-quoted source for celebrities candor and angst.

The show's interview guests are not its only stars to appear, as host, James Lipton, has gained notoriety for his slow paced interviewing style and he is now a recognizable celebrity in his own right. The show gained TV immortality when in 2007, on NBC's flagship show Saturday Night Live, Will Ferrell mimicked James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio in a parody by emphasizing the host's tendency to ask pretentious questions and over praise his celebrity guests in his own distinctive interviewing style.

The affiliation with the prestigious Actors Studio allows Inside the Actors Studio to attract the most talented and respected performers in the world to the show. The show has received fourteen Emmy nominations.

In 1994 the Actors Studio, with Lipton at the helm, decided to create an educational program at The New School and the show was a seminar for that program. The show began at the John L. Tishman Theater at The New School For Social Research in New York City. James Lipton was the fresh-faced host and the actor interviewed was Paul Newman who appeared and spoke about his life in the performing arts. The format of this show was billed as a "craft seminar" and was attended only by faculty and students of The New School.

Newman was a former Actors Studio president and set a high bar for all interviews that followed. Unlike most celebrity interview TV shows, Inside the Actors Studio has a slow-paced format and concentrates on the timeless craft of acting rather than asking empty questions about celebrity and gossip.

No longer affiliated with The New School, Inside The Actors Studio is now designed as a seminar for the master's degree class part of the course curriculum at Pace University. The show is run by the independent organization The Actors Studio, that was founded in 1947 in New York City. The Actors Studio is a small non-profit organization for professional actors, directors and playwrights and has given birth to many successful artists including the classic Marlon Brando who began his acting career at this studio. Other notables included Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino who remain co-presidents of the organization. The Actors Studio uses both the Stanislavski System and the Method of which they retain exclusive rights to both.

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How To Get Tickets to Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio

Free Tickets to Inside the Actors Studio   Standby Tickets To Inside the Actors Studio

Free Tickets To Inside the Actors Studio

You can order tickets to Inside the Actors Studio show in advance of the show.
Please check today's free tv show ticket list to see the availability: TV Show Ticket List

Standby Tickets To Inside the Actors Studio

Standby tickets are available for Inside the Actors Studio, although ticket numbers are limited.
Please check today's free TV show ticket list to see availability: TV Show Ticket List

Should You See Inside the Actors Studio taped in New York City?

James Lipton host of Inside the Actors Studio
  As there is no time limit on this show, the taping can go on for up to four hours and is brutally edited down to just one hour. Seeing the full show in person, in its entirety, provides you with an interview experience that television audiences will never see. On TV you see an hour-long, Bravo-friendly format, that feels a great deal more homogenous than the in-person experience. Audience members often complain that the edited TV show bears little resemblance to their in-studio experience. Make sure you eat before going to this show as they do not provide food or drinks to keep you sustained. This show can have a great array of Hollywood's A-List guests that appear. Pace university does not like the general public attending this show, but are forced to accept it by Bravo and the Hollywood reps/bookers, because the celebrity guest does not want to appear out-of-reach to the general public. With this in mind, the show will place the general public at a lower seating priority than everyone else and put them at the back of the theatre. The guests do not usually stay around after the show because they are exhausted from the four hours of taping and Q&A session with the students. James Lipton is over ninety years old and is not very friendly after the show, but this could be because he is so exhausted from the taping.
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Host Profile for James Lipton   Michael Schimmel Center For The Arts   Get FREE tickets to Inside the Actors Studio

Host Profile - James Lipton

James Lipton was born in 1926 and hails from Detroit, MIchigan. He has been an American writer, composer and actor during his long career. Lipton is also dean emeritus of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University (formerly at The New School) in New York City. Lipton is an heir to the Lipton family fortune of tea producers that were pervasive during the 1960's and 1970's. Lipton is also currently the producer and host of the television series Inside the Actors Studio, which debuted in 1994 in NYC at Pace university.

TV Studio Location:

Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at PACE
3 Spruce Street
New York, NY 10038

How To Get To The Studio:
There are several ways to get to the TV Studio. If you are already in the New York City area, you can take the 3 train to Fulton Street or take the R train to City Hall and walk towards Spruce Street. You can also take a taxi via the FDR Drive.

Get FREE Tickets to Inside the Actors Studio

Getting tickets to Inside the Actors Studio is much easier for all students and faculty from PACE University. However, because this is a closed event, the public is usually only able to get tickets via the show's standby line.

You must be at the general public standby line at least two hours before the TV show taping starts. For more information about getting tickets for Inside the Actors Studio CLICK HERE
James Lipton possible replacement   Noteworthy dates for Inside the Actors Studio   Taping Days for Inside the Actors Studio

James Lipton Replacement

Inside The Actors Studio is actively looking for a replacement for the aging Lipton, who was born in 1926 and is now over ninety years old. Lipton has been hosting the Inside The Actors Studio TV show since 1994 and his replacement will be hard to integrate into the existing show as the show has Lipton's fingerprints and DNA all over it. It is anticipated that Lipton's interim replacement could be Ellen Burstyn, who is another long-term member of the The Actors Studio, but she is also getting on in her years as she was born in 1932, barely eight years younger than Lipton.

Noteworthy Dates for Inside the Actors Studio

June 12, 1994: Premier of first season of Inside The Actors Studio

March 19, 2013: Premier of the 19th Season Featuring Tina Fey

May 29, 2013: Airing of the 250th Special featuring Dave Chappelle and Christopher Walken

February 12, 2015: Premier of the 20th Season featuring Neil Patrick Harris

When Does This Show Tape?

Inside The Actors Studio tapes once a week on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM in the Michael Schimmel Center at New York City campus of Pace University.

The show tapes at random dates and times and is also aired occasionally on TV.

By signing up for the Michael Schimmel Center mailing list, you will receive updates on upcoming tapings. These emails will also provide more information on standby tickets for the public.
Steven Spielberg on Inside the Actors Studio   James Lipton laid back style   Classroom portion of Inside the Actors Studio

Great TV Material That Has Never Aired

Because of the laid back approach of Lipton's interviewing, the taping of the show can often run into two hours or more.

The famous Steven Spielberg's 1999 interview stretched out to four hours and was ultimately broadcast as two one-hour shows.

This means that an average interview on this show is two hours, but Bravo provides a one-hour transmission slot, therefore over fifty percent of footage is cut, including many memorable moments, as Bravo's time slot does not allow it.

Lipton's Laid Back Interviewing Style

James Lipton always has his pack of blue question cards and converses at great length with the guest on a variety of subjects before moving to the portion of the interview where he submits the interviewee to his standard Bernard Pivot questionnaire that includes such queries as "What is your favorite curse word?" and "What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?" The final segment of Inside the Actors Studio allows the Actors Studio MFA students in the audience to ask the guest questions directly. James Lipton's style has often been ridiculed as it has featured many pretentious questions that overly lavish his guest with praise.

The Class Room Portion

At the end of every show, they take a break and Lipton allows students to pose questions to the celebrity guest.

The questions are usually inane and often self serving because the students tie themselves into the question, these are rich drama students after all. This portion of the show does lighten the note of a show that has already taped for hours and is now making the turn into the final straight of wrapping up. This portion of the show runs for another hour and members of the public are allowed to attend, but not allowed to ask questions.
From The New School to PACE   Student doing research

Inside The Actors Studio Moved To A New Location In 2005

From September 1994 through May 2005, the Actors Studio taped the TV show Inside The Actors Studio at the John L. Tishman Theater located inside The New School, an independent university in New York City. The school used the show as part of its education program for its masters-level theatre students at their Drama School which also is part of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences.

In 2005 The Actors Studio abruptly ended the contract with The New School and signed up with their cross-town competitor, Pace University. It was at this time that Pace created their own The Actors Studio Drama School and the TV show, Inside The Actors Studio, was moved to their theater, at The Schimmel Center at Pace University. Inside The Actors Studio still tapes at the Schimmel Center to this day and has over 400 seats per show is a popular show to attend on campus.

After losing the MFA program and the TV show to Pace, The New School created its own theater program to fill the void left by The Actors Studio and in particular, the void left by the TV show Inside The Actors Studio. The New School discovered that they could not create their own version of the TV show due to a rights issue with The Actors Studio and they now no longer have a TV show that promotes their acting program, which is clearly a big misstep in their own marketing strategy.

Students Provide Research Resource

Although James Lipton is the interviewer on the show, there are many students moonlighting as researchers who work unseen on the show for course credit. Interviewees are often amazed by Lipton's insight into and knowledge of, their lives. Little-do-they-know, Lipton is just reading off his blue cue cards that over forty researchers have complied with information from every angle. The researchers have been known to go to extraordinary lengths to dig up dirt on the celebrity, that many of them later go into tabloid journalism. Some Pace graduates now work on the TMZ TV show in California. This seemingly endless, unpaid talent pool makes Pace University and Inside The Actors Studio the most over-prepared TV show on American Television, with assets that other New York talk shows would love to have.
Actors Studio alumni

After Moving To Pace University The MFA Program and TV Show Has Scant Critical Successes

The MFA program and the TV show that is now at Pace University and is overseen by The Actors Studio, has had very little success in actually turning any of the students and wannabe-famous audience members into actual commercial successes in the entertainment industry. Given the high number of taped episodes over the years and the many thousands of Pace MFA students that have attended the show, this is a surprising fact. The problem may be caused by the high cost of the MFA program tuition at Pace and may only be affordable by affluent families who are encouraging their offspring into this career. Not many regular people can afford to take an MFA program to learn acting and it is now quickly becoming reserved for the rich. It has long been established that great actors come from humble beginnings and it is no surprise that they served their time as starving artists and most do not actually have a higher education. Bradley Cooper recently became the first ever guest to actually have been a student at the Pace MFA program. Pace University uses Cooper as the poster boy of famous alumni, but very few other commercial successes exist since the program moved to Pace. The salad days of the program at The New School produced countless stars including Hollywood greats; Marlon Brando, Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino. Pace has a ho-hum acting MFA program, but with their association with The Actors Studio and the inclusion of the TV show, Inside The Actors Studio, the credibility of this class is raised significantly. Critics claim that the show is both shallow and valueless as a teaching tool that only serves to provide Bravo with great viewer ratings at very little investment and Pace an effective infomercial for their expensive MFA program and other school offerings.
Meryl Streep and Al Pacino   Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio   Robin Williams on Inside The Actors Studio

Celebrities Who Have Been On The Show

Guests on the show have been a veritable who's-who of Hollywood performers. These celebrities have included:

Contemporary Actors: Sean Penn, Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and Jodie Foster.

Classic Actors: Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, Clint Eastwood, Robert DeNiro, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Lauren Bacall, Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman.

Comedic Actors: Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, John Candy, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Conan O'Brien, Dave Chappelle, John Goodman and Tom Hanks.

Directors: Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron and Steven Spielberg

List Of Celebrities Who Declined To Appear

Many celebrities have declined to appear on the show. These celebrities have included:

Contemporary Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Lawrence, Marlon Brando, Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington and Michael Keaton.

Classic Actors: Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Warren Beatty, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson and Gary Oldman.

Comedic Actors: Bill Murray, Adam Sandler and Chevy Chase.

Directors: George Lucas and Woody Allen.

Howard Stern has also declined an invitation to appear on the show.

Hollywood "Gives Back"

On Inside The Actors Studio, Hollywood celebrities will often talk about their favorite subject, themselves, for hours. An interview with the late Robin Williams taped in 2007 for over five and a half hours. But the content was brutally edited down to just one hour.

Following William's death there have been calls for this specific show to be publicly released in its entirety, as Pace University faculty and students already have complete access to this original material but the rest is not public.

By appearing on the show, celebrities believe that they are giving back to the industry by offering their pearls of wisdom to the drama students, but the reality is that this may just be another TV show for celebrities to talk incessantly about themselves for hours under the guise of an educational format.
Pace University daytime   Priority tickets for students and faculty

Pace University Summary:

Pace university is a private university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. This school is well known for its arts program, but the school has attempted to branch out with schools of School of Health Professions, School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, School of Law and Seidenberg School of Computer Science.

Their most popular major is business management and their Visual and Performing Arts Program comprises 6% of the total student population. The student to faculty ratio is 14:1 and the school has an acceptance rate at 81%, which is very high. According to US News, their four year graduation rate is only 34% . Rachael Ray, the TV cooking show host, went to Pace in the 1980's but like 66% of other students, she dropped out after two years.

Pace University is often described as comparatively expensive (many schools in NYC are similar), but Pace has been reported to provide a poorer experience than its peers of NYU and St Johns due to its dysfunctional administration and aging infrastructure problems with students complaining about "terrible" wireless connectivity and absentee professors.

Free Tickets To The Public:

Inside The Actors Studio does not pay the guest celebrities for their appearance on the show, but they do charge their students for the course credit to attend the taping. The suggestion that the show should be "students only," is a little uncomfortable for all concerned. The school begrudgingly allows members of the public to attend the taping, although they seat them at the back of the theatre after all the school faculty and students have been seated.

Students and faculty are given priority access for tickets to this show. Students must be be enrolled in The Actors Studio Drama School at PACE to be able to get this VIP treatment.
TV Show Director and producers   TV Show staff and creative team   TV Show Genre


Jeff Wurtz

Executive Producer:
James Lipton

Associate Producer:
Alice Siess
Jasmin Proios
Eileen Lanci

Sabrina Fodor
Shawn Tesser
Lou Del Prete
Amy Leland
Gina Angelone

Staff and Creative Team:

Opening Theme:
Angelo Badalamenti

Sound Department:

Spyros Poulos
Tim Cereste

Camera Operator:
Howard Heitner

Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts

Distributed by:

TV Show Genre:

Inside The Actors Studio is a talk show that focuses on the premise and education of acting.

Show Taping Duration:
The show's taping duration may go on from 1 to 5 hours due to the content the actor discusses with host, James Lipton.

Show Transmission Time:
Inside The Actors Studio broadcasts at sporadic times at days.

Show Transmission Channel:
Inside the Actors Studio is transmitted on channel BRAVO. It is also watched on other foreign markets.
Parking for Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts
Parking For This TV Studio
The closest parking garages for the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts is located at:
2 Spruce Street
New York, NY 10038
ICON Seaport Parking
80 Gold Street
New York, NY 10038
The closest parking is not always the best as it often takes longer to park and retrieve your vehicle as fellow theatre goers have the same idea. A better choice of parking may be the second choice or further away by a couple of Avenues.