Awareness. Compassion. Action.

BGB Community is where and how we reach out into our community to offer support to those in need. Giving is an essential part of our work as artists, giving back to our communities, giving generously and fully of ourselves, creating bonds locally and globally. It’s also where BGB artists share their creative growth and collaboration. Share with us as we expand our community outside of the Studio and into the world around us.


Past BGB Community Events

BGB & The Unusual Suspects

BGB proudly teamed up with The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company for their Page to Stage play, written by the incredible young women at Dorothy Kirby Detention Center. Over the past several months, these women have poured their hearts and lives out on the page with the help of Volunteer Mentors, and then gave our BGB […]

An Actor’s Response To Tragedy

It all feels like too much; climate change, never-ending racial inequality, horrific gun violence, political ineptitude. There is profound suffering everywhere.  Any rational person would be excused for disengaging, doing nothing because it feels like there’s so much to do. But actors aren’t often the rational ones. No, actors are different.  They have decided to [...]

BGB Serving Together in Los Angeles

Thank you to the volunteers who show up early to serve breakfast, show up at rush hour times to hang out with children at the hospital, show up in the middle of the day to inspire students to write at Title 1 schools. It might feel small and we might never see the fruits of […]

End of the Year Reflection

They say giving back to your community is like paying rent to live on this earth. I had such a great time working with the young people of Young Storytellers. They remind me about joy, fun, and laughter. I’m honored to encourage them to use their voices and creativity. -Daisha One of my favorite things [...]

Your generosity matters!

This past June because y’all showed up big we were able to support Journey Out and Foster Love Los Angeles with a sweet supply of baby and family needs. Here’s a testimonial from the founder of Foster Love Los Angeles. This bundle went out to a military veteran mamma and super hard working dad with three kids […]

BGB CelebrASIAN & Reflection

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. BGB artists reflect on identity, history and where we go from here.   As a child, I didn’t understand concepts such as race and ethnicity. I thought I was white until I was 10 years old, because that’s what I was surrounded by and what I saw in the media. When […]

Second Act. by Harley Jane Kozak

My whole life I wanted to be an actor—and a mom. By my late thirties I’d pulled off the former, but not the latter. I couldn’t grow a houseplant, let alone a baby, and my one post-childhood pet, a goldfish named Steve, survived one weekend. The men in my life were like Steve. As it [...]

An Actor’s Musings on Motherhood. by E.B.

It’s a strange symptom of being a mother, and one I really didn’t expect. This abundance of feeling. This universal sadness. These bitter tastes of pain, refluxing like vile, that you experience completely out of the blue. When somebody flippantly mentions a news story about a kidnapped child; when you have that moment in the [...]

Motherhood and Acting: Backwards and in High Heels. by Cate Cohen

A couple of weeks ago, I booked a series of car commercials that shot during my kids’ Spring Break. It was like hitting the jackpot: a potentially nice pay day AND time off during a two-week span of hardcore mothering. But, as is often the case, the reality of the job turned out to be [...]

Motherhood: Acting 101. by Amy Stewart

Before I had my son, I had been told countless times that I would experience a shift in perspective that would impact my acting career. What my peers were referring to was a re-prioritization in my life that would make each casting session less precious. Instead of “Would you like to see it another way,” [...]

BGB Community Spotlight: Dana Buchanan & Volunteering

The BGB community is not only made up of incredible artists who show up for the work in the class and on set, but also in the Los Angeles community. Here’s a word from one of our best – Dana Buchanan – on the BGB Studio and on volunteering:  “I have loved studying with and […]

BGB Community Spotlight: EAMF

For the last 9 months, BGB Studio members have volunteered with The Elizabeth A. MacDonald Charitable Foundation (EAMF), coming alongside siblings of seriously ill children. Here’s a testimonial from Natalie, the Executive Assistant at EAMF: “The Elizabeth A. MacDonald Charitable Foundation (EAMF) is spearheading a movement to bring invisible siblings of seriously ill children out […]

Nancy Ma Sleeps Out in Support of Homeless Youth

"After work, there was a bed. There was a bed waiting for me." "22 elementary schools. 12 foster homes. I came to Covenant House when I was 16." "I never grew up with emotional support so when he hugged me, I broke down." These are some of the testimonials from alumni of The Covenant House. [...]

BGB Community: Young Storytellers

Young Storytellers is a non-profit that provides public school students with an opportunity to write stories and see them brought to life on stage and in film. Our mission is to inspire young people to discover the power of their own voice. As part of the BGB community, The BGB Studio has been working with […]

AWRS (August Wilson Reading Series) at BGB 2017

“The Commonalities of all culture within the life I know best – which is black life, that’s who I am – I’m gonna express that.  That’s what I am – I’m gonna express that. That’s what I want my art to be about. This is the way we do things. We all bury our dead, we all […]

BGB Gives Back: Journey Out Awareness Walk & Community Fair

Survival. Hope. Freedom.    For 35 years, Journey Out has been fighting for the freedom and survival of those whose lives have been destroyed by sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in Los Angeles. On Saturday, October 7, 2017, Journey Out had their annual walk and community awareness festival. BGB Studio actors not only participated in the […]

The Inspiration of Community

By Lauren Shippen When I walked into BGB over three years ago, uncertain and nervous about what I’d find there, I could never have anticipated just how profoundly the studio would affect my life. At first it was a place for me to stretch my wings; find my voice and learn to trust my instincts. The more [...]

BGB Gives Back – June 2017

Seeds of Hope – This past week, BGB actors spent time with Seeds of Hope, an organization dedicated to working with congregations, communities, and schools, to turn unused land into productive and beautiful gardens and orchards that provide fresh and nutritious foods to areas of need across the county of Los Angeles. “Volunteering at the garden […]

BGB Gives Back – April 2017

Hope Gardens – A few BGB actors hosted Game Time with the children at Hope Gardens – A Homeless Women and Children’s Facility here in Los Angeles. They played the old throwbacks – 7Up and Four Corners.  The kids created ice cream out of play-dough and danced hard on the Dance Dance Revolution machine. We were […]

Taking Flight

The Seagull flies! BGB Actor/Writer/Director/Leader Frankie Kraft is adapting and directing Anton Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL as a modern LGBTQ+ (and allies) retelling with a predominantly Queer cast! Through workshops and rehearsals, Frankie leads his cast with vision and love. As the script evolves, this promises to be an extraordinary storytelling of “The Seagull” and we’re […]

BGB Gives Back – March 2017

Covenant House – This month BGB Actors Nancy Ma and Felipe Figueroa spent a couple Thursday evenings with the residents of this long-standing center for homeless youth (ages 18-24).  On March 9, they led an acting class that started with fun improv character games to get everyone warmed up and shake off the day.  Then […]

BGB Actors: August Wilson Reading Series – The Gem of the Ocean

“The commonalities of all culture within the life I know best – which is black life, that’s who I am – I’m gonna express that.  That’s what I want my art to be about.  This is the way we do things.  We all bury our dead, we all have parties, we all decorate our houses, but […]

BGB Gives Back: February 2017

Hope Gardens is a transitional home in the Valley that houses elderly women and mothers and children. It is part of Union Rescue Mission. BGB members had the privilege to rehearse a play with some of their youth and volunteer at their 3rd annual Art Show.   Working with the kids at Hope Gardens changed […]

BGB Gives Back: How we ended 2016!

St. Francis is a food pantry that serves the downtown community. We’ve had the privilege to partner with them once a month serving breakfast and/or helping at their pantry distribution. It’s been our privilege to do so throughout the past months. “I absolutely loved doing the St. Francis breakfast. It was (selfishly) a wonderful soul cleanse […]

BGB PODCAST: Turning the Current Fear into Acting Success

Lots going on in the world. And either you want to shut down and not get out of bed…or forget about it all and just focus on booking some damn work. But neither option gets you what you want. There is another way. Listen… Choose to make the New Year a time of honing your […]

How Actors can Change the World this Thanksgiving

Been a heck of a few weeks or so. For over a year, one half of the country has been screaming at the other half, respect has been scarce, friends and family have been pitted against one another. Lots of division and disconnection. Lots of big feelings swirling around. And as most actors are hyper-sensitive [...]

Staged Reading: Three Part Disharmony

What are the repercussions of an innocent man of color being stopped by the police, the contents of his bag thrown out all over the sidewalk and then, after being confirmed as innocent, left to collect his belongings from the sidewalk all because he supposedly fit the profile of a criminal? On November 4th we were […]

An Actor’s Case Against Trump

Throughout history it’s been the actor’s job to speak the truth, to “reflect the universe so that all may understand it,” as my first acting teacher used to say.  You get to the emotional core of life and then take action based on what you find there.  And taking action is an essential part of […]

BGB Gives Back: Camp SoCal Hearts

Camp SoCal HeARTs, a program of Camp TLC (Together Living a Challenge), benefits many underprivileged and foster care children of Los Angeles. Camp TLC has added a week-long summer camp to their year round curriculum, exposing attendants to ART based activities that are no longer offered in the public school system. Through nurturing creativity and exposure […]

Thoughts from the Set of Masters Of Sex

We asked some BGB Actors about their time working on Masters of Sex, Season 4. What they learned, what surprised them, what they felt, what felt like home. Here’s what they had to say. What did you learn working on Masters of Sex? “What surprised me about my time working on MOS was I realized […]

BGB Serving Our Community & Finding Connection

Our monthly commitments to St. Francis and Covenant House are about building consistent community and investing in our city. It has been a wonderful way to connect more and more of our BGB actors with Los Angeles communities in need. St. Francis and Covenant House both address homelessness, which is a visible and heartbreaking staple of this city. […]

Compassion Bags

  Thank you to everyone for your generous donations of Compassion Bags to Journey Out. Journey Out does extraordinary work with homeless victims of sex trafficking and we’re grateful for our continued partnership with them. As always, we were so moved by the generosity and support of our BGB Community.         “When I dropped off the bags, there was […]

Actors Needed

In times of tragedy, when a long-oppressed people are targeted by a warped mind determined to silence the beautiful expression of Pride for a community that requires it to survive in a heteronormative world, we are left wondering what can be done. What could an actor possibly do? Actors, and artists alike, have power.  In [...]


I sat down to write a piece last week honoring PRIDE month for The BGB Studio Blog with a specific direction in mind. Then, a few days later, the Orlando shooting took place. The atmosphere of the world greatly shifted and so did my words, or lack thereof. I felt numb as my mind raced with [...]

Our LGBTQ Actor Roundtable

Risa & Steve sat down with Cassandra Clark, Felipe Figueroa, Frankie Kraft, Deborah Puette & Puppett, 5 LGBT+ actors from our community, to hear their thoughts on the work, the business and what it will take to make the business a more inclusive place that better reflects all the amazing humanity that exists in the world. […]

Improv at the Covenant House

Two BGB Actors, Felipe and Nancy, help their community by leading a youth improv/acting class at The Covenant House. Here is what they had to say about their experience. We had so much fun playing improv games and writing with the youth students at The Covenant House. They jumped into each of the improv exercises [...]

Continuing To Serve

As BGB Community continues our service in partnership with St. Francis, we recently served breakfast and lunch to 174 guests at St. Francis Center.  Here is what some of our BGB members had to say about that morning! It was so nice to volunteer at St. Francis. I’m so excited when an opportunity to volunteer pops […]

Young Story Tellers: BGB Actors in Community

Every Friday, BGB actors partner with 5th graders at a LAUSD public school to play and develop scripts through Young Storytellers. This 10 week collaboration concludes with a wild stage performance of students’ stories for which our actors auditioned for their fifth grader writers. The writers cast their scripts and watched their work come to life. So […]

BGB Actors & St. Francis

On April 14th, BGB members came out to the St. Francis Center in downtown LA early in the morning to serve breakfast. We served 162 guests! We had the privilege to sit and chat with many of them as well. We’re so grateful for the work this place does to build and serve the community. […]

A BGB Sit Down with Michael Sheen

There is a great deal to be said for the community of artists. The coming together of creative beings with a shared need to create. This coming together is what allows us to realize the expression of what’s burning inside of us. It’s what gives us purpose. It may just be the “why” in what we […]

Serving at St. Francis

  BGB sorted through and organized fresh vegetables and fruits, clothes and supplies. Then we assisted members of the community as they “shopped” through the pantry.

Journey Out

  Journey Out (formerly The Mary Magdalene Project) seeks to help victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking leave a life of abuse and violence, overcome their fears, and empower them to reach their full potential and achieve their goals. Learn more about Journey Out at This month, The BGB Studio will partner […]

“I Don’t Have A Title For This”

  Deborah Puette, a uniquely talented actor (and BGB actor and coach) wrote this piece. She shared how it was inspired by our Saturday morning class here at BGB. This piece moved me to tears. I am sharing with you in support, and awe of Deb. – Risa Bramon Garcia   “I started writing this […]


  There’s no party like a BGB Studio party and when we party we like to support our favorite charities at the same time. So, on Saturday, November 1st from 2pm – Sundown, we’re packing our parking lot with games, raffles, prizes, music and food trucks and asking you to dress up (or not if […]

BGB PODCAST: BGB Actors Round Table: Black and Brown in Hollywood

Hollywood reflects the racism that exists in the world and is a product of a leadership that only knows white privilege.  African and Latino American actors from our studio share their experiences.   Join us in one of our classes here.

Not All Latinas Look Like J.Lo

Race and ethnicity in Hollywood are complicated things and being a dark-skinned Latina doesn’t make it any easier. Here’s the deal. I am Dominican-American. My mother and father were both born in the Dominican Republic. I was born in New York City. I am Latina. I’m also an Actress. Here’s the problem. America (and most [...]

BGB giving back!

We can’t be stopped! BGB is continuing to revisit The St. Francis Center to help give back. Make sure to join us next time! Thank you, thank you, and thank you again to those who showed up this Wednesday, August 13th: James Babbin, Eli Johannesdottir, Erin Kaufman, Cameron Moir, Devon Ogden and W. Cameron Tucker! […]

BGB #actorsgivingback AGAIN!

BGB actors giving back and feeling happy! BGB has become regulars at The St. Francis Center Downtown! We love the community, the warmth and the hard work at The St. Francis Center. We’ll be back again! A HUGE thank you to those who joined this time: Ryan Angel, Eli Johannesdottir, Liesel Kopp, Jules Lambert, Matt […]

BGB #actorsgivingback

Another tremendous success on June 10th at The St. Francis Center! We had 16 BGB actors join The St. Francis Center downtown in helping out organize and distribute food for low income families and individuals in the area. It couldn’t have been done without the enormous hearts of Amelia Alvarez, Jerry Broome, Camille Chen, Jules […]

BGB and Big Sunday!

What a BLAST we had getting together with Big Sunday and Immaculate Conception Elementary School on Friday, May 16th! Seven BGBers went downtown to help beautify this 100-year-old school by de-weeding their garden, cleaning up around the campus, and painting plastic tubs to plant flowers in. The hardworking 3rd grade class joined us in the […]

BGB’s 1st Community Event!

Our first BGB community event was a tremendous success! 9 BGB actors got together and headed down to The St. Francis Center to help sort, organize and distribute donated food to low-income families and individuals in the area. It was so rewarding to see sincere appreciation from everyone involved. I left feeling present, accomplished and […]

BGB’s Short Film Shoot: “The Glamour of It All”

Dude looks like a lady…“The Glamour Of It All” – written and directed by Joe Lyle Taylor. Starring Joe, Lucas Dixon, Josh Randall, Leah Costello, Will Doughty, and Simon Quaterman. At the BGB Studio.

BGB’s “The Waiting Room” Short Films

Simon Says…BGB actors write, direct, and star in their own shorts, and filmed at the Studio! “The Callback” written and directed by Simon Quarterman, starring Simon, Tom Connolly, Jamie Landau, Will Doughty, Elizabeth Logun.

BGB’s Short Film Shoot: “The Waiting Room”

It’s getting hot in here…Written & directed by and starring Jamie Landau with Rachel Kimsey. At The BGB Studio.  

Holiday Party

Celebrate and Give Back! Holiday PartyOur first year was absolutely thrilling! Wild exploration, stunning discovery, and profound growth. It was everything we wanted it to be and more. So, we’re going to celebrate our first year by bringing the BGB Community together, partying our asses off, and helping women and children in our community, all [...]

LGBT Actor Appreciation

  Acceptance of our Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered and Questioning brethren has come a long way in the last 20 years. The heroic work of The Drag Queens of Stonewall, Bayard Rustin, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Harvey Milk, etc created a foundation for change years before. But in the last 20 years or so, […]


We recently underwent a major renovation here at BGB Studio. Check it out!

The BGB Studio Community Outreach

The BGB Studio walks to stop domestic trafficking An actors superpower is her deep compassion and ability to connect with other people and the community around her. Community engagement is a big part of being an actor and the practice of community involvement gets you out of your head and makes you a better actor. […]

Up, Up and Away!

The BGB Studio's Will Doughty is jumping without a safety net. And so should you. Blacking out during flight was a hidden fact to a 4-year-old Superman. As I awoke from my superhero flight, my blurred vision revealed I was back inside my house, cape strewn on the floor. One Zips sneaker on my foot [...]


  CONGRATULATIONS Sally Levi! Winner of our “An Actor Prepares” Photo Contest! We loved her interpretation of our theme. Stay tuned for more contests and more chances to win coaching by our very own Risa Bramon Garcia or Steve Braun!

BGB’s “An Actor Prepares” PHOTO CONTEST

  We are starting our very FIRST contest, with an amazing prize of a 20 minute acting or career coaching session by Steve Braun or Risa Bramon Garcia being given away at the end of the week! Oh the places your sides go! We know as actors you prepare all over this town and even […]

Clownin’ Around

Our Teen Workshops are up and running! This week we are working with our 14 to 17 year-old teens, and having a blast. They are taking classes that range from monologues, to scene study, to improv, to singing, to yoga and even clowning! The studios have been filled with laughter, tears, and vocal performances. Here […]

Quiet On Set

Today at BGB we are full of excitement, because we are filming our new promo video! This video will be a glimpse into the world of BGB and all that goes on here including : classes, auditions, casting, social media, college outreach and more. This project has been a collaboration between Risa, Steve, the students […]

A Walk Around Our Studio

We know that the atmosphere of an acting class is important to the effectiveness of the class – the room should be a haven for actors. So here at BGB Studios we have created exactly that. Our acting studio is a canvas for each actor, supporting the individual truths they walk in with. Don’t believe […]

Younger Teen Workshop Collage

To follow up our Older Teen Workshop Collage post, we wanted to highlight the time we spent working with our younger teens! They were all such bundles of energy and joy. We are glad to have spent a week of artistry with these budding talents.

Older Teen Workshop Collage

This week we are having a blast with our younger teens! But we wanted to pay homage to the older teens that did beautiful work last week, so here is a photo collage to give a glimpse into that world…   Soon to come are some lovely photos of our younger teens! Stay tuned!




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