I Have Found My Artistic Home

I’ve been in Los Angeles for 10 years, working whatever day jobs I could get, while struggling to pursue my passion for great stories — stories that matter, that resonate. But, Los Angeles is not always the easiest place to grow as an artist while also trying to survive (let alone thrive) as a human being. I had been at a desk doing work irrelevant to my passions, my spark of creativity fizzling, and then… I found Antaeus.

In Fall 2016, I took my first two Academy classes — Shakespeare with Elizabeth Swain and Shaw with Armin Shimerman. I could not believe that had found: teachers whose striking passion, intellect, and experience were offered up so lovingly and precisely; students, whose experience and commitment were simply inspiring. I had found a place to grow creatively, both in ways that I had always wanted, and ways that I had never expected. My spark had suddenly caught, and quickly grew into a blaze. In the months since, I’ve taken five more Academy classes.

But, my love for Antaeus is by no means limited to the Academy. The staff is as kind as they are committed and hardworking, the productions are pristine, the membership is a stable of devastating talent, and the outreach is inspirational. I was fortunate enough to attend the Odyssey Artists’ Workshop presentation, where I was reminded that Antaeus isn’t just a place where mindful artists go to connect and explore the classics. It is an organization that understands and employs the most critical function of great storytelling — to inspire positive personal, and thereby, social change. Then, on top of everything else, I was cast as Charles the Wrestler and William in the current production of As You Like It.

There aren’t words of sufficient quality or quantity to accurately describe what this company has come to mean to me, so I will summarize simply: I have found my artistic home. I hope you will consider making a donation to Antaeus so that others might find themselves as renewed and inspired as I have by this incredible company and its critical mission. Thank you, and I hope to see you at the theater soon.

Ben Atkinson

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