Seth is a renowned actor, director, writer, acting coach, and musician. He has worked with various New York theatres and regularly appears on film and television. He is also the author of the book An Actor's Companion - Tools for the Working Actor.
As a director he's perhaps best known for his work with comedian Mike Birbiglia and Martin Moran. Seth is the co-artistic director and co-founder of the award winning theatre company The Barrow Group along with his wife Lee Brock.
Here's a snippet of a few things we talked about...
Seth Barrish: Well not in an extensive way. I majored in theatre at school in UCLA, and so it was part of our curriculum that we had various movement classes. We did have a martial arts teacher who was an expert stunt coordinator for film and TV and it was a fairly rigorous workout. I was probably in the best shape of my life.
K: Do you partake in any physical training now?
SB: I swim between 3-5 times a week but it's not as much as I'd like to. There is no doubt I'm best served when I'm in physical shape. There have been situations, one in particular, where I was on a job and I was not in good enough shape to do the stage combat requirements so they had to redo the choreography so I didn't hurt myself.
K: Well come down to The Ume Group anytime, we do lots of tumbles every week!
K: What are three important pieces of advice you have ever been given as an actor?
SB: "Be nice to the people on the way up because you'll meet them again on the way down.” My favorite high school teacher once said that to me. We get and give work to each other in this field. You meet people and if they have a good relationship with you, that often leads to other working situations. And the other side of that is true, too. If you're doing things that are in any way abrasive or confrontational, people just don't want to be around that. It's the classic 'what goes around comes around' so just be as nice as you possibly can.
"Always clean up after yourself." Whether you're on a film or television show, fold up your clothes, keep things clean and all of that. So many people have actually said things to me about this and really appreciate it. I feel glad to have a reputation of being vigilant about this kind of thing. It's respectful. There are just so many people that contribute to something getting done and remembering to be incredibly gracious and appreciative in all they do goes a long way.
About the Author
Karina is an Australian born actor, performance artist and clown. She attained her Bachelor of first class Honors degree from Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore where she was fortunate enough to study various asian art forms including suzuki, kalaripayyatu, kathakali, chinese opera, butoh and tai chi. Her acting training was highly physical with training also in viewpoints, laban, grotowski, lecoq, clowning and commedia dell'arte. With a love to laugh, Karina pursued clowning and became a clown for an Children's hospital in Sydney for 2 years before moving to New York. She is incredibly grateful to be a part of the very special Ume Group.