Teaching Creativity, Confidence & Compassion!
Elise Robertson and Kathryn Winslow are working actors.
They’re also teachers.
And they’re moms who were each pursuing the same goals and aspirations before finding each other and becoming a team.
The two women are friends and business partners, currently running Eastside Arts, a children’s acting school in Highland Park that offers a fun and non-competitive environment for children ages three to 18. Their acting curriculum focuses on listening, speaking, teamwork and imagination.
In 2015, Robertson and Winslow each ran their own acting school, mostly geared toward kids, not too far from one another. Their approach to acting lessons was very similar in that they focused on creating environments that were pressure-free and fun for the children. Parents loved their concept and each one had a favorable roster of young clients.
“Our paths had never really crossed before. I was teaching my classes, she was teaching her classes,” recalls Winslow. “We worked out of different studios. We were one-woman shows.”
But as much as they embraced their teaching roles, Robertson and Winslow also loved their acting roles. And that didn’t make things easy whenever they were invited to audition at a promising casting call. The two moms would find themselves struggling to make arrangements at home and at their respective acting schools.
“You celebrate so much getting an acting gig but your world falls apart because you have all these pieces that you need to sew together,” explained Winslow. “Nobody understands the last-minuteness of acting more than another actor.”
Eventually, their paths crossed.
Winslow attended one of Robertson’s adult acting classes. They instantly bonded over many things in common, including the fact that they each have two daughters.
By August 2016, they decided to join forces and open Eastside Arts. They brought their students together and a year-and-a-half later, their school has proven to be a hit with classes ranging from improvisation to filmmaking for kids. Currently, they’re accepting enrollment applications for winter classes, beginning in January.
“Our philosophy is all about life skills. You learn about people, compassion. Listening is a big, big part of acting,” says Robertson. “You learn how to use your voice, your imagination and those are acting skills that kids don’t necessarily get at school.”
The two moms have learned to work well together. They make it a point to set aside Wednesday mornings to discuss Eastside Arts, and each handles a different aspect of the business.
“Thank god Elise has a huge amount of savvy with websites and has taught me a lot,” says Winslow.
“And thank god Kathryn is so organized with schedules,” says Robertson giggling as she looks over to Winslow.
“We have a good ying yang thing going on,” says Winslow.
More about Elise Robertson
“A good actor is not looking to be seen on stage, a good actor is looking to communicate some truth about life.”
- Originally from Pittsburgh, PA
- Graduated from Northwestern University’s theater department with a minor in fine art.
- Acting teacher and coach for 15 years
- In 2000, she moved to Los Angeles
- Northern California Emmy & CINE-Golden Eagle Award winning director
- Dozens of TV & Film Credits (including 2014 Oscar nominee, American Sniper)
- Mother of two daughters, ages 11 & 12
More about Kathryn Winslow
“I’m really working on helping kids to learn to recover from failure… If a classroom experiment goes terribly, I try to figure out how to recover and they have ideas to make it better.”
- Originally from Quebec, Canada
- Graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC
- Professional actor for over 25 years
- Moved to Los Angeles in 2007
- Starred in Criminal Minds, The Fosters, Jane the Virgin, among others
- Twice nominated for a Canadian Emmy
- Mother of two daughters, ages 6 & 9
Connect with Eastside Arts!
Mommy In Los Angeles® Magazine had the pleasure of meeting with Elise and Kathryn at their Eastside Arts studio in Highland Park. Their commitment to teach kids about compassion and encourage them to view acting as a voice rather than a competition is a testament to their love of acting as a performance art. We commend Elise and Kathryn for their unique approach in an industry that’s known to be cutthroat. We wish them much success both on screen and at Eastside Arts!