MASTERY Workshops History

Dan Fauci created The MASTERY of Self Expression workshop in 1976. Dan had already established The Actor’s Institute in New York City, which began with his teaching three acting classes and a one-day actor’s workshop and grew into a thriving acting school in New York and Los Angeles with multiple teachers and classes and additional workshops.

Dan’s first one-day workshop gave actors the opportunity to perform a monologue in front of a casting agent, talent agent, and producer who would observe and critique the actors’ work and, Dan hoped, consider hiring them. In the morning, Dan guided participants in acting exercises to get them to relax and focus before presenting their monologues. But in the afternoon, the agents and producers rather than giving positive advice, often gave critiques that were cruel or hurtful. Dan realized that his job as a teacher was to point out not only where actors needed to expand but also lead them to discover their strengths and uniqueness. Later that year, with the help of several of his students who had moved to in Los Angeles, most notably Ted Danson, Dan led the first three-day MASTERY workshop with 57 professional actors. As he says, “Many of them had been in the business for years and their passion for acting had dissipated. My job was to get them back in touch with why they wanted to be 
actors in the first place. I created a space for them to go deep into their creative abilities, but they had to choose to go there. They had to choose their “will” over their “won’t”. 


The response to the first workshops in Los Angeles and New York was so positive that people from different places who’d come to do the workshop wanted to bring it back to their home cities. A program was set up to train MASTERY workshop leaders. Joseph Scalzo, Ellie Ellsworth and Sally Fisher became the first leaders in New York, Ted Danson, Larry Gilman, Paula Shaw, Karen Austin, Linda and David Darlow in LA, Lynne Lesley, Jane Polden, Mike Maynard, Ray Evans, Nigel Hughes, Christine Kimberley and Mac Andrews in London, Harold Lewy in Paris and Israel, Van Brooks in Seattle and Austin. Larry Gilman went on to lead the Mastery in Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton as well as brought the Mastery to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and China. 

Out of the MASTERY, Dan created additional workshops including Samurai, Leadership and Creativity and with Larry Gilman, Into the Abyss and The Purposeful Journey. Larry also developed The Practicum, Leadership II and The Next Step. Sally Fisher went on to create the AIDS MASTERY and Bill Goodyear created The Asperger’s MASTERY in London. In 2010, Christine Kimberley authored the book, on the edge, an anthology of MASTERY leaders’ and participants’ experiences of a workshop that had changed their lives. Christopher Cass and KarenAustin brought vitality back to the New York City workshops and have co-led LA workshops with Dan and Larry for the last 10 years. Along with other leaders Dan, Larry, Karen and Christopher have co-led the MASTERY workshops in 30 cities throughout the United States. In addition to actors, participants from all walks of life – from artists, to writers, to lawyers, to business people, to entrepreneurs - benefited from the experience of expanding their lives to achieve what they’d dreamed of accomplishing. Over 20,000 people worldwide have done the MASTERY.

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MASTERY Creator Dan Fauci

After successful careers on Wall Street and as a commercial actor, Dan Fauci founded The Actors Institute, a school for professional actors, in 1975. He is the creator of The Mastery of Self Expression workshop and the programs Leadership and Creativity, Samurai, The Abyss and Purposeful Journey. Within ten years, the Institute grew to include branches in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Austin, Australia, Canada, England, France, and Israel. Over 15,000 people from all walks of life around the world have had their lives enriched, creativity expanded and careers enhanced.
In 1986, Dan partnered with Ted Danson to start Danson/Fauci Productions. He led the production of three television movies: When the Bough Breaks, We Are The Children and Follow Your Heart, which Dan co-wrote, and the comedy series, Down Home. Dan went on to work at Paramount Pictures as Vice President of Comedy Development. Over a decade he guided the production of comedy pilots including Frasier, Becker, Clueless, Girlfriends, Lateline and Sister, Sister. Dan has just completed a book
on creativity and The Mastery entitled, Breakthrough.