Workshops for Inclusion

GO FUND ME for the MEET THE BIZ Program 

Workshops for Inclusion  

In 2008, after teaching for about eight years through the Media Access Office, I decided that the acting workshops that I was putting together needed a change.  We needed them to be more inclusive. Not only actors with disabilities, but we needed to expand, be open to all actors and performers.

This new workshop became known as ‘Meet the Biz’ embracing a diversity that we called family.  

Actors with and without disabilities; Blind, Deaf, hard of hearing, Wheel-Chair Users, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, Autism, White, Black, Gay, Straight, and the list goes on.  

I wanted to bring together everyone to learn from one another, to celebrate our differences and to recognize our sameness. I wanted to train artists to be the best in their game so that they can work in the world of stage, television and film.

I also wanted to invite industry and celebrity guests to share their experience in the Entertainment Business. Whether it be Acting, Dancing, Singing, Writing, Directing, Producing, Casting, or being an agent or manager. Our classes presented a well-rounded vision of the workings of a business, and through team work and creative influence, how the “magic” happened or didn’t happen.

As time went on, I realized that those teachers, the industry guests, learned just as much, if not more, during their time with our group of Inclusion. As a result of the connections made, there has been advances in getting diversity on the stage and the screen.

The classes have been very low priced, pay what you can, and many have been free. For over 10 years we have received grants and donations from the incredible Friends of Californians with Disabilities, Inc. to keep our program running.   Throughout the years we received other grants through from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for a program with Actors For Autism, Michele Spitz: Woman of Her Word, and also some private donations.   We have been putting off using Crowdfunding, but we are now in need of it to keep our program going.  

Several years ago, the Media Access Office after 30 years of service, was closed down by the State of California due to funding. However I did not want our cherished workshops to be closed down as well.  I felt the importance of keeping 'Meet the Biz' as an integral part of the business.

Not only did we have the workshops, but also it served as a bridge in a varied amount of venues; working closely with many organizations - including the Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA, The Writers Guild, Actors For Autism, Performing Arts Studio West, Inclusion Films, the Los Angeles LGBT Village at the Ed Gould Plaza, the McCadden Theater, and Evolution Dance Studio, to name a few.

A few years back, our dear friend, Actor/Producer, Danny Woodburn was teaching improv.  The door opened, and a new student entered. As I was sitting in the corner of the room, observing, I noticed this student’s mouth drop open by the obvious diversity in the room. 

Danny was in front of the group speaking, and next to him were two girls who happened to be wheelchair users, next to them was an actress who had Down syndrome talking to a blind man, and there were also two students signing to one another.

You could tell by his demeanor, that this new student was a little taken aback, but as I watched the magic of that evening unfold, I also noticed the change in that new student.   By the end of the 3-hour workshop, he was laughing and thoroughly enjoying being a part of this amazing group of people.  That student has become a part of the group and has continued taking classes to this day!

My intention has always been to bridge the gap between ability and disability by embracing diversity, breaking down social barriers and opening the once-locked doors of opportunity. In doing so, the acceptance of diversity becomes commonplace. 

Starting in 2016, bringing inclusion to an even greater expression, the 'Meet the Biz' program has merged and is now a program at the Performing Arts Studio West which is now celebrating its 22nd year.

To successfully accomplish what we need to continue our workshops and for being all-inclusive through the end of 2019, we will need to hire Interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Stipends for Guest Instructors, Materials, Transportation, an Annual Bond and Insurance, Organization, Transportation, Publicity, Photographer and Equipment for Filming and Editing. 
The projected total needed for Meet The Biz program through the end of 2019 was $36,000.

What we need though is to get funding through the end of 2022.  When reaching the goal of $60,000, ALL 'Meet The Biz' workshops will be at no charge to the students through December 2022. 
With the economy being what it is today, this would be the difference between not being able to attend due to lack of income, and being a part of something that will give us the skills to use for the rest of our lives.

Thank you for helping us to reach our final goal and helping us to continue learning through inclusion and diversity.

Thank you in advance for any amount you are able to give.

In Solidarity and Love,


David S. Zimmerman

Creator / Founder of the MEET THE BIZ workshops
and DSZ Productions



Breakdown of Funds for classes through December 31, 2019. 

Organization / Putting together the workshops -        $5,000 
Interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing -      $9,600 
Guest Instructors (18 x 150) 2015/2016  -   $2,700 Guest Instructors (18 x 150)2017/2018  -   $2,700 
Materials / Transportation / Events            $1,200
Christopher & Dana Reeve Gifts                   $200 
Bond and Insurance -                             $2,500
Space Rental      -                                 $1,200
Photographer / Editing   - 300 x 12             $3,600
Publicity / Website        -                          $3,000
Workshops / "Events" for the year of 2019 - Includes Guest Instructors, Bond, Publicity, Filming, and Interpreters. (Used to be Equipment for Filming) -                                           $4,300                                                                                                                 
Total needed:               $36,000       Through December 31, 2019 


2020 /2021/ 2022 - BREAKDOWN OF FUNDS - (Through December 31, 2022)

3 years of a bond -  $1,500.  
3 years of Website/Advertising - $4,600.
Computer / Internet Upgrades / Music / Contests - $850.
10 In studio guests - $150 for 2021/2022 (or Captioning for more Internet Classes/Interviews for 2021/2022) - $1,500
Interpreters / Editing -  $4,300
Closed Captioning for 350 internet Classes/Interviews (For 2020 / 2021 /2022) - - - (Note: Some interviews run 25 to 45 minutes. ) -  $11,250  

$24,000  SubTotal needed for 2020 / 2021 / 2022.

$60,000  Total Funds needed for our program through December 31, 2022 - ((( FROM : 2016 through 2022 )))


Photos by Michael Hansel and Deb Halberstadt
Videos by Marc Saltarelli and Sean Willis;
Rich Tamayo and Henryk Cymerman.

Photo #1 - The Angela Rockwood Manifestation Workshop
Photo #2 - The Naomi Grossman Acting Workshop
Photo #3 - The Dot Todman Singing Workshop
Photo #4 - Auti Angel's Dance Workshop
Photo #5 - Danny Woodburn's Improv Workshop
Photo #6 - Tobias Forrest's Music Workshop
Photo #7 - Jamie Brewer's Acting Workshop
Photo #8 - The Charlene Tilton Scene Study Workshop

Video #1 - A Family Affair : The Landers - Acting and the Business of Acting
Video #2 - Charlene Tilton and Cherish Lee Acting and Singing Workshop
Video #3 - Lainie Kazan on Acting, Singing and Classes
Video #4 - Danny Woodburn's Improv Workshop
Video #5 - Auti Angel's Dance and Movement Workshop
Video #6 - The Harlan Boll Interview 
Video #7 - Hank Garrett visits "Meet The Biz" - The Hank Garrett Interview
Video #8 - "SURPRISES"

For all those who donate, your name will be added to a donation page on our website unless requested not to.

Thank you again for your love and support.

"Meet The Biz Workshops do not guarantee employment."

UPDATED for 2020/2021/2022 Sessions

MEET THE BIZ :  Workshops for Inclusion through December 31, 2022 
Total Funds needed $60,000.

*We have been debating about updating our “Meet The Biz” gofundme page and since we are now doing workshops on the internet for the time being during this year and next due to the Pandemic, we will need funding for the 2020, 2021 and the 2022 seasons. Our hope is to raise enough money to pay for the closed captioning for the online “Meet The Biz” workshops and interviews for deaf and hard of hearing students, updating of our website, our annual bond, and other items that make our program able to continue.

One year of funding for our program is usually is about $12,000.  With the changes that we all need to make with our jobs and lives at this time, and being able to cut corners, but still having just as meaningful and powerful learning experiences, we looked at what we will need through the end of the 2021 season and can narrow the funding to $18,000 total for two years (2020 and 2021), instead of $24,000. 
You may also enjoy some of the new 2020 / 2021 “Meet The Biz” interviews and classes from your own home on the PASW TV channel.    We will be adding some of the links here on our gofundme page as updates as we hit milestones. 




UPDATED  April 20, 2022

Donations (405)

  • Paul Harris Katz
    • $72 
    • 25 d
  • MaryJo Bruce
    • $50 
    • 26 d
  • Loretta Nardini
    • $18 
    • 28 d
  • Amy LaBounty
    • $25 
    • 1 mo
  • Daamen Krall
    • $50 
    • 1 mo


David S Zimmerman
Inglewood, CA

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