Workshops for Inclusion

$24,118 of $36,000 goal

Raised by 250 people in 29 months

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 19th 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 is $36,000.

When reaching that goal of $36,000, ALL 'Meet the Biz' workshops will be at no charge to the students through January 2020.  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.

*** Additionally, any amount exceeding the $36,000 will go to help funding film or art projects in association with the Meet the Biz program, promoting inclusion of diversity, and creating a higher standard in the arts.

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
Special Events -  4 Workshop "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             

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 

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."
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David Zimmerman is a Pioneer for the Differently- Abled Community in Entertainment. He is a champion for diversity, inclusion and accessibility, and has been before the #inclusionrevolution. I was fortunate to conduct my first acting workshop for MEET THE BIZ. And I gave the students 2 distinct monologues. My father, the late, maverick filmmaker Stanley Kramer made 35 social justice films. He featured differently-abled actors in 3 of them. The first being "The Men" in 1949, which was the screen debut of Marlon Brando, who played a paraplegic. My father cast real paraplegics for supporting roles, and this was a "first." I gave the actors in the class a dramatic scene from 'The Men." My performing idol and Ambassador for "Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World' is Lily Tomlin. In 1977, she performed a monologue about a quadriplegic called "Crystal" The Terrible Tumbleweed. This was before the American Disabilities Act. I gave the actresses in the workshop this rare Crystal monologue. That's the first time that monologue had ever been performed in an acting class. David gave me the chance to direct the students and them a chance to spread their wings with this rare material. A few months later, my mother actress/producer Karen Sharpe and I both conduced MEET THE BIZ workshop as a team. David creates a healing and inspirational atmosphere with MEET THE BIZ. Highly recommended for all creatives.

Katharine "Kat" Kramer (Actorvist, "Turnover", "Child Of The 70's"/ Founder "Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World")
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Day #32 of 32 Updates
Well, we are here. This is the last day of the 2018 push to get funding for our workshops through the end of 2019. And even though we didn't get our complete goal, we sure did a great job.
We now have $24,068 out of the $36,000 needed to fund our program.
The workshops for inclusion gofundme will still be open for anytime anyone might want to donate, and we will plan to do one update a month until we reach our goal.
Thank you for all of those who have donated and helped us get to this place. Thank you for being part of the family.
We will keep focused on the positivity and love of bringing people together within the arts.

For this post... These two pictures are the same, yet different. (As you can see)
One is the photo that has become one of the staples for us and our program. It is from the ongoing Charlene Tilton workshop from a few year back. The other one is a drawing of that photo done by an incredible artist, Timmy Jake Clayton, who was inspired to draw it because of what we stand for. Thank you Timmy for your love and connection for what we do.
When it comes down to one word for me.... I chose "Love".
This family is my family.
Thank you for supporting the Meet The Biz, Workshops for Inclusion.
Sincere Thanks,
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Day #31 Update
Tomorrow is the final day of our push to get a full year of workshops at no charge for all students and to have the funding to have a full year of classes through January 2020.

Raymond Dunn is one incredible photographer that has given so much of himself to take photos for some of our workshops and events. He is a blessing, a true artist, and donates so much of himself.
Below are 2 photos that Raymond took as well as one with him at the Bob Esty workshop.
Thank you Raymond for your love and amazing support for our program.

The CJ Jones Workshop
Mary Wilson sings with Shannon Dieriex and others at the Catalina Jazz Club for an event connected with Meet The Biz.
Raymond Dunn and Bob Esty.
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Day #30 Update
3 more days of our 2018 Push.
We are now at $24,043 out of $36,000.
The more we get in donations during the next week will be able to let us know how many workshops that we can have for our next year.

Here is a list of the some guest instructors that we call family here at the Meet The Biz all inclusive workshops. We thank them all so much for their incredible workshops, their love of our program, and their donation of their time. Some have of these have done one time workshops and others have given several 4 week intensive workshops.
Roy Abramsohn - Escape from Tomorrow
John Ainsworth - Glee
Corey Allen — Rebel Without A Cause
Auti Angel — Push Girls
Tom Ardanany — Short Eyes
Carmen Argenziano — Stargate SG-1
Sharif Atkins — ER
Sherri Lewis Beachfront – American Bandstand
Adam Barr — Will & Grace
Bob Bergen — The Looney Tunes Show
Charles Bernstein — A Nightmare on Elm Street
Jonah Blechman — This Boy’s Life
Steve Bluestein — Dumb and Dumber
B Harlan Boll - The Emmy Awards
Dani Bowman - DaniMation Entertainment
Kathy Buckley — The Tonight Show
Jamie Brewer — American Horror Story
Deborah Calla - The Media Access Awards
Crystal Carson — General Hospital
Betsy Chasse — What the Bleep Do We (K)now!?Jeremiah Comey — Teacher
Jules Dameron — Crazy Town
David Dastmalchian – Blade Runner 2049
Bruce Davison — X-Men
Paul DeVincenzo - Randy
Pam Dixon — City Slickers
Moosie Drier – Kids Incorporated
Douglas Eboch — Sweet Home Alabama
James Eckhouse - Beverly Hills 90210
Bob Esty — Last Dance
Jeanne Elfant Festa — Foo Fighters: Back and Forth
Howard Fine — Howard Fine Studios
Andrea Friedman — Life Goes On
Tobias Forrest — The Session
Janet Gallin — Love Letters Live
Laura Gardner — My Name is Earl
Hank Garrett – Car 54, Where are you?
Jeff Gerrard — Casting Director
Brad Gilmore — The Closer
Albert Giannelli — Manager
Jenni Gold — CinemAbility
Shelly Goldstein - Flying with Bryd
Carl Gottlieb – Jaws
Karen-Eileen Gordon — Magic City
Naomi Grossman — American Horror Story
Eileen Grubba — Game of Silence
Robert David Hall — CSI
Jared Hillman — The Social Network
John Garrett — Battle for Grace
Phaedra Harris — What’s Love Got To Do With It
Chuck Huber — Dragon Ball
Peter Kallinteris — Agent
Julia Kim — But I’m a Cheerleader
Rose Kingsley – Jazz and Opera Star
Katy Kurtzman — Dynasty
Carole Ita White — Laverne & Shirley
Geri Jewell — Deadwood
CJ Jones - Baby Driver
Diana Elizabeth Jordan — 7th Heaven
Lainie Kazan — My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Karen Sharpe-Kramer — Johnny Ringo
Katherine Kat Kramer — Kat Kramer’s Films that Change the World
Larry Lafond — ICarly
Constance Lamb — Woolf!
David L. Lander — Laverne & Shirley
Kathy Fields Lander — Johnny Got His Gun
Natalie Lander — The Middle
Hugh Leon — Agent
Lynn Manning — Blind Justice
Mardik Martin — Raging Bull
Jeff Maynard — The King’s Speech
Lee Meriwether — Barnaby Jones
Sheena Metal — The Sheena Metal Experience
Brent Miller - One Day at a Time
JLouis Mills — Heartbeat
RJ Mitte — Breaking Bad
Karen Morrow — Friends
Santina Muha - One Day at a Time
Erin Murphy — Bewitched
Dustin Nguyen — 21 Jump Street
Minae Noji — Mutant Ninja Turtles
Nic Novicki - Easter Seals Disability Film Challenge
Susan Olsen — The Brady Bunch
Fern Orenstein — Baywatch
Reynaldo Pacheco — Our Brand Is Crisis
John Paizis — Performing Arts Studio West
Donna Pescow — Saturday Night Fever
Jack Plotnick — Girls Will Be Girls
Lauren Potter — Glee
Mark Povinelli — Water For Elephants
Dale Raoul — True Blood
Terry Ray — Gaydar
Joy Rinaldi — Grease: Original Broadway Production
Mary Rings — Born To Act Players
Angela Rockwood — Push Girls
Allen Rucker — The Sopranos: A Family History
Shawn Ryan - Young Actors Theatre Camp
Hilari Scarl — See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary
Greg Schreiner – Professor at Santa Monica College
Melissa Skoff — Casting
Douglas Spain — Band of Brothers
Lynne Marie Stewart – Pee Wee’s Playhouse
Stanzi Stokes — The Terminator
Jason Stuart – The Birth of a Nation
Josh Sussman — Glee
Jade Tailor — The Magicians
Alisha Tamburri — Clear Mind Hypnotherapy
Charlene Tilton — Dallas
Dot Todman — Discover Your Core Voice
Cynthia Toussaint — Battle for Grace
Bruce Vilanch — The Academy Awards
Christopher Voelker — Photographer
Ann Walker — Sordid Lives
Dee Wallace — E.T.
Errol Webber – Music by Prudence
Joe Wehinger — The American Standards
Zack Weinstein — Criminal Minds
Cissy Wellmen — The Waltons
Andreas Wessel Therhorn — Tarzan
Debra Wilson — MADtv
Mary Wilson — The Supremes
Josh Wingate — General Hospital
Steven Wishnoff — OZ: The HBO Series
Addison Witt — Manager
Danny Woodburn — Seinfeld
Kurt Yaeger — Sons of Anarchy
Daniel Zacapa — Resurrection Blvd.
David S. Zimmerman — My Next Breath

Thank you all for your love and magic.
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Read a Previous Update
2 months ago

can you please donate to autism arts my name is Manu and I am trying to make a autism club I’m only 16 I’m trying to make friends with other people like me and I want them to embrace their creativity

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Kay D'Arcy
28 months ago

Every time I see the photo.s I am reminded of the generous spirits in our group and how the " Me '" energy is missing when we work together. Bless you David for giving one and all the chance to shine.X

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$24,118 of $36,000 goal

Raised by 250 people in 29 months
Created July 10, 2016
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David Stark
29 days ago

David Zimmerman with MEET THE BIZ and John Paizis with Performing Arts Studio West offer a safe, creative, and uplifting environment for people to explore their talents, develope them, and share them with others. I feel fortunate to be a part of this.

1 month ago

I am a fan of Workshops for Inclusion and I am also a fan of anyone who is willing to release the magical beast of creativity that lives inside of them!

dave and marilyn Zimmerman
1 month ago

I donated because I am the first Dave Zimmerman

Janet Gallin and Ted Kelter
1 month ago (Offline Donation)

Dear Janet and Ted, You both are blessings. Your annual donation has truly helped us move forward and keep our all inclusive workshops alive. I hope that one day soon you both can come visit a "Meet The Biz" workshop and take in the love from us all. Thank you for being a part of the family. You will also be receiving an actual Letter in the mail. See you soon. Love, David

Laura Gardner
1 month ago

Join in!

Jonah Blechman
1 month ago

I've participated in this program and it is as inspiring and groundedly helpful as any in our business. Go David Go!!!

2 months ago

can you please donate to autism arts my name is Manu and I am trying to make a autism club I’m only 16 I’m trying to make friends with other people like me and I want them to embrace their creativity

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Kay D'Arcy
28 months ago

Every time I see the photo.s I am reminded of the generous spirits in our group and how the " Me '" energy is missing when we work together. Bless you David for giving one and all the chance to shine.X

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