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Ask Bob Blume – Column #20 – Discussion of the difference between NY and LA with Akoni Steinmann

Ask Bob Blume – Column #20 – Discussion of the difference between NY and LA with Akoni Steinmann

Talent manager/ producer Bob Blume welcomed his viewers to today’s video column. He reminded viewers that the column is a benefit for The Actors Fund covid 19 relief effort and asked for donations from those who could afford it.

Paul from Los Angeles, asked about the differences of being a young actor starting out in LA versus NY. Bob went to his client from Step Forward Entertainment Akoni Steinmann from Los Angeles, who recently relocated there from New York.  

Akoni Steinmann

Akoni, is of mixed ethnicity having Filipino and Swiss parents. 

Akoni joined Bob on the split screen, telling how Bob met and signed Akoni in NY. Akoni was working in theatre and TV, before acting as emcee of his cabaret show in NY, Asian Artists Step Forward.

Akoni moved to LA to focus on film a few months prior to the pandemic. He enjoys the LA weather, but went on to discuss how much he misses the theatre. He originally came to NY for college at Marymount, where he studied theatre and enjoyed the city.

Akoni prior to meeting Bob and signing with Amy of Eris Talent Agency, had no one to represent him. He used to get up at 5am to stand in line for 5 hours to audition for Equity theatrical productions.

He found New York to be very good for him, because the city motivated him to get up, move and be the actor he wanted to be. He made the point that careers are not given to anyone on a silver platter.

That experience happily changed upon signing with Step Forward. He receive auditions for theatre, TV, an a Netflix audition. He was prepared and would arrive 10 minutes prior to the audition.

Akoni discusses his move back to Los Angeles, where everything now is self-taped. They are tedious, needing many takes to get it right. In theatre you have to nail it immediately.

He credited his NY experience for giving him the tenacity to get auditions right and is not afraid to work for them!  Self tapes usually give you 2 days or more to memorize, rehearse, film and submit. He credits Bob for pushing him to do it all ASAP, while reminding him that getting it in earlier increases his chance to book the role.

Responding to a question from Bob, Akoni spoke about doing theatre in Los Angeles area, where there are a lot of quality theatres and playhouses.  He intends to audition and perform in many of them upon theatre’s return after Covid.

Bob made the point that the LA suburban playhouses would return before Broadway theatre does.

However, Akoni did come to Los Angeles for the film industry and admits the many self tapes are introducing him to that world and will lead him to progress in that area of the business.

Akoni responded to another question from Bob to elaborate on what training he is doing during this Covid period. He is taking formal training but has gotten together with NY friends, now in LA, to work on rehearsing and performing Shakespeare with his friends critiquing him. These zoom work sessions are keeping him sharp and are giving him experience.

Bob followed up by making the point that both NY and LA are almost exclusively using technology as a replacement for “live” in casting Film and TV for at least the foreseeable future. While that can be very good in areas such as eliminating travel, saving time, etc., Bob brought up, from a manager’s point of view, that it hurts his actors who have charisma and personality because they have lost the opportunity to impress from just walking in the audition room.

Bob closed by thanking Akoni and mentioning he would like to bring him back after Covid to speak more about his ongoing LA actor experiences.

Article Including Akoni Steinmann

Bob Blume’s company site is 

To Donate to The Actors Fund:

To Send in a question:

To see ALL of the prior columns: ASK BOB BLUME columns


Ask Bob Blume is a new twice-weekly Video Column giving career advice to actors/performers of all ages, who are either current professionals or looking to enter show business. The column will offer free advice, and answer questions from viewer emails by Robert R Blume (aka Bob) a respected veteran entertainment talent manager and producer. As the President of the bi-coastal talent management and production company Step Forward Entertainment, Bob currently oversees the careers of professional actors/singers/dancers/reporters, as well as serving as an Executive Producer of the Annual DRAMA DESK AWARDS (the “Golden Globes” of theatre) from 1999 until 2018. To submit questions: For information on Bob: /

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