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New York Film Academy Master of Fine Arts

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Acting for Film

NYFA MFA acting students preparing for a scene NYFA MFA acting students cafe scene MFA acting students mid-scene NYFA 2 year MFA acting students in action

Overview of our MFA in Acting for Film

The Academy makes the MFA acting program’s accelerated 16-month schedule possible by creating an extended academic year, allowing students to complete three full-length semesters in each calendar year.

New York Film Academy MFA degree programs are offered at our Los Angeles and South Beach Campuses.

Qualified students have the option of completing course work at the New York Film Academy’s acting school in New York City in a one-year non-degree program and then applying their course work to be accepted for advanced standing in the MFA Acting for Film degree program.

This MFA acting program compresses two years’ worth of material into 16 months by running on an eight-month calendar, divided into four 16-week semesters. Each of the 16-week semesters requires complete commitment on the part of the student. A standard week of study involves additional time in the evenings and on weekends for classes, rehearsals, and shoots.

WHAT MAKES OUR ACTING MFA PROGRAM UNIQUE?


NYFA MFA acting school student in ninja attire PRACTICAL HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE
The New York Film Academy’s Master of Fine Arts in acting program is based on a simple philosophy: the best way to learn how to act in films is to actually act in films. Acting school students begin acting in front of the camera from the first week of the program. Every week, students apply the techniques and skills gained in class to on camera exercises that are shot and reviewed.

PROFESSIONAL FACULTY
The New York Film Academy’s acting MFA instructors are working veterans of Hollywood, independent film, Broadway, and Off-Broadway.

FILM PRODUCTIONS
Many of our programs require the production of short films or scenes that will star our acting students. These are shot and edited together and may be used for students' own reels.

FILMMAKING RESOURCES
The Acting for Film MFA program works hand-in-hand with the filmmaking program. This provides all of our students with such resources as film equipment and live film shoots, as well as helping them develop a network of filmmakers, screenwriters, producers, and editors before entering the professional world.

REEL MATERIALS
All of our acting MFA students will graduate with shot and edited materials that are suitable to put on an actor's reel.

MFA acting students during a take

MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN ACTING: SEMESTER 1 OVERVIEW

The first semester of NYFA’s MFA Acting program concentrates on building a foundation in the craft of acting, using training techniques rooted in the theater but applicable to the screen. Students participate in a broad array of core classes which guide them to find the actor within, simultaneously training their instrument to do the kind of technical, emotional, and physical work necessary for film acting. Since we believe that film actors also benefit immeasurably from working in front of a live audience, training in the first semester builds towards a live performance.

LEARNING GOALS
  • Explore and learn the principles of acting technique.
  • Learn the vocabulary of filmmaking for actors.
  • Become familiarized with the logistics of performance on a film set.
  • Recognize the differences between film acting and stage performance.
  • Understand how to break down a scene and analyze a character.
ACTING MFA PERFORMANCE GOALS
  • Rehearse and tape film scenes to be analyzed and critiqued in class.
  • Break down, analyze, and rehearse a selected monologue and perform it in front of a live audience.

MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN ACTING: SEMESTER 2 OVERVIEW

In the second semester, the acting school’s core classes continue as students focus on applying the techniques they have learned to more elaborate scene work, on camera exercises, and film shoots — all designed to develop and hone screen-acting ability. All students perform in film or video shoots, typically original projects created and developed by the students in collaboration with their instructors. In addition, a variety of classes are given in order to broaden students’ knowledge of acting techniques, the film business, and many different film crafts.

The second semester culminates in two public presentations of student work. The first is a live showcase performance of scenes for an invited audience of friends, family, and industry guests. The second is a screening of the student film productions.

NYFA MFA acting students in a fight scene ACTING MFA LEARNING GOALS
Throughout their time pursuing an acting master’s of fine art degree students will:
  • Learn to work for directors on live film sets.
  • Gain knowledge of the differences between demands upon the actor on film productions and television productions.
  • Learn how to prepare and present yourself for auditions.
  • Understand the business of the acting craft.
ACTING MFA PERFORMANCE GOALS
  • Perform scenes and workshop exercises developed and rehearsed through instruction in a variety of techniques including Meisner, Method, and Stanislavski.
  • Develop, rehearse, and perform in a fully-realized film scene shot in the studio or on location. This project will be presented to an invited audience.
  • Break down, analyze, and rehearse stage scenes and perform in these scenes for an invited audience.

MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN ACTING: SEMESTER 3 OVERVIEW

Through exposure to the many facets of the professional world of film acting, the second year prepares students for their thesis projects. All year two MFA students must complete a series of highly specialized courses, participate in multiple film productions, and ultimately deliver a thesis project of their own creation.

At the beginning of semester three, students receive MFA thesis project options to choose and prep for intensive fourth semester thesis work. Students will meet with Academic Advisors and mentors periodically throughout the second year. The focus of the third semester is on refining performance skills. Semester three classes are infused with an emphasis on perfecting their craft. This is intended to prepare MFA students for their thesis projects as well as for a life in the industry after graduation.

ACTING MFA LEARNING GOALS Throughout their time pursuing an acting master’s of fine art degree students will:
  • Continue to practice in front of camera, behind camera, in a recording studio and in post-production.
  • Continue to work and deeper comprehension of stage vs. film performance.
  • Become familiarized with voice-over techniques.
  • Learn sound writing principles.
  • Analyze and understand the work of Shakespeare.
ACTING MFA PERFORMANCE GOALS Throughout their time pursuing an acting master’s of fine art degree students will:
  • Perform in both multi-camera and single camera in-class television shoots.
  • Prepare and record original voice-over material in a recording studio.
  • Perform an in-class, filmed Shakespeare presentation.
  • Perform in a filmed play presentation.
  • Perform in an in-class, filmed improvisation presentation.

MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN ACTING: SEMESTER FOUR OVERVIEW

At this point, master students devote the majority of their time to their thesis requirements. Acting faculty will coach and assist students individually in an extensive series of advisements to ensure the successful completion of thesis requirements.

ACTING MFA LEARNING GOALS
Throughout their fourth semester pursuing an acting master’s of fine art degree students will:
  • Further develop advanced scene study techniques.
  • Continue work and deeper comprehension of stage vs. film performance.
  • Develop skills necessary for auditioning and the realities of the acting industry and the business of acting (both for television and film).
  • Understand marketing tools used by film actors.
  • Develop more advanced skills in film acting techniques in a fully-produced, original short film.
  • Create a thesis project.
ACTING MFA PERFORMANCE GOALS
In their fourth semester pursuing an acting master’s of fine art degree students will:
  • Perform both filmed and live original thesis presentations.
  • Perform in a final film project for final screening.
ACTING MFA Thesis
Each MFA degree candidate will complete a thesis in their final semester that includes both a significant creative project and substantial supporting written documentation. It is their opportunity to create and construct work that is important to their identity as an artist, and the choices they intend to make in their career. It is the synthesis of what they have learned in relationship to the broader field of acting.

THESIS PROJECT
This project will consist of both a performance on film and a written thesis paper (20-page minimum excluding final script). Each student must present his or her own thesis project.

Thesis projects are to be undertaken under the guidance of a thesis advisor. The student will meet with the thesis advisor throughout various stages of the project, including submission of the proposal, pre-production, rehearsals, and documentation.



Course Descriptions

Semester One
Technique & Scene Study I
Acting for Film I
Voice & Speech I
Movement I
Filmcraft
Cinema Studies
Semester Two
Technique & Scene Study II
Acting for Film II
Voice & Speech II
Movement II
Improvisation
Playwrights & Screenwriters

Semester Three
Technique & Scene Study III
Acting for Film III: Scripted TV
Voice-Over
Writing for Actors
Performing Shakespeare
Semester Four
Master’s Scene Study
Acting for Film IV (Final Film)
Thesis Development
Business of Acting/Audition Technique

SEMESTER ONE

Technique & Scene Study I

Acting Technique & Scene Study I provides students with the preparatory building blocks, which lay a solid foundation from which to go deeper into the craft. They will learn of the rich Acting Technique traditions that have shaped the craft today. Students will learn about their responsibility to the writer, script, and fellow students as they analyze their emotional and physical instrument and begin to practice technique exercises which will give them insight into the primary function of the Actor; that of making clear, readable choices for a character in a given imaginary circumstance. Students will practice relaxation, concentration, and specificity exercises as well as learn how to prepare emotionally for a performance. Students learn to analyze scripts and break them down into units or “beats.” They develop a solid grounding in establishing a character based on their own experiences and imagination. In the course, they will begin to understand the differences between techniques and personal process. The focus of Technique & Scene Study I is process not product. Students will work on exercises, monologues, and short scenes from plays applying the techniques they have studied.
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ACTING FOR FILM I

This course introduces the beginning Acting for Film students the skills necessary for creating a fully realized performance. The primary emphasis of the class is the practice of the subtlety and nuance of film acting including learning to adjust the performance for specific shot size, finding the arc of the character, and learning how to maintain the integrity of the script while shooting out of sequence. Film set terminology and etiquette is also addressed. Students collaborate in a supervised Production Workshop with film students, which is a full immersion production approach to Acting for Film instruction.
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VOICE & SPEECH I

In this course students will begin to develop a free and healthy voice and an awareness of vocal tendencies and adverse conditioning. Various techniques will be taught, including and not limited to, Fitzmaurice Voicework, Knight-Thompson Speechwork, Linklater, Lessac, and Skinner. Through exploration of phonetic sounds and optimal vowel formation a deeper, more precise and nuanced experience of sounds will be felt. Students will experience a more visceral and more direct connection to their voice unimpeded by habitual tension. An ability to connect images while letting the image resonate through the voice with supported breath will be emphasized through working with text.
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Movement I

In this course students will explore their ability to engage the body in a full and courageously unedited manner as a tool for performance. A focus of this course is to cultivate tools with which the students can externalize their internal life in an authentic manner on impulse and through movement. Various training methods will be taught, including but not limited to Viewpoints, the Suzuki Method, Dance, Yoga, Laban Analysis, Contact Improvisation, Grotowski, and Chekhov Technique. Through immersion in these various techniques this course will provide the foundation of movement analysis and the application of movement exercises to develop the physical life of a character.
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Filmcraft

Film Craft provides the Acting for Film students with a full-immersion experience into the world of film production. Students gain basic working knowledge of directing, cinematography, writing, producing, and editing, inhabiting rotating crew positions, allowing for real-time experience in a short in-class shoot, supervised by the instructor.
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Cinema Studies

This course studies the development of film history from its beginnings in the late 19th century up to the present day. Students will look at the growth of the cinema and the major films, filmmakers, actors, and studios in the United States and around the world. This course will provide reference points for key film performances and a working vocabulary of historically important films.
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SEMESTER TWO

Technique & Scene Study II

Acting Technique & Scene Study II continues the exploration of relaxation, sensory awareness, and creative choice-making and individual performance elements in exercises designed to enhance the students’ ability to synthesize their own practical techniques for performance on screen or stage. This course will increase the Actor’s awareness of his or her instrument. They will also develop their ability to focus their attention and create detailed and vibrant imaginative worlds. The student will learn the value of observation and replication in character work, and have an increased awareness of real and imagined stimuli to create points of concentration to ground their performances in the given circumstances of their acting work. Students will learn to extract given circumstances from the text, to create strong objectives, and to use active verbs to create vibrant performances. Emotional preparation will be more deeply explored and students will further understand the concept of a personal process. Exercises may be taped for in-class critique and evaluation. They will perform in a taped live presentation for an audience at the end of the semester.
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Acting for Film II

This course teaches intermediate Acting for Film skills necessary for creating a fully realized performance. On a weekly basis, students will prepare a script and digitally tape the scene. Students edit their own exercises and scenes to better understand how the mechanics of a performance effect the final edit. Edited exercises and scenes will be screened for critique in class. Students will also do pre-production prep in class as well as rehearse final scenes for an on-location shoot. Students will be intensively involved in production as well as acting throughout the shoot days.
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Voice & Speech II

Building upon the foundations established in Voice & Speech I students explore the application of learned vocal techniques to text in order to expand vocal variety and organic connection to the character and story. There will be a focused refinement of vocal production and a deeper connection to images and text. Various techniques will be taught, including and not limited to, Fitzmaurice Voicework, Knight-Thompson Speechwork, Linklater, Lessac, and Skinner. The students will explore text work by focusing on the enhancement of the variety of vocal choices, along with intelligibility and breath support that is connected to image and character.
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Movement II

Expanding upon the techniques and skills learned in Movement I, students will continue their exploration to refine their ability to express character and emotion through the body. Continuing the use of multiple approaches to movement and its analysis, which includes and is not limited to, Viewpoints, Composition Work, Contact Improvisation, Dance, Yoga, Laban Movement Analysis, Grotowski, and Chekhov Technique. Movement II will refine and expand students’ proficiency of their physical instrument. This course will focus on applying physicalization to character through improvised and scripted performance.
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Improvisation

Improvisation encourages students to skillfully nurture their instincts and freely release their creative impulses through a variety of individual and group exercises.
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Playwrights & Screenwriters

Students study contemporary playwrights and screenwriters, examining style as it relates to current forms and genres. Text analysis and plot structure and treated as fundamental tools of critical analysis. Students learn how to interpret given elements of writing, such as mood and subtext, to enhance performance. Written work is an integral part of this course.
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SEMESTER THREE

TECHNIQUE AND SCENE STUDY III

Students will study and analyze contemporary plays and screenplays, choosing an existing play, or scenes from an existing play that they will rehearse and perform on stage. Students learn how to assess the needs of the scene through application of text analysis, inhabiting given circumstances, development and pursuit of strong objectives. They will also incorporate voice and movement training and technique through moment to moment communication with their scene partners as well as breaking text into beats and making strong choices. Performances will be taped in a live presentation at the end of the semester.
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Acting for Film III: Scripted TV

This course introduces the concepts and skills students need for today’s sitcom shoot. The instructor will work with the class to determine casting needs and a full or partial comedy script will be chosen to accommodate the class. There may be double casting involved. There will be in-class Comedy TV Shoots in which students assist with crew positions when not acting. The aim of this course is to have the actor experience the acting and production techniques used in today’s television sitcom, both the multi-camera and single camera format. Emphasis is on students gaining practical experience in this genre of on-camera acting so that they will be prepared for the pacing, tone, and adjustments necessary for today’s TV actor. They will shoot a full or partial sitcom episode teaching them the techniques of a traditional multi-camera and single camera set.
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Voice-Over

Students will learn the highly specialized skill of voiceover acting. They will discover what kind of voiceover work they are most suited for and learn how to use their voice in different ways. They will also get information about job opportunities available in this field and have an opportunity to create their own voiceover material during a final recording session in one of NYFA’s professional studios.
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Writing for Actors

Students learn sound writing principles and apply them to creating a variety of scripted projects. Multiple writing exercises are designed to spark the creative process. Actors refine their work through multiple rewrites, focusing on character-driven pieces.
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Performing Shakespeare

This is an Actor’s course for performing Shakespeare. As a realistic/film Actor, the student will learn to evaluate what the language is doing and the action that is implied. Students will develop the fundamental concepts of scansion, meter, text analysis, and scene study as it pertains to the demands of performing heightened language. Performing Shakespeare will guide them to further development of the vocal and physical dexterity demanded by the text. The course will culminate in either a taped and/or live performance of Shakespeare’s works via sonnets, monologues, soliloquies, and/or scenes from his various plays.
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SEMESTER FOUR

Master’s Scene Study

Students work on advanced scenes, furthering their development in emotional availability, personalization, transference, stakes, and urgency in performance. They are encouraged to explore more intense and emotionally deeper material, choosing scenes that expand one’s characterization work.
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ACTING FOR FILM IV (ORIGINAL FILM)

Students immerse themselves in rehearsing for the filmed production of their screenplay, written in semester three, to be shot with a professional crew and screened at the end of the program. Students will also co-produce the film and will be intensively involved in production as well as acting throughout the shoot days. This experience offers students an invaluable opportunity to explore the breadth of skills required for the film actor.
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Thesis Development

This class will be geared toward assisting the student in the creation of the Thesis Project, which will include intensive research, writing, and preparatory work. Students will also be able to troubleshoot areas of concern.
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Business of Acting/Audition Technique

This course teaches advanced Business of Acting skills to students on the verge of graduating with a BFA in Acting for Film. Students will create a business plan which includes research on headshot photographers, writing resumes, researching and targeting appropriate agencies and managers, understanding basic contracts and industry standards as well as honing auditioning skills for today’s industry. They will put together a Professional Portfolio which will include their headshot, resume and demo reel. In addition, actors will develop their cold reading and auditioning skills through weekly drills of mock, on-camera audition situations. Work will be viewed and critiqued weekly with the aim of preparing students to enter today’s highly competitive industry.
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Dates & Tuition

Fees Per Semester

Tuition: $16,286 (USD)



Location & Available Dates

For Los Angeles:
January 2017 - May 2018
May 2017 - September 2018
September 2017 - January 2019
January 2018 - May 2019
May 2018 - September 2019
September 2018 - January 2020

For South Beach Florida:
September 2017 - January 2019
January 2018 - May 2019
September 2018 - January 2020



Please note: Dates and Tuition are subject to change

Faculty

Lynda Goodfriend Lynda Goodfriend
Chair of Acting

BFA, Southern Methodist University. Studied with Lee Strasberg. Veteran of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Series regular on “Happy Days,” “Who’s Watching the Kids,” and “Blanksy’s Beauties.” Feature film roles in “Pretty Woman,” “Taxi Driver,” “The Front,” “Beaches,” and “Nothing in Common.”

Christopher Cass Christopher Cass
Associate Chair for Acting for Film Studies

BA in Theatre, University of Georgia. NY and LA credits include “Rounding Third,” “Jerusalem,” “Gaining Ground,” “RFK” (Off-Broadway), “Sleepwalk,” “Born in the RSA,” “Much Ado” (Central Park), “Henry V” (Off-Broadway) and “Macbeth.” Television credits include: “ER,” “Like Family,” “Tucker,” “Fired Up,” “Cedric the Entertainer,” “Night Court,” and many more.

Miguel Cruz Miguel Cruz
Associate Chair

BA in Economics from University of Madrid and also a Fulbright scholar. Miguel Cruz is a TV and Film director with credits in almost 200 TV episodes on several formats and genres, including two seasons of the #1 Spanish Sit-Com "Aida" and the Emmy winning "Caiga Quien Caiga". He has recently directed and produced "Vulnerable" an independent feature film widely distributed in Spain and Latin-America.

Denis McCourt Denis McCourt
Associate Chair for Performance Studies

MFA in Acting, University of Florida and BA in Acting, University of South Florida. Adjunct Professor, Long Beach City College; Professor, University of Florida; Co-artistic director, Long Beach Shakespeare Co. Artistic Director/ Founder at Public Theatre of Southern California. Performed in Plays including The Cherry Orchard, Hamlet, Angels in America. Opera Musicals like Die Fledermaus, Cabaret and Fiddler on the Roof.

Anne Moore Anne Moore
Associate Chair for Departmental Programming

BA, Fordham University at Lincoln Center. Moore is an actress/director/producer who studied Meisner at William Esper Studio in New York City. Her credits include “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Sex in the City,” “Law & Order,” and “Good Intentions,” and numerous off-Broadway and sketch comedy credits. Award-winning documentary filmmaker with her short Czech Daze.

Louis Gossett Jr. Louis Gossett Jr.
Special Lectures, Master Classes

Winner of an Academy Award for his role in Officer and a Gentleman, and winner of two Emmys and two Golden Globes. Over 150 film and television acting credits, including memorable roles in A Raisin in the Sun, Iron Eagle, Toy Soldiers, and Blue Chips.

Kenneth Lerner Kenneth Lerner
Business of Acting, Scene Study

BA, Brooklyn College. Appearances on over 40 films and 100 television shows, including “The Mentalist,” “NCIS,” “In Plain Sight,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Castle,” “Weeds,” “CSI,” “Without a Trace” and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” Starred in productions at Pasadena Playhouse, Falcon Theatre, and Off-Broadway.

Arden Kaywin Arden Kaywin
Speech, Singing for Actors

M.Mus. Manhattan School of Music, B. Mus. Oberlin Conservatory. San Francisco Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, B.A.M., Aspen Music Festival. Vocal coach and vocal producer to artists from American Idol / X Factor / Radio Killa / Interscope / MySpace Records / Kidz Bop / ZVision Records. Songwriter and recording artist with songs featured in numerous TV shows on NBC, ABC, MTV, The CW, OWN, Discovery Channel, Bravo and Lifetime. Custom music for commercial spots for Michael Kors, Meow Mix, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Coke Life.

Robert Allan Ackerman Robert Allan Ackerman
Master Classes, Scene Study

Director of Emmy, Golden Globe, DGA, AFA, and SAG Award-winning films including “Safe Passage,” “The Ramen Girl,” and “Life With Judy Garland: Me And My Shadows.” Director of Broadway productions including “Bent,” “Slab Boys,” and “Extremities.” Director of West End productions including “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Burn This,” and “Our Town.”

Matthew Bamberg-Johnson Matthew Bamberg-Johnson

MFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts and BA in Theatre and Dance from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. He is the co-artistic director of the immersive entertainment company, "The Speakeasy Society," where he appeared in Ebenezer and The Johnny Cycle. Film credits include Any Bullet Will Do.

Joe Basile Joe Basile

MFA in Film from UCLA and BA from University of Delaware: concentration in Screenwriting. Award Winning Director and Filmmaker. His film West End won over 10 awards in various film festivals including Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. As an actor has appeared in over 30 television shows such as Prison Break, Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives, CSI and The X-Files and 20 films such as Terminator Salvation, GIA, Primary Colors and Crime of the Century.

Walter Belenky Walter Belenky

MFA from the University of California, San Diego and BA from Colby College; The Hotchkiss School. His credits include: Television: "Law and Order: SVU," "The Good Wife," "Person of Interest," "One Life to Live" Film: Away From Here; Wash; They Made America; Stuck On You; Broadway: Tony Award Winning Production of "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" Theatre: George Street Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre.

Michael Bershad Michael Bershad
Business of Acting, Acting Technique

BA, Criminology, University of MD. Trained with Stella Adler, Michael Shurtleff, David LeGrant. Series regular, 2 seasons, "Capitol". Theatrical Agent with Stephan Gray Artists. Casting: Glenn Larson Prods, White Eagle Prods (Sylvester Stallone). Cable Ace Awards Judge, 5 years. Produced 3 films, including the feature, "Dispatch" (Netflix, Amazon), which he also wrote and starred in.

Andrew Bloch Andrew Bloch
Acting for Film

MFA in Acting and Directing, California State University, Long Beach; BA in English Literature, Middlebury College. Director and Actor in Broadway and off-Broadway productions including a costarring role with Dustin Hoffman in DEATH OF A SALESMAN as Happy Loman. Dozens of TV appearances from Barney Miller, Mash, to Southland and Ray Donovan. Also Steven Seagal's HARD TO KILL.

Jennice Butler Jennice Butler
Speech, Voice & Movement

MFA in Acting from UC Irvine and BS in Theatre from University of Evansville. McDonald’s Commercial: “Main Event”; Lead in comedic web series, “How to Fake it in America & Car Jockeys”.

James R. Carey James Carey

MFA in Theatre Management, California State University – Long Beach. As a director, his credits include award winning productions of The Elephant Man and All My Sons, and the world premiere One Acts by Lee Blessing and Jeffery Hatcher. Has served as the Producing Artistic Director of the ATTIC Theatre located near Culver City since 1987, where his productions have won numerous awards.

Philip Casnoff Philip Casnoff

Nominated for a Golden Globe Award portraying Frank Sinatra in the Golden Globe winning film Sinatra. Credits include E.R., Frasier, How Stella Got Her Grove Back, Strong Medicine and Oz. Also directed episodes of Monk and Strong Medicine.

Mary Cobb Mary Cobb
Shakespeare

BA in Theatre Arts, San Diego State University. Los Angeles stage work includes Richard II and Richard III at the Uprising Theatre Company, As You Like It with the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company, and Gertrude Stein in Hell at the Actors Art Theatre.

Joshua Coleman Joshua Coleman

MFA in Theatre from UCSD and BA in Psychology from John Hoffman University. He worked at The Guthrie Theater, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the La Jolla Playhouse. Roles include: Macbeth, Lysander, Angleo and Iago in Shakespeare’s great works. Film/TV credits include: "How to Get Away With Murder", "The West Wing", "Scandal" and "Grey’s Anatomy".

Merrilyn Crouch Merrilyn Crouch

MFA in Theater, University of Southern California. Hundreds of credits as an actress, voice over and writer/director for commercials and network promos. Narrated the film history documentary series: “Cinema in Focus” hosted by Peter Bogdanovich, as well as the PBS’ educational Documentary series “The Way We Live”. Merrilyn can be seen on the Food Network’s Good Eats in the recurring role as Alton Brown’s sister, Marsha.

Jean Claude Deering Jean Claude Deering
Technique, Scene Study

BFA, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Film and TV credits include “The Ugly Truth,” “The Land of the Astronauts,” "Entourage," "Inside the Box" (pilot for ABC), "Hawthorne," "Criminal Minds," and "North Palm Wrestling" (MTV). Worked as business development intern for Sony Pictures and Screen Gems, and as a copywriter for Chiat/Day.

Maria Del Bagno Maria Del Bagno
Dance

Graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, apprenticed under renowned master choreographer, Jaime Rogers, and the “Father of Jazz Dance,” Luigi. Over 25 years of experience as a dance instructor. Named one of L.A.’s top choreographers by L.A. Jazz Dance Foundation.

Debra Dragotto-Parker Debra Dragotto-Parker
Acting Technique, Text Analysis, Writing for Actors

MFA in Screenwriting, UCLA; BFA in Drama; Hofstra University. She has worked for and with top industry executives Mark Burnett, Dick Clark and Mark Walberg. Studied acting and directing at the renowned Lee Strassberg Institute in New York City. She studied Shakespeare at the acclaimed London Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has been honored twice with highly coveted Drama-Logue Awards for Stage Direction. She produced TV series like No Boundaries, Friends or Lovers and Lover or Loser.

Bruce Ducat Bruce Ducat
Acting for Film, Acting Technique

BFA in Theatre Performance: Directing, Concordia University, Montreal. Acting and dialogue coach on multiple television series and feature films. Has coached Julie Andrews, Chris Farley, Rider Strong, Larisa Oleynik, Jennie Garh, Laura Kightlinger, and many more.

Lawrence Dwyer Lawrence Dwyer

MFA in Theatre Arts from Mason Gross School of the Arts, BA from University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rutgers University. Lawrence is an actor/producer/director/writer who studied acting with William Esper and Lloyd Richards. He is the co-creator of and formerly head-acting teacher at The Paul Sorvino Meisner Intensive Acting Studio. His credits include “Guns, Girls and Gambling”, “Passions”, and the Crossroads Theater production of “Fortinbras”. He is also a producer of the feature film “Beneath the Leaves” starring Academy Award winning actress Mira Sorvino.

Tim Fannon Tim Fannon

MFA in Acting, Brooklyn College; BS in Theater, Skidmore College; trained at the Royal National Theatre and the British Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Extensive stage experience and commercials; film and television roles include “Kidnap”, “Bar Flies”, “After I’m Dead”, and “Review with Forrest MacNeil”. Founding member/artistic director of Fovea Floods Theater, and company member of Moving Arts.

Bob Garrett Bob Garrett

BA Theatre Arts Adelphi University. Actor on Broadway in seven shows, Recording Artist A&M Records, Television and Theatre Writer and Director including. NAACP for Rain Pryor's Fride Chicken and Latkas. Vocal coached film and pop stars from Jessica Lange to Katy Perry as well as TV shows such as American Horror Story, Life with Judy Garland and Gimme a Break!

Genevieve Gearhart Genevieve Gearhart

MFA in Acting, California Institute for the Arts; BA in Dance and Theatre, Manhattanville College. Her work has been seen at the Getty Villa, REDCAT, the Ohio Theater, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Williamstown Theater Festival, and several found spaces in Los Angeles and New York. She serves as Co-Artistic Director for The Speakeasy Society.

Ros Gentle Ros Gentle

BFA, National Institute of Dramatic Art, University of NSW, Australia; Diploma in Teaching, Balmain Teachers' College of Advanced Education, Sydney. An actress of 40 years with teaching experience at NIDA, Actors Center, Joanne Baron/DW Brown Studio, and Australian Institute of Dramatic Art.

Cathy Giannone Cathy Giannone
Scene Study, Meisner

BFA from Strasberg Institute at NYU. Lifetime member of Actors Studio. Has taught at Artist Theatre Group and Third Street Theatre. Recipient of two Drama Circle Awards and four DramaLogue Awards. Cathy Giannone is known for her work on The Bogus Witch Project, CB4 and The Little Rascals Save the Day.

Maria Gobetti Maria Gobetti
Acting Technique, Scene Study, Meisner

MA and BA in Theatre, UCLA. Artistic Co-Director at The Victory Theatre Center, with over 80 directing credits. Maria directed the critic’s choice world premieres of Jon Klein’s Suggestibility and Wishing Well. She also directed and produced the critic’s choice production of David Mamet’s Oleanna; the world premieres of American Iliad by Donald Freed. Maria was the 1992 recipient of Women in Theatre’s Outstanding Achievement In Theatre Award.

Miraj Grbic Miraj Grbic

BFA in Acting, Academy of Dramatic Arts University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Performed in more than 60 plays from such authors as Shakespeare, Moliere and Camus. Starred in 40 Feature Films an TV Shows, including “Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol” and “The Hunting Party” among others.

Isabella Hoffman Isabella Hoffman

BFA in Theatre & Music from Columbia College Chicago. Over 75 credits in film and television, including Golden Globe winning series “Dear John” and “Burlesque.” Other notable credits include “Curb your Enthusiasm”, “Boston Legal”, “Jag”, “Firefly”, and “Providence.” Recipient of the Joseph Jefferson award for best Actress in a Principal Role in "Teibele and Her Demon.”

Travis Holder Travis Michael Holder
Scene Study, Playwrights / Screenwriters, Monologues

Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts; Goodman Theatre at University of Chicago, trained with Uta Hagan, Stella Adler, and Kenneth McMillan. Five plays produced nationally. Veteran of six Broadway productions and numerous national and international tours. Honored with the LA Drama Critics’ Circle Best Actor Award. Prominent theatre critic since 1987 for such publications as Back Stage, Entertainment Today, and ArtsInLA.

Jack Huang Jack Huang
Stage Combat, Stunt Workshop

MA in Commercial Music, CSU Los Angeles; BM in Classical Violin Performance, UCI; Certificate in Film Scoring, UCLA. He was the teenage martial arts champion in nunchucks in Taiwan, the Taiwan government-selected martial artist for the US performance team of 1983, and then, the World Cup Middle Weight Champion at the 1987 Los Angeles Open.

Phil Kaufman Phil Kaufman

MFA in Acting, Yale School of Drama; BA in Drama, Dartmouth College. TV appearances on “Law and Order”, “Harry’s Law”, “The Mentalist”, as well as many commercials. Director of several short films, including pilot presentation, “Intelligence” and upcoming web series, “Send Me”.

Eddie Kehler Eddie Kehler

Two year Meisner graduate with Maggie Flanigan. Studied with Wynn Handman. Actors Studio member/Board of Directors. Acting professionally from NYC to LA television, film and stage. Including; Dexter, Criminal Minds, Ally McBeal, Southland, Desperate Housewives.

Suzanne Kent Suzanne Kent
Scene Study, Comedy & Improvisation, Monologues, Voice

Founding company member of The Groundlings Theatre Company in Los Angeles and created the Sunday Company program at The Groundlings. Over 30 feature film credits, including “Middle Men,” “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid,” “Nuts,” “The Boost,” and “History of the World: Part I”. Television series regular roles on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” “St. Elsewhere,” “The Garry Shandling Show,” and “Brotherly Love.” Voice actor on “Rugrats,” “The Wild Thornberrys,” and “Rocket Power”.

Carol Lefko Carol Lefko

BA in Radio-Television from University of Arizona. Worked at CBS under Casting Directors, Lea Stalmaster and Jean Guest. Carol has been casting Feature Films, Television, Commercials and Theatre for over 30 years. Her credits include Nike, Quaker Oatmeal and Coca Cola. She has also cast dozens of Television Movies-Of-The-Week and Mini-Series.

Joseph Limbaugh Joseph Limbaugh

BA in Drama from University of Portland. Directed, performed in, and created hundreds of improvisational shows including Cartoon Overlord, Scandal, Dark Gables, Course Correction, Rue de Monsters, Camenot, Politico! After School Specials, and many more. He was the head writer of Hollywood Saturday Night and runs the sketch and improv program for the ACME Comedy Theatre.

Robert Lipton Robert Lipton
Tech, Scene Study, Text Analysis, Monologues, Method Acting for Film

Trained with Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, graduated Neighborhood Playhouse program. Over a dozen feature film roles, extensive stage experience, and multiple television appearances, including “Judging Amy,” “The Practice,” and “The X-Files.” Recurring roles on “One Life to Live,” “The Young and the Restless,” and 6 years on “As the World Turns.”

Alexis McNab Alexis MacNab

MFA in Directing for Theater, California Institute of the Arts; BA in Theater, Oberlin College. Original works have been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Ohio, and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with her critically acclaimed clown cabaret, “Hôtel de l'Avenir” and her multi-media adaptation of Nabokov's, “Gods”.

David Matalon David Matalon

BFA in Film & TV with emphasis in Writing/ Directing from NYU Tisch. Writer/ Filmmaker with more than 18 optioned screenplays, 5 short films and 6 stage projects to his credit. WGA member. On Hollywood's Hit List for hottest specs, sold 2-hour pilot to the SyFy network & UCP.

Michael Mccartney Michael Mccartney
Acting for Film

BS in Theatre from Skidmore College. Actor, writer, producer, designer, and teacher who has worked extensively in film, theater and television. Acting film credits include “Amazing Spiderman,” “Dealing,” “A Telephone Call,” “Neal Cassady,” “Confess,” “Bringing Rain,” and “Halloween Resurrection.” Television credits include Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, Conviction, and The Office. His screenplay for “The Wreckage” was a Quarter Finalist for the 2009 Nicholl Fellowship.

George Mcgrath George McGrath
Comedy & Improvisation, Acting for the Camera, Voice

Performed with the Groundlings in Los Angeles from 1983 – 1992. He co-wrote the Paramount film “Big Top Pee-wee,” and created and starred in Nick-at-Nite’s first original series, “On the Television,” which he also co-executive produced. He had a recurring role on HBO’s “Tracey Takes On,” a series he also wrote and produced.

Kellynn Meeks Kellynn Meeks
Voice and Speech, Movement

MFA in Acting, Penn State University, BFA in Acting, University of Minnesota Duluth. Lessac Certified Trainer. Studied under Arthur Lessac. Performed extensively with Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company. Commercial and television credits including “The West Wing.” ABC Digital’s “Boondoggle”.

Marc-Ivan O'Gorman Marc-Ivan O'Gorman

MFA in TV, Radio and Film, Syracuse University; BFA in Arts, Communication, Trinity College Dublin. Founder & director of The Irish Film Festival of India, Taylorfest & Cleverality Productions. He has produced and directed various TV commercials in Ireland & India, as well as written & directed a feature film (Black Magic) and a number of award winning short films (Trick or Treat, Infected City and Other).

Corey Pepper Corey Pepper
Comedy & Improv, Sketch Comedy

BA, SUNY at Binghamton. Founding member of National Lampoon Players, studying improv with Chris Barnes and Michael Haggarty. Graduate of Warner Bros. Comedy Writers program. Thirty years experience as actor, writer, comic and teacher. Has appeared in such projects as “Studs Lonigan” for NBC, and “The Quickening” for A&E.

JP Pitoc JP Pitoc

BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. JP was honored with SAG’s award for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble” for his recurring role in the acclaimed HBO series Six Feet Under. As a voice-over actor, he narrated the long-running series ET on MTV, has voiced national TV commercial campaigns and radio spots, and worked in video games, motion capture and animation.

Lee Quarrie Lee Quarrie

MFA in Theatre, Arizona State University. Lee toured nationally as Glenda and Auntie Em in The Wizard of Oz with American Family Theatre. Her original film, "Patchwork Dreams" is a grand prize winner of the 2013 Beijing International Screenwriting Competition.

Julio O. Ramos Julio O. Ramos

MFA in Film Directing and Production from UCLA; BA in Journalism from Universidad San Martin de Porres (Peru). Julio is the Writer/Director of "A Doctor's Job" and "Behind the Mirrors," films that were showcased in Telluride, Camerimage and CFC WorldWide, awarded with top prizes at Palm Springs ShortFest, Nashville and La Habana. He is an Alum of the Berlinale Talent Campus.

Keiana Richard Keiana Richard

MFA from The University of California, San Diego and BA from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She was a Tennessee Arts Grant Recipient as well as the Graduate Fellow Recipient at UCSD. Her credits include Broadway: Dividing The Estate produced by Lincoln Center, Off-Broadway: Ghosts, The Pearl Theatre Company and Forgotten World at The Public Theatre, and T.V: The Player on NBC and Delocated on Adult Swim.

David Robinette David Robinette
Acting Technique, Acting for Film, Monologues

MA in Performance Theory/Playwriting, California State University, Northridge and BA in English/Creative Writing, Hunter College. Television actor with appearances on “The Young and the Restless,” “Law & Order,” “As the World Turns,” and “All My Children.” Film role in “Cry Funny Happy,” Official Selection at Sundance.

George Russo George Russo
Scene Study, Acting Technique

Studied at George Morrison Studios, HB Studios, and The Actors Studio. TV credits include Bonnie Hunt, NYPD, Luck, Dirty People; Teaching experience with Julia Bavasso Studios, Chamber Theatre, Third Street Theatre, and Varick Street Studio.

Mary Sala Mary Sala

MFA in Performance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a Certified Lessac Kinesensic© Trainer, currently serving as President of the Lessac Training and Research Institute. She is a professional actor, voice over artist, author and has taught theatre, acting, voice, speech and movement for a combined 32 years.

Elena Sanz Elena Sanz

MFA from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in Performance to continue her training in New York where she attended the Atlantic Acting School. She has worked in film, theater and television both in Europe and the US.

Deena Selenow Deena Selenow

MFA from California Institute of the Arts and BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Directed projects both in Los Angeles and New York including: LA- REDCAT, Company of Angels, LACMA, CalArts; New York- Dixon Place, Gene Frankel Theatre, NYU. She is the Recipient of the New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artist of Color Directing Fellowship.

Gilbert Shilton Gilbert Shilton

35 years in the film and television industry, with directing credits including “Law & Order”, “MacGyver”, “Beverly Hills 90210”, “Quantum Leap”, “The A-Team”, “La Femme Nikita”, “The Twilight Zone”, “Magnum P.I.”, and “Knight Rider”. Has written and sold scripts for features, pilots, and episodic television, while also working as a producer on several television series.

Carol Stanzione Carol Stanzione

BFA in Acting, New York University Tisch School Of the Arts/Strasberg Institute. Acting credits include “Orange Is The New Black”, “Side Effects”, “Deliver Us From Evil”, Eminem's "Stan" music video and the west coast premiere of “The Manchurian Candidate”, as well as many radio commercials and animated series. Has cast, directed and produced over 200 voiceovers for TV, film and radio.

Riley Steiner Riley Steiner

MFA in Shakespeare from Mary Baldwin College, BA in Theatre Arts from Mary Baldwin College, studied with Uta Hagen at HB Studios, and trained at the American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco. Television credits include General Hospital, NYPD Blue, Civil Wars. On stage in New York, When the Young Wine Blooms with Celeste Holm, and Ophelia in Hamlet, directed by Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Richard Steinmetz Richard Steinmetz

Worked off Broadway in New York for ten. His list of film, TV and voice-over credits include a series regular role on General Hospital.

Eric Stevens Eric Stevens

Theatrical agent for over 25 years. Established own agency, Rainbow High Entertainment, in 2006; in January 2013, the company transitioned to Artists Management and Production.

Tyler Stillwell Tyler Stillwell

MFA in Acting from Penn State University and BA in Acting/ Design from University of Northern Iowa. Artistic Director- Black Hawk Children's Theatre, Waterloo, IA 2003-2009. Instructor of Voice & Movement, Greek Theatre, Directing and Acting (Meisner Method) and Theatre Arts History at the University of Northern Iowa. Actor, Iowa Shakespeare Festival.

Melissa Sullivan Melissa Sullivan
Acting for Film

BFA in Theater from California Institute of the Arts. Artist in Residence, University of Las Vegas. Acting film credits include: Finding Red Cloud and The World of Tomorrow. TV credits include: E.R., Hawthorne, Dragnet. Theater credits include: James Joyce’ The Dead, The Interview, Tennessee William’s Mr. Paradise, Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Yoshie Taniguchi Yoshie Taniguchi
Stunts, Stage Combat

BA in Physical Education, Tokyo University of Woman Physical Education; Conservatory, Sho Kosugi Hollywood School. Instructor of Tai Chi and Japanese swordsmanship.

Cle Thompson Cle Thompson
Acting for Directors, Accent Reduction

BA in English, Beloit College. Extensive acting experience in off-Broadway productions, national tours, and feature films including A 2nd Before Hell Freezes Over, VS, Funny Valentines and Beyond the Blue. She has worked with legendary film composer/arranger Elmer Bernstein, sung in clubs from New York to Los Angeles.

Matthew Toronto Matthew Toronto

MFA in Directing from Penn State University and BFA in Musical Theatre from University of Michigan. Director, writer, and producer of film and theatre. Feature film, “The Pact”. Acting experience includes national tours, regional theatres and 5 seasons as a dancer alongside the Rockettes in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

William Watterson William Watterson

BA from Brown University and is a graduate of The Second City Hollywood Conservatory and he has also trained at UCB Los Angeles. He directed and co-wrote the adventure comedy Dave Made A Maze, a feature film starring Nick Thune and James Urbaniak. He performed motion capture and voice over for the video games LA Noire and Lost Planet 3; appeared in the films Ouija, Jenny's Wedding, and Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys; and TV credits include Brooklyn Nine Nine and The Soul Man.

Dig Wayne Dig Wayne

Trained in London at the Lee Strasberg Studio. He was cast in the lead role in the musical 5 Guy's Named Moe in London's West End which won an Oliver Award for best musical. His most notable role in Los Angeles has been as Gabriel in the Actors Studio project of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize winning play, Fences. Dig was nominated for an Ovation Award and won a NAACP Theatre Award for supporting actor in 2007.

Cliff Weissman Cliff Weissman
Acting for Directors, Acting Technique

BA in Theatre, Brooklyn College. Professional actor with guest star and recurring roles on “NCIS,” “CSI: NY,” “Criminal Minds,” “24,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” and more. Acting and instructor and audition coach for over 25 years.

Alan Woolf Alan Woolf
Scene Study, Text Analysis, Monologues

MFA in Acting from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, BA in English from University of Rhode Island. Acted in over 175 theatrical productions. TV appearances include “Airwolf,” “The Medium,” “The Practice,” “Dragnet, L.A.,” and “Melrose Place.” Features include “Air Force One,” “The Rat Pack,” John Grisham’s “The Rainmaker,” “Smithereens.” Past president and board of directors of both Actors Alley Repertory and Theatre East.

Michael Zelnicker Michael Zelniker
Acting for Film, Acting Technique

BA in Theatre from Dawson College's Professional Acting Program. Michael is an award winning actor and filmmaker. His film credits include the roles of Red Rodney in Clint Eastwood's "Bird" and the role of Allen Ginsberg in David Cronenberg's "Naked Lunch". On stage in plays he has performed from Shakespeare to David Mamet.

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