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Benson, MD Acting Lessons

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About Heather M. L.

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Saint Augustine, FL

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I believe, wholeheartedly, that with the right teaching and encouragement, anyone can learn to become an actor. Both children and adult beginners will have a great time playing acting "games", (i.e. exercises) that encourage creativity and freedom of artistic expression.

About Heather M.
More important than my conservatory education and my experience as an educator and a performer is my passion for teaching music and acting and my undying belief that anyone can learn to be a musician and an actor. I'm currently available to teach lessons in my own St. Augustine home studio, in the World Golf Village area, and online around the globe.

I'm a cum laude graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey and a winner of its merit scholarship.
After performing with the New York and Royal Philharmonics, the New Jersey and Virginia Symphonies, the American Boy Choir and the internationally renowned opera star, Andrea Bocelli, studying opera and piano at Westminster Choir College and performance art and improvisational acting at East Carolina University in North Carolina, and appearing in shows and pageants across
the east coast, I found my life's work in 2003 when I began teaching music.

I've successfully taught hundreds of different students since 2003, from 5-year-olds with special needs to middle-aged professional opera singers, from a professor in Saudi Arabia to a 65-year-old doctor of music, from kids of Radio Disney to students of the famed Actors Studio in New York, from busy stay-at-home parents to retirees with bucket lists, from CEOs to touring singer-songwriters.

I've created and led a workshop about singing called, "The Whole Body Singer". I've written dozens of articles about music and music education for the blog at TakeLessons.com.

My extensive knowledge of the voice has encouraged and empowered hundreds of singers and prepared many of them to win competitions, pageants and auditions, as well as roles in operas and musicals.

Having both taught myself piano and received formal training at a conservatory has prepared me to teach almost anyone how to play.
The intensive training and education that I received at Westminster Choir College in songwriting, music theory and sight reading has benefited my students at every level.

My current work as singer and keyboardist in the acoustic rock duo, Timberwood, has strengthened my knowledge of a broad range of styles and genres. I have a strong commitment to continuing my education. That's why I recently (2014) studied songwriting online with the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

In the lessons that I teach, I'm flexible, positive and encouraging. While I want my students to have fun and love music, not dread it, I expect hard work and persistence. I am caring, patient, nurturing, and compassionate. In piano lessons, I usually allow the student to choose a piece with which to warm up and then move on to technique and repertoire. In voice lessons, I usually warm up the singer and discuss technique and sight singing before focusing on song choices. Joan Frey Boytim wrote a book for voice that I like to use, and I like the Estelle Liebling exercises for the more advanced singer. Hanon exercises are a big part of my piano curriculum, and I enjoy the Bastien and Alfred books for young and old. I have used completely random songs pulled out of a piano bench and a karaoke CD for kids. I will use almost anything I can get my hands on if it means effectively teaching music.
Acting lessons consist of exercises and games that apply learned concepts, and monologue and audition coaching. Parents, siblings and spouses are always welcome to observe lessons quietly.
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Reviews
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Joe September 18, 2017
· Singing · In studio
I'm getting ready to sing at a family reunion. Heather has been great in helping me prepare for that.
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Savannah L. September 6, 2017
· Christian Gospel · In home
Great experience! We loved her positive teaching style and fast evaluation. Couldn't be more pleased.
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Nick August 29, 2017
· Improv Acting · Online
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Heather M. L.

Heather M. L.

Online
(68)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About Kate W.

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San Antonio, TX
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About Kate
I graduated from UTSA in the Fall of 2008, with a Bachelor of Music with a Vocal and Piano Emphasis. I have been teaching private piano and voice for 11+ years. I am fun, energetic, and patient. It brings me such joy to be able to teach children something I am so passionate about!

*** Lesson Details ***
Students need to practice 15 minutes a day. They are required to complete everything that is assigned to them that week, and be prepared for their lessons for the following week. A beginner usually in 3-6 months should be familiar with reading the basic treble and bass clef staff, be familiar with dynamic markings, beginning to understand basic music theory, tempo and minimal sight reading. Voice students study basic vocal technique, and learning to sing properly.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I usually provide the books after the paren
ts have paid for them. They should have their own instrument to work with.

*** Specialties ***
I use the Alfred method for piano.
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Reviews
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Aliyah September 8, 2017
· Singing · In home
Great first lesson. Was unsure what to expect but Kate made us feel welcome and my daughter felt comfortable. Looking forward to the next lesson!
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Clark P. August 19, 2015
· Singing · In studio
My impression is that Kate is an experienced and knowledgeable instructor. Excellent lesson.
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Gia July 2, 2015
· Singing · Online
Within minutes, I could tell that she was a very haopy person and that I would have no problem talking with her. She also challenged me to sing outside my range. I felt unsure but she encouraged me and I did okay. I can't wait for my next lesson.
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Kate W.

Kate W.

Online
(6)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Valyncia V.

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Fort Washington, MD

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About Valyncia
I believe everyone has the ability to sing … some better than others, of course, -- but regardless, I believe every voice can make a beautiful sound. I believe learning to sing requires team work: with the proper instruction and learning tools from me, the instructor, and with the dedication (practice, practice, practice) from you, the student, a well-rounded singer can emerge. If you can hear the proper note, I can help your vocal instrument play to its fullest abilities.

I began singing when I was five years old in church. I continued singing exclusively inspirational music until I was a teenager. At that time, in addition to the second soprano part I sang in a five-part harmony a Capella (without instrumental accompaniment) Gospel group, I also sang in a few bands (Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, and Rock). My undergraduate studies we
re completed at the American University, where I majored in Communications (B.A.), and minored in Music, voice being my instrument. During my undergraduate studies, I was recruited and performed as the lead female vocalist for a Rock band that a few fellow music students had formed. While in college, I was trained in classical voice, piano, music theory, musical theater performance, and vocal pedagogy (vocal training). My vocal pedagogy studies credentialed me to become a professional vocal instructor. I began teaching voice after I earned my degree, and have been teaching private voice lessons for over ten years.

Most of my present expertise in teaching voice grew from my vocal pedagogy studies, my teaching experience which has developed over time, my own personal vocal dedication, and my training and understanding of various genres of vocal performance. My present singing career is as an inspirational singer; my vocal students encompass various genres in which I have experience, including: Inspirational, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, Rock, Classical, as well as various degrees of popular music.

*** Audition Preparation ***
I have coached many of my students to prepare for auditions: auditions to be accepted into performing arts schools, parts in musicals and plays, joining a band or vocal ensemble, as well as auditions for televised singing shows, such as "The Voice," "Sunday's Best," "American Idol" and "The X Factor."

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach students by using the tried and true techniques I have found to be successful, and allow the student to be my guide as to which direction to take with his or her vocal training. Whether the student is a novice, a professional, or somewhere in between, each student, after obtaining the basic singing knowledge and techniques, will have a vocal training schedule geared to his or her individual needs and development. Lessons are for the most part very casual in nature, and the student’s dedication (practice, practice, practice) will dictate whether or not the lessons become stricter. A few months into the vocal instruction, students will be given the opportunity to learn more about reading music and sight singing, if he or she so chooses, as well as vocal performance techniques for singing in front of an audience. Within one year, dedicated students may also have the opportunity to show off what they have learned, and perform in front of an audience at a recital with other vocal students. Please note that my preference is to work with teens age 13 through adults of any age. I believe that younger voices need more time to develop and stand to be damaged if too much stress is put on them too soon. However, exceptions for children under 13 may be made for gifted young singers.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio- entry room of home, baby grand piano, seating area, dry erase board, mirrors
Music Studio- one recording studio, seating area, classroom

*** Travel Equipment ***
If needed, I provide a portable piano keyboard, microphone with amplifier, paper handouts of lessons, etc. The student needs to have paper to take notes and a writing instrument.

*** Specialties ***
Most of my voice lesson experience has been with adults, and contemporary popular and inspirational music.
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Reviews
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mildred July 24, 2017
· Singing · In studio
I really enjoy taking lesson with Valyncia, she is so
kind and very knowledgeable. I enjoy talking to her each visit. She is very patience with you and will work with you until you get it. I really enjoy spending my time with her on saturdays.
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Spencer April 10, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Got these lessons for my wife; excellent teacher and excellent improvement in my wife's singing ability
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Bri'on March 4, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Very professional, conveniently located, thoroughly analyzed first lesson. Looking forward to the next session.
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Valyncia V.

Valyncia V.

Online
(32)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Detrece L.

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Baltimore, MD
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Acting since age 8

About Detrece
DeTrece "Dee" Lavender is a native of Miami, Florida. When her family moved to Sarasota, she was afforded the opportunity to study music and the performing arts as a student of the Westcoast School/Henry L. Porter School of Music. It was then that Dee began to understand the power of the creative arts as an effective form of emotional expression and release. By middle school, DeTrece began fine tuning her natural talents by studying classical voice which earned her several starring roles in the Sarasota Youth Opera, The Aslo Theater and the Players Theater. She is also a proud former member of the Westcoast Black Theater Troop in Sarasota, FL. Under the caring leadership of these opportunities, she was able to combine musical and life experiences in order to offer a more well rounded educational and musical experience for her students.


She was awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where she received a dual Bachelor of Music degree in Music Therapy and Vocal Performance (Class of 2003). It was through her service as a music therapist, Millieu (residential) counselor and music teacher in the Boston City Public Schools/Greater Boston Metropolitan Area, that she began to feel the call toward a greater understanding of the gravity and role of the socio-emotional needs of students (and their families/villages) in urban settings. This call brought her to Baltimore, MD where she enrolled in the Pastoral Counseling Masters of Science program at Loyola University. In addition to her studies, she currently teaches Elementary and Middle School choir/ Musicianship teacher in the Baltimore City Public Schools through the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's OrchKids Program. She also serves as Minister Of Music and Arts at two local churches.
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Reviews
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Mawulom N. October 18, 2017
· Improv Acting · In studio
D is skilled at opening you up. From the warm welcome, opening exercise to her easy-going nature and intentional way of being. She's intuitive and an expert in her craft.
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Shaunise G. March 21, 2016
· Singing · In home
Detrece was patient very much into her work and very knowledgeable about singing i will continue to finish my lesson with and recommend her HIGHLY.
Lavelle Garcia
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Nefertiri S. February 26, 2016
· Microsoft Office · In home
She is such a very pleasant person to work with, patient ,kind ,very knowledgeable of the computer,she showed me a lot in one day.I am looking forward to the next class .Thank you
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Detrece L.

Detrece L.

Baltimore, MD 21217
(8)
starting at
$45 / 45-min

About Susan S.

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Owings Mills, MD

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Maybe you're curious about acting. Maybe you're very good and very serious. Maybe you just need to come out of your shell a little bit. I've taught 'em all, with great success. I look forward to meeting you.

About Susan
Acting – I have taught all kinds of acting, including Audition Skills, Shakespeare, Stage, Film & TV, Dramatic, Comedic, whatever. I also have quite a bit of experience performing in all those arenas. I have a relationship with one of the best management agencies in the area, so my students get fast-tracked with her.

Voice – Anyone can sing. If you want to and have always thought you couldn't, you will be delighted when I prove you wrong. Training for the voice is pretty much the same, whatever style you are interested in. Then I'll coach you in your chosen style and we'll pick songs you like.

Singing beautifully is not enough. I can't tell you how many times I heard in grad school "beautiful voices are a dime a dozen." I will teach you how to OWN the song. That's what keeps people coming back.

Speaking – Every public spe
aker I know has lost their voice at some point, but not from talking too much. It's because they don't know how to use their voice properly. Learn that, and you need never lose your voice to over-use. That's easy to teach.

Writing – I have been a professional writer and editor for over eight years, with many books, articles, posts, newsletters, etc. to my name. I use – and teach – practical grammar, not just correct grammar. I can also help you make your words more powerful.
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Jesse W. September 24, 2017
· Film and TV Acting · In home
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Andrew August 7, 2017
· Voice Acting · In studio
I've been taking lessons with Susan Scher for about two months now. I can easily say I've been impressed at how much I've improved. I look forward to lessons every week. I feel that soon enough I'll be able to audition for roles in film and television. If you live in the Baltimore area and are interested in voice acting or any acting in general. Contact her and go, you won't be disappointed.
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Imuetinyan Ugiagbe August 6, 2017
· Acting · In studio
I did not know what to expect when I signed up to take classes with Susan. I decided to take classes with her for two reasons: Her studio is not far from me and 2, the good reviews left by her clients. All I wanted was to learn the fundamentals and techniques about acting. Susan was excellent and very patient. She offered water in each lesson, which is also very kind. Her interpersonal connection brings a sense of comfort. Her studio is very neat and welcoming. I do not have regrets in my selections and I know you won't be disappointed too.
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Susan S.

Susan S.

Owings Mills, MD 21117
(15)
starting at
$60 / 60-min
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About Nikolai G.

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Valley Village, CA

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Nikolai has been teaching acting in Los Angeles since 1998. He has trained, and worked with a number of successful actors including, Paul Walker (Fast and Furious) , Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf), Charlie Hofheimer ( 24 The Legacy ), Jaime Murray (Dexter) Diane Farr (Numbers) and many more. In his teachings Nikolai emphasizes the best principles and ideas of european acting techniques. He believes that acting should always be a joyful and creative process, not a tedious labor.

About Nikolai
Nikolai has been teaching acting in Los Angeles since 1998. He has trained, and worked with a number of successful actors including, Paul Walker (Fast and Furious) , Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf), Charlie Hofheimer ( 24 The Legacy ), Jaime Murray (Dexter) Diane Farr (Numbers) and many more. In his teachings Nikolai emphasizes the best principles and ideas of european acting techniques. He believes that acting should always be a joyful and creative process, not a tedious labor.
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Osa April 3, 2017
· Acting · In studio
I have never studied with anyone that holds a candle to Nikolai. He has taught me a technique I can rely on no matter the circumstances, and he has always pushed me to go further than I thought possible. I consider him my mentor in acting and whether you are pursuing TV, film or theater, he is your guy.
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Joe April 3, 2017
· Film and TV Acting · In studio
Nikolai is the best teacher I've ever had. By far. Whether going on an audition, or prepping for a film/tv, Nikolai has given me the tools to be fully prepared and at my best. I'm able to listen, see, connect, react, and just be completely comfortable in my body while acting more than ever as a result of his teaching methods. No gimmicks, tricks, or shortcuts - you'll learn have to have full, genuine experiences in your acting. It's a wonderful thing.
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Angela March 26, 2017
· Acting · In studio
This is really a thorough journey into the art and craft of acting at its best. It is engrained in one of the original contributors of acting Michael Chehkov with a contemporary interpretation. It is very difficult to find this kind of a real REAL nature of acting kind of class. True learning experience. It is so specific in its technique and due to the nature of the small class you are given full attention. I took so much away from this class, that will stay with me forever!
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Nikolai G.

Nikolai G.

Online
(9)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About James W.

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Los Angeles, CA

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My MFA is from a top 3 actor training program. I have been coaching actors for over a decade. I live in Los Angeles and work professionally as an actor in theatre, film, and television. I have such a wide variety of techniques at my disposal that I bring whatever technique seems to be best suited to the you and the material you are working on. I have taught at The American Conservatory Theatre, The Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre, The Theatre of Arts, Naropa University, and privately.

About James
I have been teaching and coaching for over a decade.

I live in Los Angeles and work professionally as an actor in theatre, film, and television.

I have an MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre. With my PhD research at the California Institute of Integral Studies (funded by The Esalen Institute) I explored a distinct teaching approach that focuses on cultivating the extraordinary capacities of great actors.

I have taught at The American Conservatory Theatre, The Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre, The Theatre of Arts, Naropa University, and privately.

I love the creative process of teaching, and I teach primarily through caring relationship to my students.

We can meet online or in person. I have a huge library of resources to support you with. I also will often record our lessons so you can listen or watch them
multiple times as a way to get maximum value from the work we do.
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Reviews
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Jeffrey May 30, 2017
· Acting · In studio
James Wagner is actually the best teacher of creative work I've ever had in any field, and as a writer/ filmmaker/ musician dude, I have had a lot! His teaching is rigorous, passionate, and results-driven, while remaining flexible and sensitive at the same time. His knowledge of acting and theatre theory is endless. He is always trying to expand the possibilities in his classes, bringing in guest speakers, and facilitating unexpected exercises. He is also an inspiring, warm hearted person. Kate and I started a theatre company with actors we all met in his classes, so that should tell you something. I honestly would not be the same person had I not encountered his generous vision of acting and theatre. You cannot go wrong by having him as a coach or teacher.
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Deborah May 26, 2017
· Theater Acting · In studio
I met James when I took his class at Berkeley Rep (Eugene O'neill scene studies). I immediately knew he was the kind of Acting coach I'd want to train me, the level of professionalism and high standards is invaluable. During a short trip to LA, I met with James for a 3 hours coaching in which we created a 3 year plan to go from Student actor to working actor this was followed up with some online (Skype) sessions. Next I took another scene study with James at Berkeley Rep in which we workshopped Contemporary plays, James in a kind, professional way was able to push me to the level he knew and expected his students to be. And recently I took an Actor's retreat end of last year, again I left the retreat so inspired and motivated. I can tell you now that I have been in a few Theatre productions, I have and continue to meet the goals we set out for me sooner than what we had mapped out. I couldn't have done it without James vast knowledge of acting and motivation. I highly recommend you study with James!
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Gino May 20, 2017
· Stage Performance · In studio
I've studied with James in both a workshop context, and one-to-one on-line. Both were very valuable and enjoyable experiences. James is a very skilled actor, a very learned man, and an insightful teacher and director. Each element of his teaching is a different expression of a life that is clearly committed to his art as an actor. I found working with him to provide a deep new view of the playwright we studied (Albee in our case), and a very supportive guide to my personal work as an actor. I can highly recommend him.
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James W.

James W.

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$50 / 30-min

About Alyssa D.

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Greenville, NC

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I worked for 7 years at an NC theatre before starting teaching privately. I have extensive experience in directing and private acting coaching with all ages. I love working with children and teenagers, and helping them break free of inhibitions to get to the next level. Let's make some magic!

About Alyssa
I'm a singer and actress from Raleigh, North Carolina. I have extensive experience in the theatre world including assistant teaching, musical directing, assistant directing and interning. I have received numerous vocal awards over the years, from organazations such as NATS and Hal Leonard. In addition, I have been cast in many professional shows, and training programs. Let me know if you'd like to see a copy of my resume.

When studying with me, a student can expect to feel heard and understood. I can work with any vocal issue, including tension, breathing, resonance, etc. While my specialty is healthing belting, I also have a history of classical training, which I use when teaching legit musical theatre styles. I am still in the industry, and so have a finger on the pulse of what directors, casting agents and studios are looking for.

In
addition to musical theatre, I also teach pop, jazz and worship styles. Each voice is unique and beautiful, and I will work with you to become the best (and healthiest) that you can be while still staying true to your natural sound.

Whether you are at a professional level, or just looking to have some fun, I would love to work with you. As your teacher, I can create a customized warm-up track for your voice, which will help you improve daily. This can be used throughout the week to practice. Upon request, I can also send a weekly "homework" packet with a written summary of our lesson that day. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more relaxed approach, I can do that as well. Whether you want to be pushed or start slow, I'll be right there with you.
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Libby August 22, 2017
· Vocal Training · In home
I really love the way Alyssa teaches because she not only focuses on helping you sound better, but she also makes sure you are doing it the right way. The vocal thearapy-type tips she gives are super helpful, and I have definitely seen big growth in my vocal range since studying under her. She is very personable and a wonderful teacher. I highly recommend taking lessons with her!
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Alyssa D.

Alyssa D.

Online
(1)
starting at
$34 / 30-min

About Stephen G.

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Los Angeles, CA
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Stephen enjoys helping actors go from average to engaging, with the experience to prepare an actor for a casting director's office or a TV or movie set.

About Stephen
I have been a Screen Actor's Guild and AFTRA member since the 1980's and have real experience as a working actor. I have had a contract roles on soap operas, recurred 18 times as Dr. Beresford on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and have had numerous episodic TV roles. I usually coach actors for on-camera work, either with scripts they provide -- or I can help you find a scene or monologue that's right for you to work on.
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David October 7, 2017
· Film and TV Acting · In studio
While he isn't available very much, I always try to coach with Stephen for challenging projects. He always has good ideas for how to make my scenes more interesting or funny.
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Allison September 2, 2017
· Film and TV Acting · In studio
Stephen is the best! He was able to turn sides I had for a short four line audition for an episodic into a taped audition that booked me the job. I try to book him for every important audition I have.
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Parker September 2, 2017
· Acting · In studio
I studied with Stephen when he taught an On-Camera workshop in Hollywood. He is an incredible teacher and also had great tips about how to succeed in a really tough business.
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Stephen G.

Stephen G.

Online
(3)
starting at
$67 / 30-min

About Bailey R.

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Philadelphia, PA

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Bailey Roper is a teaching artist, local performer, and movement artist living in Philadelphia. They have a BFA in Acting from University of the Arts. They have also trained at University of Miami, Pig Iron School, Dallas Theatre Center, and Shakespeare Dallas.

They currently work as a Theatre Educator at Wolf Performing Arts Center, Theatre Horizon, and Philadelphia Young Playwrights. They have taught classes in acting, monologue coaching, voice and speech training, comedy/improv, playwriting.

Bailey is a great fit to work with students on college auditions, finding monologues, monologue coaching, and basic acting skills. They served as a college level voice and speech tutor primarily helping coach Shakespearian speeches and sonnets.

Bailey also has a strong dance background and is experienced in making original work. They can be helpful in helping to coach and direct solo pieces and adding movement to work.

References are available upon request.

About Bailey
Bailey is a dog loving, clothes loving, food loving, comedy enthusiast with a joy for teaching young artists and performing theatre! Bailey works mainly as a teaching artist and performer but spends a lot of time appreciating coffee and their incredible friends. They are currently re-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
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Hannah October 17, 2017
· Acting · In studio
Bailey was a patient and generous teacher. We had a really fun, productive, and relaxed time. I left our lesson feeling much more confident, and super excited to keep honing my craft! I would highly recommend Bailey to anyone, whatever their level of experience.
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H October 17, 2017
· Improv Acting · In studio
Bailey is the best!!! I’ve always been afraid of improv and thought I was terrible at it, but they made me feel so confident! So happy to have been taught by them
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Bailey R.

Bailey R.

Online
(2)
starting at
$59 / 30-min

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If you've ever watched an actor disappear into their role, shedding genuine tears or adopting mannerisms that aren't their own, then you've seen method acting techniques in action. Most people think of this approach as "becoming a character," and some actors do take that literally, pretending to actually be the person they're playing.  Method acting is taught everywhere from Hollywood to Broadway. But a few notable actors are well-known for taking it to award-winning extremes, making enormous p
Should I Get an MFA? | Pros & Cons for Attending the Best MFA Programs
The decision to go back to school, especially for actors, is a tough one. Read on as graduate student Jasmine B. gives you the inside scoop in a candid detailing of the pros and cons...   After undergrad, I hit an unexpected wall. After nearly a year of working a low-wage, part time job, I secured a seven month touring gig and thought I was finally going to get to use all of those hard earned skills of my undergraduate training, I was going straight to the top! Nope. During the
6 Mistakes You’re Making on Your Acting Resume
Professional actors often can’t help but feel a little powerless when it comes to the process of auditioning and booking jobs. Sure, from the outside people think that actors have some say in creative aspects, but your input and personal preferences are really quite insignificant in the process (well, not until you're on a Brangelina level at least). So while you're on your way to superstardom, it's smart to leverage the opportunities at hand. The first area you have control of as an actor is t
3 Drama Games for Learning Method Acting
Method acting requires you to fully embrace your transformation into your character. To create an authentic experience for your audience, you need to lose the speech inflections, facial expressions, and physical mannerisms that wouldn't make sense. For example, when an actor plays a depressed man, his cynical speech won't be convincing if he delivers it with perfect, confident posture. When Hollywood stars stay in character between takes, or improv comedians wear disguises to interact with un

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