Improv Acting Lessons
Levels taught:Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
About Rachel M.
Rachel fully background checked by three different companies and is also fingerprinted.
Rachel's private studio is where you not only learn healthy technique, but how to become a self-sufficient artist. Professional training and customized programs in singing and acting technique. All learning styles, all ages, and all levels. Private lessons and group classes.
We prepare our students for the real world with up to date training (singing and acting) and both performance opportunities and showcases in front of industry professionals when students are ready.
Students come from all walks of life. All voice types, all ages, all levels, all mediums (TV-film-theatre), all character - ingenue actors, and ALL genres (Rock, Pop, Alternative, Funk, Soul, Musical Theater, R&B, Jazz, Opera) welcome!
Rachel's students have gone on national tours, released albums, are in bands, have been accepted into performing arts schools (high schools and colleges), have been cast in regional/Off-Off-Broadway/Off-Broadway Theatre, movies (Noah, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Finally Famous), music videos, and on TV (Royal Pains, Smash, 30 Rock, The Good Wife, Law and Order: SVU, & NBC's The Voice competition).
Owner/Teacher: Rachel M.
SAG-AFTRA, VASTA, NATS (certified), NARAS, NAMTA, BMI, MAC, NJMEA, NAfME. NJ Theatre Alliance, & Certified Artist Developer with Conquer Entertainment,
17+ years of teaching to children - teens - adults (Ages 6+ group classes, 8+ private lessons)
RACHEL M.'S BIO:
Rachel is a member of SAG-AFTRA, The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS certified), VASTA (Voice And Speech Trainers Association), NARAS (The Grammy Awards), NAMTA, NJMEA (New Jersey Music Educators Association), NAfME (National Association of Music Education), NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association,) MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs), The NJ Theatre Alliance, NSA (Nashville Songwriting Association International), and BMI (Broadcast Music Inc). She has been teaching Bel Canto singing technique for the modern singer and Stella Adler-Stanislavsky-Chekhov-Meisner acting technique for all mediums for 16+ years to children, teens, and adults.
Rachel has trained at The Hages Music Studio under a master teacher for 22+ years in the Bel Canto singing technique for all genres, studied at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC as well as recorded and released her first album called "Just Meant To Be". Other credits include commercials, films, TV shows (One Tree Hill, AMC, Food Network), music videos (including Rachel's singles "Don't Even Try", "You Will Love On"), & numerous stage credits (Off-Broadway/NYC Theatre). Rachel most recently was seen in the reading of a new play "Vanishing Son" by Peter Gil-Sheridan performed in NYC. She is also a songwriter (16+ years), scriptwriter (10+ years), director (14+ years), and an international recording artist (10+ years).
Rachel has been performing for 20+ years, has performed in front of sold out crowds, and has been honored with many standing ovations. Other honors include magazine covers, featured articles, singing to thousands of people, studio recordings/albums, originated the role of "Antigone" in "Oedipus: The Musical", 2002 Helen Hayes Nomination for" Outstanding Vocal Performance in a Musical" ("Miss Adelaide" in "Guys And Dolls"), & 2008 finalist for NYC Singing Idol Competition. Rachel has also been fortunate to have worked & performed with many people in the business including Grammy-Tony-Emmy Award Winners/Nominees.
Whether you are a parent looking for instruction for your child, or for yourself, Rachel can customize the right program that best suits your needs. Her students come from all walks of life and have different goals, but they all have one thing in common. They love performing and have the desire to be the best at their chosen craft (singing/acting).
Some students want to sing/act for themselves, others want to sing/act for a hobby, and others want to be professional performers. That's where Rachel comes in. No matter what your goals are, she can help. Rachel teaches her students how to become true artists without tearing them down and without taking away the part of them that makes them unique. She teaches healthy technique that is based off of the human anatomy; the science of how the body/mind works and how the body/mind can work as efficiently as possible while singing or acting.
Learning how to sing/act is a process and doesn't happen overnight. Rachel's ultimate goal as a teacher is to not only make her students the best performers and singers they can be, but also give them all of the proper tools they need to have a more productive mind frame and become self-sufficient. Of course this can take years to master. It takes time and dedication.
OTHER LESSON INFORMATION
SINGING: Bel Canto singing technique for the modern singer is taught in private and group classes. No one sounds like old opera singers, even if the student wants to sing opera. Students are allowed to choose most of the material they learn in the lesson. There will be times when Rachel will suggest a song to a student but if the student doesn't enjoy the song, they will work as a team to find a song that does work for the student. Gain a better tone quality, complete control of your voice, bigger range, more flexibility, and confidence. Learn healthy voice technique, how to fully take care of your own voice so you can sing for the rest of your life (even after lessons), and become a self sufficient performer for life.
ACTING: Stella Adler, Stanislavsky, Chekhov, and Meisner Acting Technique for Theatre/Camera is taught in private and group classes. All students are exposed to each technique and Rachel sees which technique each student responds to the most. Once the student and Rachel are able to identify the technique, Rachel continues to use the terminology of that technique for the remainder of the time the student is in lessons. Students eventually are able to play roles truthfully and realistically, even if the roles are opposite of the student's own personality.
BY THE TIME STUDENTS GRADUATE FROM LESSONS:
1. Gain a lifelong, solid, consistent, and healthy technique that they can always count on in practice and performance.
2. Gain specific technical and personal notes in a notebook and/or computer file that is organized and always accessible for review.
3. Gain artistry, performance skills, and a strong voice that will look/sound authentic; Singers will sound appropriate to whatever style of music they are singing. (No fake sound or look.) Actors will just be in the moment and truthful whether they are on stage or in front of the camera.
4. Gain the confidence to always put on a great performance.
5. Gain focus and a more productive mind frame.
6. Become self-sufficient by knowing how to assess a problem and then fix it without creating a new issue.
*** Studio Equipment ***
PRIVATE HOME STUDIO: Keyboard, speakers (smartphone, iPod, iPad), CD player, tape recorder/player, digital recorder, music stand, mirror, laptop, sheet music selections, HD video camera, tripod, video editing software, audio editing software, USB microphone, and high speed WiFi internet. Full PA, two mixers (one mixer with 8 inputs and the other with 4), 8 Lavaliere microphones ("body mics"), multiple hand held microphones, laptop stand, and music stands.
**ASK ABOUT ON LOCATION TRAINING (ON SET, THEATER, PERFORMANCE EVENT, OR RECORDING STUDIO)!
**ONLINE LESSONS ALSO AVAILABLE!
*** Specialties ***
We specialize in Bel Canto voice technique for the modern singer. Each student can sing all genres without sounding too classical, "fake", and without losing their voice while singing for long periods of time.
Other Specialties: Teaching acting technique for theatre-TV-Film (Stella Adler, Stanislavsky, Chekhov, & Meisner), performance skills, songwriting, and creating self-sufficient singers-actors-performers (Artist Development).
CANCELLATION: 48 hour lesson cancellation policy and emergencies (determined by Rachel) are handled on a case by case basis. All students (or their parents/guardian if under 18) who have scheduled vacations and other activities (meetings, parties, school shows, concerts, rehearsals...etc) that interfere with the student’s regularly scheduled lesson time, need to contact Rachel as soon as the vacation/other activity is scheduled but no later than two weeks in advanced before their missed regularly scheduled lesson to prevent from forfeiting the lesson.
MAKE-UPS: Make-Up lessons will be scheduled if time allows. No Make-Up lesson or class will be given to ‘no shows’ or “late cancellation”, and no extra time to extend their lesson will be given to students who are late to their lesson or class. If there is ever a time Rachel is running late, extra time will be given to make the lesson a full 60 minutes. If Rachel needs to reschedule, a Make-Up lesson will be scheduled as close to the same week as possible. Make-Up lessons are scheduled at Rachel’s discretion.
ONLINE LESSONS FOR IN-PERSON LESSON CLIENTS: In the event that the student is sick but still would like their lesson, an online lesson will be scheduled instead. Students can NOT come to their in person lesson sick, coughing, sneezing, with a runny nose, cold, flu, allergies, fever, etc. (This is to make sure no germs will be spread).
An online lesson will also be scheduled if there is bad weather, if a student is having car trouble, or any other reason for the student not being able to physically get to Rachel’s private studio during their normally scheduled lesson time. Online lessons are conducted through Classroom, FaceTime, Google, Hangouts, or Skype.
Lessons are weekly, on the same time/day of the week unless we have rescheduled or we have discussed in writing another lesson plan. If the student’s lesson falls on a holiday, we will either reschedule or if no other day is available, resume the following week.
If a student is going to be late they need to contact Rachel as soon as possible, to let her know they will be late. Lessons will end on time unless she is able to extend the lesson due to a late student or her schedule allows for it though please understand, Rachel would be extending a courtesy and would not be obligated to do so. If on the rare occasion Rachel is running late, she will always make up the time.
Parents/Guardians are ONLY permitted to stay for the first lesson and are NOT permitted to sit in for any other lesson/class unless invited. This is to promote good/strong teacher-student relationship quickly and easily. Also, many times students feel more comfortable when their parents/guardians leave. Of course there will be times when the parent will be invited back in at the end of some of the lesson to showcase progress.
COMMUNICATION: Due to Rachel's normally scheduling students one right after another without breaks, being in the recording studio, performing, or being on set, the best way to contact her is through text AND email. Please ALWAYS leave messages when calling Rachel with your name, contact info, AND the reason you are calling. Please be specific. Thank you!
"I try to be as fair as possible to both parties when it comes to cancellations, rescheduling, lateness, and make ups. Have a concern or question? Just talk with me. I'm all about communication!" - Rachel
Speaks English, Sign Language (Very basic)
Teaching since 2001
Teaches students 8 and up
Racheal did a wonderful job helping my daughter with her stage presence.
My 9 yr. old daughter received singing lessons with Rachel. Rachel was SO wonderful, patient, and creative with every session with her. She was constantly coming up with different ways to keep her engaged and was always reassuring her to increase her confidence. She gave great constructive feedback on how my daughter was doing and what she can work on to improve. I give her 5 stars! Thanks so much, Rachel!Show More
Overall, very impressed. She is direct and doesn't tell you something you want to hear. Her evaluation process is well rounded and planned. She puts together a great curriculum to know what to expect in the coming lessons. Very easy going person and makes you feel completely comfortable at the initial lessons.Show More
Taking lessons with Rachel has been one the best decisions I've ever made. She not only has helped me with acting but has helped me become a better person. I've grown to understand myself and I've learned and done things I would never have done. And would never have been able to do. Her lessons will not only help you perform, they will help you in your everyday life.Show More
Rachel was friendly and very welcoming. She encouraged my daughter to be relaxed and to focus on putting herself in character. My daughter had a great first experience!
2019/2020 School Year: The Lion King JR. The Little Mermaid JR. The Jungle Book Kids The Wizard Of Oz 2018/2019 School Year: The Little Mermaid JR. Grease JR. The Little Mermaid Kids 2017/2018 School Year: Annie JR The Wizard Of Oz Guys and Dolls JR Annie Kids
ArtQuest Performing Arts Summer Day Camp (Funded and organized by The Wayne Education Foundation)
I direct, vocal/music direct, choreograph, stage, and design lighting/sound for the show. I also greet the students before camp and make sure they are safely with their parent after the camp. Students not only learn about singing, acting, and dance technique while putting on a show, but they also are involved with making the sets, props, and costumes! This camp is for incoming 3rd-9th graders and is from 9am-3pm, M-F, for three weeks in July. My production company, Sunshine Face Productions®, films and edits the show as well as the behinds the scenes footage into a 2 disc set. The performance of the show is on the last Thursday at 7pm. The last day of camp we provide a a pizza party and watch the unedited video of the show. Previous shows: The Jungle Book Kids (2014), The Lion King Kids (2015), Beauty And The Beast JR. (2016), Seussical: The Musical JR (2017), High School Musical JR. (2018), and The Little Mermaid JR (2019).
Sunshine Face Productions®
SFP is a production company specializing in: Theater & Video Productions, Performing Arts Training, Artist Development, Event Videography, and Party Entertainment. Proudly Serving: NJ, NY, and parts of CT. Will travel.
Music publishing company through BMI.
Private Home Studio
Dance Designs Studio
I directed and taught a performing arts troupe called "The Singing Squad". The troupe learned healthy singing, performance, and dance technique and performed at different venues throughout Bergen Country and the NY Tri-state area.
Ramsey Community School
I taught children through adults how to sing with healthy, solid technique, build their range, build their tone quality, and helped them sing with feeling.
Online web-series produced
Wine And Misunderstandings: A Comedic Web-Series *Adult humor and language
Music To Your Home Inc.
The Gifted Child Society
I directed, vocal directed, musical directed, staged, taught, stage managed, and did sound design for the show. I sometimes wrote the show as well. I also greeted the students before each class and made sure they were safely with their parent after each class. Students not only learned about singing, acting,and dance technique while putting on a show, but they also were involved with making part of the sets and whenever it was an original show, the story of the musical was inspired by the cast members' strengths and personalities! Fully Background Checked for this position.
Fieldstone Middle School/Montvale Board of Education
For the 2015-2016 school year, I was The Director of The Drama Department/The Director of The Musicals at Fieldstone Middle School in Montvale NJ. The cast and crew was comprised of very talented 5th-8th graders! It was wonderful that I was able to bring the gift of theater and music to my former middle school! My responsibilities included directing, vocal/musical directing, choreographing, staging, designing the sound/lighting as well as the playbill. I was also in charge of rehearsal scheduling and fundraising for the program. Fully Background Checked and Fingerprinted for this position.
Metro Dance Inc.
Act II Performing Arts Center
Broadway Dance Center
The Hages Music Studio
Action Theatre Conservatory
Act II Performing Arts Center
Robin Horneff'S PAC
Fluent / Native Proficiency
The National Catholic Risk Retention Group, Inc
National Association of Teachers of Singing
Guinness Book Of World Records
JPF/YH Promotions & Productions
Helen Hayes Theatre Awards