Samara Kelly

Samara K.

North Hollywood, CA

Lesson Details



Samara delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 13 to 75 and special needs

Teaching since:
February 2013


I coach everyone from high-profile professionals to young artists at the beginning of their career. Each session with me is always personally tailored to your progression, your type, taste in material, and preferred learning method in developing your craft.

I've trained formally for many years, holding a Bachelors in Fine Arts (Theatre) from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a Masters in Fine Arts (Acting) from The American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University.

I'm a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and The Actor's Equity Association, having worked professionally in New York, LA, Miami, and Moscow in award winning Theatre, Television, Film, and Voice Over.

Each client I take onto my roster holds a special place in my life as a coach. I serve not only as a teacher of the craft, but as a mentor you can turn to at any time regarding any facet of your journey as a working actor. I support my clients through auditions, workshops, headshot decisions, agent meetings, and major milestones in their blossoming careers.

Many of my clients begin coaching unsure of their skill and place in the industry, but in only a few sessions, mold into artists with authority, staking their claim in prestigious training programs, arts colleges, and roles in professional theatre, TV, commercials, and film.

My overarching ambition is to open the channels that allow you to flow freely in life and art, encourage you to take meaningful, rewarding risks, and unleash the confident performer inside of you waiting to emerge.


Pedagogical Philosophy in Dance

As an instructor of dance, I strive to witness the growth of the class ensemble, as well as each individual, not merely as dancers, but as artists with unique, layered complexities. I aim to celebrate the joy and passion of movement, married with technical foundations to enable the dancer to find his/her distinct expression. I wish ultimately for the themes explored in studio to extend organically into all aspects of each dancer’s life, unifying personal experience and art.

Fostering A Conducive Learning Environment
By cultivating open communication and collaboration with students, I am determined to propagate the following values:

Vulnerability & Discovery
Laying a bedrock for a safe environment that serves as a platform for exploration and discovery, I encourage open-mindedness and a willingness to risk—to strip oneself of artificial layers of self-identify, so that each dancer can reveal their own personal truths through movement that is not forced or pre-meditated.

“Movement and gesture are the oldest language known to man. They are still the most revealing. When you move, you stand revealed for what you are.” -Doris Humphrey

Self Care
Dancers know their bodies better than anyone else. I urge students to develop an intuitive awareness, as well as responsibility, for their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I engage my students in open discourse, constructive feedback, and guide them in locating their strengths and weaknesses so that they are able to look after their bodies like instruments that need consistent attention and care.

Growth & Balance
Regardless of the level of experience a dancer enters the studio with, there should be an established trajectory of continual growth: including but not limited to—advancement in technical skill, athletic endurance and stamina, and artistic sophistication. I believe in goal-oriented lesson planning to facilitate this navigation, journeying with students as they negotiate the balance between strength and flexibility, sharpness and smoothness.

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” -Scott Fitzgerald

Efficiency of Movement
By balancing weight and momentum in a technical equation that promotes energy conservation, a dancer is able to develop movement that is not compromised in quality. My students will be supported in building internal muscle strength, namely a localized core-energy that radiates power, so that they can efficiently utilize their inertia.

Specificity and Detail
The ability to execute distinct, stylized movement enables a dancer to articulate intention. Bringing awareness to detail of movement so as to paint the air precisely is key to presenting movement with finesse and flair, more fully embodying the character of the music.

Improper alignment is the number one contributor to injury. Utilizing my experience as a trained yoga teacher, I find it essential to educate on anatomical alignment as a means to ensure preservation of the dancer’s finite instrument- the body.

Sensitivity to dynamics in music greatly determines a dancer’s level of professionalism. My goal is to impart a deep sense of rhythm that permeates the “thinking” mechanism/barrier and lives in the soul unquestioned. It is crucial for dancers to be able to respond to music in a way that uniquely informs and enriches movement. Students will be equipped with basic music fundamentals such as (but not limited to) rhythm, timbre, and tempo in order fully master choreography.

Performance Presence
Assurance in one’s craft is the defining force in making an indelible mark on the audience. I intend to highlight the essential quality of confidence, a presence that arises from within, inseparable from a performer’s personality, and not worn like a costume superficially.

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.”
-Martha Graham

In closing, the art of dance is rooted in symbiotic sharing of inspiration and energy. It is the universal language of storytelling. I am honored to share in this craft with students who in turn reciprocate and celebrate the interconnectedness of the human spirit.

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Aug 2014 - Present
Samara Kelly Coaching

One-on-one coaching for actors.

Associate Acting Chair
Sep 2014 - Feb 2015
New York Film Academy (South Beach)

One Year Conservatory and Evening Program:
Scene Study, Acting Technique


Master of Fine Arts
Jun 2012 - May 2014
Harvard American Repertory Theatre
Master of Fine Arts
Feb 2013 - May 2013
Moscow Art Theatre
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Sep 2005 - May 2008
New York University, Tisch School of the Arts


Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


YTT 200 Hr.
Aug 2014
Back Bay Yoga

Yoga for Every Body, Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga, Ayurvedic Integration, Advanced Asana, Transformational Yoga Teaching, Raja and Vipassana Meditation.

CPR and AED Certified
Jul 2014
American Red Cross


Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
May 2010

An American labor union representing over 160,000 film and television principal and background performers, journalists, and radio personalities worldwide.

Writers Guild of America East
Aug 2009

The Writers Guild of America, East, (WGAE) is a labor union of thousands of professionals who are the primary creators of what is seen or heard on television and film in the U.S., as well as the writers of a growing portion of original digital media content. Our members write everything from big budget movies to independent films, late night comedy/variety shows to daytime serials, broadcast and radio news, web series, documentaries, and animation. The WGAE works on their behalf to promote and protect the professional and artistic interests of this diverse community. On joining the Guild, writers from an extraordinarily vast range of backgrounds and abilities unite to promote, protect, and maintain important artistic and professional principles. The Guild’s assistance is provided regardless of the writers’ degree of success.

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Actors' Equity Association
May 2009

Actors' Equity Association, founded in 1913, is the labor union that represents more than 49,000 Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society.

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Photos & Videos

Samara Kelly

On stage at The Moscow Art Theatre

Group Scene Study

Training with The Moscow Ballet School.

Photo by Samara K.
Photo by Samara K.


14 Reviews

Write a Review
Monica H. Sep 23, 2017
Acting · Online

Samara is a wonderful, dynamic and skilled acting teacher. She worked with my daughter on line and my daughter booked 2 films in Miami!

Gena Sep 11, 2015
Acting · Online

I love, love, love Samara's ability to scrutinize the text and guide me into creating finer, more compelling work. And the performance warm ups (relaxation/concentration) prepare me to deliver!

Donnacha K. Aug 20, 2015
Public Speaking · Online

Great lesson. Looking forward to continue sessions.

Beth P. Aug 5, 2015
Film and TV Acting ·

skills and has helped me unlock my potential. She's an amazing person inside and out. If you're considering taking lessons I recommend taking them from Samara!

Beth P. Aug 5, 2015

Samara is an amazing instructor! She really cares about your future and will go above and beyond to help you achieve your dreams! I was basically a beginner to acting and I feel she has helped me improve my

Zeke Jul 21, 2015
Audition Prep · In studio

Samara Kelly is not only an amazing teacher but also an amazing person.
She was my first acting coach and I can not imagine what my life would look like without her guidance.
Samara has a strong passion for what she does and shares that passion, along with her experience and wisdom, through her lessons.
She always finds ways to bring things out of me I didn't even know were possible, all while creating a safe and nurturing environment that allows and fosters growth and progress.
Samara Kelly is the main reason I was accepted into not one, but two intensive training programs in New York City. She encouraged and helped me get on my path to becoming the actor I want to be.
I wholeheartedly recommend taking sessions with Samara

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Crystal Rose Jun 26, 2015
Acting · Online

Samara has really helped me break out of my shell. She is honest and thorough and really cares about her students success. I sometimes even refer to her as my therapist and my guru... She is that good!

Thank you Samara!

Savannah S. Apr 5, 2015
Acting · In studio

I worked with Samara on monologues for college auditions and for my showcase, we worked together for a little under (I think) three months. She's such a great teacher, definitely no complaints. I really loved working with her and she totally helped build my confidence when it came to performing in front of others—I'm (or was) ironically shy/weird about performing monologues and pieces in front of people and have been since I started doing theatre (10 years ago). Nonetheless, I got over that after Samara helped me with my acting and I don't get pre-performance anxiety/nerves anymore. I don't think I would've been able to pull off any of my monologues had it not been for her lessons, she actually helped me choose one of the audition monologues because I couldn't find a second one. In the whole monologue/character-building process, she took notes and asked me questions that really made me think about my character and their motives and actions and whatnot. She's also very encouraging and would commend me on anything I did well or improved on. Point is, Samara is a superb teacher and human!! I'd confidently recommend her classes to anyone who needs help with their acting. Five stars because she definitely was the best instructor ever!!

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Brock M. Apr 4, 2015
Acting · Online

I can't really put into words how great (and funny) Samara is. I wasn't sure if learning how to act online was going to work for me, but I can safely say after 5 Skype sessions with Samara, they have been totally worth it and more! In our lessons, I have learned about how to approach and analyze a script, what to do in cold-readings, handling nerves, how to give a memorable audition, really nifty relaxation and concentration techniques, and so much more. I always value Samara's insights not only into the craft of acting but the business aspect of it as well. Basically, she's a rockstar and I just feel lucky I stumbled upon her lesson page. Without which, I don't know if I'd have the confidence to pursue my dream of becoming a professional actor!! Thanks a billion, Samara!

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Doug F. Mar 24, 2015
Acting · In home

I really did learn so much in every single one of my lessons with Samara! From Acting Technique to character work, to scene study, to how to nail comedy and drama, to classical text, and not to mention the helpful breath work and insanely fun exercises and warm-ups. Samara is the the absolute kindest, most compassionate, informative, hilarious, and most importantly - talented- not only acting coach, but teacher in general that I have ever spent time with. One of her talents is for creating a safe environment to work and grow in, something that I have found to be very rare amongst acting classes in general. I was excited literally everyday for my lessons, especially because I recognized how much hard work and dedication she put into it them herself.

Samara is the absolute best acting teacher I have had, and I’m so happy and thankful to have had the pleasure of being her student!

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Candace W. Mar 15, 2015
Singing · In home

She was fabulous and my daughter has been singing the songs she introduced her to all weekend.

Traci W. Nov 23, 2014
Audition Prep · In home

Wow is all we can say!!!
So well versed in so much. Her knowledge is amazing and so well rounded.
Very professional and what a Resume!!!!
Most of all could not be sweeter and most encouraging :)

Tina W. Apr 19, 2014
Yoga ·


I have to say, I am so happy on went out on a limb and started taking lessons with Samara. It has all been 100% worth it and more. I was attracted to her profile because of her ability to integrate private yoga instruction. As an aspiring actress that struggles with stage fright, I started noticing that my yoga practice helped me to be more present in life and my acting work and I wanted to find someone who could help me explore that. Samara is a perfect fit. Sometimes we just work a monologue from many angles that allow me to clear any blockages I had with the text or character before. Then, her awesome yoga exercises and sequences totally just chill me out and help me connect with what's going on in my mind-body. It's the perfect antidote to my self-doubt. After only a few lessons, I am finding that I trust myself in my auditions, and also in my life relationships, and I don't feel nervous about presenting what wants to emerge through me. I feel confident in the artist I am! Thanks Samara!!

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Katie-Beth R. Mar 24, 2014

Acceptance to my Dream School!

Samara was the key ingredient to helping me excel at a recent audition to Berklee College of Music. Being a songwriter with little performance experience left me uncertain of my ability to deliver my material, performance wise. I didn't realize how I was not conveying the material to it's fullest potential until Samara had me read the lyrics to my song out loud with her. Samara and I discussed the song, line by line and she coached me on how to deliver the lyrics to best communicate the ideas and emotions in the song to my audience. By reading the lyrics out loud with Samara, I was able to emotionally re-connect with the piece and deliver each line to the fullest potential.

With her extensive knowledge regarding performance art, Samara was able to correct everything from my posture to selecting which words could be sung in head voice vs. chest voice. Overall, Samara kept my originality in tact, she did not alter anything that was not genuine to my work. She helped me remove the elements of my performance that were distracting and enhanced the parts that allowed my song to shine. By practicing the piece with Samara's guidance and employing the techniques she recommended, I had a successful audition and received my acceptance letter a few weeks ago! Thanks again for everything Samara!

~ Katie-Beth Rose

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