How I Got Here
I was always a shy child growing up, but my mother sensed my desire to perform, and signed me up for classes at a local children’s theater. My first performances in plays like Pinocchio and Three Piggy Opera were poorly memorized, confused affairs that are best left unremembered (and the tapes have been destroyed). Those early catastrophes left me a bit discouraged, but I mustered the courage to audition again and again.
Through high school, I rarely had more than 5 lines in a play. Crushed by the limited stage time, my Mom wisely advised me to play the characters “to the hilt”. As a result, I honed my creativity and focus by making big choices and committing fully, even in the chorus of a musical. In college, I graduated to Chekhov, Miller, Stoppard, and Shakespeare, and began to distinguish myself as a formidable character actor.
My first professional gig out of college was playing Abraham Lincoln in a one-man show for school audiences, which ran for over 200 performances. My focus shifted to working on new plays and musicals, as I dived into Chicago’s storefront theater community. I worked a 9-to-5 job, took lots of classes, went to rehearsals, and somehow found time to be a company member of Nothing Special Productions. NSP challenged me to take on the duties of casting director, producer, props designer, and pretty much whatever else was needed to help the production.
At a crossroads in my life in 2017, I chose to take a job touring as an Actor / Educator for a children’s theater company, which opened the door to teaching artist work when I returned to Chicago. As I delved into this new phase of my career, I discovered a knack for helping student actors craft their performances. So, I’ve decided to lean into that and have expanded to offering coaching sessions for actors preparing for auditions and work in theater and film.
Why I Coach
I truly believe that anybody can be an actor. It’s not an easy job, but if one dedicates themselves to the craft, they can deliver performances that surprise and entertain. Every person has a story that deserves to be told. Every person has a point of view that is valid and worthy of being heard.
For me, acting is an exercise in empathy and expression.
- Empathy, because in order to connect with a character, you have to understand their inner life. This empathy is inherent in acting - you need to be invested in other people to be an effective actor.
- Expression, because there is a voice within each of us that needs to be heard. This voice is unique to each of us, and it is deeply satisfying to use that voice. In doing so, we create an artistic moment that has never existed before.
The Coaching Session
Through my theatre experience as a director and teaching artist, I have developed a keen talent for guiding an actor to discover their personal truth and translate that truth through their performance. With that in mind, each coaching session will be personally tailored to each student’s needs and goals. We will begin with a brief discussion of your ambitions for acting, and what you would like to achieve in your coaching sessions.
From there, we can schedule lessons to prepare for auditions, or will follow any other direction you're interested in (finding an agent, creating characters, writing a one-person show, etc.). I've worked extensively in all styles of theater and film, so I'm sure I will be able to help you move closer to whatever acting goals you're interested in.
I am happy to work with any student at any age or skill level, and can negotiate discounted rates for low-income artists. To contact me for availability, and check out my rates, click here. I look forward to helping you achieve your greatest dreams!
Acting Coach / Teaching Artist / Creative Mind