I’d like to think that my approach to teaching is empowering and actor-friendly. Too often actors can feel like the dumbest people in the room, and I’m always amazed and saddened that some industry professionals go out of their way to foster this impression, sometimes through intimidation and abusive behavior. The truth is that none of us on the other side of the table would have a job without actors. You are, simply put, the backbone of this industry.
When I started teaching years ago, I was struck by how little actors know about what agents, casting directors and directors are looking for in the audition process. As an actor turned casting director, I believe I’ve found a way to meld seemingly competitive points of view into a clear, concise and practical perspective. I strive to give my students the tools with which they can take control, unlock their potential, and instill in them the confidence and pride they’ll need to blossom and succeed.
After receiving a performance BFA at NYU (during which time, as a student, I was cast in the original Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along,” directed by Harold Prince), I interned at Playwrights Horizons, where I became interested in casting. Subsequently I worked for casting director Bonnie Timmermann on the original “Dirty Dancing,” “Ironweed,” starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, and the third season of “Miami Vice.”
After a brief stint in a theatrical agency, I joined the casting department at Grey Advertising, where I started learning the commercial game. This led to 25 years as a casting director at Donna DeSeta Casting, one of New York’s busiest offices. It was there that I cast over 2000 television commercials and developed my technique for teaching commercial acting performance.
I’d love to share with you all that I’ve learned over the years, and help you grow and thrive as a working professional in this crazy and sometimes confusing business. Break a leg. I look forward to hearing from you.