The great pictures of me that you see on this site were taken by Jordan Matter, the master of headshot photography. As the song goes, he’s simply the best. Shooting with Jordan was a blast; a fun, relaxing, incredibly positive experience. He brought out and captured the real me, my genuine self. Not a surprise, given that he seems to do that with every person who comes his way. He ain’t cheap, but he’s worth every penny. (By the way, the photos have not been retouched, so any wrinkles are mine alone, and should not reflect on Jordan’s abilities as a photographer. I figured, since I’m not using the pics for head shots, why not let you see the real me!)
When you keep asking people who did their fantastic headshots and they’re all the work of the same photographer, how can you not sing her praises? Shirin Tinati is, without question, one of the best out there. There’s such life in her pics, such honesty. Personally, I wish her web site showcased more of her smiling shots, which is where I think she truly shines. But smiling or not, you can’t go wrong with this woman’s work.
Other photographers whose work I greatly admire:
Dirty Sugar: www.dirtysugar.smugmug.com
Genine Esposito: www.genineesposito.com
Melissa Hamburg: www.melissahamburg.com
Emily Lambert: www.creativedesignandphotography.com/#!
Daryl A. Getman: www.dagphotog.com
Stockwell Photography: www.stockwellphotography.com
ACTING BUSINESS BOOT CAMP
I’ve had the great pleasure of knowing Peter Pamela Rose since she (yes, she), started performing in the mid-1980s. She’s had a successful career as an actress and manager, and has now turned her considerable talents to Life/Career coaching. She offers workshops as well as one on one sessions, and regardless of where you are in your career, there’s no-one in the city better equipped to help you answer the question, “What next?” I’m proud to call her a friend as well as a colleague. She’s practical, intuitive, motivating and much smarter than I am!
Sometimes career coaching is not enough. Sometimes the thing that’s getting in the way of you is…you. My friends Robert and Michelle Colt are brilliant at getting into the minds of actors (maybe because they’re such good ones themselves). At Inside Game, they explore the “quantum connection” between your brain and nervous system and the emotional stumbling blocks that prevent actors from moving forward. It may sound like New Age mumbo-jumbo, but I’ve been on many a SAG panel with them and can vouch for how sensible and profound their techniques are in practice. I always say that half of becoming a successful actor is psychological. The Colts, and the scores of actors they’ve helped are proof positive.
A few years ago I was looking for someone to help teach my fourth week improv class, and some highly intelligent and discerning person suggested Lori Hammel. I wish I could remember who that was so I could send him a bottle of scotch. Lori and I clicked, and it’s been a real joy getting to know and work with her. Lori offers career coaching on a one on one basis; her work on Broadway, in regional theater and in commercials makes her an ideal choice to help you figure out how you fit into this crazy business.
BROOKE AND MARY
I’m not, by any means, the only game in town when it comes to studying commercials. The incomparable Brooke Thomas of Brooke Thomas Casting and Mary Egan Callahan of House Casting teach a fun and informative 3-night class. They’ve been doing this since 2001 and have a very easy-going, supportive style. Their approach to teaching is different than mine, but it’s always valuable to get another perspective on the work — and have two other casting directors get to know who you are.
KELLY KIMBALL STUDIO
You learn to listen in this business, and sometimes silence speaks louder than words. Or, to put it another way, you pay attention to what people aren’t saying. Kelly Kimball is one of those teachers you hear nothing but good things about. Her students adore her, and it’s no wonder why. I’ve taught at the studio and have been greatly impressed with the safe, positive atmosphere she’s created. She’s an awesome, intuitive teacher.
THE FREEMAN STUDIO
Scott Freeman heads one of the best studios in New York, with a brilliant roster of teachers, including Tony Award nominees Reed Birney and Maria Dizzia; Bob Krakower, the undisputed master of film and television on-camera technique; and my old friend and fellow Grey Advertising alumnus, Ted Sluberski. Scott offers a myriad of classes, ranging from scene study (with Scott himself) to auditioning for musicals to clowning. An inspiring, creatively vibrant place to study.
John is a lovely man and a great, great teacher. He’s worked in the business for many years as a successful actor and author, and brings that understanding to his classes, in both commercials and scene study. Highly recommended.
Students of mine have taken classes at or been enrolled in programs at the following studios and have had wonderful things to say:
The following are the best places in New York to meet the casting directors and agents who can help move your career to the next level. They offer classes, seminars and meet-and-greets with the best of the best. I’ve had the honor and privilege to teach for all of them.
Andy Roth is the sensei of voice-over teachers, a kind, down-to-earth guy who will demystify the process for you in simple, useful ways. I’ve seen him in action on a number of occasions and have been in awe of what he does. He’s taught me a thing or two, and I thought I knew everything! (Kidding…)
It was a happy accident that led me to Ian Robinson, the terrifically talented, über cool guy who designed my web site. He’s quick, precise and very attentive; he returns e-mails quickly and provides superb technical support. Of course you can make your own web site, but if you want something professional, simple and beautiful to behold, Ian’s your guy.