Actor | Director | Professor | Coach
 

Professor

 
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Professional Statement

Associate Professor or Acting and Directing - University of North Carolina School of the Arts

My work as a professional actor is one of my greatest assets as a professor of acting. Staying immersed in the rapidly changing theatrical world as well as staying active in the world of voice over (including video games, animation and audio books) allows me to keep the students connected to the current trends in the industry.

My work as an actor includes work in classical and contemporary plays, new works, devised pieces, comedy and drama. By continuing to work as an actor in my summer schedule and occasionally during the academic year, I have the capacity to relate to and articulate how to navigate similar experiences the students may encounter.

I am very proud of my work as a mentor and professional example to the students of color in the acting conservatory as well as to students throughout the university. I believe it is important for the underrepresented population to see “themselves” in their faculty. I provide an outlet, a sounding board and an advocate to the students as they develop as artists.

My work as an actor enriches my teaching. Going forward, I see possibilities to provide support in the students’ senior showcase, recruitment and auditioning of future classes and deepening the students understanding of the professional market.

 

Teaching Philosophy

I believe it is important for actors to be aware of what role their character plays in an overall production - not being merely honest to their character, but rather being honest to the play, responsible for the play, which I believe expands the options for the actor.

Actors, in my opinion, perform their best when they have a strong connection to the text they are speaking and to their body in space. In my experience actors achieve access to this by developing disciplined practices that show them how to look at text, breaking down that which is essential, gaining an awareness of their body in space and having a strong body to execute any role, from King Lear to Messenger 1. For me this work begins, regardless of the course, in getting the actors out of their heads and into their bodies: reacting, not thinking. I use loose improvisation, music, the students’ writing and reflections and course discussions to achieve this. We begin by removing outside influence, the notion of right and wrong.

I am well versed in the many methods and philosophies of the craft of acting. I believe that an actor, above all, must be present to the play as it is unfolding, prepared to execute the direction of the production and be confident in his or her capacities to execute. In Acting One, the beginning acting practices for freshman BFA candidates I use Laban, Michael Chekov and the Meisner technique to increase the student’s awareness of their partner’s actions and behavior. This work allows them to distinguish between their own thought and plans for a scene or onstage relationship and what is actually happening: to react to real stimuli instead of project what they believe is the correct behavior. This work allows the students to become aware of their habits as an actor and gives them a course to expand beyond those habits.

Students learn in different ways; therefore, I employ various methods in order to maintain my commitment that each actor realizes his or her potential. I believe it less important that they execute a specific method of training but that their performances are honest, expressive, entertaining and most importantly repeatable. By widening the actor’s palate with options, they are free to move seamlessly between styles of plays and the various aesthetics of directors. I use elements of Laban, Meisner, Michael Chekov, Shurtleff, Stanislavski, mime and improvisation.

In my sophomore-acting course in contemporary scene study, I work to empower the actors to make strong choices that are generated from their understanding and imagination. They identify areas in their acting that they want to address and I assist them in selecting material that will challenge them to achieve it. We then remove the restrictions of age, gender, race etc. and begin to work on physical centers: thinking, power and feeling. I expand their awareness in these physical centers and then work for their actions on stage to come from physical inspiration, not pre-planned thought. This work allows for the student’s confidence to grow and for them to relax and trust their own decision-making.

In my Shakespeare Course, I work to help the student develop a strong relationship to the text of plays, dissecting each word for its authentic meaning and developing performances that are honest, reliable, truthful and text driven. We work tirelessly on the rhetoric and grammatical structure of classic texts. I find that working in this way allows the students to gain a strong connection and command of material, which has a profound impact on their work in contemporary acting as well.

In every course I teach, I attend to developing the actors’ awareness; of their body in space, what it is they are doing and getting their focus and actions out in the space with people, as opposed to an interpretation or version in their head. I achieve this by getting them to let the play get out ahead of them - out of their heads. We begin by dissecting what they understand to be the action of the play, scene or moment, identifying what they intend to execute and making them aware of what is actually occurring. As we do this I work to help them identify how to bring the play to life by deciding and creating repeatable actions that they can authentically live into. The implications of this level of specificity have profound benefits in all of their courses of study. Early in our work we discuss and work in long form: I want them to discuss, defend and journal about their process of creating an audition, developing a scene, playing a role. As we work they cultivate their own short hand that will deepen their process of acting in which we as an audience see only the results, but they as the artist have thought through and worked out every detail from how they use language to their bodies on stage.

I find teaching students effective audition technique to be very rewarding. This is exciting to me because I find it important to help the students bridge the gap between their great work in the classroom and having it “show up” in their auditions without appearing as though they are executing notes but rather as actors present to the room and the story they are telling. Additionally, I see it increasingly important for students to be educated in the business of this profession, not only how to give a great audition but how to represent themselves in the professional community.

I believe actors perform their best work when they are empowered and confident. I pursue this distinction for the students by having them approach their work as young professionals, identifying and fine-tuning their technique, as opposed to a studentthinking once they acquire these skills, they will then become an actor. Allowing them to find their voice in a subjective art form is crucial to developing actors that are risk takers, leaders and dynamic in whatever medium they decide to pursue.

 
 
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Curriculum Vitae


Higher Education

2007
2004

Master of Fine Arts
Bachelors of Fine Arts

University of Delaware
University of Michigan - Flint


Additional Education

2015
2013-2014
2004-2007
2004-2007
2004-2007
2004-2007

On Camera Acting Technique
Meisner Technique Certification
Voice and Movement
Acting
Shakespeare
Stage Combat

John Sudol
True Acting Institute
Roy Hart Theatre Company
Anthony Zerbe
Brian Protheroe
Erik Fredrickson, Lee Ernst


Employment

2018- Present
2016- 2018
2015- 2018
2014-2107
2012-2015
2014-2015
2012
2011
2008-2011
2007
2007
2004-2006
2003-2004

Associate Professor of Acting and Directing, University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Head of BFA Acting, The Theatre School at DePaul University
Assistant Professor of Acting: Shakespeare/Heightened language, The Theatre School at DePaul University
Artistic Director of Acting Program/ Acting Instructor, ArtsBridge
Assistant Professor of Acting, School of Drama, Carnegie Mellon University
Instructor of Acting, School of Music, Carnegie Mellon University
Substitute Instructor, Stella Adler Academy of Arts and Theatre
Curriculum Development, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU/SC)
Instructor/Lecturer/Company Member, University of Delaware
Actor/Teacher, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Instructor, Texas Shakespeare Festival
Instructor, Water Works Theatre Company
Instructor, Flint Youth Theatre


Teaching

University of North Carolina, School of the Arts (2018-Present)

DePaul University, The Theatre School (2015-2018)
   BFA Acting : (BFA 3) Shakespeare/ Heightned Text
   MFA Acting: (MFA 2) Shakespeare/Heightened Text
   African-American Theatre (lecture)

ArtsBridge (2014-Present)
   Auditioning
   Laban
   Acting

Carnegie Mellon University (2012-2015)
   Acting One: Introduction to the Acting process
   Acting Two: Contemporary Scene Study
   Acting Two: Shakespeare and Classical texts: Scene Study
   Junior Auditioning: Technique and Professional Practices
   Special Topics in Theatre: African-American Theatre Great Black Plays: Then and Now
   Rehearsal and Performance: Junior Performance Project
   Director: 2015 Senior Showcase (New York, Los Angeles)

Carnegie Mellon University School of Music (2014 - 2015)
   Acting One: Acting for the Singer
   Acting Two: Contemporary Scene Study
   Acting Three: Acting an Aria
   Acting Four: Greek Theatre

Stella Adler Academy of Arts and Theatre (2012) 
Substitute instructor
   Speech 1
   Speech 2

University of Delaware (2008-2011)
   Introduction to Performance
   African-American Theatre: Great Black Plays: Then and Now
 

Oregon Shakespeare Festival (2007)
   Shakespeare: High School 10-12, average class size 30
 

Texas Shakespeare Festival (2007)
   Shakespeare: High School 11-12, average class size 15
 

Water Works Theatre Company (2004-2006)
   Shakespeare, Stage Combat: Grades K-12, Average Class size 10
 

Flint Youth Theatre (2003-2004)
   Acting, Improvisation, Stage Movement: High School 9-12, Average Class Size 15


Lectures, Seminars, Presentations & Workshops

Jeff Committee Discussion (Winter 2016)
   Panelist: Discussion of how to adjudicate, stage and view Shakespeare.
   A panel with artistic directors from area theatre companies, actors and directors. 

DePaul University/ArtsBridge (Summer 2016)
   Artistic Director of Acting Program/Acting Instructor: Pre-College Program for High School Juniors and Seniors.
   Teaching courses in: Acting, Laban movement and Auditioning. Scheduling and coordinating curriculum for the acting option.

Voice and Speech Trainers Association/ VASTA (Summer 2016)
   Moderator: In collaboration with Claudia Anderson
   Working to build the panel and keynote speaker for a discussion and workshops on the topic of voice in Shakespeare as it pertains to actors of color. Moderator for the discussion.

ArtsBridge - Refresh (Winter 2015)
   Acting/Audition Coach: for High School students preparing for the college audition season.
   Taught courses in auditioning and interviewing.

National Endowment for the Arts (Spring, Summer 2015)
   Panelist: Theater and Musical Theater Art Works Panel review committee
   The panel makes recommendations for the allocation of funds to theatres throughout the U.S.

University of Minnesota/ArtsBridge (Summer 2015)
   Acting Coordinator, Instructor: Pre-College Program for High School Juniors and Seniors.
   Taught courses in: Acting, Laban movement and Auditioning.

Sarah Lawrence College/ArtsBridge (Summer 2014)
   Teacher: Pre-College Program for High School Juniors and Seniors.
   Taught courses in: Acting, Laban movement, Auditioning and Shakespeare.

University of Pittsburgh (Spring 2014)
   Lecturer: Lead discussion on “The Business of Acting” for graduating theatre students.

Pittsburgh Public Theatre (January 2014, 2015)
   Event organizer: K-12 Shakespeare competition. Preparation and rehearsal for the Shakespeare Monologue and Scene competition.

Carnegie Mellon University (Summer 2013)
   Teacher: Pre-College Program for High School Juniors. Taught courses in: Acting, Audition technique.


Professional Activities

Acting

Much Ado About Nothing

Chicago Med

My Mañana Comes

Some Brighter Distance
MOMENTUM 15

All The Names
World premiere adaptation

The Mountaintop
Off the Press

Halftime with Don
Momentum Festival

Parlour Song

Looking for the Pony

A Raisin in the Sun
R.A.W.

B.U.S.
24 hour play festival

Don't you say a F8&^%*$ Word
Momentum Festival

Deconstruction Part One
Southern Writers Project

Lombardi
Regional Theatre Premiere

Hamlet

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Othello

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

The Importance of Being Earnest

Measure for Measure

Much Ado About Nothing

She Stoops to Conquer

Death of a Salesman

HayFever

Of Mice and Men

The Imaginary Invalid

The Hostage

Welcome Home Jenny Sutter

Fences

Welcome Home Jenny Sutter
World Premier

Othello

Much Ado about Nothing

Amadeus

Dragonfly Tale
Southern Writers Project

Topdog/Underdog

Midsummer Night’s Dream

Hamlet

Hair

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Blues for an Alabama Sky

Seven Guitars

Twelfth Night

Romeo and Juliet

In Walks ‘Memry

The Taming of the Shrew

Benedick

Adam Moore (guest star)

Peter

Davis
 

Registrar
 

Dr. King, Jr.
 

Ed
 

Ned

Man

Asagai
 

Man
 

Guy
 

Maxim
 

Dave
 

Horatio

Oberon

Othello

Lysander

Roma

Jack

Claudio

Claudio

T. Lumpkin

Bernard

Sandy

Crooks

Cleante

Leslie

Hugo

Cory

Hugo
 

Othello

Dogberry

Von Strack

Speede
 

Booth

Demetrius

Laertes

HUD

Oberon

Sam

Canewell

Mavolio

Mercutio

Dad

Hortensio

The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival’s Professional Company

NBC

Teatro Vista

City Theatre
 

Quantum Theatre
 

Flint Youth Theatre
 

City Theatre
 

Quantum Theatre

Off the Wall Theatre

Bricolage
 

Bricolage
 

City Theatre
 

Alabama Shakespeare Festival
 

Milwaukee Repertory Theater
 

Independent Shakespeare Company

Independent Shakespeare Company

Independent Shakespeare Company

Resident Ensemble Players

Resident Ensemble Players

Resident Ensemble Players

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

Resident Ensemble Players

Resident Ensemble Players

Resident Ensemble Players

Resident Ensemble Players

Resident Ensemble Players

Resident Ensemble Players

The Kennedy Center

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Oregon Shakespeare Festival
 

Texas Shakespeare Festival

Texas Shakespeare Festival

Texas Shakespeare Festival

Alabama Shakespeare Festival
 

University of Delaware

Michigan Shakespeare Festival

Michigan Shakespeare Festival

Lexington M&T Company

Richmond Shakespeare Festival

Plowshares Theatre Company

Plowshares Theatre Company

WaterWorks Theatre

MeadowBrook Theatre

Plowshares Theatre Company

Michigan Shakespeare Festival

Drew Fracher

Kenneth Johnson

Sandra Marquez

Tracey Brigdon
 

Karla Boos
 

Jeremy Winchester
 

Christian Parker
 

Martin Giles

Robyn Parrish

Jeffrey Carpenter
 

Tammy Ryan
 

Matt Morrow
 

Diana Van Fossend
 

Sanford Robbins
 

Melissa Chalsma

Melissa Chalsma

Melissa Chalsma

Sanford Robbins

Uwe Haus

Steve Tague

Carole Healey

Fontaine Syer

Sanford Robbins

Ethan McSweeny

John Going

Adrian Hall

Sanford Robbins

Sanford Robbins

Jessica Thebus

Leah Gardiner

Jessica Thebus
 

Roseann Sheridan

Kevin Otos

Jack Young

Imani
 

Walter Dallas

David Ivers

J. Neville-Andrews

Matt Ferrell

Grant Mudge

Janet Cleveland

Gary Anderson

Anthony Schmitt

Dave Mowers

Janet Cleveland

J. Neville-Andrews

COMMERCIALS

Dellallo

Lithia Motors (Industrial)

Subway

Counting Sheep Productions

LAD Advertising

Road Pictures

Pittsburgh, PA

White City, OR

Cincinnati, OH

Voice Over

Pennsylvania Lottery

Honey Nut Cheerios

Dodge Ram

History of Prayer (PBS)

Community Training Centers

Talent Partners

General Mills

The Richards Group

The Duncan Group

Y&G Productions

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

Houston, TX

Milwaukee, WI

Detroit, MI

Directing

Julius Caesar
 

Hamlet

Twelfth Night

Romeo and Juliet

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

The House - A Staged Reading

Seven Guitars

B.U.S. (24 hour play festival)

Underneath the Lintel

Water by the Spoonful (Horizons reading)

Ruined (Horizons reading)

Once on this Island

Shakespeare Theatre Company
Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University

Directing, The Theatre School at DePaul University

Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival Young Company

The Theatre School at DePaul University

Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival Young Company

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University

Bricolage Theatre

12 Peers Theatre

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University

Washington, D.C.
 

Chicago, IL

Michiana Tour

Chicago, IL

South Bend, IN

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA


Certifications

2014 True Acting Institute
   Meisner Technique Certification
   Larry Silverberg (Instructor)


Service

University - The Theatre School, DePaul University

Shakespeare Master Class (2016)
   Instructor.
 A master class in Shakespeare with the MFA 3 and BFA 4 acting students.
   An expansion and deepening of acting in heightened texts.

The Mountaintop (2016)
   Actor. 
A staged reading with BFA and MFA actors in celebration and discussion of Black History Month. In collaboration with Dexter Zollicoffer and Phyllis Griffin

 

University - Carnegie Mellon University

CMARC and SPIRIT Discussion (2012-present)
   Lecturer. Carnegie Mellon Advising Resource Center (CMARC) and SPIRIT collaboration Lecture “Real Talk, Identity and Race” Parts 1 and 2. Led discussions to minority Graduate and Undergraduate students.


“8” Reading (2012)
   Actor. A staged reading collaboration between the faculty and staff of the school of Drama, School of Drama students, Carnegie Mellon University and Alumnae Rory O’Malley. The Play “8” addressed the trial and the outcome of the controversial Proposition 8 in California banning Same Sex Marriage.

 

College - College Of Fine Arts

Celebration of Diversity Receptions (2012-present)
   School of Drama Representative. An event organized through the office of Admissions at Carnegie Mellon University aimed at recruiting underrepresented students to Carnegie Mellon University.

 

Department - The Theatre School, DePaul University

Audition Screener (2016)
   Screener. Leads candidates for admission into the BFA acting track through the audition experience for consideration for callbacks with the callback committee.

Undoing Racism, the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (2015-2016)
   Committee Member. A collaboration with Leslie Shook to bring a worksop to the Theatre School for the Faculty, staff and potential students to identify and develop tools for addressing race.

Taskforce on Onboarding students at risk (2015-2016)
   Taskforce Member. A taskforce working to identify and connect students with resources to help their transition into university

Prospero’s Storm (2015-2016)
   Text Coach. Coach of Shakespeare and voice for the acting company.Damon Kiely, Director

The Merchant of Venice (2015-2016)
   Text Coach. Coach of Shakespeare and voice for the acting company. Erin Kraft (MFA 2), Director

The Guthrie Experience (2016)
   Contact person, organizer. Developing a relationship with the Guthrie Theatre, to audition the MFA 2 Actors and interview the MFA 2 directors, to attend the summer intensive at the Guthrie Theatre.

 

Department - School of Drama

Directing Search Committee (2013-2014)
   Committee Member. the committee assembled to search for the next head of Graduate directing in the school of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University.

Lab Review (2013-2014)
   Committee Member. Yearly committee to selected the mainstage and student directed productions in the school of Drama’s season.

Horizons (2013-2015)
   Creator/Director. I created a non-credit series of staged readings of plays addressing themes of race, identity and other social themes. The reading series was designed to expose the students of the School of Drama and eventually the entire CMU community to plays from and for the underrepresented communities that we otherwise cannot produce in our season of plays. Aimed at enriching the sense of collaboration, these readings are open for participation by the entire School of Drama population, all areas of student training, faculty and staff. Included in the series is a pre-show discussion/presentation by a student from the Dramaturgy option.

Diversity Committee (2012-2015)
   Committee Member. A committee committed to the inclusion, support and equal treatment of all students.


Honors & Awards

Berkman Faculty Development Fund 2013
Awarded the Berkman grant for the proposal: “Meisner: From the Page to the Stage”. The funds were for participation in a certification program in Sanford Meisner Acting technique.


Professional Membership

Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG/AFTRA)
Actor’s Equity Association (AEA)

 

University Courses

Coming soon.