top of page
Off Square logo.jpg


secondcity_hollywood Training Ctr logo.p
Annoyance Chicago's-Only-Funny-Comedy!.j
ZD LOGO W on B.jpg
Sacred Fools LOGO black.jpg
MFA in Theatre
Professional Theatre Training Program
University of Wisconisin-Milwaukee
BA in Theatre
Indiana University
Advanced Acting
Acting for the Camera
Authenticity in Acting
Advanced Improvisation
Body Awareness for the Performer
Movement for the Actor
Movement for the Improvisor
Shakespeare Interpretation
Shakespearean Text Analysis
Sketch Writing
Stage Combat
Suzuki Training for the Actor
Vocal Power for the Improvisor
Private Coaching
Sanford Robbins    Chair, Professional Theatre Training Program, UW-Milwaukee
                                    Artistic Director, Resident Ensemble Players, Univ. of Delaware
Leslie Reidel            Co-Chair, PTTP, UW-Milwaukee, Univ. of Delaware
                                    Artistic Director, Enchantment Theatre Company
Jewel Walker           Head of Movement, PTTP, UWM, Head of Acting, Univ. of Delaware
                                    America's foremost trainer of Stage Movement
Susan Sweeney      Voice & Speech, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Madison
                                    Voice & Text Coach, American Players Theatre
Tadashi Suzuki        Founder/Artistic Director, Suzuki Company of Toga
                                    Creator of the Suzuki Method of Actor Training
Kayoko Shiraishi     Lead Actress, Suzuki Company of Toga
                                    Declared World's Greatest Actress, Time Magazine
Heinz Uwe-Haus    Director, Deutsches Theatre Berlin
                                    Leading authority on Bertolt Brecht
John Broome          Movement Choreographer, Royal Shakespeare Company
                                    Movement Choreographer, Stratford Festival of Canada
Robert Benedetti   Chairman, Acting Program, Yale University
                                    Dean of Theatre, California Institute of the Arts
Bobby McFerrin      Voice Musician, Singing Coach
                                     Ten Time Grammy Winner
Howard Jensen       Head of Acting and Directing Program, Indiana University
                                     Founding Member, Utah Shakespearean Festival
Mick Napier              Founder/Artistic Director, Annoyance Theatre, Chicago
                                     Director/Artistic Consultant, The Second City, Chicago

Always a fun question because it's usually difficult for me to answer. If I am to be frank I would say that I don't really have one. Effective ways of teaching performance can vary from student to student, from style to style, and what works well for one may not work as well for another... and I'm always about doing what works. But if pressed to have one my best answer would be this: Learn how to work the tools and have fun.

What does that mean? In any performance class my lessons take a deep dive into exploring that thing, that instrument, that tool that we use to do our work: The Human Body.


In this age where most of the acting we experience is mediated (ie. delivered through the media rather than live) actors often do not have the inclination to fully examine the entirety of their instrument as most mediated acting  comes from torso shots or close ups. This has led, in my humble opinion, to the average student studying that which serves the camera. Which is fine, but which can ignore other gifts the performer has to offer simply because the tools have been unexplored.

What is the instrument, what does it do, what makes it work, what sounds can it make, what is the extent of its movement, what parts communicate what emotions, how do different parts communicate different meanings to the audience, how can it be used to explore new possibilities of character, how can the simplest of movements  communicate the complexities of the human experience... What is this thing and how can we use it to tell our stories?

This study into what our instrument is deepens any performer's exploration in becoming better at what they do no matter their training or experience. And it is as useful to actors in front of the camera, behind the voice-over mic, or on stage. This exploration is the journey of the classes I teach.

And lest we forget the last part: 'have fun.' This shouldn't be mistaken as an invitation to frivolity. For example... I am a fan of the game of Football. I played it when I was younger and had a BLAST playing it. But... it was also grueling work, required study and precision, demands teamwork even as it celebrates stardom. THIS is the kind of fun I'm talking about. If football doesn't do it for you, think of river rafting: the paddling is grueling, requires precision and concentration, needs the team to work together... and what a joy it is when you get to the end of the river. 

The best performances come from hard work, but that work can be some of the most fun a performer can experience in their life. The classes I teach, from those for the group or the individual, are designed to be clear of judgement, distraction, and fear, to create for the student a space where their learning can be a blast even in the middle of their  most difficult work.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~​


Here... have a look at this quote to see the kind of power that this kind of study can lead to:

"The marquee poster for the night I arrived read: 'Das Leben von Galilei.' I didn't speak a word of German, and I knew only one Brecht play, 'The Threepenny Opera,' so I thought I was about to see something called 'The Good Fisherman of Galilee.' 'The Life of Galileo' (the actual title) lasted over four hours. I couldn't make out a word, and yet I understood almost everything. 'How is that possible?' you might ask. Here's how: Every moment onstage was fully explored; every gesture told not one story but everything important about that story: where the characters came from, what their economic circumstances were, what the dynamics between them signified. They had rehearsed over a long period of time, so that each event (a word I'll talk more about later), every piece of the story rang dear and, somehow, became universal." - Andre Gregory

He didn't know a word of German, but he understood almost everything. "Every movement onstage was fully explored; every gesture told not one story but everything important about that story... what the dynamics between them signified."

The mastery of the human instrument to be fully engaged in the story telling is what my work is all about.

Learn how to work the tools and have fun.


bottom of page