Trained in traditional and modern methods of acting technique, I am well versed in Method by Konstantin Stanislavski, the teachings of Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Ivana Chubbuck, Brad Heller and Clay Banks to name a few.
My formal education began in the Theatre while I attended the prestigious Whitefish Bay High School. Here I won several Acting awards from the state Theatre Festivals and have since been inducted into the Wisconsin High School Forensics Association Hall of Fame for my consecutive wins. "Best Actor," "Best Leading Actor," "Best Ensemble," "Best Comedic Performance," and "Best Performance," to name a few. We made headlines, it was great. None of this would have been possible without the support of my sister Rosemarie who helped me memorize lines and my incredible teacher John Coleman who also led the theater department.
As I completed my high school education, GTV also known as Gumbo Television had launched a statewide talent search for gifted actors and students who exhibited a desire to change their communities for the better. I was chosen to represent my community as the Strive to Be the Best Reporter, working in tandem with the F.A.C.T. campaign (Fight Against Corporate Tobacco) while also hosting, writing, producing, editing and interviewing guests for our partner program Teen Forum. My time with the program lasted just shy of 2 years and then I moved onto college, but before leaving the program I did co-host an episode which won an Emmy, with my amazing co-host Christina. It was a great honor and even better memory to learn and achieve so much with such a wonderful group of people. We won Category 15, "Outstanding Achievement for Child's Programming - Children's or Teen Series." The program also doubled in it's function awarding those who successfully completed the curriculum with an Associates Degree in Broadcast Journalism and Television Production from Strive Media Institute.
With 4 years of theater training under my belt, several productions including 3 musicals and a 2 year stint on television I was poised to continue my training at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where I enrolled as a double major in Architecture and Theater. Mere weeks after classes began while playing hackee sack on Spaights Plaza behind the union I came upon a sign reading "A Cosmic Web - Auditions." I ran down to the Black Box Theater where I found an incredible woman by the name of Dr. Robin Mello enthusiastically greeting actors as they entered. I was cast in Robin's show and would soon learn the power that theater has to educate, inspire, and change the world we live in. Our show was very successful, adding several performances as school groups would come to learn about Astronomy, Astrology, and Scientific Advancements made through the exploration of space. NASA would eventually fund a tour of the show expanding it's reach and the message that life on Earth has been greatly shaped by man's desire to know more about the stars beyond.
Upon wrapping our tour and striking the set, we returned to UWM where a new major was introduced with limited openings. What was once the PTTP (Professional Theater Training Program) had slowly dissolved and in it's wake, the new Acting BFA program would emerge. I was among the first admitted with my co-star Lindsey (pictured left).
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Acting is a 130-credit program which provides intensive specialized coursework for students seeking professional training in acting. Admission is selective and competitive. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts curriculum gain practical experience and apply the skills developed in the classroom through participation in the department’s active production program as well as in workshops, classroom projects, and related activities in conjunction with other disciplines in the Peck School of the Arts. Studio, rehearsal, and performance courses constitute a major component of the BFA program.Students follow an integrated curriculum, based on a focused and specialized array of courses. Students select from a limited array of electives, specific to their particular area of specialization. The senior year offers flexibility to participate in advanced studio work, internships, and independent projects both on and off campus. Acting students acquire technical proficiency in voice, speech, movement, and theatre performance styles. The curriculum emphasizes public performance in a wide variety of theatrical styles and genres, supported by ongoing studio work to build artistic development.
Among my favorite productions were Clifford Odette's Waiting for Lefty, and Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. This training program would see me through the rest of my college education and leave me hungry for more acting, more creating, and growth.
A Cosmic Web
Waiting for Lefty
Annie Get Your Gun
ComedySportz (CSz) is an improvisational comedy organization started in 1984 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by a group of local comedians including Dick Chudnow, Bob Orvis, Brian Green, and others.
A ComedySportz match features two teams of improvisational performers (players), competing in various improv games and performing scenes with audience members judging the results and awarding points. Often times the actual points are completely arbitrary and depend upon how the ref is feeling. In every match, a CSz referee monitors the action, awarding points, and administering fouls as necessary. The flavor is somewhat like the television show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, though the ComedySportz organization precedes that show's debut by 4 years. I proudly participated as a ComedySportz Leaguer for 3 years and absolutely treasured it! Notable players and alumni include Wayne Brady (Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Let's Make A Deal), Dan Harmon (Community, Rick and Morty, Harmontown), Jason Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live, Horrible Bosses).
The iO Training Center, (Chicago) Considered to be the Mecca of improvisation, the iO Theater boasts a full training center based on the teachings of co-founder and improv guru, Del Close, and his partner and iO owner, Charna Halpern, that has helped train and develop the talents of an entire generation of America’s best and brightest comedic entertainers for over 35 years. Here I took a Summer Intensive that helped me dial in objectives, improvisation in a scene and the "moment before" in acting.
The Second City (Chicago) has been bringing the funny for over 60 years. They began in 1959 as a small comedy cabaret and have grown to become the first name in improv and comedy, with theaters and Training Centers in Chicago, Toronto, and Hollywood. They've also taken improv off the stage, expanding their reach to include creative collaborations with a wide range of creative and corporate partners, wellness and education programs, and TV, film and digital productions. And their alumni list includes some of the funniest names on the planet…
The Non Method Acting Technique taught at The Heller Approach is based upon the lessons of the late Don Richardson, author of “Acting Without Agony: An Alternative to The Method“.
Mr. Richardson devised an acting technique that was quite different from the torturous ‘Method.’ If you ever studied ‘Method’ acting, then you know that specific types of acting techniques can be painful, even torturous. Well, there is an alternative to this, -non method acting technique which has been used for many years by legendary actors!
The Technique offers an alternative to Method acting and teaches another way of arriving at emotions. It further maintains that acting should be fun. Not a self-dissecting experience. This non-method acting technique gives you a very simple, structured way of working without making acting a complex, traumatic, painful experience. Furthermore, this technique will help you learn how to analyze a scene and create the most believable, entertaining characters in a very short period of time. This is required in today’s fast paced Hollywood entertainment industry. Brad Heller of The Heller Approach is widely considered as being the best acting coach in Los Angeles. He is known for providing the best and most effective acting classes available in Hollywood. The basics of the Heller Approach acting lessons include Styles of Entertainment, Believability, Scene Study, Emotion, Comedy, and Cold Read/Audition Technique. Aside from being a great coach I value Brad as a dear friend.
Since 1977 the L.A. Connection Comedy Theatre’s mission has been to perfect the art of improvisation. To inspire, train, develop and nurture talent of all ages through rehearsals and weekly live performances.Kent Skov, who founded the LAC in 1977, was a member of the Committee in San Francisco where he worked with Del Close. Skov has worked with Second City founder Paul Sills and academy award directors Marty Pasetta, Lou Horvitz and Don Mischner. Skov is a member of the DGA,WGA and SAG/Aftra. He worked on many late night variety shows including Dolly Parton, Rick Dees and Alan Thicke. Skov was the mastermind behind the cult hit dubbing series Mad Movies that ran for 7 years on Nick at Night, MTV and syndication. During my time with LA Connection I took classes meeting twice a week practicing all of the theatre's different improv games for their live performances at Flappers Comedy Club.
CBSI is a team of Creatively-Driven, Extremely Focused, and Highly Imaginative people. Their training facility is a Zone Empowered Center for Advanced Artistic & Creative Studies… specializing in on-camera performances.
Holistic Awareness — Body, Soul, Spirit & Wallet, they strive for Creative, Artistic and Monetary Excellence! Concerning the Craft of Acting, they supplement Creative Work with Life Skills and Business Principles in a safe and supportive environment. At CBSI, they teach the Art of the Craft as well as the Business of Showbusiness.
Affectionately know as the CBSI Creative Tundra, their application of Art, Craft, and Technicalities empower all students, clients, and staff members to discover more about who they are while encouraging them to be their absolute best. Here I really enjoyed dialing in and focusing on acting for the camera with close-up and extreme close up split screen recorded sessions. What differs here from other acting classes is the recorded sessions that you take home, as well as the technical knowledge you gain from practicing more subtle acting for the camera with less physical acting. Te camera is right there - on your face, so truthful acting becomes critical. "-no fidget acting."
Stan Kirsch Acting Studios - Stan Kirsch Studios is one of the premiere, full service acting schools in Los Angeles. The SKS clientele, comprised of both celebrities and working actors throughout the entertainment industry, have booked upwards of a thousand roles from film leads to TV series regulars, recurring roles, guest and co-stars as well as leads On and Off-Broadway.
The Chinese Kung Fu Center - Grandmaster Yin's Kung Fu in Milwaukee - the school was officially opened in 1979. Grandmaster Yin and his student, Master Hwang, taught classes at the new school. Shortly afterwards the school was renamed the Chinese Kung Fu Center with Grandmaster Yin remaining and leading the school until his death in 1988.
Grandmaster Yin was not only a skilled practitioner of Kung Fu and a General in pre-Communist China, but also an experienced teacher who earlier had founded his own school in Taiwan and authored a number of books on traditional Chinese martial arts. Grandmaster Yin taught in a very traditional manner and stressed honor and self-discipline as well as physical prowess..
Upon Grandmaster Yin's death, several senior students carried on his tradition of educating body, mind and spirit. Instructors and students also kept in touch with his school in Taiwan and, on several occasions, traveled there to learn and practice with some of Grandmaster Yin's most advanced students.
Grandmaster Yin's students in Milwaukee also kept in touch with Master Cheng Tsang Lu, one of Grandmaster Yin's most senior students from his school in Taiwan who founded his own school in Salt Lake City, Lu Health Center.
I joined the academy as a young boy, still in elementary school. My mother had signed me up after I'd been bullied and beaten up several times at school. The experience gave me a greater desire for balance in my life, teaching me to strive for inner peace, mutual respect, and the ability to achieve any goal I set my mind to. I was definitely the youngest student in the class with the next youngest being a college student at Marquette University, but nonetheless, the foundation I established here would allow many years of personal growth and the deepened understanding of what it means to be balanced and in control. My endurance, my ability to gauge a challenge and make a calculated plan of attack, my overall understanding of my mind and body and my willingness to conquer every fear would emerge from this life-changing training.