College & MFA Audition Coaching
After observing auditions for the BFA programs at my alma mater, Pace School of Performing Arts, and working the Columbia University MFA Acting program auditions for two years, I've learned from the decision makers (who happen to be my own audition coaches and teachers) what culminates in a successful college/grad school audition - and what does not.
Sometimes, it's completely out of your control - like when they've already called back five three-headed monsters from the previous week's auditions and although you're a great three-headed monster, they already have five to choose from. Sometimes, it's completely within your control - like when you came in with a bad attitude because your iced caramel mocha chai tea latte was too cold.
During these auditions and my own grad school auditions over the course of 4 years at Columbia (accepted), USC (accepted), NYU Grad Acting (waitlist), USD/Old Globe (waitlist), Yale Drama (callbacks), Juilliard (callbacks), I've learned that there are really only three major secrets to success: pick the right pieces, be your best self and have fun! Easier said than done right?
What will we do in each 60-90 minute session?
Find the right contemporary and classical audition pieces for you, that you love working on
Make those pieces work for the unique person that you are (for example, we might work on making sure the story is being told, relating the piece to you and pursuing an action)
Replace habits that don't serve you with ones that do
Rehearse entering the room and interviewing
Help you feel comfortable on-camera to nail those self-tape prescreens
Learn how to accept nerves, trouble-shoot in the moment and stay connected
Practice taking all sorts of direction, no matter how far it may be from your original choices
Instill a mindset of curiosity and get you thinking like an actor who makes interesting choices
Record and coach you through your pre-screens in my professional setup in Virginia!
For those who sign up for multiple sessions, you can also expect:
Support on your audition days through text, FaceTime, etc.
Special rates for prescreen recording
Help with resumes, those dreaded wild cards, clothing, travel advice and any other questions you have as you complete your applications and get ready to audition
Guidance on choosing schools, which offer to accept, connections to my network of amazing folks to help musical theatre people through choosing songs, choreograph/clean dances and more!
Students have gained acceptance to BFA Acting programs at:
University of Southern California
Pace University - FTVC
Penn State University
Loyola Marymount University
Arizona State University
James Madison University
West Virginia University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
Florida State University
Contact me to find out how I can help you feel confident, comfortable and kick ass in your college, MFA, Acting and Musical Theatre auditions!
In-Person & Zoom Rates:
$300/pack of 4 ($75/hr)
$450/pack of 4 x 1.5hr
*Sliding scale for
No one should be prevented from pursuing their dreams because their family cannot
afford it. We will figure something out.
With the in depth knowledge of why one student gets a callback and another does not, I'm pumped to pass this information on to young actors gearing up for undergrad and grad school auditions!
When should I start prepping?
It can be really helpful to start lessons sooner rather than later. I recommend starting during your junior year. That way, we can start to instill good habits and work on elements of your work that with plenty of time to spare.
However, everyone's timeline and needs are vastly different; so if you come to me eight weeks before your auditions, we'll make it work! (but please give yourself more time than that, that's too stressful!!!)
When are pre-screens due?
Well, that depends. For Musical Theatre, aim for anywhere from September 15 - December 1. For Acting, aim for November 1-December 1. Some schools don't require pre-screens; so for those places, aim for being ready in mid-January!
Do I need to have my pre-screens professionally recorded?
Absolutely not! I personally love to coach young actors through their pre-screens and make sure we have ample time to reshoot things if we want. You wanna come back next week and go again? Great, let's do it! It can feel super daunting and pressured suddenly getting in front of the camera and lights for this thing you want so badly.
As someone who does a lot of self-tapes as an actor, I know that many of us have a habit of looking back at the tape and criticizing every little thing. We then try to get it "right". All this gets us into our heads and we make it about ourselves rather than about the character.
So! All this to say - even if you don't come to me, just make sure your eyes can be seen, the light is good, your voice can be heard and that you have fun. Have someone behind the camera who is completely supportive of you who won't judge or criticize.
Will you write my recommendation?
Yes! BUT I need to have known and worked with you for at least six months. How can I sing your praises if I don't know you, what makes you cool, how a school can help you grow, etc.?
This is all really overwhelming. That's it. I don't have a question.
Folk, I feel you. It is stresssssssssful. That's why I aim to take as much of that pressure off of you as I can. You just do your job as an actor. Let me worry about whether the pieces are right for you, if it's what schools want to see, if you're being affective, etc. I got you.
Does having a professional headshot matter for college auditions?
Nope! Get yourself a professional headshot if you’re going to school in NYC, NJ or LA. This way, you can start going out on auditions. If you’re not going to school at any of these places, and even if you are, don’t worry about it.
But won’t it seem unprofessional of me to not have a professional headshot?
No. They simply want to have a clear, well-lit still image that looks like the person they see on the videos you send or when you they meet you in person. It helps jog their memory. Some schools then put everyone's photos together for the finalists and arrange folks around. These photos sometimes live on the backs of professors doors so they can remember who is in the upcoming class. HAVING A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING AND DOES NOT PUT YOU AHEAD. Do you want to go to a school that says, “well I really liked Sally’s audition and I think she might be a good fit for our school, but she used her school photo for her headshot, so I don’t think we’ll let her in.”? I mean if you do, great, go for it. But for me personally, I don’t know if I’d get the best training at a place that puts more importance on this stuff than on the craft.
All of this surface stuff does not matter as much as people who want your money want you to think. It’s the craft. It’s the heart. It’s the gut. It’s activating “the other” across from you. However, if having all this really professional surface stuff makes you feel really good and together and quells your anxiety, go for it! It won't harm you.
"You should have started training when you were in middle school in order to get into the best college programs or be an actor at all."
NO. There is no “right” time to start training as an actor. Sure, if you decide when you’re 7 that you’re going to be an actor and that’s it, there’s nothing else for you, that’s great! Go with it! All in baby! But if you’re a sophomore in high school and you decided to take drama and realized omg I love this, then soak it up! I’ve done countless short films and plays with people who had completely different majors in undergrad or even grad school, and have become very successful actors. It's not about when you start, but about passion, drive and self-awareness.
But, this person that I know says, “You need to eat, sleep, live performing if you’re gonna make it.”
NO. ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NO. This is the old school of thinking. It is an often harmful point of view that can perpetuate an unhealthy relationship with acting and art. Please have life experiences, that's what will make your acting more effective. Go be a Girl Scout, start that non-profit, try out for the swim team. Surround yourself with people from all walks of life. Hear their stories. Observe. Forget about acting for a month and play Minecraft. Please do not rob yourself of a life because someone tells you you must always be thinking of performing.
My training spans from Columbia University (MFA Acting, 2022) and Pace University (BFA Acting, 2012), to The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ (Apprenticeship) and The Atlantic Acting School (Evening Conservatory). At these programs and at other private studios, I’ve worked hands on and in-depth with techniques that cultivate emotional, physical and vocal freedom. Techniques include Alexander Technique, Meisner, Stanislavski, Feldenkrais, Michael Chekhov, Viewpoints, Laban, Linklater, Fitzmaurice, Improv and more.
I’ve had the honor of studying with some of the most innovative and respected acting teachers of our time, including Ron Van Lieu, Scott Zigler, Peter Jay Fernandez, Sita Mani, James Calleri, Bruce Cromer, Ellen Lauren, just to name a few.
As an actor, I have worked at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Mosaic Theatre Company, Virginia Stage Company, Toms River Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Adirondack Shakespeare Company, Punchdrunk (creators of Sleep No More), and many others. On TV, you can catch me on Investigation Discovery’s A Crime To Remember and Nick Jr.’s Team UmiZoomi. Films include countless student and short films over the years in NYC. At Columbia, I’ve been a part of the new play development process for many full length and one act plays.
I offer Coaching Sessions, support and pre-screen recording throughout audition season for high school, undergrad and graduate school auditions. The general goal is to take the pressure off by beginning a young actor's higher education training journey. This results in actors already having the confidence to fail gloriously and be in process, which makes for dynamic and playful exploration in the room. With tons of positive reinforcement from me, actors are already in the good goo and figuring out who they are as artists when it's time to submit pre-screens and do live auditions.
I also offer Private Lessons for persons of any age and skill level who would like to learn technique, develop specifics of their physical instrument and how to think like an actor. Private Lessons are geared towards long term study and growth. They are also a great option for executives and folks who would like to cultivate a dynamic presence and improve public speaking.