ACTeen Grads Shine!
In TV series, feature films, Broadway,daytime dramas, or major commercials — no school can top ours for alumni actively working in the profession. Up to fourteen ACTeen grads have starred in TV series for the past seven seasons. Read on to see recent successes . . .
Max Schneider, (Film, Film Casting Director Seminar alum) played "Ian' in the recent NBC-TV kidnapping drama "Crisis." He co-starred last season on the Nickelodeon TV series "How to Rock," which also starred singer Cymphonique Miller, (daughter of Master P) as “Kacey.” Max played male lead Charlie Prince in "Rags" a reverse Cinderella story TV Movie also produced by Nickelodeon, and co-starring two time NAACP Image Award winner Keke Palmer ("True Jackson.") Both shows feature Max's wonderful singing & dancing talent! Summer 2012 Max toured with Victoria Justice. Look for Max in several upcoming feature films: "The Last Keepe," and as 'Van Dyke Parks' in the new Beach Boys film "Love & Mercy." Max understudied in the Broadway musical “13” (with another ACTeen alum Caitlin Gann) and was a finalist in the NFAA Youngarts Festival, as well as a Will Sears Scholarship recipient. Max booked a wonderful photo shoot for Dolce and Gabanna with the great Madonna, playing her son (which he booked via an ACTeen recommendation).
Julia Goldani Telles, (alum Film) played daughter "Whitney" cast regular in the critically praised Golden Globe Award winning Showtime drama "The Affair," which explored two marriages and an affair that disrupted them – with all of the complex consequences that result. Maura Tierney (ER), Dominic West (The Wire), Joshua Jackson (Fringe) and Ruth Wilson (Luther) starred. Our very own Speech Instructor Charise Greene served as on set dialect coach. Julia is best known for playing ‘Sasha’ for two seasons in the ABC Family series “Bunheads.” Julia booked this at her first big audition! “Bunheads” was executive produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino, (creator of “Gilmore Girls”) and the series was headlined by Tony Award®-winning actor Sutton Foster and Tony winner Kelly Bishop (“A Chorus Line,”) from “Gilmore Girls.” Julia came to ACTeen from School of American Ballet, when a temporary dance injury prompted her to look into acting. Soon after, she landed the role of the rebellious Sasha Torres in “Bunheads!” Julia has also guest-starred on "The Carrie Diaries," with fellow alum Cara Buono (see below) ! Double ACTeen alum whammy!
Jordana Brewster, (alum Film Technique, Commercials) starred for three seasons in the TNT hit series "Dallas," .as "Elena Ramos" daughter-in-law of Bobby Ewing. Jordana (who got her first agent through the ACTeen Talent Agent Showcase), reprises her role as “Mia Toretto" in the feature film “Furious 7," upcoming with Vin Diesel, & Michelle Rodriguez . Jordana’s role won her the 2009 Teen Choice Award for "Best Actress in an Action Adventure.” Jordana credits ACTeen with getting her prepped for her first big break on CBS-TV’s daytime drama “As the World Turns”, where she played “Nikki Munson” for three years while still in high school. Jordana has guest starred on NBC-TV’s series “Chuck,” the TNT series "Dark Blue', starring Dylan McDermott, starred in the ensemble film “The Faculty” (with a young Elijah Wood, and Josh Hartnett) and starred in “The Invisible Circus” with Cameron Diaz . Other films include co-starring in Touchstone Pictures feature “Annapolis” with James Franco.
Katelyn Tarver, was recently featured in Nickelodeon TV’s popular series “Big Time Rush.” reprising her role as “Jo Taylor” (love interest to Kendall) . The series chronicles the making of a chart topping boy band. The show's official premiere received 6.8 million viewers, making it the highest rated live action premiere in Nickelodeon history. Katelyn has had major roles on “No Ordinary Family” (as Natalie Posten) the ABC series starring Michael Chiklis about a family with unusual powers. Katelyn also played "Mercedes" for eight episodes last year on the ABC Family hit series “Secret Life of an American Teen!
Katelyn first came to ACTeen for private coaching for “Hannah Montana” getting down the finals for lead consideration! Katelyn is a fabulous singer and recording artist, and former finalist on the hit Fox TV series “American Idol Juniors,” where she won the heart of America each week, entertaining a cumulative audience of 35 million people. Katelyn wrote “I still revert back to my classes with you for help!!” We hope to see Katelyn at ACTeen again soon!!
Sofia Black-D'Elia (August Conservatory) joins a power house cast (including Morgan Freeman) in the Paramount pictures re-make of "Ben Hur." The film (shooting in Italy) follows a falsely accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him. Both must come to choose between retribution or forgiveness.
Sofia also stars in the new CW sc-fi series "The Messengers," which follows the story of five people killed by the energy of a mysterious object falling to Earth. When they are revived, each possesses strange abilities and an unexpected connection. Sophia plays "Erin," a young mother desperate to protect her 7-year-old daughter from an abusive ex-husband. Sofia j You may have seen Sofia starring recently in theaters in time traveling feature film "Project Almanac." Sofia joined the cast of the 6th and final season six of the huge CW-TV hit "Gossip Girl," as the charming but dangerous 'Sage, and 'played "Tea", one of the leading roles in the controversial MTV- TV series "Skins," the American version of the hit British series. Sofia got her start playing “Bailey” in ABC-TV’s long-running daytime drama “All My Children” after attending ACTeen. Sofia visited for monologue prep and spoke about her early soap experience. To quote Sofia: “The two cameras (in ACTeen’s Film course) definitely helped with my awareness of how to carry myself! Thanks for everything, Rita! "
Cara Buono (graduate Film, Casting Director Seminar) had a seven episode arc as hit-woman villian "Martine Rousseau" in CBS-TV's "Person of Interest." This year Cara's booked a new NBC series pilot "Endgame" starring Wesley Snipes.
Cara received an Emmy Nomination for "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series' for her role as "Dr. Faye Miller" love interest to Don Draper, on “Mad Men,” the AMC-TV three-time Emmy-Winning Best Dramatic Series. Season four involved a business and personal scandal for Don Draper (played by actor Jon Hamm) and Cara’s ten episode arc provided her major air time! "Mad Men" received nineteen Emmy nominations in 2011, the second highest honor of any television production.
Cara made her first film, “Gladiator” (featuring a very young Cuba Gooding, Jr.) with fellow alumnus Jon Seda. Casting Director Deborah Aquila (CSA), had seen Cara perform at ACTeen’s Casting Director Seminar, and subsequently cast Cara in Stephen Gyllenhaal’s feature “Waterland”, with Jeremy Irons. Cara’s first Emmy nomination was soon after studying at ACTeen. She received a Daytime Emmy nomination for her lead role in the CBS Schoolbreak Special “Abby My Love.” Cara has also played major roles on Broadway including “The Rose Tattoo” at Lincoln Center.
Jon Seda (Film, Commercials etc) is starring in the hit NBC series "Chicago P.D." as 'Detective Antonio Dawson' alongside co-star Jason Beghe, and Moira Kelly. The series is a top audience draw for NBC and a riveting police drama.
Jon starred in “The Pacific,” the ten part World War II Emmy winning "Best TV Mini-Series," produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg for HBO-TV. Jon played one of the three leads, Marine Sgt. John Basilone. "The Pacific" received a total of 24 Emmy nominations, including "Best Mini-Series', "Best Direction", and "Best Writing." Jon played regular "Nelson Hidalgo' a venture capitalist wheeler/dealer, in the second & third season of HBO-TV’s New Orleans post-Katrina based Peabody Award Winning series "Treme."
Jon has been a series regular on seven other series including CBS's “Close to Home,” “Third Watch,” “Ghost Whisperer,” HBO’s “Oz”, UPN-TV’s “Kevin Hill” with Taye Diggs, and two years on NBC’s critically acclaimed, Peabody Award Winning detective series “Homicide: Life on the Streets.” Jon's many film credits include "Gladiator," "Carlito's Way," "Twelve Monkeys," "Primal Fear" and "Selena” (as husband Chris Perez.) Jon earned a Best Actor nomination at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival for “The Sunchaser,” also starring Woody Harrelson. Jon starred opposite Sylvester Stallone, and Jason Mamoa (“Game of Thrones”) in the recent film “Bullet to the Head.”
Jon, a former boxer, took his very first acting courses at ACTeen. Jon credits ACTeen for giving him his start. He got his first film opportunity “Gladiator” (with a young Cuba Gooding Jr.) after a manager saw him in an ACTeen showcase. On several occasions, Jon has graciously been a guest in our Film Scene Study class, answering questions and doing audition scenes with the student actors. Just this summer we had the honor of teaching Jon's son Jonathan Seda Jr in our July Conservatory, and Jon senior graciously spoke to our conservatory students! We are incredibly proud of Jon’s continued success and honored to carry on the ACTeen/Seda technique tradition!
Jordana Spiro, graduate Film, Film Technique, Commercials, Film Seminar) has been recurring on CBS-TV's acclaimed series "The Good Wife" as 'Det Jenna Villette." Jordana starred as "Grace Devlin," in the short-lived Fox TV series "Mob Doctor," trading drama for her former comedic rolos. Jordana is best known for starring for three seasons in the TBS-TV comedy series "My Boys." “My Boys" (which was cable's #1 original sitcom) starred Jordana as “PJ Franklin” a ‘just one of the guys’ tomboyish Chicago sportswriter. Jordana is also a Sundance Film Festival Short Film Director finalist parlaying her talents to producing and directing.
Jordana worked with Oscar winner Kathy Bates and TV writer/veteran David E. Kelley on NBC-TV's drama "Harry's Law" playing 'Rachael Miller'. Jordana took several years of classes at ACTeen while in her teens, before pursuing Hollywood and success. Jordana got a major career boast in the feature film “Must Love Dogs” playing “Sherry,” John Cuzak’s former girlfriend.
Davi Santos (Film, Commercials, Talent Agent Showcase) is currenlty filming a new series in New Zealand! Davi was a cast regular n the series "Mr Box Office" (as bad boy HS student 'Carlos') produced by Byron Allen. Davi co-starred on ABC Family's series "Chasing Life," guest starred on "How to Rock and ABC series “Apartment 23,” starring Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker, and James Van Der Beek. Davi is an active TV commercial performer, and frequent theater actor. He is also the recipient of our "Will Sears Scholarship." Davi is an accomplished, award-winning filmmaker, with two films under his belt and work begun on his third film.
Jamie Lynn Sigler (graduate Commercials, Musical Theater) co-stars in the new Fox series "Fantasy Life," also starring Kevin Connelly, ("Entourage") -about a man who gets a job hosting a fantasy football show. Sigler is playing the show’s attractive, smart sports analyst. She will also serve as an executive producer. Jamie played series regular "Emily" in the NBC sitcom "Guys With Kids," with Anthony Anderson, and Tempestt Bledsoe.
Jami parked her car for the last time, after six seasons as the feisty daughter “Meadow Soprano” in the HBO-TV Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG award–winning series “The Sopranos”. A major critical and commercial success, “The Sopranos” won eighteen Emmys and five Golden Globes, and has been the subject of much parody and analysis. Jamie was a series regular in the HBO’s hit series “Entourage,” co-starred in the Lifetime mini-series “The Gathering,” starring Peter Gallagher, guest starred numerous times on NBC-TV’s hit comedy “Ugly Betty”, on Fox's "Dads," and has several films in the works. Jamie’s also played a ‘soprano’ of a different sort, using her ACTeen musical training to star on Broadway as “Belle” in “Beauty and the Beast”!
Danny Masterson (graduate Film Scene Study) starred for three seasons as "Milo" in "Men at Work" a TBS TV series comedy --a show which follows the misadventures of four office buddies who work together at a magazine.
Danny appeared as “Steven Hyde” in FOX-TV’s “That ’70s Show”, enjoying eight seasons of laughs! Danny attended ACTeen when he was in his early teens, and then moved to Los Angeles where he’s done very well. In addition to “That ’70s Show”, Danny’s appeared in “Kim Possible,” Roseanne”, “Party of Five”, “Cybill”, and the film “The Faculty” (with fellow ACTeen grad Jordana Brewster).Danny has done feature films, including “Made for Each Other,” starring brother Christopher Masterson, (featuring ACTeen grads Samm Levine and Debargo Sanyal), “Yes Man” with Jim Carey, crime drama “The Bridge to Nowhere” with Ving Rhams. Look for Danny to co-star in the upcoming feature film "Killing Winston Jones" (with Oscar winner Richard Dreyfus as Winston, and also starring Danny Glover.)
Kimberly Williams Paisley (graduate Audition and Commercials) just recently played cast regular "Gretchen" on the final season of CBS's hit comedy series "Two and A Half Men." Kimberly played cast principal "Peggy Kenter" on the hit ABC series "Nashville," (starring Hayden Panettier and Connie Britton), and starred with Jim Belushi and Courtney Thorne-Smith in ABC-TV’s Emmy-nominated comedy “According to Jim" for eight seasons playing his sister-law. Kim took two courses during Kimberly took two courses during ACTeen’s July Conservatory right before she got her first big break --when she was cast as the bride in Touchstone’s film “Father of the Bride” with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton. (Kim also reprised her role in "Father of the Bride II." Kim’s been working steadily in the years since, in films, television seires, and in theater (Broadway’s Tony Award–winning play “The Last Night of Ballyhoo”, and David Mamet’s “Speed the Plow” in London). She appeared in the film “We Are Marshall” directed by McG, directed episodes of “According to Jim”, and has appeared with husband/singer Brad Paisley at the Annual Country Music Association Awards.
Tim Boardman (July Conservatory, Talent Industry Showcase, Indie Film) just booked the lead and title role in the new indie film --"Miles." Tim will play son to Molly Shannon, joining Paul Reiser and Missi Pyle in the cast! The film deals with high school senior Miles Walton who joins the girls volleyball team in hopes of winning a college scholarship, which causes an uproar in his small Illinois farming town.Tim found his manager (Lauren Singer Talent) and agency (Innovative Artists) through our showcase and also booked two episodes of Tina Fey's Netflix comedy "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," an episode of "Mysteries at the Museum." We are so happy for you Tim!
Philip Ettinger (ACTeen alum August Conservatory) has been working nonstop since graduation. He played “Kevin’ in the indie film "Compliance" starring Dreama Walker, ("Gossip Girl") and Ann Dowd and featuring fellow alum Ralph Rodriguez. . Phil has guest-starred on “The Closer” and appeared as “Hunter in Joel Shumacher film “Twelve” with Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, & Rory Culkin. This year he played “Zach” in an episode of the Emmy winning HBO comedy “Girls,” starring Lena Durham. Phil also had a star turn Off Broadway in the Obie Award winning comedy "Bad Jews" at the Roundabout Theater. Philip worked with director Tim Blake Nelson on his film "Anesthesia," starring Kristen Stewart, Gretchen Mol, and Glenn Close, and "Alone," directed by Mathew Copploa,, and will appear in "Dominion" with John Malkovich. After a year at Emerson College Phil attended our August Conservatory where he trained for the very first time in acting. While at ACTeen Phil was encouraged to apply to Rutgers University Mason Gross Acting program as a transfer. (Our Speech instructor was also on the Rutgers staff and gave him a strong recommendation.) The summer at ACTeen was a turning point for Phil, and his career has blossomed ever since!
Kendra Jain (June Intensive) has been booking nonstop since her summer at ACTeen. She booked a lead in the fun family sitcom pilot “Funny in Farsi,” roles on “Law & Order: SVU,” and appears in the film “New Year’s Eve” directed by Gary Marshall, and “Lies in Plain Sight” starring Rosie Perez and Chad Michael Murray. Look for Kendra in the upcoming comedy thriller "On the Wing" starring Corben Bernstein about four teen misfits who take on Big Oil, the U.S. Government, and one very slick Politician
Shannon Maree Walsh, (alum ACTeen Talent Industry Showcase, Film Scene Study ) played "Rachel' in the feature "Begin Again" starring Kiera Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, and Halle Steinfield. Shannon played ‘Rachel’ a cellist and member of Kiera Knightley's band, The film was produced by Judd Appatow and directed by John Carney ("Once.) Shannon played “Melanie Pratt” in the Wes Craven (“Nightmare on Elm Street”) horror film “My Soul to Take." Shannon had a fierce guest starring role on "Law & Order: SVU, appeared on "The Michael J. Fox Sbow" and was featured in the ABC TV series "What Would You Do?" Look for Shannon upcoming film "Kid Witness."
Venus Schultheis, (junior alum Film, Commercials, Voiceovers) was recently featured on the "Today Show" when the new cast of "The Peanuts Movie 2015" was introduced! Venus will voice the role of Peppermint Patty! In this new feature film Snoopy embarks upon his greatest mission yet, and his team takes to the skies to pursue their arch-nemesis, while Charlie Brown begins his own epic quest back home. Venus has many commercial credits (Lunchables) and joined SAG/AFTRA following a Nickelodeon voiceover promo and a Denny's commercial. Coaching work with ACTeen's director and voiceover instructor helped Venus book the new Peanuts film!
Lucas Salvagno, (Film, Talent Agent Showcase) starred in the film “God Don’t Make the Laws” with Paul Sorvino and Bruce Davison, cast by Brette Goldstein (guest Instructor). Lucas, who got his agent through our Talent Agent Showcase, played loner ‘Hawk Kokiak,” a mysterious boy with a sordid past. Most recently Lucas visited and shared wonderful recent credits. He's co-starred on "Elementary," and "The Carrie Diaries," had recurring roles on the ABC series "The Black Box," and Starz "Power," and guest-starred on CBS-TV's "Blue Bloods." Lucas has also done tons of commercials and voiceovers since attending ACTeen and is also active in the NY theater community!
Debargo Sanyal (graduate of ACTeen’s July Conservatory) appeared as “Mahmoud” in Rob Reiner’s feature film “The Magic of Belle Isle” starring Oscar and recent Cecil B. De Mille award winter Morgan Freeman (“Invictus.”) Debargo has done several films: “Everybody’s Fine,” starring Robert DeNiro and Drew Barrymore; “Bert and Arnie’s Guide to Friendship” and “Ashes” (with ACTeen grad Melissa De Sousa.) He’s guest-starred on "Person of Interest," "Nurse Jackie," "and FX's "The Americans," “Law & Order: SVU,” and appears frequently on the New York stage. Additionally Debargo is an active commercial performer with national and regional spots for Toyota, McDonald’s, Holiday Inn, and the NY Lottery. Debargo writes: “ACTeen was my very first exposure to performing in front of the camera. I learned so much about my strengths and weaknesses from the video playback process, as well as from the helpful feedback I received from the instructors. I was accepted into the Casting Director Seminar and the Talent Agent Showcase, where I made some great industry contacts and also learned a lot about the ‘business’ of being an actor from the people who know it best. From the important information I acquired, to the new skills I learned, to the people that I have met, ACTeen has been a wonderful resource for me.”
Jenna Lamia (graduate Film, Talent Industry Showcase) played the youngest sister ("Sherri Ward') of Mark Wahlberg, and Christian Bale in the Oscar winning film “The Fighter,”directed by David O' Russell which captured two Oscars, for both Jenna's film 'mom' Melissa Leo, and 'brother' Christian Bale, and a SAG acting ensemble award nomination! Jenna made her New York stage debut on Broadway at Lincoln Center in “Ah, Wilderness!” with Craig T. Nelson ("Parenthood") shortly after getting her first agency representation through our ACTeen Talent Industry Showcase. Jenna is a very accomplished working actress, appearing last season on MTV's popluar hit series "Awkward" as 'Leslie Miller." Jenna's appearing in television series (“NYPD Blue”, “Law & Order SVU,” “Without a Trace”) and in many on-camera and voiceover commercials. A popular audio book voice artist, Jenna won the 2010 "Audie" award, for her reading of "Kyra" in the best selling novel "The Chosen One.". Additionally Jenna wrote for the popular CW hit series "90210", (with ACTeen alum Gillian Zinser as "Ivy.") Jenna has visited ACTeen, as our honored professional guest actress, adroitly performing scenes and audition sides with the students. (here with acting alum Matthew Barry. Find out about his success in ‘Series-ous’!)
Samm Levine played ‘PFC Hirschberg’ opposite Brad Pitt in the Oscar nominated film “Inglourious Basterds,” written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Samm played “Spanky” in the film “Sydney White,” starring Amanda Bynes, “I Love You Beth Cooper,” starring Hayden Panettiere , “Pulse” with Kristin Bell and “Made for Each Other” (with fellow ACTeen alum Danny Masterson and Debargo Sanyal).
Samm (graduate Film Technique ) landed the principal role of “Neal” on the critically acclaimed NBC-TV series “Freaks & Geeks” (available on DVD.) “Freaks & Geeks” is a cult classic, produced by Judd Apatow and featuring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Linda Cardellini and Busy Philipps. Samm has guest starred on over twenty sitcoms and series including “Modern Family,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Entourage,” “Family Guy,” “NCIS,” “That 70’s Show,” and “My Name is Earl.”
Matthew Bonifacio (ACTeen alum Film, Film Technique, instructor Indie Film Acting) is an award-winning film maker. His short films “Fortune House” and “Migraine” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival back to back in 2012 and 2013. This past year Matthew directed, produced and starred in the indie drama "The Quitter," his 4th feature film, co-produced by fellow ACTeen alum Neil Jain. Matthew plays a failed baseball player trying to become a father to the seven-year-old girl he abandoned while she was in utero. Matthew's first feature "Lbs" garnered national attention and was nominated last year for a John Cassavetes Award by Film Independent seven years after the film premiered at Sundance. We are so very proud of Matthew's success! We are delighted Matthew joined our staff to teach his Indie Film Mastery Class ! Terrific having him 'back home!"
Lucca DeOliveira (grad Film, Film Casting Director Seminar) appears in the upcoming feature film "Three Generations" with Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon! He's now repped by Paradigm (Ellen Gilbert and Rachel Altman). Just recently he booked a recurring role on the new Showtime TV series "Happyish" starring Steve Coogan, Katherine Hahn and Ellen Barkin. Way to go Lucca!
ACTeen alum Jeremy Fernandez (grad August Conservatory, Film, Sitcom Workshop, Talent Showcase) and Charlie Swan (graduate Film Technique, Commercials ) are in the film "Little Miss Perfect" directed by Marlee Roberts, which follows a young girl grappeling with modern issues over her body image. Jeremy plays the male lead, and Lila Crawford ("Into the Woods.") is also featured. Jeremy is also a singer/song writer, with new Urban/Pop songs that reflect his personal feelings and free-spirited outlook on life! Charlie's been voicing 'Jenny/Ynnej' in the comedy animated series "Team Toon."
Double ACTeen casting success stories!
Elizabeth Masucci (Alum Film, Film Casting Director Seminar) is series regular "Christine Muldoon" in the upcoming 1960's NYC era TNT drama "Public Morals' written, directed and starring Ed Burns! Elizabeth plays Ed Burns wife, along side ACTeen Juniors alum Cormac Cullinane (Juniors Film, Commercials) as their son 'James Muldoon'!!. Liz was featured in the critically acclaimed film "Shame" starring Michael Fassbinder, and Carrie Mulligan featured at the NY Film Festival. Elizabeth had a principal role in the independent feature, “Virgin Alexander,” which won best feature film at the Las Vegas Film Festival. Liz has guested in several TV series: "Gossip Girl," "Person of Interest.," “Royal Pains,” and "NYC 22."
Ralph Rodriguez (Film, Advanced Commercials) is a graduate who is in frequent contact, often for private audition coaching. Ralph recently guest-starred in MTV's "One Bad Choice' and can be seen in the upcoming indie feature "White Girl," (as 'Neme') and "The Missing Girl" (as 'Gumby'.) Ralph guested on the NBC series "Blue Bloods." Ralph played ‘Richard Turkel’in the Paramount film "Son of No One" where Ralph is featured along with stars Channing Tatum, Al Pacino and Katie Holmes. Ralph has appeared in the high school drama “Detachment” with Adrien Brody and Bryan Cranston, and "Compliance" starring Dreama Walker, (with fellow ACTeen alum Phil Ettinger) and commercials for "Drug Free America" and Six Flags! Ralph wrote: “thank you for all your hard work in shaping up my acting skills and giving me the tools I needed for auditioning and getting me better at my craft. We always love to hear about Ralphs's bookings and expect more great news from Ralph!
Bryan Burton (alum July Conservatory, Film, Commercials ) has a recurring role in HBO's mini-series "Crime" starring John Turturro! Bryan's scored several impressive workshops and readings lately, and a stint on FX's "Louie" with Louis C.K.! In addition Bryan has several high profile commercials, including two Master Card commercials starring Tina Fey, and five (of seven total) HBO-Go commercials (as the very awkward, embarassed son on the couch!).
Taylor Colwell, (Talent Industry Showcase, Film, Indie, Foundations, Technique II ) played "Smoke" in FX's comic book inspired series "Gotham."
Matthew Barry (July Academy) came to ACTeen from England, and has not stopped working since! And actor and writer, Matthew was chosen as one of four British writers (out of over 400 submissions) by BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) to showcase their work in NYC for the fall NY Television Festival. Matt’s series (with writing partner Kayleigh Llewellyn) “Grey” was one of the winning submissions. The finalists have their work performed by professional actors, and meet in networking and mentoring sessions with producers and literary agents! Matthew is a staff writer for the successful BBC series “Eastenders,” “Holby City,” and “Casualty.”
Keenan Cochrane (Film, Film Seminar, Talent Industry Showcase) found his manager (Persona Talent) via the ACTeen showcase, signed with terrific commercial (Innovative) and theatrical agents, (Don Buchwald), and booked two commercials (Cablevision)! He also guest starred in “Zero Hour,” the short lived ABC series with Anthony Edwards (“ER). Keenan was featured in the music video "Mirrors" as the young Justin Timberlake, and is currently in the acting program at USC! From his mother: “You saw something special in our boy under all that hair way back when. Thanks again for the fine training on camera for him. Hes sooooo happy! You're so welcome Mrs Cochrane!
Melissa De Sousa (graduate Talent Industry Showcase) wowed audiences this year in the "Best Man Holiday," reprising her role as "Shelby," and joined by Best Man castmates Terrence Howard ("Empire",) Nia Long, and Taye Diggs. Just announced-- "Best Man Wedding" with most cast originals returning! Melissa last appeared as "Gabriella" in 20 episodes of BET Network's series comedy "Reed Between the Lines" starring Malcolm Jamal Warner and Tracee Ellis Ross. Melissa has been a principal in several series: UPN’s TV series “Second Time Around”, and ’“One on One,“ the comedy “Damon” starring Damon Wayans, and the TV drama “The $treet”, opposite Jennifer Connelly, Melissa also guest-starred on Showtime's comedy series "Shameless," starring William C Macy. Melissa's performance as “Shelby” in the original film “The Best Man” earned her a NAACP Image Award nomination. Other film credits include “Laurel Canyon”, and “Miss Congeniality” (with Sandra Bullock.) Melissa wrote: “ACTeen was the first step I took in becoming an actor. It turned out to be the right one. The classes gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed. I booked the first job I ever auditioned for. It was that simple! Thanks ACTeen!”
Troy Winbush graduate Film, Commercials, Audition) literally grew up at ACTeen. To quote Troy, “ACTeen was my first acting school. When I started I took acting as a hobby, but as I continued with my training the dream grew to become a professional. The teachers gave me pride in my work. I’ll always be grateful to them!” Troy met the “The Cosby Show” casting directors in his ACTeen Audition course and was cast as “Denny”, one of Theo’s friends, playing with the stellar Emmy Award winning cast headed by Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad. Subsequently Troy landed roles in the films “The Principal” (with Jim Belushi), “Bonfire of the Vanities” (with Tom Hanks), “John Q” (with Denzel Washington) and “National Treasure 2” (with Nicholas Cage). Television appearances include portraying Frank Powell”, series principal in the NBC-TV series “Medical Investigation,” and recently "Scandal," "Big Bang Theory, " "The Goldbergs," “House of Payne,” “Rizzoli & Isles”, “NCIS,” “Girlfriends,” and ““CSI: Miami.” We were delighted to share coffee with Troy recently in NYC..as he remains a loyal alum and bicoastal actor!
Daisy Hobbs, (Alum Commercials, Film, Talent Industry Showcase, Film Casting Director Seminar) and Ariel Reid (Alum Musical Theater, Film, Commercials, Talent Agent Showcase) are both singing & dancing in the ensemble of the 2014 Tony Award Winning Disney smash Broadway musical “Aladdin”! Daisy a recent Carnegie Mellon University grad performed in the Seattle try out of “Aladdin” directed by Casey Nicholaw (“Book of Mormon”) and then went into the 1rst National Tour of “Memphis,” (2010’s Tony Winning “Best Musical.”) Ariel made her Broadway debut as the youngest dancer in another Tony winning musical-- “Spamalot,” where she danced for four years, followed by “Elf” on Broadway, and time off to play a ‘council kid’ in the film version of “Hairspray” with John Travolta! We are very thrilled for our talented triple threat duo!
Jackson Demottt Hill (alum Junior Film) is making his Broadway debut in the new musical “Finding Neverland”, the story of how Peter became Pan. The musical stars Matthew Morrison (“Glee,”) Kelsey Grammer (“Fraiser”) and Laura Michelle Kelly. Jackson has done two shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music ('BAM'), "Billy Budd," and "A Doll's House." Fanatatic year Jackson!
Heather Tepe (alum Film) is performing as ‘alternate/cover’ for all the ballet kids roles in the 2013 Tony winning Best Musical “Matilda.” This is Heather’s third Broadway musical, having danced in “Billy Elliot,” and “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Congratulations to Justin Bohon (graduate Commercials) now dancing and singing in his seventh Broadway musical, --“The Book of Mormon,” winner of 9 Tony awards including “Best Musical of 2011, and created by the writers of “South Park.” Justin has been in “9 to 5” with lyrics by Dolly Parton, played Will Parker in “Oklahoma!” directed by Trevor Nunn, choreographed by Susan Stroman (he received the Theatre World and Astaire Awards, as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations); Jolle in “Les Misérables”; Dean Hyde in “All Shook Up”; “The Producers,” and “Miss Saigon.”
Haley Podscun (July Conservatory) has done six Broadway shows, including the critically acclaimed "Chaplin," as 'Mildred', Chaplin's first wife. Most recently Haley appeared in the Tony Award winning Best Musical Revival “Anything Goes”, starring Tony Award Winner Sutton Foster and Joel Grey (Haley played “Virtue.”) Other Broadway shows include “Pal Joey” with Stockard Channing, Tony and Drama Desk 2008 ‘Best Revival” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “The Sound of Music,” and “Hairspray.” Hayley played the lead in “Freckleface Strawberry” Off Broadway, the musical adaptation of Julianne Moore’s bestselling children’s book! Hayley also appeared in the feature film version of “Hairspray” with fellow alum Ariel Reid as one of the “council kids.”
Giuseppe Bausilio (ACTeen alumnus of Film Technique, Improvisation) starred on Broadway as “Billy” in “Billy Elliot.” Giuseppe is an extraordinary dancer, and winner of several international dance competitions. Recently Giuseppe performed in “The Nutcracker” in New York.
Bridget Berger travelled from TN to take our July Conservatory before obtaining her BFA at Carnegie Mellon University. Bridget’s appeared in three Broadway shows, and is currently in the six year long running musical “Jersey Boys” (as Mary Delgado). Bridget has also appeared on Broadway in “Curtains,” and “The Pajama Game.”
Jillian Mueller (alum Film Technique, Commercials, Film Casting Director Seminar.) just home from the National Tour of “Flashdance,". as the lead Pa welder/Dancer extraordinaire 'Alex,' has been leading the National Tour of "Dirty Dancing" as lead Catskill girl "Frances" aka "Baby.” Jillian appeared at Lincoln Center in a ballet musical workshop "Little Dancer," directed by Susan Stroman (based on a Degas sculpture.) Jillian has done three Broadway musicals including “Bye Bye Birdie, as well as a recent stint on the TV series “A Gifted Man.” Jillian booked her first ever commercial audition: a national spot for Verizon FIOS right after her commercial course at ACTeen! Her dad emailed me the great news and happily asked: “Is it always that easy or was her training with you that good?!" We are very proud of Jillian’s success!!
Juliet Brett,co-starred with Ed Harris and Bill Pullman Off Broadway in "The Jacksonians." Look for Juliet Off- Broadway this spring in "What I Did Last Summer" for the Signature Theater! Juliet was featured in Tina Fey's film "Admission," and stars in a new web series "Redheads Anonymous." Yes! Redheads have more fun!
Caitlin Kinnunen, (Film, Talent Agent Showcase) was only sixteen when she made her debut on Broadway in the original “Spring Awakening” (as “Thea.”) Last season Caitlin appeared with the luminous Kelly O'Hara on Broadway in "The Bridges of Madison County" as her daugther. Caitlin also appeared in he 1rst National Tour of the complex Pulitzer Prize winning musical “Next To Normal,” starring Alice Ripley.
Laura Heisler (Talent Agent Showcase) made her Broadway debut as ‘Edward Ashbrook’ in "Coram Boy." A veteran stage actor, Laura has appeared in numerous world premieres Off-Broadway and regionally. This year Laura was nominated for The Lucille Lortel Award for “Outstanding Performance by an Actress” for her role in the play “Kin” performed Off Broadway at Playwrights Horizon. Laura appeared in the independent feature “Coach” ( starring Hugh Dancy, along with fellow ACTeen alum Jonathan Gutierrez), "We Go On," "As Good as You," and “Cold Souls.” TV appearances include “The Defenders,” “The Middle,” Bones,” “Ugly Betty,” and “Numb3rs.”
Ronete Levenson (who got her manager through our ACTeen Talent Agent Showcase)— made her Lincoln Center Theatre debut in the world premiere of “What We Once Felt.” Ronete played Rebecca Gibbs in the acclaimed Off-Broadway production of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” directed by David Cromer for the Barrow Street Theater. Regional: August: Osage County (Old Globe Theater); Argonautika dir. Mary Zimmerman (Berkeley Rep, Shakespeare Theatre of DC, McCarter). Film: “Taking Woodstock” directed by Ang Lee. TV: "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "Guiding Light," and "Possible Side Effects" directed by Tim Robbins (a Showtime pilot).
In Other News…
Rita Litton, contributed writings for two published books for actors. “Acting for Young Actors: The Ultimate Teen Guide” by Mary Lou Belli and Dinah Lenney, and “The Actor’s Other Career Book” by Lisa Mulcahy. Rita was a featured panelist for a ‘Q & A’ following the book signing of “Acting For Young Actors” at The Drama Book Shop in New York City, along with Karl Jurman, the Musical Director of Broadway’s “Lion King” and Mary Lou Belli, Emmy Award winning director, producer, and seven season director of “Girlfriends” on the CW Network. (See Guest Artists)
We’ve Been Talking To…
Yianni Vasilounis (Junior alum Film, Commercials) booked a voiceover right after his ACTeen VO workshop, (for “Super Wings’ the Little Airplane animated series), and got several lines in Discovery TV series “Momsters,“ produced by Roseanne Barrlum! He's represented by Prestige Talent Mgmt (Achilles Tsakirdis)
Hayley Gunning (Junior alum) booked an episode of the Emmy-nominated series "A CRIME TO REMEMBER" on Investigation Discovery Network!
Frankie Seratch (Junior alum Film) booked a role in the film “The Grief of Others.”
Daniel Kaplan (recent Talent Industry Showcase finalist) in Italy shooting the feature film "Price for Freedom."
Max Plush (Junior alum Film & Commercials) booked a role on “Royal Pains.“ and a Charter commercial with fellow Jr alum Fallon McKensie.
Haley Bergin was cast in the lead role as 'Chery'l for Oxygen Network,a new comedy episodic titled “My Crazy Love
Drew Beasley booked voiceovers and an episode of “Unforgettable!”
Catlin Minster played the lead in Investigation Discovery's new series I'D KILL FOR YOU, Ep 6, "Locked Up in Love,
Rebecca Laurent and Anthony Hay, both Talent Showcase participants booked their first commercials! And in little over a year, Rebecca's booked three other commercials, her last national flying her to Los Angeles to film!!
Zach Gavieria booked a Toshiba commercial!
Andrew DiTusa booked an Off Broadway play "Liberty!"Andrew got his fab Italian accent via coaching with our speech/voice instructor Miriam Silverman! His mom wrote: "Thanks again for all your help. We feel so blessed to have you as a resource and guidance." Way to go Andrew!! (Andrew is repped by Prestige Management!)
Barbara Capelli (mother to Christina, Fall Program) wrote: “Thank you so very much for the wonderful acting program which Christina just completed, she loved it! I see a stronger motivation and increased self confidence in her and I know that you and your teaching staff are the catalysts.”
Nicole Duquet, (July Academy) ) is studying acting at Interlochen Arts Academy, performing the musical “A Christmas Carol” with musical direction by Alan Menken. Nicole wrote: “It's such an honor to be in a high school with such talented acting and music alumni and faculty. Of course I've taken all my film techniques from ACTeen to Interlochen and it's been such a blast!”
Congratulations to those alumni who participated in ACTeen’s recent Talent Industry Showcase. (Talent Showcase Photo Gallery) The teens have racked up an impressive array of callbacks and agency signings. The ACTeen Talent Agent Showcase is held twice a year, September and May, by audition only. A panel of judges selects a top ten to twelve finalists. We feel our students have done exceptionally well over the years.
Also available to our recommended graduates of either the Film Acting Technique or Film Scene Study class is the Casting Director Seminar. Held once a year in the winter, the seminar is conducted by five outstanding NYC casting directors who work personally with each student on audition and cold-reading techniques. Check out the Casting Director Seminar page or the Casting Director Seminar Photo Gallery for more information!