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Faculty & Teachers – LA Campus

LOS ANGELES FACULTY

  • Lona Alexander

    Lona Alexander

    Courses: Movement

    Lona Alexander has been teaching The Alexander Technique privately and in group classes and workshops nationwide and internationally since 1990. She is certified by the American Society of the Alexander Technique (AmSat). A yoga instructor for over 40 years, she is certified in several yoga traditions as well. In Lona’s work with actors she fosters self-awareness and rediscovery of the body’s own intelligence. Her goal is for the actor to feel self-confidence and the joy of ease in movement.


  • Rachel Bailit

    Courses: Method Acting, History, Improvisation

    Rachel Bailit, an alumna and faculty member at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, has taught a variety of classes including Method Acting, Production Class, Improvisation, Acting for Film & TV, Scene Study, Theater History, Solo Show Production, and the Legacy class. 

    In 2017, David Lee Strasberg and Rachel taught a seminar in Boston. Rachel has since expanded the teaching of Method Acting in Boston and online at Boston Casting. 

    Rachel is a Museum Educational Consultant for Affective and Physical Engagement with Art at The Getty Museum. She created a tour which she conducts titled “Sense Memory and Art”. Rachel teaches “Acting for Animators” at Dreamworks Animation, Warner Animation Group, and The Animation Guild. She introduced Method Acting as a guest speaker and teacher at The Shanghai Theater Academy’s International Forum on Actor Training and Education in 2018. Rachel also created classes for Military and Veterans at SAG-AFTRA where she currently serves on The Military Committee.

    Rachel performed her acclaimed one-woman show, Sugar Happens, directed by David Lee Strasberg for five years in Los Angeles, including The Comedy Central Stage, and at St. Luke’s Theatre in New York City. Her current acting credits include Diary of a Spy (2022), Stay Sane and The Shade. She played the role of “Nikki” in Paramount’s Festival In Cannes directed by Henry Jaglom and acted in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas directed by Ron Howard.


  • Christina Beck

    Courses: Working with a Director, Film History

    Adrienne Shelly Foundation award winning director, writer, actress Christina Beck began her career as a
    punk rock teenager acting in cult films such as Suburbia, Boys Next Door, and Dudes all directed by Penelope Spheeris. She studied at Playwright’s Horizons in New York City forming an all-female theatre company, POW (Power of Women) productions, and wrote, produced and starred in “From the Heart” premiering at the Samuel Beckett Theatre. After writing, directing and acting in numerous Los Angeles theatre productions, Christina wrote and starred in her first short film, DISCO MAN, followed by the noir
    comedy, BLOW ME, which screened in the New York, Chicago, and Seattle Underground Film Festivals.
    Christina was one of the few women accepted into Fox Searchlight’s new director’s program, Search Lab, where she directed, wrote and starred in the short film version of her feature film script, SLICE, which screened in Cannes. Her feature screenplay Slice, now titled Perfection, was one of five contenders for the IFP Best Screenplay Award, part of the IFP market, selected for the IFP rough cut labs in New York, winner of The Adrienne Shelly female directing grant, and chosen to be IFP’s “Spotlight Screening” of the year sponsored by Time Warner and SAG indie. Perfection ran the festival circuit where Christina won Best Actor and Best Narrative feature at the Oxford Film Festival and screened at the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival, the USA Film Festival, The Rio Cinema in London, The Reel Recovery film festival at the Quad Cinema in NYC, and Laemmle’s Monica Film Center in Santa
    Monica, CA. Christina is co-founder of The Female Filmmaking Collective; a member of Film Fatales,
    Alliance of women directors and is an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
    Christina has sat on the juries for The Feminist Film Festival, London, The South Eastern European Film
    Festival, The 100 Word Festival in Charlotte, NC. and The USA Film Festival, Dallas. Upcoming projects
    include, Size 10 and Expecting Grace set in Marseilles, France.


  • Patrick Bonavitacola

    Patrick Bonavitacola

    Courses: Improv, Method Acting, Lee Strasberg Legacy

    Patrick Bonavitacola received his training as an actor at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute from Lee Strasberg. Lee invited him to become part of The Actors Studio community in 1979, and he has been associated with The Studio for more than 35 years now—first as an actor, and for the last 15 years as a member of the Playwright/Directors Unit. A brief career overview: As an actor, he starred in the soap opera Santa Barbara and on stage in The Basic Training of Pavlov Hummel, View from the Bridge, and Glass Menagerie; as a writer, He wrote jokes for Tim Allen, sketches for In Living Color, and scripts for As the World Turns and Seinfeld; as a director, he directed critically acclaimed productions of Oleanna, The Unexpected Man, and The Faith Healer. The Advocate Newspaper put him on its list of “Best Directors” for Oleanna. Lastly, for the past 20 years he has trained and coached actors and is presently on the faculties of The Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. 


  • Daniella Bordeaux

    Courses: Method 101, Method Acting

    Daniella Bordeaux was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, then part of the former Soviet Union.

    Being of Jewish descent, she immigrated to Israel by herself at the age of 15. She attended Kfar Hayarok College where she majored in Design. 

    Daniella then embarked upon a successful career as a commercial and fashion model under representation of Image Models. Her on-camera presence opened the door to a career in acting, which started with TV commercials and numerous guest appearances on various television shows in Israel. Daniella then landed a leading role in a motion picture produced by Haim Buzaglo. This was followed by a recurring role on one of Israel’s most popular prime-time television dramas titled The Champion.

    Increasing visibility garnered Daniella attention in Europe and the US in modeling and entertainment. She first relocated to New York City and then to Los Angeles to advance her acting career. Daniella’s commitment to honing the craft of acting led her to enroll in The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in West Hollywood where she completed a two year conservatory. From 2017 till 2022 she was a co-creator and manager at Laboratory Theater with her mentors Hedy Sontag and David Strasberg.

    Daniella’s greater goal in life is to make the world we live in a better and happier place. As a working actress she continues to audition and explore her passion for acting. In her free time she is involved in a few homeless projects here in Los Angeles as well as attends spiritual awareness conventions worldwide, as someone trained in multiple methods of healing she is committed to helping spread inner peace and balance to others who seek it.


  • Robyn Coburn

    Guest Teacher

    Courses: Theatre Tech/Production 1

    Robyn Coburn is a writer, artist, production designer of independent films, and theater designer.

    Both Robyn’s parents were entertainers, so she spent her childhood traveling in Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. She started acting professionally at age 16 with a touring troupe. She studied Method Acting with Hayes Gordon at Ensemble Studios in Sydney and became fascinated with “the technical side” of theater. Since then she has been a costume, set and lighting designer, stage manager, scenic painter, stitcher and sound designer, and worked in every kind of theater from community to educational to “broadway” style, both in Australia and the US.

    In 1990 she gained a Bachelor of Creative Arts with Honors, majoring in Theater Design and Technology from the University of Wollongong. She then taught theater tech to actors at Ensemble Studios, while working as the resident designer and TD of The Rep Theatre, the Studio’s graduate theater company in Sydney, Australia.

    When she came to the USA in the early 90’s, she was a freelance designer of independent films and community theater, before repurposing her life as an artist, writer, and homeschooling mother. In addition to many articles about arts & crafts and home education in magazines and online publications, her published works are Dervish Dust: The Life and Words of James Coburn (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE. Dec 2021) the authorized biography of late screen icon, the Oscar® winning actor, James Coburn, and the first two books in an ongoing career development series, Work in Production

    Robyn helps people format their résumés and cover letters for film and theater production jobs. Most recently she has found success as a grant writer, as Co-Chair of the Fundraising Committee with the professional networking group, Women In Media.


  • Carlos Colunga

    Courses: Method Acting, Method Lab

    Carlos Colunga is originally from Mexico City and came to the US to study at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in Los Angeles in the early 1990s. He went on to intern under the late Marc Marno for nearly 20 years, where he honed his skills and knowledge as a Method Actor and teacher. Carlos has devoted his time to training in Lee’s Method and has been a valued faculty member for over 20 years. He also spends a large amount of time writing, directing and private coaching.
    Carlos is The Institute’s Head of Instruction.


  • Cody Davis

    Cody Davis

    Courses: Film Fighting, Film Fighting II

    I guess if you had to describe Cody Davis with one word it would have be PASSIONATE. Raised in a martial arts family, he began his training at the early age of 6. He competed throughout numerous tournaments growing up, and by the age 18 he was ranked number 1 in his division. Throughout the years training he always had a fascination for action and mostly the fight scenes in the movies. After high school he decided to turn his love and focus towards the movie industry, mostly for action movies and stunts. Traveling to Seattle for a stunt training program he learned film fighting, high falls, fire burns, precision driving, and special f/x such as gun shots and etc. After that, he moved to Los Angeles to train and study under the legendary Benny “The Jet” Urquidez in Boxing/ Kickboxing, Ukidokan Karate, Stunt-Acting, Fight Choreography, Stunt Coordinating, and 2nd Unit Directing. He is now one of Benny’s top stuntmen on his team (Jet Action Team) and has worked with numerous celebrities for film, television, music, and fitness. Now his passion and goals are to change and evolve the action genre with clear and exciting action while telling a great story.


  • Anne DeSalvo

    Anne DeSalvo

    Courses: Method Acting, Scene Study

    Anne DeSalvo enjoys a prolific career as actor/director/writer/producer/professor.  Broadway includes Gemini opposite Aiello (Obie Award, and Showbusiness Award for Distinguished Performance) and Safe Sex opposite Harvey Fierstein. She created roles in many Off-Broadway plays including Sorrows of Stephen and Girls Girls Girls both at the Public Theatre. She also wrote and performed her one-woman show, Mamma Roma featured in The Mentor Project at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Regional theatre includes The Miser at Yale, Lend Me a Tenor at Pasadena Playhouse (Best Actress Award), Gemini The Musical (Best Featured Actress in a Musical Nomination), and Doubt in Las Vegas. TV credits include Two Broke Girls, The Closer, Monk, Sex & The City, Entourage, CSI: Miami, and X-Files. She’s had recurring roles on Taxi, Wiseguys, LA Law, and Cheers. She starred as Lee Strasberg’s daughter in Emmy Award-winning The Last Tenant.

    Lee welcomed Anne into the Actor’s Studio community and she was officially invited as a Lifetime Member in 1983. She’s appeared in many acclaimed films including Arthur starring with Dudley Moore, Stardust Memories starring with Woody Allen, My Favorite Year starring with Peter O’Toole, Perfect starring with John Travolta, and Taking Care of Business starring with Charles Grodin. She wrote directed and produced Women Without Implants for Lifetime Television (Cable Ace Award Nomination as Best Actress). She also wrote and directed The Amati Girls with Mercedes Ruehl and Cloris Leachman (Best Director, Best Writer, Best Film at the Marco Island Film Festival). It also won the Award of Excellence from the Heartland Film Festival and the Award of Excellence from The Film Advisory Board as well as Best Film at LA’s Italian American Film Festival. She was elected as a National Officer for the SAG Board of Directors and has appeared on several talk shows including The Tonight Show and Entertainment Tonight.


  • Danella Dutton

    Courses: Theatre Dance

    During her early years, Danella Dutton’s Grandmother sparked her interest in the arts. So, by age 4 she signed up Danella for tap and ballet classes. Even though at home, Danella was very much the performer her Parents and Grandmother found out quickly she was shy in front of others. Her Grandmother then signed her up for something private lesson based instead, Baton Twirling. Danella excelled at Twirling for 10 years, winning many Regional & National championships, giving her confidence to perform in front of others.

    Sadly, during her senior year, an injury led to Danella walking on the Cross Country team at Clayton State University. This path is what eventually led her back to dancing and the arts. Some friends of hers from Cross-Country began to break-dance; one day Danella and a friend decided to tag along to a practice. This eventually led to the two of them having a conversation about a secret passion for learning Salsa Dancing.

    In 2003, Danella started learning Salsa in Atlanta, Georgia. After a year of being extremely dedicated to Salsa Dancing, Danella trained and taught at the studio she began at for about 8 months before she expanded out on her own as an independent dance instructor. She has been running her own company since 2005. Thus leaving college to pursue her passions. She focused mostly on Salsa; she also competed & trained in ballroom and crossed trained with Hip-Hop & Jazz Funk. This has led to her performing/teaching for several theater productions, industrials, films, music videos and television shows. As well as, producing and choreographing projects.

    An almost life ending event & the economy during 2008-2009 gave Danella the push to move to Los Angeles, in 2010, where she continues to chase her dreams in the performing arts. While in Los Angeles, in addition to growing her dance career, she began to pursue her passion for Acting. Danella began her training very small and privately, just like the other arts in her life. Then she eventually took Commercial Workshops, Improv a Groundlings and then in 2015 she finally made the leap to scene study classes.

    Today, Danella still teaches dance lessons in Los Angeles and will continue to do so as long as life permits. Her passion for being a positive outlet for people is still burning strong. She is also still actively pursuing an acting career along with her newest found abilities, Directing. Hoping to one day be able to impact a difference in people’s lives at a higher level.


  • Matt Enlow

    Guest Teacher

    Courses: Working with Directors, Commercials

    Matt Enlow is an Emmy nominated director, writer & media-type living in Los Angeles.

    His work has been seen all over the world, and amassed millions of views. He works with places like Comedy Central, Verizon, BlackPills, VH1, Turner, College Humor, CBS, TruTV and Google to make commercials, music videos, digital series, and probably some other stuff that’s harder to categorize (or explain to his parents).

    He’s worked with brands like Coke, Time Warner, Aquafina, Kraft, Degree, Bacardi, Activision and plenty others to make something that people will like, and tell their friends about.

    He hosts the directing podcast Just Shoot It, if you’re looking to nerd out on filmmaking interviews.


  • Griffith Frank

    Griffith Frank

    Courses: Singing

    Griffith Frank is an award-winning singer and RIAA certified four times platinum songwriter hailing from Topanga, California. He spent his formative years starring in a multitude of musical productions, performing as a recording artist signed to Interscope/Geffen records, and would graduate as a Vocal Performance Major from University of California, Los Angeles.

    As a singer Griffith was a featured soloist on the soundtrack of the Golden Globe nominated movie “Nine” (dir. Rob Marshall); in which his version of “Unusual Way” was notably praised by People Magazine. Griffith has since performed all over the world at legendary venues such as Disney Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and at the Jakarta Jazz Festival.

    As a songwriter, Griffith’s works have garnered over one billion streams worldwide, with notable viral hits such as “Boomerang” by Jojo Siwa, “Where would I be Without You” by Kendall K, “Two Sides” by Annie Leblanc, and “Handstand” by Rosie Mcclelland. His lyrical work was featured at the Montalban Theater with the production of Yves Dessca’s “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

    As a teacher, Griffith currently instructs at the Lee Strasberg Institute of Film and Television, worked with renowned organizations such as the National Children’s Chorus, and coaches singers featured on broadway, national tours, recording artists whose songs have gone on to be certified Gold and Platinum globally, and numerous actors preparing their auditions and filmed roles.


  • Sarah Gurfield

    Courses: Acting for TV/Film

    Sarah Gurfield is an LA native who directs for stage and screen. She directed The Donors, a digital comedy series executive produced by Kevin Hart for his LOL Network & Lionsgate. Her comedic short films, Boy Eats Girl and Thumb, won numerous awards and screened at dozens of festivals including Dances With Films, LA Shortsfest, and Cinequest. 

    Sarah began her career directing theatre in and around NYC; highlights include work at The Roundabout, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Seacoast Rep, The Directors Company, and Carnegie Hall. She is a founding member and resident director of Santa Monica Repertory Theater, where she has directed many productions, workshops, and readings since its inception in 2010. Favorite projects with the company include PYGMALION, PROOF, THE HEIDI CHRONICLES, and THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (in collaboration with the Broad Stage).

    A member of The Alliance of Women Directors, SDC, and Filmshop, Sarah is also a director at The Actors Studio, where she was selected by Martin Landau, Mark Rydell, and Lou Antonio in 2012. She is an SDCF Award winner and a Brown University graduate. 


  • Eric Gutierrez

    Guest Teacher

    Courses: AOS Self Tape Auditions

    is a Producer, Actor, Director and Acting Coach. Eric worked Seasons 1, 2 ,3 & 4 on the critically acclaimed Netflix series, ON MY BLOCK (Teen Choice Award: Breakout TV Show) where he was a Recurring Guest Star and the On-Set Acting Coach for the Series Regulars. In 2021, he wrapped Season 4 of ON MY BLOCK, where he also served as a Creative Consultant in the Writer’s Room.

    In the winter of 2021, he Co-Produced BOO BITCH, a Netflix limited series starring Lana Condor (X-Men Apocalypse, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy).  In 2022, Eric was a Producer on FREERIDGE, the eagerly anticipated ON MY BLOCK spin-off, where he was also a Recurring Guest Star. 

    Eric has taught at AMAW for nearly a decade and continues to teach and private coach in the off-season.

    He has worked over a dozen national commercials and is active in the Los Angeles Theater scene. Eric is from El Paso, TX, is a graduate of Northwestern University and resides in Los Angeles California.


  • John Hindman

    Guest Teacher

    Courses: Directed Scenes (AOS)

    A writer/director whose script “The Dream of the Romans” was included on Hollywood’s famous Black List. He is the writer and director of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize Nominee “The Answer Man” starring Jeff Daniels and Lauren Graham. His film The Passing Parade won multiple prizes at festivals, was the opening night Film at The Boston Film Festival, and is available on all platforms. John’s screenplay “Unstoppable” was produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s company Artist’s Equity producing and William Goldenberg directing. The film stars Jennifer Lopez, Jharell Jerome, Bobby Cannavale, Don Cheadle and Michael Pena and is set to be released Fall 2024. His film “8 Confessions in Los Angeles” which he wrote and directed starring Carolina Gaitan (Encanto) Taylor Handley “The Mayor of Kingstown” and Katie Parker (The Haunting of Hill House”) among others, is in festivals now. John has written for studios, producers, as well as television as a staff writer for NBC/Universal’s sitcom “Bad Judge” for Gary Sanchez Productions. John’s latest script “Savage” is set to go before cameras in 2024.

    Theatrically, John has directed multiple award-winning productions including David Auburn’s “Proof” and Beth Henley’s “Crimes of the Heart” as well as Cyndy Lou Johnson’s “Brilliant Traces” and “Dusk Rings a Bell” by Stephen Belber. His re-imagining of Rajiv Joseph’s “Gruesome Playground Injuries” was produced by Frank Darabont and was a commercial and critical success. In 2019 John directed the world premiere of John Patrick Shanley’s “Our Fantasia” and in 2021 Shanley’s new work “Outcast”. John was also one of the directors of the groundbreaking “Noir Series” which was the first Los Angeles theatrical production to be live streamed globally. He is the founder of the acclaimed John Hindman Studio in Hollywood.


  • Alani iLongwe

    Courses: Acting for TV/Film, Method Acting

    A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and recipient of the coveted Ron Howard Fellowship, Alani studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute for Theatre and Film under the tutelage of incredible instructors such as Bill Balzac, Ted Zurkowski, Lola Cohen, Geoffrey Horne, Paul Calderón, and the legendary Irma Sandrey. Since 2014, he has had the pleasure of teaching actors from around the world how to illuminate the human condition through the development of emotionally rich vividly fleshed out characters specifically crafted for theater and film.

    A multidisciplinary entertainment professional, Alani has performed at some of the most prestigious theaters around the country including The Geffen Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theater, and the Classical Theatre of Harlem. Television credits include: Law & Order, Blue Bloods, Major Crimes, Castle, Cousins for Life, Casagrandes, Loud House, and Jessica’s Big Little World. Feature film credits include: Life of a King, Woodlawn, and Arthur the King.


  • Gerald James

    Gerald James

    Courses: Method Movement, Method Acting

    Gerald James began ballet training in high school at The Ruth Page Dance Foundation. He earned a theatre scholarship to Loyola University and later joined a prominent Chicago modern dance troupe. In New York, he studied with Dance Theatre of Harlem and performed as a Radio City Music Hall dancer. Gerald is involved with the We Tell Stories theatre company in Los Angeles and is the creator of the Waters Edge Theatre. He is a member of Jim Gamble Puppets Productions and the Imagination workshop. Gerald teaches acting in LAUSD, has created professional developmental workshops for the Cerritos Arts Center, and has presented poetry workshops through the Orange County Performing Arts Center.


  • MJ Karmi

    MJ Karmi

    Courses: Method Acting, Improv, Scene Study

    MJ Karmi is a Life Member of the Actors Studio and holds an MFA in Dramatic Arts from The Actors Studio at The New School. She completed a two year conservatory program at The Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. She also studied classical theatre at The Shakespeare Theatre at The Folger. Currently M.J. can be seen in the Netflix Original Film, The Discovery starring Rooney Mara, Jason Segal and Robert Redford now streaming on Netflix. She has appeared in over thirty theatrical productions. Her favorites including Blackout, a Los Angeles Time Critics Choice and LA Magazines Top 10, Road to Mecca, a Washington Post Critics Pic of the Week. Television credits include Criminal Minds, Blunt Talk, Revenge, Kingdom, Guiding Light, Cold Case, Jericho and The Mentalist, M.J. has been on the faculty of The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film institute for eleven years where it is her joy to teach method acting and improvisation to talented and committed actors.


  • Sasha Krane

    Courses: Script Analysis, Advanced On-Camera Lab, Rehearsal

    The nephew of legendary acting teacher Lee Strasberg, Sasha Krane trained from an early age as a Method actor in New York, with Geoffrey Horne, and developed a passion for theatre and film. Upon moving to Los Angeles, Sasha began writing and directing stage plays while assisting Sally Kirkland in her acting classes at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. 

    The production of his first work Leftover Hearts at the Marilyn Monroe Theatre garnered strong reviews, and was soon followed by Astyanax, a short film he wrote and directed. His next short film A Little Death won Best Romantic Drama at the New York International Film Festival.

    After writing and directing several more shorts films, Sasha directed the critically acclaimed British drama Solitary (Electric Entertainment). Described as “Spare, nuanced and painfully real” Solitary was the recipient of seventeen festival awards (including seven Best Feature wins and two Best Director nominations) and was the opening night film of the London Independent Film Festival where it won Best UK Feature.

    In addition to writing and directing, Sasha is the Strasberg Institute’s Creative Director.


  • Sheldon Larry

    Courses: Film Production, Directing, Screenwriting, Film History

    Sheldon Larry has had a distinguished thirty-eight year career in film, television and theatre having directed and/or produced more than fifteen plays and twenty-five films. He learned his craft in Britain where he accumulated more than 300 credits with the British Broadcasting Corporation and did documentaries on Luchino Visconti, Pierpaolo Pasolini, Franco Zeffirelli, Noel Coward, and Joe Orton. And he was lucky enough to work on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. He won a National Endowment Award and moved to New York City where for the next 10 years, he worked off-Broadway as a theater director. He won an Obie for his production of Forty-Deuce, worked with Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy on Many Faces of Love, and directed Blythe Danner and David Hyde Pierce in Candida. His indie film musical, Leave It on the Floor was embraced by critics and by more than eighty film festivals, including Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Berlinale, Los Angeles Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival, Frameline and OUTFEST. His most recent film, Dangerous Company has been sold both domestic and internationally and he is currently working on Beautiful Lady. Sheldon teaches in the Film & Television department at USC in addition to being the Film Production teacher at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in Los Angeles.


  • Jennifer Lassalette

    Courses: AOS Method Acting

    has worked in theaters all over the United States and Europe as either producer, stage manager

    or actress. Among her many theatrical experiences are: Griffin and Sabine, at the International Play Festival in Spoletto, Italy, directed by Edoardo Ponti and executive-produced by Sophia Loren, Reunion In Prague, by Hildy

    Brooks, directed by Lou Antonio at the National Theater in Prague, Czech Republic which was sponsored by Czech President and First Lady Vaclav and Dagmar Havel, The Jewish Wife & Informer by Bertolt Brecht at The Strasberg Creative Center, which was named by The Hollywood Reporter as the best small theater production of the year. Other credits include: A national tour of Lovers and Other Strangers with Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna, Playboys of the Western World at the award winning Pacific Resident Theater in Venice CA. Some film and television credits are, In Heat, Other Peoples Parties directed by Academy Award nominated director, Bobby Garibedian , Already Dead with Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer, Everybody Loves Raymond and Touched By An Angel. She was the Production Supervisor at the historic El Portal Theater in the NoHo Arts District for 8 years. In 2018, she was offered the position of Assistant General Manager of The Actors Studio and has been there since.

    She studied at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, and UCLA.


  • Craig Lief

    Courses: Cinematography & Editing, Film Production

    Craig Lief is an accomplished filmmaker, passionately devoted to his craft. Throughout his youth he was always that kid with the camera, shooting everything he could. However, it wasn’t until attending the University of Colorado, Boulder that he truly discovered what he wanted to do with his passion, creating fiction content. He graduated top of his class, magna cum laude, with high distinction. Craig continued his education as a graduate student at USC’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). At SCA, he was a Teacher’s Assistant (TA) for nine classes. As a TA, he was the first point of contact for the students. He gave feedback on scripts, dailies, edits, and helped solve any problem that may arise. Craig currently teaches film production at the Lee Strasberg Institute in West Hollywood. 

    On the production side of things, Craig has Co-directed a feature film titled Phantom (2023) which is currently in post production. He also co-wrote a feature titled, Jack and Lou: A Gangster Love Story which is going into production this fall. One of Craig’s short film scripts, Hardcore Halbert, was funded and produced in SCA’s Advanced Filmmaking class and has been to over a dozen festivals worldwide. 

    As a child from a broken home, Craig knows how difficult life can be, yet at the same time, he knows that people are strong and can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Because of this experience, he thrives when involved with projects about characters who are outsiders who come up against everything life throws their way. Craig is excited about his future as a filmmaker and for all of the adept collaborators he will join forces with along his journey.


  • Fabiana Medici

    Fabiana Medici

    Courses: Improv, Comic Improv, Acting

    Fabiana Medici has 25+ years of experience as a writer, director, acting coach, and educator within the entertainment field. She began her career acting on the stage at the age of 14 in renowned theaters such as Teatro San Martin and Teatro Presidente Alvear in Buenos Aires, Teatro dell’ Opera and Teatro Ghione in Rome, Henry Fonda Theater and Lillian Theater in Los Angeles, and toured various cities worldwide. Fabiana also studied and worked in the art of street performance throughout Europe. She has trained both novice students and professionals alike. Fabiana has extensive experience working with children and adults from different cultural and social backgrounds including those with special abilities and needs. Fabiana has taught children in several schools in Los Angeles, such as the Westside Waldorf School, The Realm and Star Prep Academy among other schools worldwide. She has studied extensively including Method Acting, Stanislavski and Grotowski techniques, jazz dance, yoga, acrobatics, clown, Waldorf education, Reggio Emilia approach, nonviolent communication education for children/teenagers and healing arts around the world. Fabiana loves to see her students shine and is devoted to guiding them to their highest potential with love and respect towards their artistic goals. Her coaching style embraces a holistic approach that reveals the “big picture” within and beyond any technique, focusing rather on leading the actor through a journey of self-discovery of their artistic uniqueness and voice. Fabiana emphasizes respect for the Art, the Artist, and the humanistic experience through a training full of wonderment and creativity.


  • Dylan Mooney

    Guest Teacher

    Courses: Business of Acting

    Dylan is an American-born actor from Santa Barbara Ca. After graduating from Cal-State L.A. in 2007 with a theater arts & dance major he began his professional career and has steadily worked since.

    Currently Dylan is recurring on the hit BET+ series The Family Business as the corrupt and ruthless Detective ‘Dez Bryant.’

    His other recent works include supporting roles in the BET Original films Holly DayFall Girls, Til Death Do Us Part which had a top-ten, domestic, opening weekend and the Netflix film Boy Bye. Other notable credits include Modern Family (ABC), Angie Tribeca (TBS), A Weekend With The Family (Netflix), Swag Inc. (BET), and was a series-regular in the show Impress Me (POP).

    In addition to his work as an actor, he recently launched a new app called Actor Trade, which is the world’s first free, live-rehearsal app for actors that has surpassed over 20k users worldwide and has been featured in major magazines including Variety, as well as the L.A. Business Journal.

    Dylan never in a million years thought he’d love teaching so much, and is super proud to be a part of the LSTFI family, as well as being a small part of his student’s journey along the way as they pursue their careers.


  • Remi Moses

    Courses: Method Acting

    Remi Moses is a graduate of Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and a longtime student of the late Wynn Handman. Theatre credits include – The Tempest (Caliban), Rhinoceros (Mrs. Bouef), Gruesome Playground Injuries (Kayleen), Dog Sees God (CB’s Sister), Othello (Clown), Consent (Steph), The Student Body (April), Happy Days (Winnie) The Gnome (The Gnome) and many others. Film and TV credits include- feature films The Mental State and Kecksburg, Lifetime Original Movies A Fatal Obsession and Buddy Hutchins, Netflix’s The Crew and CBS’ Murphy Brown. Remi proudly comes from a long line of actors and is the great granddaughter of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. Her play Closed Circuit won the award for best original script at the 2020 NY Frigid Festival and her play Seized won the award for best short play at the You Are Not Alone festival at the Tank. Remi has also worked extensively behind the scenes for Patti Lupone, Candice Bergen, and many other stars. Remi is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Drama Therapy at Lesley University. She believes that relaxation, empathy, and play make great actors and even greater people!


  • Tyler Parks

    Courses: Dance, Triple Threat (The Workshop)

    Tyler Parks is an American actor, singer-songwriter, and dancer best known for his roles on Westworld (HBO), Dear White People (Netflix), All American (CW), and the critically-acclaimed film The Perfect Sacrifice.

    At the early age of 5, Tyler showed an affinity for dancing and playing make-believe so his mother and father enrolled him in local dance classes. After years of performing and competing with a top-ranking competition studio, Tyler experienced his first acting opportunity. Throughout his teenage years he appeared in theater productions, independent films, and regional commercials.

    In 2010, Tyler took the leap and moved to Los Angeles. Soon after, he landed national commercials like Old Navy and Nissan; performed with Mary J Blige and Kelly Clarkson; choreographed for Sebastian and Kat Graham; and was featured in Glee, HairsprayLIVE, and NCIS.

    When it comes to Tyler’s passion for music… he has toured throughout the U.S. with his first solo project REHAB, had a song featured on Major Crimes (TNT), and held a 6 month residency in San Diego.

    In the height of the 2020 pandemic, he joined forces with director Tiffany Littlejohn (The Perfect Sacrifice) to create, produce, and star in the award-winning web series Indemnity: The Rabbit Hole.

    Recently, Tyler held a recurring role in seasons 4 and 5 of the hit CW show All American, and is currently promoting his leading role in the feature film Twisted Vines with co-star Vivica A. Fox. He is also a touring judge for the national dance competition STARPOWER, and is working on a new music project.

    Tyler created the course “The Triple Threat” aka The Workshop at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute as a way to help actors gain the confidence and comfort to utilize the three disciplines (movement, voice, and acting) while working on film productions that have a more musical aspect.


  • Robert Paterno

    Courses: Voice 1

    Robert Paterno is a Teaching Artist and actor originally from Houston, TX, and currently resides on the unceded Tongva/Gabrieleno territory of Los Angeles. He holds an MFA in Acting (Southern Methodist University) and a BS in Marine Biology (Texas A&M University at Galveston). He spent 7 years as a Higher Education professional, specializing in Student Leadership Development and First-Year experiences. He has 20+ years of experience in education as both a classroom science teacher and teaching artist, including stints with The Unusual Suspects, The Geffen Playhouse, The Pasadena Playhouse, Theatricum Botanicum, and The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. He has worked with populations of all ages and experiences, particularly highly impacted, underrepresented, intergenerational, and incarcerated youth populations throughout LA County.

    As an actor, he has worked in TV, commercials, and theater during his 11+ years in Los Angeles, particularly classical theatre and immersive experiences/activations. Credits include – THEATER: LA Views (Ensemble) – Company of Angels; Revolver (Ensemble) – Celebration Theater;  Twelfth Night (Sebastian)Coeurage Theater; The Diary of Anne Frank (Mr. Dussel) – Cupcake Theater; The Merchant of Venice (Prince of Arragon) – Great River Shakespeare Festival; 1984 (Winston/Syme) & The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Ensemble) – Greenway Court Theater; The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (El Fayoumy) – Hudson Theater; In The Next Room or the Vibrator Play (Dr. Givings) – River & Rail Theater; Julius Caesar (Cinna) – Shakespeare Orange County; The Wild Party (Buster Keaton) & The Johnny Cycle (Ensemble) The Speakeasy Society; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Flute/Thisby)Theatricum Botanicum. TV/FILM: The Vampire Diaries (recurring); Days of Our Lives; Single Parents; VIDA. Robert is a proud SAG AFTRA member.

    Arts accessibility for all. Representation matters.


  • Chris Prinzo

    Chris Prinzo

    Courses: Vocal Basics (Singing), Voice Overs, TV/Film

    A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Chris Prinzo is an actor, host, and highly sought after director/choreographer, vocal instructor and performance coach. Chris has appeared on Broadway, in films, television shows, and as an on-air radio personality. In addition to being a faculty member at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in Los Angeles, Chris teaches privately: providing one-on-one instruction, master classes, workshops and after-school enrichment programs nationwide.

    ChrisPrinzo.com


  • David Salsa

    David Salsa

    Courses: Acting for TV/Film, Scene Study for TV

    David Salsa has been a regional theatre actor most of his career and spent 5 years as a company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival working in classic as well as new works.  Productions include A Midsummer Night’s DreamMuch Ado About NothingParadise LostA View From the Bridge, and the world premiere of American NightThe White SnakeDon Quixote and All They Way (as a member of the Black Swan Lab for new play development). TV/Film Credits include CastleCriminal MindsDays of Our Lives and MegaShark vs. MechaShark. David holds a BA from the University of Portland and a MFA from the Actors Studio in NYC and is a member of SAG/AFTRA and AEA.


  • Tuffet Schmelzle

    Courses: Dialects, Standard American Dialect

    Tuffet Schmelze, the Dialect Geek, a Los Angeles based dialect coach. “There are characters and traits available to us using dialects that aren’t available to us in our normal voice.” Her teaching style is fun, upbeat and empowering, allowing students to transform their voice and utilize new dialects through songs, practice materials, sides and physical improvisation. She received her B.A. from Loyola University Chicago. Dialect Clients Include: Film/TV: Apple TV, Universal Cable Productions. Stage: Center Theatre Group, La Mirada Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, Rubicon Theatre, Coachella Valley Rep, Falcon Theatre, Theatre @ Boston Court, Antaeus Theatre Company, A Noise Within, Ensemble Studio Theatre LA, Open Fist Theatre, East West Players, Circle X Theatre, Celebration Theatre, Reprise Theatre at UCLA and Son of Semele. 

    Tuffet uses the International Phonetic Alphabet to teach dialects along with the Vocal Freedom technique by Linklater. Tuffet is a proud member of Actors Equity and SAG/AFTRA. More information can be found at DialectGeek.com.


  • Matthew Singletary

    Courses: Theatre History, Pulitzer Prize Plays

    is a freelance director of theatre and film currently residing in Los Angeles. He has directed nearly 80 plays at theaters in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and all over the United States. His short films have been seen at festivals across the country and internationally. Considered an “actors’ director,” Matthew has a passion for new play development. He has directed over 20 new plays for the American stage and worked with numerous playwrights in developing their plays from inception through staged readings and finally full production. For three years, Matthew served as a Festival Producer for The Road Theatre Company’s Summer Playwrights Festival in Los Angeles – the largest new play reading series in the country. He received a BA in Theatre from Alma College (MI) and an MFA in Directing from The Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (NJ). During his career, he has taught at colleges in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Michigan, Texas and California. He is currently a faculty member at The New York Film Academy in Burbank, The Lee Strasberg Institute in West Hollywood, and at El Camino College in Los Angeles, CA.


  • Dylan Southard

    Guest Teacher

    Courses: Playwright Spotlight

    is a dramaturg, producer, writer and teacher. He has worked in new play development with theaters throughout Los Angeles, including Center Theatre Group, The Geffen Playhouse, Boston Court Pasadena, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Autry Museum, the Getty Villa, Rogue Artists Ensemble, Casa 0101, Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble and Theatre Dybbuk. For more than ten years he served as resident dramaturg for the Robey Theatre Company, where he led the Advanced Playwright’s Lab, and he’s served as production dramaturg on award-winning and world premiere productions such as Native Son (Antaeus Theatre), Lavender Men (Skylight Theatre) and Fatboy with Needtheater, where he previously served as co-Artistic Director. Dylan is also the founding creative director of VR Playhouse where he developed and designed 360° virtual reality experiences. His work in VR has been seen at SXSW, Sundance, The Holocaust Museum and the Tribeca Film Institute, and he’s collaborated with companies like Red Bull, Time Life, Jack in the Box, and Coach. He has written about immersive entertainment for Howlround, VR Scout and American Theatre and has spoken at Youtube, USC, NextCon, Digital Hollywood and the Open Innovations Forum in Moscow. He has taught previously at Long Beach State, and currently teaches at Cal Poly Pomona.


  • David Lee Strasberg

    David Lee Strasberg

    Courses: Method Acting, Craft to Career

    David Lee Strasberg spent his childhood at the Actors Studio in New York where his father, Lee, was Artistic Director from 1949-1982, and at The Lee Strasberg Institutes in New York and West Hollywood, which his father and mother co-founded. He sat in on many of his father’s classes in close proximity to many of the most famous actors of our time.

    In 1999, he became the Creative Director and CEO of the Strasberg Institutes. Since then, he has produced dozens of plays and short films featuring professionals and students alike. David teaches classes and seminars at both the West Hollywood and New York schools, while mentoring students on their craft and their careers. He also holds acting seminars to promote his father’s work in the United States and around the world. With an M.A. in Business Administration from Anderson School of Management at UCLA and a B.A. in International Relations and in American History from Brown University, David manages and supervises staff, develops curriculum and oversees the operations of the West Coast campus.


  • Dig Wayne

    Dig Wayne

    Courses: Method Acting, Scene Study

    Dig Wayne is an alumnus of the now-defunct Strasberg Studio in London from the late 80s. Over the years Dig has worked as an actor on television, movies and theatre. His professional career started in New York City as a singer-songwriter. Dig moved to London in 1982 where he studied Method Acting beginning in1987. He was cast in the lead role in the musical Five Guy’s Named Moe in 1990, which ran for 5 years in London’s West End. The show won an Oliver Award in 1991. After moving to Los Angeles in1995, Dig became a life member of The Actors Studio. Dig won an NAACP theatre award for Best Supporting Male Actor in August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Fences, playing the role of Gabriel. He was also nominated for an Ovation for the same role. Dig is also a published poet and photographer. He began teaching at LSTFI in 2008. 


  • Carrie Wong

    Carrie Wong

    Courses: Tai Chi

    Carrie Wong has been working in martial arts for over 35 years. She has been a nationally ranked competitor in both hand forms and weapons in the art of Kung Fu. Carrie has been featured in magazines, television specials, authored a book and a training video. She assisted in the training of Kevin Sorbo, Lucy Lawless, Jason Scott Lee, and Ryan Gosling. She was inducted into the Martial Arts History Hall of Fame in 2005 and is the narrator for the Museum Players. Carrie trains and teaches six days a week due to her love and passion for teaching and the arts of Kung Fu and Tai Chi.


  • Michael Yurchak

    Michael Yurchak

    Courses: Voice

    Dr. Michael Yurchak teaches Voice 1, 2, and 3 at LSTFI. As a certified associate teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, he has taught voice and acting at colleges, universities, and conservatories across the country and published papers and articles in various academic journals and periodicals. As a voice artist, Michael is best known as the voice of Tobi and Obito on the hit series Naruto Shippuden. Other animation credits include Legend of Korra (Viper), Transformers (Zorillor), Sailor Moon (Hawk’s Eye), The Christmas Chronicles (Bjorn), Twin Star Exorcists (Tenma), Baki (Henry), Ultra Man (Ingaru), Sonic the Hedgehog (Jett the Hawk), Skylanders (Hugo), Saints Row (Cid), The Darkness II (Dolfo), and many more. He has recorded over 50 audiobooks as well as dozens of commercials and promos and was nominated for a New York News Emmy for his work on NY1. Top film and television credits include Tacoma FD, Super Troopers 1 & 2, Beerfest, Modern Family, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mad Men, and Watching the Detectives. Michael has a doctorate in Educational Theater from NYU.

    michaelyurchak.com | IMDB


  • Leah Zhang

    Leah Zhang

    Courses: Movement

    Leah Zhang is a Nationally Certified Alexander Technique Teacher with over fifteen years of Alexander Technique study and application. She has an extensive background in movement education, and also improving health and performance through ease of movement techniques and the mind-body connection. Leah is also a working actress in film and television. She received her MFA in Acting from the prestigious Old Globe Professional Actor Training Program at the University of San Diego. She has performed regionally on the stages of Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, American Players Theatre, The Old Globe, and Chicago Dramatists. Leah maintains a private practice in Los Angeles and has taught movement workshops to many local performers. At LSTFI West Hollywood Leah has created the Movement curriculum that integrates the Alexander Technique with individual movement impulse discoveries. Her work in the Movement classes has helped many actors discover a truthful and healthy way to approach tension release and character physicality. Leah teaches Movement 1, 2 and 3.