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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.


  • Sharon Angela

    Sharon Angela

    Courses: Method Acting, Acting for TV/Film

    Sharon Angela is a working actress, best known for her role as Rosalie Aprile on the critically-acclaimed HBO series The Sopranos for which she was nominated for a Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) Award in 2009 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. She also had several guest spots on Law and Order. She studied acting with Elaine Aiken and taught acting with Michael Imperioli at Studio Dante in New York for 6 years. Sharon burst onto the professional acting scene as Tina in Tony and Tina’s Wedding. She also appeared in The Mayor’s Limo, The Father and Sicilian Limes. Her film roles include City Island, Ghost Dog, Two Family House, On The Run, The Dutchmaster, Red Passport, IBS, The Way of the Samurai, Confessions of a Dangerous Mime and Court Jesters. She wrote the film The Collection and co-directed Made in Brooklyn.


  • Rachel Bailit

    Rachel Bailit

    Courses: History, Young Actors Method Acting, Production

    Rachel Bailit is an alumni and faculty member at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute where she has taught a variety of classes in both The Young Actor’s program and the adult program including: Method Acting, Production Class, Improvisation, Acting for Film & TV, Theater History, Solo Show Production class, and the Legacy class. Rachel is a Museum Educational Consultant for Affective and Physical Engagement with Art at The Getty Museum and teaches at Animation Studios. She 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.v Rachel’s acting credits include Paramount’s Festival In Cannes directed by Henry Jaglom. She played alongside Jim Carrey in Ron Howard’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Rachel has appeared in many television shows including The Conan O’Brien ShowDesperate HousewivesJon Benjamin Has a VanTim and Eric’s Awesome Show, and the recurring role of Marissa in General Hospital.


  • Todd Bjurstrom

    Todd Bjurstrom

    Courses: Commercials, Comic Improv, Accent Reduction, Dialects

    Todd Bjurstrom is a Los Angeles based actor, voiceover artist and writer who has called Los Angeles home since 2010. Todd has performed on stages all over the country and was an acting company member with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for four years. Todd studied and performed improv & sketch comedy at the highest levels with The Groundling’s, UCB Theater, iO West, The Idiot Workshop and more. Todd’s work can be seen in numerous commercials, web-series, and features. Todd is a graduate of The Cornish College of the Arts.


  • Patrick Bonavitacola

    Patrick Bonavitacola

    Courses: Improv, Method Acting, Lee Strasberg Legacy

    Patrick Bonavitacola received his training as an actor at The Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute from Lee Strasberg. Lee invited him to become part of The Actors Studio community in 1979, and he have 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 me on its list of “Best Directors” for Oleanna.  Lastly, for the past 20 years he has trained and coached actors and am presently on the faculties of The Lee Strasberg Theater & Film  Institute and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. 


  • Phil Brock

    Phil Brock

    Courses: Cold Reading

    Phil Brock founded Studio Talent Group (STG), an innovative hybrid, blending the services of a licensed California Talent Agent with the personal touch of management in 1994. Phil is a past President of the Talent Managers Association and is now a member of the National Conference Of Personal Managers. At STG, Phil and his staff provide the highest caliber of Talent Management combining his teaching/coaching experience in creating his management style. He teaches his actors that their ability to sell themselves generates the jobs that they need to showcase their talent. From his years as an actor, Phil can see the entertainment world from the actor’s side of the casting desk and can pinpoint the areas in which each actor needs to develop.


  • 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” (Obie Award, and Showbusiness Award for Distinguished Performance) and “Safe Sex” opposite Harvey Fierstein. She created roles in many Off-Broadway productions including her one-woman show, “Mamma Roma” which she wrote/performed.  TV includes “Two Broke Girls”, “The Closer”, “Entourage”, “Monk”, “Sex In The City”, “CSI-Miami”, “X-Files”.  She starred with Lee Strasberg in Emmy Award-winning “The Last Tenant.” Anne has appeared in many acclaimed films including “ Arthur”, “Stardust Memories”, “My Favorite Year”, “Perfect”, “Taking Care of Business.”  She’s won several awards for her acting/writing/directing.  Anne’s a lifetime member of the Actors Studio and was elected to the National SAG Board of Directors. She’s appeared on several talk shows including “The Tonight Show.”


  • Matt Fetbrandt

    Courses: Young Actors Musical Theatre

    Matt Fetbrandt has served for the past two years as music director for the Young Actors at Strasberg program. For nine years he played, composed, and arranged music for National Dance Institute, an NYC-based dance education program founded by distinguished ballet dancer Jacques D’Amboise that serves young people in the City and throughout the country. For five years Matt was the music director for New York City’s Youth Pride Chorus (YPC) for which he wrote original music, created vocal and instrumental arrangements, and served as principal accompanist. He was also the founding music director for BOLD Arts in Hoboken, NJ. Matt is also an active entertainer throughout the greater Los Angeles area. He is currently performing weekly at Hollywood’s premier piano bar, Tramp Stamp Granny’s. He has performed
    in and music directed dozens of musical theatre shows, cabarets, and concerts throughout the United States. He performed his musical studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
    www.mattplayspiano.com


  • Griffith Frank

    Griffith Frank

    Courses: Singing

    Griffith Frank is an award-winning singer and RIAA certified multiplatinum songwriter hailing from Topanga, California.   He is a graduate of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of music with a B.A. in Music – Vocal Performance. He has been instructing voice for the past 10 years and has clients who range from professional singers to actors to influencers with millions of followers. Griffith himself was previously signed with A&M/Geffen records under Ron Fair (Pussycat Dolls, Black Eyed Peas, Queen Latifa) and was featured on the Golden Globe Nominated movie “Nine” soundtrack ; in which Griffith’s version of “Unusual Way” was notably praised by People Magazine. Griffith has since performed all over the world at legendary venues such as the Disney Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and the Jakarta Jazz Festival. As a songwriter, Griffith’s works have garnered 700 million streams worldwide, with notable viral hits such as “Boomerang” by Jojo Siwa, “Where would I be Without You” by Kendall K, and the newly released “Handstand” by Rosie Mcclelland. 


  • Kymberly Harris

    Kymberly Harris

    Courses: Pulitzer Prize Plays, History, Acting

    Kymberly Harris is a working Director and the founder of Firsthand Films. She wrote and directed the award winning short films Rose’s Turn (2017) and FAITH (2018), the feature film SARAH (2019), as well as commercials and music videos. Kymberly has directed several plays in Los Angeles at Pacific Resident Theatre, Rogue Machine Theatre, The Lounge Theatre, and in NYC at Theatre for the New City. A published and produced playwright, several plays by Kymberly have been produced in NYC and in Chicago. Her play FAITH is the only drama published in the anthology, Proofread or Die!, featuring works by colleagues and friends of the late David Foster Wallace. (In 2014, she assisted James Ponsoldt and Jason Segel on the film The End of the Tour) Some stage credits include originating the role of Holly in Eric Simonson’s BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY opposite Tracy Letts, Terrence McNally’s IT’S ONLY A PLAY opposite Thomas Sadoski, Josh Radnor, and Lisa Kudrow, and in her original play BUMPING UMBRELLAS directed by Kate Marks at La Mama and Harold Clurman Theatre. Kymberly founded the method acting school TheatresCool where she taught classes to actors of all ages in the Chicago area, and at Susan Batson Studios in NYC. She is a member of AEA, AFTRA, SAG, and the Dramatists Guild. Kymberly holds an MA from Illinois State University in Theatre, and a double MFA from The Actors Studio Drama School at the New School in Acting and Playwriting. Kymberly is an acting coach to select private clients. kymberlyharris.me


  • Gerald James

    Gerald James

    Courses: Method Movement

    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.


  • Tom Kiesche

    Tom Kiesche

    Courses: Audition Technique

    Tom Kiesche is a journeyman actor who has been working steadily as a union professional for nearly three decades having done dozens of TV shows, films, and scores of national commercials. He recently finished season two as a series regular on A GIRL NAMED JO for Bratand has a number of national network commercials currently running. Favorite TV roles include a recurring role on BREAKING BAD and a large guest role on BONES. He has performed professionally on stages, cabarets, and clubs in various venues across the country, as a thespian, improviser, and a vocalist.  In addition, he’s a produced playwright, optioned & produced screenwriter… and a published author, with four books on Amazon available to the public. His training and background are as equally eclectic and varied. Creativity fuels and drives his passion as he constantly strives for artistic truth. He is a proud SAG-AFTRA & AEA member. 


  • Sasha Krane

    Courses: Script Analysis, Advanced On-Camera Lab

    Sasha Krane trained from a very early age as a Method actor in New York, with Geoffrey Horne, where he developed a passion for theatre and film. He is the nephew of legendary acting teacher Lee Strasberg. Sasha moved to Los Angeles and began writing and directing stage-plays while assisting Sally Kirkland in her acting classes at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute.  He has worked on the production, Leftover Hearts, at The Marilyn Monroe Theatre which garnered good reviews.  He has written and directed short films Astyanax, A Little Death (best comedy, New York International Film Festival), and Patriots.  Shorts International bought Patriots for global distribution. He directed his first feature, Machete Joe, which wonthe San Diego Black Film Festival award for Best Thriller.  Several of his scripts have been optioned and sold, including: Tooth and Claw, Caliban, and Red Winter.  His latest feature, a neo-noir crime drama, Kickback, has been optioned and will star Dolph Lundgren in the lead role. Sasha continues to work as a script doctor and screenwriter, and director.


  • Fabiana Medici

    Fabiana Medici

    Courses: Young Actors Method Acting, Movement

    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.


  • Steve Mize

    Courses: Storytelling & Monologues

    Steve Mize is a Professional Actor and writer based in Los Angeles. His first Solo Show, Life, Audited premiered in Los Angeles in 2013, (Silverman Award), then went Off-Broadway, NYC – United Solo Festival – where he won Best Comedian of the Festival. In 2014, Life, Audited received Best of Fringe at San Francisco Fringe, and has been published Indietheaternow.com. He is an All-Star storyteller from The Moth, and performs original stories in Los Angeles with The Muse Salon, The Trunk Show, The Fanatic Salon and “I Love A Good Story” (podcast). In Los Angeles, his plays have been produced by Sixty-Six Theater Company (West Hollywood), where he also performs regularly, including 2018’s Blue Surge. You have seen Steve on television in Bones, Ironside, Lie To Me, Truth Be Told and the Series Finale of ER. In NYC, Steve has worked with the New York Theatre Workshop, Circle in the Square-Downtown, Primary Stages and the John Montgomery Theater Company. As a lifetime member of The Actor’s Studio, Steve performed in Orphans, Staten Island Ferry, and They Eat Their Young. He has been the lead in a dozen short films, 20 National commercials and is an award winning member of ToastMasters International and a professional speaker. He holds an M.F.A. degree in acting from the inaugural class of the Actor’s Studio Program at the New School University, NYC. At Texas A&M University, he toured the American Premier of Saturday Night at the Palace – Best Actor in the Regional ACTF Festival.


  • Chris Prinzo

    Chris Prinzo

    Courses: Vocal Basics (Singing), Young Actors

    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 and Film Institute in Los Angeles, Chris teaches privately: providing one-on-one instruction, master classes, workshops and after-school enrichment programs nationwide. ChrisPrinzo.com


  • Troy Rintala

    Courses: Theatre Dance

    Troy’s educational credits include serving as the director of American Musical Theatre of San Jose’s Theatre Arts Conservatory, and currently as dance faculty at The Lee Strasberg Institute and at AMDA College of Performing Arts in Hollywood.

    Troy has assisted in casting with numerous professional theatres across the country, including American Musical Theatre and the Walt Disney Company. An award winning choreographer, Troy has choreographed for regional theatres across the country, including the world premiere of “Christmas Dreamland” for American Musical Theatre of San Jose, in which he co-created, and choreographed.

    Troy’s Broadway National tour credits include “Song and Dance” with Broadway director Robert Longbottom, “On Your Toes” directed by George Abbott with Tony award winner Natalia Makarova, “42nd Street” directed by Mark Bramble and Radio City Music Hall’s “Disney Summer Magic.” Company credits include working with Agnes DeMille and American Ballet Theatre’s “The Informer”, State of Alabama Ballet (premiere with Mikhail Baryshnikov), The Connecticut Ballet(with Fernando Bujones) and The American Tap Dance Orchestra (with Savion Glover.) International tours include Susan Stroman’s “Crazy for You”, 42nd Street, My One and Only, Tokyo Disney, and the Berlin premiere of
    Lincoln Center’s “Anything Goes”.


  • 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 Midsummer Nights Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Paradise Lost, A View From the Bridge, and the world premiere of American Night, The White Snake, Don Quixote and All They Way (as a member of the Black Swan Lab for new play development). TV/Film Credits include Castle, Criminal Minds, Days 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.


  • Hedy Sontag

    Courses: Method Acting, Animal Exercise

    Hedy Sontag was born in Poland and came to New York City at age eight. She studied ballet and art and graduated from the High School of Music and Art. She went on to study at Parson’s School where she majored in Fine Art and Design and also studied fashion and illustration. She continued in music, singing and recording with Bob Crewe for whom she recorded 3 records with her singing group.  Hedy studied acting with Lee Strasberg, Frank Corsaro, Allan Miller and Milton Katselas and performed plays at Ellen Steward’s Café La Mama ETC where she also worked on Grotowski with Franz Marijnan. She worked on plays by Leonard Melfi, Sam Shepherd and Murry Mednick. She toured with Tom O’Horgan’s  (Hair) troupe through Europe. Performed in Ed Bullins “Electronic” at Wyn Handman’s American Place Theatre. Joe Papp’s Theatre “Are You Lookin’” by Murray Mednick and “The Hawk” Worked on Broadway with Maxmillian Shell on “A Patriot for Me” by John Osborne and understudied Salome Jens. In Stock and Regional Theatre, worked on “Three Penny Opera” by Brecht & Kurt Weille. Was directed in New Hampshire by Ed Setrakian Play by Scott Ellman at Museum of Modern Art. Became a member of Actors Studio. Started teaching at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in 1975. Film work includes “Doc” directed by Frank Perry with Faye Dunaway. Started directing in New York City off Broadway and also in Los Angeles. Is a member of Playwright/Directors Unit at The Actors Studio with Mark Rydell and Lyle Kessler.   Member of the Directors Unit with Lou Antonio. Worked in Paris on Shakespeare, Chekhov and many American plays for 5 years at Studio V05F. Worked in Japan for 10 years going for several weeks per year and working with Yoko Narahashi, Hedy Sontag is a senior faculty member at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and still learning.


  • 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 in1991. 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 the Strasberg Institute 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 Strasberg. 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 Strasberg 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.