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 CLASSES & WORKSHOPS

ACTING COACHES

 

OMARI NEWTON

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CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Instructor, Audition Coach

Omari Newton is an award-winning professional actor, writer, director, and producer. As a writer, his original Hip Hop theatre piece Sal Capone has received critical acclaim and multiple productions, including a recent presentation at Canada’s National Arts Centre. He has been commissioned by Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) in Montreal to write a companion piece to Sal Capone entitled Black & Blue Matters. The new piece is set to premiere at BTW in 2019.

Newton’s work in Speakeasy Theatre's production of Young Jean Lee's The Shipment earned him a 2017-2018 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor, as well as a nomination for Best Direction.

Notable film & TV credits include: Lucas Ingram on Showcase’s "Continuum", Larry Summers on "Blue Mountain State" and lending his voice to the "Black Panther" in multiple animated projects (Marvel). Most recently, Omari has a recurring role as Nate on "Corner Gas" (the animated series) and a recurring role as Corvus of Netflix’s hit new animated series "The Dragon Prince".

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Voice-Over Basics, Audition on Camera, A Relationship Study, Crafting The Actor

 
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ANDREA STEFANCIKOVA

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Instructor, Audition Coach

Andrea Stefancikova is a European born Canadian actress whose talent was recognized in 2019 when she was awarded Whistler Film Festival's "Star to Watch Award" for her performance and breakthrough in Promiseland. Andrea is best known for her starring role in the action thriller American Badger and her notable appearances in the multi-award winning films such as Unmasked, Below Her Mouth and Dark Harvest. She is one of the ensemble cast of the Canadian Indie thriller, Corona, known globally as the first Covid-19 feature film.

Stefancikova was born in Bratislava, in what was communist Czechoslovakia and is now the capital of Slovakia. She has been creatively expressing herself through dance, piano, writing and singing from young age. She immigrated to North America with her family and dog in 1998; trained and began acting in her early twenties, but as a former international model, Andrea only fully dedicated herself to the craft in 2011 when she relocated to Vancouver, BC, where she now resides. She has since accumulated an impressive volume of credits with growing success in the indie film circuit and television. She is fluent in English, Slovak, Italian, Czech and has spoken Russian on screen. Her exceptional acting, linguistic and musical talents have made her a versatile and sought-after rising star in the entertainment industry.

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Crafting The Actor, Building Character (10-12)The Complex Character (12-15)

 
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CHRISTOPHER SHYER

Instructor, Audition Coach

Originally from Toronto, Christopher has been a working professional actor for over 30 years now, performing across Canada, in predominantly musical theatre in his earlier years before moving to Vancouver in the late ‘90’s to work in a thriving film&television market there. Being a dual citizen afforded him opportunities in Los Angeles and later in New York, and now he acts, teaches, and producers, sometimes virtually and currently making Vancouver his home base, with plans to be in the UK. Selected credits include Broadway: Mamma Mia (Winter Garden Theatre). Off-Broadway/Regional: Curvy Widow (Westside Theatre), Going Down Swingin’ (NYMF), Lend Me a Tenor (Hangar Theatre), The Good Life (NoHo Arts Center). National Tours: The Book of Mormon, Les Miserables. Selected CAN Theatre: Night of the Iguana (Playwright’s Theatre Centre), El Salvador (The Cultch), Phantom of the Opera (the Pantages), Assassins (CAN Stage), Sunset Boulevard (The Ford Centre for the Performing Arts). and has over 70 film/television credits to his name, including Clint Eastwood’s “J.Edgar", "Fierce People" with Diane Lane, “Debris" (NBC), Madam Secretary" (CBS), “Two Sentence Horror Stories” (CW Network), and “Those Damn Canadians” (Award Winning Web Series).  Former student and now, part time instructor with the Deena Levy Theatre Studio in NY and has also studied with acclaimed director/teacher Larry Moss, and is developing a one person piece with Giles Forman (Founder of Caravanserai Productions/New Drama Centre in London) “Letters to a Straight Republican”.

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Room to Zoom, Screen Acting Essentials

 
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CHRISTIE BURKE

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Instructor, Audition Coach

Christie Burke has a list of impressive credits to her name. Television credits include recurring roles on Netflix’s “The Haunting of Bly Manor”, “Van Helsing” and “Strange Empire”. Guest Star credits include CW’s “Supernatural” & “TNT’s Falling Skies”. Feature film roles include “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” and “A Single Shot”, opposite Sam Rockwell. Most recently Christie can be seen in a series recurring role for the upcoming John Wells and Margot Robbie produced mini-series “Maid” for Netflix.

Named after Christie Brinkley, Burke was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. Born to a Canadian mother who is a former national level gymnast and a Kiwi father, who constructs movie sets, Burke had a very modest upbringing with her younger sister Zoe and brother Mark. Art-driven from a young age, she first realized she wanted to act after watching the movie ‘Titanic’, where she was so moved by the dramatic story that she wanted to touch others in the same way. It wasn't until high school, where she joined the improv team, that she began actively working towards her dream. On the fast track to stardom, Christie is destined to become one to watch in Hollywood.

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Audition on CameraCrafting The Actor, Building Character (13-15), Meisner, Meisner

 
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DAVID KAYE

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Instructor, Audition Coach

David Kaye is an award-winning actor and producer based in Vancouver. David has worked in film, TV, voice overs, and theatre for over 25 years. He has voiced characters in over 250 episodes of animated content. He has had a hand in producing more than 50 music videos, shorts, web commercials, web series (both live action and animated), and a feature film. David has a BFA in acting from UBC. You can find David’s most recent feature Prodigals, on iTunes and Crave; catch him on Freeform’s Mermaid series, Siren; hear him voice Polly's older brother in Polly Pocket; or light the Menorah with him in Lights, Love, Hanukkah!

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Crafting The Actor, Building Character (16-18)Building Character (10-12)

 
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JESSE JAMES

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Instructor, Audition Coach

A Los Angeles industry veteran who’s recently relocated to Vancouver, Jesse James has been working with Hollywood’s biggest talent for nearly 25 years. From getting his start as Helen Hunt’s son in the Oscar-winning “As Good As It Gets”, to starring roles in films such as “Blow”, “The Butterfly Effect”, “Pearl Harbor” and “The Amityville Horror”, to recently making guest star appearances on “Mad Men” and “The Good Doctor”, he’s known as a tireless worker and consummate professional. Having worked with iconic directors (Robert Altman, James L Brooks, etc) and studied under renowned coaches (Ivana Chubbuck, Amy Lyndon, Andrew Magarian, Leigh Kilton-Smith), Jesse is pleased and excited to share his experience with the Vancouver acting/filmmaking community!

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Audition on Camera, Crafting The Actor

 
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KIERAN SEQUOIA

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Instructor, Audition Coach

Kieran Sequoia is a proud dual Canadian/United States citizen of First Nations, Mexican, and European heritage.  Kieran works creatively as a performer; Breaking Bad (AMC), The Night Shift (NBC), Hailey Dean Mysteries (Hallmark), Jerusalem (Dora Award, Globe and Mail Named Top Productions of the Decade) production team; Daybreak (Netflix), Godless (Netflix), Magnificent 7 (MGM), Shot Caller (Bold Films) and independent producer; In God We Trust (Cannes Short Film Selection). Kieran sits on board of the Neworld Theatre  in Vancouver, B.C., under the artistic direction of Marcus Youssef and Chelsea Haberlin. She earned her BFA in acting from the College of Santa Fe in 2009 and studied intensively in NYC with Ted Bardy and Clare Davidson.

 
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LANE EDWARDS

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Instructor, Audition Coach

Lane spent the first part of his adult life working as a Youth Worker with inner-city youth both in Calgary and Vancouver. After a move to New York City, however, he was bitten by the acting bug and found his way back to Vancouver where he began training with Ty Olsson, Bruce Clayton, and Andrew McllRoy.


Getting a relatively late start in his acting career made for an uphill battle. Lane's focus and determination, helped land him roles in recognizable projects such as "Arrow", "The Killing", "Falling Skies", "Supernatural", and "Motive" early on to name a few. He can also be seen opposite Sam Worthington in an adaptation of the William P. Young novel The Shack and is very proud to have been directed by Robert Redford in "The Company We Keep". He can currently be seen as Sheriff Duncan in "Virgin River" and as Paul Sowerberry in the hit show "Riverdale". His favourite, and most challenging role to date was the role of Eric in the independent feature "Everything and Everyone" which screened at various film festivals around North America.

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Audition Study, The Pressure Cooker, Crafting The Actor

 
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MAGDA APANOWICZ

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Instructor, Audition Coach

From Polish decent, Magda Apanowicz grew up as a first generation Canadian. At 10 years of age, her brother introduced her to Quentin Tarantino’s PULP FICTION. The film that set her on her path and began her love of acting. Magda is three time Award Nominee, ‘For Best Performance’ by an Actress. Of late, she has been seen recurring on one of Netflix’s hottest shows, ” YOU”. Magda began her professional career at an early age, in television series such as, "Jeremiah, Cold Squad and The L Word". Her career continued as she landed the role of ‘Andy Jensen’ in the series "Kyle XY".  Following the success of "Kyle XY", Magda appeared in the critically acclaimed series "Caprica", with the coveted role of ‘Lacy Rand’.  She continued to land roles on CW's "Hellcats" as “Nasty Kathy”. Adding her comedic voices to the wildly successful, Emmy Award Winning series “Robot Chicken”, created by Seth Green. 

 

While joining the cast of Syfy’s series "Continuum" for three seasons and then hoping into another Sci-Fi  world seri  “Travelers”. With many recurring and guest starring roles to her name, including "IZombie", “The Magicians”, "The Mentalist" and "Motive". Magda starred in the box office hit "The Green Inferno", for horror master director Eli Roth. Also can be seen in films "The Butterfly Effect", “Slither”, "Dead Souls", and starring in “A Reason". A big success of late, was starring in the Tony Dean Smith film "Volition". It swept the independent world with 6 Winning Awards and 9 Nominations. Recently guest starred on the mega hit CW series "Supernatural".

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Screen Acting Essentials, Crafting The Actor

 

MICHAEL ANTONAKOS

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Instructor, Audition Coach

Michael spent his early years performing with The Rocky Mountain Shakespeare Company, and later at The Banff Centre of Fine Arts. Michael studied theatre and musical theatre under the guidance of the Canadian icon Sylvia Hosie. He has over six years formal voice training with world-renowned Russian Master, Nikoli Kolesnicov,  and is a graduate of the Citadel/Robbin’s Academy for Actors. In theatres across Canada, Michael has performed in such shows as the world premier of "Ga Ting", the first Canadian productions of "In the Heights" and "Fiorello". Michael has received two nominations for Best Actor and an Ovation Award for Best Musical. His television credits range from shows such as "Supernatural", "Arrow", "Continuum", "Falling Skies". His film roles Include: "WarCraft", "Odysseus: and the Isle of the Mist", "Pants on Fire", "Postal", "Dungeon Siege 2", "The Sandlot" 2&3, "Blood Brothers", and more. You can catch Michael as 'Alexios' in Assassin's Creed Oyssey! 

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Audition Study, Crafting The Actor

 
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MORGANA WYLLIE

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Instructor, Audition Coach

Morgana Wyllie, is originally from Edmonton Alberta, where she attended and graduated from Victoria School of the Arts. Since moving to Vancouver, Morgana has appeared in a variety of television, film and theatre, most recently "Robert Kirkman's Secret History of Comics" (AMC). Some of her theatre credits include Carol in "Oleanna" (Farm & Forage Theatre); Three seasons with Shift theatre appearing in "Very Still and Hard to See", "Things that Go Bump in the Night", and "Seascape with Sharks and Dancer", and Sophe in "The Star Spangled Girl" (Groupvan Theatre). 

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Audition Study, Crafting The Actor, Into The Script (18+), Into The Script (14-18), Building Character (13-15)

 
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NHI DO

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Instructor, Audition Coach

Nhi grew up in Victoria, BC, the second of three daughters to Vietnamese immigrants. A triple-threat performer, Nhi crossed over from the stage to film and television and has since worked on numerous projects such as: WB's Watchmen; the Canadian Screen Award-nominated webseries, NarcoLeap; and as the lead in Shaftesbury's Upstairs Amy. On stage, Nhi performed as a lead in the Jessie Richardson-nominated Canadian premiere of Heathers: The Musical. Recent projects include: Unspeakable (CBC), Limetown (Facebook Watch), Hospital Show (YouTube), Sisters of Sorrow (Storyhive) and FREYA (Harold Greenburg Fund winner).


Nhi is a graduate of the Summer Training Congress at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and a league coach in the Vancouver Improv League, modeled after Quebec's National Improvisation League (LNI) style of fast-paced improvised theatre. 

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Crafting The Actor

 
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NIC BISHOP

Instructor, Audition Coach

English-born, Australian actor NIC BISHOP has enjoyed a 20-year career that has spanned Television, Film, and Theatre. His career began in Australia, where he worked non-stop for many years, and then pivoted to the US in 2009, when he was cast as the co-lead in the Fox/Warner Bros drama series PAST LIFE. He is perhaps best known to American audiences for his starring role in the ABC network crime drama BODY OF PROOF, in which he played medico-legal investigator Peter Dunlop, and also his starring role in the USA network original international spy drama COVERT AFFAIRS as Ryan McQuaid, a former Navy Seal turned private contractor billionaire who retained a taste and talent for field work. Nic just completed a multi-character, multi-episode stint in season 6 of DC LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. He recently had a recurring role on Season 1 of TRUTH BE TOLD, Apple's first drama series, opposite Octavia Spencer, Aaron Paul, Lizzy Caplan, Elizabeth Perkins and more, and a recurring role on the FX network drama series SNOWFALL. His last feature film, THE ROYAL, is in the final stages of post production. Other recent film credits include THE LEARS, which premiered at the Nashville International film Festival, and toured the festival circuit. He stars alongside Anthony Michael Hall, Sean Astin and Bruce Dern. He was the lead in WOODLAWN, opposite Sean Astin, C. Thomas Howell, and Jon Voight. Nic has been a sought-after screen acting teacher for the past 12 years and has taught across the world: from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, London, and South Africa, to Los Angeles, and now Vancouver via Shoreline Studios! Nic is a graduate from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, Australia. He created the 2-year ‘THE SCREEN ACTOR’ program for the NIDA Open Program, and has worked extensively with the NIDA full-time and part-time programs, as well as many other studios and institutes. Nic is represented by A3 Artists Agency and Vault Entertainment in the U.S., and Sarah Linsten of Linsten Management in Australia.

 
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ROBYN ROSS

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Instructor, Audition Coach

Robyn Ross’ acting career started over four decades ago with a soup commercial and she’s been working ever since. Nominated for three Leo Awards and a Best Actress in a Cable Series/Youth In Film Award for her lead role on Nickelodeon’s “Fifteen”, with Ryan Reynolds, other selected credits include, the Farrelly brothers’s TV show “Loudermilk”, a recurring role in the acclaimed Netflix series “Riverdale”, the Oscar nominated, “Juno” (director Jason Reitman), “Lucky Seven”, with Patrick Dempsey, “I Want to Marry Ryan Banks” with Bradley Cooper and Jason Priestly, a recurring role on Showtime’s trailblazing, “The L Word” , Cedar Cove with Andie MacDowell and her starring role as Ellie Holman in the acclaimed indie feature, "Suck It Up Buttercup". Robyn has also worked in the voice over world with many roles in the “Megaman” cartoon series including one of the leads, Stacey Forsythe, in Capcom’s very popular “Dead Rising” video game franchise and most recently in the Ricky Gervais animated feature film “The Willoughby’s”. She has studied acting in New York with the venerable Michael Howard and Michael Shurtleff. With an unwavering love for acting, Robyn continues to be inspired by teaching others her craft and finds constant inspiration through the eyes of the actors she has the honor of coaching.

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Crafting The Actor, Audition on Camera

 
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STELLINA RUSICH

Instructor, Audition Coach

Stellina has had a rewarding and varied career in the arts. Over her 30 year career she has worked in all facets of the acting industry; First as a performer, then as a Director, Composer, Teacher and Acting Coach. She has taught a full-time acting program as well as maintaining an ongoing private coaching business. She has appeared in over 60 commercials and numerous Stage, TV and Film roles.

 

Most notable TV & Film credits include: Terminal City, Carpool with David Paymer, Unforgettable opposite Ray Liotta, and Tony Shalhoub's wife on Monk. Stage performances include: Amadeus, Merchant of Venice, Are You Lonesome Tonight, Women in Bed, Night of the Iguana, Little Shop of Horrors, Dark of the Moon, Pal Joey, Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Sunshine Boys, Anne of Green Gables, Kiss Me Kate, and many others. These performances have taken her from the Cincinnati Playhouse, to the Citadel Theatre, Stratford Festival, Stage West, Charlottetown Festival, and the North Pole. Directing Credits include: The Wild Party, Almost Maine, Mental the Musical, Stiff Cuffs, Italian American Reconciliation, Four Dogs and a Bone, Twenty Something, Pizza Man, Farewell Ambrosia, Misconduct and many School Creative and VAS showcases. She has also been an onset Dialogue coach for Disney, YTV and Thunderbird: (2013-2017) ‘Fast Layne’, ‘Mech X4’, ‘Some Assembly Required’ and ‘Mr. Young’.

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Going to Network, The Director's Take, Crafting The Actor

 
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TONI MARIE NIELSEN

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Instructor, Audition Coach

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Toni Marie Nielsen grew up in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan where she trained intensively for 15 years in many styles of dance, voice and musical theatre. Toni landed her first professional dance job at 11 years old and performance and training opportunities continued to take her all over western Canada. Toni’s acting ambition started on a high school stage and quickly blossomed. After high school she moved to Vancouver to study acting and film production. Toni landed her first role on FOX’s hit TV show “Fringe” and since then, has worked on shows such as “Bluff”, “Arrow”, “My Wife’s Secret Life”, and “Supergirl”. Toni has had the opportunity to work on many films and tv shows on the production side, and is looking forward to sharing her wealth of knowledge and passion for this industry. 

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Crafting the Actor, Connecting Characters (5-6), Building Character (7-9)