Choice and action are the essential storytelling tools of the actor’s craft. Like driving a car or playing a musical instrument, acting is the practice of choosing actions to achieve a desired outcome. With training, this practice becomes intuitive.
I teach my students how to mine a script or scenario to determine what a character wants and how they go about getting it. I teach them how to make informed, imaginative choices that bring a story to life and make an audience care about its outcome. I teach them how to identify the obstacles that stand in a character’s way, and make bold choices about how to overcome them.
I introduce my students to a systematic approach to script analysis that helps them quickly identify key elements like given circumstances, conflict, and objective that will inform their acting choices. I give them practical techniques that enable them to fully embody those choices physically and vocally. I encourage them to explore a broad range of emotional and expressive possibilities, always grounded in the text and inspired by their imagination and who they are.
I train the muscles of analysis and insight, expression and ingenuity. Training these muscles prepares my students not just for a long, rewarding career in the theatre, but for the challenges of life.
My approach emphasizes exploring character relationships, establishing professional working practices, and building a shared creative vision.
I teach in the Department of Theatre Arts at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City and at my own Berlin studio, The Acting Muscle. These courses are designed to be taught over a semester (20-25 hours) or adapted as a workshop or series of workshops for your school or organization (6-8 hours).
Students learn by doing, warming up with games and exercises that get them out of their heads and into their bodies, and activate their emotional and physical capacity to interpret dramatic texts. An introduction to the fundamentals of text analysis enables students to understand the mechanics of a script, identify its key elements, and make informed acting choices. Techniques for strengthening physical and vocal expression lead to intensive work on monologues and partnered scenes.
This course deepens the actor's ability to find clues in a script that help them understand characters and objectives, identify obstacles, and play actions that bring dramatic conflict to life. Students hone their analytical and interpretive skills while working on monologues and scenes from contemporary plays and modern classics. Exploration of advanced vocal production, articulation, and physical characterization techniques develop the capacity to fully embody intellectual and imaginative discoveries.
Voice, Speech, and Movement for the Actor
This intensive workshop gives actors a set of tools and practices to deepen their vocal and physical characterizations. Speech work focuses on how the mouth, lips, and tongue produce sounds that help illuminate style, tone, and meaning in language. Vocal work focuses on developing resonating areas in the body to expand expressive capacity, while physical work unlocks the possibilities of gesture and movement as language.
Unlocking a great performance demands profound insight into dramatic texts. This course introduces narrative concepts and theatrical structures to guide actors, directors, designers, and theater lovers through intensive analysis of scripts. The emphasis of this analysis is to develop their ability to synthesize the intellectual and intuitive work required to create a theatrical experience from a written text.
Workshops and Coaching
I facilitate and lead workshops to help organizations build their communications strategies and enrich partner and community relationships. I also coach leaders of social-impact organizations one-on-one to help them present their campaigns and ideas more effectively. Clients include Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung, Northwell Health, Made in NY Media Center, and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.
I have worked as an actor and educator for over 20 years, performing on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at leading U.S. regional theaters, and on screen.
I have acted in productions at Lincoln Center Theater, The Old Globe, Berkeley Rep, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Portland Center Stage, and the American Conservatory Theater, among many others. As a longtime member of the groundbreaking company PTP/NYC, I have performed in politically adventurous plays by Pavel Kahout, Howard Barker, Sarah Kane, Neal Bell, and C.P. Taylor. I have also appeared on American television in Quantico, Fringe, Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, and a handful of cheesy soap operas. I am an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theater Arts at Marymount Manhattan College, where I teach acting and script analysis. As partner and strategic director at the Brooklyn and Berlin based design agency Radish Lab, I lead communications, content strategy, and client management workshops. I live in Berlin, where I teach acting at my studio, The Acting Muscle.
American Conservatory Theater
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Acting
University of Lyon, France
Maîtrise en études de théâtre
École Philippe Gaulier, London
One-year training program
Middlebury College, Vermont
B.A., magna cum laude, in Theatre
Television and film
QUANTICO // ABC
Director: Rob Bowman
FRINGE // Fox
Director: Norberto Barba
SEX AND THE CITY // HBO
Director: Tim Van Patten
GOSSIP GIRL // WB Webisodes
Director: Bart Wenrich
WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE // Ananda Films
Director: Clark Brigham
JUNK by Ayad Akhtar // Lincoln Center Theater, New York (Tony nominee, Best Play, 2018)
Director: Doug Hughes
GOOD by C.P. Taylor // PTP/NYC, New York
Director: Jim Petosa
SCENES FROM AN EXECUTION by Howard Barker // PTP/NYC, New York
Director: Richard Romagnoli
SPATTER PATTERN by Neal Bell // PTP/NYC, New York
Director: Jim Petosa
TRAIN TO 2010 by Sibusiso Mamba // Crossroads Theatre, New Jersey
Director: Ricardo Khan
FROST / NIXON by Peter Morgan // Portland Center Stage, Oregon
Director: Rose Riordan
CRAVE by Sarah Kane // PTP/NYC, New York
Director: Cheryl Faraone
JEWTOPIA by Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson // Westside Theater
Director: John Tillinger
MARY STUART by Friedrich Schiller // Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pennsylvania
Director: Ted Pappas
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING by William Shakespeare // The Old Globe, California
Director: Brendan Fox
THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES by John Guare // Berkeley Rep, California
Director: Barbara Damashek
GOOD MORNING MOSCOW: ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF SOVIET POPULAR MUSIC
by Marina Kostalevsky // Bard Music Festival, New York
Director: Elise Thoron
A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens // American Conservatory Theater, California
Director: Margo Whitcomb
ALARMS AND EXCURSIONS by Michael Frayn // Aurora Theater, California
Director: Søren Oliver
LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST by William Shakespeare // Shakespeare Santa Cruz, California
Director: Daniel Fish
CYMBELINE by William Shakespeare // Shakespeare Santa Cruz, California
Director: Danny Scheie
RICHARD III by William Shakespeare // American Conservatory Theater, California
Director: Alec Wilde
PEER GYNT by Hernik Ibsen // American Conservatory Theater, California
Director: Susan Fenichell
NO FOR AN ANSWER by Marc Blitzstein // American Conservatory Theater, California
Director: Carey Perloff
THREE SISTERS by Anton Chekhov // American Conservatory Theater, California
Director: Gregory Wallace
THE RAFT OF THE MEDUSA by Joe Pintauro // Signature Theater, Virginia
Director: Wallace Acton
SAFARI by Pavel Kahout // Potomac Theater Project, Washington, DC
Director: Richard Romagnoli
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST // Middlebury College Center for Performing Arts
Director: Richard Romagnoli
BURN THIS // Middlebury College Wright Theater
Director: Stephanie Guay
In addition to my formal theatrical training, I have practical experience in dance (funky style), yoga (one-legged crow, yo), singing (in intimate settings), team management (sometimes bossy), athletics (basketball, table tennis, up to eight pull-ups in a row), cooking, and distributing high-fives (and low fives).
I teach and act primarily in English. I am fluent and can teach as needed in German and French.
Alex Butler, Chad Pisetsky
850 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1003
New York, NY 10019
+1 212 765 5190
The Acting Muscle
+49 (0)30 5551 3814