"Acting is happy agony."
- Jean-Paul Sartre
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"Michael is the smartest coach I know. I trust him entirely.
Over the past several years I have spent countless hours being coached by Michael for auditions. He has not only transformed the way I audition but he's brought about some of my personal best work. More than once, I have driven directly from working with Michael to an audition room at a studio or casting office and won a role.
Together we dive into scenes, dissect and learn their beats- then throw the sides on the carpet and put a character on it's feet. He navigates and deconstructs moments that give a scene its coherence. His depth of knowledge is vast, deep and diverse and he has taught me a great deal. Specifically, he has taught me the value of stillness, connection, playfulness, the use of breath and adding bits of humor to a thing that is tragic, or deep resonance to moments meant to be comedic.
I consider it a privilege to spend these many hours-before-auditions sorting out meaning, language, character and physicality from a few pages with Michael. A privilege and an artistic thrill, regardless of the outcome.
I envy anyone new to working with Mike. I treasure the freedom to be funny, foolish, emotional and exquisitely imperfect with him in our first reads and our last. He constantly surprises and challenges me with new ideas and skills, scope and depth to become more than the artist I thought I could be." - Laura Allen
"What makes Michael a great coach is that he's got a large sense of humor and is completely incapable of being disingenuous.
His openness to seeing the funny in every situation is what keeps the sessions playful and elevates the work to a different level. His honesty continually reminds you to bring out the truth of the scene you're working on, asking only the best you to show up, to be present.
He's perceptive, which not only greatly enhances breaking down the scene work, but enables him to notice who you are individually and very practically apply that to the material. He uses what you uniquely bring to your work as a spring board from which to begin and then gently encourages you to expand beyond your comfort zone.
He's kind, which is important in this business. There is no pushing you to conform to a specific method or "his way" of doing work. He is also non-judgmental, which helps facilitate a safe environment in which to experiment.
There is nothing cookie cutter about your experience with him, nor will there be in the work you produce when you walk out of a session with him.
My experiences with Michael have proven to be priceless time and time again; every time I've walked into an audition after working with him, I've felt confident, even excited, to get to work.
Michael's love for working with actors is very clear, and his gift to you will be in the rediscovery of why you enjoy being an actor."- Christina Chang
"Mike opened my eyes to a new understanding of how to approach acting, which has been life changing both career-wise and on a personal level. The way he teaches and how clearly he's able to explain his process is incredible; without him I would not be the actor I am today, nor the person.
Prepping for auditions is a stressful process, and there are a lot of head games at play. Mike is able to not only inspire you into giving your best performances, but also gives you the confidence you need to go in the room and crush it. He helps you pull the life from the page and create amazing characters - even out of those horribly bad/corny scripts that all too often fall into our laps. He teaches you how to turn nothing into something great, which is a powerful tool to have in your belt. And you should see what he brings out of you with great material...unforgettable.
I love working with Mike because he's an awesome guy. I'm humbled to be able to study with him. Great coach, great dude. " - Dave Patten
"Working with Michael feels like working with a close friend whose opinion you really trust. He is kind, thoughtful and patient. He works with you to find an authentic way to play the scene, but is always honest when something isn't quite working.
I would recommend Mike to anyone who strives to be truthful to themselves while honoring the scene and who wants to practice relying on their own actor instincts instead of on a specific method."- Jill Latiano
"The best thing about working with Michael is that he never lets me get away with average work. He cares as much as I do about getting the role I'm auditioning for at the time. He takes great pride in your success, so he doesn't let you get away with anything while working with him. His honesty can be tough, but it's what is needed before you go into a room. We worked through every moment of my broadway audition, and it led to a strong confidence in my work and an instant callback. And, for all of us that know, being an LA actor and not having a 'name' and getting a callback for a lead broadway role was a great accomplishment for both of us. After working with Mike, I felt I grew as an actor to a level that puts me on even footing with top working actors. He is great at making sure I don't ignore what I do well and at the same time making sure I work on aspects that were not as strong. It's hard in this town to find someone who can coach with the necessary critique without being an ass about it and works to fix it with you until you get it. Michael is great at making you have the confidence and the great work that is needed to succeed in this industry." - Chip Bent