Since 1964, AMDA has provided an ideal environment for performers to thrive. To realize its vision, the College and Conservatory opened its doors to the best and the brightest performing arts professionals in the world. The unrivaled access and industry insight our faculty members provide produces year after year of well-rounded, business-savvy, working professionals.
Acting, Acting for Film and TV
CATE SMIT is a native New Yorker who started her career at a young age as one of the cartoon voices for the Electric Company. Since then she has appeared in many off Broadway and regional theaters in NYC and London (including Mint Theater Company, Jose Quintero, HERE theater, Kings County Shakespeare, John Drew Theater, Royal Studios, and Westbeth). She went on to become a TV actress appearing on Law and Order, MTV, Comedy Central, and VH-1 in the show Couch Potato; She is a successful TV commercial actress on camera and voiceover. Cate was a regular on Late Night with David Letterman and The Onion News Network. Her strong improv background includes Theatresports, Gotham City Improv and Carolines, and was an original member of The Heartless Floozies. Additionally, Cate has directed over 500 short films and has appeared in several movies including The Last Days of Disco, Happy Hour, Going the Distance, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and Everyday People.
Michael has been acting professionally on stage since the age of eight, having appeared in numerous Broadway and regional productions, as well as the television shows New York Undercover and The Guiding Light. Michael is also a committed educator, having co-founded Build a Better Actor, an educational workshop for artists, and co-authoring The Complete Professional Audition: A Commonsense Guide to Auditioning for Musicals and Plays. Additionally, Michael designs and facilitates doctor/patient simulations with Columbia University, "The Doctor Oz" show and neurologists and doctors around the country.
Voice Production and Speech
Chris brings over a decade of teaching experience and voice performance to the classroom, having taught both students and professional actors the art of voice, speech and dialects for microphone, film, television and stage. In addition to instructing students at AMDA, his other teaching credits have included Marymount Manhattan College, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and ABC Studios. Chris earned his BFA in Acting from SUNY Fredonia and his MFA in Acting from Ohio State University.
As a director, choreographer and performer, Casey has accumulated a substantial list of credits spanning Broadway productions, regional theatre and international tours. From playing the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz at Madison Square Garden, to performing in European tours of A Chorus Line and My Fair Lady, to directing productions of Aida, Les Miserables and Evita, Casey has done it all. Some of his favorite roles include Edna in Hairspray, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, Rum Tum Tugger in Cats and both Roger and Carmen in The Producers.
Acting, Acting for Film and TV
Jason is an award winning filmmaker, theater director, producer and acting teacher based in NYC. He got his start at New York’s famed Ensemble Studio Theatre, where he had the opportunity to develop new work by multiple playwrights including world premieres by David Mamet and Arthur Miller. He worked developing and presenting new work for HBO and the USCAF, and has scores of theater directing credits from Off-Broadway to the West Coast. His multiple award winning feature film Putzel (starring Jack Carpenter, Melanie Lynskey, Susie Essman and John Pankow) appeared at over fifty film festivals around the world and was distributed internationally by Filmbuff. Other film credits include Remember and Kissing Jessica Stein (Creative Consultant) amongst others. Upcoming feature film projects include Verona and SIFU.
Dance, Music Theatre
Marina is currently staring as Toni Cannava on the new STARZ series Flesh and Bone. Marina has worked extensively on stage and screen as a professional actor, dancer and recording artist. Recent credits include: True Blood (Alan Ball- HBO), The Advocates (David Nutter-CBS), Burn Notice (20th Century Fox), Perception (ABC and TNT), ER (John Wells- Warner Bros), Torchwood (BBC and STARZ), and Southland (CBS and TNT). Other guest star roles: Bones, CSI Miami, Desperate Housewives, Without a Trace, Wheels of Justice and The Ghost Whisperer. Marina played a central character in American Town (pilot-Fox), a series regular on Lefty (pilot-Brad Grey for CBS), and was a series regular on the half-hour comedy series Nikki (Bruce Helford- Drew Carrey and Roseanne). Marina was classically trained as a dancer, studying ballet, modern and theatre dance at Cornish College of the Arts. Marina has recorded a top-40 album on the BMG label and danced professionally throughout the world in musical theatre, film and television.
With more than 20 years of experience coordinating sword and stunt sequences, Charles is one of the industry’s foremost authorities on the art of combat. During the course of his impressive film and theatre career, he’s worked as the military technical advisor on HBO’s award-winning miniseries The Pacific, conceptualized complex military formations for Oliver Stone’s Alexander, and choreographed fight scenes featuring Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: Extinction.
Theatre credits: The Pearl Theatre Company at City Center: Henry IV Part I (Falstaff), You Never Can Tell (Waiter), The Philanderer, The Bald Soprano, Romersholm, Misalliance, The Subject Was Roses, Richard III, The Master Builder, Angel Street, The Gentleman Dancing Master, Heartbreak House, I Have Been Here Before, The Oresteia, The Country Wife, The Cherry Orchard and others; Keen Company: The Dining Room (Drama Desk Award), In The Matter Of J. Robert Oppenheimer; The New Group: Sin: A Cardinal Deposed (Obie Award); Lincoln Center Theatre Company: The Tenth Man; CSC: The Scarlet Letter. Film: The Wolf of Wall Street, Mr. Bear, Duplicity, Blood and Wine, Seabiscuit, Daylight. TV: Boardwalk Empire (HBO), Law & Order: CI (USA), Ed (NBC), The Prosecutors, Pete & Pete and all NY soaps. Acting instructor: Notre Dame, University of Washington, Pearl Theatre Company, private coaching.
Acting, Music Theatre
An accomplished actress, mezzo-soprano, writer and improviser, Gail wrote and performed in her one-woman show That Gail, has appeared on television in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and is a founding member of two all-female sketch-comedy troupes: Womedy and The Heartless Floozies. Gail has also performed with the ForPlay Improvised Theatre in performances of Off-The-Cuff, The Pollyannas and The Sunday Night Improv Jam, in addition to writing, producing and performing in Judy’s House, a comedy/variety show at New York’s Abingdon Theatre.
An accomplished actress, singer and director, Elaine has dedicated the past 20 years to developing the curriculum and teaching methods of AMDA’s Musical Theatre Department. Her Broadway credits include Grease, The Me Nobody Knows and End of the World, while off-Broadway she’s performed with the Roundabout Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club and Westside Arts Center. Additionally, Elaine has directed at NYU and the Skylight Opera Company, and has taught, directed and choreographed at the Unicorn Stage at Berkshire Theatre Festival.
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