A very incomplete list from current students and alum, but you all inspire us! (also see the TESTIMONIALS page )
JIMMY O. YANG ( Scene Study and Audition Intensive alum): is now a series regular on HBO’s SILICON VALLEY, Mark Walberg helmed PATRIOT’S DAY ( Dec 2016 release), and with Melissa McCarthy in LIFE OF THE PARTY (2018 release)
Stay tuned to list the many 2016 successes!
Jonathan Kells Phillips ( was on MASTERS OF SEX last month & got another 2 days this month on a HOUSE OF LIES! ) Below is what is working for him and very instructive about staying in Positive Action and Solution mode:
A recent discovery I’ve made for myself is that I really benefit from identifying and WRITING DOWN (often in the margin of my sides) a short, simple sentence, like a “Summary Statement,” that defines my action or actions in a scene. Essentially, this turns out to be a short-hand for what I’m “DOING” in the scene, and a short-cut phrase that I can mentally remind myself of, just before starting a read, which helps me get away from being bogged down in “the lines” and gets me back to “the intentions” or “the actions”…
For example: in my audition scene for “Masters” I had two basic objectives: #1) was to “Sell the table!” and #2) was to “Save Dan Logan ! (from embarrassment)” … I played the Head Waiter, “Jacques,” at a fancy French restaurant in NYC, where Masters & Johnson have the world’s most awkward dinner party with Dan Logan (Josh Charles) and his wife, played by Judy Greer…
Here’s how this worked, for me: My first line was something like “I’m terribly sorry, but this is the only table we have available at the moment.” After working on it, it seemed to me that it was important to put a positive spin on this declaration, at least subtly, and to remind myself of this, the “Summary Statement” became a positive statement. “Sell the table!” was my way of reminding myself, the actor, that in my character’s mind, the table we had available for them at the last minute was still a prize, a stroke of great good fortune, a gift! The four principal characters arrive with no reservation for this fancy restaurant, but Josh Charles’ character, Dan Logan, is a big-shot and a regular here, so we are anxious to accommodate them. Unfortunately, the sight-gag is that the table is only a “2-top” for four people, and it’s in “Siberia”, next to the kitchen door… I.e., a totally craptastic table, especially for a “Regular” of the restaurant with some “pull” and a direct friendship with our Chef!!! In order not to “gild the lily” by playing how crappy this solution is, I decided to “think positive” and really believe that this table was still an excellent option, working against the negativity trap of acknowledging that yes, this is actually our worst table in the restaurant…
My second line was something like: “I’m afraid, we are fully booked, sir…” The line was addressed to Josh Charles, and actually cuts off his line, at least after an ellipsis… He says something like “Maybe we should just wait until something better opens up…” So, again, after working on it, I decided that rather than go “negative” and express “Don’t get your hopes up, this is the best you’re gonna get tonight, etc., etc….”, I would find something positive to do with my line… My solution was: “Save Dan Logan!” from finishing his sentence, and thereby prevent him from proposing a solution (“wait for something better”) which I KNEW we (the restaurant) would not be able to accommodate that night... The action behind the line became about jumping in, to prevent this important guest from creating expectations amongst his other guests (Masters, Johnson, his wife), that might make him feel foolish or frustrated when we were unable to meet these demands.
Anyway, I’m writing off the cuff, so this isn’t terribly well-expressed… But, I’d say that the two ingredients that are working for me lately are 1) to look for positive solutions to individual lines / actions / scenes, and 2) to write down a SHORT summary statement, that expresses your most fundamental purpose for the line / scene / action. That way, when the nerves kick in and the room goes all tunnel-vision, you can hold onto the simple, short statement and let the lines magically take care of themselves… Which they do, for some reason, when we are not fixated on them… Also, these two ideas help me present a clear “point of view” on each line, and even if I’m re-directed, I know that I’ve presented strong “choices” during my first crack at an audition scene.
That’s all I got, for the moment!?! I hope you are very well, Caryn, and I send you big hugs and ongoing thanks for all you do!!! Your fan, Jonathan.”
John Haggerty ( Intensive alum and coaching client)
“Caryn has an uncanny ability to pinpoint the needs of a scene and character and to lay the bridge that brings the best of YOU to your reading. Recently coached with her on a theater audition (on Skype – she doesn’t even have to be in the room with you!) and booked “Our Town” at Portland Center Stage. Her commitment and passion to her work, whether as teacher, director, or actor herself, will inspire you to raise your own bar” ( A top LORT contract, KUDOS!! ox cw) IMDB
Jilon Vanover ( CSFA Scene Study alum and coaching client) just booked a lead in The Blank Theater’s world premiere of the comedy SOMETHING TRULY MONSTROUS directed by Daniel Henning Sept 26-Nov 8, 2015! : “Caryn helped me get back on my feet and back on stage. She inspired me to bring joy back into my acting when it had started to fade. She gets right to the heart of the scene and breaks it down in order to bring it to life. She is a trusted professional with real world expertise, and I am thankful to have her in my corner.”
CAROL HERMAN ( Scene Study alum) reprised on BETTER CALL SAUL!! ( see February)
Tricia Paoluccio What Caryn West helped me accomplish this year: I was so intrigued by the subject of her workshop…”The business has changed drastically in the last five years..Are you an actor who is ready for 2015?” I knew I was not. I have been working and living in NYC for almost 20 years, relying upon old models and disappointed by the lack of action and forward movement in my career. I felt shy about joining social media and resistant to self promoting.
She helped me visualize where I wanted to be and inspired me to tackle, step by step, some actions I needed to take to get there. I finally got new headshots that I feel really look like me. I finally made a website (www.TriciaPaoluccio.com) which has been received well by my agents and colleagues. Rather than waiting and letting my career be defined by what appointments my agents get me, now I feel I know how to actually pursue things on my own. Last week I had three film auditions which I got on my own. And coaching with Caryn this winter, I booked the lead in a short film THIRTY MINUTES, and an episode on THE AFFAIR.
I joined twitter …and I think its good. A huge thing I’ve learned and am aiming to do is to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS with casting directors by getting to know them…through social media, through taking those casting director classes, learning how they prefer to keep in touch and aiming to do that in really specific personal ways. And I didn’t realize how many of the little goals we wrote down in Caryn’s class six months ago I’ve actually accomplished until writing this! She is a super valuable teacher, acting coach and artist herself and I feel hugely grateful to her!- Tricia Paoluccio 6/8/15
SIMONE MARIANI “I was inspired the very first time I met Caryn, and to have her as my audition coach. All her precious advice I keep it as a gift, and I wish many more fellow actors could have chance to work with her. Thank you Caryn coaching me on INFERNO, directed by Ron Howard and have now shot in Budapest with Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones. Caryn West, who else? ”
“I wanted to thank you once again for a very inspiring presence in my life as an audition coach! I recently booked 2
commercials as a writer and actor. I wrote a script and performed as a still photographer for the new Coach commercial (with Mariel and Langley Hemingway) we shot in LA – www.coach.com
And I will start shooting a commercial for a new Japanese watch in 2 days as well. Everything happened for a reason, and I have to say that everything you taught me came in handy, and made me feel a lot more
confident and self-promo savvy 🙂 Thanks for that and being a muse in many actors’ lives.”
“Good news Caryn: … All your audition tips have been a great help. Thanks so much!! See u soon:)
CAROL HERMAN ( Scene Study alum)
is guesting on BETTER CALL SAUL March 2!
FANSHEN COX GIOVANNI’s solo show ONE DROP OF LOVE produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and toured the country in 2014 and 2015 , is now in preproduction as a film.
“I booked a role on another indie film called Stevie D. Love the script and I play Senator Barbara Garcia. My scene is with the LA Latino Mayor clearly based on Villaraigosa. Looking forward to it! Your coaching did it again!–xo Alma”
Jonathan Kells Phillips (NY AUDITION INTENSIVE) in “On the Money” at the Victory Theatre Center, Burbank, until March 23rd . It runs just a cracking 90 minutes, plus a 10-15 minute intermission, depending on how much wine you all drink… Tickets: https://victorytheatrecenter.secure.force.com/ticket video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe_o-IRi6oM
ALLEL AIMICHE ( Coaching client, NY and LA Audition Intensive)just returned from Tulum Mexico, a week shooting a role as a Mexican drug lord on RAY DONOVAN and working with Jon Voight!
GINA LA PIANA ( coaching client)
has a possible recurring guest on on ANGER MANAGEMENT opposite Charlie Sheen
TOM MENDOLA (current Scene Study)
I auditioned today for the “Diary of Anne Frank” at the La Mirada Theater (Feb 20 opening). They offered me the role of Otto Frank. I start rehearsals on Monday, Jan 21.
JOSEPH VALDEZ (current Scene Study)
is taking over the lead part in Se Llama Cristina at the Theatre@Boston Court on Monday February 3rd and Wednesday February 5th. It is an exciting, beautiful new play by Octavio Solis. More info on the play: http://www.bostoncourt.com/events/193/se-llama-cristina
Info on the playwright: http://www.octaviosolis.net
DENNIS BAKER ( Scene Study Alum): “I booked the role of a public defender on CRIMINAL MINDS. I shoot in January. The scene is opposite series regular Thomas Gibson, who plays Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner. The episode was written by show runner Erica Messer and retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent and show consultant Jim Clemente. Gibson also directs the episode.” ( It airs Wed., 02/26 at 9pm/CBS)
DALE DYMKOSKI ( Audition Intensive alum/ coaching client)
is the lead in the regional premiere of the play TRIBES at the Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati opening JANUARY 29-FEBRUARY 16, 2014 (2012 DRAMA DESK AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING PLAY
CAROL HERMAN ( Scene Study alum)
just booked and is shooting a role on RAISING HOPE!
Jilon VanOver (current Scene Study)
is recurring now in Disney’s MIGHTY MED series and reportedly have fun in his work.
ALYSIA REINER (NY Audition Intensive ,and best known as Thomas Hayden Church’s fiancee and then bride in the Oscar-winning cult film favorite “Sideways”) wraps her second season of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, playing FIG, the assistant warden in the new series by Jenji Kohan who created WEEDS, and she also recently finished the film LIFE ITSELF with Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton.
EILEEN GALINDO ( current Scene Study and Audition Intensive alum)
is doing the Golden Age Play Project with Luis Alfaro at USC this month and joins the cast of the hit animated Disney Show “Sofia The First” in 2014!
is a RAKE regular opposite Greg Kinnear that just starting airing Jan 2014 on FOX, and she is in ABC’s THE FOSTERS with a guest arc as “Gretchen. (She also booked the last 7 projects we worked on but some conflicted with here show alas.)
JODIE BENTLEY (Audition Intensive Alumni)
produces and acts in the new Sci Fi horror film THE JOKESTERS to begin shooting in February. (and Caryn auditioned and got a part too as the villain’s mother! a part in all of the 3 film series). She also stars in the scifi short she coproduced THE PROGRAM and can also be seen in the short GOOD.
CAROLYN CROTTY (Scene Study and Audition Intensive alum) :
ADRIAN MARTINEZ (Audition Intensive Alumni)
can been seen in a very large part in THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY
VICTORIA SUMMER (Scene Study & Audition Intensive Alumni, and coaching client)
is on a roll with SAVING MR BANKS and TRANSFORMERS, and booked the lead opposite Chris Klein in a new feature that just began shooting.
J RICHEY NASH ( Audition Skills Alumni both coasts)
is doing a new play Wasatch Theatrical’s production of “Inherit the Wind” at Grove Theater Center in Burbank til Mid March
ANGELA McEWAN ( Nov. 2013 Audition Intensive)
opens in the film NEBRASKA and was featured in the LA TIMES article: “Alexander Payne finds the faces of ‘Nebraska”:
DAVID CADE (Scene Study and Audition Intensive alum)
is currently shooting a lead in the movie BIGGER THAN THE BEATLES as Terry Melcher.
And another alum DMITRY CHAPLIN (Scene Study alum) just acted and choreographed him on BIG TIME RUSH
LIVIA TREVINO ( current Scene Study and Audition Intensive alum):
has been cast in the Clint Eastwood directed film “JERSEY BOYS” . “Supporting role, but big credit!”
is soon to shoot on the Disney feature “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner:
At the HOLLYWOOD BOWL 7/26/13:
I couldn’t get a ticket to see Audition Intensive alumni LESLIE STEVENS and ALEXIS CARRA perform in this , but here they both are as someone captured it quick! Wonderful ladies , and all in a 2 week rehearsal period! Wow! CELL BLOCK TANGO on youtube
One Scene Study Actor’s swell day job:
DMITRY CHAPLIN choreographing and
Tuesday night, Aug 20
opened with BRUCE VILANCH
in the play
at the PLAYERS THEATER
PAULA ELIOTT (Current Scene Study) just auditioned for a Guest Star on “Longmire” (down to the last two) and booked a nice Co-Star on “Ironside” this month.
just signed with a new agent! the Jana Luker Talent Agency – “Caryn, I keep your handouts with me, and use your audition techniques for every audition, commercial or theatrical — because they work so damn well!”
RAY FORD (Scene Study alum) after 2 seasons as a regular in “THE B**TCH in APARTMENT 23”, finishes up a brilliant run of ALCESTIS at the BOSTON COURT Theatre this weekend. I highly recommend this daring, beautiful production. 3 perfs: Fri. Sat., July 26 and 27 at 8:00pm, Sun, July 28 at 2:00pm. Online or by tel: 626-683-6883.