From 1984 to 1994, I taught young adults acting including scene study, monologues and improvisation at The Michael Checkhov Studio on 36th Street. The year always culminated in a showcase featuring the students and the workshop. I kept the class to no more than 12 students because I wanted to maintain a teaching relationship closer one on one.

Me teaching student Rachel Kusnetz, circa 1985.

I introduced students to the great playwrights of the 20th century, including Eugene O’Neil, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller. The class ran for three hours once a week, every Monday night. Students were encouraged to write their own monologues and guest artists were brought into the class every few weeks. Some of those guests were Joy Todd, casting director, Frank Nastasi from the Soupy Sales Show and Broadway, and Jason Robards III, Actor/voice over artist.

Me, teaching, circa 1985.

I decided to teach the workshops because I’d been teaching theater in high school for 28 years and wanted to work with kids who were really passionate about pursuing theater, so  I made sure the admission process was rigorous; I had an audition and an interview as part of the application. When I was starting out, I’d had a mentor in Bill Hickey at the HB Studio, and I wanted to pass my experience on to the next generation in the same way. I’m glad I did.

Me with the class of 1984.