Meet Our Instructors
Colleen has been an actor since the age of 8, and began teaching acting as a high school student. She began her career as a professional actor immediately upon graduating from The George Washington University, performing for The Olney Theatre’s National Players. She travelled to over 25 states performing classical works, and conducting acting workshops for high school and college students. After moving to New York she continued to act, study and teach. At the Michael Howard Studios she took the opportunity to create her own conservatory program working with influential teachers Larry Singer, Michael Howard, Patsy Rodenburg, Olympia Dukakis, and Ali Farahnakian. Her acting career then took her to Los Angeles, and there she shifted her focus to private coaching and casting. Her casting experience includes feature film and pilots, working with and learning from veteran Casting Directors Paul Weber (“Spartacus” and “Stargate” Series), Jeff Meshel (former NBC VP of Casting), and Tracy Lilienfield (“Will & Grace”, “Ground Floor”). Her wide variety of industry experience has enhanced Colleen’s philosophy that acting is a collaborative process. She believes it is extremely beneficial for an actor to have a partner in preparation to help guide the actor within their personal process- in order for them to fully trust their instincts, execute their choices with clarity and flexibility, and achieve success both professionally and artistically.
What Michael brings to the table first and foremost is experience. Having earned both an MA and an MFA in Theatre, Michael has over a decade of experience teaching acting and various other theatre classes to college students in three different states. A quarter of a century of experience as a professional actor. More than 15 years of experience directing plays and musicals. Experience in both coaching and adjudicating BFA acting auditions. It is his experience that Michael draws upon when he works with his students. And Michael knows how to book. Within two months of deciding to leave teaching and return to acting full-time, Michael updated his resume, got new headshots, built his website from scratch, went to Europe for 10 days, found representation, landed a role in the First National Tour of Barlett Sher’s Broadway production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and went out on the road for 10 months. Upon returning from tour, Michael immediately started doing television jobs and within two month booked his first SAG-AFTRA co-star on TOMMY starring Edie Falco for CBS. He received his invitation to join the union exactly 3 weeks before the COVID-19 shutdown. During that downtime Michael focused on his craft, taking classes, and doing seminars with agents and casting directors. He signed with a commercial agent and when auditions started picking back up at the end of 2020 he booked a job playing Santa Claus on Zoom talking to children from “The North Pole”. Then in the Spring of 2021 he booked a small role in a movie that will be released on Disney+. But perhaps the most important thing that Michael brings to NESW is his passion for acting. He fell in love with theatre at the age of 12 when his was cast in his middle school production of DAMN YANKEES and has been acting ever since. And his passion for acting is matched only by his passion for coaching actors. His first-hand experience with various acting methods, from Stanislavski to Strasberg, Meisner and Adler, allows him to meet his students where that are as actors and to adapt to their needs. He is also a self-proclaimed theatre history nerd which gives him insight into any text his students might be working with. Finally, Michael knows the New York market, be it theatre, film, television or commercials, because it’s where he has worked for the past 25 years. And it’s where he continues to work, bringing his knowledge, experience and passion directly to his students. NESW has allowed him to realize that he doesn’t have to choose between acting and teaching. He can have both. And he can be a better teacher for it.
Voice teacher, personal coach, and performer, Katie Gall, has been performing all around the North Eastern US for the past 15 years. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from New York University in Vocal Performance as well as a post-Master’s degree in Vocal Pedagogy. She has sung on multiple Grammy Nom/Winning albums and has a thriving voice studio through her home. In addition to performing and teaching, Katie is also a certified Holistic Health Coach and Sacred Depths Transformational Coach and works with multi-passionate small business owners and creatives to find balance and freedom.