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Warming up Your Cold Readings

The casting director hands you a script, you have a few minutes to read it, and then you've got to give a killer audition of the material. That's how most auditions go. A panel of teachers show you how to get the essence of a scene or monologue in a matter of seconds.

Speakers include:

* Deena Levy, acting teacher, Deena Levy Theatre Studio
* Deborah Jackel, acting teacher, William Esper Studios
* Glenn Alterman, acting teacher, Glenn Alterman Studio
* Susan Pilar, acting teacher, Terry Schrieber Studios
* Sam Schacht, acting teacher, Stella Adler Studio of Acting


Deena Levy, acting teacher
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Deena Levy received her B.F.A. from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Experimental Theatre Wing. She has worn many hats as producer, writer, director, and actor on numerous original productions. Deena has worked with such innovative artists as Anne Bogart, Richard LaGravenese, David Rabe, Nicky Silver, William Fichtner and Annie Hamburger.

The Deena Levy Theatre Studio—in operation since 1991—offers a two-year professional actor training program; giving courses in weekly acting scene study (Meisner/Grotowski fusion), voice, comedy improvisation, on-camera commercial, career intensive/industry professionals, "More Than Acting" weekend workshop, and showcases.Within the last 15 years Deena has directed numerous themed showcases with students performing in an Off-Broadway theater. Alumni include Channing Tatum, Rachel Nichols, Kim Dickens, Mark Valley, and Juliana Margulies.

Deena also develops productions with actors writing and performing solo pieces. Most notably, they include "New York/Solo," which began its process directly following Sept.11th as an ode to rebuilding the spirit of NYC, and "You/Actor," which was the subject of the documentary "Actor's Transformation: The Work of Deena Levy and Her Students," directed by Canadian filmmaker Genevieve Appleton. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Centre in NYC and aired on Bravo in Canada. Deena continues to guest lecture and leads workshops in NYC and Toronto where she was recently made an honorary fellow at York University.

Deborah Jackel, acting teacher
Trained as an actress and teacher with William Esper, Deborah Jackel is a graduate of the professional actor training program at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. After graduation she worked as a junior agent in both the on-camera commercial and commercial voiceover departments at Don Buchwald & Associates. She also worked in the legit (theater/film/TV) department at Ambrosio/Mortimer and Associates, where she became a fully franchised agent. She then moved on to the legit department of Abrams Artists Agency.

While Deborah loved representing actors, she yearned to creatively nurture them. She is now a staff member of the William Esper Studio, where she teaches acting along with specialized classes The Audition Experience, The Master Audition Experience, and Cold Reading. Deborah additionally works one-on-one with actors helping prepare them for specific auditions, building their overall audition/cold reading skills and career counseling.

Glenn Alterman, acting teacher, The Glenn Alterman Studio
Glenn Alterman is the author of "Glenn Alterman's Secrets to Successful Cold Readings," "An Actor's Guide—Making It in New York," "The Perfect Audition Monologue, Two Minutes and Under" (Vols. 1, 2, and 3), and 15 other bestselling theater-related books (including eight books of original monologues). His plays have won over 35 national playwriting competitions, including the prestigious Arts and Letters Award in Drama, and have had productions both in the United States and Europe.

In 1994, he created the Glenn Alterman Studio (, helping thousands of actors in their search and preparation of monologues for auditions, as well as developing cold reading skills for auditions. He recently was voted The Best Monologue /Audition Coach in the Tri-State area by Theater Resource Magazine and was voted first runner-up as Favorite Monologue Coach by the readers of Back Stage.

Glenn has lectured and taught at such diverse places as the Edward Albee Theater Conference in Valdez, Alaska; Southampton College; Governors School for the Arts at Old Dominion University; the School For Film and Television; Western Connecticut State College; Broadway Artists Alliance; the School For Professional Actors; Star Map Acting School of Long Island; the Dramatists Guild; the Learning Annex; Screen Actors Guild; AFTRA; the Seminar Center; and at colleges, acting schools, and universities across the U.S. and Europe.

Susan Pilar, acting teacher, T. Schreiber Studio
Susan Pilar has been teaching at the T. Schreiber Studio since 2007. Her classes include audition workshop, scene study, conservatory, and on-camera intensive. As an actor, she has performed in New York with Lincoln Center (Broadway), Manhattan Theatre Club, The Public Theatre (NYSF), Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The Raw Space (Actor's Studio).

Her regional credits include the Guthrie Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, The Shakespeare Theatre (The Folger), Passage Theatre, and Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. She has appeared on TV in "Law and Order," "Cosby," "One Life to Live," "Guiding Light," "Another World," and "As the World Turns." She received her M.F.A. from The American Conservatory Theatre. She has been teaching, directing, and private coaching for the last 12 years, and is on core faculty at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Sam Schacht, acting teacher
Sam Schacht is the former Dean of the Actors Studio Drama School. Acting credits include "Two Gentlemen of Verona," "Golda," "Bosoms and Neglect," and "The Magic Show," all on Broadway. Off-Broadway credits include "True West," "Rehearsal," and "The Increased Difficulty of Concentration" at Lincoln Center.

Television credits include "Law & Order," "The Equalizer," "Ryan's Hope," "One Life to Live," "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing," "Paradise Lost," and "True West." Film credits include "Another You," "A Shock to the System," "Heart of Midnight," "The Manhattan Project," "Tattoo," "The Gambler," "A New Leaf," and "Puzzle of a Downfall Child." Sam has directed Off-Broadway and regionally.

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