Andy McPhee is one of Australia's hardest working actors, with a role in nearly every major Australian production: Wolf Creek, Jack Irish, Gallipoli, Dr Blake Mysteries, Home and Away, Neighbours and Houso's, just to name a few! Living in LA, his international credits include a major role in Son's of Anarchy. He works with students all over the world who break through barriers to the industry through working with him, including his own son and daughter Sianoa Smitt-McPhee, both working professionally in Hollywood.
Bill Hughes is one of Australia's most experienced and innovative Producers. He produced a new look for television drama with the critically acclaimed and ingenious police drama "Phoenix". He has worked on many of Australia's top rated series as a Producer, Director, Writer and Script Editor. Bill has produced the highly successful Mow "Fable" and the cinema feature The Interview. He has produced the top rated TV drama series All Saints for three years as well as Packed to the Rafters. His directing credits include Home and Away and Winners and Losers.
Colin Budds has directed film and television at the highest level for over 25 years locally and internationally. His career has encompassed many genres and classifications from award-winning television to Paramount movies. Along the way he has worked with many established actors from here to Hollywood and discovered many of today's rising stars on the set of shows like Home and Away, H2O Just Add Water, The Elephant Princess, The Saddle Club, Lightning Point, Neighbours and Prisoner.
Jessica Orcsik is an actress, performer and producer featuring in stage, film and television productions for over 30 years. Jessica has trained with prestigious studios and coaches across the globe and has transferred that knowledge to TAFTA USA. Director of her own internationally acclaimed event/production company J.O. International Productions, Jessica is a leading facilitator for international careers for Australian performers and actors. She was even invited to speak at the Actors Symposium alongside Breakdown Services seminar in Vancouver on international performers who relocated to Los Angeles in 2014.
John Preston is a NIDA graduate who built a successful acting career in Australia and overseas, before becoming a director and teacher.
For the past 20 years, he has been a tenured member of the theatre arts staff at Swinburne University. He was a member of the original advisory panel at WAAPA, where he also taught, and also a member of the staff at the VCA School of Opera. John has worked with outstanding actors such as Judi Dench, Michael Williams, Lauren Bacall and Leo McKern. He has a remarkable range and knowledge of the teaching and practice of acting and voice.
Johnathan Stewart started his career at Channel 10 in 1980, working in various roles while studying Drama, Voice Production and Radio Announcing. Johnathan went on to have many Roles in shows such as Cop Shop, Prisoner, The Sullivans, Skyways, Bluey and The Truckies (ABC), while also working as a Radio Announcer with various Radio Networks. Johnathon also hosted a Morning Talk Show “Living” on Channel 10 Brisbane. He has Directed/Produced over 120 Corporate/Training Films. For the last 10 years he has been a Drama Coach, TV Presenter Coach, Associate Casting Director, Headshot Photographer and Showreels Director for TAFTA.
Matt Furlani is a Voice and Dialect coach, holding a Post Grad Diploma in Voice Studies and Bachelor of Dramatic Art (VCA). His work encompasses voice and dialect training for performers, corporate coaching and accent reduction work with international students at the University of Melbourne.
Miklós Gerey is our movement teacher here at TAFTA. He is highly certified as an Author, International Speaker, Accredited Goulding SleepTalk Consultant and trainer, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner, Certified Dance and Movement Therapist and Body Language Expert. As an expert of Body Language he trains actors in expressive and confident body language. He also teaches presentation techniques for people with stage fright and trains actors in expressing and "generating" emotions through the body.
Natasha McNamara is a vocal expert with over ten years experience as a voice coach. As a voice coach, Natasha has a versatile teaching style. She has been both a professional actor and voice teacher and thus has a unique understanding of the student experience and industry expectations. Her teachings cater to discovering the individual student’s unique voice and empowering them to use that voice. She is sought after as a teacher across a wide range of areas from vocal coaching on film and TV to a voice coach for corporate presentation and vocal studies for student actors. Natasha‘s accent work on film and stage is one of her strengths – she specialises in Standard American, New York, Southern, English Received Pronunciation, Russian, Irish and accent modification.
An Ex-TAFTA student herself, who went on to star in Winners and Losers, with roles in Neighbours, The Legend of Ben Hall and Spin Out. Pia has the privilege of teaching our Teen students all year around in Melbourne, her classes are a sell-out every term!
PIA GRACE MOON
Angus McLaren is one of our Sydney Teens teachers.
He has been acting in major film and television productions since the age of 12, accumulating starring roles in TV series such as Something in the Air, Worst Best Friends, The Saddle Club and Fergus McPhail, along with guest roles on Blue Heelers, Comedy Inc and a recurring role on Neighbours. After a stint on H2O: Just Add Water and his well-known series regular role on Packed to the Rafters, Angus attended WAAPA, graduating in 2016.
Angus has had a string of impressive credits, establishing himself as a well-known and brilliant actor in the Australian industry. Most recently, Angus played a supporting role in the incredible Hotel Mumbai and the lead in The Naked Wanderer along side comedy legend John Cleese.
After joining the Sydney Teens just this year, Angus has already helped one of our students secure a role with the feedback that this student's "acting was far above the other submissions". What a guy!
Carmel has just returned from studying in LA and has previously taught the Teens in Sydney. Her TV credits include US productions Camp,Terra Nova and Better Man. She is a fabulous teacher, helping students with their own auditions and really focusing on their development into this industry.
Emma Fleming is a casting associate who has worked in the entertainment industry for over 10 years. Emma studied acting at WAAPA before moving to New York where she trained in the Meisner and Alexander Techniques. Emma has worked in the casting industry across fashion, television and film. Formally a scout she worked in New York, London and Milan before settling in Melbourne. Recognising no two actors are alike, techniques/methods are offered to each actor individually, so they can develop a process that works for them. Emma has had the pleasure of assisting Thea McLeod since May 2016 and was nominated for the 'Achievement in Casting Award' by the Casting Guild of Australia in 2017.
John Orcsik is one of Australia's highest profile actors, writers and directors with a professional career spanning over forty years in film, television, TV commercials, corporate videos, telemovies and episodic television. He has written, directed, and taught, sharing his insights into the film and television industry with students across Australia for over twenty years. With over 1000 hours of television drama credits throughout his career, John possesses an enviable wealth of practical experience that he is keen to share with his students.
Jonny Hawkins steps in to help with our Sydney Teens classes from time to time. He graduated from WAAPA in 2014. He was the recipient of the 2016 Sydney Theatre Critic’s Best Newcomer Award, the 2014 Burton Award for outstanding Shakespearian Performance and the featured presenter for the launch of Hugh Jackman’s Foundation for the Performing Arts. His work in Metamorphoses (dir. Dino Demitriades) at The Old Fitz also received huge praise. His appearances across Film and TV include: The TV Mini series Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door, for the ABC a film Riot (dir. Jeffrey Walker), and recently received funding from SBS and CreateNSW to make a short film called Joy Boy, which he wrote and acted in.
Kym Valentine has been working as an actor on Australian TV since she was 4-years old. With over 1000 episodes of Neighbours under her belt, across 20-years as Ramsay Street's beloved Libby Kennedy. When it comes to fast turn-around TV, Kym is an undeniable wealth of knowledge and industry know-how that any actor would be privileged to learn from. She teaches workshops, short-courses and offers private coaching at TAFTA Melbourne.
Mick Preston trained as an actor in New York, where he studied with the late Uta Hagen, including being personally invited by Ms Hagen to be one of only a handful of students to perform in the documentary, 'Acting Class by Uta Hagen'/ Check out Mick's extensive list of credits on IMDB, including Neighbours, City Homicide, Satisfaction, The Legend of Ben Hall, Godzilla and many more.
TAFTA's Sydney Teens Classes are taught by actress Monette Lee.
Monette Lee has been a professional actress for over 35 years appearing in hundreds of stage, TV and film roles including Swinging Safari, Hoges, Away, Mabo, Motherlode, All Saints, Sea Patrol, Waterats, Heartbeat and many more. She trained with some of the best teachers in the world at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school, UK, graduating with distinction in 1988 and stayed for a decade in Britain touring & performing theatre shows, doing radio and even presenting a late night tv show at HTV for 2 years. She has been teaching for 25 years and has specialised in teens, as well as teaching adults and children focussing on technique, auditioning, text analysis, stage craft and working on film. Monette has won best actress awards, and having worked both sides of the camera for her entire career, she has a terrific all round understanding of the business and seeks to bring out the best in all her students.
Paul Parker is an international acting coach, offering courses and workshops each year in Los Angeles, New York and Japan. Paul has been teaching since 1990 and his students consistently gain acting roles in local and international productions. Paul's extensive resume can also be seen on his website: http://www.paulparkerpc.com.au.
Saskia teaches TAFTA's Teen classes in Sydney, her acting credits include Neighbours, City Homicide, A Few Less Men. She is based in America and Australia working as an actress, entrepreneur and acting coach, and has a thorough understanding of screen acting and techniques required to have a successful career in the film business. As one of the Australian Women's Weekly - Women of The Future winners in 2017, Saskia is an excellent role model to young actors.