Desean K. Terry (Founder) is an actor, director and educator. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School and earned his MFA in Acting Pedagogy from CSULB. Series regular on The Morning Show, he is also the Artistic Director of Collaborative Artists Bloc, a Los Angeles-based theatre company dedicated to producing new works that promote social change.
My studies at The Juilliard School laid the foundation of my training. However, soon after graduating I learned that even studying at one of the top schools in the world didn’t give me all the tools I needed to work in our fast-paced, ever-changing industry. That is not a criticism of Juilliard, that is an encouragement to continually train - which I did. As I kept training, I was consistently frustrated by studios that centered the teacher, the technique, or the “trick." When confronted with any of my own acting challenges, if I could not find the answer in the teacher, technique, or "trick," often the explanation offered was that there was some inadequacy or lack of talent in me, the actor. But I have come to learn that issues concerning craft are not barometers of talent. Sometimes, they are personal, and buried deep in our psyche; but oftentimes the answers are simple, pragmatic tools. We just need to be introduced to them. That's why I believe in continual training. I'm always collecting more tools, even when I'm teaching.
To work on a film/tv set, we need a practice that is comprehensive and actionable, yet personal and authentic. It's a challenge. For most of us it takes decades, so we have to be comfortable working as we grow. Being in-process works in our favor, because humanity is imperfect and the audience wants to see that. It's a dynamic task we are being asked to do, working on a movie set. We have to have our toolkit ready to go. Hence, The Last Acting Studio was conceived as not only a place of its own robust study, but also a locus and intersection point for other pedagogies.
Though I am always striving to create an even more substantial résumé for myself as an actor and director, my teaching is the most personal part of my work. Through The Last Acting Studio I hope to create a space where all types of people can feel seen and safe, and be granted the permission to play and thrive.
Welcome to our home.
To coach with Desean, click HERE
Behzad Dabu is an actor, writer, and producer, based out of both Los Angeles and Chicago. He grew up in Syracuse, NY and got his BFA in Acting from Columbia College Chicago, where he also worked after college as the Senior International Admissions Officer; traveling all over the world working with students and their families on creating careers in the arts.
He has worked extensively on stage at some of the best theaters in the country, especially in Chicago, and is a proud company member at TimeLine Theatre Company which presents stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues.
With a passion for working with playwrights and new play development, he originated the role of 'Amit' in "Samsara" at Victory Gardens Theatre, for which he was nominated for a Jeff Award - Best Actor. He also originated the role of 'Abe' in the Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony-nominated play, "Disgraced" which he performed at American Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Berkeley Repertory, Seattle Repertory, and the Mark Taper Forum at Center Theatre Group.
On screen, you can see him as 'Simon Drake' on Seasons 3 and 4 of How To Get Away With Murder on ABC, as 'Amir' on the Showtime series The Chi, on Disney’s The Lion Guard. He also appeared in episodes of All Rise, The Good Place, Chicago P.D., Drive Share, You're So Talented, Dealbreakers, and many more; and in the films Hoop, King Rat, Mondo Hollywoodland, Imperfections, Older Children; as well as various national commercials.
Behzad is the Director of Acting for the HillmanGrad Mentorship Lab and an adjunct professor in the theatre department at Columbia College Chicago and also leads their Semester in LA program.
Behzad strives to be a strong advocate for social justice and equality, particularly in regards to representation in the arts and media; and is a founding member of The Chicago Inclusion Project, which seeks to level the playing field and provide resources in the arts for people of color, women, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities. He is a skilled audience engagement facilitator and experienced post-show discussion leader.
Behzad is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.
To coach with Behzad, click HERE
Meera Rohit Kumbhani (she/her) is a Los Angeles-based actor, writer, teacher, and clown. On television, she has been a series regular on FOX's "Weird Loners" and USA's Donny!" and has appeared in numerous other shows and films, including "This is Us", "The Lincoln Lawyer,", "Life in Pieces," "Shameless," Uncorked, A Futile & Stupid Gesture, and many more. She also works extensively in theater and has originated roles in several world and NYC premieres, including Ayad Akhtar's The Who and the What and Kate Attwell's Testmatch. She's performed with Classic Stage Company, Ensemble Studio Theater, Playwrights' Horizons, Ma-Yi, La Jolla Playhouse, ACT, and more. She has an MFA in Acting from Columbia University where she trained under Kristin Linklater and Olympia Dukakis, and was the recipient of the Monteleagre Foundation Award.
She has also studied clowning for over a decade with Christopher Bayes and John Gilkey. Since 2017, she has been teaching core "idiot" (physical comedy/clown) classes at The Idiot Workshop as well as her signature acting class Acting as Disaster. She spent 2 years performing and touring a clown show she co-devised with her fellow performers called WOM. She also performs monthly in the Idiot Workshop's flagship show, The Murge.
As a teacher, she not only teaches adults but has also spent years working with underserved youth in Florida, Ecuador, and New York and with inmates inside various jails and state prisons.
As a teacher and coach, she wants to shed the "shoulds" and "should nots" that clamp onto all of us; shed the rules, the pedestals. To Meera, there is text, there is story, there is a physical relationship between all things living and not, and there is the messy and fearless YOU. Her primary goal is to get students to a place where they can play as their full, curious, generous selves.
To train with Meera, sign-up for Acting As Disaster HERE
Sean Patrick McGowan is a Los Angeles-based actor, writer, and educator. He grew up in New Jersey and attended Regis High School in Manhattan. During his teens, he performed stand-up sets at Caroline's, Gotham Comedy Club, and more. He earned his Bachelor's in Theatre Arts from Brown University.
Upon graduation he received the department's award for academic excellence. Since then, highlights include sharing the screen with Alan Cumming in The Outs and Hugh Grant in The Rewrite.
He wrote and starred in the short film Townmouse, which won the Hollyshorts audience award. He values his daily mindfulness practice and the opportunity to help students across disciplines recognize and hone the infinite potential within. He believes in the power of stories and the inimitable genius of You.
To coach with Patrick, click HERE
Josette Canilao is a Filipina American actor from the Bay Area.
After graduating Summa Cum Laude in Communications Studies from Sonoma State University,she attended Columbia’s MFA acting program, being awarded the program’s Dean Fellowship
and the Bob Hope Fellowship. There she grew her love for theatre and Shakespeare, working with one of theatre’s preeminent voice teachers, Kristin Linklater. It was Linklater who made her
passionate curiosity for acting insatiable.
Upon graduation, she moved to LA to pursue opportunities there.
She has since appeared as a guest star on FBI’s Most Wanted and as recurring guest stars on ABC’s The Crossing and, most recently, Fox’s The Cleaning Lady- where she’s particularly
proud to have represented Southeast Asian women in a minority and female led network drama. Her passion to promote and authentically represent women and women of color in the industry is what drives her artistry.
As a coach, Josette is most passionate about helping actors release into their full potential by helping them find their singular
To coach with Josette, click HERE
Aric Martin is an actor, director, and teacher. He is a graduate of the acting training program at The Juilliard School and received a Masters in Theater from CSULA. Aric has been an Associate Faculty member in Theater Arts at Santa Monica College since 2005.
He has worked regionally at The Berkshire Theater Festival and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. He most recently appeared as Guiseppe Zangara in Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins at East West Players directed by Snehal Desai. He received Broadway World nominations for his portrayals of Adolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone, William Blore in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and George Nowack in She Loves Me.
Aric recently directed a critically acclaimed production of Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play which received the Outstanding Production Award from StageSceneLA. He received the Best Director Award from the Strawberry One-Act Festival for his work directing the West Coast Premiere of Trespass by Nelsan Ellis.
Aric will be featured in the upcoming second season of the original comedy webseries Namaste, Bitches by writer/director Summer Chastant. He was previously featured in the comedy series Benchmarks by writer/director Laura Black.
As a Texas native, Marisilda Garcia dreamed of making her way to Los Angeles to pursue her acting and singing career. As both a Mexican American and a female, she anticipated the journey ahead of her and fought to get where she is today.
She remembers her 2nd grade teacher telling her during a class assignment where students were asked what they wanted to be that Mexicans couldn’t be actors and singers. Fueled by her parents’ words and encouragement, she kept the passion alive until moving to Los Angeles in 2007, where she could bring those dreams to fruition.
As an actor, she can be seen in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, Roswell, Gentefied, Walker, & Better Call Saul She recently booked another feature.
She is the CEO of Luna Blue Productions along with her husband where her rescue dog, Avenger serves as mascot. Her commitment to changing the way women are seen in Hollywood allows her to continue her artistic endeavors while fueling her role as a leader in the industry.
To coach with Marisilda, click HERE
Gabrielle Salinger is a Los Angeles-based actor, writer, educator and dialect coach. Originally from Boston, she was a touring company member of the Boston Center for the Arts where she originated the role of Parker in the award-winning original play, “The Island of the Beholder". She studied with NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts program in Paris before returning to the States to graduate from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Gabrielle takes a physiological approach to training, with a strong belief that small changes in the body are the fastest way to free the mind, let go of self-limiting beliefs, and allow the character and performance to emerge truthfully and organically.
An established dialect coach, her impressive roster of clients can be seen appearing in major television series and films. Utilizing a similarly kinesthetic approach, Gabrielle is able to quickly and effectively impart the nuances of specific accents and dialects in a way that allows seamless
integration with character development and performance. Her unique system applies an intuitive phonic method that enables clients to master accents and dialects much faster than typical IPA-based coaching techniques and allows them to audition or perform with confidence.
In addition to dialect training, she specializes in character vocalization, accent reduction, and accent/ dialect creation for fictional language.
Her voice-acting work includes credits alongside John Cena, Anna Chlumsky, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Will Forte and Jay Pharoah. As well as within the “Harry Potter” franchise and for Frogwares Games’, “The Sinking City”.
To coach with Gabrielle, click HERE