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. He is currently shooting The Morning Show, the flagship series from Apple, opposite Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell. 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
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
TERRA WELLINGTON is an actor, writer, and producer. With her acting, she is known for her portrayals of sophisticated women in uncertain, vulnerable situations. Her work includes award-winning independent films and network television. Terra’s actor talents have been cultivated through extensive performing and training in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. She has performed at Second City-Los Angeles, presented on live television in New York, and studied acting with acclaimed teachers in Los Angeles — including Meisner Teacher Wayne Dvorak, long-form improv with Merilyn Carney, comedy with Annie Grindlay, classical acting with Yale Drama Instructor Gregory Berger-Sobeck, and scene study with Craig Wallace.
With writing and creative producing, her most recent narrative works include the television series MAGNOLIA HILL and WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF, both fantasy dramas with female leads. She is also the writer and producer for the upcoming psychological thriller, TORN, a short film. Prior commissioned works include writer of the adapted feature screenplay YANKEES WEST about the injustices and triumphs in 1930s Los Angeles, co-creator and writer on the children’s television series PRINCESS ZARA, and co-creator of the unscripted wellness series INSIDE OUT. Her creative producing and writing also include over 2000 television segments for her wellness and eco lifestyle work.
To work with Terra and learn about the business of acting, sign-up for MASTERMIND.