Teaching Statement

As a working actor, I bring the perspective of 45 years of working professionally to my work as a teacher. I am a vested member of Actors’ Equity, and a member of SAG-AFTRA.

I was trained by phenomenal teachers and artists, including my mother, Dorothy Novis Fries, who was the original vocal and acting coach for The Mouseketeers. In her later years, my mother trained Broadway actors, like myself, as well as opera singers. As a child, I would loudly proclaim that I didn’t want to sing opera. I wanted to do musicals! I started working professionally at a young age on The Smother’s Bros. show, which was on NBC. Some years later, I traveled to NYC to perform at Radio City Music Hall. In the ensuing years, I have traveled the world, working on Broadway, national tours, cabarets, and in regional theaters. I am fortunate to have worked in both plays and musicals.

Because of all my years of experience, ranging from small professional theaters, to large houses, I have developed a unique methodology for my students that I believe will serve them well as a professional actor, or really, in any profession they choose to enter. My work includes proper breath control, combined with simple physical and vocal exercises. We work on songs, monologues, scenes, and developing a facility for language. My students are doing everything from soup to Shakespeare successfully. I am pleased that my students are doing commercials, working in regional theater, and getting callbacks and offers for college programs. My youngest student trained in pitch matching, and songs and rhythms, which allowed her to sing with The National Children’s Chorus.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and I began my teaching in L.A. I had an abundance of theater work at the time, and I abandoned my teaching until about six and a half years ago. I resumed my teaching while raising my daughter. I have given seminars and workshops, both in Florida, Arizona, and Alabama. I am currently on staff at StudentsLive/Passport to Broadway NYC, and I have taught for Grace Theatre Workshop, of Union City, NJ. In my work for Grace Theatre, I developed an acting class in English and Spanish. While I am not fluent in Spanish, I communicated with my students through the universal language of acting. While working for Grace Theatre, I taught singing classes for elementary students, teens, and seniors.

I believe that each artist must work at their own pace, and I encourage them to bring their own ideas and creativity to their lessons. This collaborative process creates great results. The students learn to approach their singing and acting, with a strong work ethic, and sense of purpose. One of my primary goals is to instill confidence in my students through encouragement, and a nurturing environment. I tailor the lessons to meet the student’s needs. This may include singing lessons only, a combination of singing and acting, finding monologues, audition prep, and preparation for college auditions. For information, please contact me via this website.

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