As a working and aspiring acting professional being able to exercise your mind, body, and voice is important.  Sometimes we need an extra push to guide us through rough career patches or we just simply need an outside eye and nonjudgmental opinion to assist in the refinement of our acting instrument and process.  This is where I come in as an acting coach.  I work to bring out your authentic self through the excavation and exploration of an actor's emotional and physical life.

After one session, I feel I have a whole new arsenal at my disposal. He gave me several ideas to use physicality as a means of accessing emotions. Most importantly, he was super cool, and I had a blast working with him. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed working with John Smiley.
— Shannon Haddock, Professional Actress/Singer,

I’ve been a student of acting, a teacher, director, and a performer for over 20 years and I bring that experience and professionalism into our coaching sessions.  I coach actors from a Stanislavski based acting technique that is also heavily influenced by the exercises of Sanford Meisner and Uta Hagen.  My vocal technique is rooted in the ideas of Patsy Rodenburg and physically I implement the teachings and philosophies of F.M. Alexander, Rudolf Laban, Jerzy Grotowski, and Tadashi Suzuki into my acting approach.

Studying Grotowski with Raina Von Waldenburg at   Acrobatics of the Heart

Studying Grotowski with Raina Von Waldenburg at Acrobatics of the Heart

One of the things I love about John is how enthusiastic he is for my project and how encouraging he is. Not only did he set a great tone, he also taught me how to deliver my message with clarity, passion, and enjoyment. In one hour of high-value coaching John took my presentation to a new level of quality and persuasiveness.
— Nicholas Santascoy, Department of Psychology, Yale University

Beyond working on the emotional and physical life of an actor I believe in the cultivation of presence and strive to aide the artist in accepting the ownership and pride of self.  You are an individual when you step into that audition room and casting directors and agents want to see you.  Often an actor will put on a front when auditioning and attempt to give the viewer what they “think” they want instead of allowing themselves to be vulnerable and let their “true” personality and character shine.  Using exercises to develop breath, body, and mind we identify blocks that may be inhibiting your ability to celebrate your uniqueness and build the confidence and self awareness that you need for success.

So if you are an actor looking to achieve a stronger sense of presence, develop new material, prepare for audition sides/scenes, or refine and resurrect old material I’d love the opportunity to collaborate with you in a coaching session.

Coaching sessions are 55 minutes in length.  Package plans are available.  Please contact me for rates.  I work from my home in Washington Heights.  If this is not convenient Skype sessions and off-location coachings are also available.

If you need more info or have questions don't hesitate to contact me at  I hope to hear from you soon and I can't wait to begin our journey together.