As the Artistic Director of the Howard Fine Acting Studio, Howard Fine has built an unshakeable reputation as the most gifted acting teacher in the business today.
Beginning his career in Los Angeles in 1985 by privately coaching students in his living room, Howard has gone on to receive recognition for his teaching when, in 2006, he was named ‘Best Acting Teacher in Los Angeles’ by BackStage Magazine in a one time only poll. Since then, Howard has established studio in both Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia.
During his 30-year teaching career, Howard has personally coached Hollywood stars including Oscar winners Jennifer Connelly and Jared Leto, Oscar nominees Brad Pitt, Michelle Williams, Bradley Cooper and Selma Hayek, Golden Globe nominees Simon Baker, Rosanna Arquette, Brooke Shields and Mark Harmon and Emmy winners Kim Delaney, Sela Ward and Michael Chiklis. In addition to this, Howard has also worked with literally hundreds of actors including Chris Pine, Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman, Gerard Butler, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, Dwayne Johnson, Val Kilmer and Amy Smart.
As a lover of the craft of acting, Howard is one of the few elite acting experts who have devoted their primary career to perfecting the teaching and coaching of professional actors and his outstanding reputation is the product of his remarkable expertise. In 2008, Howard published his book ‘Fine on Acting: A Vision of the Craft’ in which he outlines his approach to and philosophies on acting, which closely reflect those of his mentor and close colleague Uta Hagen. ‘Fine on Acting’ is now taught in many leading colleges and universities.
Philip Hayden - Studio Director
Philip Hayden is the Director of the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia. Philip is extremely proud to champion the work of Howard Fine and the HFAS faculty, having led the organisation (in conjunction with his business partner Patrick Constantinou) since it began in 2011.
Philip graduated from drama school in 1999. Since which time Philip has been a career actor, theatre maker, producer and director. Amongst many television, film and theatre appearances Philip has performed leading roles on London's West End, in classic HBO drama Band of Brothers, in the hit Stan show Romper Stomper, been a semi regular on children's television for the BBC and for award-winning Australian theatre company Red Stitch.
Outside of performing Philip is also one of the founders and Directors of the Poppy Seed Theatre Festival. A Pioneering festival designed specifically to support mid-career and emerging theatre makers in Melbourne.
Marilyn McIntyre - Head of Acting
As a member of the Howard Fine Acting Studio faculty, Marilyn McIntyre specialises in teaching Scene Study, Foundation and Personalisation. Marilyn developed the Personalisation program at Howard Fine’s request, as a way of helping actors harness their personal experiences to bring their most authentic selves to their work.
Marilyn studied at HB Studio in New York, with Michael Shurtleff and was also a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Actors Workshop. In Los Angeles, Marilyn had the privilege of studying with Uta Hagen, and is featured on Uta Hagen’s ‘Acting Class’ DVD, performing Hagen’s tenth object exercise: Historical Imagination, in which she plays Charlotta from the Cherry Orchard. She has also trained with esteemed director Anna Bogart and leading members of the SITI Company, as well as holding a Master of Fine Arts (Penn State University) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (University of North Carolina School of the Arts).
Marilyn is a multi-award-winning actor, whose credits include leading roles on and off Broadway as well as in Los Angeles, where she garnered multiple Ovation, LA Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly and BackStage Garland awards, and several nominations for her work with companies such as Rogue Machine Theatre, VS. Theatre Company, Matrix, Open Fist, Deaf West and Interact among others. Most recently she made her fourth appearance in Rogue Machine’s ‘Around-the-Clock’ play festival. Her film and television credits include ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Cold Case’, ‘Watch Over Me’ (series regular), ‘Judging Amy’, ‘LA Law’ ‘X-Files’, ‘Shuffle’, ‘Heaven’s Rain’, ‘On Holiday’, ‘The Ring Two’, the hit short ‘George Lucas in Love’ and many more. Most recently she worked opposite Brenda Vaccaro in the independent feature ‘30-Love’.
In addition to the Howard Fine Acting Studio, Marilyn also teaches at the Los Angeles SAG-AFTRA Conservatory at AFI, and is the coordinator of the acting program for Elon in LA: ‘Climbing the LAdder’ at Elon University. She has taught at California State University-Northridge (CSUN), the Old Globe/University of San Diego MFA Program, University of Southern California, University of Texas-Austin and Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy, among others.
David Coury - Creator of SFA
David Coury is the vocal director at the Howard Fine Acting Studio, where he specialises in teaching his self devised Singing and Speech for Actors and Vocal Lab programs, which are designed to empower actors through speech and voice work.
In addition to his private practice in LA, David has established himself as a world leader in the field, having worked with many leading professionals in the entertainment industry and corporate world, including actors, broadcasters and Top 40 recording artists such as Leona Lewis. David demonstrated his transformative techniques on ABC’s ‘Extreme Makeover’, when he helped a rapper with a cleft palate overcome a speech impediment that had plagued him for twenty years. As well as this, he has appeared on ‘American Idol’, and worked with MTV, NBC, Fox, TV Guide Network and ‘E!’.
Shane Connor - Screen Acting
Shane Connor specialises in teaching acting technique for the screen at the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia.
Shane graduated from the VCA in 1983 and has since performed extensively across film, television and theatre. Well known for his work in Neighbours, Shane has appeared in numerous television dramas, including ‘Dirt Game’, ‘Blue Heelers’, ‘City Homicide’, ‘A Country Practice’, ‘Stingers’ and ‘Killing Time’, not to mention many films and mini-series, including ‘The Harp in the South’, ‘Fir’ ‘Playing for Charlie’ ‘Emerging’, the internationally released ‘Moby Dick’, and recently, ‘Wolf Creek 2’. Shane has been recognised for his work in film and television with four AFI (AACTA) Award nominations and a Penguin Award. Shane has also been awarded for his work on stage, performing with well renowned companies such as the Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company and Playbox.
Shane has worked as an acting coach for the National Theatre, the VCA and numerous Sydney drama schools, as well as running his own screen classes with fellow actor Kevin Harrington (‘Cliffy’). Shane is now based in Los Angeles.
Shane Savage - Youth Program
After completing a bachelor of Creative Arts (Drama/Film) at Deakin University, Shane went on to study full time at the world renowned Howard Fine Acting Studio. Recent theatre credits include Ricky in Big Al at Chapel Off Chapel and Marc Christian in ‘Playing Rock Hudson’ at the Malthouse Theatre. On screen, Shane has played the lead roles of Lindsay in ‘Anatomy’ (dir. Joe Betros), Art in 'Artemis' (dir. Daniel Higgins), Dean in ‘Nevyr Love a Vampyr’ (dir. Geoffrey Wright) and Chris in the award-winning webseries ‘Chris & Josh’ (dir. Matt Smolen). Shane's love for the craft has led him to be an Actor, Producer, Director, Writer and Coach. Recent achievements include winning Best Writing at NYC WebFest, Best Online Video at the London Film Awards, Best Comedy Series at the Online Video Awards Australia and being nominated for Best Male Performance in a Comedy by the International Academy of Web Television. Shane's latest project (as writer, director and actor) is a short film titled 'SH!T', which is currently successfully touring the international film festival circuit. Shane is also currently in preproduction on two feature films and is about to launch his own studio space and production company.
Barbara Robertson - Alexander Technique Expert
Barbara has a background in Education. She taught in Secondary and Tertiary Education before training to be an Alexander Technique Teacher.
She has been running a successful Private and Corporate Alexander Technique Practice in Double Bay for over 20 years, during which time she has worked extensively with musicians, singers and professional actors. Her work with actors has allowed her to work privately and to support their film and television work. In addition to teaching at AIM-Dramatic Arts, Barbara has also taught at Actors’ Centre Australia and on The Open Program at NIDA. Barbara has participated in a Barbara Houseman Workshop & audited a Patsy Rodenburg Master Class.
She has assisted Howard Fine, David Coury, Larry Moss & Jean-Louis Roderique during their Australian Master Classes.
Jimmy James Eaton - Improv
Based out of Melbourne, Jimmy James Eaton is an award-winning star in Australian comedy and acting. Jimmy is a dynamic, versatile live performer and writer, with one of the sharpest minds on the scene. He has wowed fans throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Japan. Recently he has appeared on Channel 7’s Slide Show, ABC TV’s It’s A Date and ABCs Fresh Blood’s Written It Down web series. In addition he has hosted and written for ABC TV, Channel V and NOVA Radio. Jimmy has lent his voice to the animated feature film Maya The Bee and soon to be, Maya The Bee – The Honey Games along with numerous TV and radio advertisements. Jimmy has been crowned Australia’s 'Best And Fairest' improviser, as well as being named National Australian Theatre Sports champion. In addition he has been a National Raw Comedy finalist. He was the co-founder and Artistic Director of the live improvised comedy show, The Big HOO-HAA Melbourne and creator/head writer on the live sketch comedy show Impro-Sketch.
" ✮✮✮✮✮... An absolute joy to watch" The Funny Tonne
"✮✮✮✮1/2 ... An hour of laugh out loud." The Herald Sun
"✮✮✮✮ ... This kid is very funny... pure charm." The Age
“A very huggable, very funny fellow...Jimmy James consistently does amazing stuff with his mouth-hole that makes me laugh out my mouth-hole." Tim Minchin.
Sarah Hallam - Technique Teacher
Sarah graduated from the HFAS Full-Time course in 2012, and was handpicked by Howard to become the first Australian teacher of his technique. Sarah has worked consistently in film and television for over twenty years, appearing in shows such as Blue Heelers, City Homicide and Neighbours. On stage, Sarah has toured with Arena Theatre Company, and most recently appeared in Black Water Theatre’s production of Killer Joe (2014). Sarah has also worked behind the scenes, primarily in casting on productions such as Blue Heelers and Neighbours, as well as directing, coaching and teaching teenagers and adults.
Sass Pinci - Vocal Teacher
Sass is a Melbourne based actor and musician. She is a multi-instrumentalist and trained classical and contemporary vocalist, studying with Brian Hansford at The University of Melbourne. Sass has been touring and performing since she was a teenager, along side teaching voice and performance. Before joining the faculty at the Howard Fine Acting Studio, Sass graduated from our Full Time program.
Scott Major - Television Director
Scott is an actor, director, producer and writer. He has worked extensively in television, theatre and film around the world for the last 29 years. Scott has performed leading television roles in Heartbreak High, Wildside, Neighbours, Always Greener and Late for School, amongst others. Film credits include Envy, He died with a falafal in his hand, Trench and The Heartbreak Kid. He founded Bathroom Floor Productions in 2004 and his recent theatre work includes All The Intimacy, Both Sides of the Bar, The Fellatio Monologues, Death in a Box: one pussy's tale, The Subtle Art of Flirting, Closer, Terminus and Salt. Scott is currently a director for Neighbours (for whom he was given the honour of directing their prestigious one-hour special in 2017) and Channel Ten's Playing For Keeps (due for release in late 2018). Scott is also co-founder and director of the Poppy Seed Theatre Festival.
Karen Ludwig - Solo Performance specialist
Karen Ludwig performs, directs and teaches in New York and Los Angeles.
Her first feature film was Woody Allen's Manhattan in which she played Meryl Streep's lover, since which time she has worked with numerous stars including Kevin Costner and most recently Zac Efron. She has performed numerous hit productions on Broadway, has had regular roles in leading television programs such as Law and Order and produced the famous Uta Hagen Acting Class DVD. Uta Hagen was Karen's long-time friend, colleague and mentor.
Karen regularly directs in New York, where she is based and performs her own one-person shows outside of her numerous teaching and coaching commitments.
Sally McLean - Shakespeare
Sally McLean is an award-winning actor, director, writer and producer whose screen projects have been officially selected for over 70 film festivals around the world and received over 25 awards. A graduate of The Actors Institute, London (UK), she has appeared in numerous lead, support and guest roles in mainstream film and television, both in Australia and the UK and over 30 theatrical productions. Her work behind the camera began with the BBC in London before forming her production business Incognita Enterprises under the Honorary Patronage of Oscar® nominated actor, Sir Nigel Hawthorne. She has played Shakespeare professionally in both Australia and the UK and is currently Creator/Director of the multi award-winning web series Shakespeare Republic, starring Nadine Garner, Michala Banas, Alan Fletcher, Christopher Kirby and Dean Haglund, among others, now entering its third season, as well as developing several other Shakespeare projects within the Shakespeare Republic universe. Known for her work with bringing Shakespeare firmly into the 21st Century, while remaining authentic to the texts, she has been invited by Independent Schools Victoria to bring her style of working with Shakespeare into Victorian high schools as part of an official curriculum package based solely on her work - aimed at both teachers and students, and was recently invited to contribute a chapter for a new international Shakespeare academic collection of essays about adapting his work in the modern age, due for publication in late 2019. Her work with Shakespeare Republic has been referenced in the Arden Shakespeare series of books and also been the basis of panel presentations at various academic conferences in Australia and the USA. Sally is currently on the Advisory Board for Melbourne WebFest, has been a regular Jury Member for the AFI, AACTA and ATOM Awards and continues to work in the Australian and international industries as an actor, writer and director.