Our Studio

At Shari Shaw Studios, we seek to empower actors. Whether you are just beginning your acting journey or are a seasoned pro, we are here to support your artistry in a safe, inspiring environment. We will provide you with the specific tools you need to build a strong artistic foundation, as well as the practical knowledge needed to healthily navigate and succeed in this business. No matter what point you are at, we are here to help you cultivate your passion, find your inner power, and soar.

Shari Shaw Acting Studio Is Dedicated To:

Developing the Actor’s ability to instantly access their deepest emotions in order to give the most vibrant, textured and interesting performances possible. Teaching the Performer to find and refine their Unique Personality and Voice. Providing tools for Personal Preparation that deliver confidence, excellence and success. Opening the mind and body to creativity and expression, challenging the imagination and eliminating boundaries and inhibitions. Inspiring richer, more captivating, performances flowing from personal passion, power and truth.

SHARI SHAW

Da Boss

After graduating Cum Laude from Cal. State University-Northridge Theater Arts Department and U.S.C. Theater, Shari's professional career spanned almost 20 years as a full-time working actor on Film, TV, National Commercials and Stage including Theatrical World Premieres.

Despite her on-camera success, Shari developed a greater joy from individual work with actors and the emotional and creative experience of teaching the craft of acting. Combining her own acting experience and infectious, high-energy personality with techniques of mentors Lee Strassberg, Peggy Fuery and John Lehne - as well as motivational skills developed as a successful personal trainer – Shari has developed a one-of-a-kind approach to coaching actors and performers.

In 2004, Shari Shaw Acting Studio was born. From a converted office/garage, it has grown into a thriving acting studio with two locations (Secret Rose Theatre) and an ever-widening network of friends, associates, colleagues and clients. Shari was the first female director for the NBCUniversal Actors Showcase, has directed the ABC Diversity Showcase, is a regular Visiting Instructor at the Universal Studio Acting Workshops, has on-going workshops in Atlanta and New York and regularly coaches on-set for TV and major films.

S T A F F

ALISSA DEAN

Staff Member

ALISSA DEAN is a born and bred New Yorker. She got her start in musical theatre, commercials and voiceover at a young age which led to her graduating from the prestigious theatre program at New York University with a Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts.

While at NYU, she studied under renowned Neighborhood Playhouse acting teacher Fred Kareman and famed opera and vocal coach, Shari Anderson. Alissa also studied and performed improv at NYC's The Upright Citizen’s Brigade and at The Magnet Theatre with Armando Diaz.

Alissa began teaching as a master teacher at The Children's Playhouse Theater, a Los Angeles performing arts school for children, in 2012. Through her work at CPT, Alissa was able to help children of varying backgrounds find their artistic voice, thus sparking her desire to continue her journey as a teacher.

Having worked with Shari Shaw as a teacher and mentor for the last decade, Alissa is thrilled to be teaching at Shari Shaw Acting Studio, the very place she found her own voice as a performer.

Alissa has guest starred on Parenthood, Californication, Without A Trace, Cold Case, Less Than Perfect, Nathan Versus Nurture and Awake to name a few. She also starred in the award winning, fully-improvised feature film Speak Now and can be seen happily hocking various products on your TV and computer screens. www.alissadean.com

KRISTEN ARIZA

Associate Coach

If KRISTEN ARIZA looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen her in over 50 national commercials as well as nearly every procedural show on TV, including Grey's Anatomy, NCIS: Los Angeles, Bones, American Horror Story, and a recurring role opposite Tim Roth on Lie to Me. She has also exercised her comedic muscles opposite Amy Poehler in Parks & Recreation and Matt LeBlanc on Friends.

Kristen began her career in her hometown of Orlando, Florida, where she was cast in the Nickelodeon remake of the 1970’s British Sci-Fi series, The Tomorrow People. Filmed on location in London, this series was a classic long before the WB remake of the remake! It was here that she discovered her love for acting.

Afterwards, she studied at Florida State University, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. She has performed on stage in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta. Most recently, Kristen can be seen in the Emmy nominated HBO feature, Confirmation which depicts the explosive 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings where Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment. Starring Kerry Washington, Wendell Pierce and Greg Kinnear, Kristen plays Deputy Press Secretary, Judy Smith, the real life inspiration behind the ABC hit, Scandal.

Kristen is also part of the drama series, Startup, now in its second season, starring Martin Freeman, Adam Brody, and Edi Gathegi. She plays Tamara Dacey, wife to Edi Gathegi’s character Ronald Dacey, who is the second-incommand of a local Haitian gang. If Ronald is the muscle, Kristen Ariza’s Tamara is the heart. Kristen is a working actor who loves the craft and loves helping others actors in their professional journey. She is excited to be a part of the teaching staff at Shari Shaw Acting Studio.

LILY RAINS

Staff Member

Lily Rains is an Actor, Improviser, and Theatre Educator. Lily has appeared in film and television, on stage, and in more than 30 national commercials. She studied theatre at Smith College then earned her B.A. in Theatre Arts from Loyola Marymount University. Her love of theatre brought her to Chicago where she worked with the Tony Award Winning Victory Gardens Theatre as an Assistant Director to Dennis Zachek. She has trained in Improvisation at UCB.NY, the Groundlings, Comedy SportzLA, iO West, and the Hothouse Theaters.

As an educator, Lily has taught theatre and improv at the Middle, High School, and Collegiate levels. Most dear to her heart, she has been teaching, directing, and producing theatre with the budding artists at her alma mater, Crossroads High School, in Santa Monica, CA. www.lilyrains.com

MITCH BERLOW

Staff Member

Mitch Berlow is a graduate of EMERSON COLLEGE with a degree in Advertising & Marketing. He went on to study Performing Arts at the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DRAMATIC ARTS (AADA) in California. He brings a solid background in business and marketing to the field of creative arts and the entertainment industry.

Mitch's creativity was realized at a young age. A drummer by the age of three, he began performing with Jazz, Swing and Rock bands until reaching his mid-twenties. After years of lugging his drum set from gig to go, Mitch opted for the microphone. He performed at NBC/UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD for eleven years, as a principle performer, and has performed with several bands for all types of functions. Mitch began his commercial career by landing a two-year campaign as Kawasaki's Recreational Products spokesperson, appearing and performing for television, print, radio and corporate events. He has performed as an improvisational actor, voice-over talent, MC/Host, as well as a John Belushi/Jake Blues entertainer.

LISA LONDON

Staff Member

LISA LONDON has a casting career that expands over 25 years. She has discovered and/or cast many notable actors and actresses early in their careers who have all gone on to become stars; such as Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana, Jonah Hill in Grandma’s Boy, Emma Stone, Katharine McPhee and Kat Dennings in House Bunny, Selena Gomez in the Disney pilot of What's Stevie Thinking, Jennifer Aniston in her first feature, Leprechaun, Mark Ruffalo in the CBS series, Due South, Megan Hilty and Adrian R. Mante in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.

She also wrote a book for actors entitled, From Start to Stardom which is a step by step guide laying out what you need to know to have the best shot at stardom.

Check out fromstarttostardom.com or londonstroudcasting.com for more.

JACKIE DEBATIN

Staff Member NYC

Jackie has been a professional working actress for 29 years! She lived and worked in numerous comedies in Los Angeles. She moved to NYC to do an Off-Broadway Production of “Its Just Sex” in 2103. And has now called NYC her home for 4 years. Represented by ABRAMS ARTISTS, both in NY & LA. Current NYC television credits are, KEVIN CAN WAIT, LAW & ORDER SVU, BLUEBLOODS, & UNFORGETTABLE. Other recurring roles on THE OFFICE, ACCORDING TO JIM, THE NICK KROLL SHOW, FAKING IT, THAT 70's SHOW, TERRIERS and GIRLFRIENDS. Notable guest stars on PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, THE MENTALIST, CSI MIAMI, TWO and a HALF MEN, FRANKLIN & BASH, 24, LIE TO ME, PARTY DOWN, THE CLOSER , NIP TUCK, ER and FRIENDS. Originally from Southern Illinois. Attended SIU-C where she studied business and theater. She has done one-on-one coaching for comedy, and has been directed by fabulous Shari Shaw in Los Angeles theater. She is excited to become part of Shari’s SSS coaching team here in NYC!

ROBERT CAMPBELL

Staff Member

Robert Campbell hails from the California Bay Area. He studied editing in New York in 2003, and founded his demo reel company, QuickNickel Video, in 2004. He has been coaching and taping auditions since 2008, and has been published in Now Casting, Actors Access, and Bonnie Gillespie’s “Self-Management for Actors”. He has presented multiple workshops for the SAG Foundation, SAG Conservatory, AFTRA, Act Now, WCI Acting Studios, and The Acting Buzz. QuickNickel Video is a Backstage “Best of Los Angeles” award winner for “Best Demo Reel Producer”. Robert is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA.