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.

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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

Staff Member

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

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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.

DANIELLE BISUTTI

Staff Member

Danielle has made a name for herself with the diverse characters she has
brought to life in film and television. In 2013, Bisutti received rave reviews for her role in top
grossing Sony Pictures’ and FilmDistrict film INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 as the ‘Mother of
Parker Crane’. Critics took notice; one saying ‘the performance of Danielle Bisutti as the
younger version of the Bride in Black is a most elegant personification of evil.” In addition to this
film, Bisutti also starred in Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s CURSE OF CHUCKY as
“Barb,” and Michael Rosebaum’s indie comedy BACK IN THE DAY. Some of her other film
credits include Lionsgate’s Venice Underground (Eric Mabius), First Look Home
Entertainment’s The Neighbor (Matthew Modine), and Lionsgate’s No Greater Love. On the
television front, Bisutti has guest starred and recurred on some of the biggest series on TV
today, including “Matador” for Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network, “Parks & Recreation” for
NBC “Anger Management” for FX, “Grey’s Anatomy” for ABC, “Last Man Standing” for
ABC, “CSI Miami” for CBS, “NCIS,” “NCIS LA”, “Criminal Minds”, “Castle”, “Hot in
Cleveland”, “90210”, “Rizzoli & Isles”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Body of Proof”,
“Leverage”, “Bones”, “Cold Case”, “Two and a Half Men”, “Boston Legal”, “Without A
Trace”, “Raising the Bar” and “The O.C.” to name a few. However, she may best known for
her starring role as the uptight yet lovable fashion diva ‘Amanda Cantwell’ opposite Keke
Palmer on the hit Nickelodeon series “True Jackson, VP” from 2008-2011.
Danielle received her Bachelor of Arts from Cal State University at Fullerton where she studied
Acting and Musical Theater. An integral part of the theater program, she was nominated several
times for “Best Actress” in the Irene Ryan Competition and took runner up at The Lincoln Center
Theatre in NYC. Michael Butler (the original Broadway producer of Hair 1968) fell in love with
the ‘Potawatomi HAIR tribe’ in which Bisutti played the leading role of ‘Sheila’ and brought the
California-based cast and production to Chicago to perform at the Democratic National
Convention along with a five-week run at The New Athenaeum Theatre. Bisutti’s other theatre
credits include: ‘Reno Sweeny’ in Anything Goes, ‘Maggie’ in Boy’s Life, ‘Yelena’ in Uncle
Vanya, ‘Victoria/Jane’ in Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8:30, ‘Fastranda’ in Pippin, and ‘Ophelia’ in
Hamlet.

BEN TOLPIN

Staff Member

Ben Tolpin has been a working actor for over 20 years, appearing in more than 90 national commercials including various Super Bowl commercials. He was the spokesperson for TGIFridays, appearing for them in a multitude of national commercials, internet spots, and personal appearances around the country. Other multi-year campaigns include, Snapple, Samsung, and Coffee Mate.
He has worked with such notable film directors as Doug Liman, Bobby Farrelly, Michael Bay, Tony Kaye, Will Speck/ Josh Gordon, Phil Morrison, Jesse Dylan, and Errol Morris. Among television credits he’s recurred or guest starred on various sitcoms and shows such as Weeds, NCIS, and was a regular on the sitcom, The Mullets.
In theater he is most proud to have played Roy Selridge in Biloxi Blues at Pasadena Playhouse where he performed for Neil Simon himself. He has also performed with Upright Citizens Brigade.
Ben wrote, directed, and starred in the short film Broken Up that premiered at the Maui Film Festival and garnered multiple Jury Awards and Audience Choice Awards around the country.
Ben has worked as a teacher and coach for years and is an alumnus of at least eight acting programs and studios of note in NY and LA, as well as graduating with an Acting BFA from Marymount Manhattan College.