I recently had an opportunity to work with Meryl for a few sessions. I was extremely hesitant at first as my focus is on-camera, and hers is theater. I jumped in anyway, and I'm so glad I did; Meryl blew me away. My first session with her was audition prep for an actual audition I had later that day. In 30 minutes, Meryl had me so prepared and sure of my choices, that it turned out to be one of the best audition experiences I've ever had. It's true that preparedness calms the nerves! In another session with Meryl, I cold read several monologues that Meryl pulled from her massive arsenal. Her ability to quickly pull 'just right' monologues for me, as well as for the others in my workshop, was uncanny. What an incredible resource Meryl would be for any actor. I can't recommend her highly enough!
— Heather Hiatt
The tools we applied in Meryl’s classes were practical and efficient. I learned to define my strengths, examine my choices, and focus on making some small behavioral shifts. I learned to trust my instincts and pick audition pieces that showcased my strengths instead of trying to figure out what somebody else wanted. I gained confidence and started making decisions from my gut, and an unexpected bonus was that I lost the need for the protective armor of extra pounds. Subsequent instruction on posture and inner corset work made me feel two inches taller, which brought an energized physicality to my work that was reflected in the power of my Mrs. Warren audition piece. After several months of working with Meryl, my auditions suddenly went from callbacks to castings!
If you have good acting chops, then the impact of Meryl’s coaching is like applying a new layer of polish that makes you shine!
As I navigate the competitive audition landscape in the Bay Area, I will continue to use Meryl’s coaching expertise as a North Star, always guiding me safely home. The jewel that I learned from Meryl is to simply do your best and then let go, let go, let go.
Post script, 2 years later: I'm still using two of the monologues that we worked on in class in 2013! And just to show you how right they are for me they got me cast in five shows in three different theaters in 2015 and now I'm in rehearsal for my first one in 2016!
— Jackie Blue
I found myself mid-career and not being able to propel myself into the next level of the business. My audition skills were mediocre and my career had stalled. I started working with Meryl with the hope that I could get a shot of motivation and sharpen my approach to auditions. After working with Meryl, not only am I getting more auditions and I am booking more – on the stage and on-camera. I credit my private coaching directly to getting into a “bucket-list” theater and dream production. I recommend both workshops and private coaching to any level of actor who feels their work and/or career has stalled, anyone who might need help strategizing to the next level. Her advice and expertise is invaluable to any performer. The best take-away I have from my work with Meryl is the empowerment to be myself in all aspects of business. Showing my true, authentic self in auditions, performances and meetings really helped me turn the corner on my career – and it’s growing in leaps and bounds.
— Laura Jane Bailey
I came to Meryl to help me prepare 2 classical speeches for a callback. Her warmth and friendliness made me feel comfortable right away which helped me feel free and relaxed in the work. Her extensive knowledge of the plays and pieces I was doing was super helpful in giving me fresh insight into both pieces. She drove me to take the most active approaches to the pieces. And the best part is...I ended up booking the job! Thanks Meryl!
— Michelle Drexler
Meryl is simply THE BEST audition coach. She guides you through defining your audition goals, choosing material that suits you to a tee, then working with you through very specific text, meaning, voice & movement work. With Meryl's signature warmth and humor, she guides you to fearless, fabulous performances! If you need an audition coach, Meryl should be your only choice. And, if you need MORE...Meryl's guidance as a business coach is equally invaluable, as she gains insight into your particular business needs, she mentors and suggests actions that give you clarity and focus, and, if you follow, you will succeed. I - beyond "highly" - recommend Meryl if you wish to take your acting business to the next level of success.
— Terry Bamberger
Nearly a year after our last coaching appointment, I still find myself referring back to Meryl’s wise counsel. We started working together because I was eager to shift my life path but was unsure how to make that happen, what I wanted my new life to look like, or even what core competencies I could rely upon to create the change I sought. Three years after that initial appointment, I’m living in a different part of the country, pursuing the education I want, and generally living a more content life.
Meryl’s approach to counseling starts with identifying internal strengths, and using those as touchstones to imagine a new life, at which point she works with you to create a step-by-step plan to bring that new life into reality. In my case, we also identified areas where I was most likely to get distracted or sidetracked from my true goals by less-relevant distracters. I credit Meryl’s gentle but firm style with keeping me on track during my grad school research and application process, and am firmly convinced that memories of her teasing reminders about my distracters has helped me avoid several near-misses as I have built my new life! Thank goodness! Thank Meryl!
Update: Five years after that initial appointment, my life is a close match with the "ideal" life I envisioned with Meryl's prompting -- and I can see a path to get me from "nearly ideal" to all the way there.
— Megan Wygant
Before working with Meryl, I felt good about my career in general, but knew I had a weakness in public speaking. In particular, I had a total reliance on my notes, wanting to say verbatim what I’d prepared. This really limited my confidence and the strength of my personal testimonial.
I had to give an inspirational talk at my organization’s 10th anniversary dinners. It was to be 10 – 15 minutes in length, contained a lot of personal information about how I came to work with Asylum Access and why. I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to do the story justice, and that I’d be unable to represent the organization well.
Meryl completely transformed my comfort with public speaking. Her instruction has given me both the tools and confidence to prepare for any speech or presentation at work.
I received great feedback from colleagues, donors and other stakeholders who attended my talk. I was told I was inspirational, honest, compelling and raw. It was an incredible moment for me, realizing I could do what I previously thought I couldn’t: represent the organization.
I recommend Meryl to anyone open to learning – I feel confident she can help you prepare for presentations of any variety, covering any subject matter.
If you’re going to work with Meryl, I’d say “lucky you.”
One of the best things I learned from working with Meryl is that being honest and straightforward, while knowing your high-level points, will take you very far in terms of authenticity and communicability.
Working with Meryl is a one-way ticket to superb public speaking.
— Diana Essex
(Deputy Director of Asylum Access, an international refugee rights organization)
If you have questions, contact me!