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Student Comments



NINA WRAY (Nine Month Conservatory)

Nina Wray

The program that Jayd McCarty and his faculty have put together is one of the best in the country.  I knew that I wanted to further my training but I was not in the position to spend three years in a graduate program.  I researched many other conservatory opportunities in New York and I couldn't find one that met with the criteria I was hoping for.  I was beginning to believe that I was asking for too much and that I would have to settle.  As luck would have it, I found The Studio and it was exactly what I was looking for-it almost seemed a little too perfect. I cannot even begin to tell you what an amazing experience these past nine months have been.  I have gained invaluable knowledge and insight as an artist as well as learning a great deal about myself as a person.  Now, nine months later, it's still hard to believe that it was real.  The Studio/New York has changed my life in ways I didn't even expect.  Thank you so much for making that possible.


KEITH HINES (Nine Month Conservatory)

keith 2

The theatre has always been the place I knew I wanted to spend my life.  Since my first musical at the age of 15, Carousel, I have given my life over to the arts.  I went to Oklahoma City University and earned both my Bachelor's and my Master's Degrees in Music with a focus in Musical Theatre.  When I got to New York in July of 2009, I knew that I needed more acting training if I was going to have the career I envisioned for myself.  Soon, Jayd McCarty was recommended to me and his training alone changed my life.  He opened my eyes to a whole new artistic part of myself that I was afraid I didn't possess.  Now nine months later I have come out more prepared and capable to be a member of this business than I ever dreamed was possible. I am grateful for the course you have helped set my life upon. Thank you!


JILLIAN WALKER (Nine Month Conservatory) 

Jillian Walker

Never before have I been more challenged and empowered by any single experience as I was in my nine months at The Studio. I have become a more confident, aware, compassionate, strong actor. I expect to be reaping the benefits of my training professionally for years to come, but most importantly I expect that my growth as a human being will propel me to positively impact all those I encounter. I believe that actors are as much responsible for their spirits as they are for their physical instruments and I can honestly say that mine was enriched and nurtured during my time at The Studio. Not only have you helped to create a solid actor, but a thoroughly whole person.      

(Summer Conservatory)

I was fortunate enough to take part in the first-ever Summer Intensive put on by Studio New York. In just 6 weeks my entire professional perspective on theatre was completely changed. I started seeing theatre as a true living, breathing art form. The Studio New York unlocked me. It stripped away habits that hindered my growth as an artist and as a person. I went straight from the training program to a national tour and had never felt more prepared pursuing what I love. I highly recommend the Studio/New York to anyone right out of college and ready to get serious about their craft. 



SARAH POLESHUCK (Summer Conservatory)

Sarah Poleshuck

I enrolled in the Studio/New York's summer conservatory because I knew it was the only place in New York I could study with teachers of such a high caliber. The instructors I studied with are passionate individuals, experts in their field whose generosity of spirit and skill is unrivaled. I felt privileged to be training with professors who teach in the country's best schools. My mind, body, and spirit were challenged in unexpected ways every day. The small class size allowed for the individual attention I needed to foster my personal growth, and gave me the opportunity to build lasting relationships with my classmates. Joining the summer conservatory was the best decision I could have made. My consciousness as an actor and as a human being grew in ways I would have never imagined. I feel the reverberations of those changes almost a year later and probably will continue to do so far into the future.     


ESHAN BAY (Summer Conservatory)

I joined the Summer Conservatory a closed, skeptical, judgmental actor that was suspicious of what this type of training can offer. I left the program completely changed - and in the months after have found myself continually growing using what I learned in that rigorous time span. The faculty is unparalleled - they push you as an actor and as a person to really work for your own results, and they equip you with amazing training both technical and intangible. Its really a unique opportunity, to work with actors coming from a similar place and to grow as an ensemble under the direction of some of the best teachers around. "Open" is the most succinct way I can describe what the training gives you - I was opened emotionally, creatively, and professionally. The training really helped expand me as an actor, and free me in ways I didn't even realize I was blocked.

TOPHER MIKELS (2nd Year Conservatory)

When I first heard about The Studio NY I was questioning my right to be included among the community of actors of whom I had so much respect for.  I felt like I lacked the training and discipline to contribute as a passionate and meaningful artist.  I am a man who believes in the workings of fate because in this time of need I was recommended to The Studio NY by a close friend and teacher of mine. I had to opportunity to train for 2 years at The Studio learning and working beside some of the best in the business when it comes to their trade. It taught me everything from a proper work ethic to pushing the boundaries of what I was capable of both physically and emotionally as an actor.  The program created a safe place where I could take risks every day, I could ask questions and seek advice from some of the most respected actors/teachers in the business and form a network of fellow artists whom I respected and enjoyed working with.  The two years of training tested me and gave me the confidence to go out into the real world ready to work and be pro-active in making my own career.  This is a training program for those actors who are serious about their craft and are searching for their own way to contribute to the artist collective. I recommend this program to every actor I know who is looking for the best MFA type training. It has changed me as an actor, it has changed me as an artist and it has matured me as a person.  I will be shooting my new HBO series in Romania this spring knowing that it would not have been possible without my training from The Studio/New York. Thank you! 


LENORE MARKS  (Nine Month Conservatory)
Lenore MarksSimply put The Studio New York is the best training in the city. Period. It's not for everyone - this program will challenge your assumptions not only about who you are as an actor, but who you are as a person as well. You will grow in ways you didn't know were possible. It is an amazing nine months: at times heartbreaking, at times uplifting. You will leave the program stronger than you have ever felt in your life. And you will quickly see the rewards in all aspects of your life. A choreographer I have known for years literally stopped class one day to tell me that I should "throw myself prostrate at the feet of my teachers with bouquets of flowers and bottles of wine because (she) has never seen me dance so freely and expressively". The growth you experience at The Studio will be present in the audition room, in the rehearsal room, in a dance class, in a voiceover lesson, at dinner with your parents - literally everywhere. I am so thankful for the nine months I spent training at The Studio! I would not be the actor or the person I am today if I had not gone through that experience.


MAXWELL EDDY (Nine Month Conservatory)

Maxwell Eddy

The Nine Month Conservatory Program at The Studio New York changed me as an actor because it forced me to grapple with myself as a human being. The day-to-day working of this acting program, every detail while you are in training, is an exercise more in humanity than it is in anything else. That is why, to me, it is the most incredible theatre training I have received, because the work begins from the human being. We as artists are constantly searching for the words and ways to express the truth we experience as our existence. And at the fundamental core of this program lies the principle that without the person there can be no performance. I cannot express to you the talent of this faculty in words. The people you will have the incredible fortune of training with in this program will be there for you everyday. They will force you to take a closer look at yourself. They will push you to go farther than you are currently comfortable. They will root for you, they will cry with you, they will yell and sometimes laugh at you, but they will also love you and show you the most important gift you have as an actor, your human spirit. My hope is that you will find the experience of their daily guidance as consistently revelatory as I did. They have the world to offer us fellow actors! I thank them daily in my mind for the incredible insights they have shared with me, often the products of their own struggles, their own sweat and tears. The most accurate thing I can say about The Studio New York's Nine Month Conservatory Program is that, for the actor in training, it is the beginning of something much larger than the nine months of study.  It is the training that will guide you through the rest of your career as an actor. It is a well you can continue to go back to that grows deeper as YOU grow deeper. It is taught with care, and faith, and love. I truly hope you will feel as inspired by these teachers, by this art form, and by the honesty of your own work in, and continuing on from this program, that I have.


MEGAN MCDERMOTT (2nd Year Conservatory)


My two years at The Studio/NY remarkably changed my life. The conservatory was one of the most creatively enriching and artistically fulfilling experiences I have ever had. I treasured every moment! The gift of The Studio/NY is the enormous growth and change in my acting craft as well as in my humanity.  I am more grounded, compassionate, and confident. The instrument training is fantastic and I've walked away with a toolbox of skills that I am able to apply in my professional theatrical career. I was also privileged to act with one of the most gifted and loving ensembles, which is incredibly rare and special. I was challenged and excited and inspired at every turn during my time at The Studio/NY. 


KYLE HINES (Nine Month Conservatory)

Kyle HInes

The Studio NY has single-handedly changed the way I think about acting and how I approach the work. Having come from an incredibly heavy musical theatre background, I didn't have the training I needed to compete as a professional in this business. I was lost and couldn't figure out how to get back to the reasons I wanted to be an actor, which was to be an artist. Having the chance to work with some of the best teachers in the country has given me the skills I needed. Every day class has brought me something new and invigorating to learn. You will hear Jayd say that "once you begin this work, you will feel it begin to move inside you, and you can't help but let it change you", and it's true. It has changed me. The Studio has a small mantra, "to be an artist and to understand acting, we must first better understand ourselves." This simple concept has made me realize that acting is about humanity-a deeper connection between human beings...and that's what makes this art exciting.


NATALIE MARTIN (2nd Year Conservatory)
Natalie Martin
I was looking to further my education in a graduate program when I stumbled upon The Studio/New York.  A friend of mine, whom I respected very much as an actor had told me about this amazing program, and said that if he could study anywhere, graduate program or otherwise, he would study at The Studio.  After my initial audition with them I understood exactly what he meant. Throughout all my years of training, I had never felt as challenged as an artist as I did in this conservatory program.  It was incredible, and taught me to see the gift of individuality.  I learned to embrace the unique qualities within myself, and to appreciate what each person around me had to offer.  I began to understand what my fears and insecurities were, how to face them and show up for others in my craft, put my selfishness aside and to focus on the work in front of me.  The Studio taught me to face my fears and blocks by trusting the process and opening myself up to those around me.  Everybody has something to offer the art form, and today, I completely embrace who I am, and use that in my craft. The Studio pulls faculty from the best graduate programs around the country to work with a small intimate group of actors.  This allows for a tremendous amount of attention from faculty, bonding, growth, and opportunity, which one may not find in a large graduate program.  Students are asked to show up, be present and give all themselves each and everyday.  It can be very intense, however, extremely rewarding.  It was one of the MOST rewarding experiences I had ever encountered and I am forever changed as an actor due to my training at The Studio.  My advice for anyone looking to further their understanding as an artist would be this...if you want a degree, you can study anywhere;  if you want the training, you want The Studio!


DANIEL KUBLICK (2nd Year Conservatory)

Daniel Kublick

I wanted to write to you, but wanted it to be something truly special, but it keeps coming off sounding superlative, exactly how everyone feels about their particular walk through life.  The conservatory program is the best thing out there not only for learning about the craft and joy of acting, but because it helped me understand all of myself: my capabilities, my flaws, my strengths, my shortcomings, my desires.  And for pushing me to own what I have and keep asking for more.   And I just want to write something that shows that to everyone.  But, as I've discovered: they have to learn it themselves by taking the risk, by putting it out there.  Lucky are those who risk it for you because you and your program are fierce.  And so, so important.  


TRICIA ELISE (Summer Conservatory)

Tricia EliseWhen I began the Summer Conservatory, I knew I was fortunate to be studying with The Studio's faculty. What I didn't realize is that the experience would give me something that would span much longer than the 6 weeks of the program. It was the beginning of a journey.  Within the highly intensive environment of the program, we learned to not just "keep up" with the workload, we also learned to dig deeper and set our sights higher.  Every instructor brought not only high standards and true expertise for their work, but also a level of caring and support that is truly rare to find in training programs. They are invested in everyone's progress. The Summer Conservatory isn't to be confused with other similar sounding programs-it is for committed and dedicated actors who are ready to be challenged. The Summer Conservatory helped bring clarity for my personal development as an actor and artist. I left knowing how to continue on the path with positive and productive tools. 


CHRIS GHAFFARI (Summer Conservatory)

My deepest thanks for all that you did for me and the rest of the group over the past six weeks. After a few days of reflection, I'm realizing how radically the coursework has enhanced my approach to acting and theater in general.  More than that, your teaching, and the course as a whole, have started to build in me not only a new way of working, but also a new way of looking at the world.  What a truly amazing gift you've given all of us!  Thank you also for all the encouragement and motivation you gave me personally.  I am so incredibly fortunate to have trained with you and the rest of the outstanding faculty for all that time. 




LILY BALSEN (Nine Month Conservatory)

The demLily Belsanands that were made of me as a person and actor during the Conservatory were extreme, but I am now equipped to live in NYC (and the world) as a true creative collaborator. The Conservatory is broad, but detailed. The curriculum is highly individualized to the class that Jayd puts together and tailored to meet our individual needs. The program not only enabled me to establish an acting technique, it also helped me to develop a unique voice and aesthetic as an artist. This was something that, after an undergraduate degree from a liberal arts school, I was still lacking. The experience can be terrifying and, luckily, Jayd has rallied a top-notch faculty to steer us through the sticking points. I now have an artistic community of peers and teachers (with whom I shared laughter, tears, and everything in between) to rely on for support. The growth that I experienced over the past year is a gift.  I am more confident in my craft and more curious to explore its boundaries. I am eternally grateful for Jayd's belief in me and for opening the doors to a new way of looking at myself, my art, and theatre as a whole.


JASON ALAZRAKI (2nd Year Conservatory) 

Jason AlazrakiThe faculty at The Studio/New York is truly unparalleled for a conservatory setting. It was amazing to work and study with teachers strategically pulled from the top graduate school programs in the country and many of whom are currently working professionals in the industry. I feel like a received a foundation for which I will be able to ground myself with for the length of my career; a bag of essential tools that I can reach into for whatever circumstances I'm confronted with. I grew tremendously both as an actor and as a human being. It was a life changing experience and one that I will never forget.  


REBECCA CARTON (Nine Month Conservatory) 

Rebecca CartonThe Studio is a place for many things: A place to find your body; a place to find your voice; a place to find your fun and joy; a place to find your fears and your sorrows. It is a safe environment to rediscover anything and everything that has been stifled and hidden over the years and learn to incorporate and use every part of you in a creative and self-fulfilling way. When you leave The Studio you'll feel braver and more capable of trusting the creative blood that runs inside of you and you will be proud to step into a room and own your space and what you have to offer.





IVORY AQUINO (Nine Month Conservatory)

Ivory Aquine

Spending nine months at The Studio/New York Conservatory has proven to be the most productive time for my artistic growth thus far.  The quality of education I received at The Studio was top-notch in all areas, and surpassed any expectations I had.  For seven hours a day and five days a week, I was immersed in classes expertly crafted to complement the other classes, and tailored to address areas of most concern to the students.  All day every day we were either rehearsing or working on some aspect of our craft.  As for my classmates, I was surrounded by artists as committed to the craft as I was. Each one was carefully selected by the program director, Jayd McCarty for her/his unique contributions to a group that would develop closely as a true ensemble.  For teachers, I was nurtured by faculty members from the most respected training institutions, gathered by Jayd to work cohesively as a team to provide the class with the tools necessary to make us more complete artists.  Projects were chosen based on the needs of each student and of the collective as a whole. It is not a stretch to say that the program was tailor-made for us. Simply put, the nine month conservatory has been one of the most worthwhile investments I've made on myself as an artist and as a person."


THOMAS OHRSTROM (Nine Month Conservatory)

Thomas Ohrstrom

I understand now what an unbelievable favor I was granted when a good friend recommended The Studio. Leading up to the beginning of the conservatory I wavered between continuing on a more traditional academic path or bridging my undergraduate experience with a more alternative approach. I elected The Studio for a particular reason. While the artists we work with have impressive resumes and the discipline they approach the work with is unchallenged, the belief and truth they all command in your work makes it that "something special" I'd always hoped to find. Each few decades of this craft have been defined by a number of teachers, all with their own methods and their own studios. I knew when I left for New York it was to find a studio that provided something new, a perspective or idea that I believed would affect those next changes. There were several places that offered interesting classes and certainly some with really great ones but none with a complete experience. A place of it's own. Like some of the great studios with long histories and great instructors and alumni alike The Studio/New York offers you a sharpened tool box of it's own, one that you sculpt and illuminates your passion to the best of your ability. It affects a change that aids your pursuit of honest joy in this art. One that gives you everything needed to succeed at the any level. But unlike any other, The Studio left me with belief, an intangible and priceless gift.


LAUREN COPPOLA (2nd Year Conservatory)


The Studio / New York provides unparalleled training for the serious actor in New York. Its strength lies in its exceptional group of faculty and in the incredible performance opportunities it provides. I had the chance to perform in a wide range of material and to work with several wonderful up-and-coming directors. I continue to nurture relationships with these directors, and, had it not been for The Studio, I would never have made these connections. Not only does The Studio provide comprehensive training, but the productions offer an arena in which to apply what one learns in the classroom. I left the program not an acting student, but an actor. I can now walk into an audition room and feel confident that I have the skills and the tools necessary to make it in this wonderful yet rigorous profession.


JACK BERENHOLTZ (Summer Conservatory)

jack berenholtzI highly recommend the summer program at The Studio/New York. Jayd McCarty's scene study class was definitely kick ass challenging-he encouraged each actor to work hard and delve deep. Andy Grotelueschen's clown class was personally revelatory-never before have I learned so much about freeing my mind, both allowing and enjoying the fun of self-exposure essential to any actor.  Check it out.






BRECHT GANDER (Summer Conservatory)

Jayd's ability to read into a script is unparalleled in my experience. The students I've known who spend sufficient time under his instruction almost inevitably absorb this ability-giving them a means to engage the text which is serious, sharp, and most amazingly, works. As a skeptic of acting training I've been particularly impressed to see Jayd's students develop. In so far as acting has an answer it is to know the right questions-and The Studio teaches you what to ask.    







EDDIE MAXWELL (Summer Conservatory)

The summer program runs like a conservatory offering classes in movement, clowning, scene study, voice, and The Lucid Body, which has been developed by Yale graduate faculty member, Fay Simpson, and is some of the most interesting and powerful physical training I've participated in.

And Jayd as a teacher is sincere, incisive, and constructively honest. The most remarkable of Jayd's talents' is his ability to see YOU and help you get to a place where you can be comfortable working from the most intimate of places. I began to find a clarity in my work, and in myself, that I hadn't felt I was capable of. I can't tell you how wonderful this group of teachers are. This faculty is nothing short of INCREDIBLE. Their resumes speak for themselves. They are so generous, and committed to facilitating an actors growth. Since completing the program I have consistently brought a more skilled, available, and focused actor into rehearsals than I was ever able to before. It has been one of the best things I have done for myself as an actor and I feel very strongly about sharing this place with other actors eager to go deeper.   


The Studio / New York is a theater training center whose goal is provide deserving, committed actors

access to the kinds of resources that can make a real difference in their artistic growth.


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