"He's generous, present, kind and patient and will get you results!"
Medina Senghore (Matriculated: JUILLIARD):
“Brian is an incredibly gifted and highly intuitive teacher. He has a way of saying things so that they click immediately and I can put them right into my work. But he's not heavy handed. He simply empowered me to bravely experiment and to trust my own choices. I've booked every audition I've gone on since I started working with Brian and I think it's because he really trained me to find the answers myself. As a result, I'm much more confident in my audition prep and execution. The other benefit of working with Brian is that he has a gentle but probing way of and unlocking what you need to do to present your best work. Much of our work together was about stripping away: my fears, my excuses, my over-thinking. With his help, I was able to unlock all the fun, playful impulses that were already there and just needed to be set free. He's generous, present, kind and patient and will get you results! I highly recommend him.”
"I would not have been accepted to graduate school if it were not for him!"
Alexandra Maurice (Matriculated: YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA; Also accepted NYU GRAD ACTING AND COLUMBIA)
"To call Brian simply a 'coach' does not nearly encapsulate all that he has done for me in my journey. Brian was recommended to me by a friend, and the first time that I worked with him he guided me to work in a way that I had not been able to for years. He provided a safe space for me to play and explore, and I was able to find the joy that was missing in my work. Brian has been there every step of the way, from monologue selection to being one of the first people I called when I got accepted. He has the incredible gift of being able to meet you wherever you are in your process and gently guide you to a more meaningful and authentic expression of yourself. Brian gave me a new perspective on how to approach applying to graduate school that ultimately gave me my confidence and power back. His passion and attention to detail were so palpable that I left each session with a new sense of inspiration. The two greatest gifts that Brian gave me were permission and ownership: permission to make a mess and ownership of my work. The gems I learned with Brian are mine forever and to simply put it, I would not have been accepted to graduate school if it were not for him. I am forever grateful."
"Brian is the ultimate Acting Guru, a true genius at his work."
Aman Soni (Matriculated: BROWN/TRINITY):
"One of the many stages in Joseph Campbell's "Journey of a Hero" is ‘when the hero finds his mentor who then helps him achieve his goal’. If your journey is to get yourself into one the world’s top drama schools you would be extremely fortunate to have Brian McManamon as your guide and your mentor to help you get to your goal. Brian is the ultimate Acting Guru, a true genius at his work. His million dollar talent lies in his magical trick to make you overcome the 'audition anxiety'. He would thoroughly scrub all kinds of impurities from your talented soul – ‘worries, judgments, predictions and fears’ and you will courageously enter the audition room with pure passion for the work you do. Brian inspired freedom and love in the work that I took inside the audition room, it made all the difference for me to get an acceptance at Brown Trinity. I would highly recommend Brian's coaching magic to anyone who is planning to apply to Drama Schools."
"Brian showed me it was possible to make a life in the theater"
Jose Espinosa (Matriculated: YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA; Also accepted A.R.T./HARVARD):
"When I first met Brian I had been in one show and was hesitant to even refer to myself as an actor. Brian's tremendous gift as a teacher is his ability to work with actors at any stage in their training and artistic process and to help them reveal more of themselves through their work. The questions that Brian asks during rehearsal are questions I have come to ask of myself, both in my acting work and in my own life. Brian's teaching helped me to frame the process of auditioning for MFA programs as a truly creative endeavor-one where I could make an artistic statement through my work and take ownership over my career. His words and presence have helped me to take greater risks and find more enjoyment in my work. Truly, he was the first person I met that showed me it was possible to make a life in the theater."
"It will shape who you are as an actor and an artist for the rest of your life"
Leslie Fray (Matriculated: NYU GRAD ACTING Waitlisted: JUILLIARD):
“The work we did made me feel incredibly prepared for the entire grad school auditioning process, but more importantly it informed me of who I was as an actor and a person, what kind of work I wanted to create, and ultimately how to master my craft in order to make it happen. Brian helps you access your strengths, giving you the tools to create the work you have always wanted to by YOURSELF. The work you do with Brian doesn’t end at the audition or play you were preparing for, it will shape who you are as an actor and an artist for the rest of your life."
"Without a doubt, the best thing I've done for myself as an actor"
Yonatan Gebeyehu (Matriculated: U.C.S.D.):
“I simply cannot speak highly enough about Brian as a teacher and a coach. He's done so much for me as an actor and a person. The best gift he's given me is the permission to be unapologetically myself throughout this entire process. He's encouraged me to pick pieces that spoke to me, and guided me through the work in a way that allowed me to connect in a very personal way. There's no recipe for getting into these schools, but Brian puts you at a huge advantage by helping YOU shine, your strengths and your flaws, in a very beautiful way. He's also been a constant reminder that acting this fun, and I do this because I love it. Working with him is such a fun process, and he allows you to bring so much joy and play into your work, which is something that is incredibly invaluable throughout this process. Having Brian as a teacher and coach is, without a doubt, the best thing I've done for myself as an actor.”
"No one is working harder than Brian to help you get where you want to go"
Conrad Schott (Matriculated: SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY'S ACADEMY OF CLASSICAL ACTING at GEORGE WASHINGTON):
“Getting help from Brian is absolutely the best thing you can do for yourself if you would like to improve your chances of getting into grad school. In his private coaching, he is incredibly generous, astute, talented, and tons of fun - but what sets him apart from every other coach is that he has made it his personal quest to demystify the MFA audition process by investing so much of his personal energy into providing previously unheard-of resources and opportunities, such as the MFA panel and the mock auditions. Anyone who is truly serious about grad school would be crazy not to take advantage of these unique offerings. For the panel, he gathers recent graduates of all the top MFA programs and hosts an invaluable question-answer session with them, providing his clients with the priceless opportunity to learn about these programs and their students' experiences first-hand. Even more valuable are his mock auditions, without which I would be utterly lost. I attended two of his meticulously orchestrated mock auditions, which gave me the luxury to make a number of mistakes BEFORE the actual audition, rather than learning the hard way. Do yourself a big favor and enlist Brian's help. No one is working harder than Brian to help you get where you want to go.”
"It sounds cheesy but he really did change my life."
Keeley Miller (Matriculated: NYU GRAD ACTING)
"Brian is an intuitive, intelligent, warm and gifted teacher, coach and human being. He honestly and gently guided me through the grad school process. He reframed some very destructive self talk I had been using in my work and I am forever grateful. Coaching with him turned out to be more than getting in to grad school, he changed the way I approach my process and my value and that will stay with me in all my work to come. He dares you to be brave enough to show up with all of your self! He was always present in the moment with me, guiding me with excitement and compassion and a keen eye for the craft. I simultaneously felt like a student and a peer and Brian always coached without ego. (A very rare thing to find in this industry). He brought out my authenticity and did it without force and seemingly without effort which I believe speaks to his subtly, nuance and deep knowledge of humans, the process of acting and growth within this craft. He is a true gift. It sounds cheesy but he really did change my life."
"Working with Brian will change your entire audition experience, and potentially, your life."
Eli Pauley (Matriculated: YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA. Also accepted: CASE WESTERN RESERVE/CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE)
"In our very first session, my entire perspective on grad school auditions was changed. I promise that working with Brian will change your entire audition experience, and potentially, your life. Brian talked me through my anxiety, my grief, and my elation on his own time. He is more than a coach: he is a mentor, therapist, teacher, and friend. Brian is the most invaluable and worthy resource you could invest in to achieve your MFA goals. I feel certain I would not have achieved my dream of attending Yale without his guidance, wisdom, and generosity."
"Brian helped me break past my debilitating fears and made the process one of artistic exploration"
Rivka Borek (Matriculated: A.C.T.)
“Brian McManamon. That was the name I kept hearing over and over again as I put feelers out inquiring about the grad school process and how to get ready. Before I started seeing Brian (and even during!), I was a nervous wreck. These were scary, life-deciding auditions! A decision would be made during my four minutes in the room that could change my life for the better or affirm my worst fears (failure). There was so much anxiety surrounding the whole process that I felt completely paralyzed by it. Brian helped break past my debilitating fears and made the process one of artistic exploration. Suddenly, things were fun. We were able to push aside my anxiety and focus on living as these exciting characters for a few minutes. After each session, my head would be reeling with new thoughts about my pieces. I became excited to share them. The Audition wasn’t a moment to live and die by. Instead, I was able to enter the rooms and play. Without Brian’s attention to what was holding me back, I never would have felt so free in my auditions. Since working with Brian, I’ve recommended him to everyone who’s brought up wanting to go to grad school. Just do it!”
"I always left our sessions with my feet on new ground."
Laura Lapidus (Matriculated: L.A.M.D.A.)
Brian is freakishly generous, attentive and genuine. His gift as a teacher has to do with his way of seeing. He demands my fullest potential simply by seeing it is there. His style is collaborative - it happens live in the room - it’s not about a formula or a rightness. I always left our sessions with my feet on new ground. He insists that regardless of the nature of any audition, the joy is in lending the parts of myself to my pieces that only I can. No matter what is on the “agenda” with Brian, something always unlocks.
"Brian's resources are unmatched -- simply invaluable."
Ann-Kathryne Mills (Matriculated: NYU GRAD ACTING)
"Brian broke every mental barrier between me and my dream school. From monologues to debunking every nonsensical myth, he was instrumental in increasing my comfort level throughout my preparation. He redirects nervous energy into support for the work, focusing instead on serving the character and story. As much as the application and audition processes are about sharing oneself through the work, Brian's discerning eye separates you from the perceived gravity of the personal stakes to return to the characters' circumstances, revealing the truest you and the clearest stories. Beyond coaching, Brian's resources are unmatched -- simply invaluable. He eased me out of my anxiety and...into Grad Acting. Ever grateful."
"He's a wizard!"
Alex Shaw (Matriculated: JUILLIARD):
“As a coach, Brian has a gift of making you feel more at ease, more invigorated, always more curious about your pieces, more excited to NOT KNOW and explore!! He's a wizard! If you're lucky enough to have the chance to work with him, DO IT.”
"The time you spend with Brian will last a lifetime"
Claire Fort (Matriculated: UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON. Waitlisted: BROWN/TRINITY):
“Brian cares deeply for his students. He takes the time to get to know the REAL YOU. Brian's open heart, humor, and love for actors kept me focused and eased the anxiety of the entire process. He consistently checks in to make sure you are feeling confident with your work. Brian challenges you to play more fearlessly and creatively in your work. Brian asks you to do the crucial work: the daring, fearless work of bringing 100 % of yourself into the room. Additionally, rigorous text and character work in coaching sessions, mock auditions and the graduate panel fully prepared me to succeed in my auditions and to enjoy the process. Brian worked with me to find pieces I loved, that were specific to where I am in my life and with the work. He has an amazing ability to help you find the heart of YOU in each piece, making it possible to work honestly and confidently. The time you spend with Brian will last a lifetime. I bring my work with him into every audition, class and rehearsal. Brian has made me a better actor, a better scene partner, and a better person. His compassion for actors is rare. No one will work harder to help you achieve your best work than Brian. It is with the highest regard and respect that I recommend Brian McManamon as the best MFA coach, and teacher you can work with in NYC.”
"He is your biggest fan and supporter"
Rebecca Futterman (Matriculated: U.C.S.D.)
"I can’t imagine surviving the MFA audition season without Brian. Not only does he humanize the entire process, he helps you realize your own potential and enables you to walk in the room being your authentic self- not some phony audition version of yourself. He helped me find the perfect material to show who I am and we worked together so that once I stepped into my first audition I was truly excited to share the work with the people behind the table. Brian goes beyond being just a coach- he is your biggest fan and supporter. I can’t recommend working with him enough!!!"
"One of the best coaches I've ever had"
Dan Berlingeri (Matriculated: NYU GRAD ACTING):
"Brian's one of the best coaches I've ever had! He's was present, and aware of my individual needs! He strove to bring out the best in me in a playful and challenging atmosphere!"
"Brian has a way of getting right to the heart of you as an actor"
Caroline Siewert (Matriculated: U.C.S.D):
"The most important thing that Brian did for me was helping me approach MFA auditions with a mindset that allowed me to be my best self. I am hugely grateful for his technical help and his incredible insight on text work, but most of all, I'm grateful for the time that he spent helping me to bring myself into the room and to let that be my biggest priority. That attention and encouragement made all the difference when I walked into the room at auditions, and it gave me the confidence to own all the acting work that we had done as well. Brian has a way of getting right to the heart of you as an actor and of helping you discover and celebrate that as well. My time working with him really made all the difference for me."
"My work with him exceeded all expectations"
Anya Whelan-Smith (Matriculated: JUILLIARD. Also accepted NYU GRAD ACTING)
“I had heard wonderful things about Brian as a coach, but my work with him exceeded all expectations. Brian is committed to each student’s individual spirit and personal love of theatre. Throughout our work together, Brian has encouraged me to explore plays that I love and characters I love – the seemingly obvious (yet all-too-rarely addressed) starting place. With each session, he would guide me back towards that initial seed of inspiration, encouraging and daring me to push beyond any self-imposed bounds, to step beyond what I believed was possible in my work. Brian is patient and reliable; he was always on call for me if I needed words of wisdom, a pep talk or some last minute advice. I would recommend Brian to anyone who asks; he is simply a phenomenal coach.”
"So brilliant and awesome at what he does. He’s amazing!"
Jessica Ko (MATRICULATED: BROWN/TRINITY):
"Brian always knows exactly what I need to focus on, where I'm tripping myself up and how I can get out of my own way. And that's what makes him so brilliant and awesome at what he does. He’s amazing! I count myself so blessed to know him as my teacher and my friend."
"Brian has made me a better actor, period.”
Carlos Dengler (Matriculated: NYU GRAD ACTING. Also accepted: RUTGERS and A.R.T./HARVARD):
“Brian gives the actor who is serious about applying and auditioning for graduate study an informed framework that puts you in front of 98% of all other applicants to these programs. Between his monologue coaching sessions, the MFA acting alumni panel he conducts which includes graduates of the top programs across the country, and the realistic mock auditions, I felt like I had taken an intense primer on the MFA Acting process. I felt confident, equipped and fearless going in to each of my auditions. Brian also takes your process during these auditions to heart. He checks in with you and stays with you as you go through each audition; through his guidance, you get to improve each subsequent audition in real time. He pushed and dared me to be bolder, braver and more creative with my work. Most importantly, Brian has made me a better actor, period."
"10 out of 10 recommend!"
Anita Abdinezhad (Matriculated: COLUMBIA)
"Brian is an amazing coach because he is an amazing teacher. As simple as this sounds: He reminds us how to do the thing we do! A lot of us think of an audition as something different from an authentic performance through a monologue; just because of the environmental pressure that comes with applying and auditioning. Brian reminded me that the audition is giving that authentic performance. Nothing more, nothing less. Just your experience through the text. Brian reminded me to breathe, return to basics, and most importantly, TRUST myself. Also, it is SO helpful to have a third eye watch your work when rehearsing. And who better than someone who does that AND gives constructive notes AND knows so much about the school(s) you are applying to! Brian McManamon. 10 out of 10 recommend."
"He was always willing to listen and genuinely cared about my artistic experience and my artistic future"
Katie Croyle (Matriculated: BROWN/TRINITY; Also Accepted: ROYAL CENTRAL SCHOOL OF SPEECH AND DRAMA, Waitlisted: A.R.T. and L.A.M.D.A)
"I auditioned for MFA programs last year and hated the entire process. I felt stressed, overwhelmed, lost and put an excessive amount of pressure on myself and my pieces. The thought of auditioning made me nauseous. I'd worked with a coach (a lovely acting teacher) but one who did not connect with my work as an artist or help to quell my fears or help me to be my most present self. Needless to say, I didn't get in that round. From the moment I talked to Brian on the phone, I knew this year would be different. He instantly connected with me on a personal level--he told me that he too had auditioned for programs multiple times and his mission as a coach was to give his clients the tools to be their most authentic, vulnerable selves during the entire audition process. He assured me he'd be there the entire time and he was. He helped me with everything from writing a personal statement that actually felt like "me", to encouraging me to make a mess with my characters, to truly love them. Most importantly he pushed me to say, "Screw it! I'm here for my pieces not for the people on the other side of the table." When I freaked out he listened but was also honest about what what was holding me back. He was there through the acceptances and the rejections--he was always willing to listen and genuinely cared about my artistic experience and my artistic future. The most amazing part of Brian's coaching is that I felt completely in control the whole time--he was simply providing me with the tools I needed to be myself within the given circumstances of these intense and important auditions. So, instead of being nauseous going into each audition, I was excited to see what would happen. I'm so thankful for his help and guidance and recommend him to every person interested in auditioning for graduate school. He's simply the best."
"He radiates bravery and professionalism, trust and compassion from every pore on his body"
Melissa Golliday (Matriculated: JUILLIARD):
"Brian has completely revolutionized my approach to performance, my mindset as an actor, and my commitment to the craft. He unpacked, unfolded, and revealed Shakespeare to me in an approachable and conquerable way. With him, I learned those little tips and tricks for getting out my own way, of successes, the endless possibilities I have at my disposal, and various exercises to bring more of myself to the work. He radiates bravery and professionalism, trust and compassion from every pore on his body. I truly believe that his instruction and nurturing helped me empower myself to apply to graduate school. One private lesson with him and my grad school monologues were transformed. And as a result, I was invited to attend the Juilliard School to receive my MFA this fall. I couldn't have asked for a better experience with him. Thank you, Brian!"
"I got into Yale Drama and I know his help made all the difference!"
Brian Wiles (Matriculated: YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA):
“Brian's guidance was enormously helpful in getting my audition monologues to a place where I could feel confident and excited about performing them. He is totally down-to-earth, but the work is meaningful and deep--after just one session, my Iago piece felt infinitely more sincere. With time, we found new levels of resonance and played around with how best to express them in the few precious minutes of an audition. Working with Brian felt a guided experimentation; he left me totally free to follow my own impulses and encouraged growth that I never would have seen on my own. I would recommend him strongly to anyone looking for a practical, personal teacher who works within a student's process instead of trying to change it! I got into Yale Drama and I know his help made all the difference!"
"Brian gifted me the freedom to be myself."
Abigail Coryell (Matriculated: U.S.C.):
"Brian changed the way I saw the entire audition process and myself as an actor. He helped me see that the most important part of it all was getting to do the work, and getting to meet a number of incredible artists to see who I most fit with or wanted to learn from. He taught me how to take the audition room, to do what I love, and how to be free in my work. Brian gifted me the freedom to be myself.
In doing so, he showed me the way back to myself. He brought me back to the most essential elements of acting -- going for what my character needs, in whatever room or with whichever people on the other side of the table -- didn’t matter. He helped me find material, he listened to what I wanted to do in the room and what I wanted to get out of my explorations, and he guided me back to loving the work at every turn or moment of doubt. He reset me and my confidence when I doubted myself or my pieces. Truly, he helped me find the way back to acting and playing. Auditioning for grad school became an exhilarating and fruitful process, in which I was present at every moment, and truly enjoyed the high of creating.
In the end, I found the perfect place for me -- which I almost didn’t audition for until Brian encouraged me to do so. I am in the right place."
"The entire process became less intimidating, less overwhelming, and more fun!"
Margaret Odette (Matriculated: NYU GRAD ACTING):
“Training with Brian gave me the confidence to go into my MFA audition rooms ready to "leave a big old stinky pile of me in the whole place!" He helped me forget the "work," of acting, and instead connect to the joy of it. Once I did that, I began trusting my work on each piece and character, and the entire process became less intimidating, less overwhelming, and more fun! Practicing interview questions and discussing my journey as an actor with Brian gave me a much clearer understanding of why I was ready to pursue my MFA, and how to succinctly express that to the auditors. I highly recommend his mock-audition sessions, they were a true game-changer in terms of feeling oriented to the flow of the audition day, and less anxious during the actual auditions.”
"Trust him with yourself and your light. It is well worth it and will probably change not only your auditions, but your entire craft"
Manu Kumasi (Matriculated: YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA. Also accepted: JUILLIARD and NYU GRAD ACTING):
"Brian is great. He has what you need the most as you prepare to show off your best self: experience, perspective, a great eye and open ears. I began working with Brian having already picked my pieces. And although all four monologues were incredibly important and personal to me, I felt like they actually lacked “me” in my performance of them. Brian spotted this right away and helped me see how to “sing my song” in these pieces. Working with Brian made ALL of the difference in my Yale and Juilliard auditions and helped me see the joy in telling such truthful and personally revealing stories. I knew that I wanted to tell the stories and live in them, but felt trapped behind a wall of protection. Brian helped me find a way to derive pleasure from giving the stories away and to see why my stories are beautiful and a pleasure to receive. This was priceless. I particularly liked the fact that Brian listens very well. I felt like he saw me and therefore coached me in a way that fit my learning style. This was such a blessing as it made it easy for me to understand his suggestions and comfortable for me to play and give. Brian also gifted me with a list of tools that made me confident and enthusiastic about walking into the audition rooms, both during the first rounds and callbacks. I highly recommend working with him during your audition journey and to trust him with yourself and your light. It is well worth it and will probably change not only your auditions, but your entire craft."
"Brian's coaching coaxed out the essential qualities of the true me"
Emily Brown (Matriculated: A.C.T. Also accepted A.R.T./HARVARD):
"Preparing for my grad school auditions with Brian helped me reaffirm for myself that as an artist I have something unique to offer. His guidance led me to select monologues that were fun and felt good to do; when I walked into those audition rooms, I truly felt that my pieces reflected my strengths and interests as an actor. Being a client of Brian's continuously renews and revitalizes my love for character and storytelling. Each time I walk out of an hour-long coaching session, I feel I've gone deeper and made new discoveries, and I feel I've gained confidence in my ability, my flexibility and my generosity as a performer. I could not recommend Brian as a coach more highly because the way he coaches illuminates and develops you--the true you--not a person or an artist he projects onto you or expects you to be. With a light but effective touch, Brian's coaching coaxed out the essential qualities of the true me--actor and human being--so that with each audition I felt I had offered a performance that was passion-driven and genuine. I will never stop recommending Brian! Working with him has been an integral step on my continued journey toward becoming the artist I want to be."
"He always checks in to see how you feel"
Michael Hammond (Matriculated: U.C.S.D):
“Working with Brian is unlike any experience I've ever had with an acting coach. His energy, enthusiasm, and concise advice is invaluable. I always leave the room energized and confident about my work. He makes you feel welcome the minute you walk in the room. He's not solely focused on the work; he wants to know who you are, what you like, and how you live your life. It's amazing how he can relate to exactly what you're going through and is completely supportive along the way. He checks in, sends texts, writes emails, and makes sure that he's thinking of you and how to improve your material. There are some coaches you meet and immediately ask, "So what are we going to do?", whereas Brian's first words are: “How are you doing?" It's amazing how much of a difference that can make when you start a session. One of the most important things that Brian does is that he always checks in to see how you feel about your work and what is driving you with your material.”
"The way I see the world, the craft, and especially ANY audition process has been forever changed."
Sideeq Heard (Matriculated: NYU GRAD ACTING):
"Brian helped me to see myself for all that I was and all that I could be, by providing a space for me to be my best self, my worst self, and everything in between. When I finally got into the room to audition I was comfortable living in every crevice of my being. I could walk in, share my work, and make a mess of things, and walk out with a confidence of knowingness that I had never experienced before. With his spirit of generosity, vulnerability, and kindness, you become comfortable in the uncomfortable. Brian dispelled every myth that I had about the audition process, leaving me with one charge, to be available to the needs of my characters. My time with Brian silenced all the voices of in my head because of his presence. Brian walks with you through the audition process, not to hold your hand, but constantly reminding you that you already know how to fly. It’s so intangible, the lessons I’ve learned from him. I can hardly place my finger on it, but the way I see the world, the craft, and especially ANY audition process has been forever changed. If you're considering going through the MFA audition process, there’s no one better to have in your corner than Brian McManamon!"
You could not hope for a more effective (and fun and kind and wise) cheerleader and coach"
Marianna Gailus (Matriculated: JUILLIARD. Also accepted YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA):
"It was my first year out of college, my first time through the MFA audition process, and my first time really honestly saying "I want to be an actor" out loud to friends and family. Through the casual suggestion of a friend, and figuring I had absolutely nothing to lose, I reached out to Brian. I owe that friend a huge debt of gratitude, because I truly cannot recommend Brian enough, not just as a coach and teacher (and, by the end of it all, a friend), but also a tried-and-true navigator of rough seas of the MFA process. I honestly might even call him the "MFA Whisperer," in two senses: on a primary level, his warm and insightful direction instilled calm and peace within me as I geared up for what I initially believed would be a grueling few weeks of auditions, but on a secondary level, he fully re-wired my brain to see the auditions for what they actually are. Over the course of our sessions together, I felt myself unfolding and releasing into a fuller, more grounded and ultimately more interesting actor. The fact that he noticed it, too, was relieving and encouraging, and allowed me to drop even further into the characters I was getting to know so well. Brian has this innate ability of cutting through all of the voices in your head, getting rid of all the junk you don't need to carry around, allowing you to give in to the characters you've chosen to carry you along for the ride. His mock-audition session was an IMMENSE help. His advice on that day is probably what carried me through each audition and, to my excitement and surprise, each callback, week after week. He always checks in with you before your big audition days, and he made himself completely available to me at the end of the process for some long phone calls as I weighed my decision between my two top choice schools (for which I will be eternally grateful). I'm still in shock at the success I've had throughout this process, but I can honestly say that Brian was the catalyst and driving force through it all. You could not hope for a more effective (and fun and kind and wise) cheerleader and coach for the MFA process, and I know his lessons will stay with me for years to come. And as I head to school in the fall, I know I can finally say, with confidence, that I don't just want to be an actor, I already am one."
"Brian is a wizard"
Nate Janis (Matriculated: COLUMBIA. Also accepted: U.C.S.D and SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY'S ACADEMY OF CLASSICAL ACTING at GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY)
"Brian is a wizard. He has totally mastered the ins and outs of MFA auditions. As a coach he was committed in helping me every step of the way: monologue selection and prep, essay writing, audition psychology, callback advice, and finally picking which school to go to. But Brian’s more than just a coach; he’s a guide, an advisor, and a friend. The work we did together not only helped me get into several programs, but also helped me reconnect with my love of acting. It’s a joy being in the room with Brian. He brings a powerful presence and depth of experience, while also being refreshingly off-the-cuff and eager to play. I have already integrated lessons and practices I picked up working with him into my regular audition and role prep, and it’s had a profoundly positive impact. I will certainly take what I’ve gained from him into my MFA training and beyond. I couldn’t recommend him higher."
“Brian is kind and generous, but demanding”
Madeline Seidman (Matriculated: YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA):
“Brian McManamon helped me be unafraid to be flagrantly myself— as an actor and a person. When working with him on my monologues for graduate schools, he encouraged me to make choices based on what I personally love about acting and what I love about myself, which was at first terrifying! It helped me approach the auditions knowing that I was being honest about what I would bring to the schools, so that the auditions were more about finding the right fit and not about being judged. I felt ready to get into each of the audition rooms with a flexibility to play and the focus to fight hard for my characters—clearly imagining who I was talking to and what I was receiving back from them. Brian is kind and generous, but demanding, and having had him as a coach, director (Measure for Measure, Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford), and a teacher, I have developed a readiness for growth and change in my work.”
"Having Brian as a coach is one of the best decisions you can make"
Kalyne Coleman (Matriculated: BROWN/TRINITY):
"Let me tell you something....BRIAN IS EVERYTHING!!! He is absolutely one of my favorite people in the world! Having him as a coach for Grad Schools changed my life and made me a better actress. I truly wouldn't have gotten into Brown without his guidance and support. When I met Brian, I had no clue how to approach this process. I was feeling anxious, doubtful, and ill prepared. With his humor and wonderful way of looking at life...I was able to find peace and joy in preparing for my monologues. This whole Grad School thing is no easy task, but Brian finds a way to meet you where you are and help guide you to where you need to be. He makes things simple and reinforces that you are ENOUGH..you are PLENTY. From the one on one sessions, the informative panel, and the meet and greet drinks...Brian has your back and will make sure that you feel like your best self walking into those rooms! Having Brian as a coach is one of the best decisions you can make...so get it done! I am forever grateful to him and you will be too."
"Working with Brian was a game changer"
Sarin West (Matriculated: NYU GRAD ACTING):
"Brian's generosity of spirit and understanding of human growth and development gave me the freedom I needed to make mistakes, to be messy and so totally me. I was gifted so much freedom to try things that when I found myself "in the room" at my top two schools, I was able to invite the people behind the table into my studio-for-a-day. I was free to WORK. Brian helped me eliminate the fear I had build around this daunting experience and just be present during every part of the process, a gift I wish I'd given myself the first time around. Working with Brian was a game changer. A Side Note: it was just nice having someone in my corner outside of my friends/family who could give me some half-time coaching for all of my audition/callback days. I survived (and thrived in) this process with zero regrets."
"Brian is the sort of special person who manages to always remind you of why you fell in love with acting in the first place"
JeVon Blackwell (Matriculated: JUILLIARD):
"It's rare that you can consistently leave a coaching session feeling passionate and fulfilled with the work that you're doing. Yet, with Brian's sessions I managed to do this week after week. Brian encouraged me to open up, let go, and embrace acting all while learning so much about myself as a person. He has the ability to transform the work by bringing you in touch with yourself. Brian is the sort of special person who manages to always remind you of why you fell in love with acting in the first place. There is no doubt that you will leave his coaching feeling centered and strong with an amazing sense of self love."
"He will work his hardest for you"
Galen Kane (Matriculated: YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA. Also accepted: JUILLIARD, OLD GLOBE/U.S.D., BROWN/TRINITY and A.R.T./Harvard):
“Brian single-handedly demystified everything I predetermined about what MFA acting programs are looking for. Before working with him, I had built up so much unnecessary pressure on what I thought would be a challenging process mentally, physically, and even spiritually. The greatest advice I received from Brian was so very simple-- Choose pieces you love, regardless of whether you'll ever play them or not-- Think of it as an open rehearsal with them, not a performance and-- Be yourself! With this advice as a constant mental note, I was accepted into every school I auditioned for. I place my faith in Brian and I assure you he will work his hardest for you, as he did for me.”
"Brian is intuitive and empowering without being prescriptive."
Matthew Martin (Accepted: A.C.T.)
"Working with Brian fundamentally changed how and why I act. He cuts through all the noise to what is most important: you and the work. He guided me to pieces that felt meaningful rather than correct. Brian helped me create a process for approaching the audition from the moment I enter a space to the moment I leave. In the work, he facilitated moving my focus from myself and all my fear to the characters and my duty to them. The freedom I found in this shift of perspective unlocked the joy and play I was missing. Suddenly my auditions became fun. Brian is intuitive and empowering without being prescriptive. He allowed me to make a mess rather than present a polished product. He helped me find the courage to dig into the work without being polite. Above all Brian gave me permission to embrace who I am and what I stand for as an artist. I'm happy to sing his praises anytime."
"My expectations were high. Brian exceeded them"
Zachary Desmond (Matriculated: JUILLIARD):
"I contacted Brian based on a glowing recommendation from a friend, so my expectations were high. Brian exceeded them. His support was immediate and wholehearted, from early monologue rehearsals all the way through auditions, callbacks, and acceptance. In very little time, Brian was helping me not just rehearse monologues, but identify the kind of actor and person I'd like to be. His incisive questions and unapologetic confidence in me helped me realize that's not just who'd I'd like to be, but who I am. Working with Brian was one of the most rewarding aspects of the entire audition process."
"Brian enabled me the freedom and confidence necessary to perform at my highest level"
Lindsey Steinert (Matriculated: BROWN/TRINITY):
"To refer to Brian as my MFA audition coach feels like an understatement. Through the emotionally draining and physically exhausting audition preparation and process, Brian - with his immense understanding of the application, audition and eventual callback processes - enabled me the freedom and confidence necessary to perform at my highest level, a level prior to working with Brian, I didn't even know I was capable of reaching. For the months leading up to and proceeding my auditions, Brian was there for me whenever I needed him, regardless of whether it was during our sessions, after an audition, before a callback or anticipating a decision. Whether choosing an audition piece or deciding whether or not to accept an offer of acceptance, I relied heavily on Brian's breadth of knowledge to help inform my own choices. I can't emphasize how integral Brian was to my grad school preparation and eventual acceptance, and I know what I learned from him will continue to aid me as I pursue acting during and beyond my grad school education.
"He combines his expertise with your immediate needs to create a personalized process"
Blake Russell (Matriculated: JUILLIARD; Also accepted: NYU/GRAD ACTING)
"At minimum, Brian demystifies the grad school audition process. At most, Brian frees you to be yourself. I gained a fan for life in Brian and visa versa. It's clear that Brian cares deeply for actors and is absolutely genius at dropping truth bombs that leave you awestruck. Some things Brian said casually truly changed the way I worked and continue to approach my monologues. Brian comes highly recommended and there's a reason for that: he combines his expertise with your immediate needs to create a personalized process. In this industry, we are constantly asked to add on, right? "Try this technique! Apply this method! Add to your skillset!" Brian did the opposite for me and liberated me from restrictions which kept me from doing my best work. In just one session my work was strengthened and my sense of play had, too. Obviously, Brian knows what he's doing because I got into both schools I applied for!
"He makes you a more thoughtful, curious, and confident person"
Charley Stern (Matriculated: U.S.C.):
“Working with Brian has been some of the most transformative time for me as an actor. He does not provide a crash course for how to look impressive in an audition, rather he makes you a more thoughtful, curious, and confident person. He helps you get to a place where you and the character you are playing have full access to one another’s thoughts, feelings, and souls. Brian pushed me further than I wanted to go, which allowed me to make breakthrough discoveries and connections with my characters. And after all the hard work and training was over, I was in a place where I was able to let it all go and play and be myself in the auditions. When it came time to walk into the rooms, I felt that it was opening night of my play, and I had something important to offer. None of this would have been possible without Brian’s support, guidance, and coaching.”
"He makes the whole process feel like a collaboration"
Shawn Nabors (Matriculated: A.R.T./HARVARD):
“From the first phone conversation, I knew that Brian was the right coach for me. I like to be challenged and Brian definitely likes to challenge you. He will challenge you to be honest about why you're applying to Grad school, he will challenge you to see your pieces in ways you hadn't originally imagined them and he will challenge you to be your fullest self during your sessions and ultimately while in the audition/interview room. He never tries to impose anything upon you but instead makes the whole process feel like a collaboration. He makes it clear to you from day one that you two are working together to guarantee that you get whatever YOU need to get from the entire learning experience because it is definitely that, a learning experience. Brian is, hands down, an insightful, encouraging, patient and very passionate coach. I'm totally happy with my choice and would choose Brian again.”
"His guidance and support are invaluable"
Victoria Pollack (Matriculated: JUILLIARD):
“In his coaching sessions, Brian holistically approaches the MFA application process, helping his students articulate why they want to pursue an MFA, assess which programs are the best fit through a tremendously informative MFA Panel, and hone the pieces they have selected. He knows how to ask brilliant questions about the pieces, the plays, and your perceptions of the MFA audition process which demystify the process and ultimately enable you bring your best self into the audition room. His guidance and support are invaluable to any actor eager to hone their craft as they pursue the MFA audition process!"
"There is no one with higher success rates"
Martin Meccouri (Matriculated: U.C.S.D):
"Getting into an MFA program is as much about strategy as it is about talent and training. While there are many fantastic coaches in the City, there is simply no one with as much specialization in this area or higher success rates for clients as Brian."
"He's one the best acting teachers I've had the pleasure to work with"
Shpend Xani (Matriculated: SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY'S ACADEMY OF CLASSICAL ACTING at GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY; Also accepted A.R.T./HARVARD)
"I coached with Brian as an older MFA applicant coming back to acting after a long gap. Brian has a very unique and creative coaching process. He listens, gets to know you and then naturally brings the best out of you as an actor, as an artist and as a human being. You'll realize and utilize your strengths. Brian is genuine, caring and very easy to work with. He's one the best acting teachers I've had the pleasure to work with. Even if I hadn't been accepted to a MFA acting program, just working with him I have grown as an actor."
"The audition doctor!"
Hiram Herrera Delgado (Matriculated: NYU GRAD ACTING. Also accepted: U.C.S.D., A.C.T., BROWN/TRINITY and U.C.L.A):
"I found Brian while I was surfing the web, I was really confused during my audition process. With his great advice and counsel I was able to get a bigger picture about auditioning and what to do. A great relief in a great moment of stress. Anybody who's serious about auditioning should definitely talk to Brian, he's the best! The audition doctor!"
"He is a brilliant teacher and a warm human being"
Alastar Dimitrie (Matriculated: L.A.M.D.A.)
"Applying to drama school can be a terrifying prospect. Brian helped me to discover the joy in it. Our sessions reminded me why I was doing all of it in the first place. He is a brilliant teacher and a warm human being. Brian doesn’t just give you the answers. What he does is far more valuable—he shows you how to find them within yourself."
"Brian knows how to relate to his students"
Katherine Turner (Matriculated: JUILLIARD. Also accepted: NYU GRAD ACTING):
"I first worked with Brian at NTI (National Theatre Institute). I remember feeling that it was one of the best acting classes I had taken and never wanting it to end. Some years later I called on Brian to help me with my graduate school auditions, which ultimately were successful. Brian knows how to relate to his students. He is straight forward and will guide you to the HONESTY in your work that will bring out the best in your scene or monologue. Also he stressed the imporatance of trusting my instincts and choosing pieces that resonated with me regardless of type or what I think the auditors want to see. I found that made a huge difference. Its a great feeling to walk into that room feeling well prepared and at ease."
"Brian is a master teacher and actor!"
Frankie Gonzalez (Accepted: COLUMBIA)
"Brian is a master teacher and actor. He is very highly regarded among his peers, students, and colleagues in the artistic community. Why? Brian is an absolute joy to be around—in addition to being smart, open, and nurturing. I found his guidance to be incredibly grounding in the MFA audition process. He provided tremendous clarity in a sometimes unclear and overwhelming business/process. He was receptive to all my questions and provided me with useful tools to approach my work as an actor—even beyond the immediate audition process. I confidently recommend studying with Brian to anyone and everyone looking to cultivate greater depth and specificity in their work as an actor. Every other actor that I have spoken to regarding their time with Brian only has overwhelmingly positive things to say as well. Thank you, Brian McManamon!"
"I'm so grateful for Brian's wisdom, bravery and collaboration"
Lily Narbonne (Matriculated: A.C.T. Also accepted: A.R.T.)
“I was habitually trying to package my monologues perfectly, to have control, which wasn't serving me. Brian encouraged me to make a mess. Brian reminded me how my characters don't have it all together! They're all over the place, they're struggling, so I have to do their story justice by letting the artist in me release control, make a mess and HAVE FUN! I'm so grateful for Brian's wisdom, bravery and collaboration.”
"I would not have had the confidence or the peace of mind I had without him"
Max Wolkowitz (Matriculated: BROWN/TRINITY):
“Brian McManamon is a remarkable teacher and coach. I worked with him in preparation for my graduate school auditions and his insight, expertise and generosity helped me feel confident in my work, relaxed in my auditions and prepared to let go and play once I got into the room. In just two sessions, he guided me from having a only general sense of how I wanted to approach each monologue to a highly specific and focused approach. Brian has a remarkable way of making sure that you make the discoveries on your own, while giving the support and guidance necessary to get there. He also has an intimate knowledge of being on both sides of the table, which is invaluable for an actor to have access to. Brian helped shape my whole approach to the grad school audition process and I would not have had the confidence or the peace of mind I had without him.”
"He will help you bring your best self into the audition room and land that dream school."
Brandon O'Sullivan (Matriculated: UCSD):
"It's honestly mind-blowing to me how many of Brian's clients end up in top graduate acting programs every year. He's discovered, somehow, how to help so many actors overcome seemingly impossible odds to end up in training programs that help launch careers. If you're serious about your training, talk to Brian - he will help you bring your best self into the audition room and land that dream school. This part of the process (finding a coach) is easy - just email Brian, and you're already miles ahead of the pack."
"Our sessions were some of the best hours of play that I’ve experienced thus far in my journey"
Nedra Snipes (Matriculated: JUILLIARD):
"Oprah Winfrey said: 'A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.' This was my third year applying for MFA programs and something had to give. I entered my first session with Brian being completely honest--I was nervous but yearned to train, and he LISTENED. He wanted to see who I was, understand my journey, unpack those experiences and examine how they impacted my perspective of the audition process. He truly cared about me as a human being. Our sessions were some of the best hours of play that I’ve experienced thus far in my journey. Brian created a safe place for freedom and discovery, urging me to let go of the past years experiences and personal pressures that I put on myself. I walked out of each session trusting not only the work, but myself as an artist a little more each time. During the audition and callback process, Brian was one phone call or text away - often sending me words of encouragement! I am so thankful for his kindness, passion, support and insurmountable capacity to share his wisdom. I was invited to begin my training at The Juilliard School this fall, and I am filled with gratitude for Brian’s guidance and his humanity. I’ve already recommended him to three of my friends!"
"I left every session feeling invigorated and inspired"
John Zoitos (Matriculated: SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY'S ACADEMY OF CLASSICAL ACTING at GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY)
"I can’t speak highly enough of Brian’s ability to instill a sense of creative play and joy that I was completely lacking in my pieces when I first came to him for my MFA audition. I’ve been blessed to study with some incredible teachers during my acting training, and all of them seem to share a common intuition in being able to recognize the creative blocks in their students, guide them in working through potential solutions, and ultimately draw the best out of them as actors and artists. I noticed immediately after our first session together that Brian possessed this same intuition, complete with a generosity and collaborative spirit that you dream for as a student studying under a teacher. Not only did my work deepen and grow with each session we had together, but with it came the fun and excitement in performing that was completely missing in my pieces before I came to him. Instead of the work growing stale and repetitive, which had been an issue I was greatly struggling with, it instead became fresher and more exciting the more we worked together. I continued to make new discoveries through the creative freedom and confidence Brian cultivated in me. He always challenged me to surprise myself, and I left every session feeling invigorated and inspired. My work with him allowed me to come into the audition room not as a student, but as a creative artist hungry to express myself. I can’t think him enough and highly recommend him to anyone looking to work with an acting coach."
"I had more options for my future than I ever expected..."
Tristan Schaffer-Gold (Matriculated: L.A.M.D.A and Accademia dell'Arte. Also Accepted: BROWN/TRINITY, NYU GRAD ACTING):
"This year was my first go around at MFA auditions in acting. When a friend recommended Brian I was completely clueless, unprepared, and daunted by the road ahead, not to mention the fact that my self-esteem as an actor was in the toilet. I've always been wary of acting coaches, mainly because 99% of them are responsible for 99% of bad acting habits, but after one session I knew Brian was different. Not only is he an impeccable listener and an engaging teacher, but he has an uncanny ability to look straight through you, find where your soul lives (or hides), and bring it out in the work. He never lets you give up or even skate by, constantly challenging you to stay present and accountable in your work. In the end I had more options for my future than I ever expected, and I know I couldn't have done it without him."
"Helped me be a better actor, and a better me"
Chris Stahl (Matriculated: BROWN/TRINITY. Also accepted: A.C.T. Waitlisted: NYU GRAD ACTING):
“Brian is absolutely the person to help demystify the MFA audition process. When I contacted him for help, I had so many ideas in my head about what the auditions would be like, what they were looking for, etc. He helped strip all of these away and make me see the light. What Brian taught me goes beyond grad school auditions: it’s helped me be a better actor, and a better me."
"This process with Brian gave me the confidence to keep pursuing my dreams"
Gillian Abbott (Matriculated: COLUMBIA)
“I came into this grad school process with an innocent, deep yearning to pursue the highest level of Drama training, and yet also an aggressive, intimidating fear right beside it. This process with Brian gave me the confidence to keep pursuing my dreams, and brought me back to the joy of the journey. He shone light on the part of myself that made me fall in love with performing as a child, and helped me realize that the roller coaster of conviction and doubt I’ve experienced in my career has not been wasted, but rather has revealed the stories I get to own and tell. I am so honored to be writing to all of you, and forever grateful to Brian for helping me open the doors to the opportunity to reclaim my art at Columbia, studying under Ron Van Lieu!”
"He understands what grad programs are looking for"
Janine Harouni (Matriculated: L.A.M.D.A.):
“Working with Brian gave me the confidence I needed to overcome my fears and be myself in the audition room! He understands what grad programs are looking for and gears his sessions towards achieving that, while still leaving plenty of freedom for you to explore, play with and enjoy your monologues! He cares so much for his students and really wants them to succeed! You definitely want Brian in your corner! He not only made the audition process a breeze, he made it enjoyable!”
"I would not have gotten in without him"
Adam Lebowitz-Lockard (Matriculated: U.S.C.):
“Working with Brian has helped me feel very confident and comfortable about auditioning for Grad Schools. Not only did Brian work on opening me up and really getting to the heart of monologues, he did so in a way that helped me be able to show off the best ME. He also provided a Mock Audition complete with a proctor and callbacks that really helped me understand the strengths and weaknesses in my audition interviews, as well as how to create a real presence the moment I walk in the audition room. I know I would not have gotten in without him. He is the best. I absolutely recommend Brian.”
"Brian prepared me for every aspect of the graduate school audition process"
Adrienne Jackson (Matriculated: COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY):
"Brian absolutely prepared me for every aspect of the graduate school audition process. He aided me in choosing pieces that I felt passionate about, gave me advice on what to wear, and most importantly always was truthful about my work on my monologues. Because I felt so prepared going into the auditions, I was accepted to Columbia University, and Brian was a huge factor in helping me do that. I highly recommend his coaching."
"He prepared me for EVERYTHING"
Dereks Thomas (Matriculated: A.R.T./HARVARD):
“Grad School auditioning is an intimidating process; but, with Brian’s help, I saw my goal of attending a top-tier program as manageable and realistic. He prepared me for EVERYTHING and completely demystified the Grad School audition process from START to FINISH.”
"Brian will be there at the end of it cheering you on when you cross the finish line"
Jenelle Chu (Matriculated: YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA. Also accepted: NYU GRAD ACTING and A.C.T.):
“Brian McManamon. The same name would come up over and over when I was asking around for the best coaches. Brian gave me what seemed like the simplest advice that was invaluable in the way I began to approach my monologues. I was able to work from a more truthful, playful, and risky place which gave me the new focus I needed. I think that Brian approaches his work with actors with wonderful concentration and specificity; all wrapped up in generosity and warmth. There are many things that run through your head in the craziness that is grad school auditions, so I highly recommend Brian as a coach to FULLY prepare anyone who is planning on taking the journey. Plus, Brian will be there at the end of it cheering you on when you cross the finish line, wherever it may be. He was crucial in giving me advice when it came to choosing which school to go to!”
"Brian is an expert"
Brett Calo (Matriculated U.C.L.A. Also accepted: East 15/UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX, and TEMPLE UNIVERSITY.)
"I know for a fact that I could not have succeeded during my graduate school auditions without the confidence, insight, and determination that Brian instilled in me. Coming primarily from a film and television background, I was concerned that I would be miles behind the other actors auditioning. Brian brought me up to speed and helped me hone my skills, all while creating a judgement-free, easygoing environment. He helped me with everything from selecting and analyzing monologues to establishing relationships and being a real human being in the audition room. I would recommend him to anyone who needs reassurance and guidance from someone who has gone through the process himself. Brian is an expert in this area and an enjoyable person to work with. I would highly recommend his coaching."
"The support system he cultivates is second to none"
Hunter Ringsmith (Matriculated: U.C. IRVINE):
"I’m so friggin glad I coached with Brian. His ability to really see the work you are offering and then offer up ways to open up that work for these specific auditions was revelatory. As someone who has been in the professional merry go round for a bit, I don’t think I could have picked a better coach who met me where I was and kept me honest and accountable. He’s there to help you explore what’s on the other side of your pieces. Encouraging and forthright, critical but still incredibly empathetic, I felt safe and seen and like a collaborator. He gives you the concrete and the ephemeral. He helps you answer the big questions about your characters journey and your relationship and also questions about how to enter a space and what an interview might be like. Both are so useful. The support system he cultivates is second to none, if you are thinking about grad school at all, a coach is so important and Brian is remarkable."
"I had options for where I wanted to go to school!”
Renee-Marie Brewster (Matriculated: A.R.T./HARVARD):
“Brian really helped to make the grad school auditioning process tangible. He broke this overwhelming and insurmountable task into concrete achievable goals that I could more easily wrap my mind around. And it worked! I had options for where I wanted to go to school!”
"Brian was an indispensable foundation"
Travis Johnson (Matriculated: BROWN/TRINITY):
"Brian was an indispensable foundation. I didn't know how to approach such a daunting concept as these auditions, and with him I was able to not only be confident in my choices, but to not even see the daunting aspects of the audition process. He helped rationalize my views on what was 'expected' of me during the auditions, he helped humanize what I expected from the process, and without him I wouldn't have been able to find the same sense of capability in my auditions that I did."
"Truth in acting, that’s what Brian cultivated in me"
Corneilus Franklin (Matriculated: U.C.S.D)
"Brian’s grad school coaching is one of self-realization. He helped me manifest my characters by means of understanding my own depths in order to fully flesh the characters in my monologues. The way in which Brian teaches equips the actor with the skills to use imagination that draws from the self. Essentially, transformation rooted in self-actualization. I had the problem in acting of believing that character was a state of being outside of oneself and that it entailed creating something furthest from myself. What a relief to walk into an audition room with the knowledge that I am enough. Truth in acting, that’s what Brian cultivated in me."
"I trust his judgment and opinion more than any other coach"
Julie Lake (Matriculated: UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE/CLARENCE BROWN THEATRE):
“Brian is an excellent coach! He's a recent Yale Drama grad and he assisted the YSD faculty with the auditions every year he was there. I highly recommend him. He's also incredibly intelligent and fun, and just an all around great person. I trust his judgment and opinion more than any other coach I've worked with. He's the best! And he’s relatively inexpensive compared to most coaches.”
"This life-changing moment would not have happened without Brian's encouragement"
Chaelee Chaput (Matriculated: U.S.C. Also accepted: NEW SCHOOL OF DRAMA):
"From the beginning, he encouraged me to work on pieces that I loved and that made all the difference during this round of auditions (it was my third time apply to grad school). Having such a strong connection with my pieces allowed my work to flourish during USC's callback weekend. This life-changing moment would not have happened without Brian's encouragement. He knew what I needed to do to and taught me how to do it. "
"His passion for acting is infectious"
Kevaughn Harvey (Matriculated: BROWN/TRINITY. Also accepted: A.C.T.):
“Brian is a fantastic coach. I immediately felt comfortable working with him, and his passion for acting is infectious. He's patient, insightful, funny, and super supportive. He has a great way of helping you find your own voice within your work. I felt really proud of the work that I was sharing and I really felt that I was sharing some of myself along with it!”
"I highly recommend working with Brian."
Jake Pino (Accepted: RUTGERS):
"One of the best things about working with Brian was that he reminded me of why I feel like I can get into an excellent program and why I want to go in the first place - because I love acting and I want to be as good as I can be as an artist. He helped me understand that these schools want, above all else, to see that in you when you walk into the room. He gave me permission, or rather pushed me, to get messy with my work and let it be completely me; and not what I thought they wanted to see. I highly recommend working with Brian if you are considering Graduate School. You will be better for the experience one way or the other.”
"I've never seen such deep care and attention given to acting students"
Claudia Givings (Finalist U.S.D./OLD GLOBE)
“Brian isn't just an acting coach. He's someone who really cares about your success at these auditions. You see the attention to care he gives each and every student by how involved he is in the graduate audition process from start to finish. Being challenged and pushed in one on one sessions, attending insightful graduate panels with recent grads from the top schools and having support all the way to the final call back are all wonderful experiences I've had because of Brian. It also reinforces the notion that he is someone who really wants me to succeed. I've never seen such deep care and attention given to acting students going through this process. A process in which can be extremely stressful. But having the comfort of knowing that I had the support of someone I truly respect is priceless. Brian is the best! He will always be my number one recommendation.”
"Brian McManamon single-handedly reinvigorated my love of acting"
Tim Creavin (Matriculated: NYU GRAD ACTING):
"Brian McManamon single-handedly reinvigorated my love of acting. In helping me prepare for graduate school auditions, he constantly reminded me to act from a place of pure JOY and love for the craft and to share my hunger to learn through my work. His advice was critical to my success and sense of confidence throughout the grad school audition process. Brian is one of the most genuinely supportive teachers/coaches/people I’ve ever worked with, and I simply could not have gotten through this audition process without him. WOW – I’m so glad I found him…he just KNOWS what’s up. If you’re considering applying for graduate school, REACH OUT TO HIM. I promise you won’t regret it."
"You just want to be around him."
Gustavo Pace (Matriculated: A.R.T./HARVARD):
“Brian is a great teacher and coach. He is such a generous person. You just want to be around him. He will understand you and guide you to your best audition. He also helped me choose material even outside the time we were scheduled. He really cares about his students and wants you to do your best. I am sure you going to improve your acting if you meet Brian. He wants to know who you are. He also sent me some nice articles, interviews that really helped for my auditions.”
"My acting became far more personal than ever before."
Lucy Van Atta (Matriculated: BROWN/TRINITY):
“Working with Brian completely transformed the MFA audition process for me, and my acting in general. I learned to let go of what I thought I was "supposed to do," and to focus instead on showing each school who I was---as both an artist and a human being. Brian helped me choose monologues I truly loved, and to view each audition as a rare opportunity to bring those stories to life. Each rehearsal---and, in fact, each audition---became a kind of thrilling experiment, a chance to delve further into the world of a play and my own connection to it. Throughout my sessions with Brian, he never tried to provide any kind of formula or simple answer. Rather, he asked questions that forced me to examine why I'd chosen each monologue, why it meant something, how it revealed a part of me, and why it mattered for an audience. As a result, my acting became far more personal than ever before. For the first time, I began to allow my audience to really see me in the stories I told---through the lens of another person. Brian gave me that, and I am endlessly grateful for it.”
"He is hands down the best MFA preparation coach."
Patrick Jones (Matriculated: A.C.T.):
“Brian McManamon changed my life. I went into the MFA audition process, nervous, obsessive, and most importantly LOST. Brian completely transformed my outlook and showed me how to have an artistically enriching experience in the audition room. He is hands down the best MFA preparation coach I have encountered. He isn't just a great teacher and actor, he is a fantastic people-person and motivator. Brian teaches you to love your work, love the process, and love yourself! Brian is also an invaluable resource because he knows exactly what MFA programs are looking for in a pool of applicants. He has been through the process himself and matriculated at one of the best schools in the nation. His wealth of knowledge cannot only be trusted, it can ease your mind about the mystery surrounding the audition process itself. Brian helped me uncover the best work I imagined I was capable of, and in the process helped uncover the best, most attractive "me" I had to offer. I walked into the audition room feeling confident, excited, hopeful, and most importantly ready to go. From the mock auditions, to the coaching sessions, to the personal phone calls, Brian is always on your side. He is the perfect coach. I would recommend him to anyone and everyone because I know that if anyone is in Brian's hands, they are in the most capable hands around.”
"Preparing for MFA auditions with Brian is an MFA program in itself."
Lindsay Brill (Matriculated: OLD GLOBE/U.S.D.):
“Brian is this wonderful combination of gentle teddy bear and serious business pro. In a safe and supportive environment, he demands your best work. Brian is truly gifted at what he does. His knowledge is vast. He can look at any text and understand its complexities and help you find a way in. Brian has taken time to get to know me as a person and he uses that in our work together, which is gold for an actor. Brian encourages you to bring yourself to every ounce of your work, to be bold and to be brave. Preparing for MFA auditions with Brian is an MFA program in itself. I always hear Brian's voice as I work on my own and I will take him with me as I venture on to grad school and beyond.”
"Brian will get to know you both as a human and an actor."
Viraj Gandhi (Matriculated: BROWN/TRINITY):
“Brian’s private coaching sessions are individualized and personalized to fit the needs of the student he is training. In other words, Brian has no magic formula because no single formula works for every actor. Brian asks questions, rather than providing answers, and this really helps one grow as an actor. He stretches the way your mind thinks about the craft of acting. He has a rare perception of understanding how his students’ own personalities can best manifest themselves to create character. Most importantly, Brian will get to know you both as a human and an actor, which allows him to pinpoint the direction your training needs to go not based on anyone else but you. If you’re applying to graduate acting school, Brian will help cut through the enigma and intimidation of the audition and applications and will allow you to present yourself to drama schools not only as a character, but as who you are—and you are the most important asset you have going into the MFA audition process."
"Prepare to be amazed."
Dionne Audain (Waitlisted: A.R.T.)
"For starters -prepare to be amazed! Brian doles out the knowledge, love, wisdom, insight & know how with surgical precision. He is this wealth of knowledge and coaching know-how and just plain common sense. He is practical information and your inner voice all in one. Brian came highly reccomended from two very trusted acting colleagues from two of my target programs. I traveled from 4 hours away to work with Brian.
Brian's MFA Panel & mock auditions are a must and of course one-on-one time. He goes above and beyond with his customer support being available via text and phone with encouragement and support and cheers during crucial audition Hell Weeks!! The more I was out doing the rounds (8 schools) I met more Brian-ites and we were all ready to take our rooms by storm.
I would not have been as prepared as I was had it not been for my time with Brian. I dare say I love him seriously."
"Stand out from the pack."
Nick Hoge (Matriculated: NYU GRAD ACTING):
“Having attended a top MFA program himself and having sat in on MFA auditions while a student, Brian has a keen eye and understanding for the MFA audition process. Working with him gives you a real leg up against most everyone else applying. Brian has a great deal of enthusiasm for the joy of acting and continually encourages you to play fully and bring your individuality to the work. At the end of the day, that's what any good MFA program wants to see, they want to see who YOU are. I highly recommend working with Brian if you want to stand out from the pack.”
"Working with Brian was the best professional decision I've ever made."
Tatiana Pavela (Matriculated: SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY'S ACADEMY OF CLASSICAL ACTING at GEORGE WASHINGTON. Also accepted: UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, DEPAUL):
"Brian was easily the best thing to happen to my acting in 2013. Not just in regards to grad school, but to all of it. He's perfected the balance of tough love/supportive environment and used this to get me out of my head, break bad habits, focus on the character's task at hand (which is often much simpler than the "Oh my god I need to book this now and nail this and be perfect" dialogue running through the actor's mind), and lastly - to show who I am and what I uniquely bring to the table. During our first session I brought a new monologue to work on and used it the very next day I used it to get a callback. With regard to grad schools, his help and guidance took me through the unknown process and guaranteed that I did my best possible work. Working with Brian was the best professional decision I've ever made. The time I spent working with him was full of creativity, dedication and detailed technique. I've worked with other grad school coaches as well as taken other classes throughout NYC, and have never experienced working with someone as down to earth and real as Brian is. Not only did he genuinely care about me as an actor, he whole heartedly cared about me as a human being. Brian gave me permission to be myself in the audition room, which is something I had not allowed myself to do up until I met him. That freedom completely changed the way I auditioned, and for that I am forever grateful to have worked with him. I am now going to my dream MFA program with confidence and a sense of freedom. I honestly could not have done this without Brian. I imagine what my auditions would have been like without him and cringe. Best possible investment for my acting career."
"I'm not sure coach is the right word to describe him, a spirit guide perhaps?"
Adam Donovan (Matriculated: A.C.T.):
“Brian was a rock throughout this process. In a short time he was able to provide me with a sense of agency and helped me to take ownership of my material. Furthermore he was a FORCE of support and comfort during the final call back weekend. He truly went above and beyond for me. I am so grateful to have experienced his grace, expertise, wisdom, and warmth. I'm not sure coach is the right word to describe him, a spirit guide perhaps? Whatever the word, whatever the result, he is nothing short of a wonderful human being with an extraordinary ability to guide his clients to find and expose their own deep sense of personal humanity. I am so grateful.”
"Coaching with Brian is the best possible thing you can do for yourself"
Libby McNight (Matriculated: JUILLIARD):
"Working with Brian truly changed my life, and I would have been completely lost without his guidance. I started working with him after a friend of mine highly recommended his class and coaching, and I’ll admit I was a little skeptical. I was terrified to work with someone I had never met on something so important to me. I took Brian’s scene study class as a kind of test, and before the end of the first class I was HOOKED. I love his way of communicating with actors-he really sees you and liberates you to bring yourself into the room. I cannot recommend him enough. I learned so much about myself as an actor, and his coaching made me dig deeper and discover myself in a brand new way. Also, I was also so prepared and so confident because of working with him that the actual auditions were a blast. Training with Brian gave me the skill I needed as well as immense confidence, and he made this journey so much fun!!! If you are planning on auditioning for graduate programs, coaching with Brian is the best possible thing you can do for yourself."
"If you are looking to grow as an artist and a person, you will not regret one minute you spend with him"
Emily Bosco (Matriculated: U.N.C./CHAPEL HILL):
"Brian is such an incredibly warm, insightful, and brilliant coach! I had the good fortune to work with him for two MFA audition cycles, and each time my work grew leaps and bounds under his guidance. Every time we met, he helped me get past the fears and anxieties that kept my pieces in "safe", stagnant places. He taught me how to live through my monologues in real time, and to embrace the fact that they would be (wonderfully) different each time I performed them. Most importantly, he made me laugh every week, reminded me why they call it a PLAY, and helped me really understand that all these grad schools want to see is you, in all your unique glory. Not a flawless, perfect actor - YOU! If you are looking to grow as an artist and a person, you will not regret one minute you spend with him."
"He's the ultimate coach for the perfectionist getting in their own way"
Cassandra Hunter (Accepted: U.C.S.D, A.C.T. and U.S.C)
"Without a doubt, Brian has shaped me to be a more confident, daring, and open actor which allowed me to go into grad school auditions ready to play! I came to Brian hellbent on success with a list of goals in hand and a ton of questions that didn't serve my work. Brian helped me find the joy, possibilities, and autonomy in artistic exploration. Throughout, I learned to release myself from getting to a destination or end result. I was able to be myself in the room. He's the ultimate coach for the perfectionist getting in their own way. He taught me what it means to do the work, and it's not about taking a bunch of notes or having all the right answers, but staying true to yourself and being curious. Thanks to Brian, I got into three incredible programs, and even more personally, have a stronger sense of self and purpose in my life."
"He opens doors and asks questions to help you walk through them yourself."
Olivia Hoffman (MATRICULATED: L.A.M.D.A.)
"Brian gave me the footing to trust myself again. He never makes you feel like there’s a “right” way to do a scene or a monologue, he ASKS questions. The trust is the most remarkable aspect of his teaching. He’s about the questions, not the answers. Because Brian is truly fascinated by the possibilities of your work, the element of intent to please disappears. This is why I was able to relax into my LAMDA audition with a “whatever happens happens” mentality. He gave me the tools to put the focus on the work, not the outcome. Brian doesn’t scare you. He doesn’t intimidate the work out of you. He doesn’t make you feel like there’s a “right” answer. He opens doors and asks questions to help you walk through them yourself."
"Brian taught me that I needed to listen to my artistic instincts"
Matt Ketai (Matriculated: BROWN/TRINITY):
“Prior to working with Brian, I had a hard time picking material that not only showcased me as an artist but also demonstrated what I am able to bring "to the table" as a person. Brian taught me that I needed to listen to my artistic instincts and to choose my pieces that immediate resonated with me, rather than over-thinking each piece intellectually. Once I was able to pick the pieces that I really cared about, everything else fell into place as far as acting and performing them. I am very grateful to have worked with Brian McManamon.”