"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."
"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.”
"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.”
“Brian is the grad school audition shaman”
Maggie McCaffery (Matriculated: YALE SCHOOL OF DRAMA)
“Brian is the grad school audition shaman. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the only person you need to go to when auditioning for grad school programs. He was there for me whenever I felt lost, panicky, or overwhelmed. He was a guiding light throughout this very daunting process, and made me feel at ease every step of the way. And most importantly, he made it FUN! If you’ve made the decision to apply this coming year or the next and don’t know where to begin or what to do, the very best thing you can do for yourself is to go to Brian. I could not have done this without him.”
"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.”
“There is something alchemical about Brian’s ability to help you unlock your inner artist”
Kyle McClellan (Matriculated: COLUMBIA. Also accepted: A.C.T., PACE, DePAUL, BRISTOL/OLD VIC and LAMDA.)
“It’s hard for me to believe now that at first I was hesitant about working with a coach for grad auditions- I foolishly had a chip on my shoulder about wanting to prove I could do it all without anyone’s help. Still, I didn’t want to find myself at the end of the process thinking, “What if…?” So I figured I’d try one session with Brian: what could be the harm in that? Well, needless to say, that one session was only the first of many, for working with Brian was nothing short of life changing. He shattered my idea and expectations of what an acting coach can be, but more than that, he helped me shatter the creative, mental, and physical restrictions I didn’t even realize I was putting on myself as an artist. There is something alchemical about Brian’s ability to help you unlock your inner artist, always knowing exactly what questions to ask to help you take your work to a newer, deeper, and more personally authentic level. With Brian, the audition room becomes a playground where you have the golden opportunity to explore your pieces in new and exciting ways, freed completely of the inhibiting desires to be “right” or “perfect.” Brian is truly a wealth of knowledge and experience, but more importantly, he is a genuinely kind and passionate person with a true gift as a teacher, and he was there for me every step of the way. Brian didn’t just help me get into grad school…he helped me take ownership over my work and believe in myself as an artist again.”
"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.”
“Brian is an alchemist”
Anna Walden (Matriculated: R.A.D.A.):
“Brian is an alchemist. He holds space for all and everything that you are. He gives you room to expand beyond the edges of who you know yourself to be as an actor. You will transform under his guidance, not into that actor you've always admired, but rather, into YOU--the you unbound by your old judgements and limiting self-talk. He addresses the voice in your head that tells you "you can't do it" and challenges you to step into a deeper knowing--that you are enough. He invites all aspects of you into the room--the good, the bad, and the terribly awkward--and celebrates them as the very things that make you special (which you certainly are). You will find pieces that allow you to be full and free and remarkably relaxed (this, coming from an extremely worried person). You will look forward to Wednesdays at 11am (or whenever your sessions happen to be) because you will always leave lighter, shinier, more embodied, elevated by a clearer sense of self within your work, and of course, because Brian is a true friend, a champion, and a joy.”
"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.”
“It is no exaggeration to say that working with Brian has changed my life”
Cerra Cardwell (Matriculated Rose Bruford. Waitlisted LAMDA)
“It is no exaggeration to say that working with Brian has changed my life both as a human and an actor. Of the many things Brian will offer you, the most valuable is his ability to help you reveal you to yourself. This is key in your MFA journey as you need to be able to shows these schools who you are when you’re in that audition room. Brian never tells you what to do but he illuminates your choices and hones his keen instinct in order to nudge you forward. His care goes beyond your monologue work but extends through the whole process, from audition to essay to outfit planning (exquisite taste this man has) and through the highs and lows. I was so unsure of both myself and what I wanted at the beginning, but he never decided for me, he coached me through my work and my thought process so I was able to discover the monologues I wanted to do, the art I wanted to make and the schools I wanted to be at. Brian gave me the tools to do those things for myself and that has given me a confidence through this process and as an actor that I will forever be grateful for. If none of the above makes any sense, imagine this, you are lying in a field staring up at the clouds contemplating life and grad school and the sun suddenly comes out from behind a cloud and warms you up and makes you feel like anything is impossible. Well, Brian is that little bit of sun.”
“He transformed my work and my approach to how I work”
Jay Yriberry (Matriculated: COLUMBIA)
“Simply put, I wouldn’t be where I am without Brian. I cannot recommend him enough. He has an understated way of getting you to be boldly yourself in your work. Auditioning for grad school taught me so much about myself and why I’ve chosen this life. I wouldn’t have learned those lessons without Brian’s approach. He encouraged me to trust myself and to connect to my pieces on a deeper and more personal level. I met with him very early in the process after a friend referred him and I did some research. He gave me some guidance for choosing my pieces, which I took to heart, and then we met much later in the process and got to work. With just a few sessions, he transformed my work and my approach to how I work. He brings a deep respect for his clients and their experience. I haven’t felt safer in any other room than in his. Brian is a true gem.”
"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!"
“My work was transformed”
David Barnes (Matriculated: L.A.M.D.A.):
“Brian’s greatest gift as a teacher and mentor is his ability to take a back seat whilst guiding the actor towards their own discovery. I was astounded at Brian’s restraint. I came to realize that this steams from an incredible amount of trust. He has the utmost respect for his students and their ability to discover on their feet, in their own bodies, with a generous sense of play. My work was transformed, but more importantly, the way I approached the work was as well. Brian helped me discover who I am in the work, who I yearn to be, and how to be fearless pursuing this. Through a nudge here and a touch there, Brian gave me the freedom to try, to fail, and to find joy throughout. I can’t thank Brian enough.”
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.”
“Brian helped me take risks, find pleasure and go deeper in my work”
Elisabeth Ho (Matriculated: R.A.D.A.):
"Brian brings great craft and an incredible insight into how an actor's instrument works. While other coaches and teachers may go easy and tell you what you want to hear, Brian always challenges you and provokes you to go deeper and make stronger choices in your pieces in an effective way. He helped me take risks, find pleasure and go deeper 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.”