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Audition, Monologue,
Improvisation, Scene Work,
Cold Reading Techniques.

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BILLIE SHEPARD  Long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Billie has appeared in lead roles in Equity productions nationwide, including Rumors and Laughter on the 23rd Floor at the San Jose Repertory Theatre. She has been featured in numerous TV productions, including Nash Bridges, Disney's Not Quite Human, as well as in dozens of national and regional commercials from Ford to Camay.

A 30-year veteran of coaching and actors training, Billie has founded two acting academies and five acting workshops in four states – including The Actors Workshop at San Jose Repertory Theatre and The Monologue Workshop, originally developed at Full Circle Productions in San Francisco, where she specialized in on-camera techniques. She continues to teach at VoiceOne in San Francisco.

She created and teaches her groundbreaking class, Finding the Actor Within, at the San Jose Rep's Studio Theatre where students can build their acting muscle in an expansive theatrical setting and also experience the intimacy of on-camera work.

Billie is a Dean’s Scholar with a B.A. in Creative Arts and an M.A. in Theatre Arts from San Jose State University. She is currently working on a book, drawn from her Masters thesis, The Actor Within: An Exploration of Present Moment Awareness in Business Presentations.

BILLIE'S TECHNIQUE  A strong believer in continuing education, Billie regularly studies with veteran actor Alan Arkin. Star of stage, screen, television and Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor in "Little Miss Sunshine", Alan is a founding member of the famed Second City improvisational troupe.The techniques of this groundbreaking performing arts group are now used in acting programs all over the country. Billie draws on many of Arkin's methods in her workshops
and classes.

MARY MACKEY  Mary Mackey has been acting in commercials, industrials, television, film & stage for 30 years. She has studied acting intensively for 25 years and has taught for 15. Her career took off in 1984 when she was crowned Miss Northern California. From there she became a successful high fashion runway model, working for top designers in LA, New York, and San Francisco.

She studied at the acclaimed film acting school, Full Circle Productions in San Francisco, completing its teacher training program and becoming a successful acting coach. Like Billie, Mary also studied with Academy Award Winner Alan Arkin. She learned the technique of “taking it off the page” with renowned acting coach Harold Guskin and studied Commedia Dell'arte at Tim Robbins theatre company, The Actors' Gang. There, she played Katherine Driscoll in Bury The Dead which won an LA Critics award.

Mary has appeared on House, The Hard Times of RJ Berger, and played Glenda in the feature film "Ashley", and Lola in "Green is Red", a short film that debuted at Cannes 2012. Mary has been in over 50 commercials, including Visa,, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, The Nature Conservancy, and others. She brings this breadth of experience as a working actor to the classroom.

Together, Billie and Mary help their students access and explore their emotional truths — to discover how to tap into the power and nuance of those truths and bring them to each character they play.

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