Martin Acting Studios
Classes and Private Coaching

Acting, despite popular belief, is not something that is easy to do, requiring nothing more than talent, a great smile, and a heartbeat. Many people are born with an innate talent for it, but even those who aren't can work hard to cultivate the ability and a craft.

The same way that a musician has to practice his or her instrument; a singer has to practice scales; a dancer their exercises and moves; so does an actor have to work on his or her craft...their instrument, if you will, to be able to get to a point where he or she can be real in a set of given circumstances - and not "act". The point of learning a craft is to get out of your head - your intellectual approach to the work, watching yourself constantly - and begin to work from your gut, your heart...being vulnerable emotionally and relaxed, allowing freedom of expression, following impulses, organic behavior and full choices.

Many people are completely into a Meisner approach nowadays - it seems to be more "in fashion" than truly used as a legitimate approach to the work. Strasberg's approach has been linked with the term "Method" acting - which, unfortunately due to many teachers who try to turn it into some mystical, esoteric nonsense, is considered just that. It's not.

"Method" acting, as many know it to be, was what Lee (Strasberg) derived from Stanislavski, an approach to acting focusing on the internal and how it motivates the actor, allowing him or her to become in touch with their emotions so they can use them in a set of given circumstances, using the five senses. One aspect to his teachings that focuses on this is sensory. Sandy Meisner worked more on getting actors to deal with the external - talking and listening to the other actor and relating to them how we would in real life. Exercises such as improvs and repeat exercises are used to bring that about.

My approach is a combination of Strasberg and Meisner, with elements of Ernie Martin's teachings, some Linklater breath exercises, and my own way of dealing with students. I find that the well-rounded actor has elements of all these teachers: allowing themselves the opportunity to really deal with their fellow actor; be emotionally available to that actor and themselves; have a "toolkit" if you will, of things to call upon to help create an emotional reality and flexiblity; and really take chances and make full choices in their work.

An actor needs to be physically loose and relaxed to allow any impulses and emotions to be at their fingertips. I work a lot on relaxation to get actors prepared to invest in their characters and the work at hand.


Classes, though normally held on Saturdays from 2-5pm, at Night Owl Studios on 27th street in NYC, are on hiatus until Fall due to overwhelming scheduling with productions at this time. I am, however, teaching private coaching for several people, and am more than willing to go over those monologues you have waiting for auditions, or any help you need for productions you're working on.

Referrals from current students do not require an interview for either coaching or class.

Classes include monologue and scene study; improvs, entrance w/ a prep (improv for one person), repeat exercises, sensory exercises, personal stories, relaxation, and mental/physical warm up/cool down.

I am currently interviewing beginners, intermediate, and advanced students. Please contact for more information.

Private Coaching:

I am currently privately coaching teens and adults. Available coaching sessions are acting technique for beginning through intermediate levels, and advanced monologue and scene study for the auditioning actor.

Hunter College:

Diánna will be teaching acting at Hunter College's Continuing Education Program this Fall and Spring on Tuesdays and Thursdays - two one-month classes consecutively; a beginner-intermediate and intermediate to advanced class. Although you can't become an "advanced" actor in a matter of four, or even eight weeks, these classes are designed to help start people off in the right direction - and some folks prefer an institution environment like college. This will be in addition to her regular classes for Martin Acting Studios.

You can read an article about some of my teaching philosophy at the NY Wellness Examiner HERE.

You can also find me on Facebook under a fan page called, of all things, "Martin Acting Studios". Go figure.
Actual link is:

If you are on FB, please "fan" my page and share it with your friends! I can flourish mostly by word of mouth...