Over the years I've been successful in preparing adults and teens for job and school interviews. Every adult I've prepped has gotten the job, and many of my students have gained admission to the schools of their dreams. If you're worried about your interview, you are not alone. Since Americans are more afraid of public speaking than they are of dying, it's likely that almost everyone is uncomfortable and somewhat lost facing an interview. In fact, many highly qualified candidates can't ... [more]
Years as a high school Speech, Film and Drama teacher, followed by work as a college Screenwriting and Essay Writing instructor, taught me how to teach writing, but my next career as a writer/director gave me the gift of editing, the key to exceptional writing. I'm pleased to add that I'm a member of the Writers Guild of America, East, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Directors Guild of America, and the winner of the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short, which I wrote, directed and produced. With all that experience, I've passed onto my students simple techniques to improve their writing skills, often marveling at how fast their work transforms. Since performance in college and beyond is dependent on the quality of one's writing, I know my work, and that of my colleagues, is important.
I guess I've spent my entire career teaching English in some capacity. For fourteen years, I was a high school English teacher who taught not only the required courses but many electives such as Journalism, Film and Television, and Speech. I moved on from there to teach Advanced Screenwriting at USC and Personal and Business Writing at DeVry University. For the past few years, I've conducted writing workshops; Memoir Writing for adults and College Essay Writing for high school seniors. Also, I act as consultant to professional writers and am a member of the Writers Guild of America. I suppose my greatest strength as a teacher is that I never repeat a lesson. I am able to create the right example, the perfect assignment and the most authentic critique on the spot -- this is how my mind works. That is why I find my work so exciting and still a lot of fun.
Having taught English at the high school and college level, and as a member of the Writers Guild of America, proofreading comes very easily to me. The novelist James Michener said, "I am not a very good writer but I am an excellent rewriter." I totally get that; it is only with editing that I am able to write well. What is more, I think this is true for everyone. This is why I find proofreading satisfying. I also act as consultant to professors and professional writers.
I have written and directed plays as well as directed episodic television. I have won major awards in the entertainment industry.
As a speech coach and an Oscar winning director, I have "rehearsed" many adults before they face job interviews, school interviews and auditions. I have been astounded every time I coach someone at how quickly their presentation improves. In addition, I've also found that even the most talented and brightest of applicants is often unaware of what interviewers look for, appreciate and expect. That is why I find this work incredibly rewarding and stimulating.
First, you will want to know that my students have gone on to Berkeley, Colorado College, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Oberlin, Pepperdine, Pratt Institute, Santa Clara, Sarah Lawrence, Stanford (early action), UCLA, University of Oxford, UC San Diego, University of Virginia, University Honors College at the University of Pittsburgh, University of Puget Sound, University of Wisconsin, Yale (early action) and many other wonderful schools. When I work with you on your college application essays, my goal is to help you write attention-getting, authentic and meaningful essays. Ultimately, we are looking for a result that makes clear what your contribution to the college will be. Are you an out-of-the-box thinker, a humanitarian, a problem solver, an ethicist, an entrepreneur? The challenge you face is to show and not tell the admissions officer what your gift is; this is where I am best able to help you. We need to find that one specific story that clearly demonstrates who you are. A challenging task but well worth the effort! When possible, I urge you to spend time on the supplemental essays as well. They too must be well-written, otherwise the admissions officer thinks you may have received too much outside help if the quality of the writing varies. My students have been successful because my prompts inevitably produce original work, and my numerous and simple tips for writing insure quick and impressive results. . Finally, I urge rising seniors to consider working on the personal statements and supplementals during the summer since the fall semester requires you to focus on good grades, SAT scores, obtaining recommendations, completing volunteer hours and of course, applying to colleges! If you can remove one important task from the list, it will help you. And quality time spent on the essays often pays off down the line. Also, the sooner you get in your applications, the better your chances for admission. Note: Though I work one-on-one with applicants, I have found that a group of friends working together is just as successful, more fun and less expensive.
I majored in Speech in undergraduate and graduate schools and therefore hold two degrees in the subject. I taught Public Speaking at the high school level and also at a professional school for adults interested in improving their public speaking abilities. We worked with politicians and business people for the most part.
I am a member of the Writers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Happily, I received an M.F.A from The American Film Institute, and managed to win the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short for my AFI film. I've taught acting in various New York schools and Advanced Screenwriting at USC. Often I prepare applicants for film schools by coaching them through their essays and helping them ace their interviews through "rehearsals." Needless to say, it's a joy for me pay forward all the instruction and support I've received.