"I enrolled in Michael Navarra's Acting in Films course taught at SF Casting in the winter of 2013 because I wanted some formal acting training. I starting acting and auditioning in 2004 and loved it from the beginning. I was nervous at first but I learned to quiet my nerves enough to get check avails and bookings. Before I knew it, I became SAG-eligible. I was so excited by this opportunity and all the possibilities that I decided to take Michael's course. I met Michael and knew immediately that I was comfortable with his teaching and warm honest direction. He has a wonderful way of telling you what you are doing right and what you can do to improve your acting skills. His advice is applicable and can immediately be applied to your auditions. He teaches you how to analyze a script, how to develop your character, and how to learn your objective in each scene. He taught us to listen and react to our scene partner in the present moment. After taking Michael's course, I booked three jobs and was placed on check avail for one. 

 

Thank you Michael for giving me the confidence that I needed to become a better actor."

 

-Barbara Streckfus

"Michael has a way of zeroing in on what each student individually needs to improve his or her skills and focusing in on that, without making anyone feel inferior or superior to anyone else in the class.  He allows you to really learn from his assessment/feedback for each and every student.  He has complete command of the classroom in a gentle and considerate manner, with little wasted time - allowing more time for each student to be on camera and benefit from the play backs. 

 

I would highly recommend enrolling in a session with Michael.  I will be looking to take a continuing course with him."

 

-Susan Cymrot

"I just finished taking the 5-week class with Michael Navarra at the San Francisco Acting Academy. I just wanted to reach out to let you know that I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot from it. Michael was extremely kind, honest, and patient with all of us, and always gave us very poignant and attentive feedback and notes relevant to our individual performances to help us grow. I thought the structure of his class really allowed me to continue to develop as an actress with the scenes he specifically tailored to each of us in the class and the ability to learn from viewing ourselves on camera and incorporating his feedback. 

 

Thank you very much for the opportunity to learn from him. I would love to take another class with him, and hope to get the chance to soon."

 

-Flavia Menezes Rusznak

 

 

"Michael was both generous and honest in his theatrical/cinematic instruction and evaluation of every student.  What did I personally take away from the class?  By far the best note for me was not to portray the victim in my roles and be bold enough to raise the stakes for me to pursue my objective and win, win, win in every scene.  This note alone has given me permission to push on and explore what could be if I follow through with Michael's wonderful advice.

 

Thanks Michael!"

 

-Patrice Binaisa 

 

"Taking this class helped me develop the skills I required to become a better filmmaker by knowing what the actor needs to deliver a truthful performance. 

 

Michael is very attentive to each actor's need and provides knowledgable insight on ways to improve and grow to be an actor at any level. 

 

I feel I can articulate my directions to actors in more constructive ways and help them realize the image I envision."

 

-Jason Nou

 

"Michael is a rare instructor in that he is not only an accomplished professional in the field but is also an astute teacher.  He consistently maintains a patient and focused demeanor with all students.  He is incredibly focused on each student's performance offering thorough, insightful feedback.  His comments are well balanced and relevant fostering continued growth for each individual.  Michael has an uncanny knack for intuiting the appropriate scene for each student and working through the scene to develop the best possible performance, pushing the student to achieve increasing skill levels.  He is generous with his professional knowledge and consistently willing to answer any and all questions about the craft of acting and the industry.  Michael is an exceptional instructor and I look forward to participating in more classes taught by him.  I would recommend his class to actors of any skill level."

 

-Karen Coronna

 

"Michael Navarra's class is the perfect step in the right direction for a serious acting student. Challenging, inspiring and educational for beginning and seasoned students. As an actor returning after a several year sabbatical, I benefited from Michael's professionalism and patience as he coaxed from all of us our best work. He shared his advice and experience about the acting business and how to create opportunities to move forward confidently. I look forward to further coaching from this excellent teacher."

 

-Luanne Mullin

"Studying with Michael was fantastic! The course provided an excellent introduction to acting in films from script analysis to rehearsal to performing on camera to preparing for auditions and building a career. On top of that, Michael was insightful and supportive throughout. Highly recommended!"

 

-Rosanna Myers

"Michael Navarra's acting for the camera is a fantastic class and he is an excellent teacher. He is able to bring out the best of actors of ALL levels in the class. He creates a very supportive and safe environment while also challenging you to learn and improve as an actor. I recommend his class completely!"

 

-Cheyenne Watson

"I really enjoyed the Acting in Film Class with Michael Navarra. His friendly and insightful guidance was very valuable.  At the end I knew what I need to do to improve, and will take this class again."

 

-Douglas Gawosk

"Michael Navarra is the greatest teacher ever! The skills I have learned in this class are invaluable. I now know my strengths and what I need to work on as an actress."

 

-Victoria Vann

"Acting classes with Michael Navarra are a wonderful experience.  Michael is an exceptional teacher; gifted, patient and absolutely dedicated to bringing out the potential in all his students.  Michael's style is relaxed and friendly.  He cultivates an atmosphere in the class where everyone feels safe, supported and inspired.  I would not hesitate to take another of Michael's classes or to recommend them to anyone who is looking for an opportunity to develop their acting skills."

 

-Sally Hudson

 

 

"Thanks for your help. By the way, and I'm sure you've heard this before, I think you're doing a really wonderful job teaching this class. You're a very clear teacher, as well as being so well-organized and giving us activities that build the concepts from class to class. But the best thing is the comfortable, supportive atmosphere you create among us. I was terrified coming into the first class--I'd never done anything like this before and knew zero about acting. I'm still terrified at times, but somehow now it's in a good way!"

 

-Patty Leitner

 

"Michael Navarra is a gifted and dedicated actor and teacher. Just as he must enter the psyche of a role he plays, he has a keen ability to understand his acting students' inner life. With this emotional intelligence, he compassionately fosters his students' strengths, encourages growth, and allows them to reach their full potential in the moment. He does so with humility, humor and honesty. I am so grateful for having learned from him, and I trust him to support each acting student with the same care and listening regardless of their level or background."

 

-Jolaine Beal

 

"Having graduated from a prestigious 2 year Acting school and having taken many acting classes to keep my skills in check: Michael Navarra's class at SFAA has been nothing less than eye-opening.  With an approach that is both heartening and enlightening, I believe Michael has a way of answering questions the way no one in the business has answered them and giving feedback to assist in the growth of an actor.  Michael is very educated on all aspects of the Camera course, down-to-Earth, charming and professional as an Actor/Director himself; his approach sees both sides and that allows the student to achieve what is expected from someone that sees both perspectives.  Michael taught me a lot and it will assist me in my future as a professional actor."

 

-Emerson Hart

 

"Michael is a true gem of an actor and teacher. Many acting classes can feel intimidating, but Michael manages to create an atmosphere that is welcoming, encouraging, and most importantly, fun! He has such passion and appreciation for the craft, and understands exactly what it takes to pursue a career in the field. Michael also innately understands what each individual needs to get out of their own way. He genuinely cares about the progress of every actor, regardless of their level, and always gives honest, thoughtful feedback. I cannot say enough good things about Michael, and look forward to taking his class again in the future!"

 

-Gabrielle Zucker

 

"Michael teaches with compassion, humor, and honesty while working seamlessly with students of varying levels of experience. These traits coupled with his knowledge, professional experience, and passion for the craft of acting make for an engaging and valuable experience. He creates an inspirational and safe environment in which students can be free to take risks and challenge themselves. I would highly recommend his workshops to the beginning actor who wants to establish the fundamentals of acting as well as to the advanced student/professional actor who is looking for a place to “workout” and continue to refine their on-camera skills."

 

-David Ballog

 

“The class with Michael was incredibly helpful! I took away some great instruction concerning on-camera auditioning, business of the film industry, and how to approach scene work for film (and in general). His advice was invaluable! But what I personally found most useful was watching and reviewing the recorded work from class. I can't put into words how important it is to see yourself performing on camera, and Michael's confident yet calm demeanor created an ideal environment for actors of any experience level. Go sign up!!” 

 

-David Campfield

 

"One of the Best classes I have taken. I learned so much that I took the class again, and I learned even more. Michael is a fantastic teacher and has an easy going style that made everyone feel comfortable.  This class will give you new tools, and sharpen the ones you already have. A Big thumbs up to SFAA and Michael Navarra!"

 

-Brian Johnson

"Michael creates a safe and comfortable environment for actors to develop and hone in on their craft.  Whether you're a beginning actor or have been at it for years, Michael gives direction that enables actors to bring truth and honesty into their performances.  He truly wants you to find the hidden gems within the script and bring your own unique authenticity to it.  Having taken Michael's Acting in Films class at the San Francisco Acting Academy, my creative confidence has grown immensely." 

 

-Nicole Massis

 “Just a quick note to thank you for the class.  Your ability to stay focused on each, and every individual, on every single “take”, was truly remarkable. You had the energy to be focused, and assess, then critique and re-direct, time after time.  It was a very generous, and kind, approach to all of us.”

 

-Erin Meadows

"I want to say thank you so much for teaching a great class. I felt so comfortable asking questions and knew that I was getting feedback that was going to further my craft. You have a true insight into how powerful acting can be and how to get people to that place."

 

-Delaney Ross

"I attended Michael Navarra's highly sought-after workshop "Acting in Films" with The San Francisco Acting Academy. Michael is a rare find. Not only is he highly qualified in all major acting disciplines, he brings to his teaching a wealth of professional acting experience, paired with talent casting, film directing and a producing background.

 

Michael is an actor's director. He is skillful at giving actionable notes in an imaginative and supportive way, and is careful not to instruct with "result-oriented direction". Michael guides the actor to find a deeper meaning and connection with the text and scene, helping the actor bring a fuller, richer performance to the screen. 

 

Michael also shares acting insights, professional experiences, and behind-the-scenes resources and recommendations that you simply won’t find in most acting books. From Michael's casting experience you'll also learn key auditioning techniques as well as preparation and mindset tips that will help give you a professional edge for any TV or Film audition.

 

Michael runs a highly supportive, safe and fun acting class. His teaching style is thoughtful, attentive, and focused, ensuring his students grasp the key learning concepts. Whether you are new to screen acting or simply wish to refresh your craft, you will gain and learn a lot from Michael Navarra's teaching style and his approach to successful, truthful screen acting."

 

-Bianca Te Rito

 

 

"Michael succinctly explains the fundamental techniques of film acting in an accessible and engaging way. His knowledge and experience benefits actors of all levels. He caters to all students by presenting material for all learning styles, be it visual, auditory or kinesthetic. I can wholeheartedly recommend his class!"

 

-Elizabeth Young

"This class was fantastic, and I would recommend it to anyone.  Michael Navarra is an outstanding teacher, able to teach students of different levels at once in a fun, supportive environment while giving clear, constructive feedback on a personal level.  His experience in the industry is easily apparent, and I learned more in 5 classes with him than I've learned in whole semesters elsewhere.  His feedback was spot-on and very helpful, and he was adept at identifying next steps for each individual.  Taking this class made me much more confident about auditioning as well.  I can't wait to take it again to build on what I learned the first time!"

 

-Alisa Bredo

"I am still in the early stages of my training, and I found Michael adapted his teaching style to match the level of experience for each actor in the class. His method of teaching and imparting information is very personable, precise, instinctive, and informative. I felt I was given great foundational tools to continue with this craft and I look forward to taking another class with him"
 

-Patricia Deery

“I first worked with Michael in the summer of 2013 when he directed Proof, and again in the fall of 2014 during his production of Dracula. Any actor would be lucky to work with a director as talented as Michael. He is patient while offering criticism and direction, and is always open to what an actor brings to the table. When I first auditioned for Michael, he was incredibly welcoming and made me feel confident and comfortable. Michael allows for a sense of play during rehearsals, which helped to grow my skills as an actor both analytically and physically. He also works incredibly well with beginning actors, while still being able to gently push more seasoned performers out of their comfort zones and into the next level of their work. The opportunities I had to work with Michael, along with his mentorship is something I consider to be invaluable in my training as an actor. I have taken multiple acting classes around the Bay Area and Los Angeles and Michael tops all of my previous instructors in insight, kindness, and talent. If given the opportunity to work with him, don't miss it.”

 

-Jessica Bettencourt

“Michael brings out the gold in you that you did not know was there. He is a rare teacher who is incredibly kind and generous while he fiercely chisels to the truth of each scene he is coaching.”

 

-Olga Aura

“I recently found myself in Michael Navarra's Acting in Films class at SF Acting Academy. And after taking many other classes, I have to say that Michael is one of kind. Not only is Michael's class very structured, but he has such a warmth about the way he instructs.  He provides you with the tools to successfully develop your character, connect with your scene partner, and break down your script to find the objective. While working, he provides you with usable feedback that can be applied right away. The most notable quality that I believe Michael possesses is his way to connect to his students.  Long after the class is over, the tools and words of wisdom stay with you.  I highly recommend taking Michael’s class if you are just starting out or looking to expand your skill set. You will not be disappointed.”

 

-Chloe MacBean

“Taking Michael Navarra’s acting classes and Student Repertory Theatre were nothing but beneficial to me with not only my acting but my growth as an individual. Michael will take you in your raw form and begin to shape you with his wealth of experience and knowledge of theatre and, at the same time, allow enough room for you to be able to realize your own potential - allowing you to grow into your own personality on and off stage. There are many layers to being successful in theatre, all of which Michael is fully aware of and touches on, whether it is using your space on stage, reminding you to drive for your objectives, or being punctual and being held accountable for your actions. One of my favorite things about Michael is that if he asks a lot of you, it’s because he knows that you are fully capable and wants to challenge your abilities to your benefit. I could not have asked for a better experience or opportunity than working with Michael to build a solid base in my pursuit of acting.“

 

-Robert Barlow

 

“I took Michael’s Acting in Films class at SF Academy in the Spring of 2015.  I appreciated the structure of the class and the detail he put into the class.  The roles he chose for each person were well thought out and fitting for each individual.  He really pushes you to let it all out and not hold back, in a friendly not forceful way.  What I appreciate the most is that Michael genuinely wants to help you to succeed in this business and he has the chops to do so, a rare find!”

 

-Vanessa Brooks

 

"I had the pleasure of working with Michael over 3 years as I worked on my A.A. at Ohlone College. When I started taking acting classes I had never acted before in my life, although it was something that always interested me. Michael not only kept my interest throughout my time at Ohlone, but was honest about what it would take to make a career out of acting. He taught me the skills for both on-camera acting and working the business side of the industry.  Now only a few short years after starting I have an agent and have made a few thousand dollars from acting jobs. He is the real deal and an excellent mentor for anyone seeking training in their craft."

 

-Marshall Duffy 

 

“Michael provides his actors with a fun, creative space that allows them to be completely free in the world they are creating.  Working with Michael, I felt something crucial click that enabled me to find that bravery and freedom that are so essential to good theatrical/on-camera work and have taken that into other projects and auditions.”

 

-Sophie Blackburn

 

“Michael provides his actors with a fun, creative space that allows them to be completely free in the world they are creating.  Working with Michael, I felt something crucial click that enabled me to find that bravery and freedom that are so essential to good theatrical/on-camera work and have taken that into other projects and auditions.”

 

-Sophie Blackburn

 

“Michael provides his actors with a fun, creative space that allows them to be completely free in the world they are creating.  Working with Michael, I felt something crucial click that enabled me to find that bravery and freedom that are so essential to good theatrical/on-camera work and have taken that into other projects and auditions.”

 

-Sophie Blackburn

 

“I took Michael's on camera acting class at Berkeley Rep in early 2015 and I still can't express how grateful I am for everything I have experienced in his class. My father is an actor and a director, so I grew up listening and learning about the industry. It is a place where you will meet a lot of people but only a few of them can truly help you in your journey in this extremely challenging profession. It is deeper than philosophy, beyond just a lifestyle, and it requires more faith than any religion. Michael is tremendously talented in helping actors/performers shape their careers in every possible angle. He sees the big picture and is simply the best!”  

 

-Yuka Uehara

 

“Michael's class brought me back to life. I gained confidence, it reignited my passion for acting, and it allowed me to be more open in order to grow.  I was able to be vulnerable and take risks because Michael creates a safe, constructive place to practice your craft.  I highly recommend it for all actors and even non-actors who would like to grow emotionally in their lives.  The Acting in Films class is thorough.  You will be able to analyze and practice scenes with a partner and without.  The fact that all scenes are filmed really helps shed awareness on your own performance in order to improve.  Michael communicates feedback in a professional concise way.  I could tell from day one that he was a master in this arena. This class is not only enjoyable, but transformative.  

 

The best thing I ever did was take this class, thank you Michael!”        

 

-Azine Davoudzadeh

 

 

“Michael Navarra has a beautiful ego; balanced; humble; a true Sage; one is often lead without the seeming. One of the most effective leaders I have ever had the privilege to learn from and work with.

 

His approach and vision as a Director is informed by a keen and intimate knowing of his craft and work; which is guided and enriched by his depth and breadth of experience; he is an exemplar, and his own testament – I greatly admire this man and artist.

 

Thank you Michael!”

 

-Cliff McCormick

"As an aspiring film director, I had trouble directing actors early on. Like most amateur filmmakers, I was stuck on results-based directing and told actors how to feel. It wasn’t until I took Michael Navarra’s classes that I began to understand the acting process and how to communicate with actors. He opened me to a new world of objectives and tactics where emotions are byproducts rather than goals. Now, I'm working on my MFA Film Directing at CalArts and I have so much to thank Michael for.

 

Michael’s method is both direct and effective. Much of his classes are spent acting out scenes from films and plays where he troubleshoots each performance with surgical precision. They’re how acting classes should be: straightforward and unpretentious."

 

-Richard Van

 

 

"I first met Michael when he directed Dog Sees God at Ohlone College in 2013. It wasn't until spring 2015 that I really got to know him. I signed up for his Student Repertory Theatre class and he gave me the opportunity of a lifetime when he asked me to be Associate Producer for the semester. I learned so much from Michael. He is an inspiration to me. He cares about every single one of his students, always willing to spend as much time as he can with one actor, helping them understand their character more deeply. He will gladly write letters of recommendations long after you have taken his class. Because of his the letter of recommendation he wrote on my behalf, I am now living dreams I never thought imaginable. I encourage every student who wants to pursue acting to take as many of Michael's classes as possible. I promise you will leave motivated and feel inspired too."

-Michael Ghysels

 

 

"Michael’s Acting in Films class was a fantastic experience. He is a kind, patient instructor and is very good at giving feedback in a way that resonates with you. Beyond acting exercises, Michael has a wealth of knowledge about the business as a whole. The pace of his class kept me feeling involved and stimulated throughout, and I hope to work with him again in the future!"

-Kylie Murrin

 

"Thank you for this amazing acting workshop! You're a great instructor and I've learned so many things concerning the craft of acting, but also about life and my dreams.

On the first day, I didn't really trust myself to do this, because I'm from Germany and this was my first time acting in English! But you gave all of us security, whether someone was shy or unconfident, experienced in acting or not. You created a supportive environment. I'm glad I found this workshop and you as a teacher. You're a teacher who helps us understand the craft, believe in ourselves, and be professional.

Thank you for a life experience!"

-Alexander Sichel

 

 

"I had an incredible time in Michael’s Acting in Films course.  I was reintroducing myself to acting in front of the camera, and Michael’s class was the perfect amount of comfortable classroom environment meets challenging scene work.  Michael takes the time to provide constructive and honest feedback that one can act upon immediately on set, without feeling paralyzed or too anxious.  Not only that, but he goes above and beyond to help connect students with opportunities he comes across in his own network.  I am grateful to have scored my first commercial web spot with a contact that Michael himself put me in touch with."

-Renu Razdan

 

 

"Michael Navarra is a top notch teacher! Whether you are just starting out or very experienced, he will take you through the basics of the acting craft in the most clear way, and kindly, but firmly, hold your feet to the fire. (He is such a kind person, hard to use that analogy, but true.) I have studied with a lot of excellent teachers in my life, but he is as clear as it gets. Did I say he has a kind way of teaching? You will practice scenes on camera, receive excellent feedback from Michael and, everyone is treated equally in terms of respect for where they are in their development. You will also come away with highly useful printouts of these basics so you can refer to them over and over....and over, and over.  Some money we spend as actors can be 'ok' in terms of usefulness, but money spent on Michael's class is immensely worth it.  Do it!"

-Rebecca White

 

 

I studied Acting for the Camera with Michael Navarra at the SF Acting Academy. Michael has been incredibly helpful to my growth and process as an actor, both in on-camera acting technique and with auditions. He was very good in adapting and answering everyone’s needs despite the students in the class having different levels of experience. Michael has a great vision for what each individual should work on and how to improve. Most of all he is very positive and transmits his passion for acting by giving the best of his knowledge and precious tips.

-Cecile Jacovetti

 

 

I auditioned for an Ohlone College production after a ten year absence from stage. I came to the audition with no expectations of obtaining a role. I simply wanted to practice auditioning. Michael saw an ability in me that I had never recognized and encouraged me to take a leap and dive into one of the principle roles in the play. That experience changed the course of my life forever. In an art form that is commonly shrouded in judgement, self-consciousness and fear, Michael creates a safe space where students are free to take risks and laugh at the failures that are necessary and inevitable in rehearsals. A rehearsal room is a laboratory and you can only find what works by trial and error. In rehearsals I sometimes felt myself holding back and Michael saw this. Rather than bluntly or harshly addressing the struggle, he would calmly encourage me to try different tactics that would in turn help me break free of my inhibitions, trust my instincts, which broke down the walls that were preventing me from progress. I studied under Michael’s direction for two years. After completing my undergraduate education, he encouraged me to audition for graduate school and I was accepted to American Conservatory Theatre MFA program. Today I’m starting my second year of grad school and am convinced that I would not be here had I not driven from Oakland to Fremont that day and auditioned for one of Michael’s productions. Michael believes in his students. He instills in them a confidence which makes them believe in themselves and their ability. Theatre can be a dark and scary place but a good teacher will help you laugh at the fear, encourage you to take risks and realize that sometimes the best way to raise the stakes of your character is to raise the stakes in yourself.

 

-Matt Monaco

 

 

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