Acting and the Art-form is my lifeline and calling card, and has been for more than half of my life! My objective in each class is to be a part of personal and professional development that encourages and demands every individual's best, so their best keeps getting better. I love this work. We are here because we love what we do, so keep breaking down walls and knocking on doors, opening up more for you than you could possibly have imagined.
I was taught "The greatest teacher will lead you back to yourself"; in class, my goal is to let that teacher be you. Facilitating a successful class experience and being a great actor are two very different things. The actor must feel safe in their class to do all the difficult things that make the world a better place; listen, be vulnerable, be curious, employ empathy, be respectful, connected and courageous, and above all else, the actor must be allowed to believe in themselves and their brave decisions, and carry out their selfless work. So, my job is well defined; to provide a safe and nurturing environment where Artists can discover and explore their natural instincts, and to learn and grow without fear of result or judgement. It is my daily commitment to provide a class that is supportive, collaborative, and free of negative ego and energy.
I've been in love with acting for as long as I can remember, and the moments of selfless empathy and true connection are what I live for. I've been with the First Step since 2018, and am inspired daily by the wonderful students that make this such a special place. My goal in every class is to provide a supportive and caring environment in which actors can confidently express themselves, make brave decisions in their work, and discover the incredible gifts they already have within them.
Felicity Hoeberechts has been with the First Step for eight years. She feels that acting class is one of the only places where you can express yourself with the freedom to be exactly who you are and have the opportunity to discover and become your truest self. Felicity's goal every class is to help the students see their potential and to help them build the confidence they need to grow as an individual and as an artist.
Clifford Upham has been loving acting ever since he had the power to remember. Clifford has been attending The First Step since 2011 and is a multiple MVP Award recipient! Cliff firmly believes there is no greater feeling than connecting with someone on an emotional level. Acting brings understanding, develops confidence, creativity and the courage to go after what you want. "My goal is not to teach people how to act, but to work with students by providing a safe and supportive environment in which they can push themselves in new directions".
An intuitive and sensitive Artist, Laela Selina cherishes the pathways that open up in each and every class; "it's the students who make this such a special place". Laela believes that acting is a therapeutic way of discovering who you are by embracing your unique qualities, listening to your inner "knowing" and in turn, developing a strong sense of self. Laela's goal is to reach out to each individual student so they discover they are truly special, just as they are. "The greatest moment in each exercise is the moment of personal courage".
Zach has been loving and pursuing acting from a very young age, and has been assisting at The First Step over the past year while furthering his study of this craft he’s so crazy about. Zach believes that acting allows an opportunity to live entirely without ego, and through that, embody an imagined life that yields clarity to ones own. Zach's goal is to open up each students world by creating a safe environment where they can play, trust and truly embrace who they are.