Juliana Wimbles, Instructor Youth/Adult
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.
Russell Porter, Instructor Youth/Adult
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.
Calder Stewart, Instructor-Youth
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.
Trinity Zylstra, Instructor Assistant - Youth Program
Acting has benefited me personally in countless ways. What moves me the most is the fact that Acting is a way to explore life and human emotion; it breeds empathy and love in all of us. It’s the experience of sharing, of journeying somewhere, and doing it without ego or self-doubt. I have been at First Step since 2012, and still, after each class I feel incredibly inspired and full of love, empathy and strength. My goal for my students is to provide the safe environment that allows them to experience the same. I want them to be confident in being vulnerable, to develop a deep appreciation for themselves and others and to celebrate every step of the way!
Clara Alexandrova, Instructor - Youth Program
Acting to me is empathy; it is listening, understanding, and exploring the human condition. Acting has the ability to uncover the truth of any situation at hand. I love it here because I am safe to embark on emotional journeys and supported to do so every time. Acting class can unleash the true you that’s been hiding inside. Nothing’s more rewarding than embodying the raw and unapologetic you. I believe that is exactly where acting class can take you. I want my students to know and honour their potential, and to feel supported and loved throughout each of our creative adventures. I want my students to feel confident in who they are as actors, as well as people. Life is an unpredictable journey. We can either lean in, and learn from its tribulations, or sit in fright and rob ourselves of the life itself. Let’s lean in!
Maya Facey, Instructor Assistant - Kids Program
I look at acting as a way to express myself through art and emotion; it gives me the opportunity to be authentic and follow my gut instinct, not only in our class, but also in life. Acting has taught me that who someone is, is a reflection of their history and what they have been through in their lives, and that everything that has happened before has led to this very moment. Throughout my journey in Acting I have also gained the confidence and courage to be myself in the world and not worry about the judgment of other people. My goal for each student is to help them, by example, to let go of whatever might be holding them back and experience the courage to completely be themselves and to realize exactly what they hope to achieve. Acting is my favourite thing; I want everyone to experience why.
Ally B. Porter
Ally wants everyone to feel safe and at ease and she will always come and join you in your scenes as though she’s part of your moment. If your work is extra honest and genuine, Ally will come to comfort you and lick your hands in support. Ally is very sensitive, and always knows when you need a hug…and Ally never forgets any of her friends…once you’ve made the connection, she’s with you for life. Ally doesn’t need treats or snacks from your bags; she just wants everyone to feel good, and proud, and to know they matter and that they deserve their moment in the light. Ally’s favourite place to lie is never on her mat…it’s always right in the centre of your scene, under your chair, or at the door waiting for you to show up each day…so be on time!