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YOUR CASTING ACADEMY Our Team

Your Casting Academy is an educational service company for aspiring actors and all creative spirits that want to establish a career in the performing arts industry.

 

The company was founded in 2012 by Canadian casting director Mike Migliara. It is a mecca for creative artists; bringing actors, filmmakers and industry professionals together. Actors are guided and mentored by industry professionals as they learn and apply every acting technique that is known to make actors succeed: Strasberg, Adler, Hagen, Meisner, and many more!


MIKE MIGLIARA

Founder – Artistic Director – Instructor

Mike Migliara has worked directly with award winning producers and directors such as George Clooney, Denis Villeneuve, Jim Donovan, and many more throughout his 20 years working as a casting director.

Mike Migliara began his career in Montreal, where he was born and raised. He received his Baccalaureate in Fine Arts from Concordia University. Mike Migliara’s teachings are unique as they draw upon his academic background in theatre and film while also incorporating his inside knowledge of the casting process.

He is a member of the “Casting Directors Society of Canada” and he has worked for many major Hollywood and Canadian production companies such as Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, Ubisoft, and many more. He has cast leads and speaking roles for numerous feature films, TV Series, Video Games (for motion capture and voice), Commercials, and Music Videos.

Mr. Migliara has applied his expertise to privately coach actors such as Michael Mando, who now stars in the series Better Call Saul, Tim Rozon, who now plays as Doc Holliday in Wynonna Earp, and Cindy Sampson who co-stars with Jason Priestley in “Private Eyes”. His extensive insight into the casting process gives actors a comprehensive understanding of the skills needed to get cast. He is widely respected by many Canadian actors, talent agents, and directors for giving it all he’s got!


TOMAS CHOVANEC

On Camera Instructor

Tomas Chovanec has been a professional actor for over twenty years, earning his ACTRA card while still in high school at Etobicoke School of Arts in Toronto.

“Moving to Ottawa from Toronto, I wasn’t sure what the tv/film scene was like here, but I quickly found out there’s loads of work happening here.”

Some recent film/tv credits include: Jade’s Asylum, Murdered at Seventeen, His Perfect Obsession, Eyewitness, Reign, Cracked, Hemlock Grove.

Whether it’s an actor role, principal role, guest lead role, recurring role, lead role, he has the tools to be ready “on the day”.

With techniques learned from years of studying at Pro Actors Lab, Meisner technique with John Riven, audition technique with Ron Leach, voice work wit Rae-Ellen Bodie, he knows how to work moment to moment, and work truthfully under imaginary circumstances.

“I’ll often be asked by curious people wanting to know what it’s like getting to pretend all the time when you’re acting, is it fun to pretend to be a cop/lawyer/doctor/criminal etc…, I will tell them my approach is more in line with; acting isn’t about pretending, it’s about revealing.”

Acting truthfully under imaginary circumstances. Bring your life experience, use your imagination, and learn how to make it read on camera.


Rodrigues A. Williams

Instructor

Actor/Writer Rod Williams was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario where he started pursuing local theatre in 1993. Four years later, he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to make the evolution to Film & Television.

There he became a member of ACTRA and worked with greats like the late Luke Perry (90210), Malcolm Jamal-Warner (The Cosby Show) & Victoria Rowell (The Young And The Restless).

In 2011, he returned to Ottawa where he has found much success performing in Hallmark Christmas Movies and Crime Drama Recreation Programs.

He has been represented by The Mensour Agency since 2016


ALLISON GRAHAM

On Camera Instructor

Allison Graham is a respected member of ACTRA and WGC. After graduating from high school, she auditioned for, and was accepted to, The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts (Los Angeles, California), where she spent two years studying theatre. She finished her formal education at Pasadena City College, majoring in creative writing. This combination of schooling provided her with an Associate Degree in Theatre Arts, and has enabled her to strike a fine balance of working both in front of, and behind a camera. In addition to an extensive list of Feature Film credits, she has appeared in more than 50 production titles, some of which expanded into major recurring roles. Credits include ‘Da Vinci’s Inquest’, ‘The Line’, ‘Being Erica’, ‘The Ron James Show’, ‘Stargate: Atlantis’, ‘Rumours’, ‘The Best Laid Plans’, ‘Doc’, ‘Trailer Park Boys’, ‘Deadfall’, among many others.


DANIEL GARCIA

Voice & On Camera Instructor

Daniel Garcia is an American actor with a Bachelor of Art degree in Theatre from the University of North Texas. After graduating, Daniel found work immediately. Daniel spent 6 years abroad in China, being a Series Lead in the animated series “Dream Defenders”, and doing voices for Disney, DreamWorks, and Tokyo TV Studios. While he was there, he was also busy touring with one of Hong Kong’s busiest children’s theatre company as an resident actor.

He also starred in commercials for Samsonite, Uhoo, and Diamond Water. Daniel moved to New York City and became a SAG-AFTRA member. He Co-Starred on an episode of “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix), and was featured in “Succession” (HBO), and “Mr.Robot” (USA). As a stage actor, Daniel has performed with The Royal Shakespeare Company in London, Disney World Family in Hong Kong, and the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in NYC.

Daniel is now living in Ottawa, Canada as an ACTRA member, and is working on current TV/Film projects being shot here.


CHRISTOPHER WYLLIE

Voice & On Camera Instructor

Born in Glasgow, Scotland and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Chris has studied Acting, Theatre and Film his whole life and has worked professionally in the Film Industry for 15 years.

Chris attended the prestigious ‘American Academy of Dramatic Arts’ in Hollywood, CA and have since gone on to work as an actor in many professional productions, as well as worked and studied with many greats in the film industry such as Lee Daniels, Lou Diamond Philips, William H. Macy, Garret Hedlund Alfred Molina, Misha Barton, and many more.

Chris brings an inspiring and practical approach to teaching the Craft of Acting, as well as using the Body and the Voice to create memorable and believable Characters, while always seeking the truth in every moment. Chris gives the students the tools to dig deep and bring up Emotions quickly, as is required in the Film Industry, and is passionate about passing on what he has learned to up and coming actors.


JESSE PALANGIO

Instructor – Film Directing

Writer, Director, and Producer Jesse Palangio has an Ontario College Advanced Diploma in theatre arts from Canadore College of Arts and Technology. During his time there, Jesse developed a strong passion for film and cinematography and mastered the skills to be a professional director.

Jesse has since been working professionally as assistant camera position at Fireside Pictures – the busiest production house making independent films & TV Movies in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. He also works on professional commercials for well-established businesses, music videos, and of course, Your Casting Academy’s short film projects. He has showcased many of his works in local Film Festivals, establishing a great reputation. A reputation that serves any filmmaker exactly what they want on a silver platter.

He brings the best performances out of all our students. Aspiring actors will never be intimidated of the camera every again after his classes. They will understand and be able to deliver professionally on film sets whatever a director and his/her crew wants to perfection.


KELLY HOPE TAYLOR

Voice & On Camera Instructor

Kelly Hope Taylor is an actor from Toronto currently based between Ottawa and Montreal. Past work includes recurring and guest roles for several television series on Showcase, UPN (with Taye Diggs and Christina Hendricks), CTV, and the Lifetime Network. Her most recent work in the film Good Sam will be airing on Netflix in Spring 2019. Alongside film and television, Kelly has had several commercial campaigns for brands such as Samsung, Quaker, Tim Hortons, and Winners. Kelly is also a certified educator with the Ontario College of Teachers with her Honours Specialist in Dramatic Arts Education.


 

BEN BERGERON

Production Manager, Editor

An Ottawa native, Ben Bergeron is a graduate of the Confederation College Film Production Program and now works as a professional corporate video producer as manager of the Social Enterprise Hot Shoe Productions. He’s also produced a variety of his own independent films for various local festivals and written two feature length screenplays.

He has been involved with productions for a variety of businesses including The Ottawa Citizen, United Way, and the JA (Junior Achievement) Company. Ben has a tremendous amount of experience working behind the camera in all manner of technical and organizational roles.


 

MATTHEW QUINN

Production Writer

Matthew Quinn has been writing stories for more than 25 years, developing a passion for writing at an early age. He has written dozens of short stories and been printed in several publications including, and Ottawa Citizen. His play Starting Over has shown at the NAC’s 4th stage. He has also written several screenplays including EMEC, Surviving The Black, The Master Stroke, Dave Imaginary, The Wingman, Sweat Shop, Bounty Hunter X, The Portrait, and the radio play The Second Leap for Mankind. In addition, he has also collaborated on several films, such as Spinal, Suburban Intrigue, Broke, Fine Print and the series Land’s End with frequent collaborator Michael MacNeil. He lives in Smiths Falls Ontario with his wife Cara and three childen Mary, Mackenzie, and Christian.