Matt Newton (founder and head coach)
Matt Newton is the founder of MN Acting Studio, and is widely regarded to be the one of the best on-camera acting coaches in New York City, a leading industry expert, and a passionate advocate for his students. Matt's students have booked roles on countless TV shows, films, and Broadway shows.
As a coach, Matt is currently coaching on a new Netflix show. Recently he coached on the set of "Orange is the New Black," Aziz Ansari on the hit Netflix show "Masters of None," and has been the on set coach for the hit CBS show "Blue Bloods" for the last 3 seasons. He was also the on set coach for the hit film "# Horror," starring Chloe Sevigny and Timothy Hutton, and appeared as himself on the show "Raising Heaven," as a coach to Youtube sensation Heaven King.
He is the writer and director of the short horror film "Hide/Seek" (nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay at the NEFF Film festival) starring Ned Van Zandt, which is now playing in festivals, and is currently in development for a new comedy series called "Pretty People Inc", which he created and directed with Doug Keeve ("Unzipped").
Matt's coaching clients include Tony winners, Emmy award winners, Gold Globe nominees, Broadway stars, well known comedians and musicians (including Aziz Ansari and Lisa Loeb), and well known actors from film and TV.
Matt is also the author of the successful book "10 Steps to Breaking Into Acting" (available on Amazon, with a foreword by his sister Becki Newton, star of “Ugly Betty” and “How I Met Your Mother”), and writes a weekly advice column for Backstage Magazine.
Matt teaches workshops all over the U.S., most recently at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut, and at One on One Studios in New York City. He is also on the screening and action committee of the Greenwich International Film Festival in Greenwich, CT.
Matt has been a professional actor in New York and Los Angeles for the past 14 years, and has appeared in dozens of television shows, films, commercials, and voiceovers. Matt's first TV role was playing a blind football player on Comedy Central's cult hit Strangers with Candy. Since then, Matt has guest starred many shows, including Criminal Minds, Ugly Betty, Drake and Josh Go Hollywood, Gilmore Girls, All My Children, Dragnet, and most recently the FX TV series The Americans and USA's Royal Pains. He has appeared in a half dozen national network commercials (McDonald’s, Volkswagon, Bud Light), as well as national voiceover ads for Sprint, Subway, McDonald's, Volkswagon, and many others. On the film side, Matt has appeared in Van Wilder (starring Ryan Reynolds), Men Who Stare at Goats (starring Jeff Bridges), Dahmer (starring Jeremy Renner, and nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards), and the lead role in Poster Boy (starring Karen Allen and Oscar nominee Michael Lerner), for which he received rave reviews. He also won Best Actor at the Philadelphia First Glance Film Festival for his role in Nathan Crooker's Peace of Mind.
Matt earned a degree in Drama from Vassar College, where he studied acting under Erin Mee (daughter of Charles Mee) and Dennis Reid. He also studied at the highly regarded National Theatre Institute in Waterford, CT. After college, he trained with acclaimed teacher Arthur Mendoza at the Actor’s Circle Theatre in Los Angeles.
Blair Baker trained with Matt Newton and MN Acting Studio for two years before becoming a teacher. She is a New York and Los Angeles based actor, director, writer, and teacher who has worked extensively in New York, California, and regionally. Just finished understudying the hit Broadway show THE HUMANS, her other credits include: Broadway: Oleanna. Other Theater: The Hour of All Things (Philly WTF), The Erlkings (Off-Broadway, Beckett Theater) Bus Stop (Kansas City Rep), The Footage (The Flea Theatre), Sweet Life (semi-finalist Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival) and Let Me Ascertain You: LGTBQ All Out(Barrow Street Theatre). In development: The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen, starring Ed Asner. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Missing Bolts Productions, (www.missingbolts.com), has been featured in various films/webseries and is represented by Professional Artists Agency and Vanguard Management.
Training includes: Atlantic Theater Acting Conservatory, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and MN Acting Studio. www.blairbaker.info
Van Hansis is a working actor and coach, whose clients have booked feature films, guest star spots, and leads in independent films and web based media. Van is a four time Emmy nominated actor for his work on As The World Turns and Eastsiders, and continues to work in front of the camera guest starring in a number of network shows, booking leads in independent features. At the moment, Van is most excited to premiere Ms. Guidance, a dark comedy series he co-created and directed, coming soon. Van has been a student of Matt Newton for the past year. Upcoming projects: HBO's The Deuce, Paul Schrader's First Reformed (starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried), and Crick in the Holler a Columbia MFA Thesis/ Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Short Production Grant Winner.
Originally from Chicago, Katie has been working as an actor and teacher in NYC for the past 9 years. In addition to teaching at MN Studio, she is currently teaching undergraduate acting (on camera technique) at NYU/Stonestreet Studios. Katie also has been teaching Shakespeare in classrooms across NYC with Stages on the Sound for the past five years. She’s a proud volunteer of the 52nd Street Project, an organization bringing arts to children living in Hell’s Kitchen.
TV: Feed the Beast(AMC) The Affair (Showtime/Lionsgate) Nurse Jackie(Showtime/Lionsgate) Blue Bloods(CBS), Chicago PD (NBC/Universal) and Law and Order: SVU(NBC Universal). Voice work: Grand Theft Auto and recorded books with Audible.
Theater: Fidelis (Public Theater) Lost Land (Steppenwolf ), The Immigrant (Northlight), Some Americans Abroad (Remy Bumppo Theater Company), Time And The Conways (Griffin Theater Company), Picnic (Theater on the Lake/ Griffin Theater Company).