The teachers



Matt Newton is the founder of MN Acting Studio in NYC, 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 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 has coached stars on many high profile tv shows and films, including Ava Duvarnay's upcoming CENTRAL PARK FIVE, Marvel's JESSICA JONES, as well as THE AFFAIR for Showtime, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, BLUE BLOODS (4 seasons), and MASTERS OF NONE (coach to Aziz Ansari).  He was also the on set coach for the hit film "#Horror," starring Chloe Sevigny and Timothy Hutton.

As a filmmaker, Matt has written, crowdfunded, and directed three short films, , one of which snagged him the Best Director award at the 2018 Northeast Horror Film Festival. His films have played in dozens of film festivals, been nominated for several awards, and recently been picked up by TV networks.

As a writer, Matt wrote the popular actor’s business book "10 Steps to Breaking Into Acting" , and is also an expert industry contributor to Backstage.

As an actor, Matt has guest starred on dozens of TV shows, and been in numerous films and commercials. Credits include: Van Wilder, Gilmore Girls, Criminal Minds, Drake and Josh Go Hollywood, Royal Pains, Ugly Betty, the Americans, Dragnet, JAG, Family Law, Dahmer (with Jeremy Renner), Poster Boy (with Karen Allen), Miracles, Undressed, Guiding Light, and All My Children, Peace of Mind (award for Best Actor at Philadelphia First Glance festival).

 Matt earned a degree in Drama from Vassar College, and spent a semester training at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, Connecticut.

Matt teaches workshops all over the U.S., most recently in Montreal, as well as the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut.




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. 



Dena Tyler has recurring roles on 2 great TV shows right now! She plays the dynamic, somewhat geeky attorney, LIBERTY on CBS's hit show, Bull and she's shooting a recurring character on HULU'S The Path, Season 3.  Other credits include: The Deuce, Homeland, Orange is the New Black, LOUIE, Blue Bloods, Unforgettable, 30 ROCK, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  On stage she’s performed in a succession of plays at 59E59th, EST, The Women's Project, plus THE CHERRY ORCHARD (Charlotta) opposite Ellen Burstyn at The Actors Studio.She has degrees in Neuroscience and Dramatic Arts from the University of Rochester and is a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio.  More at


Bryan Manley Davis just wrapped a Netflix film called “Tigertail.” Hailing from the great state of Texas and currently residing in NYC, Bryan received his B.A. in Theatre before earning his M.F.A. in Acting, and successfully completing the esteemed Actor’s Apprenticeship at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville.

Bryan spent several years successfully navigating the New York and Regional Theatre circuit before fully transitioning into Television and Film. Notable theatre credits include the Cherry Lane Theatre, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Maryland Shakespeare Festival, Fireside Theatre, and the Tony award winning McCarter Theatre.

A dedicated, lifelong student of the craft, Bryan continues to hone his skill-set in masterclasses at MN Acting Studio with his mentor Matt Newton. Matt cast Bryan as the lead in his first film "Hide/Seek", which played in festivals across the country. He is represented by Center Stage Management and has recently been seen on Discovery ID, Military Channel, and Lifetime as well as in several Feature Films and award winning Shorts. Upcoming Films: Tigertail (Netflix) directed by Alan Yang; The Girl in Apartment 3.


Amy Russ most recently appeared as Carol Gordon, sister-in-law to Josh Radnor, on NBC’s drama-musical series, Rise. She can also be seen alongside Paul Giamatti in the upcoming Netflix film, Private Life, directed by Tamara Jenkins. Other credits include roles on Orange is the New Black, Divorce, The Blacklist, Royal Pains and the series finale of HBO’s mega-hit, The Sopranos, directed by series creator David Chase. She emerged in A&E's digital release feature film thriller, Till Proven Innocent, and worked opposite Meryl Streep in the Oscar-nominated Steven Spielberg film, The Post.

Amy has brought juicy roles to life on-stage as well. She starred as the brilliant
scientist Sonia in Boston’s New Repertory Theatre’s production of The Ice-
Breaker, part of the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Amy
also co-starred in the leading role of Mary Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live
Radio Play at the Music Theatre of Connecticut, which earned a Moss Hart
Award. She has frequented many other well-respected theaters, including
Atlantic Stage, Soho Rep, New World Stages and The Belt Theatre among

A self-confessed computer geek, Amy not only taught herself how to code HTML
by hand, but she turned it into a thriving side-business. Today, she is the founder
of the web design company , and shares tips with fellow actors
as an Expert Contributor at . For more, visit .

Jessica Stark is the studio manager for MN Acting Studio, as well as an actress, social media expert, and incredible self taper. Jess hails from a really small town in Alaska of about 8,000 people. She graduated Chugiak High school where she was a vaguely emo kid with a passion for theater and choir, which she realizes is redundant. 

Jess has been lucky enough to receive amazing training since moving out of the woods from whence she came. She first studied with Ann Ratray of Laguardia High School at her NYC studio. Afterwards, Jess sought out an on-camera class and has studied with Matt Newton at the studio for just over 2 years. Jess has also studied with HB Studios, and University of Alaska Theatre and Dance.

Jess most recently wrapped on a feature film opposite Seth Rogan tentatively called ‘Pickle’ coming out in 2019 in a supporting role. She simultaneously wrapped on an indie film ‘Milkwater’ starring opposite Molly Bernard (‘Younger’, ‘Chicago Fire’, ‘Transparent’, ‘The Intern’, ‘Sully’) also coming out in 2019. Currently Jess can be seen in an indie short film, ‘Tell Me Twice’ that is currently making festival rounds.

When Jess isn’t auditioning or studying at the studio, she is helping students and clients with audition self-tapes. Jess is also a social media manager and online branding specialist, helping actors find their brand, and helping to create unique actor portfolios. For more, visit