“Terry’s approach to teaching can be summed up in two words: authentic and compassionate. Never having studied with Terry, I went through many anxieties and fears leading up to class. Within the first few minutes of class, I could tell he was kind, invested in us, and was on a mission to help us grow. The whole studio has an aura of growth. The plants, the kindness of everyone you meet, the work ethic of the students, and of course, Terry… they all suggest a place where growth and learning will happen. I was so blown away by the confidence of the actors in the room. People were 100% committed to dive in and do the work…. fearlessly. As Terry coached us, it was so evident that his priority was to the truth. His pursuit of excellence, and ability to treat people as human make him a teacher every actor needs. He treated everyone with respect and care, but also treated each actor differently: as he coached, he would tweak what he was doing to meet the need of the actor with whom he was working. There wasn’t a one sized fits all approach. When my character was painting a picture in a dream-like fantasy, he would coach me using the same point of view. When my character became violent and threatening, he matched me and challenged me to raise to an even higher threat with my scene partner. He enabled me to flourish within the scene. After a short time, I became aware that I could let my guard down here. That it was safe to do the work as fully as I possibly could. That I could even voice my feelings to Terry. It was beautiful to have such a safe artistic space. I also LOVED Terry’s “solutions oriented” approach. “Don’t suffer,” he would say. In art and in life, it’s true! Terry stoked a flame in me to be obsessed with finding solutions. In short, it was an incredible masterclass: I am filled with passion and thanksgiving and joy and hope as an actor. That is a very wonderful place to be.”
If you are a holistically minded actor and committed to being an artist then this studio is the best place to train. The faculty is wise and commits themselves outright to the blossoming of each student and the ensemble as a whole. This is not a studio to simply plow through the different level courses. Each student is invited to explore the difficult and delightful aspects of their work, and the teachers demonstrate great respect, patience, and joy in the work.
I just finished my first year in the conservatory program and cannot stress enough how this studio has made me a better actor/thinker. The work permeates life, serving both the student and the studio as a whole.
Working with Terry has been invaluable to me as an artist. His special gift for seeing actors’ true selves, often before they do, alongside his standard of excellence, precision, compassion and patience has all helped me become the artist I am today. My time with Terry in the studio never leaves me when I am working “in the real world,” and he has given me an artistic vocabulary from which to craft wherever I go. I could not be more filled with joy to see the artistic home Terry has created for his students. The studio is a reflection of the space that he creates in all the lives he touches: a safe, joyous place in which each student can take the exhilarating risk to emancipate their imagination while staying connected.
Terry is the best teacher I have ever had, in any subject, across all academic and artistic boundaries. What he has taught me about acting may be secondary to what he has taught me about my approach to life. He is responsible for cultivating my sense of communication and interaction with other people, and how to be fully engaged with the world around me. It wasn’t until working with Terry that I learned how to listen – really listen to other people – and move beyond any self involvement (I had a lot) in order to be present in the moment. Terry models this behavior by being with you in every moment – engaged, active, and alive – while taking as much time as it takes to nurture this process for every student that walks through the door.
I highly recommend this teacher, this studio and this path if you aspire to be a true artist. My experience training with Terry has been a wake up call of the heart. Terry encourages you to be who you are…unhinged and in raw form. He stands by the individual, cultivating a spirit and work ethic inside that is invaluable in artistry and every aspect of life itself. If you are reading this and are considering this path, you are already on it. This is where you come for the truth.
This teacher, this technique, this studio, has changed my life, and all for the better.
When I first met Terry he challenged me with a question that at the time I couldn’t really answer – he asked me, directly, “Why do you want to be an actor?”
I was terrified. I quickly gave a bullsh*t answer, which he didn’t accept and asked me again the same question, “ok, but why acting?”
I really didn’t know – but I knew there was a very quiet voice in my heart that had been whispering to me since I was seven to follow this dream. I told him that, he said, “well, that’s better.”
I have been working with Terry for about a year and a half now. He has taken that quiet voice in my heart, one that was shut up countless times by so many outside and inside voices, and has helped me to make it the reason I do almost everything I do in my life today; I want to act because I am an actor and that is why I was put on this earth.
This isn’t anything that didn’t already exist within me, but it was something I needed help to find. That’s what Terry has done for me. He helped me find my voice as an artist and through his dedication, compassion and continued hard work I feel confident to say something that when I first met Terry I was terrified to say; I am an actor. His clarity, knowledge, and understanding of the craft is second to none as is his ability to communicate all of that on a personalized level.
Terry and his team at that studio are about one thing – excellence – and making you the best at your craft that you could possibly be. If you are an artist then you understand that we continue to grow, understand, and explore humanity. If you want to be the best you can be, you owe it to yourself to learn from the best.
I’ve learned that as actors we need a team behind us, what we do is fun but it is not easy – I have found a family at this studio that I know is there to support me and will continue to be there for me as this journey unfolds. Terry and his team have not only made me a better actor, but in doing so have made me a better man.
If you want excellence in your craft, to learn from the best, to grow as an artist and a human being, then you owe it to yourself to investigate this studio.
I’ve been studying with Terry for nine years, which is how long I’ve lived in New York. I can’t imagine studying with anyone else. His attention and patience doesn’t just resonate with me as an actor, but continues outside the classroom, as well. It’s pretty amazing to witness. Working with him has allowed me to become a much more aware actor, one who is more open and ready to listen, and extremely available and giving, which allows me to be able to enjoy my acting. These are all things which should be on every actor’s utility belt. I’m the best actor when I work with Terry and consistently do my best work with him coaching and encouraging me. As good of a coach as he is, Terry really makes you become a better person. His teachings and warm heart were one of the first things I experienced in the city but they’ll remain with me in all things that I will ever do. I have him to thank for the actor and person I’ve become.
Truly, I cannot recommend training at this studio enough. Studying with Terry has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only is Terry filled with knowledge and wisdom about acting and the industry, but he is also incredibly perceptive, kind, and overflowing with truth and empathy. This program has changed my life and has helped prepare me to be the best actor I can be. All of the teachers here are top notch, professional and immensely passionate and caring. The studio itself is beautiful, clean and very welcoming. I am forever grateful that I was able to study here.
Terry has been the most important teacher for my acting life. His ability to be exactly what you need, whether it’s a drill sergeant, a compassionate guru, a goofy friend or, in my case, all of the above, he has a way of figuring out what speaks to you and adapting himself so he can get through to you. I can safely say that I would not be where I am without Terry. His understanding and passion for the work is infectious and working with him and getting to know him has been one of the greatest joys of my life. Not to sound like a bad infomercial, but I can honestly say that when it comes to acting teachers, Terry really is in a class of his own and I have nothing but gratitude towards him. The man changed my life for the better and I am lucky to have him in my life.
This is life changing training — both as an artist and human being. Unlike some graduate programs, Terry is interested in an individual’s quirks and nurtures your uniqueness. You come out of the program with both his standard of acting excellence and your individuality better understood by yourself and your colleagues. That kind of confidence to be “you” in the real world while knowing how to arrange yourself to serve character and a story is invaluable.
“Upon walking in and seeing TK Studio for the first time, I realized how serious Terry Knickerbocker is about building an environment conducive to learning. Every inch of the space leads one closer to the reason we are all there; the work. With his attention to detail moment-to-moment, Terry keeps precise notes on every part of a scene, which equates to an incredibly thorough critique of the work which helped us find more ideas, more understanding, more fun. Having studied Meisner my entire career, I found Terry not only continuing the traditions of Sandy’s technique, but also working in a way that still welcomes serious actors with other approaches. Terry’s insight, creativity and thoughtful analysis are why I feel Terry is at the top of his game, and will surely be getting even better. In class, Terry is a teacher, coach, director and trusted advisor, helping us find deeper, more specific meaning in our work and in ourselves. I left his class with a broader view of the world, a stronger understanding of our work and better sense of myself as an artist.“
The growth and profound self exploration experienced through taking this journey with Terry is unparalleled; I’ve never felt so connected to who I am, and who I am becoming. It has opened my eyes, mind, and heart to the deepest aspects of my persona, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have found TKS. Not only is the work challenging and highly rewarding, the space created is a safe haven, which allows an openness to experiences that are free of judgement. The keen awareness that Terry and the faculty have of each student’s essence allows you to flourish both as an artist and human. If you’re looking for a comprehensive training that explores all facets of who you are mentally, emotionally, physically and even spiritually, you’ve come to the right place. This studio is everything.
Participating in Terry’s Spring Master Class has helped re-ignite my love for acting. It’s rare that an acting teacher have such a vast palette of emotional triggers so as to be able to personalize his approach so specifically for each student. This is what I most benefited from by attending his class and watching his work.
It was also very easy for me to feel comfortable in the class environment and not be afraid of failure. This allowed me to take chances without being held back by fear of judgement. Both Terry and the other students created an atmosphere in which I was able to push my boundaries and try things I would otherwise have avoided.
Finally, I appreciated the high level of professionalism. As they say in Italian, “You have your hands in the dough”, so, both the stories Terry shared and his no nonsense attitude, made me see myself as a working actor, and helped me envision a path towards reaching that goal. As far as I’m concerned, Terry is the Dalai Lama of acting teachers.
One of the things that most struck me about Terry when I first started studying with him was how he immediately honed in on me and innately understood something about me as a person. This intimate understanding he has with students informs him of what he can do best to push them as an artist/ person/ and actor. It’s a very personalized approach in a group setting. I’ve had many acting teachers and Terry has always made feel comfortable and safe to explore the text, and he pushes me to give a great performance and rise to my potential as an actor. I’ve never seen another teacher inspire students as much as he does.
Terry pushes actors to be simple and make clear choices in their work. This is completely in line with my own view and just makes sense to me.
To anyone who is serious about acting and having a craft, I cannot recommend Terry Knickerbocker enough. As an artist, I am grateful every day to have him in my corner. He truly is the best at what he does!
I worked with Terry Knickerbocker prior to his development of this new studio, and after a visit I was inspired to jump right back and to study here!
Terry is the most incredible teacher. His commitment and dedication to each individual artist is invaluable. And he has filled his studio with plenty of teachers who are just as excellent.
The space is clean, well-lit, and spacious; a gem in the area. The wide array of classes offered is eclectic and enriching, and the front desk service is incredibly friendly and organized.
I 100% recommend Terry Knickerbocker Studio for any actor – from beginner to seasoned vet.
Third Year Student
I have studied with many different acting coaches in both LA & NYC but after just a short time spent with Terry, I can honestly say he is the best I’ve ever worked with. His teachings are invaluable. Terry has a true gift for this. I cannot wait to return for more of his incredible insight, heart & humor.
I’ve had an amazing experience in Voice with Matthew Dudley. He’s helped me pinpoint physical habits I have that not only interfere with my voice but also with my power as an actor (learning how to be still and sure as oppose to “leaking” energy). I remember in Voice I reading “A Poem to My Voice” was really powerful and the first time I think I felt how seriously I could be taken. I’ve also seen really tremendous breakthroughs in my classmates, most recently Lucia when we had to do sonnets using only one vowel. I was really moved by her discovering a true need and desire to communicate and watching her has been illuminating to me.
Matthew’s demeanor in class is gentle but direct- often tailored to what each particular student needs. He’s patient but strongly motivating and clear. His sense of humor is also really awesome because I think the concept of voice and speech as an actor can be intimidating at first. He makes the work feel accessible and helps us take ourselves a little less seriously when we get in our heads. The sound and movement exercise has also been really useful for me to find clarity in my instrument and connection between my body and my voice. It’s something I think I would have been too timid or embarrassed to participate in a year ago. But the energy of the class has always been incredibly encouraging. An overall amazing experience and I think useful not only for the technical aspect but the emotional aspect as well!
I met Terry through a friend of mine and it has been the best decision I’ve ever made to attend his Two Year Conservatory. Not only is this class opening up doors for me that I didn’t know were closed, but I’ve never experienced an acting class that provides the building blocks necessary to begin an extraordinary acting career. I finally feel like I’m being equipped with what I need to pursue acting on a bigger level, AND I’m only 4 months in. I feel freer, more honest, able to answer truthfully to my partner. This class also has helped me improve in my personal life as well. If you are the type of person that hides from the truth this class is not for you. But if you are hungry for excellence and constant progress, then the Terry Knickerbocker Studio is definitely for you.
The amount of love, respect and gratitude I have for Terry can not fit in this review. Terry has been such a great teacher and colleague. He’s opened my eyes to aspects of myself that I have forgotten, aspects that I need as an actor to be the best I can be. He still continues to train me to be the best I can be, to run towards the sound of the cannons, to hold up the mirror to the world. I have been eternally blessed to be training with Terry. Not only does he teach skills you need to be the best actor you can be, he also teaches you skills to be the best human you can be. For all that, I am eternally grateful.
Third Year Student
I trained with Terry a few years back, and he navigated my consciousness into a thorough dissection of my psyche – and guided me in a much fuller understanding of myself I did not believe I was capable of. And challenged me every single day I was in his class. The best of the best.
What do I think? I think about when I’m 50 and I just got nominated for my Third Oscar and the guy asks “where’d you find your voice?”
And I say, “I had this burning desire to find my voice when I was young and Terry Knickerbocker summoned it from this grave in me where I buried all my feelings. That was the start. That everything I felt was OK and needed to be heard. That’s what we found.