Jeff Parker Acting Coach

Jeff Parker Acting Coach

5.0 (4)
1 employee
8 years in business

About this pro

Jeff Parker (A.E.A, SAG-AFTRA) has been a Chicago-based professional actor for 28 years. A native of Los Angeles, California, Jeff received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting (1989) from the University of Southern California. Working in both straight plays and musicals, Jeff's numerous credits include work at most of the major theatres in Chicago such as Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Writers, Victory Gardens, Northlight, Court, Marriott, Drury Lane, About Face, and Porchlight. His regional credits include work at Manhattan Theatre Club, Huntington Theatre Company, American Conservatory Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Magic Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati and the Kennedy Center. He has worked with Tony-winning directors Harold Prince, Frank Galati, Tommy Tune, and Mary Zimmerman. Other notable directors include Tina Landau, Charles Newell, Michael Halberstam, Jessica Thebus and Gary Griffin. His TV work includes appearances on Chicago PD (NBC), Prison Break (Fox), Early Edition (CBS) and the NBC pilot Love is a Four-Letter Word. For 27 years, Jeff taught acting and directed theatre for the Cherub program at Northwestern University. He is also a highly respected and sought after audition reader at many theatres including Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman, Northlight and Writers. In his coaching, Jeff works to demystify the acting and audition process and empower actors to own their work. He does all of his private coaching through Vagabond School of the Arts in Chicago.

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Chicago, IL 60645
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4 Reviews


  • Judy Knudtson

    Jeff helped me polish several monologues in preparation for auditions. I found Jeff’s coaching style to be honest, insightful and encouraging. And, he’s a great guy who understands what you’re going through!

  • Kevin Bodee

    Jeff is an awesome coach and has helped me with everything I have brought in for private coaching. He is very straightforward and will not give up. He has given me ideas while working on monologues that I would have never thought of. There is no one I’d rather get coaching from, he is an absolute professional.

  • Hallie Peterson

    Jeff is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Shakespeare audition coaching. He helped me find the confidence to make my pieces uniquely my own. I came away from our time together with an incredibly specific and well-rehearsed package that I know will aid me for years to come.

  • Rochelle T.

    Jeff is an incredibly knowledgeable and patient coach. His extensive years of experience as an actor and teaching really come in handy when breaking down audition sides. Most importantly, I always feel comfortable and confident working with Jeff. Can't recommend him enough!


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

It's all about the actor. The actor's needs. Once we define that, we go from there. Is it audition material? Theatre? Film, TV, Commericals? Or is it about working on acting fundmentals? It's all driven by the student and geared toward owning the actor's process.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have been performing on stage since the age of 9, first in community theatre, followed by high school and college theatre and then professionally. I have been a member of Actors Equity Association (the union of professional actors and stage managers) for 25 years and of the Screen Actors Guild for 20. I My work as an audition reader for major professional theatres has given me a unique insight into the casting process that most actors do not have.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

$80 per hour through Vagabond School of the Arts.

How did you get started teaching?

I first started teaching acting and directing plays for the Cherub program at Northwestern University. This is a pre-college theatre program for high school juniors. Throughout the 27 years I did this, my professional acting career flourished and eventually I started coaching and teaching in the Chicago area. I found that I learned more about acting by having to articulate the process of what I do.

What types of students have you worked with?

All ages, but with a specialty in early to mid-career professionals.

For children and adults with little to no experience, I recommend classes in acting fundamentals and improvisation before seeking private coaching. Vagabond School of the Arts on Chicago's North Side is good place for and also Piven Theatre Workshop in Evanston. Both have entry level classes for adults and children. Once you have some basics under belt then we can work!

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I recently coached a young actor in preparation for grad school auditions and she was accepted into a prestigious program.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Look for someone who has worked professionally on a consistent basis over a substantial period of time.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Why do want to act? Are you passionate about it? How deep does it go?

Lessons offered

Acting Classes Theater Acting Classes Film Acting Classes Stage Performance Training Musical Theater Classes Film And Tv Acting Classes Method Acting Classes