E. Dale Smith Acting Lessons

E. Dale Smith Acting Lessons

5.0 (9)
4 hires on Lessons.com
1 employee
25 years in business

About this pro

E. Dale Smith has taught theatre in public schools and private institutions for 18 years, and has been cited as one of the leading theatre teachers in the NYC Dept. of Education.  He has experience working with learners of all levels, helping individuals learn basic skills that evolve into a set of tools that help professional-level actors craft unique, inspired interpretations of characters.

Smith's techniques draw from many schools of acting including Stanislavski's Method and Meisner's Technique, but are probably most closely aligned with Stella Adler's  approach (which combines the clarity of The Method with the more performative aspects of earlier approaches.)

Smith is certified to teach theatre in New York and Texas, and has served as a city-wide trainer for theatre educators.  

Learning acting can be a challenging process.  Unlike math or science there is no "right answer," and different actors respond to different approaches.  As a career theatre educator, I love the moment when the student and I finally stumble upon the approach that is right for them.  The light goes off, and suddenly there is no stopping them.  My greatest pleasure arises from watching someone that I have guided give a performance that even they were not aware that they had in them.  

Read more about this pro


Montclair, NJ 07042
Email verified

9 Reviews


  • Tim Ibidapo

  • Tracey Fudali

    Dale was engaging, great to work with and very professional. Dale provided valuable techniques and tools to help with public speaking. I would recommend Dale as a private coach.

  • Tyisha Simpson

    Dale is amazing , when you mix passion with technique this is what you get! Dale genuinely cares about growing you as an artist. Also down to his most simplest techniques there are things you can utilize in your everyday life with people. I highly recommend Dales classes or as a private coach ! Hes the best!

  • Faith Hester

    He’s extremely knowledgeable, perceptive, engaging, funny and patient

Show all reviews


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

I believe that every actor is unique, but that all actors need to master a basic set of skills before honing their craft.  I start by assessing where the actor is in their journey and going from there.  If an actor needs to master basic skills (audibility, stage presence, etc.) we focus on those.  If an actor is ready to move into character choices (physicality, vocalization), we begin to hone those basic skills into tools for performance.  If an actor is comfortable with basic interpretation, we start to focus on advanced techniques (objectives, tactics, listening and reacting, motivated blocking, etc.)  

What this means for each actor is different, of course.  I push actors to work both within and outside of "type," and the true goal is to discover where the strenghts of the actor and the attributes of the character intersect to create the greatest illusion of truth for an audience.

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

BFA Theatre Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 1997

MFA in Theatre, Columbia University, New York, 2009

18 years of classroom teaching experience

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

Individual lessons/ audition coaching:  $60/hr, $35/half hr.

Pair lesson: $110/hr, $65/half hr. (total)

Group lessons (4 or more, can sign up individually):  $45/2-hour class.

How did you get started teaching?

As the son of two teachers, it was easy to combine my love of theatre and acting with the "family trade" of education.  I began teaching directly after college, and I have found that my ability to help other actors hone their craft is actually my greatest talent in theatre.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with students ranging from middle school to college graduates in diverse communities in Texas, California, and New York City.  My current day job is at a performing arts high school in Brooklyn where I head a four-year department.

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

Most teachers can teach most students, but magic happens when you find a teacher with whom you agree in terms of approach and process.  There is no "one size fits all" in acting training, and while trying different approaches can certainly encourage growth and thought, finding a teacher that works in a way that you find challenging, exciting, and HELPFUL is the key.

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

1.  What do you hope to get out of these lessons?

2.  At what level of intensity do you wish to train?

3.  Have you studied before using a certain method or technique?  How did that work for you?  Do you wish to stay with that technique or explore others?

Lessons offered

Acting Classes Theater Acting Classes Stage Performance Training