Utah Talent Academy has trained over 25 years, thousands of actors & models you currently are seeing on screen or in print campaign’s worldwide! Our coaches come with years of experience as professional actors, models, TV hosts, voice over artists, and all have agency representation who are currently booking.

Our Celebrity coaches train either “live” or “zoom online” and are dedicated to your individual success! You can request group & private lessons with the Utah Film Academy and/or Utah Model Academy.

Book a private acting or modeling training session! Especially when you receive a TV series regular audition, Major Motion Picture, or other exciting audition request, we encourage you to schedule a one-on-one private lesson.

Meet the Instructors:

Click on any of the pictures below to see a short Bio of the instructor

Liz McCaffrey

Academy Director/
Lead Instructor

Heidi Mendez

Advanced Film Instructor

Donna Feldman

Supermodel/
Celebrity Model Coach

Luiz Laffey

TV & Voice-over Instructor

Claire Vanbeber

Modeling Instructor

Jen Whitaker

Modeling Instructor

Amber Evans

Celebrity Acting/
Modeling Coach

Cedric Duplechain

Acting Instructor

Natalie Foster

Vocal Instructor & Film Coach

Wolfgang Bodison

Private Instructor for Lead Roles

Angel Martinez

Commercial Workshop Instructor

Stephen Austin

Private Acting Instructor

Micaelee Mocke

Acting/Modeling Coach

Kara Flemming

Model & Pageant Instructor

Teresa Norvick

Acting Instructor

Paul Rohrer

Advanced Film Instructor

Jessica Risco

TV & Film Instructor

Noe Burgess

Modeling Instructor

Marc Drolet

Modeling Instructor

Serena Essuman

Kids/Make-up Instructor

Nikki SooHoo

Commercial & TV Instructor

Lauren Coontz

Certification 1 Acting Instructor/Self-Taping Specialist

Our Clients

Clientlist

Liz McCaffrey

Academy Director/ Lead Instructor
Liz

Bio coming soon!

Heidi Mendez

Advanced Film Instructor
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Heidi Mendez Harrison (AKA the Rapping Grandma) is a bilingual actor/director/choreographer, who has worked professionally in New York, Mexico City, and Madrid. She has earned a BA in Acting and an MA in Directing. She is also a certified teacher.

She teaches improv, speech, acting, and playwriting at Pioneer High School of the Performing Arts. As an actor she played the role Mrs. Peterson in the TV series Granite Flats. As a director, she recently returned to the Jackson Hole Playhouse for a production of Steel Magnolias.

Years ago Heidi started volunteering doing theater with kids locked up at two Utah detention centers, where she encouraged the kids to write autobiographical stories, raps, poems, and songs. Within in a year, she collected over 150 writings, and more are added every week.

Heidi is CEO and founder of ACT RISK NO MORE, a non-profit youth theater company that allows teenagers to write and perform their heartfelt edgy works. The organization creates original plays based on these writings and performs them for troubled kids in various state programs. Believing that applause is the greatest high, Heidi advocates for troubled kids to be able to do community service hours through ACT RISK NO MORE.

Heidi has some big dreams! These include a musical based on the works of her students, a documentary about the writings she has collected over the years, as well as the desire to have the rescue mission of ACT RISK NO MORE become a National institution.

Donna Feldman

Supermodel/ Celebrity Model Coach
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A native of California, Donna is a known model, actress, and TV host. She is known for her role in the American soap opera Fashion House. She also made a cameo appearance in the 2008 American comedy You Don't Mess with the Zohan.

Donna was discovered while obtaining a marketing and merchandizing degree at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. As a fashion model she has appeared in magazines such as GQ, Maxim, Marie Claire, Esquire, and FHM to name a few. She has also appeared on the cover of many known publications, including FHM, Esquire, GQ, Maxim, DT, AC Luxury magazine, Vegas Essential, La Direct Stepping Out, Fitness RX, In Design, and Shy magazine.

Donna was voted USA Top Model of 2010, and appeared in campaigns for many known clients, including some of the following: Visa Blackcard, Kardashian Kollection, Bentley, Jockey, 1921jeans, Bebe, Bejeweled by Susan Fixel, Bellagio Resort, Caesar's Palace, Diesel, Jaguar, Lucky Brand, Nautica, New Yorker, Panasonic, Revlon, Target, Verizon Wireless, and Zanetti.

Donna recently signed to NTA Talent in Los Angeles, Ford Models in Chicago, Wilhelmina Miami, Most Wanted Models in Munich/Hamburg, Ice Models in Cape Town, and Scout in San Francisco.

Donna starred opposite Justin Timberlake in the music video Señorita. She also appeared in music videos Blame the Vain for Dwight Yoakam, Mr. Bartender (It's So Easy) for Sugar Ray, and Tired of Being Sorry for Enrique Iglesias. She was cast in the movie My Killer Client, and she played Paula on the television show Magnum P.I. She was also cast in a recurring role on Tyler Perry's show The Oval.

Luiz Laffey

TV & Voice-over Instructor
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A native of Brazil, Luiz is an actor with over 20 years of experience in soap operas, dubbing, voice-over, TV commercials, and feature films. As a DJ, radio host, and announcer, he has over 30 years of experience with major studios and radio stations in Brazil.

Luiz has provided the Brazilian voice for more than 150 different characters, from Inside Out to Star Wars. Recently, he started dubbing in English too! Doing voice-over work, he brought life to many products, services, audiobooks, and much more. In front of the cameras or on a stage, his charisma, personality, and passion stand out. His motto is "do what you love, love what you do."

Luiz is truly passionate for the magic of acting, the magic of telling a story bringing feelings and emotions to life. Paraphrasing William Shakespeare in As You Like It, “All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one [person] in [its] time plays many parts”

Luiz concurs with author Charlotte Erikson that you should not try to present your art by making other people read or hear or see or touch it. He believes that the artist should make them feel it. His invitation is for all his students to join (and enjoy) together on this wonderful journey of acting!

Claire Vanbeber

Modeling Instructor
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Claire Vanbeber originally hails from Dallas, Texas but is now based in New York City where she works as a known fashion model and influencer.

Claire’s modeling clients include many illustrious names, including Ralph Lauren, Carolina Herrera, Neiman Marcus, L'Oreal Paris, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Free People, Bloomingdales, Aveda, IT Cosmetics, Alexander Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Giorgio Armani, Movado, Moncler, among others.

As an Instagram influencer, Claire’s clients include Guerlain, Bliss, Volition Beauty, Naadam, Sprig Soda, BaubleBar, Beam Laser Spa, Dylan Kain, Outdoor Voices, and more.

Claire enjoys modeling agency representation worldwide, and she has been privileged to have lived and worked in many wonderful places around the globe, including Sydney, Auckland, Milan, Athens, Istanbul, New York City, Miami, and Dallas. As a result, Claire has a global following and audience that will see and have access to her client’s brand.

Claire has earned a bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising, and she is trained in working on a variety of projects and collaborations. She loves getting creative with content creation and enjoys learning about new brands.

Jen Whitaker

Modeling Instructor
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Bio coming soon!

Amber Evans

Celebrity Acting/Model Coach
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Amber Evans is a well-known talent agent and founder of Stars Talent Studio, winning the global talent agent award in 2022!

She represents countless supermodels, celebrity actors and entertainers, professional athletes, as well as aspiring models, actors, and performers. Amber has placed countless actors in shows on Disney, Hallmark, Warner Brothers, Netflix, Paramount Pictures (i.e. Yellowstone), HBO, Hulu, Peacock, among others.

Growing up, Amber was an international model, actress, and at age 18 went to the Miss Teen USA, as Miss New York. Amber won Miss Congeniality in the Miss New York teen USA and Miss Teen USA as the first in history to accomplish all votes except hers. She has been a guest on TV shows including Good Morning America, and has been on Beauty Expert for Studio 5 (Utah’s Morning Show), and she has been a host on a Radio Show discussing hundreds of entertainment secrets.

Amber is the author of several books on acting and modeling and countless beauty expert how-to tips and articles. She has been a director, producer, acting and modeling coach who has trained thousands of actors and models, as well as judges for the Miss America and Miss USA organizations, Miss United Nations, Miss Asian, Miss African American, and the Miss NAM pageant to name a few.

Cedric Duplechain

Acting Instructor
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Cedric graduated from the California Institute of the Arts. He received several nominations for performance in theatre, including The Princess Grace Award and The NAACP Theatre Award.

Cedric appeared in dozens of national and regional commercials as a principal performer. He co-starred in Seinfeld, Sleeper Cell, Dexter, and The Young & the Restless. He comprised two series regular roles for AMC’s and ABC’s American Crime acting alongside notable talents like Pierce Brosnan and Regina King.

When Cedric breaks from acting, he works as a communication and dual credit instructor/professor. He is certified in ESL, Theatre Production, and Communications. He resides as a Texas State Adjudicator for One-Act Play Competition for secondary students. He also volunteers as a mentor for a local nonprofit organization that assists young men of underserved communities with college and career readiness.

Natalie Foster

Vocal Instructor & Film Coach
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Natalie Foster is one of the most sought after vocal coaches in the Intermountain Region! She is a professional singer, songwriter, musician, actor, voice-over artist, music producer, and mentor who has been featured on the radio, TV, and Film.

Natalie inspires singers to find their true voices, develop rock-solid techniques, and deliver stunning performances. She has strong connections with top Agents, Managers, and can help singers submit for shows like, The Voice, American Idol, Kidz Bop, and America’s Got Talent.

She trains singers in the following vocal styles: Pop, Rock, R & B, Hip Hop, Country, Gospel, Jazz, Blues, Musical Theater and Classical.

Natalie is the founder of Vocal Academy 180

Wolfgang Bodison

Private Instructor for Lead Roles
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Wolfgang graduated from University of Virginia with a degree in the fine arts. After moving to L.A. to pursue a career as a tv and film writer/director, he initially worked for Castle Rock Entertainment working in the mailroom, but soon climbed the production ladder when Rob Reiner hired him to be his personal assistant on the set of the film Misery, which provided much appreciated insight into the industry.

Wolfgang’s acting career took off after auditioning for and getting the role as Lance Cpl. Harold Dawson in A Few Good Men. Since then, he has enjoyed a successful career working on feature films, such as Little Big League, The Expert, Goodbye America, Most Wanted, Joe Somebody, and Ragamuffin. TV credits include recurring roles in Nothing Sacred and Family Law, as well as guest star appearances on hit shows like Highlander, CSINY, CSI Miami, NCIS, CANE, ER, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Code Black.

Wolfgang has continued to pursue his original dream of writing and directing, which included the short films Simone, Broken, Sarah’s Wish, and The Long Wait, which have screened in major festivals worldwide and have won several awards.

In addition, Wolfgang enjoys working as an acting teacher. After years of teaching at Playhouse West, he was hired to serve as the school’s director. Along with teaching a full load of classes (beginning, intermediate, and advanced), he’s also the festival director of The Playhouse West One Act Fest and The Playhouse West Film Festival, both which are annual events.

Angel Martinez

Commercial Workshop Instructor
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Having been introduced to the Performing Arts in grade school, Angel is a well tenured and experienced performer. His experience ranges from Commercial, to Stunt-work, to Stage/Film.

Angel is known for winning the Best Actor award as well as the Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards. This led him to represent the state of Utah in the prestigious Jimmy Awards in NYC. Angel has studied at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts - Los Angeles under instructors such as Amir Korangy, Jamie Nichols, and Robert Hahn.

Often recognized for his high energy and improv skills, Angel has booked commercials and corporate/industrial videos for brands such as Optily, Giddy, Aptive Pest Control, and Baba’s Hot Chicken. Many recognize his face from the Book of Mormon Videos.

Angel's coaching style includes a very positive learning environment. He specializes in helping students understand the five different styles of commercial work and how to get booked. He loves helping up and coming actors create a powerful commercial and host reel. He teaches teleprompter skills, proper self-tape methods, and the do's and don'ts of commercial work.

Stephen Austin

Private Acting Instructor
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Bio coming soon!

Micaelee Mocke

Acting/Modeling Coach
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Micaelee is a model and actress who loves sharing her secrets and the technical side of the business working for the Utah Talent Academy. She has helped talent book roles for Disney, Yellowstone, Downeast Catalog, Kia national car commercial, Lagoon commercials, RC Willey commercial, and fashion & shoe campaign lines.

Micaelee’s goal is to help each model discover which types of modeling jobs they will book best from High Fashion bookings, to Lifestyle bookings, to Fitness bookings, or promo & convention work, commercial work, major motion pictures, live events, and more! She set’s personal objectives for each models to push them individual to focus on the best ways to accomplish their highest dreams with a realistic edge to get them booked.

Certified to coach, and professionally trained by Star’s Talent Studio’s agent and owner, Amber Evans, in all the up-to-date info of the industry, Micaelee can provide training in the following:

  • 15 Runway Turns & Fashion Show Techniques
  • Photo Movement: Learn 600 Poses in 60 Minutes
  • Nutrition and Exercise
  • Industry Information
  • Product and Fashion Ads Prep
  • Poise and Posture
  • Makeup Lessons/Grooming Skills
  • Model Etiquette
  • Commercial Training
  • Teleprompter/Hosting Training
  • How to Properly Market Yourself/ Comp Cards
  • Self-confidence Training
  • and so much more!

Kara Flemming

Model & Pageant Instructor
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Bio coming soon!

Teresa Norvick

Acting Instructor
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Bio coming soon!

Paul Rohrer

Advanced Film Instructor
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Paul Rohrer has been privileged to have been mentored by some of the greatest acting coaches of all time, including: Mike Fenton at CSA and Tony Barr in the Benson Studios (for almost a decade).

The Rohrering Success Workshops have provided training to some of the best actors, directors, coaches, casting directors and agents.

Paul started his professional career on stage back in 1976 and was introduced to the camera in 1980. Since that time, he has logged hundreds of broadcast commercials, industrials and feature films.

Hosting A-list name talent, Paul has featured work with many recognizable stars—both as his students and peers—training for writing, acting, voice-over work, as well as creative development.

A published author of his unique and powerful method referred simply as LFR (acronym for Listen, Feel, Respond), Paul is now in his 36th year of coaching actors at every level.

Jessica Risco

TV & Film Instructor
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Bio coming soon!

Noe Burgess

Modeling Instructor
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Bio coming soon!

Marc Drolet

Modeling Instructor
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Bio coming soon!

Serena Essuman

Kids/Make-up Instructor
Serena Essuman

Bio coming soon!

Nikki SooHoo

Commercial & TV Instructor
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Best known for her roles in the movies The Lovely Bones (directed by Peter Jackson), Stick It (Disney's gymnastics movie costarring alongside Jeff Bridges), and Bring It On Fight to the Finish (the cheerleading movie), Nikki has been a professional actor for the past 18 years.You can see her on tv shows like, Grey's Anatomy, The Resident, Heathers, Speechless, Pretty Little Liars, etc. playing various guest roles.She also can be heard in her voice over work on shows like Star Wars Resistance on Disney XD and Shimmer and Shine on Nick Jr., as well as in video games like Rage 2, Epic Seven, and Dropzone.Having trained with top acting coaches in Hollywood throughout her career, Nikki has created her own compilation of techniques that has helped her be a full-time theatrical, commercial, and voice over actor for many years.

Find out more about Nikki at www.nikkisoohoo.com or connect with her on Tiktok or Instagram: @nikkisoohoo

Lauren Coontz

Certification 1 Acting Instructor/Self-Taping Specialist
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Bio coming soon!