Following a brief stint as a professional child actor, Stan focused on academics and eventually graduated cum laude from Duke University with a B.A. in political science. He then returned to acting and six months later landed a lead role in the ABC pilot THE STREETS OF BEVERLY HILLS in Los Angeles. Although the series was not picked up, Stan relocated to the west coast where he spent his twenties starring and guest starring in numerous television shows, movies for television and feature films. With over a hundred hours of screen time to his credit, Stan’s resume includes FRIENDS, JAG, GENERAL HOSPITAL and a five year run on the TV series HIGHLANDER. Upon turning thirty, Stan got behind the camera for the first time. While directing several short films and new media projects including STRAIGHT EYE: THE MOVIE (Alan Dale and Rex Lee, ENTOURAGE), US ONE NIGHT (Alison Brie, GLOW, MAD MEN and Liza Weil, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER), and a commercial for QUALCOMM, he also cast a variety of projects including three seasons of the MTV series INVINCIBLE, Stan Lee’s TIME JUMPER for Walt Disney Studios and TRANSGRESSIONS (BAFTA Award nominee for Best Short Film). During that time Stan began teaching and coaching actors as well.
In 2008 Stan and his wife, Kristyn Green, formed Stan Kirsch Studios. SKS quickly became one of the most prominent and sought after actor training facilities in Los Angeles. Over the past decade Stan’s clientele, comprised of both celebrities and working actors throughout the entertainment industry, have booked upwards of a thousand roles from film leads to TV series regulars, recurring roles, guest and co-stars as well as leads On and Off-Broadway. SKS is now home to three studios in which multiple classes are held concurrently as well as two audition taping facilities and a top notch faculty comprised of esteemed teachers, coaches, and studio administrators.
The success of SKS initially necessitated that Stan and Kristyn put their respective directing, acting and casting careers on hold. However, as the studio’s faculty and staff have grown, Stan has recently begun to field directing offers again. He and Kristyn continue to reside in Los Angeles with their dog Duke.
Kristyn Green (Studio Director)
Kristyn co-founded SKS in 2008 with her husband, Stan. She oversees every aspect of the studio, providing a personalized, distinctive and positive experience for each actor at SKS. More often than not, her smile is the first thing our clients see when they walk through the door.
Prior to her work at SKS, Kristyn was an actress and television host. After moving from Lubbock, Texas to Los Angeles, she immediately landed numerous film and TV roles. Kristyn appeared opposite Debra Messing on USA Network’s THE STARTER WIFE and graced the big screen alongside Faye Dunaway, Ed Begley Jr., Amy Acker and Danica McKellar in the feature film 21 AND A WAKEUP. Horror fans will recognize Kristyn from many films, most notably the cult classics CARVER and EVIL BONG. From 2008-2010 she was the host and writer of TRUE COUNTRY, GoTV Networks’ weekly rundown on the country music industry.
Kristyn has also worked extensively behind the camera, namely as the casting director of Stan Lee’s TIME JUMPER for Walt Disney Studios. From 2004-2007, Kristyn owned and operated BROADWAY BABIES, an organization designed to bring dance and musical theatre to children throughout Los Angeles and its surrounding areas.
An avid animal lover, Kristyn resides in Los Angeles with Stan and their dog Duke.
Colleen Foy (Senior Faculty Teacher)
Upon graduating from Marquette University in Milwaukee with a major in theatre, Colleen spent a year touring the country as “Alice” in ALICE IN WONDERLAND with the National Theatre of the Deaf. She was the only hearing member of NTD’s Company in the 2004-2005 season. That year she taped several segments for the classic show SESAME STREET teaching the “Sign Language Word of the Day” to millions of children. After living in hotels for a year, Colleen relocated to Los Angeles to start her TV and film career. She has filmed several national commercials and primetime TV appearances, most recently guest starring on: CODE BLACK, BONES, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL, CSI:CYBER, FRANKLIN & BASH, COLD CASE, CRIMINAL MINDS, CASTLE, and THE CLIENT LIST. In 2007 she made her feature film debut in the Academy Award winning film THERE WILL BE BLOOD, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Daniel Day-Lewis.
Colleen began serving as a coach and teacher at Stan Kirsch Studios in 2010 and has been a client favorite ever since!
Nawal Bengholam (Faculty Teacher)
Nawal was born and raised (to be a doctor) in Casablanca, Morocco. She moved to sunny California to do her pre-med at UCSD…but then made the grave ‘mistake’ of taking a couple of acting classes as electives her senior year, took a sharp right, and landed on CRIMINAL MINDS, playing a Medical Examiner…same thing, right? Mom? Dad? Hello?? The point is: when something reaches deep in your soul, grabs you, and makes you feel more alive than ever before, you heed! This is how she feels about this beautiful craft of ours! This is how she lives it and this is how she teaches it. Having worked behind the camera in both production and casting, she also has a deep reverence for the glorious machine that is Hollywood and a great respect for the collaborative process, which she encourages her students to always be mindful of in their prep. A graduate of The Tony Robbins Leadership Academy, Nawal combines her peak performance coaching experience, Stan’s brilliant (her words) audition technique and her understanding of the business side of the industry to guide her students through the realities of auditioning TODAY and reconnect them with gratitude and pride in being the storytellers that they are.
Nawal can be seen in such TV shows as CODE BLACK, MODERN FAMILY, HEARTBEAT, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL, and THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, among others. On the feature side she has appeared in the Sundance favorite, CAMP X-RAY (opposite Kristen Stewart) and the soon to be released, NIGHT WALK.
Nawal has been part of the SKS family since 2013, and wishes them good luck getting rid of her!
Aleksander Ristic (Faculty Teacher)
Aleks hails from Ontario, Canada. While studying theatre at York University in Toronto and the University of Calgary, he was privileged to take part in numerous stage productions from classics such Racine’s PHAEDRA, Shakespeare’s RICHARD III, and Arthur Miller’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN, to world premieres of original works such as SATIE ET COCTEAU by Mike Czuba and the LA Fringe premier of MY BROTHER starring Adam Wylie, among others.
But while the theatre is where an actor learns his craft, Aleks’ love is the screen. He moved to Los Angeles to complete his MFA at the New York Film Academy and subsequently starred in numerous shorts and new media projects. He’s collaborated with Youtube’s finest such as Shane Dawson on his slasher flick IT GETS WORSE, King Bach on his parodies DjANGO 2 CHAINZ, 911, THE EQUALIZER PARODY, and LOGAN PARODY. In total, Aleks’ new media projects have garnered over ten million viewers.
If Youtube’s not your thing, you might also recognize Aleks from DAYS OF OUR LIVES where he, as well as other incredibly good looking people, save Salem from a terrible disease on the NBC classic’s 50th season. He also has a barrage of indy features to his credit such as CALL OF THE WOLF, THE TOY SOLDIERS, KIDNEY AND APPLE and CARETAKERS in which he stars opposite Vivica A Fox. Aleks will soon be seen with VO legend Phil Lamar, Instagram star Marcus Johns and Emmy Award winner Nick Moss in lN THIS GRAY PLACE.
Aleks began working with SKS in 2013 and is thrilled to be a part of such a terrific staff and fantastic community of actors.
Brian Dare (Faculty Coach)
Brian was born and raised just outside San Francisco, and grew up in the Bay Area theatre world. He spent many summers teaching and helping run a children’s theatre camp in Point Richmond, CA. After high school, he moved to New York City to attend Marymount Manhattan College. He graduated from Marymount with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Performance and Musical Theatre. While in college, Brian started performing throughout NYC with Comedy Sportz Improv and working in commercials. That work led to a short film that took him to Sundance, and ultimately Brian made the move to Los Angeles to pursue television and film.
Since the move to Los Angeles, Brian has had recurring roles on CW’s JANE THE VIRGIN and the CBS soap opera THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. Other credits include TRANSPARENT, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, THE MIDDLE, CHANCE and ANGER MANAGEMENT. He can most recently be seen guest starring opposite Susan Sarandon on FX’s FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN.
Brian came to Stan Kirsch Studios in 2015. After quickly realizing SKS was a unique collaborative community of working actors teaching practical technique, he made it his home. Aside from studying with Stan himself, he also enjoys coaching fellow students and actors to success.
Staci Roberts-Steele (Faculty Coach)
After graduation from Vassar College, Staci moved to Chicago where she studied and was a regular performer at IO Chicago, Second City and various local improv troupes.
Since moving to LA, Staci has appeared on PARKS AND RECREATION, AGENTS OF S.H.E.I.L.D, 90210, as well as LARRY GAYE: RENEGADE MALE FLIGHT ATTENDANT and the Paramount feature THE BIG SHORT. She is currently slated to appear in and upcoming feature film starring Christian Bale and Amy Adams. In addition to her extensive acting resume, Staci is also a successful producer and writer.
Staci joined the SKS family in 2014 where she has served as an ongoing teacher, coach and studio coordinator.
Ari Frenkel (Associate Faculty)
Ari graduated from Montclair State University with his BFA in Acting. During his time there he won the prestigious Kennedy Center Irene Ryan Acting Competition at both the regional and national levels. He’s worked professionally in theaters around the country and has starred in many independent films and commercials.
Ari’s TV credits include SILICON VALLEY, RIZZOLI & ISLES, TRANSPARENT, THERE’S JOHNNY starring opposite Tony Danza & Jane Levy, among others. He will soon grace the big screen in the comedy feature film MISFITS. Ari has also consistently written and produced his own content including three short films, one feature and the enormously successful comedy web series SORRY, ARI, which was named one of IndieWire’s Top Ten of 2016.
Ari began working with Stan and the SKS family in 2014 where he has served as both an ongoing teacher and coach.
DaJuan Johnson (Associate Faculty)
After receiving his BA in Theater from the University of Florida, DaJuan went on to receive and MFA from Colorado State University. In addition to making numerous appearances on stage, DaJuan’s extensive TV and Film credits include: THE NEW 30 (Series Regular), GENERAL HOSPITAL (Recurring), CSI, PRIVATE PRACTICE, PEDRO, CSI: NY, CRIMINAL MINDS and PEDRO. Currently, you can catch him as Detective Pierce on BOSCH, a role he has been proud to play for the past 3 years.
DaJuan has worked with Stan for over 10 years and has been part of the SKS family since it’s inception. In 2015 DaJuan founded THINK BIGGER COACHING and has since become one of the most sought after life coaches in LA. With both his acting career and THINK BIGGER COACHING flourishing, he is a busy busy man, but is still available for audition coaching and subbing at SKS as time permits.
Duke (Studio Dog)
Duke hails from Culver City, where he was found roaming the streets by our client, Jenna Bryant. Upon his rescue, Jenna brought him to SKS, where Duke immediately knew he had found his forever home.
Duke has no formal acting training but, no doubt, he is a natural entertainer and performer. His favorite tricks are “beg up” and “high five” and he’ll do pretty much anything for a treat. He loves food, Mom, Dad, sleeping and playing (in that order).
When he’s not at the studio, Duke enjoys hiking Runyon Canyon, watching the Dallas Cowboys and barking for no apparent reason.