Jim brings over 25 years of experience and training to the Margie Haber Studio Team in Los Angeles as well as a megaton of fresh energy! To say Jim’s had a varied career so far would be an understatement.
Conceived in Germany, born in Ohio, and raised just outside of Washington, DC. Jim’s professional career is based in a solid foundation in comedy beginning his professional acting career in 1991 performing improv and stand up comedy around the Washington, DC area. Since then, Jim has done every type of performing and acting from clowning with the Big Apple Circus’ Clown Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, to Shakespeare in the park to fire-eating and celebrity impersonations to film and television.
In 2004 Jim moved to Los Angeles and since then has had made some fantastic memories including opportunities to work with such directors as J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) and Clint Eastwood (Changeling). Over the years Jim has worked on dozens of commercials and most recently has made frequent appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC in a variety of sketches.
Though one of Jim’s strengths has always been comedy with training that includes ComedySportzLA and The Groundlings, his dramatic training goes deep and is grounded in truth, being based in the Meisner technique he received from Playhouse West where he trained from 2005 until 2010. Teaching has always been a passion for him and in 2009 he was asked to join the staff where he began teaching the dramatic technique classes as well as founding the successful comedy program there.
Margie’s positivity and the supportive nature of the Margie Haber Studio Team in Los Angeles, combined with a program which so positively helps actors get out of their own way and into their bodies allowing for more truthful work is what drew Jim to the Margie Haber Studio Team. The studios philosophy is a perfect compliment for the Meisner training he’s so well versed in already. He can’t wait to meet you! See him at our Studio in Los Angeles.
Diane has a unique skill set that serves her well as a teacher with the studio. As an Executive Producer, she has been nominated for an Emmy Award and Producers Guild Award for the Showtime series,”Web Therapy” starring Lisa Kudrow. In addition to working with Lisa, Diane has worked with and produced series starring Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, will.i.am, Diablo Cody, Mindy Kaling, Jack Black, etc. – over 270 pieces of celebrity-filled content. In 2022, Diane has two feature films coming out: one that she directed (title tba), and “Jungle Cry” in which she has a screenwriting credit.
Prior to her work in development and production, she was a successful television, film and theatre actress in Chicago and LA. After receiving her BA in Telecommunications/Theatre from Indiana University, her work included starring in a play written and directed by Joe Mantegna; a film lead opposite Roger Daltrey; a four-year recurring role on “The Young and The Restless”, and a five-year contract as spokesperson for Advil, along with many other television, commercial and theatrical roles.
Diane then pursued something she loved just as much as acting – becoming a therapist who would empower people to live the lives they deserve. She received her MA in Psychology from Antioch University. While working as an actress, she simultaneously worked as a therapist and led workshops for actors, musicians, models, agents, casting directors, and studio executives, among other clientele.
Diane was drawn to teach at the Margie Haber Studio because of its long-standing reputation and its focus on guiding actors not only toward more successful acting careers, but also toward more authentic, happier lives. She loves how the philosophy teaches actors what she hopes she’s passed on to her daughters and the clients she has coached – to “trust themselves”, “embrace their imperfections” and replace their panic with power and passion. She loves the souls that are similarly drawn to this studio and is so happy for the opportunity to work with Margie and her amazing teachers.
Lisa, a Pacific Northwest native, worked and trained as a stage actress in Seattle earning her BFA cum laude from the Cornish Acting Conservatory in 1991. she went on to work in the Seattle fringe theatre scene as well as such Equity houses as The Seattle Repertory Theatre and ACT.
Over the years Lisa has appeared in many local and regional commercials. Her initiation into episodic television was a co-star on Grimm and soon after a guest star on Z Nation. Lisa’s had the opportunity to work on many NW indie films over the years several of which can now be seen on Amazon Prime.
During her time in the PNW Lisa married and started a family. After raising twin boys and finding more time for creating she heard LA calling and took the plunge in 2019! Her husband Bill joined her soon after and they are loving their new LA life together. Her family has only served to enrich her depth as an artist.
Upon arriving to LA Lisa dove into the two-week intensive at the Margie Haber Studio and she was hooked. There is a sense of family she has not found at other studios. She went on to the advanced classes and has been training with Margie in her master class ever since. The training, the warm, encouraging support system here at the Studio has launch Lisa into the beginnings of a successful career as a working actor in LA.
Lisa is thrilled to lay the Foundation for new actors interested in reclaiming their sense of play, finding their personal power and exploring the Creative Life.
Chris began acting as a child; appearing in plays by the age of 8 and graduated to pursuing his full time acting career in Hollywood by age 14. He has had roles in TV, Film and numerous commercials. Chris is a passionate teacher mentor and actor committed to the growth and development of young talent. Using the Haber Philosophy to guide his students into ‘creating the life’ of each person or character they are ‘living’. Being immersed in the industry from a young age allows Chris to see and know the business from a child’s perspective. After years of studying acting with premier acting teachers and at other various institutions, Chris finally found a fit being taught directly by Margie. “Living the life” resonated so profoundly that he dedicated to educate the youngest in the industry how they too could begin to realize their dreams, while maintaining the joy they have for acting; or as we call it, LIVING! Margie Haber Studio Team
Jack is a working actor here in Los Angeles. His absolute love for acting and actors has carried him through his 20 years in the business. Upon receiving a BA in Theatre Arts from Penn State University, he moved to New York City where he was a theatre actor for a decade, on such stages as the Barrow Street Theatre, The Metropolitan Opera, The New York International Fringe Festival, The Medicine Show Theatre and the New York Musical Theatre Festival.
His main love though is acting for TV and Film, and before he made the move to LA he worked on 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, Team Umizoomi, flew to Italy to star in an Italian feature film and was cast in numerous short films and commercials. Los Angeles work includes the award-winning short Rat Mom where he was nominated for Best Actor at the 2021 Pictures Up Film Festival, and the upcoming features The Listener, directed by Steve Buscemi, and The Mattachine Family , directed by Andy Vallentine, both premiering in late 2022.
Jack is also a musician and composer, and when not working on set he teaches adults and kids the fun way to play the piano. He is a proud member of Margie’s Masterclass, and is so grateful for the support, love, encouragement and drive that the studio offers. He can’t believe that he’s now a part of the team that he respects so much, and he’s excited to help guide students to listen, share, to have fun, and to welcome them to the beautiful art that is acting. Let’s Live the Life!
Tania is a New Zealand born actress originally from the very small town of Rakaia. The idea of acting first piqued her interest as a child when watching the US television show ‘TV’s Bloopers’. “I thought it looked like the greatest job ever. All this laughing and spontaneous behavior when the actor’s ‘messed up’. So funny to think way back then it was the ‘in betweens’ that had me sold on what a fun job this could be”.
However it wasn’t until Tania was 19 that she took the big leap and moved from away from home to study full time in Wellington at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. After graduating with a Bachelor of Performing Arts, Tania was fortunate to quickly land her first lead role on the television drama The Hothouse (2007), and receive a Best Actress Nomination at the Qantas Television Awards for her efforts . Since then she’s appeared in recurring roles in the U.S. series’ Spartacus- Blood and Sand (2009), Legend of the Seeker (2008-2009), and feature film Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009). As well as several Australasian Series Regular roles under her belt; This Is Not My Life (2009), Go Girls (2009 – 2011), Step Dave (2014 -2015) and Home and Away (2017), Tania has a wealth of on set experience that has continued to shape her as an actress and teacher.
After several years of living in the states, in early 2016 Tania’s path brought her to study with Margie Haber. “I wish I had found Margie and her incredible ethos so much sooner! It’s a game changer. Focusing our thoughts and energy on creation, on relationships and experience, on ‘Living the Life’ – this is what frees us from the fear that can so often cripple us as actors, especially under the pressures of an audition environment”.
Now as a teacher here at The Margie Haber Studio, Tania is passionate about sharing how these very ‘in betweens’ that she once admired as a child, don’t need to be reserved for the ‘outtakes’ only. “How we can channel the mistakes, the messy and unpredictable parts by falling forward and staying ‘in the middle of life’ instead breaking it by judging and censoring ourselves. I’m passionate about sharing this empowering perspective – shifting our mindsets from the actor ‘trying to get it right’, to the character experiencing this ‘Slice of Life’. “
Alyssa was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. She grew up involved in community musical theater, and always needed to be on the stage or in front of a camera. She first discovered Margie Haber Studio in 2018 traveling to Los Angeles for the 2 week intensive, and fell in love with the creative process and living the life! Since making the move to Los Angeles, she has worked on several independent films and numerous TV sets while continuing her training at Margie Haber Studio. She’s so excited to have stepped into the studio coordinator role to support the studio, and can’t wait to keep learning and growing in this incredible industry.
Sarah Kirby was born and raised in San Jose, California where she found a sense of community and joy performing in musical theatre productions. She also studied on-camera acting at Bay Area Acting Studio and assisted in teaching the studio’s young and enthusiastic actors. In 2017, Sarah had the opportunity to continue exploring her passions at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts and during a semester abroad in London at the British American Drama Academy.
Sarah is thrilled to join the Margie Haber Studio team as Studio Manager and looks forward to supporting and learning from our talented teachers and students!
Originally from the UK before joining the Margie Haber Studio Team, Hamish Sturgeon trained extensively as an actor. In theatre, film, and TV obtaining a bachelors degree in English and drama. He has appeared in well known British TV dramas including “Moving On,” “The Village,” and “Hank Zipzer” for the BBC, as well as starring in a large number of national TV commercials and short films. In 2009 he won an independent theater Best Supporting Actor award for his role as Robin in “Time and the Conways.” Since arriving in the US he has picked up roles in “Flight World War II” for Asylum Pictures and “My Crazy Ex” for Lifetime. In 2016 Hamish starred as Dan in “Closer” – a theater production that was nominated for “Best Ensemble Theater Performance”. His latest film “Joan” premiered at the Athens International Film Festival in 2018. Subsequent credits include feature film “American Boogeywoman” and TV’s SWAT for CBS.
Throughout his acting career, Hamish has also worked as a casting assistant and later associate – working in independent film, major prime-time drama, and national commercials. Hamish was also an acting coach for children and adults at a number of prestigious British drama institutions. Whilst working in casting and production roles he was asked to workshop the audition process for a number of agents and management companies throughout the UK.
Hamish found an immediate home with the Margie Haber Studio Team connecting on a deeper level with the transformative philosophy of “living the life”.