GUEST TEACHER | Get the tools to pull forth deep, truthful work when it comes time for the close-up. 

Learn tools and access points to dig into intense and emotional scenes quickly, viscerally, and specifically. Extract and unlock nothing less than your true, soulful connection to the character—in the audition room and on set.

Class size: Limited to 8 students
Prerequisites: Alumni only
Location: Union Square, New York City
*Deposit is required to guarantee your slot. Non-refundable, but transferable to an alumni student.

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About Fiona

Fiona Graham

Fiona is an actress, producer, and private acting coach. 

Fiona’s stage and screen career has brought her to London’s West End, Berlin, Rome, Tbilisi, and New York City. Her films have played globally, including at Festival De Cannes, Cinequest, Edinburgh Film Festival, Whistler Film Festival, and Worldfest—at which Fiona was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Elsewhere, NY in 2015. Fiona also works as an acting coach, and her experience includes Broadway’s Jekyll and Hyde, the Tony Award-winning An American in Paris, and the Emmy-nominated TV show Empire. Fiona’s film credits include: Noise, Luna Park, Jack Rabbit, Looking for Kathleen, Living With Mum, and Flea (directed by BAFTA-nominated director Dan Hartley). 

Fiona is originally from the UK and was a founding member of Caravanserai Productions, which performed five plays at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, screened a film at BAFTA, and made several trips—alongside Sandblast Arts—to the refugee camps of the Western Sahara to create The Wall, a play about the heroic story of the Saharawi refugees. Now that Fiona is based in New York, her current production company, Jump, has two films under its belt: Muscle and Noise. Jump Productions seeks to tell meaningful narratives and create opportunities for women in film.


For those who don’t know about Fiona, I like to call her my secret weapon to prepare actors for screen tests or performances. I bring her into my process for the “finishing touches” and for the deepest work.

I’ve directed Fiona as an actress, and she’s actually an alumna from years ago. In addition, she is a top acting teacher and coach in NYC. (Yes, she actually works with celebrities on set, but doesn’t advertise it!) Fiona works out of Susan Batson’s studio—she was personally selected by Susan to work with her celebrity clients—and also coaches privately. 

Who is this class good for?

This class is for Heidi’s alumni who want to go further, beyond natural instincts. This class teaches you how to hit the emotional truth of the scene.

What you get

In this class, learn to: 

  • Nail that emotional close up—every time!
  • How to connect: hold on to it, rely on it
  • Quick breakdown and quick choices
  • How to use the right personalization 

Over the course of this two-day workshop, Fiona will help you break down a script and guide you towards unlocking your connection to the character’s circumstances so that you can deliver a real, powerful, and truthful performance, take after take. Fiona will show you how to access the power and truth of your emotional life and then give them to your character in order to bring the story of the scene to life.

Use emotional and sensory recall as well as the power of your imagination to unlock your true potential on camera.

Class content


CLASS 1: Each actor will be given a scene to prepare for the first class.

  • Quick breakdown, making quick choices
  • Guided sensory, emotional recall, sense memory, and imaginative exercises to create a powerful connection to the character’s circumstances
  • Creating a character that is uniquely and truthfully your own
  • Exploration of the text with a deeper emotional connection


CLASS 2: Translate your deep, powerful connection to your on-camera work.

  • How to maintain connection on set
  • Connecting deeply to character while under pressure
  • Perform the sides and receive direction and coaching
  • Watch and review the work, and look for the moment-to-moment truths



“I’m not sure that I have ever been in an acting class that just cut through all the shit so effectively. This experience meant a lot to me.”

– Alumni

“I got braver and more realistic about how I look on camera—and much clearer about what is and is not working in terms of emotionality.”

– Alumni

“There is no right way. Only truth needs to be present.”

– Alumni

“Wow—super intense class. Unexpected. I’ve done the best work I’ve ever done—felt the most connected.”

– Alumni

What a powerful, much needed experience with Fiona. It has changed me. That class allowed me such personal access in such a transformative way that all that release and emotional energy was channeled into creativity.

– Alumni

Studio guarantee

Full disclosure—please note that we do not guarantee that actors in these workshops will be hired for any project that we might direct or cast. We do guarantee my supportive honesty and my open sharing of knowledge. We teach and coach because we enjoy supporting actors as they develop their process of working within the audition room. We seek to build their knowledge about the business of auditioning.