Amy Chaffee teaches performance classes, including Voice, Speech, Text Analysis and Embodied Acting Practice. The focus of her presentations has been on the "hyper-practical" - the bridge between what the film/television/ theatre industry is seeking from young actors and what training programs are doing to prepare actors for the marketplace and its' rapidly changes.
Her fields of scholarly research cover the integration of voice and body to develop greater presence in the actor using different pedagogies including Fitzmaurice Voicework, Alexander Technique, Roy Hart Extended Voice Work (currently pursuing certification), Embodied Acting work influenced by Michael Chekhov's technique, Clowning, and the energy and engagement work of Patsy Rodenburg.
As a voice teacher, she is a Certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. Over the past 6 years, she presented her scholarship at VASTA, ATHE and at the Fitzmaurice International Freedom And Focus Forum on three continents. She vocal coached over 25 academic and professional Theatre productions and coached dozens of Films and Television productions. Partial clientele list includes: Oscar/Emmy winner Ellen Burstyn, Oscar/Olivier winner Colin Firth, Oscar winner Melissa Leo, Oscar Winner/ Tony Nominee and 2-time Emmy winner Kathy Bates and Oscar and Tony Nominee Patricia Clarkson,. Other on-camera clients include: Charlie Hunnam, Bruce Willis, Amber Tamblyn, Orlando Bloom, Kevin McKidd, David Fynn, Stephanie Sigman and Nicky Whelan. In 2013, she worked with musical artist Andre 3000 creating the vocal character for his portrayal of Jimi Hendrix in the Biopic written by Academy Award Winning Screenwriter, John Ridley, in his directing debut, "All is By My Side."
In addition to her scholarship and practical work, Amy has performed live theater in the United States and abroad for over 30 years. Based in Los Angeles since 2000 when she began her on-camera career, Amy continued directing, writing and acting in live theatre. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has hosted two shows written by Amy: a one-woman show based on the life of Dorothy Parker performed by herself, "What Fresh Hell is This" and a two-hander that she wrote and directed, "Your Mother's Vagina." "Your Mother's Vagina", aa dark comedy about infertility, shame and female friendship, also played to sold out houses at Sacred Fools Theatre as part of the Hollywood Festival Fringe; Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin, Ireland as part of the Freedom and Focus Conference 2016; and Theatre Vierlinden in Ghent, Belgium. In 2014, Teatro Varasanta in Bogota, Columbia produced her second one-woman show, a character-driven musical about the cities along Interstate 80 in the US: "I-80: An Invocation." She is writing a new comedy for 2018 about the worldwide epidemic of porn addiction and it's co-disease, erectile dysfunction, tentatively titled "No Fap For Young Men."
Amy misspent her youth as an actor in Madison, WI under the direction and training of great regional directors/writers: Nancy Thurow, David Peterson, Joseph Hanreddy and, also, legendary choral conductor Robert Fountain. A BFA grad from NYU-Tisch School of The Arts, Amy studied acting under Group Theatre founders Stella Adler and Robert Lewis. Other instructors at NYU included theatre innovators Ryszard Cieslak and Augusto Boal. Under scholars Mel Gordon, she worked as a researcher for the Kurt Weill Institute, interviewing Maria Piscator and Oscar winning Screenwriter, Hesper Anderson.
Immediately after NYU, Amy worked at City Center where she inhaled producing/programming and fundraising lessons watching Board Member Liz McCann and newly-appointed Artistic Director, Judith Daykin build their new idea: the "Encores" series - reviving old musicals. Amy assisted in administrative duties during the inaugural season of "Encores," "Twyla Tharp's Back" concert series and the second season of Alvin Ailey Company under then-new Artistic Director, Judith Jamison. After City Centre, Amy worked as an Administrator at the Lee Strasberg Institute then headed by widow Anna Strasberg working with Master Teachers, Geoffrey Horne and Irma Sandrey. During this time, she studied first folio technique with Artistic Director of the Original Shakespeare Company, Patrick Tucker.
When Fred Alley and Jeff Herbst from Wisconsin's Northern Sky Theatre (then called American Folklore Theatre) came to see Amy's independent production of "Romeo and Juliet" staged environmentally by RSC and film actor,Michael Maloney, in the sanctuary of the "Little Church Around the Corner" on 29th and 5th in Manhattan, they hired her that as both Production Manager and singer/actor/company member of Northern Sky Theatre. In that first summer of 1994, Amy created a First Folio production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" featuring in that first company was a rare stage appearance by New York theatre Producer Randy Weiner ("The Donkey Show", "Sleep No More") and other members of Weiner's and Diane Paulus first company, Blue Circle Theatre Group. From that one-off First Folio performance. Amy and partners Jeff Mills and Mark Ellinghaus, were sponsored by Fred Alley and NST to begin a new theatre in Door County, WI called Door Shakespeare. Amy continues to this day to have an ongoing and joyous relationship with Door Shakespeare and NST, performing as recently as Christmas of 2015 in their concert series, Home For the Holidays.
After Wisconsin, Amy earned her MFA in Performance from the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego under mentorship from Richard Easton. Some of Old Globe teachers, directors included: Jack O'Brien, Nicky Martin and Joe Hardy, Len Cariou, Edward Albee and Tina Landau. In 2000, Amy moved to Los Angeles where she joined the Saturday Master Class at the Beverly Hills Playhouse taught by LA legend Milton Katselas during the last 8 years of his life.
Enormously indebted to her mentors, directors and teachers, Amy hopes to instill in her collaborators and clients as much passion, joy and enthusiasm for work as she learned.