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Testimonials

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 12.02.59 PM“For the first six years in this business I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle… in the dark. Then came not only a glimmer of light, but a blinding source of knowledge, comfort, support, and confidence.

Any “acting teacher” can don a beret and complicate the art of acting, but it is Deborah’s inherent genius that allows her to simplify it for you. Know your character, know the material, and know where/when you are. If you are an actor that prefers to use your brain then you will have questions… Deborah Aquila has the answers.

And then even more questions for you to ask yourself. She is, in my opinion, one of the best resources that actors have had access to, and I truly believe her name will find it’s place among the great teachers of all time. Please don’t take my word for it, you owe it to yourself to find out on your own.”

-ARMIE HAMMER // The Lone Ranger, The Social Network


“Professional scene study provides a rare opportunity to work with an eclectic group of talented directors currently working in TV and film on challenging material in a mock set environment. I haven’t found a class anything like this in LA: a class that feels as close to actually working on a professional set. I’ve tried a lot of classes out and studied with various coaches but have never found one that’s as beneficial on so many levels nor one that’s led by such an artistically enriching, enjoyable teacher as Donna Morong.

In preparation for the director, Donna provides guidance through intense questioning about story and character. This has taught me to ask those deeper questions myself when working through material on my own. Watching the playback with the class and Donna afterwards is invaluable. Her honest and specific feedback has allowed me to see for myself what’s working, what areas I may need to improve in and any habits that may be hindering my performance. Of all the classes I’ve taken in LA, Professional Scene Study has allowed me the most growth as an actor, as an artist and as a human being.”

-WHITNEY ANDERSON // South Beach, Masters of Sex, NCIS: LA


“Donna Morong’s Art of Audition Technique completely changed my audition prep and process! Having been in the business since I was 10 and working with a lot of various coaches on auditions this was by far the most beneficial class. She looks at every actor for their own strengths and weaknesses and works from there. She teaches you how to be completely present in the room and to throw away any anxiety or being nailed to any text based choices. I left her class knowing exactly how I need to prepare for each audition and how to be as authentic as possible in my choices. Donna shares her extensive knowledge as a casting director which helps strip away the nerves and lets you just have fun and play. She makes every actor feel not only comfortable in front of the camera but also in their own skin. She completely re-inspired the audition process for me and really gave me the tools to trust my instinct and make spontaneous bold choices. I highly recommend this studio to all my actor friends and I will continue to work with Donna and the different directors she brings in to keep me sharp, present and fearless during every audition!”

-ALISHA MULLALLY // 
13 Reasons Why

“Studying with Donna in the Professional Scene Study class has been transformative. I’ve worked with many of the ‘top’ acting coaches in Los Angeles and New York and have found the Aquila/Morong studio to be the perfect ratio of challenge and support. Donna is gentle and loving yet firm in her commitment to push an actor to their highest level. The guest directors who come in each week are accomplished, talented, and have a deep passion for working with actors and sharing these lovely artistic evenings with, who they clearly feel, are their fellow artists rather than ‘students.’ The studio in general seems to attract the true artist rather than those who have come to this industry for superficial reasons and it is an absolute pleasure to get together with this group each week, bare our hearts and souls on stage, support one another, and grow. This studio has become my home away from home and I cannot overstate the beauty of the experience one can have here.”

-STEFANIE SHERK // CSI Cyber, Telenovela


“Donna’s class brought my fire back. I was pretty stagnant in my career before, booking here and there, but after taking her class it’s been day and night. I’m walking into rooms with intention and confidence. I have thoughts and feelings behind every word I say. Suddenly, I am going to producers on the regular and getting booking calls frequently. Her class gave me the space to play, experiment, and experience different types of directing styles. My dreams are coming true before my eyes and I am so happy Donna’s class could help push me to where I needed to be.”

-HEATHER HOPKINS // Animal Kingdom, Grown-ish

Molly Quinn“Donna Morong’s Professional Scene Study Class sharpened my character awareness and brought a new dimension to my scenes as a whole. She is a wonderful and compassionate communicator. Her experience and insights turn the jumbled work of creating a character into a fluid dance. Donna allows an open environment to prepare with partners and working directors. Highly recommend.”

-MOLLY C. QUINN // Castle, We’re the Millers

 

harley-quinn“My strongest and most rapid period of growth in my acting career was at Donna’s summer workshop. I felt like I improved in every possible category whether it be with physicality, voice, face work, improv or building a background for my character. I felt so free to try out new ideas because I was supported by not only my teachers, but my fellow students as well. After only two weeks of Donna’s summer course, I felt so much more confident in my acting capabilities, which significantly helped me in auditioning and working in film, TV and theater.”

-HARLEY QUINN SMITH // Yoga Hosers, Clerks II


“It’s not often that one finds an acting class as insightful and fun as Donna Morong’s Professional Scene Study. Donna is wonderful at challenging you to reach your full potential. Having the opportunity to work with Donna and the guest directors allowed me to transform. This class enabled me to play, and really connect with my characters in a friendly, supportive environment. Donna Morong’s Professional Scene Study Class is Five out of five stars!”

-ASHLEE McLEMORE // Detroiters, Ovid and the Art of Love

 

“It’s not often you get handed emotionally complex roles as a teenager although it is a very complex and intense time in your life. Donna offered an opportunity to dive into beautiful material that she picked for all of us. Roles that felt as though they were written for us specifically. She created a safe space for us to dream. I came into the class feeling like a kid lost in the big scary world of Hollywood. I felt that everywhere I turned was a closed door and with that came a sense of hopelessness and self doubt. Having Donna’s support and guidance at the start of my career has empowered me and challenged me to dive even further into my work and find freedom there. She has helped me find joy in knowing that this is what I was put on this planet to do and that the closed doors do not even matter. You just turn the knob and walk through. And then it becomes exciting. It becomes an adventure. I also found this by being alongside students my age or younger. She created a community of fresh and exciting discovery where we were opened up to listen to each other. I listen in a new way now. She brought in director Brad Barnes to help guide the scenes and strengthen what we want from our scene partner and it has changed my perspective on the world. Every time I see a conversation taking place I think about what people want from each other. What I want. What my friend needs or wants from me. We fantasize in life about what we want to happen all the time and for some reason it never fully occurred to me to bring those fantasies into my work. It prevents me from planning out how I’m going to say a line. There is only surprise. I now feel more connected to my scene partner, to the material, and to life than I ever have before. So basically I’m saying that I would highly recommend taking this class.”

-LEO RAMSEY // Blue Line Station

“I had such a wonderful time at Donna’s class. I learned so much and I will take these new skills and use them in my every day life and I will use them all throughout my acting career. The teachers were very thoughtful and precise and I don’t think I could’ve learned more from them. Overall I had such a wonderful experience.”

-EMMA APGAR

 

“I learned all my favorite things about acting from Donna Morong. She loves the craft and is invested in making it come to life for people in a way that is personal and unique. It’s a commitment to freedom and sincerity that I deeply admire. In my time as a student with her I found large parts of myself that I had forgotten about or felt were incidental, and in finding them I realized a personal truth which is that at the core of any great performance is a profound gift of love. I feel so lucky to have had this experience! My life is changed for it, and I grew a tremendous amount as an actor as well. I have had a great time in Professional Scene Study and the Art of the Audition which are both very practical hands on workshops for on-camera work and gave me a strong, supportive feedback loop for my process. I also learned so much from interacting and working with all of the directors she brought to the Scene Study class. It was illuminating. I recommend this studio wholeheartedly! 🙂

-JACK FLEISCHER

Matthew White Head Shot 1Donna Morong’s 2-week pre-college intensive conservatory was some of the most fun I have ever had. Aquila Morong Acting Studio has helped me mature in my craft as an actor. I learned so many things about new ways to approach a script and the mentality to have going into an audition. Donna and her FANTASTIC teachers truly helped me in bringing new dimensions to my acting. With the variety of classes ranging from movement to improv, I learned how to truly become the character I’m playing. Donna’s class also helped me with making new friends. With Donna’s help, I was able to make new friends, learn, and have fun all at the same time. If your looking for a place that will challenge you and will keep you motivated, I highly recommend Aquila Morong Acting Studio.

-MATTHEW WHITE

There are so many wonderful things to say about Donna Morong’s pre-college conservatory program. Donna truly teaches you to find and understand the levels within your characters lives that make them who they are- deep down to the core. Donna makes you think- she makes you explore every possibility and ask yourself questions that suddenly open new worlds and truths within the lives of your characters. One of my favorite exercises we did was when Donna had us explain -with every detail- the layout of the scene, and learning how everything, from a crack in a fountain to a old yellowing refrigerator, comes together to create the depth and the truth in our characters lives. The questions we learned to ask ourselves and looking out for all the little details, have helped me immensely as an actress, allowing me to pick up on things that truly take my work to a different level.

In movement classes, we learn about the importance of the physical connection to your characters life, and after learning and experiencing the way it truly feels to be physically in the characters shoes, my acting skyrocketed into another dimension.  I remember actually kind of tearing up during class because of the amazing discovery “movement” became to me. It was definitely one of the most amazing classes for me as it was something new that I had never tried or used before in my work- now I can’t imagine NOT using it. There are so many ways that movement can help an actor shape, create and truly FEEL who their character is. (And it is one amazing feeling!) It is a tool that is strongly present in my work today.

The voice classes with Andy Wagner are the most fun… EVER! His crazy improv games and exercises help you to be present and in the moment- they teach you to be fully connected and present in your scene work, to stop over thinking things and just “be.” He and Donna also taught us the importance of really listening to your scene partner to be able to genuinely respond to them in an honest way.

Once the conservatory ended, I felt completely confident in knowing my character thoroughly enough to (in Donna’s wonderful words) “honor the characters life.” This is exactly what she teaches us to do through all three components of the intensive. I also came out with some of the best friends I could hope to have. Everyone became a family and it was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had. It has by far been one of the best investments into my career as an actor.

“Honor the characters life.” This has been a quote that I have absolutely lived by since I heard Donna say it, and perfectly describes what Donna’s classes teach you to do. Her attention to detail is something that has created an amazing difference in my work. She is like a miner who digs into every tiny dark corner and to the deepest parts of the darkest tunnels until every last diamond is found in the scene! She has been a great teacher and given me great tools to use in deepening my understanding of my character. Thank you Donna!

-ISABELLA HICKS // That Summer

“The Aquila Morong Studio provides more than just a space to sculpt your craft, it provides tools and resources that help build your experience as an actor. In the audition technique class I had the opportunity to learn and make mistakes in a safe environment that was both challenging and motivating. Auditioning is such an unnatural experience and getting to work on that every week gave me the opportunity to learn how to prepare in order to do my best. In addition, this class helped me figure out how to relieve some of those nerves before going into the room so I could be in the moment. The professional scene study class is so much more than a scene study class. It offers you the opportunity to work with various directors and helps you as the actor adjust to their different directing techniques, approaches and personalities. Not to mention getting the opportunity to work with Donna! Donna Morong is honest, insightful and her attention to detail, not only from an acting perspective but from a casting perspective, is some of the most valuable advice I’ve received as an actor. As an actor I think it’s important to be critical and honest, but also not too harsh on yourself. You need to find that balance where you’re always striving to do better but also to be proud of the work you have done, no matter what level your at and the teachers at the Aquila Morong Studio help you with just that. This studio is such an awesome space to prepare yourself professionally so you don’t make those rookie mistakes when it counts!”

-ANDREA SABATINO // My Haunted House, A Million Happy Nows

kevin-clough-headshot“I can say beyond any doubt that Donna’s audition technique class is the ultimate gateway between craft and booking the job. From day one she teaches you the proper way to approach and prepare for an audition, and expertly breaks down your on camera auditions in class, giving you both the critique you need to improve, and the confidence you need to go out and win over the casting room. Only Donna could do both so effectively. I have never felt more personal growth, nor seen more improvement from a class as a whole in such a short period of time than I did in Audition Technique. It’s why I keep coming back. Take Donna’s class. You will get better. You will book. End of story.”

-KEVIN CLOUGH // The Comedy Get Down, Dudes, Key & Peele

danielzolghadri“I’ve been studying with Donna for four years now, over these years I’ve been able to identify my limits as an actor and expand them. Her class will not only give actors tools to grow but will also teach actors about preparation and discipline. Anything I have learned in Donna’s class has been a great asset in my actor training both in theater and TV. I am deeply grateful for her involvement and mentorship.”

-DANIEL ZOLGHADRI // NCIS, Scorpion

 


“Professional Scene Study” with Donna Morong is an amazing and unique opportunity for actors. Not only do you work in an on set situation with various working directors, but you also are guided and coached by Donna. Her knowledge, experience, dedication to the work, and each actor’s journey are second to none.

-DEBBIE ZALTMAN // Bones, Super Clyde NCIS, Scorpion

 

Tiffany Milian HeadshotDonna Morong’s Teen Conservatory class has been one of the best classes I have taken. In two weeks you go through movement and voice, improv, scene study, audition techniques and at the end a wonderful performance to show what you have been working on. All of the instructors are fantastic and super fun, and you get to develop a friendship with a community of actors just like you. I would highly recommend this class because it was such a great experience that I will never forget.

-TIFFANY MILAN

 

Aaron Norvell Headshot“Us actors have our various ways of studying technique. However, Deborah offers an approach to break down the scene in a masterful-way. I would recommend any serious actor to take her experience, approach, and guidance. BRAVO DEBORAH :)”

-AARON NORVELL // General Hospital

 

 

tj-cristina-headshot“You might as well call this class Morong Technique. Donna does a phenomenal job of creating a real live audition atmosphere. The tools and techniques you learn through this class will have you more then ready for when it’s time to shine in the real spotlight!”

-TJ CRISTINA // General Hospital

 

 

Gabriel Freilich Headshot“If I had to describe Deborah Aquila with one phrase, it would be ‘force of nature.’ I had the biggest performance breakthrough I can remember in Deb’s Script Analysis Infused Technique Intensive. Deb talks about connecting the head and the heart, and it is exactly the way her head and heart are so connected that enabled me to begin to unlock that connection.If you want to stretch your craft or yourself as a human being, I cannot recommend any of Deborah Aquila’s classes enough.”

-GABRIEL FREILICH // Filthy Preppy Teen$, Dark Shadows

Marie Moute // WELCOME TO NEW YORK, LA VIE DEVANT NOUS

“Whenever I’m not on a set I like to train. Acting is like being a musician or an athlete. You need to train regularly. Here in Los Angeles, I go to the Aquila Morong studio to work with Deborah Aquila and Donna Morong. They are amazing, with a tons of experience and they’re both also very beautiful human beings.”

-MARIE MOUTE // Welcome to New York, La Vie Devant Nous

 


“I’m taking Donna Morong’s class with multiple guest directors, each leaning towards a different genre, all reinforced my artistic confidence. The discussions facilitated by Donna during class demystified the dynamics between directors and actors. No where can you work so closely in such a short period of time with working directors. And because of Donna, I never felt rushed or pushed but rather whole heartedly embraced. The experience was invaluable!”

-ABE REVEL 

Robinson_Brendan_0229_xret

“Donna’s class has transformed the way I approach my auditions and view the audition process as a whole.  Receiving honest feedback from seasoned professionals who actually understand what goes on ‘in the room,’ has given me confidence and understanding that other acting teachers have never been able to provide because they are not regularly a part of the audition process.  Realizing there is no ‘magic formula,’ and that it all boils down to preparing for the audition in the same way you would a job you’ve already booked has eliminated stress and anxiety.  I highly recommend this class – as well as the other classes at the studio – to any actor who is serious about taking his career to the next level.”

-BRENDAN ROBINSON // Pretty Little Liars, Weeds

Alicia Ivanhoe Headshot“Deb teaches her students how to shift their perspective and think from their character’s point of view. In just two days you learn how to analyze a scene and work truthfully through the backstory you’ve created.”

-ALICIA IVANHOE  // The Day I Almost Died, Jackson Bolt

 

 

 

Anton NarinskiyDonna, Professional Scene Study has helped so much with being on set and interacting with directors in a work environment. I’ve been through the gamut of acting classes and none have provided such a seamless integration between the fundamentals of acting from an artistic and a theatrical perspective and the business side of working on set and collaborating with a director. I love your approach as well since I come from a Meisner background. You’re awesome. I look forward to continued growth and learning!”

-ANTON NARINSKIY // Awkward, Mysteries of Laura, Pitch Perfect 2

Donna Morong is such a breath of fresh air. She is a professional and instills the importance of a good work ethic without being judgmental. I felt that Donna truly cares about her students and wants to give them a solid foundation in the field of acting. As a parent I was especially impressed with how Donna is so genuine and down to earth. These qualities inspire those around her to do their best work without feeling they are being torn down in the process.

-JULIE HARRAH

Elise Silver HeadshotI couldn’t recommend the Script Analysis Infused Technique Weekend Intensive enough…to those with tons of experience as well as to those just starting out.”

-ELISE SILVER // Little Horribles

 

 

“Our experience with the Aquila Morong Studio has been extraordinary. Our son’s acting skills have improved significantly. He is now prepared to compete with the best.
Kudos and to the Summer Teen Conservatory!”

-Alex Butler

Brett Wyman Headshot 2014“I enrolled in the Aquila Morong Audition Intensive course because I battled crippling audition anxiety that was withholding me from taking the next step forward in my career. One of the first pieces of advice Deb shared with us was that nerves disappear when you study for the test properly. Holy smokes, was she right. Deb and Donna will teach you how to open your mind up to an audition scene (or acting piece as Deb affectionately calls them) in ways you’ve never thought of before. You will learn how to create rich characters that make deep, specific choices that will exalt you as a storyteller. They teach you how to be a collaborator and to respect yourself as an artist. You will discover the freedom of truth, which empowers you to give. It’s been four months since I’ve taken the course. Since then I have booked a major supporting role in a feature film and two pilots including Marc Forster directed, Hand Of God. Come ready to work and you will flourish.”

-BRETT WYMAN // Dumb and Dumber To, The Assault, Hand of God, Good Kids

Daniel Di Venere“Donna Morong’s acting for teens class is amazing! Every time I entered class I learned something new from Donna. She teaches you stage and film technique and how to be true to your character. The knowledge and skills I learned were far beyond any other course I have taken, and I had a blast!

This class with Donna has elevated my auditioning skills in the room, thanks Donna!

-DANIEL DI VENERE // 19-2, House of Versace, Being Human

Kayla Di Venere“Donna Morong’s class was a truly aspirational course. Donna has taught me how to grow, thrive and flourish as an actor, and in a fun, motivating environment! My brother Daniel and I highly recommend Donna and Aquila Morong studios to anyone who want to take their acting to the next level! Thanks Donna for all the knowledge you have shared!!!

-KAYLA DI VENERE // Patch Town, Helix

 

313341-ashley_bell“Donna, I cannot tell you how many people I’ve recommended your class to. My only regret is not taking it sooner. The class structure was everything I was looking for; the honesty, clear critique, repeated exposure, and focused script analysis. After completing your class I booked my first Broadway show called MACHINAL. Thank you for giving me a concise set of tools to take on any kind of audition. Your class has allowed me the confidence to go into audition rooms and just do my job.”

-ASHLEY BELL //Walking Dead, Machinal, The Last Exorcism I and II, United States of Tara

Andie Ximenes HeadshotAfter taking the Script Analysis Infused Technique Weekend Intensive, I came away with a renewed spirit as an artist and genuine human being.”

-ANDIE XIMENES // Necessary Measures, Those Guys

 

 

 

Laila Haughey Headshot“I had the pleasure and great fortune to take the Aquila Morong teen Conservatory class this summer. Donna and her crew were phenomenal! They helped me to grow in my craft and made me feel very comfortable. I learned to be more present in my scenes and more thoughtful with my character. I highly recommend this workshop to any actor who wants to grow in great proportions with their acting knowledge and ability. I hope to be invited every summer!

Thank you to Donna and Crew! I really appreciate you!”

-LAILA HAUGHEY // My Best Friend

Jessica Pollert Smith Headshot 2013“I learnt so much from the Professional Scene Study class – Donna has a wealth of acting and industry knowledge, which she shares freely with all of her students and she is so great at giving specific advice to each actor. I also got to meet and work with numerous film and TV directors, who all had their own unique insights. I got up in front of the camera every other week, which was invaluable practice and I got to work on a number of different characters/scripts. I’m hugely grateful for this very enriching class.”

-JESSICA POLLERT SMITH // Arachnopilia

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 4.39.17 PM“My studies at the Aquila Morong Studio have made me a completely different actor and person. The studio gave me the tools and techniques necessary to pursue my career with confidence. I have booked two plays this year: one with Coeurage Theatre Company and another with Sacred Fools, both renowned and respected theatre companies in LA. Both shows were well received and my performances were well reviewed. I am now a more enlightened actor and feel better in auditions and performances because the studio helped me gain confidence in my preparation.

At Aquila Morong, the instructors hold their students to a level higher than that of any class I have taken. They encourage you to be a better, more informed person, in your life as well as your craft. When I came to LA, I was timid. Now, I feel like I can meet the standards expected by producers and casting directors in this industry. I didn’t believe in myself as an actor until Aquila Morong taught me how. I would recommend this studio to anyone who is very serious about their career.”

-ERIN SANZO // The Jogger

“My time has been brief with the studio and already I feel like I’ve grown as an artist. I’m making smarter choices with my backstories and incorporating the time and history into each.  Pilot season has been exciting now that I’m with new management and agency. I’m working extra hard and incorporating much of what I learned in my Scene Study class. I’m definitely going to continue my studies at Aquila Morong studios.”

 

-MIRELLY TAYLOR // Hot Bath An’ A Stiff Drink 1 and 2


“I highly recommend the courses I’ve taken at the studio and can only assume the rest are held to the same high standard. Not only do the teachers give us an immense feast of homework to mull over and attempt in rehearsals, but they expertly guide the performances in class to allow for the fullest portrayals and breakthroughs to happen. There is always the helpful reminder that it is all about the character, their inner life, back history, and the larger concept that the playwright is saying with the play… Allaying any personal pressure on the actor about being “good enough”, blah blah, and refocusing it onto the work. I have the studio to thank for much of my recent success, and am looking forward to reenrolling once there is space!”

-MERCER BOFFEY // NCIS: Los Angeles, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Knife Party at Niko’s, Rake

Adil Lavji Headshot“Deb’s Intensive has been life-changing to say the least. It’s like getting the keys to the kingdom. This class teaches you to be a bloodhound for sniffing out the realities of your characters in the given circumstances of the work and forges the trail to the fire that burns brightly within your own soul.”

-ADIL LAVJI // Tie the Knot

 

 

“I’ve been acting for 14 years.  I needed an actor workout that Aquila Morong Studios offered.  Having a casting director and a director in the classroom gave such a strong degree of helpful criticism and encouragement from all sides of the audition and casting process.  During the series of classes I took, I booked a recurring role on an NBC show and tested for a series regular for another network.

I know that Aquila Morong Studios gave me that confidence I needed to go into a room and just do my work well.  I highly recommend this studio to all my actor friends and I’ll probably be back when I need another workout!!  The never-ending joy of being an actor!”

-KELLY PENDYGRAFT // Elizabethtown, Infection: The Invasion Begins

“Donna Morong is the most specific, thorough and passionate teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure to learn from. Donna gives you the freedom to make your own approach and take risks while never letting a general moment pass. Very rarely have I seen a teacher who has the knowledge and experience of being a top level coach, as well as a top level casting director.”

– JARED WARD //Homeland, Hit the Floor

 

Andie Somers high res headshot“The Summer Teen Conservatory program taught a variety of skills, from improv to scene study, in a way which we would both learn and have fun! It allowed for me, personally, to explore new barriers within my craft, as well as expand it, that I would not have thought to do so otherwise. The teachers are all great at what they particularly teach and truly help you grow. It’s a truly great experience!”

– ANDIE SOMERS // Daddy’s Home, Pepe & Santo vs. America

 

“Since being in LA for a few years I’ve taken classes with many different acting coaches. Donna Morong is by far the best. She helped me understand and feel the characters actions and emotions. She’s taught me to let go, and go there. It’s such an awesome and rewarding feeling to get to that level. Donna is truly the most amazing, caring and passionate person who cares about her students. She took me to the next level of acting. Shortly after enrolling in her class I booked “American Mustang 3D” with Alison Eastwood. I have so many good things to say about Donna. When I first came to LA I was told you have to keep looking until you find the right coach that’s a good fit. I have found that with Donna and will continue taking her classes.  I’m excited and looking forward to the next one…”

-JULIA PUTNAM // House of Yes, The Butterfly Room

 “I have been coaching & taking classes with Donna Morong for several years now. I have studied with Donna in several teen classes she has had over the years. Her classes are small and catered specifically for each age group. Donna teaches everything from voice control to movement in character study. I love her classes because Donna Morong Studios actually has a stage setting. It makes me feel like I am able to truly capture the moment, and I am able to take my character places I could not normally go. I don’t mean this in movement, but in giving thought to creating the personality of the character, too.

What I like most about Donna’s classes is that she meets you where you are. If you are new to the business, or if if have been an actress for a while she helps you to discover, and re discover your passion. My brothers were baseball players, and I watched them hit several home runs. I also witnessed the time they put into practice. Acting is not a sport, but when an actress dedicates the passion, and time into developing a character the rewards are priceless. Donna’s classes helps actors meet their goals in both preparation, and success. I booked a professional play “Different Words For the Same Thing” at Center Theatre Group, “I Didn’t Do It” on Disney, and a Drama role on Major Crimes.

Donna truly cares about her students. She is a mentor and coach who I value and respect!”

-SAVANNAH LATHEM // Gamers Guide,Guidance, Different Words for the Same Thing, I Didn’t Do That, Major Crimes, California Solo, Lost

 

“Deborah, I loved working with you. For everyone, there are those moments when you have great days with someone you wouldn’t expect to. You go back to your life, and until then…you really know it’s made an impression on you. You have given me that gift and I meant it when I said you’ve changed my life.

You have revealed to me that the real work is examining who we really are. As actors in this world, how do we become more conscious of what we are creating and expressing? This deeper experience informed me in knowing why I love acting so much. You reminded me to always value the integrity of the work and to keep my own standards high in doing it. At times it can be excruciating–and just like you said, it can also be exhilarating, especially through this process. I did get a lot back from it. Thank you.

To then interchange the work with someone who loves it can double the fun. Your shining light has conceded me permission to do the same. It has inspired me not to dim myself. It’s people like you who make a difference in this world!

I am so happy to have had the privilege to be around such an amazing and motivated, smart and creative woman. I know I can’t be the only one who tells you that, Deborah. And to be quite honest, I don’t want to share you! Ha… you are that special.”

-MAVIS HILLIN // Shadow Love

“I’ve been acting for a couple years now seriously, but Donna’s classes are so extraordinarily different than any other classes I’ve taken in LA. Not only can you tell that she really cares about each actor and their work individually, but she also makes sure that the class grows together and totally keeps things fresh. I’ve taken three sessions of Donna’s class now, and each session has been completely different from the last. She switches things up, teaching Meisner technique one week complete with yoga, improv the next, and on camera after that. I feel like coming to the Aquila Morong Studio has really helped me grow as a young actress and I feel like the caliber of students in my classes has always been super high. Amazing experience. I absolutely love Aquila Morong and I love Donna!!”

-ARIELLE SITRICK // Hello Herman

“As actor’s we portray the lives of others so we need to pay attention to the world around us, observe and learn how to open our eyes to see what makes people tick.

With Deborah I learned how to create my character’s world and open my character’s eyes (see through their eyes).

You will not only learn how to analyze a script and figure out what the writers intend is, but you will also learn how to connect all of it in the end and make it click for you!

As we are all unique and connect on different levels, it was great to see Deborah’s love and passion for actors and devote as much time as needed with each single actor in her class until it clicked for them. I witnessed actors that have had a harder time connecting emotionally find their connection with Deborah. Deborah is a beautiful thing and I am an actress with freedom ready to take risks. Grateful!!”

-CLAUDIA GRAF // Like You Mean It, Dirty People

“I feel so lucky to have found Aquila Morong Studio’s Pre-College Conservatory summer intensive class.  I traveled from Florida to attend this program, and it was beyond worth it!  The insight that the instructors have into voice, movement, improv and scene study, is unique and inspiring.  We even got to study a bit of Shakespeare–my personal favorite!  I was able to apply everything I learned at Aquila Morong to my acting back home.  I gained confidence and a new appreciation for how speech and movement play a part in character development.  I really hope to return to the Conservatory intensive again next summer!”

-SINCLAIRE SCHAEFER // See

“I have been part of the Aquila Morong Studio for about a year now, and not only has it changed me as an actor, but as a human being. They teach you how to work on a deeper level and bring multi-layered elements into your craft. Hand picked students help to create a safe, inspiring studio where you are not afraid to show your vulnerability in order to grow to be a better actor.We work hard and play hard as a studio…. And I always walk away having learned something new.”

-CANDICE COKE // The Game, Days of Our Lives

 

 

Fiona Green Headshot“I have taken Donna’s intensive summer class several times. Each time I go in, I come out as an exponentially better actor then when I went in. This class is hardworking, intense, and extremely fun. You are constantly challenged and it never gets old. In Donna’s class, it is simply impossible to hide in the background. You are forced out of your comfort zone, but in the end you are always grateful for it because that is the only way that you can truly grow as an actor. You won’t find anything quite like this amazing experience. From improv to movement to working on auditions to working on our scenes, I loved every bit of Donna’s class.”

-FIONA GREEN

“The teen class has done wonders for me. The breathing/yoga techniques I learned have helped me to calm my mind, which usually goes in a billion directions. I’ve found that by doing the exercises, I am much more focused for my auditions and working on set.”

-AUSTIN J. WOLFF // A Better Place

 

 

 

 

“The Summer Conservatory for Teens really helped me discover who I want to be as an actor. Not only did I learn how a script works, but how to use it to strengthen a scene. I took the class for two weeks, and we filmed a short monologue at the end of the week, and seeing the second tape showed me how much I had improved in just such a short amount of time. I met so many amazing people who have inspired me, and had so much fun. Before taking the class, I had experience in theatre, however after taking both the audition class and acting-for-the-camera classes, I’ve been able to get roles in feature films, and discovered that I absolutely love it. I would definitely take the class again, I made so much progress and I can’t thank Donna enough for helping me!”

-MAYA BRATTKUS // Wild Prairie Rose

image“I have to say that after spending time in class with both Deborah and Donna I feel like I discovered a giant hidden cavern filled with mazes and pools that I can explore and from which I can pull so much more depth and specificity in to everything I am doing.  That in and of itself I would call a huge success.  Deborah and Donna really made me want to “step up” my game and challenged me to always strive to be the best. I’m grateful for having met them both and look forward to growing more with them in the coming years.”

-DAVED WILKINS // Kissing Speilberg, Doritos Crash the Superbowl winner

IMG_1120absml“Donna has helped me mentally and physically get into each character I take on. To be honest, I thought I knew everything when I started with her. I quickly realized I had only scratched the surface of my knowledge of acting when I began studying with Donna. She takes me in-depth into a scene and has given me great advise as to breaking down the different components of a scene. Her breathing exercises have also really helped me relax before auditions. She’s taught me so much in her classes and inspires me to achieve my goals, no matter how unattainable they seem.”

-JOEY LUTHMAN // The Goldbergs, Modern Family, General Hospital, Battle Creek

Lance Valentine Butler Headshot
I attended the Aquila Morong Teen Camp in 2016 and the result was a tour de force! We watched in awe as Lance performed like never before. The instructors managed to tap deep into his talent and bring the absolute best out in him. I recommend the Aquila Morong Acting Studio with great enthusiasm!

-LANCE VALENTINE BUTLER

 

“The Professional Scene Study class is for professionals, it targets real world skill and experience and is ideally suited for the working actor.”

JON KUYPER // Production Executive, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay