I became a performer at the age of 15, and for many years worked throughout the western United States, Canada and Japan as a singer and an actress. I came to the UK in 1984 to complete a DPhil in British Political Drama at Oxford University (under the supervision of Terry Eagleton), and I have been training actors in the UK for more than two decades. In 1990 I became Head of Acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and moved on from there in 1994, where I led the team that was awarded the first BA degree for vocational acting in the UK. I also designed and launched MA degrees in acting and playwriting. In 1994 I became the founding Head of Acting & Dance at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where we designed and launched the first interdisciplinary BA in Performance in the UK. From 2001-7 I served as Director of Drama, Head of Musical Theatre, and Director of International Development for the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, and while there I designed and launched the BA in Digital Film and Television and the MA in Musical Theatre. Since starting at Napier in 2011 I have written, validated and launched the BA Acting for Stage & Screen, BA Acting & English, MFA Directing, MFA Playwriting and MFA Acting.
In 2005 I wrote and presented a 4 part-series for BBC Radio Scotland, called Singing School, and in 2007 I began working again in the industry. In that time I’ve worked extensively in television both as a casting director and performance coach for BBC, ITV, and others.
I live in Edinburgh where I work as a writer, a freelance performance coach and director and as a Senior Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University. My research areas include historiography, acting theory, philosophy of consciousness, artificial intelligence and cognitive science. Along with books, I’ve published many journal articles, and presented workshops and master classes on performing, auditioning and singing in various places throughout the UK, Europe and the United States.