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ActorLink Issue 3, May 2004
In the Spotlight - Client Jodie McClintock

We were thrilled to interview this talented and hardworking actress. What are your latest projects?

Jodie: I recently filmed the episode D.A.W. on Law and Order: Criminal Intent which is to be aired this Sunday May 16 at 9:00PM on NBC. I play Pia O'Donnell, a notary at a NY hospital who has falsified records for a doctor and is interrogated by Detectives Goren and Eames (Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe). Coaching-wise: I have recently started a weekly Shakespeare Workshop for Actors, I'm privately coaching several students for callbacks for upcoming Broadway shows including Dracula, the Musical and Jersey Boys, and I'm directing a one-woman Shakespearian concept show Tempest in a Teapot for the NY Fringe Festival.

AW: How do you use your website? Has it helped your career?

JM: Because of the dual nature of my website, I use it to market and develop both aspects of my career. The acting portion is used as a reference and archival base for acting credits through the years as well as for sharing some photographic highlights that show range, versatility, and how blessed I have been to work with the best. When at an audition or in talks with a casting director, I can refer them to the web pages for more extensive information than the usual 8x10 and resume can hold. Also the downloadable resume is a convenient way for prospective employers to have a hard copy instantaneously. As a working actress myself, I am in a unique position to guide my clients as they create their own methodology and build their careers. Most coaching clients who have come to me via my website have checked out the acting portion of the website first to get an idea of my body of work, and to verify that what I coach comes from a lifetime of experience working as an actor. Hopefully, that history enables me to guide them realistically through the challenges that face the actor of today. The coaching portion of the website gives any prospective client a glimpse into my philosophy and teaching technique, the kinds of coaching I specialize in, and the curriculum for the classes I hold. I believe in empowering actors and making one's life and livelihood as creative and fulfilling as possible. Along with that and because of my extensive background in the British Technique and Theatre, my mission is to meld the British reverence for text with the vitality of the American actor to make the work active. In addition, each month I give timely helpful advice and new inspirational quotations in "Audrey's Room" to give you something new to ponder.

AW: Where are you originally from?

JM: I am originally from Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania which is a suburb of Pittsburgh. I came to NYC after getting my Equity card at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre in 1980.

AW: How did you get your start?

JM: I won an acting scholarship to Westminster College and got my B.A. from there. After completing my degree, I worked at a number of non-Equity theatres in Pittsburgh and environs, eventually building up contacts, credits, and AEA membership points that led to my Equity card. With that, I moved to NY to pursue my career and further study. I performed in NYC showcases and regional LORT productions, studied in conservatories, took graduate acting courses, and eventually went to Oxford and took part in the inaugural session of the British-American Drama Academy where I worked with one of my great mentors Earle Gister formerly of the Yale School of Drama. That particular summer led to my being asked to join the Royal Shakespeare Company during its Broadway and Kennedy Center rotating reps. And then that led in a direct line to my Broadway and West End debut in Sir Jonathan Miller's production of Long Day's Journey Into Night with the late Jack Lemmon. That was the great turning point in my career. Up till that point, I never had representation and had found all my work on my own. I am certain that is why I continue to believe that actor's must generate their own work and paths and not rely on others to do it for them even after gaining an agent or manager!

AW: Why did you decide to become an actress?

JM: I always knew I was put on this Earth to be an artist of some kind. When I was very young, I was selected as one of 2 student artists for a fine arts class at the Carnegie Museum and Institute in Pittsburgh (the same one I later learned that was attended by Andy Warhol) by an art teacher, Mrs. Ruprecht, who told my mother that it was not my drawing technique that had singled me out, but my tremendous imagination. As Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than Knowledge". From that point on, my creativity was nurtured, and I found the best medium for my work was not the canvas or oils or chalk but the canvas of life, of stories told.

There simply was no other path for me.

AW: What's your favorite role that you've played?

JM: There are several: Anna Livia in an adaptation of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, Prossy in Candida, and Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa.

AW: Favorite Actress/Actor?

JM: Katherine Hepburn and I met several times, and she has been and always will be a wonderful inspiration as well as Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Jack Lemmon, Dustin Hoffman, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Sir Derek Jacobi are the actors I most admire.

AW: What is the role that you haven't yet played, but would love to play?

JM: Paulina in Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale. I have only done a workshop and would love to do a full out production. I think she is the role I was born to play.

AW: Do you feel that a formal education is important in the theatrical acting world?

JM: Absolutely. Acting requires tremendous intelligence, searing analytical text work, and great compassion, empathy and skilled powers of observation. All qualities that a formal education fosters. In fact, I believe a true actor never stops learning until the day he dies (and perhaps not even then). I will continue to take class, coach, and grow forever.

AW: How long have you been teaching?

JM: I have been teaching for well over 20 years. It seemed that acting and coaching or teaching have always co-existed for me.

AW: What do you most love about teaching?

JM: The best thing next to acting myself is enabling and inspiring someone else to do so. Back in the Tam O'Shanter Art Class at Carnegie, our teacher Mr. Fitzpatrick used to say, "I don't care if you all actually become fine artists after you leave this class, but you will be the best educated audience for art and most critical eyes to view and experience art and life in a creative way." It is important to find a "job job" that feeds your soul as well as gives back to the world. That is why I feel such great excitement when I see an actor finally crack a difficult piece of text or get a part that they have pursued. Coaching empowers the client to better own their place on this planet with confidence and joy. In a way, coaching can be even more eclectic than acting a single role in a production because in one day I can work through and "play" Richard III, Blanche Du Bois, Othello, Maria Von Trapp, and the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet without ever leaving my studio in Queens!

AW: Do you have any advice for people wanting a career in the theatre?

JM: Study, never stop learning or opening yourself to new pursuits, be vigilant and observant, persevere with patience. There are many paths to a career in this business, not just one prescribed way. There are infinite individuals in humanity, and we need all types of individuals to be actors to mirror that humanity. Blaze your own trail and know that with time and patience many things are possible. Be realistic in your goals but don't forget to dream. God puts you where he wants you at any given time, each obstacle is a lesson though you may not understand that at the time, and when you are at your lowest, trust that something better is planned for you and is coming. Keep hope and your fire alive.

AW: How do you get most of your acting jobs - through your agent, or on your own? Does your agent use your website as a marketing tool?

JM: Now most of my work comes through my agent, but I will always work to help agency submissions along - writing letters, making phone calls, doing post-audition follow up or thank you notes, searching out future projects from varied sources. My agency is my partner, but it is still my career and I take sole responsibility for it. And finally I have found an agent with whom I can work as a team.

Other than telling folks who want to know more about me to check it out, so far they have not actively used my website for marketing. In any case, it is my tool for my dual career, and it has been a smashing success. Old friends have now found me through the website and gotten back in touch. The other great thing is that when a new student is coming to the studio for the first time, they can download the directions and a map and navigating Queens is no longer reliant on hand scribbled notes and forlorn lost phone calls. I couldn't be happier with my decision to go with Amy and ActorWebs!


The Actor's Pocket Guide to New York City

My Own Training
BA, acting, speech, and English, Westminster College; Yale/Oxford: British American Drama Academy; the Royal Shakespeare Company; and the Actors Center. Privately my greatest mentors have been Earle Gister, Robert Smith, Leon Katz, and Patsy Rodenburg.

My Performance Background
Broadway and Off Broadway, London's West End, Israel's National Theatre, guest artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and regional theaters, Film: United 93. Television: Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The Naked Brothers Band: Nickelodeon, PBS 's American Playhouse, Showtime on Broadway: Long Day's Journey Into Night

My Teaching Philosophy
I believe in empowering actors. As a working actor myself, I am in a unique position to guide my clients as they create their own methodology and build their careers. Because of my strong background in British technique, my mission is to meld the British reverence for text with the vitality of the American actor to make the script active.

What Inspires Me to Teach
The next best thing to acting myself is enabling someone else to do so and sharing in his or her success whatever form that might take. How thrilling to breathe life into others.

Other Important Things for Prospective Students to Know
I do both classes and private coaching sessions here at my studio in Queens. Private coaching is in monologue selections (classical and contemporary) and polishing, cold-reading, role preparation, sides prep, acting of songs, commercial copy and general audition/image issues with a specialty in general auditions for graduate schools or overseas acting programs.

How I Would Describe the Art of Acting
With the text as the skeleton, our job is to flesh out and breathe life into the character as defined by the playwright, to provide the actions inherent in the words using ourselves as the canvas or medium in a truthful, graceful manner.

What I Look for When I Interview a Prospective Student
I look for a client who is engaged, curious, committed; someone who desires to exercise their imagination with unflagging energy.

The Kind of Student Who Gets the Most Working with Me
Someone who is open-minded and flexible as we explore innumerable possibilities in solving a moment, is willing to rehearse outside class, and comes prepared; someone with a specific goal.

The Facts
Year Teaching: 20+
Address: 49-01 39th Avenue
Sunnyside, NY 11104-1007
Phone: (718) 476-2590
Private Coaching: Yes - call for current rates - 24 hour cancellation policy.
Admission Policy: Telephone interview for private coaching. For classes: Sample Class day once a year for auditing. Admission by interview/audition.

Shakespeare Introductory: Sonnets, Soliloquies, and Text
Fee: Call for current rates
Schedule: 5 weeks, 3 hours per week

Shakespeare on Film: Scene Study with Monologues
Fee: Call for current rates
Schedule: Class usually runs in conjunction with Shakespeare Introductory.

Intermediate Shakespeare: Scene Study and Monologues
Fee: Call for current rates
Schedule: 8-12 weeks, 4-5 hours per week

Advanced Shakespeare: Playing with Passion Into Performance
Fee: Call for current rates
Schedule: 10-12 weeks, 4-5 hours per week. This class is conducted like a rep company in rehearsal for several rotating Shakespeare productions.

2012 Jodie Lynne McClintock. All rights reserved.
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