Testimonials

Deke’s training takes actor from barely booking to booking like a banshee!!!

Prior to working with Deke Anderson, I had booked one theatrical job in six months. In the first 18 months I worked with Deke, I booked 14 theatrical jobs, including several guest star and recurring roles. Deke has taught me how to make creative choices that flesh out a scene. His Directorial experience helps him to gauge what works and doesn't in scenes, and he can clearly convey the adjustments that are needed to make the scene more effective. Through him, I have learned a great deal about developing characters, auditioning technique, and most importantly, booking jobs. Deke's instruction extends beyond the audition room. He has discussed conduct on set, dealing with nerves, working with difficult people, etc. Because Deke has gone through most experiences of a working actor, he can advise his students with great perspective. Finally, Deke's infectious enthusiasm, constructive criticism, and hard work inspire loyalty from his students. If you have any questions, or you would like any further information about Deke, please feel free to contact me. Thank you. -Vic Chao | www.vicchao.com | See IMDb profile...

Award winning Houston Director loves Next Level Talent

I don’t know if the students coming out of Deke’s classes are smart, intuitively professional actors who get it. Or if they’re merely acting the part of smart, intuitively professional actors who get it. Either way, it’s a convincing performance [which] . . . [m]akes my job as a director infinitely easier. Deke’s students know what to do and, more importantly, how to do it. They consistently blow me away.-Robert Campbell, 808 Productions

Broadway "Avenue Q" and "Full Monty" Star says Deke sas "great sense for nurturing new talent" and for "continuously challenging more established talent"

My name is Christian Anderson. I am an actor, who played a lead role in "Avenue Q" on Broadway in New York. I also played the lead role in "The Full Monty" international tour. I am writing on behalf of Deke Anderson who runs 'Next Level Acting Studios'. I enrolled in Deke's Thursday night on camera class in August 2001. The first thing I noticed about Deke's class was his relationship with his students. He has a very positive, encouraging nature without sacrificing honesty. He uses great scene material from current TV shows and feature films. His classes are large enough to allow for different scene partners each week, yet small enough so that everyone participates in two to four scenes per class. Deke has a great sense for nurturing new talent and also for continuously challenging more established talent. Since taking Deke's class, my confidence level has risen substantially. Having a strong theatrical background, I wanted to focus on acting for film and television. Deke has really helped me to bring my performance level to a very intimate, realistic place, just right for the camera. My audition/callback ratio has greatly improved, and I also attribute a lot of the work I've done in Deke's class to booking the role in "Avenue Q" and "The Full Monty". Deke's classes are also very reasonably priced.-Christian Anderson

Local Houston Actor sees that our students get callbacks and book jobs

Out of the 7 principals on the Toyota Regional commercial shoot last week, I know at least 4 of us were Deke students! At the ‘Retractable’ callback yesterday, the room was filled with Deke students! And I know for a FACT I wouldn’t have had either of those opportunities had I not been trained by you. Thanks!-Shelley Boozer

35 year industry veteran calls Deke’s classes “a breath of fresh air”

It is with great pleasure that I recommend and endorse Deke Anderson as an acting teacher and coach. With 27 Years of experience in the film and television industry, I have definitely studied with several teachers along the way. Finding Deke's class was like a breath of fresh air. He teaches the essentials of working in this industry - scenes and auditions for high profile television and feature work. Equally important, he prepares his students to step into professional situations and compete and perform at their highest abilities. He is progressive and encouraging and in my opinion helps an actor want to improve. Deke has been valuable in my growth and confidence as an actor. I heartily recommend him to beginning and experienced actors alike.-Carl Ciarfalio | See IMDb profile...

Local Houston Actor says, "Now I’m getting roles and I have a much better understanding of the business"

You have no idea the tremendous amount of encouragement you and your class has given me. One year ago I just started your class, and now I’m getting roles and I have a much better understanding of the business. There are no words for how much I can thank you.-Jazmine Aleeah

Deke Anderson genuinely cares about his students.

I do a lot of teaching . . and . . .work with many [people]. It’s easy to tell who really cares and who doesn’t. You do care, and not only that, you give 110%. You are generous with your time, and you don’t spare yourself. You have strong work ethics, and I have a deep appreciation for that.-Fabrizia Faustinella

Deke’s classes keep his students constantly learning.

I have to say that it’s been wonderful learning from someone who genuinely understands and can marry both the technical and creative aspects of acting for various mediums. I’m so appreciative and glad I found Next Level. Each week, I can see improvement in myself and classmates, while I learn something else I can work on. Makes such a difference and keeps me hungry. .. Thank you.-Tiffany Richards

Actor loves “Deke’s easy and positive style of guiding his students in a non-threatening environment.”

I began training in Deke's class ..., while making my transition from stage work to television. Deke has helped me to come so far already in his adjustments of my acting size, and understanding of scripts from genre to genre. Deke has such an easy and positive style of guiding his students in a non-threatening environment, regardless of each actor's level of experience. This is why I continued to grow under his insightful and creative tutelage. His exercises and varied studies challenged me to go beyond any limitations I might have once thought I had. ... his highest priority is to help his students get work. Deke is an intelligent coach I can trust. Also with my background in the classical style (opera), I very much appreciate Deke's disciplined focus and great respect for his art. His philosophies regarding his approach to acting reach beyond the technical, and illustrate his ability to give back to the craft, which is why his classes are unordinary and particularly fulfilling. For any actor seriously interested in extending his abilities, I wholeheartedly recommend Deke Anderson.-Kristin Peterson

New actor says Deke’s “instruction, patience, talent, and ability . . . propelled” him into “working actor territory”

I just wanted to take a moment and recognize Deke Anderson and "Next Level Acting Studios" on his continued gift of teaching the skills necessary to have a successful acting career. Before working with Deke, I couldn't land a goldfish in a fishbowl! But due to Deke's instruction, patience, talent, and ability, he ... propelled me into what was the mythical land of a working actor territory. The lead role in a feature film, two commercials, and a recurring role on the daytime soap "Passions" on NBC has given me the confidence necessary to continue to work hard with Deke and make more progress. If you are serious about making this dream a reality, I not only wish you to consider Deke and the studio, but implore you! You will not be disappointed. Best wishes and good luck to all!-Jeff Fryer

Local Houston Actor finds top notch New York training not nearly as effective as Deke’s instruction

I’m looking to get back in your classes. I just did a semester at a big conservatory in New York and found that I grew more and was challenged more in your classes than any training I received there. . . I heard that you have a waiting list . . I could do any time and day that you have an opening.-Nicole Elliott

Local Houston Actor finds both Deke’s and Elsa’s instruction “incredible”

I wanted to say thank you for the feedback I got from you last week . . . a little motivation goes a long way for me. Thank you and Elsa so much, I had a blast last night in her class, and she like you, is an incredible instructor!”-Vannessa Vasquez

To protect our young actors’ privacy, names are not included within most of these testimonials, but they are accurate, and almost all are unsolicited feedback from parents who have been part of our studio family. Please call or e-mail Elsa if you would like to speak directly with any of these parents, as she is happy to ask permission for you to do so.

Successful Corporate Parent of 10 year old girl sees our classes improve her public speaking ability and confidence

Deke and Elsa run a wonderful acting school that . . . our 10 year old daughter attends. Through this school, [her] public speaking ability and confidence have grown. Plus, she really enjoys going. -High level Executive, prominent Oil & Gas Corporation

Mother of 14 year old teen boy loves what our classes have done for her son

... taking your classes has really made him much more social, mature, and very clever in the sense that he is so quick witted ... know that it has made a huge impact on him ... thank you. -Mother of 14 year old teen boy

Parents of working child Actor Audrey Scott describe many positive impacts of Elsa's training.

We are forever grateful to you, Elsa, for the acting foundation and ongoing education you [taught] to Audrey each week. Your professionalism, preparation, and dedication to keeping your class fun and interesting is refreshing. Not only did Audrey have a blast in your class, she has learned invaluable 'business' skills, which she uses when working on set - and her knowledge, at her age, impresses her directors, fellow actors and crew. Your private training has been invaluable as well in 'booking' roles and understanding and delivering ever changing 'direction'. We cannot say enough good things about Audrey's, and our, experience with you and Next Level. -Deneka & Joshua Scott

Award winning Writer/Director thanks instructor Elsa Ward for her feedback on her process with student Audrey Scott

Dear Elsa, this is all wonderful and valuable information. I thank you for being so open and understanding to our needs and the project. Audrey impressed us all, and you no doubt had a real hand in her development. Take care, -[B]ryan [W]izemann, [Writer/Director of An Entire Body/Think of Me, produced by Junebug/Choke producer Mike Ryan, starring Lauren Ambrose of Six Feet Under and introducing Audrey Scott; screenplay won top 3 award at Slamdance Feature Screenplay Competition]

Mother of 'The Starving Games' supporting actor receives great feedback from Hollywood director

Everything went well on 'The Starving Games' for Matthew. Aaron Seltzer said Matthew was very relaxed on camera and had a good performance. -Catherine Wagner, mother of 15 year old boy

Parents of 15 year old boy see our classes improve his confidence and social skills

We “have noticed a change in [our son] since he started your class, Elsa. He is more outgoing, is willing to take risks and audition [for his school play] and is generally more polished around new people. I know that the acting class is really helping him, not to mention that he enjoys it very much.”

Father of 13 year old son and 10 year old daughter calls Elsa Ward’s teaching a “gift”

My children “LOVE your classes! You have a gift, either learned or natural, for teaching and inspiring children. . . . [your] classes are well thought out, fun, and educational . . . [t]hey have never come back from a class less than excited and enthusiastic.”

Working child actor Grant Goodman [wanted] to take Next Level classes “forever”, loves Shelley Black, and his mother credits our training as key to his success

My son attended Next Level for three years and said he [wanted] to take the class ‘forever.’ It really gave him a good foundation to make the transition from stage work to on-screen acting. It gave him confidence, as well as teaching a new skill set, but most of all, he has really had fun. Grant has worked with Shelley Black as a one-on-one coach almost exclusively, and we can’t say enough positive things about her. She is very friendly, always professional and really brings the best out in Grant. Next Level and Shelley are big reasons why Grant has landed local and national roles.-Helen Swiff-Goodman

Well known Houston Casting Director notices improvement in 11 year old talent after he joined Elsa’s class

Hey, Elsa, I want to let you know that Caryn [Gorme] said that [our son] did the best he has ever done for her [in his recent audition.] I told her that he started working with you, and she said well it is working . . . keep it up. . . .I am so pleased with his progress in your class. I am so happy with your willingness to help and your understanding and support of him. It is nice to find someone who will see his strengths and work with him, instead of assuming he will never work, because he is not ‘like [his older brother]’....he loves your class and continues to become more confident.

Mother of 8 year old girl enrolls her for the obvious life skills benefits and the Instructor’s value as a role model

Our daughter had a great time at class on Saturday and is looking forward to coming again next week. [My husband] and I both got a very good feeling from you and Deke. Thanks again, Elsa, for all of your communication, encouragement an d support. I think there is a lot [our daughter] can learn from you, not only for acting, but how she presents herself to the world. I think this will be a a great confidence boost and will give skills that she can use throughout her life.

Experienced professional 9 year old actress takes her work to the Next Level with us

Before [my daughter] went to bed tonight, it was like a light bulb had come on inside her, as she was explaining to me how much easier now it was for her to comprehend – what she has been learning [from others] all this time. I am convinced that this studio definitely has the right name and is completely right for [her].

Mom of aspiring 12 year old actress is grateful for Next Level’s assistance in getting started

Elsa, I just wanted to thank you and Deke for the seminar today. I have been a bit overwhelmed my my lack of knowledge on how to get [my daughter] started in acting. Now I feel I have some tools to help her along. I am so pleased with how much [she] is enjoying her classes, how much she is learning, and how much you obviously care about your students.

Mom of 10 year old girl proud to have her daughter around Next Level’s wonderful people

I really appreciate all the hard work you have done with [my daughter.] She is always excited to come to her to Saturday class, and she is able to tell me something new she has learned each week. Next Level Acting is a really great organization, and I am proud to have my daughter around such a wonderful group of people.

Mom of 8 year old grateful for daughter’s private lesson resulting in Academy commercial booking

Hi, Elsa. [Our daughter] was one of a few other kids who got picked for the ACADEMY commercial that we rehearsed! Yay! Thanks again for your help!

Mother of 16 year old boy loves seeing her son develop confidence

Elsa, you are sooooo wonderful . . . [my son] SO loves learning about acting, and we SO love seeing him enjoy and grow to where he feels comfortable in his own skin.

Mother of 11 year old girl loves what classes has done for her daughter

[My daughter] . . . very much . . .enjoy[s] the class, and it has brought so much out of her. I can see her confidence building every week. It’s awesome to see that as a parent.