About Barbara

Great Speakers Use Acting Skills!

At first “great speakers use acting skills” might sound strange – many people confuse the idea of “acting” with “pretending”. This is understandable; most of us have only experienced the stray community college production, and have no frame for what goes into our favorite performances. True training in acting teaches that acting is allowing your true self to come through, for you to live the experience, and for you to remove your mask and reveal yourself. It is when you can let others in that you find that resonance with your audience. That is what you have to do, whether performing Coriolanus, or giving a TED talk on the power of vulnerability – great speakers use acting skills; they live their message to resonate with their audience.

“Think of talent not as a thing, but as a process; not as something we have or are born with, but as something we do and keep doing to inevitably arrive at mastery.”- reworked from a quote by David Shenk

You can not build on your weaknesses, so stop feeding them. You can only build on that which is amazing about you, and use that to project your message to your audience.

I am someone who is passionate about, and totally committed to, coaching actors and speakers in mastering the art of communication through acting skills – someone who has created a safe and challenging environment where all can grow.

I’m a New York trained actress who has worked as a professional actor, director and acting coach in Toronto, New York, and Portland for over 30 years. It has been a very rewarding experience helping speakers, actors, writers, film-makers, directors, artists and singers to grow in their art and their life.

My professional work includes over 300 movies, television series, soaps, commercials, industrials and voice-overs.

Some of my credits include (TV – movies, series, soaps) All My Children, As the World Turns, So the Story Goes, Duplicates, Without Warning: Terror in the Towers, Praying Mantis, Under Suspicion and Nowhere Man. Theatre credits (New York and Toronto) include The Prime of Miss Jean BrodieThe Beau StrategemHay FeverRound and Round the GardenA Little Night MusicThe Cat and the CanaryIcarus’s Mother and Trojan Women.

I graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NY), receiving the Jehlinger Award in recognition of my work. I graduated with an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University and received a scholarship to study in Poland at the Grotowski workshop as well as at the Film Institute in Lublin (Polanski’s alma mater).

I had an exciting time collaborating with poet/playwright Victoria Sullivan as Co-artistic Director of the Women’s Production Company in New York City where I got to direct and act in plays specifically written for and about women.

I am a member of the NSA (National Speakers Association), AFTRA (American Federation of Television Artists), SAG (Screen Actors’ Guild). AEA (Actors’ Equity Association), ACTRA, (Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists), NWBN (Northwest Business Network), and the NWCA (North West Coaches Association), BDI ( Business Development Network) and Portland Civic Theatre Guild.

As a speaking/presentation coach, I work as a consultant for various firms as well as conduct private sessions in authentic communication. I am proud of my work as adviser and producer for ITAFARI an organization helping the people of Rwanda rebuild their country. For more information go to their website www.itafari.org


| Nike | adidas | G. Thornton & Associates, Inc. |  Battleground Chamber of Commerce | NSA Oregon Fast Track Seminar | Oregon Public Broadcasting (Oregon Art Beat) | The Oregon Zoo | The Catholic Charities of Portland | The Maritime Museum in Astoria | Lara Media Services | Portland Bureau of Sustainability & Development.
A list of my past and current clients can be found here.

I am proud of the work I’ve done with Teen actors in helping them present important works to their community dealing with teen immigrants (Border Crossings) and Portland’s remaining holocaust survivors (NAKT: Stories from the Holocaust). See REVIEWS

As a director I have felt honored to have been the acting coach/director on TANGOING WITH TORNADOES a wonderful play about domestic abuse, written by award winning Oregonian journalist, S. Renee Mitchell.

I enjoyed my work as acting coach on the movie, WELCOME TO MY SCENE (about an 80’s Portland punk rock band the Oily Bloodmen).